News Disney Riviera Resort announced

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
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Kind of reminds me of staying at the Wynn in Vegas w/out the Casino.

This sums up the whole problem for me (and a lot of other people).

It's not that the Riviera isn't a nice hotel. It's that it's a generic one that could exist in any number of places. One of the major reasons I stay at a Disney property is for interesting theming; otherwise I can stay at one of the partner hotels for much less. There's just no draw to the Riviera for me -- if they offered me a free room at any hotel at WDW, it wouldn't even make my top 10.
 

GimpYancIent

Well-Known Member
This sums up the whole problem for me (and a lot of other people).

It's not that the Riviera isn't a nice hotel. It's that it's a generic one that could exist in any number of places. One of the major reasons I stay at a Disney property is for interesting theming; otherwise I can stay at one of the partner hotels for much less. There's just no draw to the Riviera for me -- if they offered me a free room at any hotel at WDW, it wouldn't even make my top 10.
Aside from the less than exiting esthetics I do not recall any conclusion to the stories about murphy beds dropping on guests at the RR. I am sure such an experience would not feel good for the guests nor would the legal department be happy.
 

Magic Feather

Premium Member
There’s a lot to unpack and respond to here, haha. I even transferred my laptop for this.
How so? What were they trying to achieve in that area? In what ways did they fail?
A lot of modern, luxury hotels rely on upscale materials and minimalist design in order to convey their sense of value. This is usually met with a crazy roster of activities and top notch service to meet it. And, while these resorts usually are minimalist, they still have some sense of architectural balance and a sense of place. Now that we have our expectations, let's go down the line to see how Riviera would not meet buyer's standards.
1) Upscale Materials- Riviera looks relatively cheap inside and out, with the most "upscale" areas being the lobby tile and Voyager's Lounge
2) Minimalist Design- THis one Riviera kind of gets, but its minimalist design fails on architectural balance which we'll get too in a second.
3) Crazy Roster of Activities- I'll give Riviera credit for pretty much nailing their dining slate, but their pools leave a bit to be desired (even by guests).
4) Top Notch Service- As great as Disney's service is compared to most of the world, Riviera is no Four Seasons
5)Arch. Balance and Sense of Space- This is where Riviera fails the most. For starters, this building attempts to mimick the architecture of the French Riviera, but instead of following that theory of architecture (like how the GF follows the style format of Victorian architecture) is instead maps closer to Sullivan’s Skyscraper theory (like GF’s DVC) in which the ornamentation is almost entirely limited to the top and bottom floors, while the middle is full of constant, simple, repeated ornamentation. By following this style, Riviera has a disproportionate roof compared to its supposed inspiration, and loads of blank areas that lack texture. While most guests may not articulate it like that, there is feedback that indicates many guests find the exterior to be bland. As for sense of space, they awkwardly plopped this down on the banks of Caribbean Beach, which is a stylistically very different resort. Riviera guests have complained about seeing CBR and CBR guests have complained about seeing Riviera, largely because they are incredible close and they clash. There is a reason why Poly and GF have a bunch of transition room, and why places without transition room (Art/Pop and Yacht/Beach/Boardwalk) all make a conscious effort to blend with similar influence. The only “theme” these two resorts have in common is the water, and even the shorelines/way they connect to the water are different.

I covered what they tried...

“Failing” is determined by sales and demand for bookings...which all correlate to per guest spending.

But also...riviera is a template. They really don’t want to build stand-alones...instead slapping them on old services...so if it hits well, look out port orleans etc.

Remember there Iger decided it’s “only about location” as the new way...
It doesn’t what the substance is...it’s only about how fast you can get to the park to buy early morning and after hours “Magic”
Your right about location being a priority, which is why Port Orleans is super safe. And the non-DVC side of Disney absolutely wants DVC building stuff from the ground up so non-DVC resorts can piggy back off of it. Think about DVC paying a disproportionate amount of the Reflections or Skyliner bills when both were mixed use.
What's the data that supports that sales were weak pre-covid? The data I've seen on dvcnews is that sales were really strong pre-covid. The resort opened in December and in its first full month open in January 2020 they sold +180,000 Riviera points, only the fifth time in ten years a resort sold +180k in a single month. Riviera had it's second best month in February, then covid in March.
Admittedly, I was going off of late 2019 numbers, so if it had a spike in early 2020 then good for it (shrugs). A lot of the complaints I brought up earlier were a reason for poorer sales. Funnily enough, the Skyliner is what has been proppig up interest in the resort. Guest satisfaction for it has been crazy high.
The impression that I get is that the new build DVC's may go dormant for a while. I suspect pre-COVID plans were Reflections to be followed by the Poly tower.
I know @pheneix popularized the notion that the Poly tower was next on the agenda before Poly's refurb was scaled back, but I have confirmed with two unrelated people that Poly tower was not even close to next. In fact, it was an older proposal, that none of us had heard of since 2015 that didn't appear to be up for recycling any time soon.

