The newest of all the Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts, and a completely different feeling than all the rest. From European architecture, to relaxing grounds and a view of the water, this resort is amazing. We love the Riviera Resort!
In a nutshell, this resort is a welcome addition to the Deluxe Resort lineup. It offers luxurious rooms, common areas and grounds, with glimpses into Walt Disney’s rich history of travel and a love for Europe.
Want to be transported to a European-inspired haven where you are surrounded by luxury, stone facades, and blue umbrella dotted landscapes? Do you like to take things slower, and sip specialty coffee while strolling luxurious grounds? Do you fancy yourself a food connoisseur who will savour a largely French and Italian themed menu of delectable dishes? Want to relax in a slightly more adult-oriented environment but still be connected to the Disney action? Riviera Resort is definitely the place for you!
Top 4 Reasons I Love the Riviera Resort
#4. On-Site Character Dining Experience
It is always a special thing to have an on-site Character Dining experience. In this case, my family feels that the Character Breakfast at Riviera’s Topolino’s Rooftop Terrace is the BEST Character Dining Experience on property! Yes, I know that those may be fighting words to some Disney fans out there but the food options at this Dining Experience are phenomenal!
My wife loves the Sour Cream Waffles with Chantilly. My Wood-Fired Butcher’s Steak breakfast was the BEST breakfast dish I have had on Disney’s property to date! Cooked and Seasoned to Perfection! The European Art Theme is fun and whimsical with a starter’s plate of baked goods resembling an Artist’s Palette. Then we have the Characters! Look at Mickey’s adorable Painter’s Apron! Minnie Mouse adorns a beautiful and fashionable dress straight out of an upscale, European, leading designer’s shop! Daisy Duck is present, and of course, so is the number one Duck, Donald Duck! The atmosphere in this Rooftop Restaurant is one of spacious comfort encircled by windows and gorgeous views. Also, the quality of meals is a reminder that you are in one of Disney’s Signature Restaurants. It is our favourite Character Breakfast!
#3. Immediate Skyliner Access
This resort offers guests immediate access to a dedicated Skyliner Station via a short, covered walk from your room. Disney’s newest means of mass transportation is a Game Changer in my opinion. The Gondola or Skyliner system of transportation is a huge perk to guests at Disney’s Riviera Resort. Not only is it super fun to ride, but it is the most efficient transit service available. We literally walked into the boarding line at the Riviera Skyliner Station and were exiting a Gondola at Epcot 9 minutes later!
The Skyliner currently connects Riviera Guests to Epcot via a Direct Route. It also connects you to Pop Century as well as Art of Animation. Kids love visiting Art of Animation for some fun Arcade action or just taking in the life-sized Lion King, Cars, Little Mermaid, and Nemo environments. Even the walk to the Skyliner Station is lovely as you stroll through water feature enhanced gardens and through a tunnel adorned with beautiful Mosaics. The Gondola System also quickly connects you to Hollywood Studios and all the park has to offer including Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge.
Galaxy’s Edge, Hollywood Studios
Upon arrival at the Resort, we decided to zip over to Hollywood Studios for a tour of Galaxy’s Edge. On returning back to the Riviera at Park Closing time, we saw that the lineup waiting for a Gondola was huge! We were discouraged but asked a Cast Member an approximate wait time for a lineup so large. When we were told “maybe 10 minutes”, we had our doubts. However, within 7-minutes, we were sitting in a Gondola and 10-minutes later (after one transfer at Caribbean Beach Resort), we were exiting at Riviera. Amazing!
So, whether you want to lounge at the resort, zip over to Morocco for a meal at Restaurant Marrakesh, or take in some sites in France, or even Build a Droid, The Riviera has you conveniently covered!
#2. Relaxed, Elegant European Vibe and Theming
It is hard to describe the atmosphere and ambiance of the Riviera other than to say it was elegant, luxurious and had a familiar European comfort to it that encouraged lounging, strolling, exploring, and appreciating the small indulgences in life, like food, beverages, and architecture. You are greeted by amazing Cast members and gorgeous grounds. Would you believe there is even a Gelato Cart by the pool?
If you enjoy the clean lines of rectangular pools, you will love Riviera’s feature pool. I think the Tower Slide is just stunning! Even the kids’ water play area, S’il Vous Play, is architecturally attractive. A whimsical play on Fantasia.
Everything just felt so upscale, from the stonework to the colour palettes. The impressive Resort stands as the backdrop while creating a wonderful skyline. Inside, you can sit and sip a drink in the Voyageur’s Lounge while exploring the books and paraphernalia that marked Walt Disney’s past intrigues. And of course, how European would the place be without Le Petit Café, a coffee bar turned wine bar by evening?
The Games Lawn offered Blocks, Bocce, Giant Chess, and Lawn Billiards. While still offering Movies Under the Stars and a fire pit for S’mores, the Eventi room also has wine tasting and painting sessions for older crowds. In addition, they offer two very European-inspired activities: The Morning Regatta – racing remote control speedboats in the feature pool; and Monaco Car Racing in the Eventi Room – build cars and then race them!
And then there was the room. Absolutely gorgeous! Beautiful woodwork, and very space conscious. My wife’s favourite Deluxe Studio on property!
#1. Dining and Food Quality!
So, we made it to the Number One Reason for loving Disney’s Riviera Resort. In my family’s opinion, the food here was just awesome! There is no better Resort Counter Service than here at the Riviera Resort, and the on-site Signature Restaurant, Topolino’s Terrace, was extravagant!
Primo Piatto and Bar Riva offered an elevated quick service dining experience from the menu options to the quality of the food, to the real dishes & silverware. We enjoyed eating lakeside. The Burgers, Fries, pizzas, and Side Soups here were incredible! But even the kids’ meals were higher level! We could not get over how nice the counter service breakfast dishes were! Beautiful Italian Sausages, Polenta, Croque Madame and Blueberry-Lemon Pancakes. Regional, fresh, and satisfying.
To top it off, diner on the Rooftop at Topolino’s is a must-do. Top notch service and food with a view that most resorts will just have to envy. Fresh pastas, sea foods, meats… we loved it! My favourite dish was the Braised Chicken Rigatoni, while my wife preferred the Pesto Seafood Dish. The view from this Terrace is so breathtaking in the evening.
The location of the Riviera Resort also opens up all of the wonderful dining options in nearby Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and it’s an easy walk over to Sebastian’s at Caribbean Beach Resort.
This, the newest of all the Disney World DVC Resorts, is a welcome option to the collection. It offers just the right amount of theming, luxury, and adult-oriented indulgences. It then goes over the top with mouth-watering meals, a connected location, and the best mode of transportation on property.
We love calling Riviera one of our homes away from home!
Previous blogs by Jason Swain:
TOP REASONS TO LOVE DISNEY’S BEACH CLUB RESORT
TOP REASON’S TO LOVE DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM LODGE
TOP REASONS TO LOVE DISNEY’S BAY LAKE TOWER