Amid all of the excitement for the holidays, Walt Disney World Resort opened its newest Disney Vacation Club resort — Disney’s Riviera Resort! You and your family can now soak up the grandeur of Europe and the casual elegance of the Mediterranean coast at this Epcot-area resort. And you don't have to be a DVC Member to stay here, either — anyone is welcome! We hopped by on its opening day, Dec. 16, 2019, and we were toadally impressed by the colorful art pieces and overall coastal European vibe of the resort. Put on your sunglasses, and pack your suitcases — let's dive into all of the magical details of this fairy-tale resort.
Step Inside Disney's Riviera Resort
Europe, with its colorful castles and fairy-tale villages, has been the inspiration for some of Disney's most beloved stories. At Disney’s Riviera Resort, you and your family are invited to create your own magical stories. The striking architecture and theming — starting with the palm tree-lined boulevard — set the scene. Every detail, from the grand archways to the tower and terraces, reflects the colors and inspiration of 20th-century Europe and the Mediterranean.
The main lobby has an elegant setting, mixed with modern and classic 20th-century decor and furnishings. It also features an art collection that highlights beloved Disney characters and icons influenced by European rivieras. Outside, beautiful gardens, bubbling fountains and a waterfront provide the perfect setting for scenic strolls among the romantic landscaping.
Disney's Rivera Resort Location and Transportation
Located right next to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney's Riviera Resort is only a short hop away from Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon and Disney Springs. Because of its central location, we expect it’ll be a hoppin’ spot for resort guests!
Transportation to Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios is super easy, thanks to the new Disney Skyliner transportation system! The resort features a Skyliner station along the Epcot line. Disney's Riviera Resort guests can hop on a gondola directly to Epcot, which takes about 10 minutes. Families taking Skyliner from Disney's Riviera Resort to Hollywood Studios will need to go to the Caribbean Beach station to transfer lines. You could walk — or take Skyliner from the Riviera station — to the Caribbean Beach hub. (The ride to Hollywood Studios from there takes about 5 minutes.) Complimentary bus transportation will be available for other destinations around Walt Disney World.
As you head toward the Riviera's Skyliner station, stop underneath the walkway tunnel and admire two stunning mosaic art murals. Both of these murals climb the walls and stretch across the ceiling. The first mural depicts the floating lantern scene from "Tangled" and Rapunzel's tower. The other mural features London at night with Peter Pan and the Darlings flying off to Neverland. More than one million hand-cut tiles make up these two mosaic art murals! Accompanied by the sounds of a bubbling fountain, this was my favorite spot on the resort's property.
Disney's Riviera Resort Rooms
Whether you’re traveling with a partner or a group of 12, you’ll be sure to find accommodations that best suit your needs! You can find a wide range of room options at Disney’s Riviera Resort, including the Tower Studios, which are unique to the resort. Here's a peek at what the rooms look like!
Tower Studios - NEW
The Tower Studios are specially designed for two guests, with both efficiency and luxury in mind. Built into the wall, a pull-down queen-size bed can be easily tucked away to create more space for lounging. Amenities include a microwave, a small refrigerator, a built-in desk, a flat panel TV and a private balcony or porch.
Each Deluxe Studio sleeps up to five guests, with a queen-size bed, a pull-down queen-size bed and a single, pull-down bunk-size bed. This room type has a small kitchenette equipped with a microwave, a refrigerator and a wet bar. It also features a split bathroom with a shower-tub combination on one side and a walk-in shower on the other side.
Villas (1-Bedroom Villa, 2-Bedroom Villa and 3-Bedroom Grand Villa)
A great option for larger frog families, the Villas provide luxurious living space with a variety of convenient amenities. Each Villa has separate bedrooms for privacy, a fully-equipped kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a washer and dryer set and a bubble-jet bathtub. A 1-bedroom Villa sleeps up to five guests, a 2-bedroom Villa can accommodate up to nine guests and a 3-bedroom Grand Villa hosts up to 12 guests.
Amenities at Disney's Riviera Resort
Disney's Riviera Resort has two pool areas perfect for family playtime or relaxation. At the Riviera Pool, splash and play the day away on the featured pool slide, which wraps around the tower. Tadpoles can also enjoy some fun under the sun at S’il Vous Play, an interactive water area inspired by the grand fountains of Europe and the “Dance of the Hours” segment in “Fantasia.” An elephant sits atop the structure filling a dump bucket, while hippos splash water into bowls and basins.
For a quieter afternoon, relax and unwind at the Beau Soleil Pool, only steps away from the Riviera Pool and Bar Riva, the pool bar. Its central location allows for easy access, but also provides some privacy with its lush, green wall surrounding it. In the main courtyard, you can play a game of bocce or chess on a giant board. On the flip side, you can maintain your daily workouts at the Athlétique Fitness Center, which you can access from the courtyard.
Dining at Disney’s Riviera Resort
Some of the best dining experiences at Walt Disney World are located at the resort hotels. When we heard the news about a rooftop table-service restaurant called Topolino’s Terrace - Flavors of the Riviera, we instantly got a sneaking suspicion that it would be a hit — and we weren't disappointed. (By the way, "Topolino" is Mickey Mouse’s name in Italian!) In the evenings, the restaurant offers French and Italian cuisine, including meat and seafood dishes, handmade pasta and desserts for a fine dining experience. And don’t froget about those views … you may even catch a glimpse of the nighttime spectaculars at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot!
Best of all, there is a new character dining experience at Topolino’s Terrace! What better way than to start your day than with Breakfast à la Art with Mickey and Friends. Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy don brand-new outfits unique to this dining experience, as they mix and mingle while you enjoy fresh pastries. We thought the character interactions were the best part of the breakfast, and absolutely LOVED their new looks as Mickey the painter, Minnie the poet, Donald the sculptor and Daisy the dancer. A couple times during the meal, Mickey and friends danced around the room to acknowledge and celebrate any special occasions.
The character breakfast features a prix fixe menu that is comprised of assorted pastries, an entrée of your choice and fresh juice or coffee. Specialty nonalcoholic and alcoholic drinks are available for an extra charge. Entrée options include Gruyère quiche, sour cream waffles, wood-fired butcher's steak, smoked salmon, spiced sausage hash, wild mushroom scramble, plant-based “egg” omelets and more. The sour cream waffles had a nice balance of a lightly crispy exterior and a fluffy interior with all kinds of fruity flavors from the raspberries, roasted apples and orange-maple syrup.
There's a kids menu available for the tadpoles who want to stick with Mickey waffles or scrambled eggs. The breakfast costs $24 per child (ages 3-9) and $41 per adult. Since it's not buffet-style like many other character breakfast locations, it is on the pricier side. But the theming, characters and the food itself provide an overall solid character dining experience. Advance dining reservations are highly encouraged and can be made through the My Disney Experience app up to 180 days in advance.
Other dining options include Primo Piatto, a quick-service restaurant that offers casual meals and grab-and-go options, and Bar Riva, a pool bar with drinks and food options. In the lobby at Le Petit Café, grab a coffee or pastry during the day or small plates and a drink from the bar at night.
Reservations Now Open!
Even though it's a Disney Vacation Club resort, non-members can reserve rooms here, as well. We think Disney's Riviera Resort will especially attract large families, those who appreciate a Disney hotel with a central location and couples looking for a romantic getaway (thanks to the new Tower Studios!). If you're just as excited as we are about this new hotel, hop to it and book your room through us frogs for huge savings!
Will you be checking in to Disney's Riviera Resort? Let us know what you're most looking forward to in the comments below!