Shortly after returning from Disney the first week of August we were really missing it! You can read about that trip HERE. While we were on that trip the farm got a much needed rain. A really good rain. The crops were looking good and we started gearing up for harvest, but everything was a few weeks shy of being completely done. So 10 days after being home we decided to go somewhere else!
With travel being super limited right now our options were obviously limited. We considered driving down to the beach, but a 9+ hour drive is never appealing to me so I wanted to check other options too. Since we are frequent fliers with Southwest our flights are free so my continental US options are limitless but a lot of states are requiring quarantines and then there’s the whole car rental 4 kids in car seat situation that’s a huge hassle. Disney is currently offering 40% off hotel rooms for Annual Passholders so with that huge hotel discount, free flights, Annual Passes we already have and free transportation to and from the airport going back to Disney was not only our easiest option but also our cheapest! So back to Disney we went for another week!
This trip we stayed at Disney’s Riviera Resort. We have stayed there before last winter when it first opened and we swore we would never do it again, but I should know by now to never say never. I chose this resort mainly for the pool and splash pad area and because it has one of the only character meals still operating on Disney property, Topolino’s Terrace.
I don’t exactly regret staying at the Riviera this time because it suited our needs with such little else available at Disney, but all the original complaints I had with it are still there and even exacerbated at this time so we for sure won’t be back! You can read about that trip HERE.
I knew for this trip we would be spending a lot of time at the pool and splash pad and the Riviera didn’t disappoint in that area. They have 2 large pools, one is quieter that we didn’t actually go to and the other is the larger family pool. This pool has a zero entry area that’s great for little toddlers. There’s also a large water slide that the kids loved! Even baby Belle went down the big slide by herself multiple times and LOVED it. Don’t worry, I was there to get her at the bottom and she was wearing a life jacket 😉 Like all Disney hotels there are plenty of life jackets available for kids of all sizes even down to small infant life jackets. The splash pad area is really the winner here though and we thoroughly enjoyed it! The large splash pad area is completely enclosed by a fence that kids can’t get in or out of with plenty of seating for adults whether you want to lounge in the sun or have lunch at a shaded table. There is one large tunnel slide for older toddlers, a small slide for babies, and lots of water spouts to play with. Theres a bar and a full quick service restaurant right next to the pool and both will bring your drinks or food out to the splash pad to you!
The only other reason we chose the Riviera again was for their signature restaurant Topolino’s Terrace. We had dinner here twice and breakfast 3 times. Their menu is pretty lacking and we were disappointed with the food. They no longer have the amazing sausage hash for breakfast so that leaves you the option of sour cream waffles with orange maple syrup which is an interesting combination or a quiche that is good but not an everyday breakfast item. The kids breakfast options are basic Mickey waffles with bacon and sausage which is always welcomed and it comes on a cute painted pallet plate. The best part about breakfast is the characters are still there! Every morning for breakfast you will dine with Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy. You can’t touch the characters but they dance around the dining room and stop for pictures and wave at each table. Dinner was by far the biggest disappointment. The first night for dinner Andrew and I both ordered the lamb which tasted just like slow cooker pot roast. Neither one of us at more than a couple bites. The next dinner we decided to try the filet Mignon because it’s hard to really mess up a filet but it was just alright. Definitely not bad but nothing to write home about. We ended up ditching all other dining reservations we had at Topolino’s and caught another dinner at Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom and that was way better!
The parks were significantly more crowded on this trip than they were the 2 weeks prior. It was still “low crowds” by pre-COVID standards, but it was definitely a lot busier. With Florida’s COVID numbers dropping and the parks having been open a month now I think more people are getting more comfortable with getting out. I did notice that the Saturday and Sunday we were there were downright crowded. The weekend was much like a typical November crowd day.
Because Belle was 2 on this trip she had to wear a mask for the first time. I was I totally concerned because she’s never worn one before but she had no problems with it! She never messed with it and had no complaints about wearing it.
With harvest right around the corner and Baby #5 due soon this is probably our last trip until December so until then we’ll be missing Disney!