Disney's Riviera Resort in Orlando, Florida has great activities on the main lawn like bocce ball

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Disney’s European-themed Riviera Resort may be Disney’s newest hotel.  But it has quickly become one of my family’s favorites.  We absolutely love staying here, and we figure you probably will, too.

But before you do stay here, you’ll want to read these tips.  Not only can these tips make your trip even better, but more importantly, they can save you a lot of money.

1. Book Your Stay Using DVC Points

Now, Disney’s Riviera Resort is a DVC, or Disney Vacation Club, resort.  But that doesn’t mean you have to be a Disney Vacation Club member before you stay there (which is good, since joining costs at least around $30,000).

You can book a room through Disney’s website, but we do not recommend doing that.  You will save so much money by booking your stay through David’s Vacation Club Villa Rentals.  See, Disney’s Vacation Club is essentially a timeshare where members get points each year they can use on stays.  If members cannot for whatever reason use all their points during a year, they can sell them back to David’s Vacation Club Villa Rentals and then you can book a stay using these points.

You save so much money.  I use this method all the time to book stays at Disney World.  I just got back from a stay at Riviera where I paid less than what I would have paid for a moderate Disney hotel.  So if you want to stay at Disney’s Riviera Resort, this is the best way to do it if you want to make the stay as affordable as possible.

We go into more detail on how to book one of these stays here.

2. Use the Skyliner

Disney's Riviera Resort has a Disney Skyliner Station making it a very convenient location

Like all Disney resort hotels, guests have access to busses to get you to all the theme parks.  But one thing the Riviera Resort offers guests that you don’t get at every Disney hotel is access to the Disney Skyliner System.  The Disney Skyliner is a great form of transportation to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

A review of Disney World's Skyliner Opening Day. What my family liked & didn't like

You can learn more about the Skyliner system here if you are unfamiliar with it.  Disney’s Riviera Resort has its own Skyliner Station that is very convenient for guests to use.  If you are visiting Epcot or Hollywood Studios, we highly recommend it.

Especially if you are using the World Showcase in Epcot, because it will take you to a special entrance to Epcot outside the World Showcase.  Additionally, the Skyliner to Epcot is direct from the Riviera Resort.

If you visit Hollywood Studios, then you will need to take a Skyliner first to the Caribbean Resort and then on to Hollywood Studios.

Now, let me give you a tip about that from my own experience.  When I was staying here, the Skyliner system went down after our Skyliner got from Hollywood Studios to the Caribbean Resort.  But the Caribbean is so close to the Riviera you can then walk from the Caribbean to the Riviera Resort.  This is what the cast member told us to do.

But if you don’t want to walk all that way, you can take an internal bus to the Aruba section of the Caribbean.  Aruba is the section of the Caribbean that is closest to the Rivera, so then it won’t be a very long walk to the Riviera.

3. Eat Onsite at their Restaurants

I loved the delicious chicken sandwich and fries which you can get at the laid-back Bar Riva a poolside bar & restaurant at the Walt Disney World Resort's newest hotel, the Riviera Resort

A picture of the Filet Mignon at Topolino's Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida

Primo Piatto at Disney World's Riviera Resort has great Italian and French cuisine like this Croque Monsieur sandwich

Fireworks view at Topolino's Terrace restaurant at top of Riviera Resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida

A great feature of Disney’s Riviera Resort is their wonderful onsite restaurants.  I think it is one of (if not the) best in terms of dining variety.  But I will admit I may be biased as I like a lot of Mediterranean cuisine.  At any rate, I think they have a wonderful mix of quick service dining (but one with more unique cuisine than at a standard food court), fine dining, and even a character breakfast.

You can read more about the Riviera Resort’s dining options here.

4. Get a Refillable Mug

Disney has a great refillable mug system if you are staying onsite at one of their hotels.    They have great designs and make wonderful souvenirs.

But more importantly, you can refill the mug for free during your whole vacation stay.  Given how expensive drinks are at Disney World, this really does save you money over time.

Also, if you are like me and love Coke, consider refilling outside of Bar Riva rather than at Primo Piatto.

A picture of a refillable mug station at Bar Riva at the Riviera Resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL

Primo Piatto has a freestyle machine and I feel like regular Coke in the Freestyle machine is not as good.  If you want something other than standard drinks, such as wanting a Vanilla Coke or Cherry Coke, though, then you’ll want to use the freestyle machine in Primo Piatto.

5. Swim in The Riviera’s Pools

Disney’s Riviera Resort has a really neat pool.  The Riviera Pool is a great pool where you can swim while enjoying great water views and views of the Skyliner.

The main pool at Disney's Riviera Resort has a great slide for guests

I love how the pool at Riviera Resort at Disney World has great Skyliner views while you swim and relax

A picture of the queit pool at night at Disney's Riviera Resort in Orlando, Florida

It has a great slide, too.

A picture of the pool's slide at Disney's Riviera Resort in Orlando, Florida

And it has a wonderful play area for children.  The area, called S’il Vous Play, was inspired by Europe’s grand public fountains.  And of course it has that Disney touch with Fantasia’s dancing hippos (which was always one of my favorite parts of Fantasia when I was a kid, I must add).

Enter Disney Vacation Club - Luca’s Riviera Summer Sweepstakes for a free trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida

But that’s not the only pool.  They also have another pool if you’d like a quieter pool.  So consider cooling off during your vacation by taking a dip in the pool.

A picture of a pool at Disney's Riviera Resort in Orlando, FL

A picture of a relaxing pool at Disney's Riviera Resort in Orlando, FL

6. Enjoy the Riviera’s Other Recreational Activities

The pool isn’t the only fun thing to do at the Riviera.  For example, you can enjoy Bocce Ball on the main lawn.

