Aw yeah, another Vero Beach Trip Report post!
And this one is a big one as it gets us actually TO Vero Beach but it also starts off not only with a new character breakfast for us, but potentially one the full Goodreau clan has now deemed our favorite character breakfast.
I know. It’s cray. Also, it was Valentine’s Day. So…#Love.
Getting right into it, Day 2 started early for me. Being that I haven’t been to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort in a while, I wanted to get a run in to see the entire resort as well as the Riviera. So I woke up at around 6AM, got my stuff on and headed out for a few laps around Barefoot Bay.
I love the feeling of being out in a Disney resort early in the morning before the sun comes up. It’s a really peaceful way to start the day.
The Skyliner was going through some test runs, which added a nice bit of ambiance.
And I love how the run now takes you by the brand-new Riviera Resort.
The run took me around a half hour or so and when I got back to the room, this all was still happening.
But Nickie was up at least. And she had spent the time getting our stuff re-packed and the kids’ outfits ready for the day. The boys did eventually wake up and we decided to make the short walk over to our breakfast at the Riviera.
I gotta be honest. My first impression of the Riviera exterior was…meh. I mean, it’s pretty enough but I prefer a bit more theme or uniqueness to my Disney hotels. From the outside, it felt like the theme of this place was “hotel.”
But as we got closer and started looking around, it started to feel like more to me.
These Disney mosaic murals were pretty impressive in the walkway.
But we had no time to just stand around and lollygag, whatever that is. We had a breakfast to get to. And that breakfast? It was at Topolino’s Terrace!
Immediately upon walking in, we were excited. On account of
But being that it was like 7:30 AM, I suppose the beauty of the place was also exciting.
I mean, would you LOOK at this butter knife?
We were READY for a meal, my friends. We were ready.
We started with some beverages. Our waitress brought us some Passion Fruit-Orange-Guava (or POG) juice. Which is a Disney staple pretty much. It’s best you guys. Best.
I also got a regular, old boring black coffee.
I mean, yeah. Nothing particularly boring or anything about this coffee. But compared to what comes later, this coffee is a big old cup of yawn. Foreshadowing.
The meal at Topolino’s starts with a basket of pastries. And you know what’s better than one pastry?
A basket of ’em.
In there was some croissant, epi bread, chocolate chip muffins, and seasonal Danish. And this seasonal Danish was a MAPLE Danish. Thing was GOOD. These were also served with honey butter, housemade jam, and chocolate hazelnut spread – AKA Nutella-but-we-can’t-call-it-Nutella.
It was actually a really nice basket. The hazelnut spread was real good on the croissant and I mean, we’ve already talked about the Danish.
So like I mentioned, my earlier black coffee was super duper blah-town compared to what was to come. And what was to come? This. This was to come…
Are you kidding me with those? Just so you know, these were both cappuccinos for me and Nickie. And yeah, they were delicious. Just the possibility of getting a Minnie on her cappuccino was enough for Nickie to break her months-long boycott of coffee and coffee-related beverages. Girl has priorities.
We put our orders in (more on that later) and while we were sitting at our table, some friends came to visit.
First up – Topolino himself.
Yeah, Topolino is the Italian name for Mickey Mouse. Bet you didn’t know you’d be learning something today. You are welcome.
And as you can see in that picture above, Mickey is wearing a bit of a different outfit. At Topolino, the characters are dressed as artists of different sorts. Mickey there is a painter.
Next up was Minnie, the poetess. And I mean, her dress was fierce.
And being that it was Valentine’s Day, Nickie thought I should get a picture with my first crush ever. This is truth. Minnie Mouse was my first crush of all-time. I have pictures of me somewhere as a boy holding a Minnie Mouse whilst meeting Minnie Mouse and I am pretty sure my pupils are straight-up heart shaped.
What can I say. I love polka dots.
But of course, I have a new Valentine now. And she’s like pretty hawt.
And totally ok with me always buying her polka-dotted clothing. My wife=best.
Being that we were also celebrating Myles’s birthday on this trip, I came to the realization that we hadn’t gotten Myles a birthday button yet so while he was up going to the bathroom, I ran to the front to get him one.
Not to worry though. He literally came home with like 7 birthday buttons. So like, if there is anyone named Myles out there reading this that might be celebrating a birthday soon, send me a note.
Soon enough, our entrees came. Owen ordered the Mickey Waffle Dippers off the Kids’ menu. Look at how cute these things are. And by “things,” I mean the bacon strips.
Kidding. I mean, the bacon was cute. But it was a really nice presentation, especially for a kid’s meal.
Both Nickie and Myles got the Sour Cream Waffles with Roasted Apples, Chantilly, and Orange-Maple Syrup. Myles got the sausage alongside the waffle.
And Nickie opted for the bacon.
