Disney’s Riviera Resort is the newest on property, with lots of amenities that guests are falling in love with. One of the stand-out highlights of the resort is it’s Signature dining restaurant: Topolino’s Terrace: Flavors of the Riviera. Here, you’ll find an upscale dining experience at dinner, and “Topolino” (little mouse, in Italian) himself along with some pals for a beautiful character breakfast option. Even in these strange times, Topolino’s Terrace is offering a “modified” character dining experience for guests’ enjoyment. It should be noted that we dined at Topolino’s Terrace in mid February, both for breakfast and dinner. Our dining party consisted of 2 adults and 1 active almost 5-yr old on both occasions. We enjoyed both of our meals at Topolino’s Terrace, and I’ll break down the elements of the restaurant so you can decide if it’s the right experience for your family. It should be noted that as of this writing, the current menu has been pared down and the character greeting experience has been modified due to Disney’s phased re-opening plans.
Topolino’s Terrace occupies the 10th floor rooftop at Disney’s Riviera Resort. It’s an obvious perk for guests staying at this European-inspired deluxe resort, but it’s also positioned right along the Disney Skyliner route, making it a viable option for guests visiting Epcot of Hollywood Studios. Another highlight of the location has to do with the impressive view of the entire resort. Topolino’s Terrace has both expansive windows and an outdoor deck that make it a perfect spot to enjoy views all across Disney.
As a Signature Dining restaurant, Topolino’s Terrace has an upscale feel. Immediately upon entering, you’ll be dazzled by a display of house made pasta, cheese wheels, and an impressive selection of wine. The dining room itself feels spacious, and there’s plenty of space between seating to make you feel like you aren’t dining on top of others. The indoor bar has plenty of space, and there’s an outdoor lounge as well. Just like at California Grill at the Contemporary Resort, you can enjoy your meal or drink and return later for fireworks viewing from the deck (just remember to bring your receipt).
Though not strictly enforced, the expectation is that guests of Topolino’s Terrace will dress slightly nicer than they would for a visit to the theme parks. Khaki shorts and polo shirts for gentlemen would be sufficient; likewise, even shorts or capris and blouses for women are fine. Don’t be afraid to dress up, though; you’ll be in good company!
3. Mediterannean- Inspired Cuisine
Topolino’s Terrace features Mediterannean-inspired cuisine, notably French and Italian dishes. I don’t consider myself a “foodie”; my family enjoys familiar favorites. We feel that the menu has a fine mix of inventive dishes with both familiar and more exotic ingredients. The selection of wines is extensive, and servers in the restaurant are skilled at making suggestions based on your tastes and recommended pairings.
When we dined at Topolino’s Terrace for dinner, we enjoyed everything from the bread basket, to starters and drinks, entrees, and dessert. We do not generally look for Signature dining experiences, nor are we terribly adventurous. That being said, we felt that Topolino’s Terrace was upscale yet accessible.
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We knew that our meal was off to an excellent start when our server, Samuel, described the two olive oils at our table to us. We love dipping fresh bread into delicious olive oil at our favorite Italian restaurants back home, so having a few choices to sample was a welcome surprise. We also ordered two starters. The Olives Marinees and Burrata con Panna were top notch; both were large enough for us to share- in fact, the portion of olives would have been enough for 4 adults. For dinner, we selected the Bucatini and Rigatoni. Though there were many interesting meat-centered dishes on the menu, we were excited to indulge in some freshly made pasta and were not disappointed. We were even impressed with the quality of our son’s dinner, which was much nicer than most children’s meals: grilled chicken breast with a side of rigatoni. By dessert, we were beyond satiated and chose what appeared to be the lightest choice- the “Fruits of the Forest”- described on the menu as Black Currant Mousse, Blueberry Sorbet, Macerated Berries, and Hibiscus Cake. It was a perfectly sweet and refreshing end to an excellent meal. Of the cocktails we tried, our favorite was the French Rose.
A few days later, we enjoyed a character breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace. Breakfast was not your standard character buffet; in fact, this is one of the few character meals at Walt Disney World that features food served at your table. Our family prefers this style of dining to buffets, with the key advantage being that it’s less hectic.
Breakfast begins with an art-inspired pastry assortment for the table followed by your choice of entrees from the menu. We ordered the two-eggs any style with roasted potatoes and breakfast meat as well as the sour cream waffle. Both were very satisfying. Our son enjoyed the Mickey waffle dippers, and we all loved the pastries. Specialty beverages were also available, but not included in the price of the meal.
4. Character Experience
The character interaction at Topolino’s was infectiously fun. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy are all dressed in various art-themed costumes. They danced and waved through the restaurant to music a few times during our meal, and several times we noticed them interacting with each other across the restaurant, whether referencing something a guest had (like a character doll) or the couples waving to each other. They spent sufficient time interacting at our table and posing for pictures. We did miss one of the characters, and had to wait a lengthy amount of time for someone to flag Donald down for us. Overall, we were at breakfast for close to 2 hours, which was a bit longer than we had anticipated. That said, I would consider this my new favorite character dining experience on property.
5. Pacing & Pricing
The only two areas of our experiences that might be a deal breaker for some are the pacing of the meals and the pricing. As a Signature dining location (at dinner), the pricing was not a surprise to us, but you should note the restaurant’s status when preparing your budget. Currently, dinner entrees alone are in the $30-$60 range . Breakfast is $42 for adults, and $27 for children- which is arguably a pretty good value for a character dining experience.
On the flip side of the excellent service we experienced comes the issue of the slow pace of the meal. If we were dining as a couple (without our active young child), I think we would have appreciated the slow pacing more. However, the entire dinner experience took almost 2 hours, which was a bit too long for us. At times, we felt there was lots more time between courses than necessary. I assumed that the character dining experience at breakfast would move a bit faster, based on the presence of more children, but we noted a similar trend at breakfast.
Our overall impression of Topolino’s Terrace was overwhelmingly positive. We were particularly impressed by the small touches- the care given to pairing two drastically different olive oils, for instance, with the bread basket. The ingredients were all extremely fresh, and we appreciated the server’s expertise in selecting wine and cocktails. Of course, the unparalleled views that the restaurant offers were a highlight that can’t be understated.