Wondering if Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is right for you? As one of our favorite resorts at Walt Disney World, there are a lot of things we love here, AND a few things we wish were different. If you’re upgrading yourself to the Moderate Disney Resort tier and wondering where to stay, consider this your primer on Caribbean Beach Resort. We’ll be sharing ALL the Pros and Cons of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort we can think of from our 5+ stays here. And hope it proves helpful in your search for the perfect Disney Resort for your next Disney Vacation.
To get started, for an overview you may want to dive into our Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort Review for all the details on transportation, rooms, activities, restaurants, and more. With updates like the new 5th sleeper Little Mermaid Rooms at Caribbean Beach Resort, you may not need to be convinced that this is a great place to stay at Walt Disney World. But, alas, we’re getting ahead of ourselves, this is a Pros and Cons list after all. Let’s dive in.
At 200 acres Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is one of the largest Disney Resorts. Featuring 5 separate ” Island Areas,” and 6 bus stops, there is a lot of ground to cover here. And that’s not including the 1.4-mile walkway that surrounds the lake. As home to the main hub of the Disney Skyliner Station, this resort has a lot to recommend itself to families looking for alternatives to the Disney buses. and Value Resort chaos.
Is Disney’s Caribbean Beach a Good Resort for Families?
To start it may be good to level set the big question; Is Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort a Good Resort? YES, we think so. For families looking for a very “Disney” experience, this resort may not have large-scale Disney statues but does honor a pirate and little mermaid theme. This resort offers ample transportation opportunities, a plethora of activities, and a variety of restaurant and food locations. Add in the fact that staying here is budget-friendly and we’re sold. Read our Disney Caribbean Beach Resort Review for what to know before you go.
What are the best rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort?
Choosing the Best Disney Caribbean Beach Resort Rooms is different for everyone. Often based on location, layout, and view. Disney has certain rooms called Preferred Rooms that boast easy access to Old Port Royale and cost a bit more. But, we’ve found equal success in other rooms located in prime locations too.
- Rooms in Aruba 55 get you closest to the Disney Riveria Resort Skyliner Station if you’re looking for easy transportation.
- The Little Mermaid Rooms in the Trinidad area get you a 5th sleeper and are within a 5-minute walking distance to the Skyliner and Spyglass Grill.
- Jamaica 55 and Aruba 51 are located at the bridge that crosses over to Port Royale, making both great choices for easy access to the main area of the resort.
What are the Caribbean Beach Resort Sections?
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is separated into 5 Resort Sections, and 6 areas total. Each has a different colored set of buildings so you can remember where you are located. Each also includes a small pool for guests in those areas, though all guests are welcome at the main pool as well. And remember since this is such a large resort, it may be helpful to know which bus stop you’re closest to for early mornings or late evenings in the parks. The bus enters the resort at Jamaica and makes its way around Barefoot Bay, behind the new Disney Riviera Resort, not shown on this map, and exits the resort at Trinidad.
- Jamaica: Yellow and Light Blue Buildings. Bus Stop 1.
- Aruba: Pink and Aqua Buildings. Bus Stop 2.
- Martinique: Light Blue and Red Buildings. Bus Stop 3.
- Old Port Royale: Tropical Colors. Bus Stop 4.
- Barbados: Pink and Aqua Buildings. Bus Stop 5.
- Trinidad: Coral and Red Buildings. Bus Stop 6.
Pros and Cons of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
When looking at the Pros and Cons of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, we hope that you get the answers you’re looking for when it comes to this post. For us, things like food options, transportation, walking distance, and atmosphere are HUGE factors when determining if a resort is good. So you’ll see us reference those quite a bit here. If there is anything we leave out just let us know.
Pros of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
If you’ve been scarred by the naysayers regarding Caribbean Beach, get ready for a pretty long list of PROS. From the rooms to amenities to transportation and proximity to the Rivera Resort, here is everything we LOVE about Caribbean Beach.
Skyliner Access to Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Skyliner Resorts
Know that no matter when you visit Walt Disney World, transportation options are an element that can make or break your vacation. While you may not believe this to be true if this is your First Visit to Walt Disney World, for seasoned visitors it’s sometimes the first thing we plan for. This is why the Disney Skyliner at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is such a godsend. Truly. That said, while the Skyliner only brings you to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, if you’re hoping to go to either park or visit for an Epcot Festival, you’ll be grateful you chose this resort late at night while everyone else is waiting for the buses. Cold, and crowded Disney buses, no less.
While you still will need to take the Disney Buses to both Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, that will change a little when Park Pass Reservations are no longer required at Disney World in 2024, and you can simply head to EPCOT, walk through the park, and catch the monorail to Magic Kingdom. Yes, this is a hack we used in the good old days of Disney World and loved the flexibility.
We’ve mentioned the beaches before, but we’ll mention them again. It’s nice that we don’t have to pay Disney Beach Club prices to get the perk of sand on our toes. Outfitted with hammocks and lounge chairs, these beaches are some of the calmest on the property. We love that you can grab breakfast and head to the beach to welcome in the morning, or grab dinner and watch the sunset from the beach too. Sometimes you can even see the Hollywood Studios fireworks from the beaches at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. For us, a beach just always makes it feel a little more like vacation, and with as hectic as Disney vacations can get, we’re happy to take the serenity where we can find it.
Having a table service restaurant at your resort is such a perk. And Sebastian’s Bistro is one of the best. Serving up family-style dining this restaurant is open for dinner and offers Caribbean cuisine as part of a multi-course meal. They even have a plant-based option! A selection of meats, veggies, salad, bread, and the most amazing Pineapple Coconut Bread Pudding dessert ever, this meal is $35 per adult and $19 per child! Perfect for kids and grown-ups being able to come “home” with access to a great restaurant so you don’t have to continue eating theme park food is such a bonus.
