Mary Connor

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A Hidden Tropical Paridise

a look at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort

A look at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort

The go-to moderate resorts at Walt Disney World are usually Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter Resorts.  If you are going to Disney on business you may even stay at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort but rarely do you hear of people excited to stay at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.

Unfortunately this resort has gotten a bad rap as being the lesser of the three moderate Walt Disney World resorts but I am thinking it may just be a magical tropical oasis to get away from the parks and enjoy time with the family.

Welcome to this month's Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are sharing our reviews of the moderate resorts at Walt Disney World.

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Overview

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is a sprawling (this is an understatement) resort that covers over 200-acres.  It includes six villages (Trinidad North, Trinidad South, Martinique, Barbados, Aruba and Jamaica) and 2112 rooms.

Theming will be obvious as you are instantly enveloped in a tropical paradise and you get that laid back island feel amid the craziness that is called touring a Disney park.

You will enjoy traditional island foods at the onsite restaurant or dining hall, unwind in a hammock along a sandy shore, enjoy one of the 7 pools on property or get some shopping done at the island marketplace.  You will want to make sure to schedule some time to just relax!

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort Map

Lobby

An interesting thing a about Disney’s Caribbean Beach is that the lobby, called the Custom House, is actually separated from the rest of the resort.

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort Overview - The Custom House Lobby

It makes arriving unique as you do get that feel of having to be processed through customs before you vacation begins.  Depending on what building you are at you may have to take a shuttle from the lobby to your room (if you do not have a car).

Tip: This is one resort I would leverage bell service with.  I would not recommend dragging your luggage with you if you have to walk very far.

What is great about this lobby and check in process is the service.  Lines should be rare as there are ample Cast Members to help you check in, get tickets or answer any questions you may have.

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort Overview - The Custom House Lobby

Rooms

Each building has 64 rooms and is two stories tall.  Views include standard view (views of the hotel, courtyard or woodlands ), water/pool view or a preferred room.  Preferred rooms are located in the villages of Martinique and Trinidad North (close to Old Port Royale pool, dining and shops).

I am going to be honest here.  Since these rooms don’t have balconies I would not worry too much about the view.  There is no limit of places on property to sit and enjoy the views.  You room does not have to be one of them.

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort Overview - Barbados Village

There are two predominant options for rooms types at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort: 2 queen beds (sleeps 4) and 2 queen beds plus a child-size murphy bed (sleeps 5).   There are also limited quantities of king bed rooms and accessible rooms.

Highlights of what each room includes:

  • Curtain between the vanity area and the sleeping area – very important for early risers that don’t want to wake everyone up
  • Coffee maker and set up – not all Disney resorts have coffee makers so this is an important addition
  • Ceiling fan
  • In-room refrigerator
  • Complimentary wi-fi
  • Laundry facility on site and dry cleaning service
  • Pac-n-play crip (upon request)


There is also a specialty room at Disney’s Caribbean Beach perfect for the pirate lover in all of us.  Located in Trinidad-South there are 350 pirate-themed rooms that come complete with pirate ship beds, buccaneer accessories and swashbuckling décor.  The one downside to this room is the beds are full size rather than queen.

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort Overview - pirate themed room

Dining

There are a number of dining options at Disney’s Caribbean Beach resort.

1. Port Royale Food Court

This will be you main dining option while stay at this resort because it is open starting at 7:00 am and stays open to way past park closing.  The theme is that of a tropical town center where you can purchase food items from one of the many ‘markets’.

You will be able to choose from a variety of options.  Such as American favorites of hamburgers, pizza, pasta and broiled specialties. If you may want to try something with a more tropical flavor you can try a Cuban sandwich, Caribbean salad or Moyo pork.

Port Royale Food Court does take the Disney Dining Plan.  All menu items are considered counter-service or snacks.

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort Overview - Port Royale Food Court

2. Shutters

Open only for dinner, Shutters is the on-site table service option.  A relaxing island-themed restaurant that boasts an open kitchen so you can see the chefs create American Favorites with a Caribbean Twist.

Some of their dishes include grilled beef ribeye, seared sea scallops, island pasta, tres leches cake and key lime cheesecake.  There is a little bit of everything here so everyone should be able to find something to make them happy.

Disney dining plan is accepted. Reservations are recommended.