Disney's Riviera Resort in Orlando, Florida has great activities on the main lawn like bocce ball

There are also fun recreational activities each day.  There’s a movie under the stars at night.  There are fun activities like painting classes.

Enjoy Painting on the Riviera when you stay at Disney's Riviera Resort in Orlando, Florida

Guests get complimentary marshmallows for roasting at the nightly Cote d’Azur Campfire.  There are poolside activities and trivia.  Every month has a different schedule for fun activities that you can check when you visit the hotel.

A list of the recreation experiences available at Disney's Riviera Resort in Orlando, Florida during January

Looking to work out during your vacation?  They’ve got a great fitness center.

A picture of the fitness center at Disney's Riviera Resort in Orlando, Florida

7. Check out the Hotel’s Mosaics

Sometimes when I am on a Walt Disney World trip I get so caught up in going to the parks and scheduling Lightning Lane times with Genie Plus and making advanced dining reservations, that I don’t stop and notice all the great things around me at the hotel.  One of those at Disney’s Riviera Resort is their walkway tunnel.  It features mosaic murals depicting scenes from popular Disney movies that were set in Europe.  They are two movies I really like in Tangled and Peter Pan.  And the mosaics are really beautiful.

See murals of popular Disney movies at the Riviera Resort at Walt Disney World

See murals of popular Disney movies at the Riviera Resort at Walt Disney World=Picture of the beautiful Tangled mural display outside of the Rivera Resort at Disney World

Disney World's newest hotel, the Riviera, has a great Tangled animated film mural

Peter Pan mural at Disney World's newest hotel, the Riviera

Walt Disney World Resort's newest hotel, the Riviera Resort, has a great Peter Pan mural

Peter Pan artwork on display outside Disney's Riviera Resort in Orlando, FL

So make sure you check it our during your stay!

8. Check out the Art

Another fun thing throughout the resort that you might miss if you’re in a hurry is the movie posters.  There are Disney movie posters up along the hallways.  That alone would be fun.  But they are in different languages, keeping up with the European theme!

Why my family loved Disney's Riviera Resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida

Disney & Pixar movie posters like the Incredibles are in different langauges at the lobby at Disney's Riviera Resort

A movie poster of Sleeping Beauty in French on display at Disney's Riviera Resort in Orlando, Florida

A movie poster of Ralph Breaks the Internet dubbed in Italian at Disney's Riviera Resort in Orlando, FL

It’s really neat to look at the different posters.  It can be a good way to brush up on those language courses you took in high school!

In addition to movie posters, there are great paintings of Disney characters throughout the resort.  Disney characters of course who were in European themed movies.

Rapunzel art at Disney's Riviera Resort in Orlando FL

Disney's European themed Riviera hotel has stylized princess pictures

And this great castle picture.

A picture of a castle in the hotel at Disney's Riviera Resort in Orlando, FL

I also like the pictures up of Walt Disney himself in Europe.

Disney's Riviera Resort in Orlando, Florida has pictures of Walt Disney in Europe

And pictures of the Riviera.

See beach pictures at Disney's new European Riviera themed hotel at Disney World

9. Consider a Tower Studio for up to 2 Adults

Now, a tower studio may be out of the question depending on who are you traveling with.  But if it’s just you or you and your partner or it is you, your partner and a baby, then consider staying at a Tower Studio.  This is an economical way to stay at the Rivieria Resort.  These are smaller rooms with one pull-down bed.  So you won’t have as much space.  But it can be the cheapest way to stay at a Disney deluxe resort with Skyliner access.  You can check out rates for a tower studio here.

10. Visit the Caribbean Resort

The Caribbean Islands might not be right next to the Riviera in real life, but at the Walt Disney World Resort, it’s just a short walk away.  If you like to run or like long walks, consider making a circle around the water.  The Caribbean Resort is really beautiful and makes a great backdrop for a run or walk.

A map of the Caribbean Resort at Disney World in Orlando, Florida

Disney World's Caribbean Resort has a nice trail around the water that makes for a nice walk

A picture of the Caribbean Beach Resort across the water at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida

Also, if you like Caribbean cuisine, you could try out their waterfront restaurant, Sebastian’s Bistro.

Sebastian's Bistro is a fine dining restaurant at the Walt Disney World Resort at Caribbean Beach hotel.

11. Buy Everyday Items Ahead of Time

When you budget for a Walt Disney World trip, you may be thinking of the bigger items.  The hotel room, the theme park tickets, and even the food.

But there are some smaller items that, while not nearly as expensive, can add up to making you come home from your trip even broker than you anticipated.

But here’s one way to avoid this.  A lot of these everyday items you can buy ahead of time.  This will save you a lot of money.  A lot of these items you can buy at the gift shops at the Riviera and at the Disney parks.  But (not surprisingly) Disney marks up the price a lot as you are basically having to pay for the convenience of buying it there.  So buying these items ahead of time online is a great economical decision.

We have a list of items you can save money on here.

12. Relax

And finally, this is a relaxing resort.  Make sure you take time to take in the relaxing environment and relax.  Disney World trips can be hectic, but taking time to relax at the resort’s beach area can help combat that.

Take time during your Disney World trip to relax on the beach at the Riviera Resort

All rooms at Riviera have a balcony.  So enjoy sitting out on the balcony and taking in the atmosphere.

A picture from a view from a balcony at a guest room at the RIviera Resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida

Even the balconies on the first floor are nice.

A picture of a first floor balcony at a guest room at Disney's Riviera Resort in Orlando, Florida

So make sure you take time out to fully enjoy this amazing, relaxing experience!