WHY IT RATES: The new Vacation Club property opened December 16, 2019, at Walt Disney World Resort. —Janeen Christoff, TravelPulse Senior Writer
Disney Vacation Club announced the grand opening of the all-new Disney’s Riviera Resort on December 16, 2019, at Walt Disney World Resort during a dedication ceremony on the resort’s promenade with media guests and Cast Members.
Welcome and dedication remarks were given by Terri Schultz, senior vice president and general manager, Disney Vacation Club, and Thomas Mazloum, senior vice president of resorts, premium services, Disney Springs and sports at Walt Disney World.
Inspired by Europe and Imagined by Disney, Disney’s Riviera Resort is the 15th Disney Vacation Club property and immerses guests in the grandeur and enchantment of the European Riviera. The deluxe resort is also the first dedicated Disney Vacation Club resort at Walt Disney World since the opening of Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort in 2004.
“Blending the flavors and flair of the Italian and French Riviera with the creativity and imagination that only Disney can deliver, this new resort pays tribute to Walt and Lillian Disney’s amazing European travels while connecting Disney artistry and storytelling to this region’s renowned art heritage and inspiration,” said Schultz. “Not only will Disney’s Riviera Resort delight families with its gorgeous architectural details and wide range of accommodations, but members and guests will simply fall in love with the sights, sounds and flavors of Europe around every corner. Our team is excited to welcome families to this relaxing destination inspired by the world-famous sun-drenched Mediterranean Coastline.”
Special guests Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck joined the celebration onstage in their brand-new outfits from Topolino’s Terrace—Flavors of the Riviera, the resort’s rooftop restaurant. Mickey the painter, Minnie the poet, Donald the sculptor and Daisy the dancer shared their enthusiasm for the study of the European Riviera’s different art forms. In addition, Minnie wrote and treated event guests with a special poem in honor of the resort’s dedication.
“Disney’s Riviera Resort adds a beautiful and inspiring addition to Walt Disney World,” said Mazloum. “We are always trying to evolve the guest and Cast Member experience at our parks and resorts. Riviera Resort does that by placing guests in the middle of the magic during their entire stay, inspiring them with old-world glamour and delighting them with timeless Disney charm.”
Guests at the resort have a new and easily accessible way to travel to two theme parks–Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios–via Disney Skyliner. Disney Skyliner not only efficiently moves guests to their location, it also offers a whole new way to experience Walt Disney World Resort with amazing views only available from the sky—with great photo opportunities.
Passing through a tunnel archway with sparkling water features, Disney’s Riviera Resort guests are connected to a dedicated station where they can hop aboard a Disney Skyliner gondola. Some cabins feature beautiful graphics based on Disney films, attractions and characters. Once aboard, guests can take a European-inspired ride through the sky to Epcot International Gateway or Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
The property offers approximately 300 family-friendly vacation homes with accommodation options to fit an assortment of travel party needs. Disney’s Riviera Resort includes deluxe studios, one- and two-bedroom villas, grand villas, that sleep up to 12 guests each, and a new, unique accommodation, Tower Studios.
A chic space for two, located in its own tower of the resort, Tower Studios provide an intimate studio experience that maximizes efficiency, inclusive of a queen-sized bed housed in a built-in wall unit that is pulled down for sleeping and tucked away to reveal a comfortable lounge-worthy space. This elegant area includes a sofa, quaint writing nook, a beverage center and microwave, plentiful storage and a bright and modern bathroom.
Throughout the resort and inside the accommodations, guests experience a variety of art, including Disney concept art with European settings, posters of Disney films as released in Europe, archival photography of Walt Disney’s travels throughout the region and book titles representing books Walt Disney gathered on his journeys.
Additionally, there are more than 40 signature art pieces created for Disney’s Riviera Resort featuring unique Disney character art inspired by the renowned artistic heritage found along the shores of the European Riviera.
This all-new resort designed in early 20th-century elegance reflected throughout Europe and the Mediterranean coastline boasts a palm tree-lined boulevard with a striking façade featuring grand archways, porticos, cascading water features, and towers and terraces. The pools of Disney’s Riviera Resort continue this theming with a focus on showcasing a Southern European coast inspiration.
The feature pool, Riviera Pool, offers lounge chairs and colorful sun umbrellas, with a winding stone turret slide, giving the feel of swimming and playing along the Mediterranean coast. For those traveling with young guests, an interactive water play area, S’il Vous Play, is the perfect place to splash and have fun in a whimsical fountain featuring several beloved characters from Disney’s Fantasia, drawing inspiration from the grand public fountains seen throughout Europe with a patina and limestone-inspired design.
For guests looking for a more leisurely poolside experience, the Beau Soleil leisure pool features a natural, lush-green wall surrounding the tranquil area, creating a semi-private pool experience, perfect for enjoying the sun or resting beneath the shaded seating area in a grove of tropical palm trees.
Disney’s Riviera Resort also features many ways for guests to enjoy dining, from signature dining experiences to quick service options within the resort and poolside. Topolino’s Terrace—Flavors of the Riviera, perched on the rooftop, 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 kinds of pasta tossed with fresh-pressed olive oil. A gourmet selection of cheeses from France and Italy are also featured. This restaurant also has an impressive collection of wines sourced throughout the South of France and Coastal Italy.
Stepping into Topolino’s Terrace—Flavors of the Riviera, guests are surrounded by stunning visual aesthetics of 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. And while dining, guests may step out onto the terrace for a grand view of the resort’s stunning vistas where they might catch glimpses of the nighttime spectaculars from nearby Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Plus, families looking to start their morning off with a fun breakfast experience can visit Topolino’s Terrace for Breakfast a la Art with Mickey & Friends–a prix-fixe Disney character dining experience that celebrates the creativity in all of us.
Offering the flexibility, value and world-class service families expect, Disney’s Riviera Resort, or any other Walt Disney World vacation ownership property, puts guests inside the magic for the entirety of their vacation. Guests staying at any of the Disney resort hotels experience special features including legendary guest service and unique theming, along with other benefits such as access to FastPass+ selections up to 60 days prior to arrival and the Extra Magic Hours at the theme parks (both FastPass+ and Extra Magic Hours require valid theme park admission).
In addition, Disney resort hotel guests receive complimentary transportation around Walt Disney World, complimentary theme park parking, complimentary airport transportation via Disney’s Magical Express service, the convenience of MagicBands, and the ability to purchase Disney Dining Plan packages.
For Disney Vacation Club Members ready to purchase vacation points at Disney’s Riviera Resort, expand their ownership experience, or for those wanting to become new members, they can learn more at DisneyVacationClub.com/RivieraWelcomeOffer, or by calling 855-883-0181. Guests can contact 407-W-Disney (934-7639) to make reservations for the new Disney’s Riviera Resort. To learn more about the new Disney Vacation Club resort, visit DisneysRivieraResort.com, and visit the Disney Parks Blog for the latest updates.
SOURCE: Walt Disney World Resort press release.
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