Next on the agenda (for refurb definitely and I think DVC, but I'm less sure on that one) was Grand Flo 2: Electric Boogaloo, but because the NBA already has the Grand Flo staffed, they plan to leave it open (Disney doesn't want to reclose resorts, as I've already brought up, or else Yacht would not have reopened and Coronado wouldn't reopen). So, if they wanted to leave a deluxe closed, their options were down to non-DVC Beach Club, Non-DVC Wilderness, and Non-DVC Poly, all of which were pushed indefinitely. So, since Wilderness just wrapped a light refurb of its non-DVC wing (or maybe it's already in progress?), and so did Beach Club, only Poly was left to receive a refurb while staying closed. Personally, I don't think we would have seen this Poly refurb until post-50th if COVID hadn't happened.
This sums up the whole problem for me (and a lot of other people).

It's not that the Riviera isn't a nice hotel. It's that it's a generic one that could exist in any number of places. One of the major reasons I stay at a Disney property is for interesting theming; otherwise I can stay at one of the partner hotels for much less. There's just no draw to the Riviera for me -- if they offered me a free room at any hotel at WDW, it wouldn't even make my top 10.
Eh... that's generous to Riviera imo. I’d compare it’s style of theming you something more out of Pigeon Forge or Branson than Vegas (at least there they lean into the skyscraper aspect).
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Eh... that's generous to Riviera imo. I’d compare it’s style of theming you something more out of Pigeon Forge or Branson than Vegas (at least there they lean into the skyscraper aspect).

Oh, completely agreed. I don't think it's as nice as high-end Vegas hotels. My point was really just about the generic nature in general. You could put it in any number of cities and it would work fine with minimal changes -- a version of it could be dropped into Midtown Atlanta and I don't think anyone would even notice.
 
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MisterPenguin

Rumormonger
Premium Member
Pretty sure any future DVC resorts will be leaning towards this model vs. the OKW/SSR buildings style.

I expect a lot more towers. WDW is running out of land that they can *easily* use for new resorts. If WDW wants more sprawl, they will have to pay big bucks to buy up preservation offsets and then refurbish swampland before they even begin building.

With Riviera and Coronado, we just saw sprawled out rooms (and ancillary buildings) demolished in order to build towers. Don't see that stopping.

Just like when any small town starts to become a big city... you start building up.
 

Magic Feather

Premium Member
I expect a lot more towers. WDW is running out of land that they can *easily* use for new resorts. If WDW wants more sprawl, they will have to pay big bucks to buy up preservation offsets and then refurbish swampland before they even begin building.

With Riviera and Coronado, we just saw sprawled out rooms (and ancillary buildings) demolished in order to build towers. Don't see that stopping.

Just like when any small town starts to become a big city... you start building up.
Definitely, but height wise, I think Destino will remain the exception, and not the rule.
 

MisterPenguin

Rumormonger
Premium Member
The Riviera is Disney World’s biggest failure and eyesore of a hotel. Like California Adventure, Studios Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland, it will be a touchstone of when Disney stopped being Disney and did it on the cheap.
Ahem, Swan & Dolphin! Hello!

This is the first I've ever heard of Swolphin being "cheap".

Got a source for that?
 

DVCakaCarlF

Well-Known Member
There’s a lot to unpack and respond to here, haha. I even transferred my laptop for this.

