4 Underrated Perks of Staying at Disney’s Riviera Resort

by | Apr 23, 2024 | Disney's Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, Walt Disney World News, Walt Disney World Resorts, WDW Blog

Curious about whether or not you should book a stay at Disney’s Riviera Resort? These underrated perks will make you want to stay at this Walt Disney World Deluxe hotel ASAP.

As someone who visits Disney World multiple times each year, I love getting away and visiting the most magical place on Earth – and when I imagine the perfect Disney vacation, I picture myself relaxing in a gorgeous hotel. Think relaxation and Disney World don’t go hand in hand? It’s possible to have a restful trip… if you know where to stay! For me, that’s Disney’s Riviera Resort.

Disney’s Riviera Resort is the newest Disney Vacation Club Resort at Walt Disney World, and it’s home to luxurious and relaxing accommodations and amenities. The Riviera is a place to escape, whether you’re looking for a break from the theme parks or a hotel that feels like it’s situated on the Mediterranean Sea

Still note sure if the Riviera is the right Disney World resort for you? Below, I’m sharing four of the most underrated perks of booking a stay at this standout hotel.

1. Convenient Location and Transportation Options

Disney's Riviera Resort exterior

Photo by Danny Shuster

Getting around Disney World can be tricky even if you’re staying at a Disney resort. However, one of my favorite perks of Disney’s Riviera Resort is its proximity to key areas – and the endless transportation options that make getting anywhere a breeze.

The Riviera is considered an EPCOT area resort, which means you’re in a convenient location while staying here. Nestled next to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, the Riviera makes it easy to access both EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

How easy is it to get to the theme parks, exactly? Well, Disney’s Riviera Resort has its very own stop on the Disney Skyliner! At the Riviera, you can board a gondola and head straight to EPCOT without transferring. If you’re headed to Hollywood Studios, you’ll just need to make a quick transfer at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.

There’s another underrated perk about being on the Skyliner route via Disney’s Riviera Resort: You can easily access other resorts and their restaurants. For example, if you want to enjoy breakfast at Trattoria al Forno at the Boardwalk, just hop on the Skyliner to EPCOT and walk over to the Boardwalk. 

In addition to the Disney Skyliner, the Riviera also offers Disney World bus transportation that’ll get you to Magic Kingdom Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, and Disney Springs. If you’re totally opposed to a bus, you can always take the Skyliner to EPCOT and take the Monorail over to the Magic Kingdom.

Simply put, your transportation options are endless at the Riviera. 

2. Delicious and Elevated Dining Options

Interior of Primo Piatto at Disney's Riviera Resort

Dine inside Primo Piatto with sleek theming. Photo by Jeff Chiu

As a New Yorker, food is extremely important to me – so I want to enjoy top-tier restaurants when I visit Disney World! One of the underrated perks of Disney’s Riviera Resort is it’s home to some pretty amazing dining options. Whether you’re looking to grab something quick or take your time, there are delicious options that go above and beyond your average theme park or resort restaurant.

Just take Primo Piatto (which is Italian for first course) for example. I love dining at Primo Piatto forbreakfast, lunch or dinner. Breakfast options include the Croque Madame, the famous Blueberry-Lemon Pancakes, and the Primo Piatto Breakfast. All of the options are delicious and a step above what you expect from a typical Disney World quick-service restaurant. For lunch and dinner, guests can enjoy different pizzas, sandwiches and salads. It’s also easy to order, thanks to the My Disney Experience app

Another amazing option at the Riviera is Topolino’s Terrace. Topolino’s Terrace offers both breakfast and dinner in a beautiful setting. Breakfast is a unique character dining experience, where Painter Mickey, Poet Minnie, Sculptor Donald, and Ballerina Daisy greet guests while they enjoy breakfast favorites. While dinner is not a character dining experience, it’s still an experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Plus, be sure to take in those beautiful views from the exclusive balcony at Topolino’s Terrace, which overlooks all of Walt Disney World and beyond. Just make sure to make an advance dining reservation (ADR) ahead of your visit since it’s a very popular dining destination

If you’re looking for a quick drink or cup of coffee, there are great options for these at the Riviera, too! Bar Riva serves delicious drinks plus wings, salads, and sandwiches. Pro tip: You can even order favorites from Primo Piatto at Bar Riva. Le Petit Cafe, located in the lobby, is a popular spot to grab a Riviera Cold Brew or a delicious cappuccino paired with a yummy treat like madeleines. 

3. Gorgeous Mediterranean Theming

Disney's Riviera Resort exterior murals, Peter Pan

The Peter Pan-themed mural at Disney’s Riviera Resort. Photo by Laurie Sapp

Every Disney World hotel features incredible theming – after all, that’s what Disney is known for! However, when it comes to the theming at Disney’s Riviera Resort, you’ll notice this hotel looks particularly special. It not only feels elegant and welcoming, but also wonderfully warm throughout.

