Disney’s Riviera Resort

by | Mar 26, 2024 | FTM Travel Info

Disney’s Riviera Resort opened on December 16, 2019. I vividly remember the live broadcast of the ribbon cutting ceremony and Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy showing off their adorable new Topolino’s Terrace breakfast costumes.  There was a lot of buzz and excitement surrounding this gorgeous new Disney property and I could not wait to experience it for myself! 

I had the honor of first staying at the Riviera in March of 2020 and instantly fell in love with this resort. It is easy to navigate and is contained to one large building. I love that it is connected to the Disney Skyliner. I love the luxury feel of the resort. There is just so much to love! I have since stayed at the Riviera Resort on 10 other occasions, and will continue to stay there as often as possible! From the minute you walk in the beautiful lobby and hear “welcome home,” you feel as though you are right where you are meant to be in the life of Disney luxury.

Accommodations

There are four categories of rooms guests can choose from when staying at the Riviera Resort. Tower Studios are small and can accommodate just two guests. The queen size bed folds down from the wall and can be lifted to create more space during the day. The Studio Villas can accommodate five guests. There is a king bed, a pull-down queen bed and a bunk sized pull down bed. There is a small refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker and one full bathroom. The one-bedroom villa also accommodates five guests with the same sleeping arrangements as the Studio Villa. The king bed is located in the bedroom, and there is the addition of a full kitchen, washer and dryer, dining and living room space. The two-bedroom villa has the same accommodations of the one-bedroom villa with the addition of the second bathroom and bedroom with two queen beds. Two-bedroom villas can accommodate nine guests. The three-bedroom villa accommodates 12 guests. One of the bedrooms has a king-sized bed and the other two bedrooms both have two queen-sized beds. There is also a queen-sized sleeper sofa in the large living room space. 

I have stayed in each one of these categories except for the Tower Studios. I love them all, but the convenience of the one, two, and three-bedroom villas top the list. No one necessarily wants to do laundry on vacation, but it is helpful to have a washer and dryer in the villa. There is also so much space to spread out, lounge and eat. Having a full-sized kitchen allows guests to order groceries and cook in or eat breakfast before heading to the parks. The three-bedroom villa was my absolute favorite. It was so beautiful and had so much space! It was like an extra-large luxury apartment with a full-sized dining room, three bathrooms, a very large kitchen and living room space. I did not want to leave when our vacation came to an end!

Shopping

The Riviera gift shop is small, but it is one of my favorites! When you step into the beautiful lobby, La Boutique is located immediately to the left. You will find a variety of Riviera Resort themed clothing from brands Tommy Bahama and Nike, as well as Disney themed clothing and accessories by Lilly Pulitzer, Dooney and Bourke and Loungefly. If you would like to add non-themed resort wear to your wardrobe, there are typically options from Peter Milar, Tommy Bahama, and other luxury sportwear brands. There are plenty of Disney pins, Magic Bands, and other adorable souvenirs to choose from. You will also find basic needs such as over-the-counter medication, groceries, and sunscreen.

Pools and Recreation

There are two large pools – a family pool, The Riviera Pool, and a quiet pool, Beau Soleil Pool.  At The Riviera Pool, there are a lot of lounge chairs, umbrellas, a zero entry and a fun water slide!  In the same area, there is a large splash pad area, S’il Vous Play, for smaller children, and a jacuzzi hot tub located near the Riviera Pool. The large, rectangular shaped Beau Soleil Pool is perfect for adults who would like to swim laps or just relax. There is also a jacuzzi hot tub next to the quiet pool area. 

In the courtyard between the two pools, there is a bocce ball court, a large Chess set, a large Connect Four game and other outdoor games for all guests to enjoy. Occasionally, some Disney friends may surprise you in the courtyard!

On the first floor just inside the courtyard is an art recreation room for guests to enjoy. There are options to paint canvases, glasses, pots, and other items for an additional cost. There is always a Disney movie showing in the art recreation room, and Cast Members are there to assist you if you need anything. There are also games you can play, such as Uno and Scrabble. In the evenings, there are other activities for children, including campfire activities and Movie Under the Stars that take place each night in the courtyard. 

If you like to work out while on vacation (in addition to all the walking you will do in the parks!), there is a great gym, Athlétique, also located on the first floor inside the courtyard. There are many equipment options, including, but not limited to, weights, bikes, ellipticals and treadmills. 

Transportation Options

One of the most convenient ways to travel around Walt Disney World is the Disney Skyliner. It is nicknamed the “highway in the sky” and travels between the Boardwalk, Epcot, the Riviera Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort, Art of Animation Resort, Pop Century Resort and Hollywood Studios. The enclosed gondolas are wonderful and make traveling easy. At the Riviera Resort, guests can travel directly to Epcot. Guests depart the Skyliner Station next to the Beach Club Resort and the back entrance to Epcot in between the United Kingdom and France pavilions. If Riviera Resort guests travel in the other direction, they will exit at the Caribbean Beach Resort terminal and walk to the Hollywood Studios line for a direct route. 

When Riviera Resort guests go to the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, they can board the Disney bus transportation. Since the Riviera Resort is contained to one large building, there is just one convenient bus stop located just outside the main front entrance. 

Restaurants and Bars

The gem of the Riviera Resort is the Signature Dining restaurant, Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera, located on the top floor. It is such a classy restaurant with gorgeous views. Topolino’s is open for breakfast and dinner. Breakfast is a character dining experience with delicious food, celebrates the arts and the good life in the French and Italian Riviera. The characters are dressed in adorable costumes that celebrate their artistic talents. Mickey is dressed as a painter, Minnie is dressed as a writer, Donald is a sculptor and Daisy is a dancer. The dining experience begins with an assortment of wonderful pastries. My favorite entrée to order is the Wood Fired Steak and Eggs. It is incredible! I also love the Sour Cream Waffles! My son’s favorite to order are the Mickey and Minnie Waffles that come with an assortment of dipping options arranged on an adorable plate in the shape of an artist’s palate. 

Dinner at Topolino’s is just as delightful. The menu changes with the seasons, but my favorite appetizers have stayed consistent. I always order the Romaine Insalata and Burrata or Ricotta (or sometimes both if we have a lot of friends dining with us). My favorite dish over the years has been the scallops and truffle risotto.  Dinner at Topolino’s isn’t complete without a beautiful dessert and photos on the terrace during sunset. You might even be able to catch some Epcot fireworks! 

Le Petit Café is a lovely coffee shop that sells lattes, teas, and desserts. It is located next to La Boutique. Primo Piatto is on the first floor, next to the courtyard and near the Riviera pool. It is a wonderful quick service restaurant with options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For guests who have purchased the Dining Plan, this is where they will pick up their refillable mug and access the drink stations. Guests can order from Primo Piatto at the register or mobile order through the My Disney Experience app. It is so convenient! Bar Riva is located right next to the Riviera Pool and serves burgers, sandwiches, alcoholic, and non-alcoholic drinks that are perfect for poolside! There is also a gelato cart near the pool if you need to satisfy your sweet tooth and cool off! 

It is quite obvious I think very highly of Disney’s Riviera Resort. It has a luxe feel from the minute you drive up to the main entrance. Every inch is beautiful and the views are gorgeous from every direction. This is the Disney resort I book most often for my clients, and I would love to help you book the perfect vacation at the Riviera too! Contact me at jenscb@ftmtravel.com