The Disney World is highly susceptible to hype, sometimes to a fault. Before visiting Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera (let’s keep it short and just refer to it as Topolino’s Terrace) I was worried that it, like many experiences, was overhyped by social media. Oh boy, was I wrong! Here is your guide to Topolino’s Terrace at Disney’s Riviera Resort and how to get a reservation to this highly sought-after spot.
What is Topolino’s Terrace? Topolino’s Terrace is the marquee table-service restaurant located at Disney’s Riviera Resort, the newest Walt Disney World Resort. The restaurant offers Character Dining at breakfast and a “Signature Dining” experience for dinner. Topolino’s Terrace is slightly more upscale than most other Walt Disney World dining options, but a dress code is only enforced for dinner–the breakfast Character Dining experience is decidedly more low-key. The resort theme and restaurant are heavily inspired by Italy and France–Topolino is the Italian name for Mickey Mouse, after all–and you will feel fully immersed the second you step into the hotel lobby.
Where is it? Topolino’s Terrace is located on the 10th floor of Disney’s Riviera Resort. Because Disney’s Riviera Resort is structured more like tower resort, and less like the long, spread out resorts typically found around Walt Disney World, the restaurant is easy to find: simply head left after entering the lobby until you find the elevators, and then take it straight to the 10th floor. The resort itself is located near EPCOT and adjacent to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. In fact, Disney’s Riviera Resort is basically connected to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and you can either walk to (or from) Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, or take the Disney Skyliner for a quick trip between the resorts. Speaking of the Disney Skyliner, Disney’s Riviera Resort has its own Disney Skyliner stop, which can be taken directly to EPCOT or can be used to travel to other resorts or Hollywood Studios (check out my guide to the Disney Skyliner to learn how to get around Walt Disney World like a pro).
The Food. As of this writing, breakfast is offered at a fixed cost of $45 per adult and $29 per child aged 3-9. Our server asked us to select one option from the entrée menu that would be our “main” course, and then select up to two other options from the same menu, which would come in smaller portions. (We were then told that we could order as much as we wanted from any of our selections, so we appreciated the flexibility.)
The meal started with breads, pastries, and strong coffee. My kids really enjoyed this part of the meal–and my wife and I sure enjoyed the coffee with the views!
I ordered the Wood-Fired Butchers Steak, which included Polenta, Pomodoraccio Tomatoes, Roasted Onions, Wild Mushroom Conserva, and Watercress. Now, I am usually just fine with some Mickey Waffles and bacon before heading into the parks for a day; but this was a game-changing meal. The delicious flavors (of the Riviera) made for an elevated meal.
The Character Dining Experience. This is where the experience really ascends above other character experiences at Walt Disney World. Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Daisy Duck, each in artsy outfits unique to Topolino’s Terrace, visit each table–more than once–and dance in sync to upbeat music.
I have tried most other Character Dining Experiences at Walt Disney World–in fact, before dining at Topolino’s Terrace, I was convinced that nothing would top my experience at Chef Mickey’s–but this was an entirely different level of interaction, detail, and fun. It also felt more tightly choregraphed than other Character Dining experiences, which resulted in a good flow between ordering food, dining, and periodically meeting the characters, which made dining with toddlers just a little easier.
How to Get a Reservation. Of course, this being one of the most popular restaurants at Walt Disney World, an advance dining reservation is highly recommended–and increasingly harder to come by. So, here is my guide to getting a reservation at Topolino’s Terrace:
- If you have an upcoming trip and you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort, you can book a trip up to 60 days in advance plus the length of your stay.
- If you have an upcoming trip and you are not staying at a Walt Disney World resort, you can make reservations up to 60 days in advance.
- Check for reservations often, either online or on your MyDisneyExperience app–some may pop up even after previously showing no availability.
- Check for availability a week before your trip, then the day before each day of your trip. (This applies to any restaurant, really.) This is when many people are canceling or missing their reservations.
- Try the Mobile Walk-Up Option. On the MyDisneyExperience app, look for the Mobile Walk-Up dining option when searching for a restaurant. If there is capacity you will be able to select this option, join the list, and wait to be called. Note you will need to be at or close to the restaurant to use this option. Also note that if the waitlist is at capacity, this option may not be available.
- Be flexible. Check for early or late dining options, or try to visit on weekdays, if possible.
- Wait it Out. Though advanced dining reservations are recommended, and heavily relied upon these days, they are not required to eat at restaurants. They are a great tool for managing your day and eating when you want–which is great for parents of toddlers like me. But, if you have the time and are feeling spontaneous, try going to the restaurant and putting your name on the list; you may face along wait, but you can likely still enjoy the food and experience, just like any other restaurant.
- Try the Lounge. Because the Character Dining tends to overshadow everything else, it is a little-known-fact that there is a lounge area adjacent to the restaurant that does not require a reservation. You can enjoy the food and libations without the fuss here, and though I have not tried it, I hear it is a great place to enjoy dinner and watch the EPCOT fireworks show. If you don’t have a reservation–and your kids don’t have super early bed times, or you don’t have kids in tow–try this option.
In sum, I was highly impressed by Topolino’s Terrace. The food, the décor, the fun, the characters, are all top notch, in the perfect setting. The view from the terrace is gorgeous, with EPCOT to one side, and the Disney Skyliner on the other, constantly moving across the horizon, providing tranquility and motion in a way that is quintessentially Walt Disney World.
Planning a Walt Disney World trip soon? Check out my book, The New Parents’ Guide to Walt Disney World for all of the tips you need to navigate Disney World in the post-pandemic era.
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