Inspired by Walt and Lillian Disney’s travels to the Mediterranean, the resort is filled with touches of Italian and French flair. The tranquil and almost home-like feeling continues as you move through the hotel and its many spaces, thanks to photos of Walt’s travels that line the walls paired with movie posters in French and Italian.  

All parts of the resort, from the pool areas to the lobby, all have subtle Mediterranean touches. But what really makes the theming stand out is its combination of gorgeous details and classic Disney touches. As I mentioned, you can find Disney movie posters in French and Italian – and the movies advertised are beloved Disney and Pixar films like Frozen, Moana, and Finding Dory

One of my favorite aspects of the Riviera’s theming is the beautiful murals at the base of the resort’s Skyliner station. Two mosaic murals that line the walkway. One is themed to Rapunzel and her floating lanterns; the other is themed to Peter Pan, Wendy, and co., who are flying to Neverland. In addition to being amazing works of art, these murals make for great photo opps. 

Speaking of art, art plays a big role in the theming of the Riviera. From portraits of official Disney princesses to other characters and iconic film locations, touches of Disney are blended right into the look of the resort, without being too obvious. Plus, in the gift shop, you can even order and take home your very own piece based on the artwork throughout the resort. 

4. Extra-Special (and Spacious!) Rooms

Disney's Riviera Resort, room interior

A look inside the 1-Bedroom Villa at Disney’s Riviera Resort. Photo by Courtney Reynolds

Here’s an underrated perk you really don’t discover until you stay at Disney’s Riviera Resort! As someone who’s stayed at a lot of Disney World hotel rooms at different resorts, I’m here to tell you thatthe Riviera’s rooms are quite special.

In terms of design and theming, the rooms are modern with attractive Mediterranean flair and special artwork accents. But what really makes the rooms special is the extra-spacious size and the unique configuration.

During my stay at the Riviera, I stayed in a 1-Bedroom Villa and boy, was I spoiled. While your typical Disney Vacation Club villas offer a king bed, the rooms at the Riviera feature unique alternatives for your additional guests. For example, you can pull down the subtly stowed-away Murphy bed to reveal a regular bed. This bed was extremely comfortable… and there’s even another bed that’s hidden under the TV that can be pulled down. 

In terms of sizing compared to other Disney Vacation Club 1-Bedroom Villas, the rooms at Disney’s Riviera Resort are extremely spacious. The kitchen and sitting area each occupy their own space, as does the living room, TV, and pull-out couch. Plus, the bedroom is large and spacious, as is the bathroom. 

Amenities also abound in this room. You have access to a full kitchen and seating area, washer/dryer combo, and vacuum cleaner, plus all the amenities you’d come to expect from Disney resorts.

1-Bedroom views can vary from standard to preferred (which offers a view of the Skyliner). However, I prefer a standard view which could become a theme park view depending on where your room is located. During my stay at the Riviera, I was lucky enough to have an amazing view of Spaceship Earth as well as World Showcase and Test Track! Now that’s an extra-special perk you wouldn’t get from most standard hotel rooms.

Book Your Stay at Disney’s Riviera Resort

Have these underrated perks of staying at Disney’s Riviera Resort convinced you to book a stay? You have a wealth of options at this Deluxe resort! In addition to offering 1-bedroom suites like I stayed in, the Riviera is also home to some exclusive, extra-special rooms: the Tower Studios. These smaller rooms feature only a Murphy bed and sleep only 2 guests, but they make for one unique Walt Disney World Resort hotel experience.

Overall, I find the Riviera to be one of the most relaxing and gorgeous resorts on Disney World property – so if you’re thinking about it, now’s the time to book! With a great location, some delicious food onsite, amazing theming, and some standout views, this is an underrated option well worth experiencing. 

Posts by Jenn Marrazzo

Jennifer Marrazzo is a writer and adjunct professor and knows way too many facts about Disney and cruises. She’s a DVC Member and WDW Annual Passholder and has a vast collection of Disney merchandise from Beauty and the Beast to Baby Yoda. Jennifer has her own blog, The Happiest Travels on Earth, where she offers reviews and tips for Disney and cruises!

Authored by
Jenn Marrazzo

Jennifer Marrazzo is a writer and adjunct professor and knows way too many facts about Disney and cruises. She’s a DVC Member and WDW Annual Passholder and has a vast collection of Disney merchandise from Beauty and the Beast to Baby Yoda. Jennifer has her own blog, The Happiest Travels on Earth, where she offers reviews and tips for Disney and cruises!
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