It’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon and your phone rings. You look at the caller ID and see the call is from Kissimmee, Florida. If you’re like me, your heart flutters when you see that! I answer, and it is a guide from Disney Vacation Club trying to get me to buy points at Disney’s Riviera Resort. At first, I’m almost dismissive, but I listen to the current offer, and to my surprise, the current offer is good. I won’t go into that here because these change all the time, but I do want to explore some pros and cons about buying at Disney’s Riviera Resort.
Let’s get the negatives out of the way first. The most significant negative, in my opinion, would be the resale restrictions. If you buy points for Riviera from a non-direct source, you can only use those points at the Riviera. This restriction will have an immensely negative effect on the resale value of the Riviera. You should never buy into DVC with the idea of selling for a profit, but one of the great benefits of DVC up to this point has been the ease of recouping most of your initial investment if you needed to sell. Unless the resale restrictions are rolled back, this will (and I believe has) affect Riviera sales.
Another negative is how many points you need in order to stay there. The points per night at this resort rivals that of The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian. While this resort may indeed be the Grand Floridian of the Epcot Resort area, sight unseen, it has a lot to live up to. A quick look at the 2020 points chart shows a one week stay during Adventure Season costing you a cool 227 points for a Standard View One-Bedroom Villa. And it only goes up from there! Again, if this place lives up to the hype, this might prove to be appropriate, but I can’t in good conscience call 227 points per week a steal.
My next thought couldn’t easily be categorized into a positive or negative: location. While Disney’s Skyliner provides convenient transportation to both Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot, the decision to position the resort next to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is, at best, odd. Here you have what is being billed as the Grand Floridian of the Epcot Resort area right next to a Moderate Resort. In fact, some Preferred View rooms have you looking out upon Caribbean Beach Resort. But, again, you have that convenient access to two theme parks right there. Honestly, I’m torn on this one.
Now on to the positives! First, these rooms are big. The Riviera Resort rooms weigh in as some of the largest DVC rooms on property. The 5-person Deluxe Studio accommodation is second only to the Polynesian in size. Both the One and Two-Bedroom Villas are the largest on property. When you add in the fact that they are introducing the new 2-person Tower Studio (although limited in quantity), room size and variation is a big positive for this resort.
I, for one, am in love with the theming of this resort. Being inspired by Walt’s trips to Europe opens the door to so many possibilities for Disney. And boy did they run through that door! If you have viewed any of the tour videos on The DIS, you can see the excellent attention to detail the Disney Imagineers once again adhered to. Also, for me, mega bonus points for adding that ‘Disney’ touch when it comes to the artwork selection.
While the pools at DVC Resorts are always fantastic, this one has me dreaming of getting there as soon as possible. With the slide at the Riviera Pool and the kids splash and play area S’il Vous Play as well as the quieter Beau Soleil Pool, this resort will have plenty of pool time available for everyone. I love the fact that there are so many options for outdoor activities with the European inspired activity lawn that remind me of similar features at Bay Lake Tower.
The final positive for me is more of an intangible. Maybe it’s the marketing or just all the marble, but this resort has a feel that screams deluxe to me. All DVC resorts do in their own way, of course. The Riviera, however, makes me feel like after I get done at the pool, I will run over to the Monaco Grand Prix and drink champagne with the Queen (or something like that). I look at the pictures and videos, and I am just astounded by the beauty. Maybe you aren’t, and that’s ok, it’s all about preference.
These purchases are, of course, incredibly personal decisions. I hope this article at the least helps organize some thoughts for you if you are on the fence about purchasing at the Riviera. I know writing it has for me.