Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is a stunningly gorgeous moderate resort themed to the Caribbean Islands. Each village of the resort is named after a Caribbean Island. These villages make up guest accommodations. During your Walt Disney World vacation, you might end up in a section inspired by Aruba, Jamaica, or another tropic.
In this review of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, we’ll discuss the details of our latest stay. We love Caribbean Beach and always enjoy our time here. But if you’ve never visited the resort, you’ll want to know a few things before booking your stay.
For instance, we encountered several guests on this trip who were baffled at the resort’s tremendous size. They had no idea how to get around the resort efficiently. We also witnessed multiple guests waiting at the bus stop for a bus that wasn’t coming. If you stay at Caribbean Beach, you have to take the Skyliner to Hollywood Studios and Epcot unless the Skyliner is down. So it was amusing to see people sitting on a bench at the bus stop and then checking the wait time screen moments later and realizing their mistake.
As I’m sure you know, vacation time is precious. We try to pay attention during our travels and use these experiences to help you make the most of your vacation. Below, we’ll discuss the general things you want to know about Disney’s Caribbean Beach, like the rooms, amenities, pools, dining options, and transportation. But we’ll also weave in the more intimate details in hopes that you will benefit from it.
This review was updated on November 8, 2023, to reflect our most recent stay.
Is Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort Right For You?
Before we get into this review, I want to point out a few considerations that might immediately deter you from staying at Caribbean Beach. These are not necessarily negative factors. But these are things that you might say: if we had known this or that, we wouldn’t have chosen this resort.
First, Caribbean Beach is a massive resort. You are likely going to walk much more at this resort than you would at a smaller one. If you are that “loves long walks on the beach” kind of person, you’ll be fine–except there’s no ocean. But if you already have concerns about extra walking in the parks, you might not want to add on this much more at the resort. However, you can cut down on some extra walking by using the resort’s internal bus system at the cost of your time.
The other major issue for some might be that Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort does not have elevators. All room assignments are in buildings with two floors. You can request a first-floor room, but it’s not guaranteed. However, from our experience, Disney does their best to fill room requests. Bell services can also help deliver or pick up luggage from your room.
Here is a photo of the staircase next to our room. It had two landings on the way up, with approximately five to six steps between each set.
Again, these aren’t terrible things, but they are facts about Caribbean Beach that you should know beforehand. Disney has many options when it comes to resorts. Therefore, it’s good to research these options and figure out which one works best for your family.
Our Stay at Disney’s Caribbean Beach
For this last stay, we hoped to end up in one of the new ‘The Little Mermaid’ rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. These specific rooms are located in the Trinidad section of the resort and were formerly pirate rooms.
When we arrived, I checked with the front desk, and they said we had indeed been assigned a room in that section of the resort. We have a separate tour of the ‘The Little Mermaid’ rooms if you want to know our steps to secure this room.
Our arrival experience went well. At the front gate, a security guard checked our identification and alerted the resort that we had arrived. We then drove to Old Port Royale, stopped at the front desk, and spent some time browsing the Calypso gift shop. At approximately 10:30 a.m., we received a text that our room was ready.
Getting our room assignment so early was unexpected but a welcome relief. We didn’t have to worry about checking our luggage and retrieving it later. We drove to Trinidad and located the closest parking spot to building 34. Our room was on the second floor.
After photographing the room, we retrieved our luggage and got settled in the room. Here are a few photos of the room. Remember that these photos only depict rooms in the Trinidad section. We’ll try to get back for a fresh look at the other rooms when time allows. In recent months, most of the resort rooms have received a soft goods refurbishment.
We appreciated the lighter paint colors. It was immediately apparent that the rooms no longer felt like a dark cave.
Here is an alternate view of the room with all of the beds pulled down. Naturally, this is a hotel room. So, if you have a larger party, it might be a tight fit. But that’s the case with any standard-size room.
Since Caribbean Beach falls under Disney’s moderate resorts category, the vanity area and water closet are separate. You’ll have two sinks in the vanity area.
Here, we have the water closet with a tub and shower combination. Built-in toiletries are mounted on the shower wall.
We loved this room and felt it significantly improved over the former pirate rooms. Smaller parties can keep the sofa up and use the space as a living area. But the room sleeps up to five (4 adults and one child) if needed.
