Disney’s Riviera Resort is now open! Following the fanfare of a grand opening dedication ceremony, the 15th Disney Vacation Club property and Walt Disney World’s newest resort, officially opened to immerse guests in the sights and sounds of the European Riviera. To set the scene, a vocalist and classical guitarist performed elegant songs heard throughout the region, while a gentle breeze and warm sunlight magically transported all who gathered on the resort’s formal lawn to the Mediterranean coastline.
Terri Schultz, senior vice president and general manager, Disney Vacation Club, and Thomas Mazloum, senior vice president of resorts at Walt Disney World®, opened the ceremony with welcome and dedication remarks.
“Blending the flavors and flair of the Italian and French Riviera with the creativity and imagination that only Disney can deliver, this new resort pays tribute to Walt and Lillian Disney’s amazing European travels while connecting Disney artistry and storytelling to this region’s renowned art heritage and inspiration,” said Schultz. “Not only will Disney’s Riviera Resort delight families with its gorgeous architectural details and wide range of accommodations, but members and guests will simply fall in love with the sights, sounds and flavors of Europe around every corner.”
“Disney’s Riviera Resort adds a beautiful and inspiring addition to Walt Disney World,” said Mazloum. “We are always trying to evolve the guest and cast member experience at our parks and resorts. Riviera Resort does that by placing guests in the middle of the magic during their entire stay, inspiring them with old-world glamour and delighting them with timeless Disney charm.”
To everyone’s delight, special guests Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck joined the celebration onstage in their brand-new attire that they don in Topolino’s Terrace — Flavors of the Riviera, the resort’s rooftop restaurant. Mickey the painter, Minnie the poet, Donald the sculptor and Daisy the dancer shared their enthusiasm for the new resort and their study of the European Riviera’s different art forms. In addition, Minnie wrote and treated event guests to a special poem in honor of the resort’s dedication.
Guests had an opportunity to see some of the unique features of the resort, such as the two mosaic murals in the walkway tunnel leading to a Disney Skyliner station, the grand villas and Tower Studios, a unique accommodation at Disney’s Riviera Resort, and the S’il Vous Play water feature where families and young guests splash and play in a whimsical fountain amid beloved characters from Disney’s Fantasia.
Check out this video for your front row view of the grand opening celebration.
Dean has been writing and blogging for over 10 years. He specializes in Disney theme park news including updates, openings, special events and general advice for travelers. He doesn’t shy away from the good, the bad and the ugly. His previous work includes being a Cast Member at Disneyland and working as a travel agent.