DISNEY'S RIVIERA RESORT
Disney’s newest resort is now open! Disney’s Riviera Resort was designed with inspiration from Walt and Lillian Disney’s love of traveling through Europe. I am a big fan of some of the Disney movies set in Europe. The Aristocats, One Hundred and One Dalmatians and Peter Pan were always among my favorites when I was a kid. Now that I am older, I still love those, but have added Beauty and Beast, Ratatouille, and Frozen to the list of movies that have me checking airfare to London, France, and Norway on a random Tuesday morning. While this resort is still very firmly in the balmy state of Florida, it can make you feel like you’ve just stepped into a luxurious European resort. The architecture, design elements and artwork are all elegantly done with European and Mediterranean influences apparent. This resort is in the Deluxe Villa category on Disney property and is a Disney Vacation Club Resort. You don’t have to be a DVC member to book a room here though, they do accept non-member reservations.
The Grounds are lovely and have several places to just relax and enjoy this gorgeous resort. Riviera Resort sits very close Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort which increases your dining options with just a quick stroll. You can use the new Disney Skyliner to make quick travel time to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. There are several room categories to choose from ranging from very small to very grand. The Tower suite which was designed with just 2 people in mind and is perfect in that regard. If you are an adult couple and want a smaller but very nice room, you should certainly consider it. Or if you are a single parent traveling with a young child (or traveling without your spouse) this would also be a good choice. You can also book a deluxe studio which is much larger and accommodates up to 4 adults, a one- or two-bedroom villa or the Grand Villa that sleeps up to 12 guests! I love the villa’s for long stays as you get a washer & dryer in your room as well as a full kitchen. Unlike some of the older Disney Vacation Club properties, Riviera Resort is not large and sprawling requiring its own internal bus transportation just to get from your room to the main lobby and dining options. If you prefer a compact resort that has a very deluxe yet intimate feel. This is it.
The Deluxe Studio
This is the one bedroom which gives plenty of space to spread out, sleep and eat! The bathrooms in the larger room categories are very nice!
The lawn games like giant chess and meticulous landscaping really stand out here and again, the compact size of the resort gives you plenty of time to stroll through and enjoy it without hitting your maximum step count before arriving at any of the parks.
The pools at Riviera Resort are just pretty. That word seems a little inadequate but that is the word that comes to mind when I look at the pools here. There is the main pool with slide and the very cute splash pad for younger kids just behind it. There is also a large leisure pool, The Beau Soleil Pool, that was created with a more lowkey, relaxing, adult vibe for those who are not into slides and big splashes.
Another bright spot at this resort is dining! Topolino’s Terrace is quickly becoming a favorite for guests who enjoy great food and character interaction. Many people now have this restaurant at the top of the character meal list. The characters are dressed in French and artist inspired attire and the effect is quite fun! Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy appear at breakfast to sign autographs, take photos and interact with guests. Breakfast is a prix fixe menu consisting of fresh pastries and your choice of entrees.
The entrees include Quiche Gruyere with house-made pancetta, Sour Cream Waffle, Wood-fired butcher Steak, Smoked salmon, Spiced Sausage Hash, or Two Eggs any style. You can even choose a plant based “egg” omelet among other delicious offerings.
"Bar Riva is another option here for a hearty burger, Grilled Chicken Sandwich or a spicy Italian sandwich. They also have a Monte Cristo sandwich that is worth trying if you have never had one."
The Skyliner station
This is another positive aspect of this resort. Taking a quick ride on the Skyliner to get to either Epcot or Hollywood Studios is a great way to travel to the parks. There are buses to take you to Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom, but I highly recommend the Skyliner for the other two parks. It’s like an attraction itself!
Overall, my thoughts on the Riviera Resort are that it is lovely and certainly worth trying out. It may even become your favorite Disney property. Riviera Resort has many options for accommodations from couples to large families of 12 as well as beautiful grounds and pools. The transportation and dining options are excellent, and I find it hard to think of an age group that wouldn’t find something to love about staying here.
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