When we first started visiting Walt Disney World many years ago, we stayed mostly at Disney Value Resorts. They were cheap, convenient and since we spent all day in the parks anyway didn’t really need more. At one point, though, we realized we were missing out on a lot by choosing to only stay at the Value resorts and decided it was time to start exploring other resorts. And as we are always longing for our next island vacation, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort seemed to be a perfect fit. Over the years, we have stayed here many times, and it has become somewhere we always look forward to staying at. Read on for everything you need to know about Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.
Caribbean Beach Resort Atmosphere
Caribbean Beach Resort has a laid-back island vibe. It’s relaxing, the grounds are super lush with tropical plants, and it definitely feels like you’ve traveled somewhere else outside of Walt Disney World. We love all the fresh new updates, new restaurants and overall clean, elevated vibe.
With the fresh refurbishments completed, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is almost on par with resorts in the Disney Deluxe Resorts category. There are little island communities that are set up so you can island-hop, so it feels like we’re actually in the Caribbean. The islands represented are Aruba, Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, and Martinique. On the far side of the property, you will see the new Disney Riviera Resort and the Disney Skyliner station. Caribbean Beach is actually also on the Skyliner Gondola line. So you can choose whichever station is closest. Old Port Royale acts as the center port where all the food, gift shop, and outdoor movies happen. This is also the location of the newest restaurant at Caribbean Beach Resort, Sebastian’s Bistro ( previously Shutters).
Caribbean Beach Resort Rooms
Newly refurbished, rooms now have sliding doors that separate the sleeping and bathroom spaces. You can also count on a smart television, coffee maker, and all the regular toiletries. While the rooms are nothing to write home about, they are significantly nicer and more updated than Value resort rooms. If you’re looking for even more of an upgrade for your room, try a deluxe resort. Check out our stays at the Grand Floridian and Boardwalk Inn and Animal Kingdom Lodge if you’re curious.
New Little Mermaid Rooms at Caribbean Beach Resort
The Pirate Rooms at Caribbean Beach were by far the worst rooms we’ve ever stayed at in Walt Disney World. Well. lucky for us, they’re now gone! Disney has started renovating some rooms at Caribbean Beach to be themed to the Little Mermaid. These are 5th sleeper rooms and they are stunning. We recently got to stay in one of these rooms and, wow, what a welcome change! We’ll write a full review on these rooms, but for now, it’s important to note that these are only available in 5th sleeper rooms. There is no way to request them yet, and they are only available in the Trinidad building. Complete with a queen bed, a murphy bed for a child 9 and under, a pull-down queen bed, tons of storage and a whole new look, we really enjoyed staying in these new rooms.
Choosing a Room at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
Trinidad is by far the farthest so keep that in mind when making room reservations. Especially if you want close access to the main building, main pool and main bus stop. Trinidad does however have a small open-air quick-serve food court called Spyglass Grill to refill beverages and grab a quick breakfast as well as their own bus stop. And it is the area closest to the Skyliner. As mentioned, it is also the only area currently with the new Little Mermaid Rooms.
You can request specific buildings, but they’re not guaranteed. Online check in no longer allows for these specific requests, so you’ll have to call them in, or have your travel agent call in your request.
- You can request a room here in hopes of a better location in the resort, however, requests are not guaranteed. If requesting a room that’s not preferred, Jamaica 45 and Aruba 52 will be your closest to the food court.
- The entire section of Aruba is great, as it gets you closest to the Riviera Skyliner Station.
- Martinique takes up the other side of the resort and is between the Riviera and Port Royale. Check the map below to see which area may make the most sense to you.
- We stayed in Jamaica 43 and 45 several times and were about 6-7 minutes walking distance to Old Port Royale via the bridge. We loved this location because we were also about 2-3 minutes from our bus stop.
- Use ONLINE check-in. You have the option of choosing whether you want to be close to the Skyliner or the Main building, so choose wisely!
