During my last visit to Disney World, I was finally able to stay at the lovely Riviera Resort. It only opened in December 2019, and then it was closed for several months March to June in 2020. When I stayed there in November, it was practically new!
This resort had a lot of hype leading up to it. A branch new Deluxe Resort with DVC options it is right on the Skyliner with its own station and a brand new character meal. The theming here is supposed to be based on the Europe that Walt Disney experienced and draws from various Mediterranean and European influences.
The building itself is stunning! I greatly appreciate a Deluxe Resort that is all under one roof. It is beautifully landscaped with fountains at the entrance and a beautiful plush lobby. A lovely coffee shop is right off the lobby with some delicious pastries available for purchase. Next door is the resort\’s souvenir shop–by far the smallest shop I\’ve ever seen at any Disney Resort hotel. They sold some Riviera specific items along with typical Disney World souvenirs.
We booked a studio room which sleeps 5 with a queen sized bed, a full-sized Murphy bed, and a twin 5th sleeper Murphy bed. The room had a lovely set up; you gain the couch for seating but you lose some under bed storage here. Five people with five suitcases would\’ve been tight here. There was storage under the queen bed, but it was awkward to access with the nightstand on one side and the wall on the other. The coffee maker was a huge 12-cup traditional coffee pot rather than the Keurig at other Resorts. This felt like a waste for two people.
Take a look at this video to see how the full-sized Murphy bed pulls down for sleeping!
We had a lake view room which means we overlooked a smaller lake as well the Skyliner station and the Aruba buildings at Caribbean Beach. We did enjoy watching the Skyliner gondolas, but viewing the pink buildings at Caribbean Beach was a little less than ideal.
The bathrooms in the studios are definitely a win though! It is a split bathroom with pocket doors to section it off. One side has a toilet and a large shower with a rain shower head. The other side had the sink and tub/shower combo. It was rather nice that multiple people could bathe at the same time, and families with young children will like the tub option!
The entryway to the studio is very spacious with a large closet and a vacuum cleaner should you feel the need to vacuum while you\’re there. This space feels like a bit of wasted space though that could\’ve been better utilized in the main room.
Riviera has two pools that sit very close together. One is considered the quiet pool and is a basic rectangle with no entertainment or slide. The other has a fun spiral slide and is where the poolside games would take place. Both pools are fully enclosed by a fence that requires a room key or Magic Band to open. The closest restrooms are outside the fence and a little walk away which felt a little awkward. There is also a bar nearby also outside of the fence. Additionally there is a beach area at the edge of the lake with lots of beach chairs set up.
Topolino\’s Restaurant is the rooftop option at Riviera serving high end Signature Dining at dinner and a Parisian themed character meal at breakfast featuring Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, and Donald in very cute French attire! Additionally there is a quick service location on the ground floor and the aforementioned coffee shop in the lobby. Caribbean Beach\’s restaurants can also be utilized if you feel like a walk.
While Riviera does have its own Skyliner station, we actually found this to not be beneficial for early morning transportation to the parks. I\’ll talk more about that in a separate blog though. Buses will take you to Magic Kiingdom and Animal Kingdom.
Overall impressions? While the resort is beautiful, the price tag is quite high for a view of a Moderate Resort or the road. The transportation options aren\’t as convenient as most of the other Deluxe Resorts. The studio set up felt a little awkward overall. The front desk lobby area is very small with very little area to wait for a Cast Member, and the shop was just disappointing. Honestly, for the money, I think there are much better options. (Please note that this is the author\’s opinion and not representing the opinion of Wishdrawals Travel!)
Susan Burks is a military spouse and a homeschooling mom to a 16-year old \”junior Disney expert\”! In addition to many Disney World trips, Susan has done eleven Disney cruises, two Disneyland trips, two trips to Aulani (Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii), and stayed at Disney\’s Vero Beach and Disney\’s Hilton Head Island! You can contact Susan at email@example.com.