If you’re looking for a tropical-themed getaway, look no further than Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort has two significant game-changing features. The fact that it is the only moderate room on the Skyliner, and the fact that it has a fifth sleeper bed. Let’s do a quick overview before we get into all that.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort opened on October 1st, 1988, as the first moderate hotel at Disney World. Despite the resort being nearly 33 years old, it has undergone some significant changes. Disney debuted pirate-themed rooms in 2009 to tie into the popular film franchise. The standard rooms were refurbished in 2015, upgrading the beds from two doubles to two queen size beds and creating a fifth sleeper room. In 2018, Old Port Royale received a facelift to become the official lobby for the hotel. I would say this is a new and improved look for Caribbean Beach. It provides a colorful and fresh setting that is perfect for a vacation in Florida.
Technically Caribbean Beach is classified as being in the Epcot resort area, but it’s actually closer to Hollywood Studios. Thanks to the Disney Skyliner, this is the closest you can get to Disney’s third theme park, that is until the star wars hotel opens in 2022. With Disney’s new transportation system, you can reach Epcot’s backdoor entrance in about 10 to 15 minutes.
Caribbean Beach has historically been the cheapest moderate hotel at Disney World, but these days all the moderates are really a toss-up. However, adding the Skyliner has certainly increased the value of this hotel. Besides the traditional bus service to the parks, it is the only moderate resort with the second mode of transportation. For a moderately priced Disney vacation, Caribbean beach is a great option if you live in a colder climate and wish to stay in a tropical resort.
Caribbean Beach Villages
This resort is made up of five different villages named after some popular Caribbean islands: Aruba, Jamaica, Martinique, Barbados, and Trinidad. If you’re wondering which village is the best one to stay in, there is no easy answer. Each village has its own pros and cons, so choosing the right one is down to what you value the most.
If you book a preferred room at Caribbean Beach you’ll either be in Martinique or Barbados, these are both on the east side of the resort. These villages are only a five-minute walk to old port royal where the main feature pool is and all major dining. In my opinion, Barbados is perhaps slightly better because it’s closer to the main hub station for the Skyliner.
All of the pirate-themed rooms are located in Trinidad and if your room is somewhere like building 39, all the way at the end, you’ll probably have the biggest walk to Old Port Royale. Which is a little over 10 minutes, that’s a pretty long walk, when you have to do it for the entirety of your stay. The beds are also not very comfortable and there are two double beds as opposed to the queen beds in the other rooms.
If you book a standard room at this resort you’ll be in one of the villages on the west side, that’s Jamaica and Aruba. Jamaica could be considered the better of the two because again it’s close to the big Skyliner station.
It’s best to call the resort before you arrive if you want to put in a more specific request. I say a room in either building 44, 45 or 46 in Jamaica is the best option, you’ll be very central to everything. Close to both the Skyliner station and the pathway that leads directly to Old Port Royale.
If you are traveling without a car, then make sure you utilize the special van service with bell services. There are plenty of guests dragging suitcases across this huge resort. The best way to avoid lugging suitcases is to take some cash with you and tip a bellhop to escort you straight to your room in an air-conditioned van. The large size of this resort may turn you off, but this is the only moderate resort on the Skyliner. You can board the gondola from two different stations, either the hub at Caribbean Beach or a short walk to the Riviera Resort, depending on where your exact room is located.
King Bed – Sleeps 2 adults and has views of either the Lake, Pool, COurtyard or woodlands.
Water or Pool view – features 2 queen beds with either Lake or pool views
Standard View – 2 queen beds with courtyard or woodland view
Water or pool view with 5th sleeper – 2 queen beds with 1 child size pull down bed.
Standard view with 5th sleeper – 2 queen beds with 1 child size pull down bed.
Preferred room – available as 2 queen beds or with the added 5th sleeper and has Close proximity to the Fuentes del Morro Pool and Centertown.
Pirate rooms – available as standard view or water view featuring 2 double beds themed after pirate ships
There is a Disney Skyliner hub station next to Jamaica, where you can catch all three lines on the system. If you’re in a rush, you can grab a quick breakfast at Joffrey’s before hopping on the gondola.
