Riviera Resort Construction Update: January 2019
We head back to the Riviera Resort DVC development as we continue our January 2019 Walt Disney World construction updates for photos of the new Disney Vacation Club hotel being built on the shore of Barefoot Bay across from Caribbean Beach.
It’s been a few months since we last posted an update on progress at Disney’s Riviera Resort, and that’s because we haven’t seen a ton of progress on the resort during our visits to Caribbean Beach. In this case, I was already taking photos for tomorrow’s Caribbean Beach Resort update, so we were in the “neighborhood” even though a ton hasn’t changed.
One thing that has changed–or rather, will change–is how some DVC members will be able to use points at the Riviera. If you haven’t already, we’d strongly encourage you to read this week’s news of Major Restrictions Being Introduced for Disney Vacation Club, which will disproportionately impact Disney’s Riviera Resort. If you’re thinking about buying at Disney’s Riviera Resort, it’s imperative that you read that first.
That indirect news aside, few details have been unveiled about the actual resort. We have the basic info in our Disney’s Riviera Resort Coming to Walt Disney World post and more recently, Disney released a new piece of concept art (below) and provided this additional information:
“This proposed 15th Disney Vacation Club property, projected to open Fall 2019, is inspired by the European grandeur Walt Disney experienced in his travels along Europe’s Mediterranean coastline. Disney Vacation Club Members and other guests will have a great view of fireworks spectaculars and easy access to the Disney Skyliner, which will have a station at the resort.
In 1935, not long after Mickey Mouse was born, Walt took a break from the production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Walt & Lillian and Roy & Edna Disney took an extended grand tour of Europe that would have an impact on Disney storytelling for decades to come. With its castles and colorful, fairy-tale villages, Walt fell in love with Europe — the art, the architecture, the food, and, of course, the stories.”
About the only thing this tells us that we didn’t already know is that the Riviera will have at least one pool that is boring.
Earlier this week, Disney Vacation Club released the “video” below. We’re playing fast and loose with the term video here–it’s basically just one piece of concept art plus what might be the logo:
While both are towers, Riviera is a few stories shorter, wider, and more offset from existing development. Those distinctions might seem minor, but they make a world of difference when viewed in person. At least, they do to me–then again, perhaps I’m just a Caribbean Beach fan in denial about the changes.
The scale is definitely not the same between Caribbean Beach and the Riviera, but it’s not worlds apart, either.
I’m cautiously optimistic that when all is said and done, the Riviera won’t look like an out of place eyesore from Caribbean Beach’s shores…it’ll just look like the Grand Floridian when viewed from the Poly. Time will tell on that, though.
Here’s the view from the shore in Martinique.
This area of Caribbean Beach and Aruba are the most impacted by construction in terms of seeing and hearing the work, but it’s visible from just about everywhere. The one exception is Trinidad, and it’s just as construction-y over there due to Skyliner construction, so it’s a ‘pick your poison’ kind of scenario.
Here’s a look at the construction from more of a distance…and at night. In the middle of the frame is Fuentes del Morro Pool and Caribbean Cay, pretty much directly in line with Riviera Resort.
This really doesn’t offer much insight into construction, I just thought it was a cool view so I set up on the bridge for a longer exposure.
Now that the building is topped out, flourishes are being added to give the exterior some personality. The photo above was shot from a moving vehicle passing what used to be the entrance to Caribbean Beach Resort.
There are a couple of rotundas, and the mansard roofs are taking shape. You’ll note from the photo below that this is punctuated by dormer windows, some of which are round (left) and some of which are square (far right).
It’s really too bad Disney doesn’t plan on taking this a bit further. Going all-in on the French chateau look would be good move.
With a bit more weathering and a bit of baroque styling (think Epcot’s International Gateway buildings), they could’ve been onto something. Imagine this as Chateau d’Isigny Resort; it wouldn’t have cost much more to construct and would’ve appeased those who love themed design as well as those who just want a classy place to stay. If this were something that looked like a chateau in the Loire Valley, I’d certainly be more inclined to buy at Disney’s Riviera Resort.
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Have any thoughts about Disney’s Riviera Resort? Planning on buying points here or not? Does the new resale restriction make you less likely to buy at Riviera? If not, what’s your per point max cost for Riviera? Is this tower-style location with Skyliner access to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot attractive to you? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
Too large, too tall, will make everything even more crowded, one pool, are you kidding me with that huge monstrous motel. Nothing appealing about the look of this motel and I did look forward to it from first pictures. Just not in the right place next to the Caribbean. Looks totally out of place.
The bottom line is this, the Grand Floridian is the flagship of Disney Vacation Club properties and it is always going to be. It has the most upscale finishes on property and will never again be duplicated in quality. It’s location cannot be beat. Disney can put all the lipstick it wants on these new places it’s building but the fact is, the Grand is the flagship for a reason. Long live the Grand!
Why would GF be the flagship of DVC? Maybe of the regular resorts but not DVC.
Riviera has zero appeal to me. How can it compare to Wilderness Lodge or the Poly? There is an interesting article to be written on why Disney is de-theming all of their hotels. From the room refurbishments to the new Reflections Lodge theming is being removed. Some theories point to the Millennials (all they need is more USB chargers!) but I think there has to be more to it.
What would be interesting to know is the percentage of Disney Vacation Club by classic resort that is resold every year.
In time those 14 classic resorts will have a higher percentage of ownership who can’t book anywhere other than the home resort making demand at 12 months more difficult then it is. I own at bay lake and have to be up the day of or walk my reservation to get what i’d like sometimes.
That is another reason this it was a bad idea to put this restriction in place. It is a bad experience when you ha e to go to that extent 11 months in advance and now it will just get worse year over year.
Tom should correct me if I am mistaken, but my understanding is that resale of the original 14 DVC resorts (which includes Bay Lake) henceforth would still be able to book at any of the original 14 DVC properties, but not be able to book at Riviera Resort, or any resorts built after that. So if that is correct, from now on, any resale contracts of Bay Lake will still be able to book at any of the 14 current DVC properties. Only the new resorts will have the stipulation that resale contracts of the new resorts can only book at their home properties. So I don’t think your booking window will change much. After all, the original 14 resorts are the ones located on prime real estate locations.
These new resorts can be summed up in a few words.
Quantity over Quality !
So, progress continues. Sigh. Concept art still looks like Homewood Suites with a mansard roof. Imagineering is on life support.
All of these new tower buildings are really looking the same with just the token one or two elements swapped out to make it a different theme. It feels so watered down.
Remember that Brady Bunch movie where Mike kept showing the exact same design (which was their house) to different clients but every time just the sign changed? Once it was a gas station, once a dry cleaner. I can’t not think of that when I see these new designs.
Totally agree on the Chateau theme idea!!! Why haven’t they done one of those yet? Man #opportunitysquandered
If you were staying at Caribbean Beach in a few weeks, which section would you request?? Thanks!
I find Riviera to be poorly situated on what I believe is Buena Vista Drive. In that location it has the typical Disney one good side / one bad side when it comes to room views – the good side being shown in the illustration above of course, while the bad side looks out onto what is probably the biggest traffic artery in all of WDW (shown in your drive-by photo). The structure isn’t right on the road, but it’s too close for my tastes.
The bad side, however, will have views of Epcot’s fireworks show.