Riviera Resort opens at Disney World

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Tower Studios sleep two and feature a pull-down bed that can be stowed.
Tower Studios sleep two and feature a pull-down bed that can be stowed. Photo Credit: Holly Kapherr Alejos

The Riviera Resort opened at Disney World on Monday. It is the first Disney Vacation Club resort to open in Orlando since Disney’s Saratoga Springs opened in 2004.

Inspired by Walt and Lillian Disney’s European travel, the Riviera “blends the flavors and flair of the Italian and French Riviera with the creativity and imagination that only Disney can deliver,” Disney Vacation Club senior vice president Terri Schultz said during the Riviera’s dedication.

The Riviera has 300 guestrooms ranging from studios to grand villas that sleep up to 12. It features a new room category, the Tower Studios, which sleep two and feature a pull-down bed that can be stowed for additional living space during the day.

Inside the resort are some 40 original artworks from Disney and Pixar artists, influenced by the work of master artists who were inspired by the Italian and French Riviera.

In a media event before the hotel’s opening, Missy Renard, an art director with Walt Disney Imagineering, said the first piece of art welcoming guests is the double-R monogram logo. It was inspired by rooftop displays on hotels in the Riviera and is displayed in many design elements on the property.

Even the hotel’s metalwork was designed by artists, with Mickey and Minnie cleverly included.

The S'il Vous Play splash zone at the Riviera's resort pool.
The S'il Vous Play splash zone at the Riviera's resort pool. Photo Credit: Holly Kapherr Alejos

The Riviera has its own Skyliner station, connecting guests with the Epcot and Hollywood Studios parks. The tunnel to the Skyliner station features two mosaic murals, one inspired by “Peter Pan” and the other by “Tangled.” They were created using more than 1 million hand-cut glass tiles.

Renard said those films were chosen as the murals’ subjects because they showcase the concept of flight, a nod to the Skyliner itself.

The Riviera’s pool features a winding stone turret slide, as well as an interactive water play area, S’il Vous Play, for children. It features characters from the film “Fantasia.” The Beau Soleil leisure pool offers a quieter pool experience.

Riviera’s signature restaurant, Topolino’s Terrace -- Flavors of the Riviera, gets its name from the Italian word for Mickey Mouse. It features French and Italian cuisine.

During breakfast, Mickey and friends, dressed in outfits reflecting particular styles of art (Minnie, for instance, is a writer), will visit with diners.

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