Opinion BEFORE vs AFTER your Riviera stay

Spivey378

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 17, 2021
I didn’t like the feel of it when we just walked through it in January 2020. Stayed a long weekend there December 2021 and loved it!
 

heather2328

Earning My Ears
Joined
May 3, 2022
I feel like I read and heard nothing but bad things about Riviera but I knew the theme was the French Riviera and therefore I would probably love it. I did, everything about it is gorgeous, the landscaping is so clean, I love looking at all the art and it does feel like an escape from the craziness of everything. My kids and I also love the Skyliner, it makes it so easy to get around. So I bought resale Riviera and direct(mostly to have more points and the incentives are great right now - I do want to try out all the resorts). My husband who is not a Disney person also loved it.
 

EYL

Mouseketeer
DVC Platinum
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
Anyone change their opinion about buying Riviera after staying there?

Unfortunately, yes. We didn't think we'd want to work with the resale restriction that Riviera had. But with the glut of points we accumulated from COVID, we stayed at Riviera in a 1BR preferred. It was all downhill from there. Wifey loved it and we bought in. As they say, "happy wife, happy life!" (Okay, maybe I like/love it also, but I'm not admitting it because it's all her fault! :rotfl2:)
 

NVDISFamily

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 16, 2022
Just spent the first half of the day doing an awesome tour of multiple resorts with our guide. We wanted to get some cheaper points at WDW to go along with our VGC points for cali. Went into the day 80 percent sure I was going to buy VGF. Wife and kids fell in love with Rivera. Ended the day as a direct member with Rivera points :)

The points are for using at CCV and Aulani if we can book at 7 months too but more thank happy to buy after our visit. Can’t wait to stay at Rivera for years to come.
 

Royal Consort

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Just spent the first half of the day doing an awesome tour of multiple resorts with our guide. We wanted to get some cheaper points at WDW to go along with our VGC points for cali. Went into the day 80 percent sure I was going to buy VGF. Wife and kids fell in love with Rivera. Ended the day as a direct member with Rivera points :)

The points are for using at CCV and Aulani if we can book at 7 months too but more thank happy to buy after our visit. Can’t wait to stay at Rivera for years to come.
First VGC and now RVA! I think I like you.

Curious what sold Riviera for your wife and kids over VGF?
 

john7994

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 20, 2022
Riviera is slowly growing on us, and we seem to land there for a coffee or dinner on every one of our recent visits. Still feels a bit on the commercial higher-end hotel chain, and I can't help but think Richie Rich every time I see the hotel logo. Aside from that, I think we are edging closer to considering direct points.
 

NVDISFamily

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 16, 2022
First VGC and now RVA! I think I like you.

Curious what sold Riviera for your wife and kids over VGF?
We had been talking about it for a while and I had given the pros/cons list to my wife for a while now. I was pushing towards VGF but after walking I had to say just liked everything about RVA in total (sum of the parts kind of thing).

Rooms were way more our style.

Pool area was nicer than what YouTube makes it seem like.

View from the top was awesome.

Lobby and common areas were better than expected per reviews/comments (Wilderness Lodge and Grand Cal are still AMAZING and the best but liked the RVA lobby more than VGF.

For someone who likes and owns fancy clothes the GF just seemed too stuffy for me for the most part (to own there). I’d like to dress up and visit from time to time.

I hate the restrictions but we are buying enough points at each that we should not have to use points from the other resorts almost ever. Even decided to split up use years to add more flex to our schedules/options.
 

RamblinWreck

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 16, 2008
I haven’t stayed yet, but ate at Topolinos and my DH and I liked what we saw. It was nicer than we expected it to be. I’ve no intention to buy any more points, but I am happy that I can use my points to stay there!
Same experience!

We did the character breakfast and were very impressed by the resort as a whole, and the quality of the food compared to other character breakfasts we have done.

After walking the grounds some before taking the skyliner to Hollywood Studios, I found myself wondering how some of the negative opinions people have about the place have even come to be held.

This is certainly not a generic hotel. Nobody is mistaking it for a holiday inn anytime soon.
 

Royal Consort

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
I found myself wondering how some of the negative opinions people have about the place have even come to be held.

This is certainly not a generic hotel. Nobody is mistaking it for a holiday inn anytime soon.

I just read someone on these boards refer to the Disney Wish looking like a Westin. I sighed and just assume that's the standard ad hominem launched at new Disney builds. VDH and Poly will have the same thrown at them. I've yet to stay at these mythical Westin/Hiltons/<insert corporate hotel chain here.>
 

john7994

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 20, 2022
I just read someone on these boards refer to the Disney Wish looking like a Westin. I sighed and just assume that's the standard ad hominem launched at new Disney builds. VDH and Poly will have the same thrown at them. I've yet to stay at these mythical Westin/Hiltons/<insert corporate hotel chain here.>
I just stayed at a Westin in Jersey City last week - it was ok and wouldn't compare it to a cruise ship. On the other hand, in comparing AKL, WL, Poly and Grand Floridian (as examples) - the Riviera and perhaps the renderings of the expected Poly Tower do lean more into the corporate hotel category "look" part of the spectrum. I think the Gran Destino Tower as a Moderate at Coronado looks better than BLT- and they both have a corporate feel. Regardless, it's all subjective.
 