Some people complain that Disney doesn’t incorporate the same amount of theming in their rooms as they have in the past, and I get that. But I appreciate a room that feels fresh, light, and airy. We stayed at Caribbean Beach a few years ago, and I detested the dark rooms. But now I would gladly stay at Caribbean Beach anytime.
After photographing the room, I wanted fresh photos of the resort and the pool area. It was still reasonably early, and I hoped the feature pool wouldn’t be crowded since the weather was chilly. Thankfully, other than the hot tub, it wasn’t.
Caribbean Beach is home to six pools, including the Fuentes del Morro Pool, the resort’s main pool area. This pool is a few steps from Old Port Royale. It’s a beautiful pool area that ranks high on our list of the best resort pools at Disney World. Water cannons shoot water into the pool from each of the towers.
The Fuentes del Morro Pool is a pirate-themed pool designed to look like a Spanish fortress. It features two water slides, one of which is 102 feet long.
A smaller slide is available on the other side of the pool. It’s not nearly as intense as the other slide.
Here is an overview of the pool area from the top of the water slide platform.
A Shipwreck-themed aquatic play area sits in a separately fenced area adjacent to the feature pool. If you want to learn more, we have an extensive guide that covers the pools at Disney’s Caribbean Beach in detail.
After taking photos of the pool area, it was off to explore the rest of what the resort had to offer. So we started with Martinique, which sits immediately between Old Port Royale and Disney’s Riviera Resort.
For reference, preferred rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach are located in Barbados and Martinique. Both of these villages sit on either side of Old Port Royale. If you stay in a preferred area, you’ll be near the feature pool, main lobby, gift shop, and restaurants.
Preferred rooms are an upgrade, meaning they will cost more. But if you think you’ll want to be close to the lobby, then you might consider one. However, each section of the resort has a bus stop. So you won’t have to walk to Old Port Royale to catch the bus if that is a concern.
Every village at Disney’s Caribbean Beach has a quiet pool with laundry facilities. Here is a photo of the quiet pool for Martinique.
If you stay at Martinique, you’ll be within short walking distance of Disney’s Riviera. You can use the Skyliner station at the Riviera to travel to Epcot or to the station at Caribbean Beach. However, you will have to transfer at Caribbean Beach to get to Hollywood Studios. While Martinique has a preferred location, it’s the farthest village from the Skyliner station at Caribbean Beach.
We’ll pass by the Riviera and hop over to Aruba. Aruba and Jamaica are my favorite sections of the resort for their location. Aruba sits between Jamaica and the Skyliner station at Disney’s Riviera Resort.
Aruba’s location makes it convenient to access the Riviera Resort and the Skyliner. You can also quickly get to Old Port Royale by taking the bridge across Barefoot Bay. We love to mobile order from Primo Piatto, the quick service at Disney’s Riviera. Both Aruba and Martinique are within a short walking distance of the Riviera.
Here is a photo of Disney’s Riviera, taken from the beach at Aruba.
Each quiet pool at Disney’s Caribbean Beach has an entrance to the sidewalk that loops Barefoot Bay. So, from within your village, you can walk out to the lake and quickly locate the pool.
As we make our way back around Caribbean Beach, we find ourselves in Jamaica. Jamaica is defined by bright yellow buildings with blue and white trim.
Here is a photo of the bridge between Jamaica and Old Port Royale. Instead of circling the lake, guests on this side can quickly cut across the bridge to get back and forth between their village and the lobby.
Jamaica’s quiet pool sits a few steps from the bridge.
All of the laundry rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach are nearly identical. Here is the one by the Jamaica quiet pool.
Inside, you’ll find plenty of washers, dryers, and a couple of vending machines. One of the machines has laundry detergent. You’ll need to scan a QR code on the machines with your mobile device to pay for each cycle.
Jamaica is the last section of the resort on this side of the lake. After Jamaica, you’ll run into Disney’s Skyliner station. The Skyliner is across the street from Jamaica. This is only a small internal road within the resort. So you won’t have to worry about dealing with much traffic.
Here is a photo I took from the road near the Skyliner, looking back to the resort. You can see the sidewalk on the left side that travels from the Skyliner to Jamaica, Aruba, and Riviera. That sidewalk continues to the opposite side of the resort, where Martinique picks up. Of course, from where I’m standing, you can also take the sidewalk to the right and travel to Barbados and the other destinations in the opposite direction.