When I ordered my entrée, it was a whole thing. I was between a few things and when I asked the waitress, she said the steak was the best thing on the menu. But I had an issue with ordering a steak for breakfast.
You: “Oh, because it’s too much food?”
Me: “No, because it’s not enough food.”
Seriously, I had an issue ordering steak with no eggs alongside it. I expressed my concern to the waitress and she was like, “oh, I can get you some eggs.” And all of a sudden, a light shined on our table and “Hallelujah” played in the background.
And she was right. That steak was hella-good. Also good? That polenta underneath the steak. I can say without hyperbole, it may be the best polenta I have ever had.
I love you, polenta.
After our entrees, Myles’s birthday pin was already paying off. LOOK AT THIS COOKIE! LOOK AT IT!!
And look – more friends!!
Donald came next, dressed as a sculptor.
Followed by Daisy the ballerina.
What a great meal. The food was delicious, the service superb, and the character interaction…erm…interactive. This has definitely become our favorite character meal on property.
After we paid our bill, we walked out onto the patio to get a look at the view.
I am really looking forward to eating here for dinner when we come back this summer. You can see multiple fireworks shows from up there, y’all.
On our way out, Nickie asked the bartender if she could buy a couple bottles of Iron Horse Fairytale Cuvee, which is a champagne that is pretty hard to find these days as its mainly exclusive to Disney resorts or bought directly through the vineyard. But the bartender said because it was a restaurant, it would be pretty expensive – like $89 – so we may want to look elsewhere. Which we will do.
We then spent a little time walking around the hotel. Look at this painting.
I want you to look at it because you should buy it for me for my birthday. Thanks in advance.
Also, this little library room off the lobby was really cool.
All those cabinets contained some sort of old Disney memorabilia and I mean, they were playing Pluto cartoons. So it’s the best library ever.
The Riviera has definitely won me over and I could see us staying there sometime in the future.
But we had places to go. After breakfast, we decided to take the Skyliner back from the Riviera to Caribbean Beach. Even though, honestly, the walk would have been shorter to our room. Nickie wanted to give it a try and since this was a relatively short ride compared to the other routes, it seemed the best opportunity to do it.
So we went up, got in a gondola and the scene went something like this…
(Wayne, Nickie, Myles, and Owen sit as the car moves slowly down the platform)
Cast member at platform: (waving) Have a nice trip
Nickie: (panicked look on her face, jumps up and makes for the door) Wait, I wanna get…
Begrudgingly, Nickie sat down and got settled in for her ride. She forbade any photo evidence. But when the trip ended, she admitted it wasn’t as bad as she expected. The ride was smooth, the vents provided a nice breeze, and the car was roomier than anticipated.
She also said she would probably never do it again.
Afterwards, we walked back to our room, grabbed our things, packed up the car, and hit the road for Disney’s Vero Beach.
The ride was about 1 hour, 45 minutes. And on the way, we stopped at the grocery store and liquor store for some necessities for the week. You know, fruit, chips, waters, box of wine.
But for you, reader…the trip is mere seconds. Because look. The lobby!
Our room wasn’t quite ready yet, but on the bright side they DID have chocolate hearts.
And we all got one of these beauties.
Well, I mean…not everyone’s said “Wayne.” But you get the gist.
We dropped off some stuff to be held in the refrigerator and got our first schedule of activities.
We walked around the lobby a bit, checking out the different areas such as the Green Cabin Room bar area….
…complete with outdoor patio with a pretty awesome view.
We also wandered into the Island Grove Packing Company gift shop off the lobby.
And I don’t know if you can see in the corner of that photo there, but they ALSO sold the Fairytale Cuvee that Nickie wanted to buy back at Topolino’s. Look again. It’s to the left of the saddest turtle ever.
And when we asked how much it was, the lady behind the counter informed us it was only $35. Which was great, because that would save us $54.
Only it didn’t, because I think this encouraged Nickie to buy 3 bottles. So this information ended up costing us $16. Thanks lady behind the counter.
We then ventured out into the resort to have more of a look around.
And look – fun pics.
Though the kids don’t seem to know how these things work. Try again, Myles.
As we were walking around, my brother Jeff called to let us know him and my sister-in-law Sheila were in the lobby. Yay for family. Unfortunately, Jeff and Sheila couldn’t get rooms at our resort because they were sold out by the time they tried to get one. So they were staying down the road at Captain Hirams. Which worked out. Since it now gave us two places to drink visit.
But now they were HERE!! So they came to meet us out by the Wind & Waves Pool Bar for lunch. And beers. And the pre-existing rum Sheila had in her coffee cup.
Wait. Shoot. Was that a secret? Oh well, it’s out there now.
We ordered some lunch. I ended up getting a grilled cheese and it was one of those grilled cheeses with like three cheeses in it so it was like three times as good as a regular grilled cheese. Here it is, in my belly.