A lot of modern, luxury hotels rely on upscale materials and minimalist design in order to convey their sense of value. This is usually met with a crazy roster of activities and top notch service to meet it. And, while these resorts usually are minimalist, they still have some sense of architectural balance and a sense of place. Now that we have our expectations, let's go down the line to see how Riviera would not meet buyer's standards.
1) Upscale Materials- Riviera looks relatively cheap inside and out, with the most "upscale" areas being the lobby tile and Voyager's Lounge
2) Minimalist Design- THis one Riviera kind of gets, but its minimalist design fails on architectural balance which we'll get too in a second.
3) Crazy Roster of Activities- I'll give Riviera credit for pretty much nailing their dining slate, but their pools leave a bit to be desired (even by guests).
4) Top Notch Service- As great as Disney's service is compared to most of the world, Riviera is no Four Seasons
5)Arch. Balance and Sense of Space- This is where Riviera fails the most. For starters, this building attempts to mimick the architecture of the French Riviera, but instead of following that theory of architecture (like how the GF follows the style format of Victorian architecture) is instead maps closer to Sullivan’s Skyscraper theory (like GF’s DVC) in which the ornamentation is almost entirely limited to the top and bottom floors, while the middle is full of constant, simple, repeated ornamentation. By following this style, Riviera has a disproportionate roof compared to its supposed inspiration, and loads of blank areas that lack texture. While most guests may not articulate it like that, there is feedback that indicates many guests find the exterior to be bland. As for sense of space, they awkwardly plopped this down on the banks of Caribbean Beach, which is a stylistically very different resort. Riviera guests have complained about seeing CBR and CBR guests have complained about seeing Riviera, largely because they are incredible close and they clash. There is a reason why Poly and GF have a bunch of transition room, and why places without transition room (Art/Pop and Yacht/Beach/Boardwalk) all make a conscious effort to blend with similar influence. The only “theme” these two resorts have in common is the water, and even the shorelines/way they connect to the water are different.


Your right about location being a priority, which is why Port Orleans is super safe. And the non-DVC side of Disney absolutely wants DVC building stuff from the ground up so non-DVC resorts can piggy back off of it. Think about DVC paying a disproportionate amount of the Reflections or Skyliner bills when both were mixed use.

Admittedly, I was going off of late 2019 numbers, so if it had a spike in early 2020 then good for it (shrugs). A lot of the complaints I brought up earlier were a reason for poorer sales. Funnily enough, the Skyliner is what has been proppig up interest in the resort. Guest satisfaction for it has been crazy high.

I know @pheneix popularized the notion that the Poly tower was next on the agenda before Poly's refurb was scaled back, but I have confirmed with two unrelated people that Poly tower was not even close to next. In fact, it was an older proposal, that none of us had heard of since 2015 that didn't appear to be up for recycling any time soon.

Next on the agenda (for refurb definitely and I think DVC, but I'm less sure on that one) was Grand Flo 2: Electric Boogaloo, but because the NBA already has the Grand Flo staffed, they plan to leave it open (Disney doesn't want to reclose resorts, as I've already brought up, or else Yacht would not have reopened and Coronado wouldn't reopen). So, if they wanted to leave a deluxe closed, their options were down to non-DVC Beach Club, Non-DVC Wilderness, and Non-DVC Poly, all of which were pushed indefinitely. So, since Wilderness just wrapped a light refurb of its non-DVC wing (or maybe it's already in progress?), and so did Beach Club, only Poly was left to receive a refurb while staying closed. Personally, I don't think we would have seen this Poly refurb until post-50th if COVID hadn't happened.

Eh... that's generous to Riviera imo. I’d compare it’s style of theming you something more out of Pigeon Forge or Branson than Vegas (at least there they lean into the skyscraper aspect).
Great post and your ability to write complete sentences is appreciated.
 
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rowrbazzle

Well-Known Member
There’s a lot to unpack and respond to here, haha. I even transferred my laptop for this.

A lot of modern, luxury hotels rely on upscale materials and minimalist design in order to convey their sense of value. This is usually met with a crazy roster of activities and top notch service to meet it. And, while these resorts usually are minimalist, they still have some sense of architectural balance and a sense of place. Now that we have our expectations, let's go down the line to see how Riviera would not meet buyer's standards.
1) Upscale Materials- Riviera looks relatively cheap inside and out, with the most "upscale" areas being the lobby tile and Voyager's Lounge
2) Minimalist Design- THis one Riviera kind of gets, but its minimalist design fails on architectural balance which we'll get too in a second.
3) Crazy Roster of Activities- I'll give Riviera credit for pretty much nailing their dining slate, but their pools leave a bit to be desired (even by guests).
4) Top Notch Service- As great as Disney's service is compared to most of the world, Riviera is no Four Seasons
5)Arch. Balance and Sense of Space- This is where Riviera fails the most. For starters, this building attempts to mimick the architecture of the French Riviera, but instead of following that theory of architecture (like how the GF follows the style format of Victorian architecture) is instead maps closer to Sullivan’s Skyscraper theory (like GF’s DVC) in which the ornamentation is almost entirely limited to the top and bottom floors, while the middle is full of constant, simple, repeated ornamentation. By following this style, Riviera has a disproportionate roof compared to its supposed inspiration, and loads of blank areas that lack texture. While most guests may not articulate it like that, there is feedback that indicates many guests find the exterior to be bland. As for sense of space, they awkwardly plopped this down on the banks of Caribbean Beach, which is a stylistically very different resort. Riviera guests have complained about seeing CBR and CBR guests have complained about seeing Riviera, largely because they are incredible close and they clash. There is a reason why Poly and GF have a bunch of transition room, and why places without transition room (Art/Pop and Yacht/Beach/Boardwalk) all make a conscious effort to blend with similar influence. The only “theme” these two resorts have in common is the water, and even the shorelines/way they connect to the water are different.
Thank you for the detailed reply. I really appreciate the insight.
 