Pros of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
As a large resort, Caribbean Beach actually does feel like you are on an island somewhere. We’ve never felt that it was too crowded and there was always room for us on the beach. We love that the food court wasn’t too crazy in the mornings and the grounds are relaxing. It’s such an atmosphere change from the All-Stars resorts. While not overly “Disney” there still is all the Disney flair in the gift shops, rooms, and shops at Old Port Royale. Plus, add in Sebastian’s Bistro and strolls along the beaches and you’ll remember you’re visiting the most magical place on earth.
Cons of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
Let us first start by saying- the resort is, in fact, HUGE. It’s actually one of Walt Disney World’s largest resorts with several bus stops. Since it is so big, you could get very unlucky and end up in an “island” that is just too far. This could or could not be a deal-breaker for you. As it really depends on what kind of vacationer you are. Something to consider if you’re toting little ones. Know that you could end up walking quite a distance just to grab your morning coffee and pastry every day. The buildings that are closest to the food court are in Martinique. This island has preferred rooms and will usually cost you extra. But we’ve found Aruba and Jamaica to be about a 6-7 minute walk every morning, depending on which building you are in, because you can walk right over the bridge.
If you have an Epcot or Hollywood Studios heavy trip, being close to the Skyliner can be a huge plus. Trnidad, though far from most things, is close to the Skyliner. And the far end of Jamaica is also close to the main Skyliner building as well. If you’re staying in Martinique or Aruba, the Skyliner at Disney’s Riviera may be a better option for you. But keep in mind, since the Skyliner station at Caribbean Beach is a hub, the Skyliner might be quite full if you decide to take it from the Riviera and you may have to wait longer.
Caribbean Beach Resort Transportation
Transportation throughout the resort is pretty similar to other Value and Moderate resorts. Buses pick up and drop off at several bust stops throughout the resort. The Disney Skyliner adds an extra perk here you can’t take for granted if you’re visiting Epcot or Hollywood Studios during your trip. There is also an internal shuttle that can take you to other areas around the resort. For clarity, each island has its own bus stop, however, they all share the same bus. This means that buses can get very full. Buses generally arrive about every 15-25 minutes to take you to the parks. Bus estimated time of arrival is found on the digital screens at each stop. And in your My Disney Experience App. The bus stops are covered, which is nice when it’s hot out, and they also aren’t too crowded, except during the holidays.
- There are 6 bus stops on this route, which means that sometimes the buses will take longer than planned to get to your stop.
- This is one of Walt Disney World’s largest resorts, which also means most people stay here. The lines from the Parks will be long and you will usually end up waiting if you don’t time it correctly. Your best bet is to leave the parks early ( before 7) or late (11 pm-12 am).
Caribbean Beach Resort Restaurants
Caribbean Beach Resort has really improved its restaurant offerings over the last few years. Not only does it have an excellent table service dining option, but its bar and quick service locations have also gotten quite a facelift in recent times. Read on to learn about the dining options at Caribbean Beach Resort.
Centertown Market at Old Port Royale
The main food court at Caribbean Beach is located at Centertown Market at Old Port Royale. With a newly revamped menu, we were happy to see that Centertown Market now offers fun, fresh flavors. And with unique dishes that we wouldn’t normally see at a quick-service restaurant. There is also a small café inside Centertown Market now with a variety of pastries and several different specialty coffees. We love coffee so seeing new coffees on the menu at Walt Disney World is always exciting for us! Disney Pro Tip: If you’re in a hurry, Centertown Market also offers mobile orders, which is one of our favorite ways to save time!
Spyglass Grill at Caribbean Beach Resort
If you’re staying in Trinidad, Spyglass Grill is available to refill your mugs or grab a quick bite to eat. It is located close to the bus stop in Trinidad, so it’s a great place to stop by on your way out. It’s small and open air. And it’s a place the “locals” know about, but no one else comes here, so it’s quiet. The menu is mostly the same as Centertown Market, with a slightly smaller selection, so if you’re just looking to grab something fast, this is a great option.
