Photo Tour of Disney’s Riviera Resort at Walt Disney World

Disney’s Riviera Resort at Walt Disney World will be the 15th Disney Vacation Club property when it opens to the public on December 16, 2019. During the media event for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, we were able to join an exclusive sneak preview of Disney’s Riviera Resort prior to its opening. This deluxe hotel is situated on the water across from Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort with easy access to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios via the Disney’s Skyliner gondola system. Continue below for an inside look at Disney’s Riviera Resort, inspired by the Mediterranean beach retreats of the French Riviera.

Disney's Riviera Resort

Walt Disney Imagineer Steven Vagnini said, “the story of the resorts starts on the drive up as you cross the water and enter the casual elegance and lesiure lifestyle of the French Riviera on the Mediterranean.”

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Lobby

Families pass cascading water as they enter the marble floored lobby, and are immediately surrounded by the art and architecture of Europe. Castmembers dressed in dapper Mediterranean blue costumes reflecting the French Riviera’s design and style welcome guests to the resort.

Disney's Riviera Resort

Scanning the lobby you’ll find La Boutique, a gift shop inpired by parfumeries of France. Inside guests can order canvas print reproductions of the European-inspired Disney artwork hung throughout the resort as well as exclusive collectibles found only at Disney’s Riviera Resort (including resort specific mouse ears).

Disney's Riviera Resort

Le Petit Café offers pastries and breakfast items in the morning as well as coffee drinks throughout the day, and it transforms into a stylish wine bar by night.

Disney's Riviera Resort

Accommodations

This will not be a hotel review, as we only received a tour. However, we saw a three-bedroom grand villa that offered sweeping views of the water, theme parks, and Walt Disney World Resort. This deluxe Disney Vacation Club villa sleeps up to 12 guests, and has everything a family needs for their Disney home-away-from-home. The chic, modern room opens to reveal a large kitchen with full-sized stove and refrigerator.

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The kitchen opens to the living room so those preparing breakfast, snacks, or other meals will never be separated from the rest of the party.

Disney's Riviera Resort

The dining room has a large table that accommodates 10 for meals all together. Notice throughout the space are elegant furnishings and decorations all in that Medterranean blue color scheme reflecting the water and sky.

Disney's Riviera Resort

The master bedroom has a king-sized bed, en suite bathroom, and large balcony overlooking the water.

Disney's Riviera Resort

Each of the two other bedrooms have two queen-sized beds, both with balconies, and two additional bathrooms in the villa as well.

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The art and décor throughout the villa and resort reflect the classic European masters, but with Disney touches. Over 40 original pieces were created, all drawing inspiration from the Mediterranean region’s rich art history. For example, this painting in the bedroom incorporates cats from The Aristocats as well as the “hidden Mickey” detailing found in the scrollwork on the balconies.

Disney's Riviera Resort

Restaurants and Dining

The signature dining experience is Topolino’s Terrace — Flavors of the Riviera, perched on the rooftop of the resort. Designers wanted to surround guests with modern interpretations of Italian and French textures, colors, and carvings mingled with stonework that harkens to what can be found in ancient European villages along the coastline.

Disney's Riviera Resort

Topolino’s Terrace features authentic dishes infused with French and Italian flavors, with an onstage kitchen featuring a wood burning grill showcasing finely prepared meats and seafood. The culinary team handcrafts artisanal pastas tossed with fresh pressed olive oil. A gourmet selection of cheeses from France and Italy is also featured. This restaurant will have an impressive collection of wines sourced throughout the South of France and Coastal Italy. While dining, guests can step out onto the terrace for a grand view of the resort’s stunning vistas, and possibly even enjoy the nighttime spectaculars of nearby Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Disney's Riviera Resort

Families looking to start their morning off with a breakfast experience can visit Topolino’s Terrace — Flavors of the Riviera for special Disney character dining, with exclusive character experiences, inspired by the Riviera. Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck are artists looking to Minnie and Daisy for their inspiration. Coloring books and character plushes in the breakfast costumes are available for sale in the gift shop as well as in the restaurant.

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Families looking for a bite to eat while enjoying the pools have Primo Piatto, a quick-service restaurant that gives the feel of dining along the Riviera promenade.

Disney's Riviera Resort

Bar Riva is an open-air pool bar with a seaside décor – including a mural of the Mediterranean coast complete with Disney Cruise Line ship coming to call.

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Bar Riva offers burgers, salads, and sandwiches in addition to frozen cocktails, Provence rosé or a refreshing spritzer at the open-air pool bar.

Recreation and Activities

The resort’s main feature pool includes a 30-foot-tall tower that houses a corkscrew slide that winds down into the Riviera Pool. The 105,000 gallon Riviera Pool celebrates the sun and sun-kissed lifestyle of the Mediterranean.

Disney's Riviera Resort

For younger guests, the S’il Vous Play splash ground draws inspiration from the grand public fountains throughout Europe, and features several beloved characters from the classic 1940’s Disney film Fantasia.

Disney's Riviera Resort

The Beau Soleil leisure pool offers a quiet pool experience with a natural lush-green wall surrounding the tranquil area, perfect for enjoying the sun or resting beneath the shaded seating area in a grove of tropical palm trees. Guests pass the Beau Soleil leisure pool on the way to a tunnel walkway with grand mosaic murals that’s sure to be a highlight of Disney’s Riviera Resort.

Disney's Riviera Resort

The tunnel leads to the Disney Skyliner station at Disney’s Riviera Resort, where guests can step aboard and glide across the sky by aerial gondola to destinations across Walt Disney World Resort. Once aboard, guests can take a European-inspired ride through the sky to Epcot International Gateway or Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Disney's Riviera Resort

Other recreational opportunities include a 1.2 mile promenade around the water between Disney’s Riviera Resort and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. A waterside firepit will feature s’mores on Mickey shaped shortbread with a pot of chocolate ganache and honey roasted marshmallows for evening relaxation.

Terri Schultz, senior vice president and general manager, Disney Vacation Club says “this new resort will pay tribute to Walt and Lillian Disney’s amazing European travels, connecting Disney artistry and storytelling to this region’s renowned art heritage and inspiration. Our team can’t wait to welcome families to this relaxing destination inspired by the world-famous sun drenched Mediterranean Coastline.”

Disney's Riviera Resort

DISCLOSURE: Dave Parfitt was hosted by Walt Disney World Resort and received complimentary transportation accommodations and meals during the press event.  However, all opinions expressed are also those of the author.  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on instagramtwitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.