Heppenheimer

Well-Known Member
5)Arch. Balance and Sense of Space- This is where Riviera fails the most. For starters, this building attempts to mimick the architecture of the French Riviera, but instead of following that theory of architecture (like how the GF follows the style format of Victorian architecture) is instead maps closer to Sullivan’s Skyscraper theory
This was the most disappointing aspect of the resort to me. The French Riviera could have provided so many wonderful design examples for inspiration. Having been to the actual Riviera, almost nothing about Disney's hotel evokes that region's distinct architecture. It looks practically interchangeable with any business-class hotel elsewhere in Florida. Nothing against business-class hotels, but I don't go to Disney to stay in a Hyatt or Hilton.
 

Bocabear

Well-Known Member
Cheap, no. Eyesore, yes.
Actually it is original architect from a very famous architect and designer...A post modernist architectural fantasy, designed to be a little shocking and stand out from everything else around it...Yes, 30 years after their debut they may seem a bit dated in ways, but still amazing to see in their uniqueness and jaw dropping scale...
The style may not be your cup of tea, but every ground breaking architect's vision faced criticism... Parisians hated the modern Eiffel Tower, Frank Lloyd Wright's work was considered shocking when it was new... Michael Graves and Frank Gehry's architecture is unique and fascinating...and like a lot of things, may feel dated in the moment (now) but history will see them differently... And really, do you want another plain box tower with minimal decor further cheapening the groundbreaking architectural legacy of Walt Disney World?
 

Notes from Neverland

Well-Known Member
The Riviera seems to miss the mark across the board. We aren't DVC, but we have checked out regular pricing for guests. There isn't anything that draws us there outside of the Disney Skyliner access, which is a feature found at more affordable properties. There just isn't an allure to stay there for us compared to other resorts. When your arguably best feature isn't even a feature of the resort itself, there's some big problems.
 

britain

Well-Known Member
Actually it is original architect from a very famous architect and designer...A post modernist architectural fantasy, designed to be a little shocking and stand out from everything else around it...Yes, 30 years after their debut they may seem a bit dated in ways, but still amazing to see in their uniqueness and jaw dropping scale...
The style may not be your cup of tea, but every ground breaking architect's vision faced criticism... Parisians hated the modern Eiffel Tower, Frank Lloyd Wright's work was considered shocking when it was new... Michael Graves and Frank Gehry's architecture is unique and fascinating...and like a lot of things, may feel dated in the moment (now) but history will see them differently... And really, do you want another plain box tower with minimal decor further cheapening the groundbreaking architectural legacy of Walt Disney World?

Oh I know all about Michael Graves. And the Swan and Dolphin would’ve been fine anywhere that doesn’t intrude on the Epcot skyline.
 

Heppenheimer

Well-Known Member
Actually it is original architect from a very famous architect and designer...A post modernist architectural fantasy, designed to be a little shocking and stand out from everything else around it...Yes, 30 years after their debut they may seem a bit dated in ways, but still amazing to see in their uniqueness and jaw dropping scale...
The style may not be your cup of tea, but every ground breaking architect's vision faced criticism... Parisians hated the modern Eiffel Tower, Frank Lloyd Wright's work was considered shocking when it was new... Michael Graves and Frank Gehry's architecture is unique and fascinating...and like a lot of things, may feel dated in the moment (now) but history will see them differently... And really, do you want another plain box tower with minimal decor further cheapening the groundbreaking architectural legacy of Walt Disney World?
On the other hand, some styles that were considered ground-breaking in their day are now despised, like Brutalism and some of Le Corbusier's ideas for urban planning (ie, nobody goes to Paris to see the suburbs beyond Le Perpherique).
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
On the other hand, some styles that were considered ground-breaking in their day are now despised, like Brutalism and some of Le Corbusier's ideas for urban planning (ie, nobody goes to Paris to see the suburbs beyond Le Perpherique).
Regards towards styles tends to be cyclical. Brutalism is starting to be a bit more appreciated. Modernist urban planning was generally just bad and will hopefully not be revived.
 
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