Nearby Disney’s Riviera Resort
Adjacent to Disney’s Caribbean Resort is Disney’s Riviera Resort. A Deluxe Resort offering another skyliner station, several restaurants, a coffee cafe, and outdoor games. This resort is literally on the walking path that surrounds Barefoot Bay. As such, we often consider our stay at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort as getting 2 resorts for the price of 1. We use the Rivera Skyliner, we eat at Primo Piatta, and grab coffee at Le Petit Cafe. We browse the gift shop, and even sometimes grab a dining reservation at Topolino Terrace. It’s all within walking distance of Caribbean Beach and totally worth exploring.
Joffrey’s Skyliner Coffee Cart
Ahhhh, coffee. We love it. It’s the main reason we leave the house, to be honest. So discovering that Caribbean Beach Resort had it’s very own Joffrey’s Coffee Kiosk was life-changing. While Both Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and Disney’s Contemporary Resort have Joffrey’s counters inside their resorts, there isn’t another Moderate Resort that has this perk. Located at the Main Skyliner Station opposite Trinidad, you can simply stroll over and handcraft your coffee for you. It’s such a treat!
5th Sleeper Rooms
When it comes to family lodging at Walt Disney World, people primarily aim for the Family Suites at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. But, if you’re not ready to spring for the family suite price tag, and want something just as good as the Little Mermaid Rooms at Art of Animation Resort, then the 5th sleeper rooms at Disney Caribbean Beach Resort, also featuring an Under the Sea theme, maybe what you’re looking for. These rooms are sizeable and include a queen bed, a Murphy bed- also a queen, and a twin-size fold-down bed for your 5th sleeper.
What we love about the Little Mermaid Rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is that there is plenty of space. Enough for suitcases under the bed, extra storage in the table, and when the beds are folded up there’s additional table and bench seating. Read all about the 5th Sleeper Rooms at Caribbean Beach Resort.
Wooden Slider Door to Bathroom Area
A product of the refurbishments at this resort, we were thrilled to find that they officially installed the sliding wood door between the sleeping area and the bathroom area. While it may not seem like a huge deal, when you’re traveling with family that all have different sleep schedules and waking hours, being able to block some of the bathroom noise with the help of a wooden door is a godsend. We also love that the shower and toilet are separate from the sink. Again, when managing everyone getting ready at once, it helps.
Hideaway Spaces on Caribbean Cay
At the resort, there is a bridge that connects one set of islands to the other. In the middle of this bridge, you can find little island spaces; some filled with children’s playground spaces. This area is called Caribbean Cay and even has space for a small winding trail, off of which you can find seating areas. Little gazebos complete with chairs and a table, for sitting and watching the sunrise or sunset. This area is nearby the main hub of Caribbean Beach, Old Port Royale, and as such is a super easy place to get to from anywhere at the resort. These are just another way that this resort helps you feel like you can get away from it all.
Caribbean Beach Resort Cost
As a moderate resort, we think this one is pretty budget-friendly. Caribbean Beach Resort can range from 190/ night to 400/ night depending on when you stay, so be sure to check your vacation dates on the resort page. And if you’re wondering what the costs are for the other Disney Resorts, take a look at the Disney Price Levels and Resort Tiers. The averages all have a range of costs depending on when you visit
Cons of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
Okay, now down to the big things that may deter you from staying here. Mind you, these things haven’t kept us away yet, but we have heard mumblings from other guests that simply cannot handle the Cons of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.
We’ve said it before, at 200 acres Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is BIG. That 1.4-mile walkway that surrounds Barefoot Bay; there are times when you may be walking that whole stretch. In fact, while Old Port Royale is located right in the “middle” of the trail, you have to walk about half of that to get to either skyliner station, depending on where your room is located.
One Bus for 6 Stops
For families with small children, depending on the Disney buses, the multiple bus stops could make or break your vacation. Getting on the best in the mornings, and sitting on there through several stops, is not a big deal. Nighttime is a different beast. Especially when you’ve been in all the parks all day. You don’t want to have to drag the kids on the bus. And then get to your resort, only to sit through 5 other stops before you arrive at yours. While this isn’t as bad as it sounds, the bus situation at Disney World isn’t the best. And we don’t mean just the stops.
The actual transit on a Disney bus often includes as many people as possible all smashed up against each other. In an air-conditioned bus, in the dark. And the air conditioning would be great if Florida didn’t have sporadic rains, causing most people on the bus to still be soggy, then cold. Add in the fact that there are strollers, ECV’s and crying babies and you may be wondering if an Uber would have been better.
But, keep in mind that you can navigate these waters. If you know you’re going to have late nights with screaming kids, aim for a room in Jamaica or Aruba. That way you’re one of the first groups off when the bus arrives home at night.
Visiting Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom
Let us make it clear that we visit Magic Kingdom more than any other park on every Disney Vacation, and have no issues staying here. However, if you know that the bulk of your time is going to be spent at MK, consider prioritizing a resort with better transportation access. Disney’s Monorail Resorts, for example, have fast access to Magic Kingdom, and a few are also within walking distance. Animal Kingdom on the other hand isn’t close to anything except Animal Kingdom Lodge.
That said, no matter what your park plans, you were going to have to take a bus to these two parks anyway. While both of these issues may provide a valid Con when considering this resort, know that almost every other resort has the same issue, save the monorail resorts, which are at the deluxe level.
Caribbean Beach Resort Pros and Cons
There you have it, our list of Pros and Cons for Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. We have to say, that as a Disney Moderate Resort, you won’t find one with better transportation options. That and the slew of amenities keep Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort on the list of resorts to stay at when the price is right.
Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.