Disney’s Riviera Resort Review and Guide

Disney’s Riviera Resort Review and Guide

If you’re looking for a resort with access to the Disney Skyliner, beautiful views, and on-site dining that you will love, then Disney’s Riviera Resort may be what you’re looking for. With a French and Italian theme, inspired by Walt Disney’s travels, you can find beautiful spaces here. Inspired by classic European architecture, and waterside spaces reminiscent of the Riviera, this resort features views of the lake and restaurants with regional cuisines from both France and Italy. Let’s dive into everything you need to know about Disney’s Riviera Resort. 

Disney's Riviera Resort Review

All About the Riviera Resort at Disney World 

Disney’s Riviera Resort is truly stunning. With simple, chic decor and beautiful views from this property, this deluxe resort at Disneyworld has quickly gained popularity fast since its debut. Since it is one of the most popular resorts at Walt Disney World currently, it’s also one of the most expensive as a result. 

Disney Riviera Resort Review and Guide

Disney Riviera Resort Review and Guide

Disney Riviera Resort Review and Guide

Disney’s Riviera Resort Theme and Atmosphere

From palm tree-lined avenues to grand archways, Disney’s newest resort is all about classic European elegance. This Epcot Area Resort houses a unique art collection inspired by the European Riviera and celebrates our favorite Disney characters. But the experience doesn’t just take place indoors. Guests can take advantage of lush outdoor spaces featuring fountains, walking paths, and a waterfront view. The atmosphere here tends to be calm and slightly sophisticated without feeling too fancy. 

Disney Riviera Resort Beaches

Disney Riviera Resort Review and Guide

Disney’s Riviera Resort Grounds

The Riviera Resort has a variety of spaces outside that are worth exploring! From the mosaic archways leading into the courtyard to the beach that wrap the pathway to the Caribbean Beach Resort, there is plenty to see. The beach is a great way to relax after a long day in the Disney parks. And we love that the chairs here are super comfortable, and the beach is rarely crowded!

On the grounds, you can play life-size chess, ball toss games, and bocce ball.  We love this area of the Riviera Resort as it almost always has families playing games on the lawn. Which keeps the resort feeling lively and fun despite its upscale feel. And sometimes, you can even find Disney characters roaming here as well. 

Disney's Riviera Resort Library

Disney’s Library at Riviera Resort 

One of our favorite places at Disney’s Riviera Resort is Walt Disney’s Library Room. This room is filled with Disney things from the past and offers seating, sofas, and tables with USB charging areas. We loved this area for sitting and sipping coffee, relaxing while waiting for your room, or getting a little bit of work done. Directly behind Le Petit Cafe, this area is always a great choice for a quiet escape. 

Tower Studios at Disney's Riviera Resort Review

Disney’s Riviera Resort Rooms

As the newest Disney Vacation Club resort at Walt Disney World, the Riviera offers Deluxe Studios, Tower Studios, and 1, 2, and 3-bedroom villas. Styled simply, the rooms at Disney’s Riviera Resort are decorated with classic artwork, and soft colors. The Tower Studios can accommodate 2 people comfortably in a small apartment-like experience complete with a refrigerator and microwave. A Deluxe Studio can accommodate up to 5 people with 1 queen bed, and 2 pull down beds. Offering a variety of standard, lake, and courtyard views.  Disney Riviera Resort Villas sleep up to 12 people with a variety of sleeping layouts. With a slew of varied accommodations at Disney’s Riviera, there is sure to be a room or villa perfect for your next Disney Vacation.

As you can see, there are plenty of room types to choose from here. Some guests feel that the decor in these new rooms is generic and “too modern”. However, if you’re used to any of the newly refurbished rooms at Disney, the style matches what the standard currently is at Disney. 

Tower Studios at Disney Riviera Resort

The Tower Studios at Disney’s Riviera Resort are the smallest rooms at Disney World.  Measuring at just 225 square feet and sleeping only two people, these tiny rooms at Disney offer views from the resort’s tower location. And a slightly cheaper way to stay at Disney’s Riviera Resort. You can read all about the Tower Studios at the Riviera Resort here and whether or not we think these rooms are worth the cost. 