The only village you can’t see from the photo above is Trinidad. That’s because Trinidad sits on the opposite side of the lake from the Skyliner. Here is a photo that shows Trinidad in proximity to the Skyliner station.
Trinidad is a unique area because it’s all to itself. This area was once considered a bit of a no man’s land in comparison to the rest of the resort. Formerly, the pirate rooms were what gave guests an incentive to book this location. Other than the special theming, no one really wanted to be in this location, especially toward the back of Trinidad, because it was so far out.
However, since the Skyliner opened, Trinidad has become much more desirable due to its location. It’s only a short walk to the Skyliner. And since the unfavorable rooms were completely redone, guests now want to stay in this portion of the resort.
Another huge advantage of staying in Trinidad is that it has its own quick-service restaurant, the Spyglass Grill. This location was open daily between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. during our stay.
Related: Spyglass Grill Review
The Spyglass Grill is partially covered and has a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu. They have a small dining area in addition to the tables and chairs at the quiet pool. They also have a beverage refill machine. So, if you purchase a Rapid Fill mug, you can refill it here without having to walk all the way to Old Port Royale. We utilized this location way more than I would have ever thought going into this stay.
As we make our way to Old Port Royale, we run into Barbados. Like Martinique, Barbados has preferred rooms because of its proximity to Old Port Royale.
Here is a photo of the quiet pool in the Barbados section. However, you’ll only be a few steps away from the resort’s primary pool.
Finally, we made it back to Old Port Royale. Over the years, we’ve always heard incredible things about Old Port Royale, and if you’ve ever visited, you would likely agree. When the resort was modernized a few years ago, many complained over the loss of the themed quick-service dining area. But the area in its entirety is still gorgeous. When you arrive, you’re going to feel like you’ve stepped into a hotel in the Caribbean, as you should.
The walkway into the hotel is pretty, but even more so if you have the chance to visit over the holidays.
Inside, you’re greeted with a fresh island vibe.
Here is a better idea. This is one of the largest resort lobbies at the Disney World Hotels. It’s broken down into smaller areas where guests can lounge.
Tall windows allow light to flood in toward the back of the lobby.
A children’s area is available near the check-in desks.
You’ll have the option to go left or right when you exit the resort side of the lobby.
A beautiful fountain, topped with a pineapple, is surrounded by tropical plants.
If you go to the right, you’ll see the lighthouse ahead.
This area is used for various recreational activities.
They had several games for guests to play at their leisure, like chess, putt-putt golf, cornhole, and a few more on the opposite side. Caribbean Beach used to have bike rentals. But I haven’t seen any in several years. However, they are still available at a few other Walt Disney World Resort Hotels like Old Key West, Saratoga Springs, and Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.
Here is a photo looking back to Old Port Royale from the lighthouse.
If you take a left when you exit the lobby, you’ll immediately run into the entrance to the Fuentes del Morro Pool.
Around the corner, you’ll find the Banana Cabana, a lounge that doubles as the pool bar. This location is open from 11:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. They serve a variety of cocktails and have a full menu with appetizers, entrees, and kids’ meals.
On the side of Banana Cabana, you’ll find a beverage refill station with a sink to rinse your mug. If you want coffee or tea, you’ll have to go inside to Centertown Market.
Past Banana Cabana, you’ll find a table-service restaurant called Sebastian’s Bistro. It is one of the few places we’ve yet to dine at Disney World.
Back inside Old Port Royal, you’ll find the resort’s gift shop, Calypso Trading Post, and the primary quick-service restaurant, Centertown Market. Calypso Trading Post has anything from resort-branded merchandise to health and beauty convenience items.
Centertown Market is open daily from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can place a mobile order and pick up your food or order when you get there. (This is the food court that was formerly heavily themed to an open-air market that guests raved about.)
Several dining rooms are available if you prefer to dine inside.
But we enjoy eating outside. After photographing most of the resort, we stopped here for lunch on our first day. This is the mixed grill platter, which is more than enough food for one person. Just ask for a couple of extra plates when you pick up your order if you’re going to share. It came with two ribs, a smoked sausage, two pieces of chicken, fried yucca, mixed vegetables, and a roll!
I also wanted to mention that Centertown Market has a separate Grab-n-Go shop that sells additional food items. They have a soft-serve ice cream machine that’s pretty popular.
