*DIS Contributors review meals, resort stays, and entertainment that they have paid for during their own vacations. They only utilize discounts and offers if they are available to the general public, such as annual passholder discounts, Tables in Wonderland, or DVC membership discounts. They receive no additional compensation for dining experiences or events, so that they may give their honest opinions about price and value.
I was extremely excited to stay in the brand new Disney’s Riviera Resort! This was my first stay in a Disney Vacation Club resort. As it was just my husband and me, we booked a deluxe studio. I had no idea there was a difference between a tower studio and a deluxe studio, so, after watching a few room tours of the tower studio room, I was very concerned about how small it seemed. I received a pleasant surprise when we opened the door of our deluxe studio- it was very large! There is a big difference between a tower studio and a deluxe studio. Here are some pros and cons about our stay in a deluxe studio at Disney’s Riviera Resort.
Pro: Beautiful room: Our deluxe studio was stunning, with several similarities to a Disney Cruise Line stateroom, like a raised bed for luggage storage and a split bathroom. The room had a lovely entryway with a small shelf next to the door to hold your MagicBands (so you don’t forget them), and coat hooks. There was also a sizable closet off of the entryway. The deluxe studio had a tub shower and a sink in one side of the split bathroom, and a walk-in shower with a rainfall shower head and toilet in the other part of the split bathroom. Yes, there were two separate showers!
The room contained a kitchenette with a microwave, sink, toaster, large coffee maker, and mini fridge. Surprisingly, the bedroom portion of the room had carpet. The couch pulled down into a bed, and so did the TV stand. USB charging ports and outlets were plentiful. Our balcony had a view of the parking lot, as well as Epcot, Disney Springs, and downtown Orlando- impressive for a standard view room!
Pro: Parking: I have never stayed at a DVC resort, so I don’t know if this is common practice, but, at Disney’s Riviera Resort, parking is very convenient to the resort with an east parking lot and a west parking lot. Elevators are located near the door to the parking lot, making it a relatively quick trip compared to most other Disney resorts. Not having to walk a mile to get from our car to the hotel was refreshing.
Pro: Dining Options: There are several different dining options at Disney’s Riviera Resort. The cheaper options are Le Petit Cafe, which is a lounge located off of the lobby, and Primo Piatto, a counter service location that also offers mobile order. Bar Riva is the pool bar on property that offers sandwiches, salads, desserts, kids meals, and drinks. Finally, the beautiful (but pricey) signature dining option of Topolino’s Terrace offers a character breakfast and dinner.
Pro/Con: Disney Skyliner: Having a Skyliner station at Riviera with a direct line to Epcot is very convenient, and usually a time saver. Occasionally, we found that the Riviera Skyliner station lines backed up because all of the gondola cars were full. When this happened, Riviera guests had to wait a while for gondolas that had available space.
Con: Firm Bed: The mattress on our bed was extremely firm. I had assumed that, with a brand new mattress, the bed would be comfortable and, ideally, similar to a Disney Cruise Line bed. I woke up with backaches because of how firm the mattress was.
Con: Pool Hours: Disney’s Riviera Resort has 2 pools (the Beau Soleil pool and the Riviera pool) and a children’s water play area (S’il Vous Play). The Riviera pool, which is where the water slide is located, and S’il Vous Play are right next to each other, and, unfortunately, were only open from 10am to 8pm during our stay. The Beau Soleil pool, which is a basic pool with no special features was open until 11 pm. I was disappointed to find the more entertaining pools had much shorter hours.
Con: Price: The Riviera Resort is extremely expensive. Even with a significant Chase Visa cardmember discount, it was almost $350 a night to stay here as a non-DVC member. While it is a gorgeous resort, it’s hard to say if it is worth such a steep price tag.