Disney’s Riviera Resort opened on December 16th, 2019, and it is the 15th Disney Vacation Club resort. Plans for the resort were first announced during the D23 Expo in 2017. All of the rooms are this resort are Disney Vacation Club rooms.
The feel is classy without feeling stuffy. Although the theme is said to be the French and Italian Riviera, I would describe it as European. This is particularly noticeable in the artwork inside the resort, which displays not just French or Italian artwork but also Great Britain and other areas of Europe (along with many well-known Disney characters).
Walt and his wife Lillian visited Europe frequently; they loved it there; Disney’s Riviera Resort’s design is a salute to their fondness for that part of the globe. Photos from Walt and Lillian’s trips are plentiful throughout the resort, many of which were rarely or never displayed in public before.
Arriving at the property, you are greeted by a very impressive and inviting entrance that has a triple archway. The Cast Members who greeted us, in fact, all the Cast Members at this resort, were some of the best I have encountered. They went above and beyond to make sure we understood where everything was, and even behind their masks, it was obvious they were smiling when we passed by.
The check-in process is very efficient; there is no line up at a front desk. Instead, a Cast Member will approach you and check-in your party using a portable tablet. Not only was it quick and easy, it felt very special and personal to be greeted and checked in this way. Immediately after we checked in (with no wait at all), a bellman appeared to walk us to our room. He showed us around and gave us a few tips regarding our location and how to best get around the resort from there.
We were very impressed with the upkeep, layout, and size of the 2 bedroom Dedicated Villa we had reserved. There were two balconies, one off the Master Bedroom, which could also be accessed from the living room, and one off the second bedroom.
The Dedicated 2 Bedroom Villa slept nine, with a king bed, two queens, and two pull-down murphy beds (one queen-sized and one single). The murphy beds had murals painted in them, only visible when the beds were pulled down. The single had Classic Mickey Mouse lying on a beach next to Pluto, and the queen had Peter Pan, Michael, Wendy, and John flying to Neverland. There were three very big closets, no worries at all about storage here!
Disney’s Riviera Resort has roughly 300 Villas, ranging from a Tower Studio that sleeps two up to Grand Villas that can accommodate up to 12 guests.
A new class of rooms for the Disney Vacation Club, are the Tower Studios; made exclusively for two guests. Each has 1 queen size pull-down bed and a full bathroom with a stand-up shower. There is also a mini-fridge, toaster, coffee maker, and a balcony made for two.
Deluxe Studios are the next room class. These sleep up to five and have 1 queen size bed, 1 queen size pull-down bed, and 1 single pull-down bed, and a split bathroom (one side with tub/shower and sink, the other side has the commode and a walk-in shower). The queen bed is a raised bed for convenient luggage storage. Two showers in a studio is a nice bonus! A kitchenette including a toaster, microwave, mini-fridge, and a coffee maker are included in all Deluxe Studios.
One Bedroom Villas sleep up to five guests with a king size bed in the master bedroom, a full bath, and in-suite laundry. The living room has 1 queen size pull-down bed and 1 pull-down bunk-size bed. These accommodations also have a whirlpool tub, a full kitchen (including a microwave, coffee maker, toaster, silverware, drinking glasses, kitchen table), and a balcony.
Two Bedroom Villas can sleep up to nine. In addition to what you will find in a One bedroom Villa described above, the Two Bedroom Villas have a second bedroom with either; a. queen bed, queen size pull-down bed, and a pull-down bunk-size bed, or b. 2 queen beds.
**If you have a preference for one layout over the other, the specification must be made at the time of submitting your request form; the reservation can not be changed at a later date.**
Grand Villas are designed to be able to accommodate up to 12 guests. There’s a king size bed in the master bedroom. Full kitchen. 3 full baths and in-suite laundry. A living room with 1 queen size sleeper sofa. Two additional bedrooms, each containing 2 queen beds. In addition to what you would see in a One or Two Bedroom Villa, there’s a dining room with a very large table that can seat 12.
A bonus of staying at the Riviera is that it’s on the Disney Skyliner route.
This system connects Disney’s Riviera Resort, Art of Animation, Pop Century, Caribbean Beach, Epcot, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios using gondolas. Disney’s Riviera Resort has its own station with 2 gorgeous murals in the tunnel that leads to the station. One mural is the lantern scene from Tangled; the other is from Peter Pan when they are flying to Neverland.
FUN FACT: It took over 1 million hand-cut tiles to create these beautiful designs.
You can board the Skyliner from the Riviera Resort to go to Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios (with a transfer of Skyliner routes at the Caribbean Beach Resort).
The ambiance of the Riviera resort continues when you exit the back of the resort. Guests are greeted by beautiful gardens, gushing fountains, beautiful landscaping, two pools, and a relaxing waterfront.
Anyone for a swim? There is a large feature pool with a slide and a zero-entry area.
Nearby is a water play area for the little ones featuring characters from Disney’s Fantasia.
If you’re looking for a quieter pool, the Riviera offers the Beau Soleil pool for relaxation.
There are a number of dining choices at the Riviera Resort:
Le Petit Café serves coffee and pastries in addition to small plates from morning to evening. Later in the day, they also serve cocktails. FUN FACT: Le Petit Café was also the name of the venue featured in the 1970 animated Disney film, The Aristocats.
Bar Riva is an open-air pool bar that offers frozen cocktails, wine, and spritzers. Sandwiches, Burgers, and salads are also available here.
(photo 40 – Bar Riva at Disney’s Riviera Resort)
The quick-service here is called Primo Piatto. Here is where guests can find sandwiches, salads, beer, wine, and snacks. You can order food in advance for this location using your My Disney Experience App.
La Boutique is the place to buy groceries for your room (or to pick up a souvenir to take home). Many photos of the artwork you see around the resort can be purchased here; inquire with a Cast Member if you’re interested.
The premier eatery at the Riviera is Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera. Topolino’s (Italian for “baby mouse,” which is what they call Mickey in Italy) is located on the top floor of the Riviera, and the views are sensational.
Breakfast is a Character Dining experience (currently, the characters will pass by near your table for a socially distanced photo). For dinner, it is a signature restaurant (no characters); guests can enjoy seafood and meat dishes, handmade pasta as well as a large selection of desserts.
A few more things to know about Disney’s Riviera Resort:
- There is a Fitness Center, equipment is free for guests. Check at the Front desk for hours.
- There is a jogging path, a map of which can be found between the main pool and the Skyliner station.
I hope you enjoy your next visit to Disney’s Riviera Resort!