Take a trip to a tropical paradise when you stay at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Palm trees, sandy beaches as well as a gorgeous lake all await. You can choose to stay at several different ‘islands’ each with their own pool area and theme. The resort is located on a lake and one of the options in the Epcot area. As such, you’ll be able to enjoy fast transportation to this particular park.
Beyond a stop, before you hit the parks, there’s plenty of entertainment and dining options here too. A few years ago, we would struggle to recommend this resort. It was hopelessly outdated but like other resorts on the Disney World property, it has been provided with substantial renovations since then. There’s new rooms, new dining options and it has elevated the whole resort to fresh heights. It’s no longer trailing behind the other moderate resorts.
Theming And Layout
One of the key points to be aware of before you book this resort is that it is spread out. Indeed, it can take fifteen minutes to walk from Old Port Royale where the main pool area is to another island. While there is a bus service you can use to get around, this also presents problems. That said, the layout of the resort certainly adds to theming. With isolated areas, this resort never feels crowded and it allows you to enjoy what is truly a beautiful lakeside location.
It is quite possible to wander around this resort at a particular time and not seeing a single person. That should give you an idea of just how much open space there is. As well as this, places like Carribean Cay do feel completely immersive.
If you stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort several years ago, you’re in for quite a shock. The rooms have been completely renovated and as of 2019, it’s difficult to find a room that hasn’t received a substantial upgrade. The change is night and day. There’s a new tech on the walls including an HD TV, the bed has been replaced. You now get two queens instead of two doubles in a standard room, with gorgeous dark headboards. You still don’t get space underneath the beds which is a popular addition in some other resorts and useful for storing suitcases. There’s beautiful new furniture that makes the rooms look warm and welcoming.
While the layout of the rooms haven’t been changed significantly and you still have a bathroom with two sinks. This provides ample space for two people to get ready at the same time, which is useful.
It’s difficult to argue that these rooms match the renovations that have been completed at Coronado Springs or even Pop Century, but they are a significant improved over the old outdated Caribbean Beach resorts.
If you’re not much of a walker and you don’t plan on bringing or renting a car, the preferred room is a must. You might have a bus stop nearby to get to the parks, but you will have to walk a substantial distance to reach the food courts and restaurants. The good news is that there are drinks machines two minutes away as well as little eateries to pick up snacks. This is a definite advantage over somewhere like the Art of Animation where the drinks machines are only in the main building.
It’s worth noting that if you have kids or you’re just a child at heart, there are also pirate-themed rooms. These are great fun and the theming is incredibly exquisite. You still get a quality room with just a little more magic added in. We’re particularly fond of the art on the walls in these beautifully decorated rooms.
This is a key point to be aware of this particular resort. As mentioned, the resort is divided into sections. Each section has its own bus stop. However, the same bus picks up and drops off passengers at all the stops. This means that it’s possible and quite common for a bus to arrive at a stop like Aruba and already be full. Particularly, for some of the more popular parks like the Magic Kingdom. You can combat this by hopping on at one of the fist stops like Martinique. But then, you’ll need to wait for the bus to travel through the rest of the stops before leaving the hotel.
You might also notice that the buses which pick you up from the parks and take you back to the hotel take longer to arrive than some of the other resorts. However, this is always a lottery when you select one of the Disney resorts.
While there is certainly pressure on the bus system at the Carribean Beach Resort right now, that’s guaranteed to be rectified by the Skyliner which is scheduled to open on September 29th, 2019. There’s a good chance that due to the views, a lot of guests are going to treat this as an attraction. At least for a short period, the buses may be completely empty during this time.
One of the big benefits of this resort that certainly makes up for the bus system is the pools. There’s six and that means regardless of which island you stay at, you’ll always have a pool close by. All the pools are heated but there is virtually no theme with the exception of the Old Port Royale pool. This is one of the largest pools at the Disney resorts.
It has waterfalls, shooting cannons kids are sure to love and even water slides. For adults and older teens, there’s also a large jacuzzi. You’ll find that a lot of people will make the long walk from one of the other islands to enjoy this feature pool of the resort. This is also the place where the pool dance parties occur as well as other activities.
Other Entertainment Options
There are plenty of choices for entertainment at the Caribbean Beach Resort if you are planning on spending a day or two at the hotel. You’ll find playgrounds for kids at some of the beaches including Jamaica and Trinidad. There’s also Caribbean Cay which is an ace playground that is located in the center of Barefoot Bay. There are tropical birds here to watch out for too while you’re enjoying watching the kids play.
If you’re looking to keep active, there are also volleyball courts on the beaches as well as a 1.2-mile trail. The marina is available too where there are different boats for hire on Barefoot Bay and there are even bike rentals. As such, if you are looking to stay fit and healthy on vacation and you’re not interested in an indoor gym, this is a great choice.
Beaches are also around for sunbathing and relaxation. Kids can play in the sand but swimming in the water is not allowed or recommended.
You might be aware of the recent renovations that were taking place at this resort over the past two years. Well, they are complete now and it’s brought fantastic new dining options to the Caribbean. This includes quick service options for those on the Disney dining plan and more upscale eateries like Sebastian’s Bistro.
The latter has been a hit since opening with delicious treats that provide the flavor of the Caribbean. From burgers to seafood delicacies, you should definitely explore this option if you’re staying at the resort. Don’t be surprised to see guests from other resorts flocking to it as well.
In terms of quick-service options there’s Centertown Market with a grab and go option. The theming here is fantastic and it does feel like a market stall that could exist on one of the Caribbean islands.
Of course, some things don’t change and that’s certainly the case with pizza delivery. This has been a treat available at the resort for quite some time. You can get pizza delivered straight to your door here late at night which is perfect if you’re coming back from the fireworks display.
The prices of the rooms here can differ substantially depending on when you stay. Standard rooms during off-peak season will be around $194 per night. If you want a water or pool view room you will need to pay $228 and a king size room costs $227.
During the summer season prices for a standard view can be $260 per night while a pool view is $272 and a king size room is $287.
In the holiday season through late December expect to pay $363 for a standard room, $389 for a pool view and $396 for kingsized.
Discounts and Savings
Rating – Pro’s and Con’s
- Multiple pools – one close by regardless of where you stay
- Newly renovated rooms that add a luxurious feel
- Close To Epcot
- Skyliner will bring exciting new transport option
- The layout ensures that the resort never feels crowded
- Lengthy walks to different locations with some rooms fifteen minutes from dining
- But service is unreliable and overcrowded
- Long drive and bus ride to the Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom
Other Moderate Resort Options
If you’re looking for other Moderate Resorts at Walt Disney World outside of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort be sure to check out Port Orleans – Riverside, Port Orleans – French Quarter or Coronado Springs Resort. You can also head back to our main article featuring all Walt Disney World Resort’s in case you’re looking for another category.
Dean has been writing and blogging for over 10 years. He specializes in Disney theme park news including updates, openings, special events and general advice for travelers. He doesn’t shy away from the good, the bad and the ugly. His previous work includes being a Cast Member at Disneyland and working as a travel agent.