Banana Cabana at Caribbean Beach Resort
Banana Cabana is the new pool bar at Caribbean Beach. And guys, this place is just gorgeous. With bright colors, fun furniture, an open-air setting, and a view of Barefoot Bay and Aruba in the distance. It really feels like a little island hideaway! Serving an array of delicious and tropically inspired drinks. You can also find a few quick bites here as well including crab cakes and jerk chicken wings. This is such a lovely upgrade to Caribbean Beach and we feel it really elevated the space.
Sebastian’s Bistro at Caribbean Beach Resort
We love Sebastian’s Bistro, which is Caribbean Beach’s newer table service restaurant. Offering family-style dining at very budget-friendly Disney Dining prices, we think this is one of the most underrated restaurants at Walt Disney World. And it’s usually pretty easy to get a last minute dining reservation here! You can see our review for Sebastian’s Bistro here. Spoiler Alert! We loved it and recommend it for a fun, unique meal in a beautiful, beachy setting.
Caribbean Beach Resort Activities
There is plenty to do at Caribbean Beach Resort! Between their main pools, the beaches, Movies Under the Stars and more, we love Caribbean Beach for a more laid-back Disney vacation. Not to mention, it is on the Skyliner Route, making it easy to resort hop from one place to another.
Caribbean Beach Resort Pools
The main pool is located at Old Port Royale and is absolutely beautiful but is also more crowded. There’s a shallow play area for toddlers here too. Perfectly themed to a pirate ship, this splash area is perfect for hot days at Walt Disney World. Each island has its own quiet pool as well, which is smaller and not really “themed” but is a lot less crowded. So, if you’re looking for quiet sunbathing time, stick to your mini-island pool.
Disney Movies Under the Stars
Caribbean Beach, like all the other Walt Disney World resorts, plays a Disney movie every night near the pool. Which we think is a great way to unwind. There’s also a campfire s’more roasting party on the beach. Or you can rent bikes and surrey bikes to fully explore the resort or walk the trail. If your little ones love the idea of being a pirate for a few hours, there is a small pirate cruise that drives around the lagoon area. This costs extra but is a great way to get a few hours of relaxation to yourself without worrying about the kiddos.
On Caribbean Cay, which is accessible via the bridge between Jamaica and Aruba, there is also a kid’s play area open from sunrise-sunset. Caribbean Cay offers playground spaces and covered deck areas for taking a morning coffee, or just a relaxing time in nature. These spaces are open to all guests of the resort during daytime hours. And a wonderful way to just get away from it all.
We mentioned Caribbean Beach Resort has beaches right? These little beaches are strewn all over the resort and offer seating and hammocks throughout each. Perfect for an afternoon break, or toes in the sand.
Caribbean Beach Resort Cost
Caribbean Beach tends to be one of the less expensive moderate resorts, and usually has more availability than the others. That being said, since renovations are currently being done here and some rooms are completely unable to be booked, availability may be lower during busier times. The addition of the Skyliner has also made this resort a little more desirable, which also increases the price a little as well. You can usually find Caribbean Beach Resort rooms somewhere between $300-$400 per night, and once in a while, if you can find a discount, these rooms can be found for slightly lower prices during less busy times.
Is Caribbean Beach worth the price?
For us, yes it is! It’s one resort we continuously come back to time and time again. We love the easy access to the Skyliner. We love the relaxed atmosphere. And even though many people don’t love how large it is, for us, it makes it feel less crowded. Which is always a good thing! With the addition of the new Little Mermaid Rooms at Caribbean Beach Resort, we think this makes it even more appealing to stay here.
Caribbean Beach Resort Check-In
Skip the lines at the desk with online check-in. You can check-in online up to 30 days in advance of your reservation and manage all of your room info, including your room number in the My Disney Experience app.
Caribbean Beach Resort Map
The giant green space at the top right-hand corner of the map is currently Disney’s Riviera Resort. Skyliner locations are directly above Aruba, and directly below Jamaica.
Would we Recommend Caribbean Beach Resort?
Overall, we love the Caribbean Beach resort. It’s a great escape at the end of a hectic day at Disney. We highly recommend this resort to those looking for an island-like getaway while visiting Walt Disney World. And if you’re working within a budget! It’s one of the cheaper moderates and has an atmosphere worth experiencing. We hope you love it too!