How Much It Costs to Stay At Riviera Resort, The Newest Disney Vacation Club Property

Disney’s Riviera Resort is the latest Disney Vacation Club property to grace the skyline of Disney World.  Situated close to Hollywood Studios and EPCOT, the resort will have a Mediterranenan theme.  Walt Disney carried back many ideas from trips to Europe decades ago, and memories of those voyages will be sprinkled throughout the decor of the property.  Additionally, guests will be able to dine on the rooftop of the property and enjoy views of the nighttime fireworks at both Hollywood Studios and EPCOT.

But, how much will it cost to stay a night there?  First, I probably need to explain how Disney Vacation Club (DVC) works.  DVC is Disney’s version of a timeshare.  It has some of the same trappings of a timeshare, in that you’re buying deeded property, so you’ll pay taxes and maintenance fees.  Generally speaking, you’ll receive an allotment of points when you buy into DVC.  That’s how our family’s ownership is structured at Bay Lake Towers at Contemporary Resort.  You can also buy a dedicated week, but I haven’t done a ton of research into those options.  The other principle difference between DVC and most other timeshares is that, even though Mickey is timeless, his timeshares are not.  You’ll get a maximum of 50 years of ownership, dating back to when the property was originally built

Riviera Resort Points Chart

Now, to Riviera Resort.  The entire property is a DVC property, which means a couple of things when it comes to availability. While Disney will ultimately sell the majority of the property to new owners, they haven’t sold any of the points yet.  I’m sure the property will be in high demand (and pricey).  But, until they sell out, Disney should be able to offer the spare inventory to people booking hotel rooms through their website.  In the past, Disney has also kept an allotment of points at each DVC resort. I expect that to continue, which means you should in theory be able to find rooms at Riviera Resort even if you don’t purchase DVC points.

I received an advance copy of the Riviera Resort points chart from someone with information about the rollout.  The numbers are….interesting.  Take a look.

Riviera Resort has a new studio room type that’s only meant to sleep 2.  It’s an interesting play for Disney and shows how Disney World is not just a destination for families.  From there, the property has all the standard units that other DVC properties offer, from a studio that sleeps up to 5 all the way to a 3-bedroom grand villa.

We don’t know how much Disney is going to sell the DVC points for at the property. But, we do know a bit about the market for renting DVC points.  I wrote about this for The Points Guy, outlining scenarios where it can make sense to rent DVC points for your Disney vacation.  I’ve rented out our DVC points a few times and have a good sense of the market.  The largest rental companies in the space charge roughly $17 per point to rent a DVC point. For the moment, all DVC points are generally created equally, though that may change.  That means you should be able to rent DVC points to use at Riviera for about $17 per point.

Room Pricing For DVC Rentals at Riviera Resort

Riviera Resort has pricing split up into 5 seasons.  Since I’m generally writing for family travel, we’ll focus on when families normally travel.  The “Magic Season” dates cover spring break, summer and a bit of time around Thanksgiving.  These are pricey, but not the truly insane Christmas or peak spring break times.  The number of points required varies based on weekday or weekend, so you can definitely save some money if you have a little bit of date flexibility.  A weekly stay in each of these room types, assuming a price of $17 to rent a DVC point, breaks down as follows:

  • 2-person Tower Studio (132 points): $2244
  • Deluxe Studio Standard View (160 points): $2720
  • One-Bedroom Standard View (321 points): $5,457
  • Two-Bedroom Standard View (410 points): $6,970
  • Three-Bedroom Grand Villa (1030 points): $17,510

Holy moly!  Those are some pretty expensive rooms.  For perspective, a 1 bedroom standard view at Bay Lake Towers would set you back $4,556 (268 points) for a similar week and $14,994 (882 points) for a Grand Villa.

As I was wrapping up the post, I noticed that Disney actually has some prices on the website for Riviera starting in December of this year if you want to book a room directly with them.  These are examples of a weeklong stay before Christmas, so not quite an apples to apples comparison.  I put a breakdown of the points “costs” below to compare:

Choice Season:

  • 2-person Tower Studio (90 points): $1,530
  • Deluxe Studio Standard View (118 points): $2,006
  • One-Bedroom Standard View (247 points): $4,199
  • Two-Bedroom Standard View (315 points): $5,355
  • Three-Bedroom Grand Villa (796 points): $13,532

As you can see, the price for points compares really favorably to the cash prices.  A Deluxe Studio would cost you $2,006 to rent points versus $5,782 plus tax if you booked directly through Disney.

The Final Two Pennies

It’s not a surprise that Riviera Resort is pricier than some more recently Disney Vacation Club resorts.  Construction costs are likely higher and Disney is more popular.  I still don’t know exactly how much DVC will sell points at Riviera Resort for.  Given the current market, it wouldn’t surprise me if points were $200 apiece.  That means if you wanted to enjoy a week at Disney each year (hanging out at the Riviera, of course) 321 points would set you back just over $60,000.  Let’s call it a range of $50,000-$65,000 to buy the right to use those points every year for 50 years.  You’ll also have maintenance fees, which I haven’t seen yet either.  All in all, though, if you believed it was highly likely that you would vacation at Disney every year, locking in a week’s worth of points during relatively high season for $1,000-$1,500 a year is a lot lower than what Disney would charge you.  Whether it’s worth tying up that kind of cash is a very different decision.  I can’t wait to check out Riviera Resort when it opens!

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2 Comments

  1. This is why I never did it despite going to Disney every year. Once you take into account the time value of money and the maintenance, you’re still spending about $5000 for a week in a hotel that isn’t even the main feature of the vacation. Maybe you spend a day or two as a “hotel day” but you’re going to Disney for the parks. And – this cost assumes that you actually use all of your points every year for 50 years. The “Disney” premium is way to high compared to what other resorts or vacations I could use that money for. Had I gotten in 20 years ago – I’d probably be pretty happy right now – but the cost for new entry is way too high.

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