Topolino's Terrace Breakfast

Disney’s Riviera Resort Dining

Part of the Riviera experience is all about food. With four restaurants at the resort, there is no shortage of regional flavors to satisfy every palate. We love the Mickey’s a la Art Breakfast at Topolino Terrace, the easy meals at Primo Piatto, and the pastries and coffees at Le Petit Cafe! Take a look. 

Topolino's Terrace Breakfast

Topolino’s Terrace

Topolino’s Terrace at Disney’s Riviera Resort is a signature dining restaurant offering breakfast and dinner. With beautiful rooftop views of the Caribbean Beach Resort, lake, and courtyard, this restaurant also has outdoor rooftop dining. Topolino’s Terrace offers one of the best Disney Character Breakfasts, with the Mickey a la Art breakfast, featuring Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy in their European best. 

Guests dining in the evenings can view fireworks shows off in the distance at Epcot and Hollywood Studios on select evenings. Topolino’s Terrace also offers an extensive wine list and specialty cuisine. Opening at 5 pm for dinner, Topolino’s Terrace is 2 dining credits on the Disney Dining Plan.  

Bar Riva at Disney’s Riviera Resort

Bar Riva is an open-air pool bar with snacks and beverages in a casual atmosphere. Guests will even find burrata salad and Croque Monsieur alongside a full range of beers, wines, cocktails, and spirits. Bar Riva is one of the nicest poolside bars at Walt Disney World. Though it’s technically a quick-service restaurant, guests can order with a Cast Member and then be seated until their food is ready. 

Primo Piatto at Disney’s Riviera Resort 

Primo Piatto is the Riviera’s quick-service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And has become one of our favorite quick-service restaurants at Walt Disney World. With a fantastic menu featuring lemon blueberry pancakes, mascarpone polenta, sandwiches, pizza, burgers, salads, and more. Seating can be found both inside and out. Primo Piatto is located on the ground floor and offers great views of the waterfront and play areas on the lawn. 

Le Petit Cafe

One of our favorite things to do on any Disney Vacation is find cute places to grab a coffee and a treat. Le Petit Cafe is an all-day cafe lounge offering coffees, pastries, cocktails, and small plates. They have one of the best pastry cases at Walt Disney World. And fans know this is one of the best places to get coffee at Walt Disney World. One of our favorite areas right next to Le Petit Cafe is Disney’s Library. This space is great for relaxing while enjoying your coffee and pastries or hanging out while waiting for your room to be ready. You can even get some work done here as there are plenty of outlets. 

disney riviera resort walt disney world

Bar Riva at Disney's Riviera Resort

Tower Studios at Disney's Riviera Resort

Disney's Riviera Resort

Disney Riviera Resort Pools

Disney Riviera Resort Pool

Disney Riviera Pools

If you’re staying at this resort there are two pools. The Riviera Pool, which is the main pool for the resort includes a hot tub, waterslide and S’il Vous Play interactive water area. The other pool is called the Beau Soleil Pool. Also in the courtyard, this is a heated pool with a hot tub, and draws more adults than children.  As with all Disney Pools, these are reserved for resort guests only. So be sure to bring your Magic Band, Room Key or Phone with you to get in. 

Disney Riviera Resort

Disney Riviera Resort Review and Guide

Disney’s Riviera Resort Activities and Recreation

Of course, the most exciting element of the Riviera experience is that it’s one of the resorts on the Disney Skyliner line. With access to the Skyliner, guests at the Riviera Resort have direct access to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. But that’s not all, guests at the Riviera also have access to the walking paths and restaurants at the adjacent Caribbean Beach Resort. Offering even more opportunities to unwind on your vacation.

Campfire

One of the best parts about staying at a Disney Resort is the chance to indulge in s’mores by the campfire. Offered in the evenings, you can purchase a little kit for s’mores, or just hang out and chat with the hosting cast member. 

Movies Under the Stars at Disney’s Riviera Resort 

Movies Under the Stars is one of our favorite activities at the Disney Resorts! Every resort has this activity. And we love being able to take the time during our Disney Trips to relax and watch some of our favorite Disney movies on the big screen. 

