Just Back from 9 Days at Riviera - Random Musings

I just returned from a 9-day trip with DD (24) and DS (20). Here are a few observations, kudos and rants that came out of our trip:

Riveira Resort - We loved this resort - great location, super friendly staff, smaller crowd, upscale -it was everything we could have asked for.

Crowds - The crowds are back. Although Disney speaks to capacity limits, people are everywhere just like prior to Park Reservations. Saturday and Sundays were a little less busy due to move-in and move outs but the weekdays were crowded.

Genie + - Doesn’t work for us. The 1 ride per day per attraction means if you like to ride multiple times on headliners, you will wait in stand-by like everybody else. The only out is to do rope drop and try to ride as many rides as you can prior to the crowds building. By afternoon, most rides, especially at DHS has 60+ minute waits in stand by and there were days where no additional Genie + reservations were available. This rule is another attempt to spread us out over the park by having us ride less popular rides. My kids won’t go for it. IF you don’t want to wait in lines, you must buy Genie +. Having to wake up every day prior to 7 AM on vacation to buy it is just plain silly.
Individual Lightning Lanes - Yes I bought them each day for the headliner. Pricey for 3 but with most of these attractions, if you want to ride them without waiting 60-120 minutes, you need to buy the ILL.

BG1 - This app is the bomb! We used it almost exclusively for Genie +. It was spot on with the drops and helped us stay on task with 120+ minute bookings. This app worked like a charm.
Guardians of the Galaxy - All the hype is true. This is the best ride I’ve ever been on. We rode 5 times by using ILL and BG’s plus hopping back to Epcot during Extra Evening Hours.

Dining - We had great experiences:

Tiffins - Great meal - bread service is wonderful. We loved the braised pork but the shrimp and grits were great!
Space 220 - John, our server was great. We enjoyed the cocktails. There are not a lot of options for dairy/egg allergies. Deserts were great!

Topolinos - Probably the highlight dinner. We had the calimari appetizer. Great views of Epcot area.
Ohanna’s - We ate there our last night. Great tasty food. The noodles and bread pudding were as good as advertised. The food portions are huge. Don’t eat all day heading in!


This trip felt like more of a regular Disney World trip than 2002. Most of the attractions and restaurants are open, staffing is better. Cast members were wonderful. The food was great. Only drawback was Genie +. Most of the planning we did was spot on with no major issues.


Thanks for the report. Did you take advantage of Extended Evening Hours?

Yes we did on 7/25 at Epcot. The crowds died down after the fireworks and we were able to get in GOTG, Test Track and Soaring before 11:00 PM. The other EEH date was 7/27 at MK. However, that was our resort day and we had ADR’s at Topolino’s. As luck would have it there was a huge deluge of a rain storm that night. We were so thankful we were not in the parks that night.