Ultimate Guide to Disney World Riviera


view of the swimming pool from the Disney World Riviera Resort

As a family of six, we are always looking for great deals on accommodations at Walt Disney World. One of the properties I’m really excited about is Disney’s Riviera Resort. It’s the newest resort hotel at Walt Disney World and is also a Disney Vacation Club property. 

If you’re considering staying at the Riviera Resort on your next Disney vacation, I’ve done all the legwork for you. Here’s my ultimate guide to Disney’s Riviera Resort.

Keep reading to find out the highlights of this beautiful resort, including the types of accommodations available, entertainment and dining options, room rates, and much more. Let’s dive right in!

Disney’s Riviera Resort Overview

Disney’s Riviera Resort is located next to the Caribbean Beach Resort. It opened in 2019 and has 489 guest rooms.

While this is a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) property, you do not have to be a Disney Vacation Club member to stay here. If rooms or villas are available, you can book them. Of course, you can also use your DVC points (renting points) if you are a DVC member.

While Disney’s Riviera Resort has the feel of a high rise and is configured somewhat like the Bay Lake Tower, the ambiance at the two properties is very different.

The Walt Disney Company has designed the theme and decor of the Riviera Resort to capture the elegance of the French Riviera. Guests are immediately transported to Europe with carefully selected furnishings and eclectic art pieces that adorn the hallways and public areas.

Of course, like all things Disney, the magical touches and attention to detail are evident throughout.

Disney’s Riviera Resort is designed to accommodate the full range of guests, from couples seeking a romantic getaway to families and large groups who want spacious accommodations.

You can choose tower studios or deluxe studios that sleep 2 to 5 people or go all out and book a 3-bedroom grand villa for your family or group.

A key feature of Disney’s Riviera Resort is the easy access to Disney Skyliner. This is the newest mode of transportation at Disney World. It is a gondola system that puts Walt Disney World guests staying at the Riviera Resort within easy reach of two theme parks – Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

Sounds awesome? That’s not all.

Disney’s Riviera Resort also features a brand new character breakfast. And not to forget Topolino’s Terrace, a rooftop restaurant inspired by the cliffside restaurants you see peppered across Europe.

A bonus of eating dinner here is a superb view of the fireworks at Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Walt Disney World Riviera Resort Rating

The average rating for Disney’s Riviera Resort is 4.5 out of 5 or Excellent.

Around 65% of guests have given this property 5 stars, which is the highest rating. Another 20% of guests have rated it “Very Good.”

In terms of the guest experience, Riviera Resort is right up there with Walt Disney World’s best hotels.

Disney’s Riviera Resort Rooms and Accommodations

There are several accommodation types at the Disney Riviera.

1. Tower Studio

A tower studio sleeps 2 adults and features a cleverly concealed pull-down queen size bed that tucks away to reveal lounging space. There’s also a microwave and mini-fridge built into the wall, so you can grab a quick coffee or some breakfast items before heading out to the theme parks.

Unique to Disney’s Riviera Resort, these one-of-a-kind accommodations are a seamless blend of efficiency and luxury.

2. Deluxe Studio

The deluxe studios at Disney’s Riviera Resort sleep up to 5 adults and feature a queen-size murphy bed, a pull-down queen bed, and a single bunk bed.

There’s also a small kitchenette, bathroom, and a private balcony or patio.

3. One and Two Bedroom Villas

A 1-bedroom villa at Disney’s Riviera Resort sleeps up to 5 adults. A 2-bedroom villa has a second bedroom and can sleep 9 adults.

The villas feature separate bedrooms for privacy, a living area, and a full-size kitchen to whip up breakfast for the whole family. There’s even a washer and dryer so you can pack light and save money on airline baggage fees.

But my favorite amenity of all is the bubble-jet bathtub. Feels like heaven after a long day, especially if you’ve been to more than one theme park.

4. Three Bedroom Grand Villa

The 3-bedroom villas at Riviera Resort are spread over 2500 square feet and sleep up to 12 adults.

This grand villa features a master bedroom with a king size bed and 2 additional bedrooms, each with 2 queen size beds, plus a queen sleeper sofa.

The spacious living and dining areas offer a generous living space – perfect for the entire family to hang out on non-park days. The 3-bedroom villas also have 4 bathrooms (very helpful in getting everyone out the door in the morning quickly, especially if you’re a big family).

There is a fully equipped kitchen area, a washer/dryer, and private balconies.

How Much Does It Cost To Stay At Disney Riviera Resort?

Like all the other resorts at Walt Disney World, the rates at Disney’s Riviera Resort vary according to the season and days of the week.