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort Overview - Shutters Restaurant

3. Banana Cabana Pool Bar

If you are visiting the tropics you know you have to visit the pool bar.  This is no different for Disney’s Caribbean Beach resort.

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort Overview - Banana Cabana Pool Bar

The Banana Cabana Pool Bar, located directly adjacent to the Fuentes del Morro Pool, offers you the classic tropical drinks like the Captain’s Mai Tai, Sunken Treasure and the famous Banana Cabana.  Beer, wine, sangria and a full bar are also available.

s beers on tapLet me stop on the beer for a moment.  There are some great options here for the craft beer lovers.

At the time of my visit they had:

  • Sunset Palm (brewed exclusively for Caribbean Beach – Bock style beer)
  • Kona Brewing Co. Pipeline Porter (my favorite beer)
  • Florida Beer Co. Hurricane Reef Pilsner
  • Tomoka Brewing Co. Oceanside IPA.

In addition to drinks, they do offer a small menu that includes Island Nachos, wings, fruit salad and sliders.

4. Blaze Runner Pizza Delivery

If you just want to stay in or if it is raining outside there is a delivery option.  Blaze Runner Pizza will bring pizza, wings, sandwiches and dessert straigh to your room.  They also will bring non-alcoholic beverages, beer and wine.  Who need to go out?

Serving from 4:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. $15.00 minimum order. 18% Gratuity, $3.00 Delivery Charge, and 7% Sales tax added to all Delivery Orders.

Recreation

From 7 pools, to dedicated kids areas to fishing, bike rentals and even pirate cruises.  There really are unlimited activities to keep you occupied if you should ever feel bored.

1. Leisure Pools

There are 6 leisure pools (one for each village) that are much quieter than the main pool and let you relax or get in some laps (the choice is yours, no judging here).  Towels are only available at the main pool, Fuentes del Morro Pool so remember to take your room towel with you to enjoy one of these pools.

2. Fuentes Del Morro Pool

The main pool at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will take you to an old Spanish citadel where you can fend of invaders with water cannons or head to the top of the turret for an 82-foot slide past the fortress wall.

A zero-entry makes it easy for all to enjoy the pool and two relaxing spas give adults (and kids) a chance to unwind from a day at the parks.

For the younger set there is a marooned shipwreck nearby with 3 small slides and water elements for those 48 inches and under.  Beware that there is a barrel that will dump a deluge of water on everyone periodically.



3. Barefoot Bay Bike Works

With a 42-acre lake and 1.4 miles of trails on property you are going to want to stop by Barefoot Bay Bike Works.  They can set you up with bicycle or surrey bike to get around the property.  If you are interested in fishing you can book a guided bass fish excursion.

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort Overview - Barefoot Bay Bike Works

For those lucky enough to be between 4 and 12 years old, why not book a Pirate Cruise or head to Pirate Camp.  There is a fee for these experiences.

The Pirate Cruise sets sail on select days and is a 2 hour (9:30 am to 11:00 am) pirate adventure that takes them across the waters in search of hidden treasure.  Along the way they will hear legends of past pirates and don pirate bandanas.  At the final port of call, kids split up the pirate treasure and enjoy a snack (such as goldfish crackers or pretzels) and a drink (such as water or a juice box).

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort Overview - Barefoot Bay Bike Works Pirate Cruise and Pirate Camp

If your child prefers to remain on land they can head to Pirate Camp instead (and who says you can’t do both).  Pirate Camp is held on select nights and is a 2 hour (5:00 pm to 7:00 pm) and you pirates will learn to be the toughest pirates in the Caribbean through training, games, crafts.  Dinner is included!

4.  Evening Activities

At night don’t think that things slow down.  There are a couple of things here you can only do at night.

Check out the Activities Calendar in your room or head to the pool to the Fuentes Del Morro Pool to find out what Movies Under the Stars will be playing.  Then pick a spot next to Banana Cabana Pool Bar and enjoy a Disney classic under the stars.

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort Overview - activities board at the main pool

Another free thing to do at Disney is to join in the Caribbean Beach Campfire located outside of Shutter restaurant.  Gather around the fire pit as the sun goes down for roasting marshmallows by a crackling fire. (Now who doesn’t like that?)