Turn the Page

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 23, 2013
What I wasn't expecting is how relaxing Riviera is. Tones is all down. We use the quiet pool often and I am generally not a pool person. We will spend mornings with a coffee and evenings at the Topolino's lounge. It is an unexpected sanctuary unlike the hustle and bustle of other resorts.

I was surprised by this too.

We have stayed at SSR a few times and always enjoyed our stays there and it is a lovely resort but it is just so stinking huge. I hate all the bus stops. That is really the only reason we didn't buy there......that and the Skyliner which we love. But one thing I always noted about SSR was how relaxing it was.

We bought at RIV not exactly sight unseen, we had walked through a few times on a trip at AoA and loved it. We bought before we stayed there but our first stay only confirmed our choice. And I also was surprised how relaxing the atmosphere was.
 

Nabas

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 5, 2013
What surprised us most about the RIV was how understated the theming was. It almost didn’t feel like a Disney hotel - reminded us more of the Swan and Dolphin. I go back and forth as to whether I like that.

Was also surprised at how often the Skyliner shuts down. Not just for weather but also for mechanical issues. (We’ve been stranded on the Skyliner once and at the transfer station once due to mechanical failures.) This has lowered our opinion of RIV transportation.

On the plus side, we liked the rooms much more than expected. They are better than most DVC rooms.

And the pools are better than expected. We thought they would be sterile and too open. Instead, we found them to be relaxing.
 

pianomanzano

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 9, 2021
This is certainly not a generic hotel. Nobody is mistaking it for a holiday inn anytime soon.
Call me crazy, but the only DVC that's given me holiday inn vibes was the Poly. Never stayed there before joining DVC and we've always loved visiting the resort on non-park days to dine at Ohana or grab some dole whip. When we stayed back in May we were a little disappointed with it, probably because we've hyped it up so much in our heads. The longhouses look so dark and dated (the outside looks like a red roof inn) and the inside gives a 70s motel vibe with the dark motif and small elevators. The rooms themselves are nice and spacious for studios but we're in no rush to stay there again. I'm sure this is an unpopular opinion and don't mean to offend the Poly lovers! I also get residence inn vibes (or some other extended-stay type place) from Saratoga Springs, which we don't mind. We do love SSR (our first home resort) because it's so peaceful and tranquil, which you need sometimes during a Disney stay!
 

dvc lover 1970

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 29, 2013
I was a definate no because of resale restrictions. Stayed there, and did like it...not enough to buy direct but would buy resale for the right price. Pros- new resort decor is upscale, rooms are bigger. Cons- skyliner went down alot while we were there due to weather, not alot of shops, the area ( walking area) is really no man's land, also not alot for older kids to do there.
 

DVCsloth

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 10, 2020
I liked it before we stayed there. Resale restrictions kept me away from buying. Stayed twice, 3 nights SV Studio the split stay 3nights SV Studio 4 nights SV 1br. Loved it both stays.
We just recently bought 100 points direct $193 with incentive. Not cheap, but we love the resort and the Skyliner!
 

ArmyChaplain Matt

Earning My Ears
Joined
Mar 9, 2019
What I wasn't expecting is how relaxing Riviera is. Tones is all down. We use the quiet pool often and I am generally not a pool person. We will spend mornings with a coffee and evenings at the Topolino's lounge. It is an unexpected sanctuary unlike the hustle and bustle of other resorts.
have you tried Copper Creek? It does seem like your a short boat ride away to MK!!!!
 

NVDISFamily

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 16, 2022
have you tried Copper Creek? It does seem like your a short boat ride away to MK!!!!
I love CCV but we wanted some direct points and CCV direct is just too much $$$$ (I’ll take VGC resale for that much per point). I see more than a few stays at CCV in our future trying to ninja in at the 7 month window. Would even be willing to use points for the cabins for the family to stay there.
 

tfc3rid

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 11, 2000
I was able to snag a 1BD standard at the 7 month and look forward to a stay in February 2023. I've visited but not seen the rooms in person and look forward to staying there. I originally thought it boring but it's a very pretty resort and for me, the proximity to DHS and EC via Skyliner is a huge win...
 

havoc315

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
We bought sight unseen during the pandemic. Based on videos and photos, I was confident we would like it but I did have some apprehension.

My doubts were erased after the welcome home visit. We have now stayed twice. We have stayed at many of the Disney deluxe resorts, Riviera is far and away my favorite.
The rooms were even nicer than my high expectations.
Close-up, in person, I actually found the entire resort to be more elegant and beautiful than in pictures. I understand the "drab block" criticisms when looking at the photos, but they just don't do justice to the resort. It really does have a French/Italian riviera feel through-out.
After visiting, I really appreciate how nice it is for the resort to be fairly condensed. Always a quick walk from any spot in the resort to the pool or the quick service. And I loved just how peaceful so many parts of the resort felt. The lobby wasn't nearly as small as suggested by what I had read online. The library and cafe are nice quiet respites. And I LOVED the pools and hot tubs.. even during ultra high crowds at WDW, the pools remained relatively quiet and peaceful.

Being objective and honest -- My one unanticipated negative -- the bus stops are a bit of a hike from the resort.

Only other negative -- I wish they would bring the dinner entrees back to quick service at Primo Piatto.
 









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