There are some pretty awesome bars in Disney World. But, pool bars? Well, they’re not usually anything all that special…except for the one at Disney’s Riviera Resort!
Located on the ground floor near the Riviera Pool (which is the more family-friendly pool at the hotel), you’ll find Bar Riva. Now, this may be the hotel’s “pool bar,” but it feels like a lot more than that!
For one, it’s more than just a grab-and-go bar — it’s like an actual outdoor restaurant! There’s lots of seating inside, and the theming will make you feel like you’re vacationing on the Mediterranean Riviera rather than Disney World.
We stopped in bright and early (because it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right!?), so there was lots of seating available. But, it does get more crowded around meal times and later in the day.
Unlike many other pool bars around Disney World, Bar Riva serves food — and a lot of it! You can order from the full menu at the hotel’s quick service restaurant, Primo Piatto, or you can opt for some appetizers that are exclusive to Bar Riva including salads, sandwiches, and more.
Now, don’t get us wrong…the food is amazing. But, the drinks? They’re the thing that is keeping us coming back for more!
Bar Riva has a full cocktail, wine, and beer menu with almost anything you could possibly want. However, we’d recommend skipping the Long Island Iced Tea and other cocktails that you can find at almost any other bar in Disney World because Bar Riva has a selection of drinks that you can’t get anywhere else!
Like the hotel, the cocktail menu features drinks that are inspired by Walt and Lillian’s travels to the European Riviera. And, because of that, you’ll find some classic Italian and French drinks at Bar Riva. Plus, many of the wines are imported from abroad giving it a more authentic feel (and taste)!
While we were here, we ordered the Aperol Spritz, which is made with Aperol, Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco, and Soda Water. What makes this cocktail noteworthy, is that the Prosecco is actually from Italy — Veneto, Italy to be exact! And, who doesn’t appreciate a drink that has been called the “Italian sunset in a glass?” It’s just pretty to look at…and drink!
The Aperol Spritz costs $15.50 and is a tasty take on the famous Italian cocktail. The main flavor that stands out in the drink is the prosecco, but you also get some fruity notes from the Aperol. So, if you want something unique that’s a bit closer to wine, this is the drink for you.
But, why get just one drink when you can get two? We also ordered the Il Tramonto from the menu based on the recommendation of a Cast Member and, oh wow were they right!
The Il Tramonto is a mix of Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Aperol, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Minute Maid Premium Lemonade, Turmeric, Pomegranate, and Orange. The syrup is house-made, so it’s got a fresh flavor to it and that really makes a difference! All the ingredients combine to make a drink that has warm, citrusy, and sweet flavors with a hint of bitterness from the Aperol.
If sweet drinks are your thing (or even if they’re not and you’re feeling adventurous), you’ve got to give this one a try! It costs $14.50.
So, don’t sleep on Bar Riva at Disney’s Riviera Resort! I’m kind of sad that it took me so long to get here myself! The atmosphere is unmatched and the drinks are pretty impressive too. Of course, it’s going to be most convenient to stop by for a drink if you’re staying at the hotel, but it’s also easy to get to if you’re visiting EPCOT or Disney’s Hollywood Studios — just hop on the Disney Skyliner!
And, if you’re looking for more unique Disney bars and lounges to explore, check out our complete guide to the ULTIMATE Disney monorail bar crawl here! Plus, stay tuned to The VacationEAR for more of the latest Disney hotel news, updates, and reviews!