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort Overview - fire pit along the lake shoreline

 

5. Caribbean Cay Playground

Now if the kids need to blow off even more steam head on over the Caribbean Cay island and let them enjoy the playground.  This rather large playground lets the kids climb, slide and explore while you can enjoy the shaded seating.

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort Overview - Caribbean Cay island playground

Relaxation

So what if you don’t really want to do anything at all.  I think Disney’s Caribbean Beach has you covered.  Around the lake you will find a number of hammocks just ready for you to climb into.  There are also lounge chairs and winding walkways for you.

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort Overview - hammocks along sandy shores

If you really want to get away head out to Caribbean Cay island.  Along the shores of this island you will find these bungalow style seating areas with wonderful views.  The perfect place to get away from it all.

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort Overview - Caribbean Cay island

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort Overview - Caribbean Cay island

Transportation

This is a VERY large resort so if you don’t have a car you are going to be dependent upon the Disney bus system.  There is even an internal bus that just takes you from village to village.  The good news is the internal bus is very frequent and you won’t find yourself have to wait long.

Disney Bus Electronic Time Board

Final Thoughts

What I thought was a resort I never wanted to stay at to one that was quite charming.  I was really surprised how much Disney’s Caribbean Resort had to offer in the ways of activities and relaxation.  It really does have that resort feel and no matter if you are traveling with kids or multi-generations or solo this resort has something to offer.

Now it is your turn.  What do you like or not like about Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort? 

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Orange | WDW Moderate Resort Reviews Loop:

A look at Disney's Caribbean Beach resort - a hidden island paradise

By | 2017-10-12T13:43:31+00:00 September 28th, 2016|

About the Author:

Full time working mom making the most out of time with my family through travel, crafts & photography. Owner/designer of Capturing Magical Memories® and co-owner of the Magical Blogorail travel co-operative. In my free time it is all spas, wineries and concierge.

6 Comments

  1. Heidi September 28, 2016 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    Great review! So, when did they add the rooms with the murphy beds? My family has never stayed here because I was under the assumption their rooms all only slept 4. I’m excited to hear that we have another Moderate resort option. Our dear neighbors (who don’t live by us any longer) used to stay there every time they went to Disney – she used to love to show us her photo albums and just bragged up this resort. I would totally give it a try sometime.

  2. Mike @ My Dreams of Disney September 29, 2016 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    Very detailed post Mary, great job. We’ve not stayed at Caribbean Beach before but I have friends that love it and stay there every time the go. Thanks for all of the details, we may need to try it out one day!

  3. Cindy Howell October 11, 2016 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    We stayed at Caribbean Beach in 1989. It was our first time staying on property. We weren’t really a camping family and couldn’t afford the deluxe resorts, so a moderate was perfect for us. It’s definitely on my list of places to stay with my boys!

  4. Shelley Hamill October 23, 2016 at 9:48 am - Reply

    I am a single mom & I took my then 15 year old son to WDW in 2008. We stayed at Caribbean Beach Resort & absolutely loved it. The main pool was under construction but we would not have used it anyway since we had one in our village. The only thing I didn’t like was that when we returned after park closing, the Port Royale was always closed so we couldn’t get snacks or anything. But it is so beautiful there you really feel like your in a tropical resort. You can also watch the fireworks from Epcot by the lake.

  5. Tracey Campbell October 24, 2016 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    Loved the review. I was there in January, when I booked I gave no preference to room. Low and behold after a lengthy late flight and even longer getting checked in (after hours) not Disney’s fault, we (two middle aged women) fell into pirate beds with Johnny Depp looking over us.

    I had planned a crash and play 4 days in Disney World so there was no time whatsoever to enjoy the tranquility Caribbean Resort offers. I personally cannot wait to get back and spend some time relaxing by the lake and maybe getting some time by the crackling fire. For those of you new to DISNEY 4 days does not even begin to offer time to enjoy. One entire park was ignored on this trip and never did I make it Downtown Disney as it was still known then.

    I have stayed at a few Disney Resorts and can complain of none – I just know I must book time to enjoy the offerings of Caribbean next time.

    One thing of note – I wanted Caribbean Resort souvenirs and could find nothing, not even a hat. What’s up with that?

  6. Rosanne October 25, 2016 at 9:04 am - Reply

    I love Port Royale. I love the main buildings and the pools. I don’t love the size. I do love the refurbished rooms though. My son would love to be a pirate when he gets bigger.

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