Disney’s Riviera Resort opened in December 2019, so it’s just been open for over a year. The beautiful resort is themed to Walt Disney’s travels through Europe and his love of the French and Italian Riviera. The special touches like a library, bistro, terraces, and manicured grounds at this resort invoke a feeling of being in such a place.
The Riviera is considered a Disney Vacation Club property, and as such it offers only villa accommodations, including a Tower Studio that sleeps two, a Deluxe Studio that sleeps five, a One-Bedroom Villa that sleeps five, a Two-Bedroom Villa that sleeps nine, and a Three-Bedroom Villa that sleeps 12. One of my favorite things about the Villas are how the smaller rooms – particularly the Deluxe Studio – can comfortably accommodate a family of five. In addition to a queen bed, there is also a queen pull-down murphy-style bed as well as a twin pull-down bed. There is plenty of sitting room for the daytime once these beds are folded in, including a table and chairs as well as a sofa and coffee table, and every room features a patio (first floor) or balcony. Deluxe Studios also come with a small kitchenette that includes a mini fridge, microwave, and sink area in addition to a split/double bathroom with a shower and toilet in one room and a vanity/sink and tub/shower in the second room. The use of space-saving design such as room for extra luggage beneath the bed as well as pocket doors lends to the roomier feel of the space. One-bedroom and larger Villas include a full kitchen and washer and dryer!
If you request a second-floor room, the rooms are located adjacent to the lobby level. If you request a first-floor room, you can take the stairs down from the lobby to rooms on that level. However, the higher floors tend to boast better views, even with a standard view room. The best view, though, is from the rooftop terrace at Topolino’s (more on that later) where you can see three of the theme parks!
In addition to the amazing rooms, the common areas of the Riviera are beautiful and relaxing after a long day in the parks. Located next door to the Caribbean Beach Resort, you can walk to that resort and its main Skyliner hub, or take the Skyliner directly from the Riviera to the Epcot area (including the BoardWalk and Beach & Yacht Club) or to Hollywood Studios connecting at the hub. The Skyliner is a fast and convenient way to travel around so many areas of the Disney World property. Be sure to stop at the beautiful mosaic walls on your way to the Riviera Skyliner station – they make a great backdrop for photos!
Upon arrival to the Riviera, you will notice fountains and pretty landscaping in the porte cochere area. The bus stop to the parks is located to your left when facing the front of the resort. Entering the lobby, there is a row of front desks, seating, doors leading out to the terrace, a grand staircase leading down to the lawn, a small gift shop, and a bakery. The bakery, Le Petit Café, serves coffees, desserts, and drinks in the evening. Around the corner, you can view the aforementioned library documenting Walt’s travels and keepsakes, or take the elevator up to the 10th floor where Topolino’s Terrace, the resort’s table service restaurant is located. Taking the stairs down to the lawn, you will see the activity lawn, seating and swings, and the entrance to the resort’s quick service restaurant Primo Piatto. From there the main pool area with water slide, splash pad, and hot tub overlooks the lake, with plenty of table seating, lounge chairs, umbrellas, and other areas for relaxing. The pool bar, Bar Riva, is also located nearby, and while they do not take reservations, they do offer an open-air table service experience. In the opposite direction, toward the Skyliner station, is a quiet pool and additional seating. There are walking paths connecting all of these features. Also located on this level near the back of the resort are restrooms and the fitness center.
Going back to dining, we experienced all available restaurants – Le Petit Café, Primo Piatto, Bar Riva, and Topolino’s Terrace – during our stay, and enjoyed all of them. Primo Piatto offers mobile ordering, which was very convenient to do before leaving your room with the option of taking the food to go. Topolino’s offers a character breakfast and signature dinner. We experienced the character breakfast and were thoroughly impressed by the atmosphere and food. We can’t wait to go back to experience dinner there!
In my opinion, the resort’s beautiful and functional rooms, the Skyliner, and the dining options make the Riviera an excellent choice for your next Disney World vacation.
Katie lives in Louisiana with her husband and two children who she's raising to love Disney as much as she does. You can email Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org.