Last year I accomplished something that I always have wanted to do; I finally stayed at every Disney World hotel (except Fort Wilderness Campground, maybe someday, haha). With that, I decided it would be fun to start sharing my reviews of each Disney hotel. I wanted to start with the place we most recently stayed at, and one of my favorite Disney resorts the, very new Disney’s Riviera Resort.
Disney’s Riviera Resort is a Disney Vacation Club Resort, and it opened at Walt Disney World on December 16, 2019. This hotel’s land was originally part of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and it was the first newly-constructed resort to be served by Disney’s Skyliner. Riviera is themed to, you guessed it, the French and Italian Riviera and was inspired by Walt Disney’s love of those places. Because it is a Disney Vacation Club Resort, it doesn’t really have “regular” hotel rooms. Instead, it has 300 Tower Studios, Deluxe Studios, One-Bedroom Villas, Two-Bedroom Villas, and Three-Bedroom Grand Villas. This hotel also has some of the best food on property, but we will get into that later.
Disney’s Riviera Resort is one of the smallest Disney World Resorts, but it packs a lot of punch. From the moment you step into the lobby and look out of the floor-to-ceiling glass windows, you feel like you’ve stepped into a different place. In the lobby, you will the check-in desk, DVC Information desk, a store called La Boutique, and a quaint cafe called Le Petit Cafe. The furniture in the lobby is relatively modern, and near the windows, you will find a grand staircase that leads outside. Many people complain that the lobby doesn’t feel as grand as other Disney hotels, but I love it.
La Boutique features Disney and DVC Merchandise and snacks, necessities, and alcohol (some may say that alcohol is a necessity at Disney World).
Near the lobby, you will find a small library where you can enjoy some quiet time and coffee from Le Petite Cafe. The library is filled with many neat details, and I feel like I find something new each time we go inside.
There is a DVC Community Hall on the first floor, where you can do things like arts and crafts or rent movies. Outside you will find a massive lawn with lawn games and an excellent spot for kids to run around and burn off some energy. There are two pools, a splash pad for little ones, a gym, a Quick-Service restaurant, and a bar with amazing views of the water, Skyliner, and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.
We have only ever stayed in one type of room at Riviera, the One-Bedroom Villa, but all rooms have the same finishes, so this will give you a good idea of what the rooms look like. In the One-Bedroom Villa, you will find a full kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and living room. The living room has a pull-down Murphy Bed, and in the hallway, you will also find a stacked washer and dryer (you will find these things in the Two and Three-Bedroom Villas as well).
The hardwood floors, countertops, cabinets, and tile are all perfectly picked out, and I have said to my husband (more than once) that I wish I had a house that looked like the Riviera rooms. Each time we have stayed, we have had a Standard View room, which usually means views of Epcot (and the fireworks at night). Preferred View rooms are available, and they are generally higher floor rooms with views of the water and Skyliner.
Disney’s Riviera Resort has some of the best food on property. Starting with Le Petite Cafe located in the lobby, you will find coffee here in the morning, and in the evening, you will find a full bar. Le Petite Cafe is the best place to grab a treat before heading out to the parks or heading back to your room.
Primo Piatto, the Quick-Service restaurant downstairs, has incredible Italian food and some of the best pizza you will find at Disney World. We haven’t had a chance to experience Riviera’s bar, Bar Riva, which is located near the pool, but the menu looks incredible.
On the 10th floor of Riviera, you will find Topolino’s Terrace (Mickey Mouse is called “Topolino” in Italy, which means “little mouse” in Italian). In the morning, you can have breakfast here with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy, and in the evening, it is a lovely fine-dining restaurant with amazing views of Disney World.
This hotel is serviced by Disney’s brand new Skyliner, and you will find the Skyliner Station just a few steps away from the hotel. In my opinion, the Skyliner is a game-changer because you can get to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios very quickly. If you are heading to Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, or Disney Springs, you can catch a bus from the bus stop in front of the hotel.
I have heard many mixed reviews about Disney’s Riviera Resort, but it is genuinely one of my favorite Disney World Hotels. I know some people dislike the lobby or gawk at the price, but I really think Riviera is one of the most well-rounded resorts in one of the best locations. Not only are you close to everything, have access to the Skyliner, and beautiful rooms, but you also have the best food on property.
Disney’s Riviera Resort is a true gem and I can’t wait to stay there again.
Sending love and magic.