Barefoot Bay Resort Area Update: Caribbean Construction & Riviera Revealed

We’re back at Caribbean Beach and Riviera Resort for a combined check-in on the progress on the next Disney Vacation Club property and Walt Disney World’s original Moderate Resort. In this photo update, we’ll take a look at new work happening at Caribbean Beach, the latest of the scaffolding coming down at Riviera, and more.

If you’ve followed our Walt Disney World Construction Updates, you’ve probably seen us refer to these two combined hotels as the Barefoot Bay Resort Area, which will soon rival (not really) Crescent Lake. However, what I’d really like to call it is the “Barefoot Bay Boarding Bailiwick.” This is an exceptional name for a few reasons.

First, Barefoot Bay Boarding Bailiwick is alliterative and has nice phonaesthetics (I love alliterations). Second, Disney is all about acronyms, and this one-ups Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Third, I think we can all agree that bailiwick is a fun word to say, and one with the type of whimsy befitting of Walt Disney World. Finally, bailiwick needs to make a bit of a comeback, and what better way? (Bailiwick’s current definition is not a perfect fit, but etymology supports its usage here.) Not that you care about any of this, so on with the update…

We’ll start with Caribbean Beach Resort, as there’s (thankfully) not much new here since our last update. If you’re wanting a basic overview and info about Caribbean Beach, including a look inside the refurbished guest rooms, read our comprehensive Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort Review.

For a look at everything that debuted last fall when the resort’s overhaul finished, read our Photos & Thoughts: Re-Imagined Caribbean Beach Resort post. Now we’ll take a look at what’s currently happening in preparation for the debut of the Skyliner and Riviera Resort…

Here’s a walkway replacement and widening between Old Port Royale/Barbados and Trinidad.

To the left, there’s another walkway that goes to the same place that’s still open–it just goes under the bridge instead of over it. There’s little to no impact to guests as a result of this.

There’s more pathway work over in Aruba.

All of the sidewalks that are in the photo above are closed for reasons unknown.

You can see the fences in the photo above, directly under the orange gondola. This is also a project that has minimal guest impact. Alternative sidewalks are available to the left/right that offer access to these buildings.

Here are some additional photos of the gondolas over guest buildings at Caribbean Beach Resort:

There are a lot of controversies about the Skyliner, but I think the biggest question should be whether it’s visual blight or cool kinetic energy. This is especially true at Caribbean Beach Resort, where its installation dotting Aruba and Jamaica leaves something to be desired.

My take is that the support pillars are a huge visual blight at Caribbean Beach (but not really elsewhere), while the Skyliner cabins themselves are cool kinetic energy. There are benches by this lighthouse and all along the waterfront promenade by Old Port Royale. I look forward to sitting there and watch the Skyliner at sunset during our next stay.

As you can see in our July 2019 Disney Skyliner Gondola Update, it now appears very close to being ready to debut.

We think there’s a reasonable shot that the Skyliner–minus the Riviera and Epcot stations–will open prior to the announced opening date in late September. Hopefully by late August.

Moving on to Disney’s Riviera Resort, the next DVC property at Walt Disney World.

The scaffolding on the Caribbean Beach-facing side of the resort (as well as the glimpses we caught from the road) is now entirely, revealing the Riviera’s finished facade.

Per, Disney sold 114,091 points for Riviera Resort in June. The resort has now sold 271,325 points, which is roughly 4.0% of its 6.7 million total points, and about 20.7% of the 1.3 million points that have been declared for Disney Vacation Club inventory.

The clock is now against us in terms of having more inventory declared in time to have our opening night waitlist fulfilled. On the upside, we’ll still be there for a couple meals, so at least we have that.

On ground level, work on S’il Vous Play, an interactive water play area for kids, is coming along nicely.

Ditto that for the waterfront promenade that’ll loop the Barefoot Bay Boarding Bailiwick.

After seeing Gran Destino, I’m not really curious as to how this lobby will turn out.

We’ve only seen glimpses of this area via the concept art, and nothing revealed thus far has shown a multi-story, grand area.

I’m mostly just hopeful for an area large enough to display an ‘icon’ Christmas tree (a la Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge, or the parks. No Disney Vacation Club resort has an icon tree at present…so if DVC wants to set Riviera apart somehow, that’d be one option!

I don’t really have anything else to say about Disney’s Riviera Resort, so here are some additional photos showing progress:

That’s it from the Barefoot Bay Boarding Bailiwick, or Barefoot Bay Resort Area if you’d prefer the boring alternative. Hopefully next month we can bring you an aerial update of Caribbean Beach Resort and Riviera Resort!

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviewspage. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!


Thoughts on how the Skyliner or Riviera impact the visuals or vibe of Caribbean Beach Resort? Do you plan on buying or staying at Disney’s Riviera Resort? What do you think of the design, both inside and outside? Any questions about Disney’s Riviera Resort? Hearing from you is half the fun, so please share your thoughts in the comments below!

12 Responses to “Barefoot Bay Resort Area Update: Caribbean Construction & Riviera Revealed”
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