From here, you can reach Hollywood Studios in under 10 minutes. The second line you can catch from Caribbean Beach takes you to the Pop Century and Art of Animation, which are both only five minutes away. Once you board the third line, which will take you to Epcot, this is the longest line of the three and will get you to the international gateway entrance in about 10 minutes.
The bus system is another option for getting to the parks from Caribbean Beach. At Caribbean Beach, each village has its own bus stop. You can take a bus directly to the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, or Disney Springs. Depending on how crowded the bus is, your bus may make a few stops at other villages before leaving the resort.
Old Port Royale is the second place to catch a bus. The three destinations I just mentioned are usually accessible directly from here. There is usually no bus service to Epcot or Hollywood Studios. To get to these two parks, you’ll have to take the Skyliner. On a very busy day, however, I have seen Disney send extra buses to these parks if things get hectic at the Skyliner.
The resort also has an internal bus shuttle that runs throughout the day. Once the bus leaves the Skyliner station, it runs to Jamaica, followed by Aruba, Martinique, Old Port Royale, Barbados, and Trinidad before returning to the Skyliner. After a day at the Hollywood Studios, for example, if you’d rather not walk back to your room in Aruba, you can catch the shuttle once you get off the Skyliner and you’re two stops from your room.
Old Port Royale has undergone a major upgrade. The hotel’s only table service restaurant is Sebastian’s bistro.
It should be noted that the banana cabana serves some food but does not take reservations. It is technically a pool bar that serves some food so it is advisable to put your name on the waiting list after a few of the other restaurants have finished serving their products.
Dinner can be grabbed from two quick-service restaurants, the first of which is Spyglass Grill, located in the middle of the Trinidad buildings. The counter-service food spot was created to solve the problem of guests staying in the pirate rooms having to walk a long distance to the old port royal.
Center Town Market is open and it is the resort’s main quick-service restaurant. They offer decent dishes here inspired by Caribbean flavors.
The resort has its own marina, something that is usually only reserved for deluxe resorts. If you want to go on an early fishing excursion, you can do so for an additional cost. Caribbean Key is also located right in the middle of the lagoon. If you just want to relax and take in the tropical sunsets, you’ll find a playground and shaded lounge chairs here. The resort also holds movie under the stars here. There are pool fountains located right in the middle of Old Port Royale. From a value resort to a moderate resort at Disney World, you get larger rooms and better pools, and this one is fantastic. The pool is inspired by the famous fort scene in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In Disney’s version, a zero-entry pool features several water jets shooting out of cannons and not one but two slides. There’s also a small hot tub on the backside of the fort for adults, and a pirate-themed splash pad for toddlers.
Besides the main feature pool, each village will also have a quiet pool. Although these pools aren’t zero entry, they will provide a quick dip just a few steps from your room. At Caribbean Beach, all rooms with a pool view overlook a quiet pool in the village to which they are corresponding.
Overall, Caribbean Beach has definitely grown on me over the years. There is no doubt that the Skyliner adds value to this resort and sets it apart from other moderates. This is a good option if you need a room with a fifth sleeper, but do not want to spend the money on a family suite or deluxe resort.
Do the rooms at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort have microwaves?
A small refrigerator and a coffee maker are included in Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort rooms, but there are no microwaves. In Aruba, Jamaica, and Martinique, snack stations called Island Markets have microwaves. In case you would like to warm up something, microwaves are available for your use. In your resort’s check-in area, you may want to ask the Cast Member if you will use the microwave there often if you are asked to get a room near your village’s Island Market.
Do Disney Caribbean Beach Resort rooms have refrigerators?
Yes, the Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort does offer mini-refrigerators in the guest rooms.
Is there a gym at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort?
No, however, they do have many offerings to help get your blood pumping, such as jogging around Barefoot Bay Promenade, playing some volleyball, or renting a bike to ride around Barefoot Bay.
Is there a beach at Disney Caribbean Beach Resort?
No, there may not be a beach at Caribbean Beach resort, but they do have Fuentes del Morro Pool, which is well worth factoring in for some swimming time.
Does disney caribbean beach resort have elevators?
There are no elevators in any of the buildings. The hotel recommends 1st-floor rooms to guests who cannot walk upstairs. Wheelchairs are welcome in all common facilities.