Back outside, Caribbean Beach has another little gem you’ll want to be aware of during your stay. That gem is Caribbean Cay, an island that sits in the middle of Barefoot Bay. This area is part of the bridge between Old Port Royale and Jamaica. A few paths lead off the bridge, extending to the island.
You can explore the island and take in scenic views of the resort. This one looks back to the main pool at Old Port Royale.
The tropical landscape truly feels like an island.
This area is home to playgrounds, swings, lounge areas, and more. Each evening, the Movie Under the Stars is held on the island.
You might rest in a hammock while the kids play in the sand.
Speaking of sand, it’s important to mention that every single section of the resort has white sand beaches along Barefoot Bay.
If you’re into birding, you might enjoy checking out the Purple Martins birdhouses on the beach between Old Port Royale and the Riviera.
They have several birdhouses painted in tropical colors.
This area is also home to a sand volleyball court.
A firepit sits nearby where guests can roast complimentary marshmallows each evening.
Guided fishing excursions are also available from Barefoot Bay Marina. You’ll want to call and make reservations in advance.
Before we wrap things up, I want to briefly discuss transportation. If you end up planning a stay here, you’ll want to read our entire transportation guide for Disney’s Caribbean Beach. It goes into detail about the best way to get around the resort and to and from it.
Each village has a bus stop that sits near the parking lot. On one side of each village, you’ll have the lake, while the opposite side faces the parking lot. We took the internal bus around the resort one morning and ran into some people who couldn’t find the bus stop.
They had walked to the Skyliner because they assumed they could take it to where they were going. Unfortunately, they were going to Magic Kingdom and needed to take a bus. So they ended up at the bus stop by the Skyliner station, which is for the internal bus only. The bus driver dropped them off at Jamaica (the next stop), and then they had to wait for a bus to Magic Kingdom.
My best advice is to know what transportation goes where and to locate those transportation options after you arrive at the resort. Take a few minutes to get your bearings, and then find the quickest path from your room to the bus stop nearest you. If you’re in Trinidad, you’ll want to find the Trinidad bus stop.
Wait times for the next bus are posted at each bus stop. From our experience, they are pretty accurate.
As for the Skyliner, you can take it from Caribbean Beach to the following locations:
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Additionally, Caribbean Beach has an internal shuttle that runs often. It only loops the resort, and it takes approximately 20 minutes to travel full circle. Here is the order in which it stops:
- Old Port Royale
- The Skyliner
After Martinique, it returns to Old Port Royale and starts over. I would imagine that most guests aren’t aware of the internal shuttle near the Skyliner. If you were in Martinique, it would save you a lot of walking to take the internal shuttle to reach the Skyliner. The only issue is that you might have to wait a while for the bus. However, if it’s the end of the day and you’re exhausted or, worse, it’s raining, you will be glad to have this option to get you closer to your room.
As mentioned earlier, we enjoy dining at Disney’s Riviera Resort when we stay at Caribbean Beach. If you don’t want to walk the entire distance, you can take the internal bus to Martinique. From the bus stop, there’s a sidewalk that leads directly to the pathway to Disney’s Riviera.
Here’s a photo of where the paths join. It’s a short walk to Riviera from this area. Or you can take the Disney Skyliner from Caribbean Beach to Disney’s Riviera Resort.
We love Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and enjoy staying here, especially now that the rooms have been updated. Having access to the Skyliner and being able to quickly travel to the Epcot Resorts area is a huge benefit. We enjoy spending time at each Disney Resort, but the deluxe resorts near Epcot are undoubtedly our favorites. However, they come with a much heftier price tag than Caribbean Beach.
If your budget falls within the moderate resort price range, our favorite option is Disney’s Coronado Springs. We have a separate review of Coronado Springs if you want to learn more. It’s another large resort like Caribbean Beach. However, it doesn’t have access to the Skyliner. Ultimately, I prefer the rooms at Coronado Springs over Caribbean Beach. But as far as the landscape and amenities, both resorts are equally impressive in their own way.
For more information about Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, you might enjoy the following:
For other moderate resorts at Disney, you might like the following reviews:
What Do You Think About Disney’s Caribbean Beach?
What are your thoughts about staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach? Did you find this review helpful? Have you stayed here before? Please share your thoughts below in the comments section. We enjoy learning your perspective, and other readers can benefit from your insight.