When I first sat down to write this post, my idea was to write about my five favorite Disney hotels. But honestly, I couldn’t narrow it down, so instead, I thought I would start sharing my five favorite things about each resort.
I am starting with Disney’s Riviera Resort because it is Disney’s newest resort, and I have stayed there most recently. This fantastic hotel is everything you ever wanted in a Disney Resort and so much more. These are my five favorite things about Disney’s Riviera Resort:
5. The Location
I think we can all agree that none of the Disney Resorts genuinely have the “perfect location.” If you’re close to one park, you’re far away from others. You’ll find Disney’s Riviera Resort very close to Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Disney Springs, making its location one of the best.
Something else great about Riviera’s location is its proximity to other hotels. Disney built the Riviera Resort in an area that was once part of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and now you can walk from Rivera to Caribbean Beach in a matter of minutes. On one of the afternoons of our trip, as we were returning to our hotel, my daughter fell asleep in her stroller. Not wanting to wake her, we decided to go on a walk to Caribbean Beach. It was nice to be able to have a little change of scenery (and some other dining and shopping options) so close to our hotel.
The theme of Disney’s Riviera Resort is the French and Italian Riviera. From the moment you step through the doors, the smells, sounds, and beauty of the resort take you to another place. Honestly, I feel like it is one of the most beautiful resort properties (Disney or not) that I have ever visited. There are so many unique little details throughout the hotel, and the pools, landscaping, and murals are one of a kind.
We noticed is that Disney seemed to spend a lot of time making everything feel very expensive. The first time we stepped foot into our room, we were amazed. The rooms feel elegant yet comfortable, and we love the rooms’ style so much that we have talked about bringing that style into our own home.
One thing that I love about Riviera is the food options. Most Disney World resorts have basic quick service and table service options, but Disney’s Riviera Resort is unique and delicious.
Primo Piatto, Riviera’s Quick Service Restaurant, has some of the most delicious food I’ve ever had at Disney World (Blueberry-Lemon Pancakes with Mascarpone Cream and Lemon Zest, anyone?). Topolino’s Terrace might be one of the best character dining options on property and, although I haven’t tried dinner there yet, the menu looks incredible. We were blown away by the food at this resort and can’t wait to eat here again.
When Disney first announced that they were building their Skyliner, I wasn’t all that excited. The thought of dangling up in the air scared me, and I figured it couldn’t be that much faster than a bus. Boy, was I wrong. The Skyliner is the best form of transportation that Disney World has (and definitely the most magical).
Disney’s Riviera Resort has it’s own Skyliner Station, which means that you can go nonstop straight to Epcot in about six minutes. After a quick stop at Caribbean Beach, you can get from Riviera to Hollywood Studios in about eight minutes. You can also take the Skyliner to Pop Century, Art of Animation, and Disney’s Boardwalk area from Riviera, which gives you great options if you want to try restaurants at other resorts. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, Disney’s Skyliner is a game-changer!
1. La Petit Cafe
I know what you’re thinking, “Leslie, your favorite thing about a hotel can’t possibly be a coffee shop!” but it is. My husband and I love coffee; we drink coffee morning, noon, and night (no really), and the one complaint we’ve always had about Disney hotels is that there is never a great place to get a cup coffee. Sure, you can grab Starbucks or Joffrey’s while you’re in the parks, but each hotel offers the same (plain) coffee (except for Contemporary Grounds at Disney’s Contemporary Resort).
La Petit Cafe is a precious cafe, named after the cafe in the movie The Aristocats, in the lobby of Disney’s Riviera Resort. In the mornings, it is a full coffee bar with so many options coffee options, including my husband’s favorite, the Cafe Glace (which we recreated at home, check out my recipe here). In the afternoon, it becomes a bar with a full selection of cocktails, beer, and wine. It looks quaint and unassuming, but it is one of the best places to get coffee at Disney World, or really anywhere.
Overall, Disney’s Riviera is a beautiful resort, in a great location, and isn’t lacking in magic. The Skyliner will allow you to quickly get from your resort to the parks or other hotels, but the food options will make you want to stay. It is the perfect resort, whether it is your first visit or 100th visit to Walt Disney World.
Comment below and let me know your thoughts on Disney’s Riviera Resort. If you’re planning a Disney Vacation and need some help, I am a travel agent, and my services are always free! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will be happy to answer any questions that you have.
Sending love and magic.