An early review: Disney's Riviera Resort, the newest DVC Property at Walt Disney World
Disney’s Riviera Resort is the newest Disney Vacation Club property at the Walt Disney World Resort. It is the first full-DVC property and I can tell you firsthand it is absolutely GORGEOUS.
The property officially opens December 16th, but Andrew and I received a sneak peak during a test stay this weekend. And we tried just about EVERYTHING. Here are some tips, reviews, and most importantly—lots of photos and video.
Of course, you can also head over to my Instagram story highlights to check out the play-by-play during our stay!
I am a current Cast Member at Walt Disney World and received this stay complimentary. All opinions expressed are my own and do not represent the Company.
As I mentioned, Disney's Riviera Resort is the first property to feature only DVC (Disney Vacation Club) rooms. Disney Vacation Club is the property-ownership segment of The Walt Disney Company, where Members purchase points to use towards Disney vacations all over the world. There are other Membership perks--like dining and merchandise discounts and special Members-only events. If you aren't a DVC Member, it doesn't necessarily mean you can never stay at this beautiful property. However, DVC Members usually get first dibs and it can be much more affordable on points than with actual cash.
Since the rooms are DVC suites, every one has its own kitchenette or full kitchen. That means there is no concierge level at this property, but you will see from the video below, you probably won't even miss it!
*Tip--while our room was on the "non-preferred" side of the resort (facing the fireworks), we actually had a FANTASTIC view of the Epcot fireworks from our terrace!
The resort has a number of beautiful #Disney details, without being overwhelming. See if you can find the hidden characters in the carpet in the rotundas near the elevators (check out my Instagram stories for a spoiler!) and once you check in, be sure to visit the mosaics in the breezeway outside of the west wing. If you are a fan of Tangled or Peter Pan, you may be particularly enchanted!
We had the pleasure of dining at every restaurant on property and all offered something unique. Topolino's Terrace is the premiere signature dining on location, located on the 10th floor of the east wing. The views are gorgeous, so make sure to get a table next to the window, if you can.
During breakfast hours, Topolino's Terrace is an a la carte signature character dining experience. While the menu is a bit pricey, it's pretty close in line for most character dining at WDW, and the food is superb! If your kids prefer the options of a buffet, this may not be the choice for you, but there is a children's menu available. The characters are ADORABLE. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy all appear as different artists in outfits never before seen on property. While I took some great photos, we can't post them until opening--so you'll have to see for yourself!
In the evening, Topolino's Terrace turns into an upscale dining experience. The cocktail menu features reserve liquor selected just for Walt Disney World, and we learned about the painstaking selection process from one of the Cast Members responsible for all the drink menus and alcohol across property. The food is exquisite and the atmosphere is very refined.
While we were unable to get a table for dinner, we were able to sit at the bar and order food and drinks from the fantastic bartending crew. They were thrilled to share information about the drinks and mix us up some of their favorites!
Not ready to end your evening? Just outside Topolino's Terrace is the actual terrace, which has stunning views of the Walt Disney World Resort. There is a walk-up bar and (I hear) you'll be able to order small plates after opening day. This is a great location to watch fireworks from both Disney's Hollywood Studios and particularly Epcot.
During our stay, we had lunch at Bar Riva, a cute outdoor casual restaurant near the pool. The food was good for something quick and easy. We also enjoyed dessert pastries from the bakery/coffee shop on site and had a surprisingly delicious breakfast at Primo Piatto, the quick service restaurant on the first floor! I personally preferred Primo Piatto over Bar Riva for lunch as well. They share a number of the same items, but Primo Piatto also has brick oven pizza.
Of course, the Cast Members were wonderful and we received nothing but excellent service. There are a number of activities available for Guests--including lawn games, an outdoor evening movie, recreational activities, an on-site gym, and two beautiful pools with hot tubs. Plus, you have easy access to the new Disney skyliner, which picks up right at the resort and connects you to surrounding resorts, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Epcot!
Overall, we were thrilled with our stay at Disney's Riviera Resort and I have no doubt that this will be a tough property to get into! Make sure to book your reservations now!