Generally, it is cheaper to stay midweek. Prices are typically the highest during the holiday season, around Christmas. Also, you pay for the view. Standard view tower studios that might overlook a parking lot cost less than the tower studios with a preferred view.

Indicative rates per night at Disney’s Riviera Resort are listed below:

  • Tower Studio: $375 – $625
  • Deluxe Studio Standard View: $575 – $850
  • Deluxe Studio Preferred View: $650 – $1000
  • One-Bedroom Villa Standard View: $800 – $1250
  • One-Bedroom Preferred Rooms: $900 – $1450
  • Two-Bedroom Standard Rooms: $1300 – $2000
  • Two-Bedroom Preferred View: $1400 – $2100

Amenities and Activities at Disney’s Riviera Resort

Disney’s Riviera Resort has all the recreational amenities that are standard to a Disney Deluxe resort.

1. Swimming pools

There are two pools at this new resort hotel. The feature pool is the family-friendly Riviera Pool with a stucco facade and Mediterranean theme. A water slide winds around a stately tower in the main pool area. There’s an interactive water play area for the little ones called S’il Vous Play. There is also an adjacent hot tub.

The second of the pool areas is called the Beau Soleil Pool. Unlike the feature pool, this is a more secluded, quiet pool at Disney’s Riviera Resort. Ideal if you want to unwind or relax in a soothing setting.

2. Fitness center

There is also the Athletique Fitness Center onsite if you want to burn off some calories.

3. Sports and outdoor activities

Other activities on the resort grounds include a chess lawn, bocce ball court, and a jogging trail / walking paths.

4. Voyageurs Lounge

Resort guests also have access to the Voyageurs Lounge, a quiet study with a collection of books that Mr. Walt Disney brought back from his travels to Europe and other far-off destinations. 

5. Shopping

You can shop for Disney souvenirs, apparel, gifts, snacks, and groceries at the La Boutique store in Disney’s Riviera Resort.

6. Access to other resorts

There is also easy access to all the dining and shopping options at the Caribbean Beach Resort, which is the Riviera Resort’s sister property and is a short walk away. It’s a scenic walk with a waterfront view! Also in close proximity, a short distance away, are the Pop Century and Art of Animation Resorts, where you can easily walk over.

7. Kids Nite Out

Kids Nite Out is a babysitting service exclusive to Disney’s Riviera Resort guests.

Dining Options at Disney’s Riviera Resort

1. Topolino’s Terrace

The showcase restaurant at Disney’s Riviera Resort is Topolino’s Terrace, a table service restaurant or dining room.

On offer are the delicious flavors of the French Riviera and Italy, plus amazing views of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the Epcot Resort area. Dining reservations are highly recommended, especially if you visit Disney World during a busy season.

One of the newest character meals at Disney World is right here in the Riviera Resort. Like other character meals, you can enjoy breakfast with Mickey Mouse and his friends Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Daisy Duck as they parade through Topolino’s Terrace. The unique thing about this character meal is the stylish outfits worn by Mickey and his gang.

At dinnertime, Topolino’s Terrace serves fresh seafood and meats, hearty pasta, decadent desserts, and fine wines.

The expo kitchen, wood-burning grill, and colors and textures of ancient European villages all add to the atmosphere. This is a fine dining venue and signature dining experience with Italian and French flavors. 

FUN FACT: Topolino is the Italian name for Mickey Mouse!

Apart from Topolino’s Terrace, other options for eating and drinking at Disney’s Riviera Resort include the following:

2. Primo Piatto

It’s a quick-service restaurant, a great choice if you want to grab a snack or casual meal. 

3. Le Petit Café

This dainty café brings the sophisticated tastes of Paris to Disney’s Riviera Resort. It’s a superb place to get morning coffee and pastries or late night drinks and small plates.

4. Bar Riva

For alfresco dining poolside, there’s the Bar Riva outdoor lounge. On the menu are sandwiches and fresh salads as well as refreshing spritzers, frozen cocktails, and European wines.

Transportation To and From Disney’s Riviera Resort

Disney’s Riviera Resort is one of the handful of Disney resorts that has direct access to the Skyliner gondola transportation system. The gondolas whisk guests to Epcot and Hollywood Studios in minutes while also giving them a bird’s eye view of the Epcot Resort area (with some great photo ops).

The Riviera Resort has its own Skyliner station.

Speaking from experience, this goes a long way in helping save time. And believe me, it can be a game-changer when you’re trying to get to the most popular attractions first. 

Disney World bus transportation is available to go from Disney’s Riviera Resort to the other theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs. Bus stops are near the main lobby. The bus service may be shared with the Caribbean Beach Station for transport to the water parks.

