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Chad, Joe, Caleb, and Amy wrap up their discussion on Disney's Riviera Resort review series. If you're considering buying into Riviera, this is the episode series you're looking for. In the second half, our experienced members and owners discuss the laundry facility, Skyliner, Member Update tour, and Cast Member compliments. This is the final episode of the Riviera Resort Review.
Meet Our Riveria Review Panel
- Amy Urquhart – Owner at DRR
- Joe Wolfers – Owner at DRR
- Caleb Allison – Owner at CCV and DRR
- Chad Pennycuff – Host
Laundry Facilities at Disney's Riviera Resort
- The laundry room features three washers, six dryers, rolling laundry carts, and a seating area with a large television. A website is available for guests to check on the time their machine has left or to keep an eye for when machines open up.
- During Joe's visit, supplies such as laundry detergent and fabric softener were free of charge, which may be due to the recent policy change that removes charges on consumable items and linens for DVC members.
- Chad worries that the laundry facility may not have enough machines, as 210 studios at the resort will be competing for their use. Caleb agrees, stating that a lot of DVC members plan to do laundry on their vacations, so this may cause an issue.
- The laundry facility is close to the stairwell on the east side of the fourth floor. Due to the resort's design, it may be difficult for guests on the west side to access the facility.
- All the panel members liked that each room had a collapsible laundry basket. It was easy to store, as it didn't take up much space, and it made transporting clothes to the laundry facility much more manageable.
Transportation at Disney's Riviera Resort
- Chad has crowned the Disney Skyliner the King of Disney Transportation! He admits he was skeptical about it until he saw it being tested over the summer. He imagined families enjoying the views from inside one of the cabins and found himself enjoying watching it from the ground. Just like the monorail, this mode of transportation is as magical to watch as it is to ride.
- Like many Beach Club Villas owners, both Chad and Joe initially thought the Skyliner would ruin the normally tranquil “neighborhood” of Disney's BoardWalk. Chad, Joe, and Amy agree that the Skyliner has created a new, vibrant neighborhood with access to a lot of amazing places at Walt Disney World.
- Joe likes that the Skyliner brings a kinetic energy to Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway of Epcot. Now that the security and Guest Services areas of that entrance have been restructured, the gateway isn't as quiet as it once was, but it isn't chaotic either.
- Caleb says the Skyliner has changed the resorts that he wants to stay at in the future. He recently booked a stay at Pop Century and was offered an upgrade to Coronado Springs. He turned it down, as the Skyliner makes Pop Century so accessible!
- The panel likes that the Skyliner allows easy access for ECVs and strollers so that families don't have to fold up these things to board. Caleb's family used the Skyliner as part of their route to Wilderness Lodge, just to avoid folding up the stroller!
- The Skyliner's increased capacity puts it far ahead of the monorail, making it a more efficient mode of transportation.
- Caleb liked that the bus stop was downhill, making it easy to move the stroller. He and Chad noticed the monitors at the bus stop and the schedule on My Disney Experience did not list times for any of the buses.
- Joe did not see any signage at the Skyliner station to direct guests to the correct line, and Chad said Disney had addressed since opening day. The signage is still rather small, but Cast Members are available to help guests.
Member Update Tour at Disney's Riviera Resort
- The Member Update Tour is hosted in one of the resort's Grand Villas. Members receive a tour of this accommodation, as well as the Tower Studios. Upon completion of the tour, members receive a gift bag (soda, chips, resort-themed Rice Krispie Treat, and Riviera Resort pin) and three multi-use FastPasses.
- Amy reserved a spot for her family before her vacation, and they attended the tour on a Friday morning. She thought the Grand Villa was beautiful, and her family used the FastPasses to experience a few thrill rides together.
- Caleb went on the tour the day before his family checked out of Riviera. His tour took place in the later afternoon, so he did not receive his FastPasses until approximately 6:30 pm.
- Chad did the tour on his check-in day. He liked the Grand Villa, but found the Tower Studio to be a “closet.” Amy said it would be perfectly cozy for a couple, but Chad said he and his wife would only be able to do two nights in one of these rooms before feeling claustrophobic. He notes, however, that all the Tower Studios have a great view of Epcot's fireworks.
- Joe was unable to do the tour on his trip but plans to book it on his next vacation. He saw film crews for Disney Parks Blog and different media outlets touring model rooms off the lobby.
Cast Member Compliments
- Kevin – Lifeguard at Rivera Pool. He chatted with Amy's family while they waited for their room to be ready and directed them towards it once their room number was assigned.
- Joffrey – Greeter. His was the first friendly face that her family saw, and he directed them to check-in.
- Matt – Front Desk & Guest Services.
- Cast Members at Topolino's Terrace (Breakfast)
- Tamara – Server at Topolino's Terrace. She is one of the Cast Members that just exudes pixie dust! She was genuinely enthusiastic and very helpful.
- Antonio – Front Desk. Chad had a long conversation with him and found him to be very informative. A great hire!
- John – Bell Services. Helped Chad get his bags and Owner's Locker up to his room. As a film student, he also offered several helpful tips to make Chad's YouTube video of the room look great!
- Becca – Recreation Staff. She described all of the activities the resort had to offer and took Chad on a little tour of the Eventi Room, the resort's multi-purpose event space.
- Antonio – Front Desk. Caleb had an issue paying for his room charges with a gift card, and Antonio took care of it quickly.
- Kevin – Server at Topolino's Terrace. He was very knowledgable of the menu and had great service instincts.
- Esteban – Server at Topolino's Terrace. He was a top-notch Cast Member, and there were no snags, despite it being opening night.
- Joe encourages everyone to slow down and appreciate the artwork throughout the resort! He also recommends booking a Preferred View Room if guests want a walkout patio on the ground level, as Standard View Rooms do not offer this feature.
- Caleb likes that the transportation modes let guests off near beautiful water features. It reminds him of the hotels he visited in Europe, and he feels they do a great job of “transporting” guests to the Riviera.
- Amy recommends trying to time a ride on the Skyliner with the Epcot fireworks. She says it's a very special experience!
Making Disney's Riviera Resort Home
- Amy's family is looking forward to returning to the resort! She encourages everyone to try a stay here and to do as many of the activities as possible.
- Joe initially found the resale restrictions questionable, but ultimately found the Riviera to be a good compromise for adding on points. His parents are original owners at Bech Club, but they didn't want to add more points on with the 2042 expiration date. Riviera allowed them to add more points at an Epcot area resort!
- Caleb is very happy with purchasing Riviera points. He is considering adding more points on via resale, but says he is waiting until “the new wears off.”
- Chad's family enjoyed their stay, and they look forward to staying at the Riviera again. However, Chad has a short-term owner perspective. The resale restrictions make him wary of purchasing a DRR contract until we see how the resale market responds to the new restrictions.
Today's episode was produced, edited and engineered by Chad Pennycuff. Show notes by Samantha Kurtz-Seif. Facebook admins and moderators of the My DVC Points Community Group: Valerie Fairnington, Donna Bickert, Tamara Speidel, Caleb Allison, and Mary Anne Tracy.
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