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Last Updated on March 29, 2021 by Allyson
What’s it like staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort? Go no further. Let’s talk about the pros and cons of staying at Caribbean Beach.
I stayed at here for the first time in December 2020 over Christmas. It’s a gorgeous resort, with stunning views of Disney’s Riviera Resort.
The resort gives off all the Caribbean vibes with the buildings, music, dining, and the five different islands where the room buildings are located.
The five islands are: Barbados, Jamaica, Martinique, Trinidad, and Aruba.
Here are some other basics to know:
- Type: Moderate Resort (middle of the road price bracket)
- Location: Epcot Resort Area
- Dining: Three Quick Service options, one bar, and one Table Service restaurant
- Shopping: One gift shop
- Transportation: Access to buses and Disney Skyliner
- Pools: One feature pool and five leisure pools (one on each island)
- Recreation: Jogging trail, fishing, bike rentals, volleyball, playground
- Amenities: Movies Under the Stars, campfire activities, Pirate Adventure Cruises
Note: Sometimes not all dining, recreation, pools, amenities, etc. will be available. This is something to look into prior to booking, because it may affect your decision on where you want to stay.
Like many other Walt Disney World resorts, there are both pros and cons to booking a room at Caribbean Beach — and here are just a few to keep in mind.
1. Two forms of transportation
You have access to two forms of transportation: buses and the Disney Skyliner. The latter is my favorite form of Disney transportation. It’s quick, easy, and super convenient.
Buses aren’t horrible, but sometimes they aren’t always super reliable, so being able to hop on the Skyliner to head to Epcot and Hollywood Studios is a huge bonus.
2. Close to Riviera
Caribbean is located directly across from the Riviera. It’s within walking distance, which means you can go over to walk around, take photos, eat, and, better yet, utilize the resort’s Skyliner station.
Speaking of the latter, my room was closer to Riviera’s Skyliner station, so I used that instead of walking to the main Skyliner hub at Caribbean.
Also, the Riviera’s Skyliner station is where you can see these beautiful Peter Pan and Tangled-inspired mosaics.
3. Multiple pool areas and beaches
If you’re a pool and beach person or want to have a non-park day by the pool, then you’re going to love staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach.
First of all, there’s one main feature pool called Fuentes del Morro Pool. It’s themed like a colonial Spanish fortress with two waterslides and mini slides for little ones, a shipwreck play area, a spa pool, and more. You can also visit the Banana Cabana pool bar that’s located nearby.
There are also five leisure pools. Yes, this means there is one leisure pool in each village that make for the perfect way to lounge and relax.
If that isn’t enough, there are multiple beaches scattered around the resort with lounge chairs and hammocks. The resort really is a Caribbean escape.
4. Variety of themed-dining options
Dining is usually themed to WDW resorts, which makes them all so unique. For example, this resort features a variety of Caribbean-inspired dishes.
You’ll find items here that you won’t find at any of the parks and other hotels. It’s also nice to have a range of choices when it comes to dining.
When staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach, you can choose from the following:
- Centertown Market (Quick Service)
- Centertown Market Grab & Go (Quick Service)
- Banana Cabana (Pool Bar/Lounge)
- Sebastian’s Bistro (Table Service)
- Spyglass Grill (Quick Service)
Note: During my stay, only Centertown Market and Banana Cabana were open.
1. Caribbean is a big resort
For some, the size of a resort doesn’t matter, but there are cons to a bigger-sized resort like Caribbean.
This means you might end up doing a lot of walking to the main lobby, dining, or transportation, depending on where your room is located.
Tip: You can choose to book a Preferred Room and pay more to be located to closer to the feature pool, Fuentes del Moro, and Old Port Royale (the main area that houses the lobby, the gift store, Centertown Market, Bell Services, and Magical Express departures).
After a long day at the parks, the last thing I want to do is a lot of walking back to my hotel room. I did have a Preferred Room during my December 2020 stay and the location was extremely close to Old Port Royale and the bus stop.
That said, it was about a 10 minute walk or so to the Disney Skyliner. It wasn’t a bad walk, but, again, something to keep in mind.
Although, Caribbean does have internal buses, meaning they will transport you internally around the resort. There is also an Internal Bus stop right outside the Skyliner station. These buses make stops at all the Caribbean bus stops.
However, if you’ve visited WDW before, you know how unreliable Disney buses can sometimes be. Plus, with social-distancing measures implemented, only a select number of guests can fit on a bus currently.
I did not utilize the internal buses, so I’m not sure how often they run and if they are as convenient as they sound. But, just keep in mind there is another option if you don’t want to walk.
2. Downside to transportation
Yes, this is listed as a pro, but transportation can be a con when staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach due the resort being so large.
First, there is the bus situation. Depending on where your room is located, it might seem like forever for a bus to arrive. Luckily, I stayed in the Martinique area, which meant my bus station was the first stop.
I’m not sure if buses always stop in Martinique first or if they rotate, but I always lucked out being the first stop every time I rode a bus.
With the health and safety measures in place, if a bus stops at Martinique first and fills up, it won’t be able to stop at the next stop to pick up guests. This could result in long wait times.
Then, there is the Disney Skyliner, which, as you know, I’m a huge fan. But, Caribbean serves as the main Skyliner hub and houses stations for Epcot, Riviera, Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, and Disney’s Pop Century Resort.
Sometimes the hub can be very busy, especially in the mornings. If it’s not too far and if you’re headed to Epcot, you might want to walk to the Riviera station.
You could also think about using the buses at Riviera, which I did one evening after Animal Kingdom. The line was extremely long for Caribbean and rather than waiting, I hopped on the Riviera bus and then walked back to my room.
And if you’re staying at a resort with Skyliner access, take the gondolas (depending on weather, of course), because you may end up waiting a long time for a bus.
During my December trip, I tried to take a bus from Epcot to Caribbean because I was at the front of the park and didn’t want to walk all the way back to the International Gateway to use the Skyliner.
Well, I quickly learned that buses from Epcot to Caribbean were only running once every hour.
3. Rooms are just ok
Finally, the rooms. They were nice, clean, and perfectly fine to stay in. But, for renovated rooms, I thought they were just ok, especially for a Moderate Resort.
The beds were comfortable, there was a ton of counter space in the bathroom, the toilet and shower were separate from the sink area, and there was a lot of storage (except for underneath the beds), but, again, the rooms weren’t anything special.
All that said, one big pro is that you can book rooms with a fifth sleeper, which is great for families of five. These rooms have two queen beds and one child-size pull-down bed.
Actually, I like the rooms at Pop Century a lot better.
4. No elevators
That’s right. None of the buildings have elevators. The buildings only have two floors, but still. This is definitely something to keep in mind, especially if you have a lot of luggage or if have you mobility issues. If needed, you can always put in a first-floor room request, but sometimes Disney can’t make room guarantees.
All that said, staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach was enjoyable. Even though I’ve stayed in nicer rooms on property and prefer a smaller resort (French Quarter will forever be my favorite, especially for a Moderate Resort), Caribbean has a lot to offer.
I welcome the transportation choices, the dining options, the Caribbean theme, the views, the closeness to Riviera, and the relaxing vibe. There are always going to be pros and cons when it comes to a hotel and sometimes it’s all about trial and error.
Have you stayed at Caribbean? Let me know your thoughts!