We spent lunch catching up and what not and soon enough, our room was ready. Jeff and Sheila came up with us to get settled and what not and look what was waiting on the bed.
A few minutes later, we heard a knock on the door. This….was being delivered.
As I mentioned, we were celebrating Myles’s 16th birthday so we ordered a cake in advance to be delivered to the room on day of check-in. I told the bakery Donald Duck is his favorite character and this was what they came up with. Pretty nice.
The woman delivering the cake brought along with it a birthday card signed by Donald and Goofy and a pin (yep, another one!) We also brought some plates, napkins, candles, and a tablecloth to dress the whole situation up.
And I mean, of course we brought balloons.
We lit the candles, sang Myles his obligatory “Happy Birthday” song and he made a wish.
I am bummed I didn’t get a picture of the inside of the cake. But it was a yellow cake with white frosting. It was real tasty and I think it had like 5 layers or something.
Myles seemed genuinely surprised and happy with the whole thing. So I mean. Worth it.
After we all had some cake, we ventured back out to get a look at the beach. Gah, with the pretty.
And then Jeff and I played a game of pool with the boys.
The teams were Jeff and Myles vs. Me and Owen. And it was a close game. Probably not even worth mentioning who won. I mean, can’t we just enjoy each other’s company and a friendly game of billiards?
But it was me and Owen. We won. On account Myles scratched on the 8-ball. Happy birthday, buddy!
Soon after that – MORE FAMILY!!
My brother Scott, sister-in-law Carrie, and nieces Gwen and Matilda had arrived! They were staying at a la-di-da 1 bedroom villa at the resort. La. Di. Da.
They met us at the pool and we caught up for a little bit before we all had to go get ready for dinner.
Dinner that night was at the resort at Wind & Waves Grill.
Now, full disclosure time. For the most part, the food pics I am gonna be showing will mainly be of my dishes. Some exceptions will apply here and there. But with 10 people, it’s hard to get everyone to ok you snapping pictures of their plates.
So I mean. Deal with it.
Dinner started with some yummytummy rolls. These were nice and warm and soft and also nice.
That black sea salt butter was legit.
I also ordered a Grey Goose martini dirty. As I am known to do from time to time.
Jeff got a “Relax on the Beach.” Which is a Disney way of saying a “Sex on the Beach” I believe. Look at how happy he is with the lack of sex.
For my entrée, I ordered off the specials menu this scallops and risotto thingamajig.
It was good, but honestly the sauce there kind of overpowered the scallops a little too much. I love me some scallops and I didn’t really taste them here too much. A good dish. But not like…a great one.
We were all pretty stuffed after our meals so all of us skipped dessert. Well, almost all of us. I mean, of course they brought Myles a birthday cake.
Overall, Wind and Waves was a good meal. I think I probably should have ordered off the regular menu but I have a hard time avoiding a specials board. Especially when the word “scallops” is involved. But the food was good, the service was great, and the company was top-notch.
After dinner, it came to our attention that Gwen and Matilda had never seen any of the High School Musical movies so Owen and Myles suggested maybe they rent the first one on DVD from the gift shop (so fun!) and watch in our room.
We all went over to the gift shop to get the movie and some snacks for the kids and brought them up to get them settled in the room.
The adults, meanwhile, headed to the Green Cabin Room to play some trivia (18+). We grabbed a table and some drinks (including a very odd-looking “Manhattan”). The cast member working that night, Alex (?) handed us a dry erase board and we went to work trying to answer all we could.
There were a few different rounds, some Disney-related, some not. And amongst our team, there was definitely some dissention.
I won’t get TOO into it, but let’s just say Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is in fact the first Disney animated feature to win an Oscar and Ring Around the Rosie IS NOT about Scarlet Fever, regardless of whether Carrie was 99% sure of her answers or not.
So many inside jokes in that paragraph right there. I am sure you all appreciated that.
If you won a round, you got to choose between a frisbee and a lanyard as a prize. We went with frisbees.
That’s my subtle way of letting you know we won a couple rounds. It was A LOT of fun. The laughing was strong with us that night.
As we were playing, Owen came to tell us that the girls wanted to head back to their room so Scott went back with them while we finished up. Myles and Owen went down to the video game room to play some games while they waited for us to finish up.
When we were done, we walked down to meet them and a few of us made use of the FREE photo machine.
Thing was pretty fun. On account of all the different filters you could use. They had like these stretch filters, and these blur…and you know what? Probably just better that I show you.
Heh. Believe me when I say we were OBNOXIOUSLY laughing at these things. That’s what you get when you mix funny photos with pink-for-some-reason Manhattans.
We all said our goodnights and headed back to our respective rooms. What a super-dee-duper day though. So much family. So much fun. So many memories already. And it’s only our first day at the resort. Awesome.