I’ve been eyeing the new Disney Riviera Resort for some time now. Obviously, Covid put a lot of our travel plans on hold, but when Vera’s birthday rolled around in February, we finally got a chance to check it out. We’ve actually tried to make it a point to stay at each hotel on property at Walt Disney World, at least once. We are nowhere near all of them yet but we do have a running list of our favorites — and this one is definitely up there.
Booking our stay:
I would like to think that am kind of a seasoned Disney guest. I usually make the plans for our family (and we have BIG family) but this time I handed my reservations over to Y’all Travel. I was honestly surprised to find out that not only did it not cost me a thing, but it saved me so much time and headache. With the new Covid restrictions I wasn’t exactly sure of what I needed to do for booking and I really didn’t want to spend the time researching. They took care of making recommendations and booking our hotel stay, tickets and park reservations (with the new system you need to choose the days you will be going to the parks). They also provided me with tips for navigating the parks more efficiently (April, the owner, is a former Cast member), gave me information on new Covid restrictions and hours and even took care of a last minute change in itinerary for me — which meant, I didn’t have to do my usual nearly hour long Customer Service phone call wait to get it done. To me, that alone was worth using them every time; Plus, I was able to help a small business run by a fellow mom. Win. Win.
About the new Disney Riviera Resort:
In short we loved it. Disney but with a luxury feel. If you are looking for a hotel that is completely themed out, this probably isn’t your best option. Disney has definitely curated an upscale sleek vibe that you feel from the moment you are pulling up. Light and bright with dark accents the resort is supposed to place you in the luxurious French Riviera. When you walk in, Le Petit Cafe in the main lobby is a nod to the French cafe in the Aristocats and serves up coffee and bakery offerings. A small lounge that looks like a library is next door, where you can enjoy a drink as well, although we never got to use it.
About the Room:
The hallways are lined with illustration paintings of classic Disney movies. And when you get to the room there are a few surprises. At first glance, I felt the room felt small, but I would say it’s average by Disney property standards, but the Murphy bed definitely gives you more space. My kids loved the pull down Murphy bed with a mural of 101 Dalmatians, they thought it was a secret surprise bed.
It wasn’t until the second night that we discovered that what we thought was a dresser under the TV — was actually another twin pull down bed. This one, with a Tangled mini mural featuring Pascal, her chameleon sidekick and actually making this room super convenient for families with 3 children.
We are an allergy family. And with that I will say, this room was an allergy parent’s dream. They are equipped with a small kitchenette area complete with a sink, microwave and mini fridge. Making it easy for parents like us that usually need to bring meals in tow in case we have no luck finding our child something to eat. Although, if I’m being honest, this is probably the first vacation we have gone on where I’ve felt like I could’ve easily not brought any food for Vera, except for a couple of snacks. Disney was actually really good about accommodating all of her allergies, which means it was a real vacation for me.
Due to Covid restrictions, housekeeping is not servicing rooms during your stay, which kind of sucks. But in their defense, they are trying to limit their exposure to your room as much as possible. They are allowed only to come by “upon request” to remove your trash and bring extra towels. Room service is working though (we’ve found other hotels where this service is also suspended) and that helps when you are trying to eat quickly and head to the parks.
Our balcony faced the Epcot ball, which was also another plus and when the fireworks shows resume, I would think the view would be great from here.
About the property:
We took a stroll through the property when we first arrived and I loved the outdoor area with a view of the lake. It was too cold for us to get in the pool, but they had a great kids pool area which would be ideal if you are visiting in the summer and they were also offering outdoor movies on the lawn at night.
One of the things I loved most about Riviera, is the accessibility to the new Skyliner. Being able to hop on right at your hotel, means you have access to the Boardwalk area, Epcot and Hollywood Studios without having to get in your car. The kids really loved riding this to the park because they felt it was a bonus ride. We had gotten in later in the day and wanted to take the Skyliner to the boardwalk restaurants but with the parks closing earlier than usual because of Covid restrictions, the Skyliner hours were also shortened. We didn’t get to use it this visit but I’m sure with a little more planning this is also a great asset for added dining options.
About the Dining Options:
There are 2 restaurants on property in addition to Le Petit Cafe which serves bakery offerings. Prima Piatto and Topolino’s Terrace which is their picturesque Rooftop Restuarant. They also have Bar Riva which is a poolside bar downstairs. Prima Piatto is a quick service restaurant downstairs and Toppolino’s is a sit down fine dining restaurant. I’m not a fan of quick service plus we had just come in from a long drive and wanted to sit for a good meal, so we had dinner at Topolino’s, even though we had reservations for brunch in the morning. It was surprisingly, also good for dinner. They had a decent wine list and several fine dining options. I will also add that they were great about accommodating Vera’s allergies.
For our character brunch, the food was tasty and our overall experience has to be one of my favorite in comparison to their other character breakfasts — even before Covid. The rooftop view is beautiful here during the day (the terrace definitely makes for a great a photo opp) and even if the characters can not come to your table, they do a great job of interacting from a distance. And truthfully, the kids just cared about seeing them. It made them so happy to just be able to wave at them and say hello. We got a visit from Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy in themed artist outfits. If you go for brunch, order the Quiche, it was delicious.
Overall, I loved our stay at the new Disney Riviera Resort. I think it’s a good mix of luxury and family friendly while staying in the middle of the action. We still have quite a few on property hotels to check out in the future, but this one has easily become one of our favorites. We will definitely be back.