If you’re in the “selecting a resort” stage of your Disney vacation planning and are intrigued by Disney’s newest resort, I’ll offer up some insights from my stay at Disney’s Riviera Resort.
As part of the Disney Parks Moms Panel I was very lucky to be able to experience Disney’s Riviera Resort for a few nights in a 1-Bedroom Villa. While I loved everything about my stay and felt very pampered, this resort has some stark contrasts to others and strayed from my expectations in a few (not necessarily negative) ways.
First, I was surprised by the lobby. Unlike a grand, open lobby (looking at you: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge), Disney’s Rivera Resort has a smaller, more intimate space when you walk in. In this case it is much more in tune with boutique European hotels where you’ll find luxury touches, but not huge grandiose spaces. Cast Members handle check-in with iPads all around the seating area instead of with designated lines like you might find in other resorts.
Off the lobby was one of my favorite spots, the Le Petit Café- it’s a cute little coffee café in the morning where you can get pastries, sweet treats and of course coffee drinks like lattes, café au lait, etc. I woke up early, stopped by for coffee and then spent 30 minutes walking around the grounds. It was a great way to kick-off the day!
Second, I was surprised by the dining. With the above nod to Le Petit Cafe, the real star of the show (in my eyes) was Topolino’s Terrace- Flavors of the Riviera. A full review of breakfast here will be a separate post.
Up next… ROOMS!
Since this is a Disney Vacation Club property you won’t find any standard rooms, but Villa accommodations. The 1-Bedroom Villa was an amazing use of space and I continue to talk about how much I love having a washer & dryer. I also appreciate anytime a 1-Bedroom Villa sleeps 5. There are a few Disney Vacation Club Resorts that only sleep 4 in a 1-Bedroom and that is not acceptable! I think a nice upgrade would have been if became the only DVC resort that offered a 6 person 1-Bedroom Villa option, but alas, that didn’t happen. Irregardles, the 1-Bedroom Villa is great.
Three things I loved about this 1-Bedroom Villa…
- The dining space
- The artwork everywhere
- The split bathroom
While I was on-site we were also able to see the Tower Studios (where the space is shockingly small and the bathroom is shockingly not) and the 3-Bedroom Grand Villa. If budget is literally no option, you own 1,000 DVC points, or you are traveling in a group of 12, spring for the Grand Villa. It was gorgeous!
Overall, I really loved the size of this resort (not too spread out or overwhleming), the dining options on-site and the general European feel. The Disney Skyliner station is also a huge draw, especially if you’re planning to spend time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios or EPCOT.
For me, their were two drawbacks, the first being the lobby which I mentioned early. The second drawback and truthfully the one that would keep me from booking here again, is the price tag. Whether booking with DVC points or cash, the price is steep even when compared to similar resorts. With younger kids and a finite amount of points, I would be more likely to book a cheaper 1-Bedroom Villa, like Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas even if that means sacrificing location.