One of the most anticipated new resorts to open at Walt Disney World in years is finally getting ready to welcome its first guests! When Disney’s Riviera Resort opens its doors on December 16, 2019, guests will be transported into the old-world glamour of the Mediterranean coastline that enchanted Walt Disney nearly a century ago. You can expect a modern hotel with plenty of architectural drama – think palm tree-lined driveways, an eye-catching façade and grand archways, porticos and fountains – as well as a terrific location that’s convenient to theme parks.
The first thing to know about Disney’s Riviera Resort is that it’s a Disney Vacation Club property. Blessed with fabulous restaurants and amazing swimming pools, these Disney resorts are similar to Disney’s deluxe hotels in almost every way, but there’s a twist. Instead of traditional hotel rooms, accommodations are family-friendly condo-like units, many of which have separate living and sleeping areas, kitchens and in-room laundry facilities, as well as delightful Disney details such as hidden Mickeys incorporated into the décor and furnishings. Throughout the resort’s grand lobby and accommodations, guests can enjoy a unique collection of art that is influenced by the great European masters and celebrates beloved Disney characters and icons. While DVC members may visit Walt Disney World once a year and enjoy having comfortable digs designed for the whole family, it’s important to know that anyone can book a stay in Disney Vacation Club properties, too.
Prepare to Take Flight
Looking forward to spending most of your time in Disney’s amazing theme parks? Disney’s Riviera Resort is one of just four resorts that offers the newest way to get to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The Disney Skyliner is a charming gondola whose cabins are adorned with fun graphics based on Disney films and attractions. The ride delivers wonderful bird’s-eye views all the way to the Epcot International Gateway or Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Home Away from Home
Love the idea of having room to spread out and relax? Floor plans at Disney’s Riviera Resort range from deluxe studios to one- and two-bedroom villas to even grander three-bedroom villas that sleep up to 12 guests – your perfect Disney home base when traveling with grandma and grandpa. Every space feels like a hip-yet-elegant apartment on the French or Italian Riviera, with plenty of European design details and modern solutions such as space-saving pull-down beds, USB power outlets and loads of clever storage.
If you’re visiting Walt Disney World on your own or as a couple, check out Tower Studios, where you’ll get a chic room with a queen-sized pull-down bed that can be tucked away to reveal a comfy living space with a sofa, private balcony, writing desk and lots of storage. It’s the perfect place when you want to enjoy all the amenities of a deluxe stay at a more budget-conscious price point.
How do you say “Mickey Mouse” in Italian? All along the coast from Naples to Genoa, he is known as Topolino, which happens to be the inspiration for the rooftop restaurant at Disney’s Riviera Resort. Be sure to make a reservation for a table at Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera, sure to be one of the hottest dining experiences at Walt Disney World, thanks to its mouthwatering Mediterranean menu and sweeping views as far as the eye can see. Topolino’s signature dinner experience is guaranteed to be all the more dramatic when the nighttime spectaculars at Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios light up the sky.
In the morning, your family can kick off the day with a Disney character breakfast at Topolino’s or you can pop into Le Petit Café, a French-style venue with fresh-brewed java by day and wine by night.
Splash and Play
When you’re taking a break from the parks, the resort’s two pools are the place to be. The large, family-friendly Riviera Pool will have the appeal of a Mediterranean seaside hotspot, with brightly-hued lounge chairs and sun umbrellas reflecting pops of color on the crystal blue water. Big kids will want to try the great corkscrew waterslide that wraps around a turreted tower, while little ones can cool off at S’il Vous Play, an interactive splash pad with a whimsical fountain and charming animal characters from Disney’s “Fantasia.” For guests looking for a more tranquil place to relax, there’s the serene Beau Soleil leisure pool – a semi-private oasis surrounded by greenery.
Fancy a bite to eat? It’s just a few steps from the pool to Primo Piatto, the resort’s quick-service eatery. Or head to Bar Riva if you prefer an adult beverage or non-alcoholic smoothie.
Oodles of Disney Perks
Last but not least, guests who stay at Disney’s Riviera Resort and who have valid theme park admission, will be entitled to all the benefits of staying at every Walt Disney World Resort property, from advance booking of FastPass+ selections with valid park admission to enjoying the theme parks when they are less crowded, during Extra Magic Hours. In addition to the Disney Skyliner, the resort also offers WiFi-enabled bus service to all four theme parks, two water parks and the Disney Springs dining and shopping district. You’ll also receive free parking at theme parks, complimentary airport transportation via Disney’s Magical Express service and the opportunity to purchase Disney Dining Plan packages.
To learn more about Disney’s Riviera Resort, the newest Disney Vacation Club resort, visit the Disney Vacation Club website to make a reservation.