Disney’s Riviera Resort Update: Fall 2019

We’re back with what will possibly be our last look at Riviera Resort before the grand opening of the new Disney Vacation Club property. In this, we’ll share photos of construction progress, the latest info Walt Disney World has released about the hotel, and other details as it the resort’s Skyliner station prepares to open next week and the resort itself finishes work for its December 2019 debut.

As Disney now moves forward and sets its sights on Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge, no major details were released about Disney’s Riviera Resort at last month’s D23 Expo. About the biggest recent thing was a 16-minute sneak peek video at the crafting of this DVC resort in a new special, the Art of Inspiration.

This first look into the creation of Disney’s Riviera Resort is available on-demand at ArtofRiviera.com. In the Art of Inspiration special, Imagineers and other Cast Members share the resort’s influences, including Walt Disney and European artistry. It doesn’t reveal much (if any) new info, but it’s a good example of DVC’s emotional–and highly effective–marketing. A lot of fluff, but it’s fun…

With the resort set to open in December 2019, DVC interests have actually been on sale here for over several months, with sales starting to slow slightly. Per DVCNews, Disney’s Riviera Resort sold 104,759 points in August 2019, which is a drop of 3.6% as compared to the previous month.

In total, Disney’s Riviera Resort has sold 484,759 points or about 7.2% of its 6.7 million total points, which is 36.9% of the 1.3 million points that have been declared for its DVC inventory thus far. This makes it seem less and less likely that more points will be declared prior to Riviera’s grand opening, which is a bummer for those of us hoping for the best with holiday season waitlists.

As compared to other recent DVC additions, Disney’s Riviera Resort is not doing notably better or worse. Previously, I wondered whether the new Disney Vacation Club resale restrictions might slow sales. However, either prospective Riviera owners don’t care or don’t understand these limitations.

I’d guess a mix of both, probably skewing towards the latter. It’s probably also helped that the Riviera has had some really attractive incentives. You can read all the details on our Disney’s Riviera Resort Pricing, Points Chart & Sales resource page.)

If you’re wondering what the interiors of the guest rooms will look like, we can help with that, as Walt Disney World already has rooms available to tour–take a look at our Photo Tour of Disney’s Riviera Resort Rooms from our walk-through of the studio and 1-bedroom units.

We previewed these earlier this summer and thought the Riviera’s rooms look better in person than concept art. Walking through them and seeing the various textures and details improved our overall opinion of Disney’s Riviera Resort.

In terms of other major info from a Walt Disney World vacation planning perspective, Topolino’s Terrace (upper right in the photo above) is now accepting Advance Dining Reservations for both breakfast and dinner.

This is the new Signature Restaurant that will offer a fine dining experience at dinner and character meal for breakfast.

We anticipate the latter being one of the hot ticket ADRs going forward, as we cover in our Character Dining Reservations Open for Topolino’s Terrace at Disney World.

We’d encourage you to read that if you’re considering character dining for your next Walt Disney World trip. If your vacation isn’t until later in 2020, we’ll help you decide whether Topolino’s Terrace is worth it with a review shortly after the restaurant opens.

In terms of the latest construction progress, we’re getting to the point where there isn’t much to see from our normal vantages at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.

All of the scaffolding is now down, and the exterior looks pretty close to finished. Most of the work that remains to be done outside the resort is around the pools and waterfront promenade.

The S’il Vous Play interactive water play area is one such work in progress that’s coming along nicely. This is said to draw inspiration from the grand public fountains throughout Europe, and will feature characters from Fantasia.

Inspired by the “Dance of the Hours” in Fantasia, S’il Vous Play celebrates music, art, dance, etc. with a fountain that features whimsical animals as they frolic and play in the water. You’ll find an elephant filling a dump bucket with his trunk while hippos and ostriches dance and play alongside hippos splashing water into bowls and basins.

As we covered in our recent Disney Skyliner Gondola Update: Construction Ends, Previews Begin! post, the Riviera’s Skyliner station is now finished.

In fact, it has been operational during the ongoing Skyliner previews, offering a small preview of the new DVC resort.

Another recent update is the installation of Disney’s Riviera Resort double “RR” monogram sign. This RR sign is located above the resort’s eighth story tower which will be home to Walt Disney World’s newest accommodation type, the Tower Studios.

We actually happened to be driving by one morning while it was being installed and illuminated–I scrambled for my camera and managed to snag one decent shot.

If you’re staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort in the next few months, the good news is that the construction impact is now pretty much non-existent. Exterior work continues at the Riviera, but it’s smaller scale stuff and both the noise and visual blight from construction are gone. (Plus, the Skyliner is no longer being built!)

That’s pretty much it for this update from Disney’s Riviera Resort. Since there’s no longer any real visual construction progress, this likely concludes our reports on this project. It’s been a fun couple of years watching and documenting the hotel’s construction! Even if we feel the ambition-level here is a bit lacking, we’re still looking forward to staying here and bring you full reviews and info about the newest Walt Disney World and DVC resort, so stay tuned for that come December 2019!

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. 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 what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!

Your Thoughts

Have you already purchased points at Disney’s Riviera Resort? Excited to dine at Topolino’s Terrace? What do you think of the design, both inside and outside? Any particular details or thematic elements you love or hate? Will you be buying at Disney’s Riviera Resort, or sitting this one out? Any questions about Disney’s Riviera Resort? Hearing from you is half the fun, so please share your thoughts in the comments below!

4 Responses to “Disney’s Riviera Resort Update: Fall 2019”
  1. Mary Kendall September 25, 2019
  2. HCinKC September 25, 2019
  3. Rory Osborne September 25, 2019
    • Tom Bricker September 25, 2019

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