Day 14 – Checking into the Riviera Resort

We were all very appreciative of a sleep in this morning. Even though I woke up around 7am, I was in quite a bit of fibro pain, so was so glad I didn’t have to rush out of bed. Instead I tried editing a vlog – though I kept falling asleep. I would then have trouble falling asleep if I laid down – though I must have at one point cause Kevin said I was snoring.

About 9.30am I eventually headed for my shower so I could get dressed and start packing. I woke everyone else up around 10am – trying to give them as much sleep and rest as possible. My legs were still very sore and with some fibro pain I knew I needed a most restful day so opted out of another park visit. There were only a few things I missed out on doing (that I’d wanted to). Kevin was also feeling pretty sore today, but Christy was eager for a final visit.

We packed up and left our room about 5mins past our check out time of 11am. So nice to have such a late check out time – though that seems to be the norm here in America. In Australia is it usually 10am check out, which is just too early for relaxing.

We took all our luggage out to the front of the hotel and Kevin went off to fetch the car. Christy headed off to the parks for a couple of hours. Once we had loaded everything in we set off for a nearby SuperTarget. We had a nice wonder around – and managed to find some Britta (filter) bottles for Kevin and Christy – I had bought mine from home. As always we marvelled at ALL the things available in the USA but unlike past trips we didn’t buy much – mainly consumable stocking stuffers and some groceries.

We also had a rest break at Starbucks where I got my usual Dragon Drink. While there we overhead someone ordered a Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade – so we got one of those to try. It was nice and would probably extra good if you hot, but I still prefer my Dragon drink.

We were almost finished our shopping when Christy texted to say she was heading for the gates (having ridden on Hagrids again). So that was pretty perfect timing indeed. We went through checkout and then headed back to the Pacific Resort to pick her up.

We arrived first but didn’t have to wait too long for her to appear, tired and sore but happy. Though it turns out the boats had just started running again. Typical that this would happen as we were leaving. We really missed having the boats as an option to get too and from the parks. Even though it’s only about a 10min walk, it still a saving on your feet :-).

Finally it was time to head to the Riviera Resort – which is one of our home DVC resorts. It was our first time ever seeing and staying here so we were very excited. And oh my – it is just stunning.

When we drove up some cast members came to welcome us home and take our luggage (ready for when our room was available). Sadly we didn’t have change for which to give them a tip – something we need to rectify. We then parked the car, getting one of the best spots possible and headed into the resort. We had checked in online so we just waiting to recieve a text with our room number, which is said to be available after 4pm.

And it is even more stunning than we thought. Firstly it smells amazing when you walk into the lobby. Of course, it looks extra good decorated for Christmas. It is so stylish, yet welcoming at the same time. There are beautiful flowers, fresh I think, and lovely comfy seating.

We were quick to spot the gift store and headed in there for a look. Excited to see many things when seen in vlogs, and of course, new things as well, and some things we want to buy. We also checked out the cafe and looked at cakes and desserts that look too good to eat. Around the corner from that is a “library” which looks like another quiet place to chill or hang out.

Honestly I don’t think photos will do justice to this place and the videos we’ve seen certainly didn’t. After a little explore, and lots of photo taking, we joined Christy who was sitting in the lobby. The lounges here were super comfy and it was really nice actually having the opportunity to hang out here and enjoy the atmosphere – usually it’s just straight to your room or off to a park. But this is the SLOW TRAVEL we are trying to embrace.

We hadn’t been here long before we had one of the magical Disney moment. I got SO EXCITED when I saw Donald entering the lobby, along with Pluto. He heard me exclaim “There’s Donald” and came over to see us first. He looked so good in his 50th Birthday celebration attire. It’s funny I think I get more excited about seeing the characters now than I did when I was younger, or maybe it’s just post pandemic. We got some photos and then waited for Pluto to come around. I told him how it was so nice to see him since we were missing our puppies and he gave me a big hug. He was so soft and cuddly. What a way to start the Disney portion of our holiday.

We sat for a bit longer then I realized it was approached 3pm and we should probably get some lunch. We decided on the Bar Riva and went outstairs and outside to the pool ( the bar is directly opposite). We got a great table and place our order with the waitress. Christy was even able to order a cheese toasty from the cafe next door (instead of having to order it there) as I assume they share a kitchen

Like the lobby, this was a lovely place to have relaxed and take in the atmosphere – which really does look like I imagine the Riviera does. Kevin ordered mushroom aranchini and I order the grilled veggie skewers with pita bread. We all absolutely loved our meals and ate every bite !!

And just as were finishing up at 3.30pm we got the text to say our room was ready. So Kevin paid the bill and we headed up to our room – which wasn’t too far away. Kevin did stop to get out some cash so we’d have something to tip people with.

Then the grand reveal of our room. Which is stunning. The furniture and attention to detail is just what you expect with Disney. We are thrilled to have a kitchen again (and laundry facilities) and Christy will have her own room to sleep in. Everything just seems so perfect.

Kevin wasn’t feeling the best today so had a lie down while I unpacked our suitcases and the groceries we had bought from Target. We didn’t have any cold groceries yet and would need to go get them.

Which we did about 5pm. The plan had been to go to Wholefoods, not realizing it would take almost 30mins at this time of day. Instead we opted to go to Publix in Celebration (we had been here once before but tried to avoid it since they sold live lobsters). Kevin is not all that comfortable driving in the dark since his eye surgery and Publix was only 10mins away.

Unfortunately he still wasn’t feeling good but we managed to get our groceries and were back in our room just after 6.30pm. While I sent Kevin off to have a bath I put the groceries away and then worked on yesterdays blog post (before I get too far behind and can’t remember what’s happened).

We ended up having dinner about 8pm. Kevin had some stuffed potatoes, Christy had mozzerella sticks and I had an Amy’s frozen meal – it was pasta and broccolli and rather yummy. We then all headed to bed, where I worked on blog posts till about 10pm. Thankfully I got yesterdays all finished and wiill hopefully have time in the morning to write up todays (which I did).