One thing to note however about the Riviera Resort’s Movies Under the Stars is that it’s one of the most underwhelming experiences we’ve had so far.  Held near the pool, there is just not much room, very little seating and the lights from the pool make it painfully difficult to actually see the screen. Feel free to take the Skyliner to another resort for their Movies Under the Stars if they have something playing you’d like to see. These activities are available for everyone! 

Fitness Center

While you may not think you need the gym while on a vacation, there’s something to be said about keeping to your workout routine through the chaos of a Disney vacation. If you’re that person, then you can rest easy in knowing that Disney’s Rivera Resort has a fitness center, that can easily be accessed with your room key. 

La Boutique Shopping

The gift store at Disney’s Riviera Resort is smaller. But does offer themed Disney merchandise, pins, Disney Vacation Club merchandise, resort wear, and more. Be sure to check it out during your stay. 

Disney Riviera Resort Review and Guide

Disney’s Riviera Resort Transportation

The transportation at Disney’s Riviera Resort includes access to the Disney Skyliner, giving you direct access to both Hollywood Studios and EPCOT Park. You can also get access to a complimentary Disney Bus service offering transportation to Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs, and the Water Parks.  

How many bus stops are there at Disney’s Riviera Resort?

Just one! The one and only bus stop at the Riviera Resort is located in the front of the building. 

Disney Riviera Resort Review and Guide

Disney’s Riviera Resort Perks

  • Early Theme Park Entry: Guests at Disney Resorts get early theme park entry across Walt Disney World parks.
  • Extended Evening Hours: And as a Disney Deluxe Resort, Disney Riviera Resort Guests also get access to extended evening hours on select nights in select theme parks. 
  • Proximity to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort: Having another Disney Resort nearby is a godsend when it comes to adding variety to your vacation. And Caribbean Beach is one of our favorites. Easy access to Sebastian’s Bistro and Banana Cabanas are definite bonuses of staying here. 
  • Views of the fireworks: Some of the best views of the fireworks can be seen here! EPCOT’s fireworks can easily be seen from this resort. And so can those of Hollywood Studios as well! 
  • Great Dining Options: Disney’s Riviera Resort has some of the best dining options at a resort. Their quick service, Primo Piatto, is one of our favorites in all of Disney World. Topolino’s is easily one of the best character breakfasts at Disney. And even their pool bar, Bar Riva, is pretty amazing in the way of pool bars. 

What did Disney Riviera Resort Replace?

Disney’s Riviera Resort actually used to be part of Caribbean Beach! The Barbados and Martinique section were both torn down to make way for this resort. Both sections actually still exist at Caribbean Beach. But they’re just in slightly different areas than they used to be. 

What Park is Disney’s Riviera Resort Closest to?

EPCOT! Just about a 10-minute Skyliner ride will get you to EPCOT from the Riviera Resort. 

Can you walk from Disney Riviera Resort to Epcot?

Nope! The only resorts that you can walk to Epcot from are those that are in the Boardwalk area.  But, fo course, like mentioned earlier, it’s a very quick ride over to Epcot via the Skyliner. 

Is Disney’s Riviera Resort Worth It?

Let’s be clear. Disney’s Riviera Resort is expensive. So while it’s really hard for us to justify the price of this resort, we can definitely see how it would be on your Disney Bucket List. It may be a bit more worth it if you’re able to save a bit by renting DVC points. So that’s always an option to get Disney’s Riviera Resort for cheaper. 

Disney’s Riviera Resort is a beautiful, convenient resort with plenty to love. Though quite expensive, we always think this is a resort worth visiting. Even if you’re not staying there. 

Co-Founder and Director at Polka Dot Pixie Co LLC | Website | + posts

Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.


Related Posts

6 Ways to Avoid Disney Resort Parking Fees Right Now

6 Ways to Avoid Disney Resort Parking Fees Right Now

Walt Disney World has decided to start charging for Disney Resort Parking, for all guests at Walt Disney World Resorts. If you’re looking for ways to Avoid Disney Resort Parking Fees we have a few options you may not have considered. Here’s the breakdown of […]

Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel Disney Resort Review

Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel Disney Resort Review

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin always seem to be a mystery even to the most seasoned of Disney guests. Are they Disney hotels? Or Are they not Disney hotels? What exactly is the benefit of staying there? We’ve stayed at the Disney Dolphin […]