Disney’s Riviera Resort Location

Disney’s Riviera Resort is located at 1080 Esplanade Ave, Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Approximate travel distance from Disney’s Riviera Resort to the Disney Parks and other areas of interest in Orlando

Distance from the resort to other areas of interest in Orlando

  • Orlando International Airport: 20 miles
  • Epcot: 2.6 miles
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios: 4 miles
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park: 4.7 miles
  • Magic Kingdom Park: 4.8 miles
  • Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park: 1.8 miles
  • Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park: 2.5 miles
  • Disney Springs: 1.9 miles

Travel times from Disney’s Riviera Resort

  • Magic Kingdom Park: By bus 27 minutes. By car 37 minutes.
  • Epcot: By Skyliner 11 minutes. By bus 26 minutes. By car 18 minutes.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios: By Skyliner 17 minutes. By bus 24 minutes. By car 15 minutes.
  • Animal Kingdom Park: By bus 27 minutes. By car 17 minutes.
  • Disney Springs: By bus 26 minutes. By car 7 minutes.

Getting from Orlando International Airport to Disney’s Riviera Resort

Disney offers a free Magical Express bus service for guests staying onsite at a Walt Disney World Resort. This is a shared Disney bus transportation from Orlando International Airport to Disney’s Riviera Resort.

Note that the Magical Express will no longer be available from January 1, 2022.

Driving Directions to Disney’s Riviera Resort

It is roughly 20 miles (a 25-minute drive) from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to Disney’s Riviera Resort.

  • From Jeff Fuqua Blvd, get on FL-417 Toll S and World Center Drive to Esplanade Avenue in Bay Lake (20.2 miles)
  • Turn left on Esplanade Avenue for Disney’s Riviera Resort (0.2 miles)

If you have your own car or a rental, it will cost $25 per day for standard self-parking or $33 per day for valet parking at Disney’s Riviera Resort.

FAQs

What do I need at check-in?

You can check in online to the Riviera Resort up to 60 days before your arrival. You will need to provide your name, address, mobile phone number, email address, and credit card information. Your room number will be assigned electronically and upon arrival, you can head straight to your room.

To gain access to your room or villa, use your smartphone or MagicBand.

If you have not checked in online, you’ll need to head to the registration desk in the main lobby. They will ask for a credit card, debit card, or cash for incidental expenses. Also, keep a government-issued photo ID on hand as they usually ask for this.

The concierge at Disney’s Riviera Resort can help you purchase theme park tickets and make reservations if you have not already done so. However, it’s always a good idea to do this in advance through the My Disney Experience app. You can get better prices and Disney discounts online.

What time do I need to check-in at Disney’s Riviera Resort?

Check-in time at Disney’s Riviera Resort is 4:00 PM. The check-out time is 11:00 AM.

Are there accessible rooms at Disney’s Riviera Resort?

Every Walt Disney World Resort has wheelchair-friendly rooms, including Disney’s Riviera Resort.

There are various kinds of accessible rooms. Some have wheelchair access and a walk-in shower. Others are equipped for people with hearing or vision impairments. Please call and state your specific requirements while booking your accommodations.

Are pets allowed at the Disney’s Riviera Resort?

Pets are not allowed at Disney’s Riviera Resort. The only Disney properties that allow pets in guest rooms are Disney Port Orleans Riverside Resort, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, and the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.

You can also board your pets at the Best Friends Pet Care Kennel located near the Port Orleans Riverside Resort.

Does the Riviera Resort have a housekeeping service?

Yes, housekeeping services are available at the Riviera.

Because it is part of the DVC program, it follows that for stays of 7 nights or less, you get a trash and towel service on day four. Housekeeping will empty trash, replace towels, and replenish other amenities in your studio or villa.

For stays of 8 nights or more, you get a full cleaning service on day four and a trash and towel service on day 8. The cycle is repeated every four days.

The full cleaning includes a change in linens, vacuuming, dishwashing, and cleaning of the kitchen and bathrooms. You can ask about a full cleaning service for shorter vacations (at an extra charge).

Final Thoughts

Did you find my complete guide to Disney’s Riviera Resort helpful? Are you planning to stay at this Disney Resort hotel? And if you have already been, how did it compare to other Disney Resort hotels?

Tell us in the comments below!

Dustin Baier

Hey, I'm Dustin a Dad of 4 and married to Sweet Pea Chef for over 15 years now :) We got engaged at the Disneyland Hotel way back when and love a vacation at Disney World, Universal Studios, really anywhere with theme parks!

Recent Posts