Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort Review

Disney’s Caribbean Beach is a beautiful resort themed to the Caribbean Islands. Guests who have stayed here before love to gush about the tropical vibe of this Walt Disney World Resort.

In this Caribbean Beach Resort Review, we’ll look at the resort as a whole. Additionally, I’ll break down the rooms, amenities, pools, dining options, and more.

Caribbean Beach has stunning grounds with luscious landscaping that adds to the tropical appeal.

In addition, the resort is home to one of the main Skyliner stations offering access to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. As a result, Caribbean Beach is the only moderate resort at Disney to provide multiple forms of transportation to the theme parks.

The Skyliner alone makes the resort a huge draw for guests.

This article was updated on February 26, 2022.

Caribbean Beach Resort Review

Disney’s Caribbean Beach falls under the moderate resort category at Walt Disney World. The resort is centered around a stunning body of water, Barefoot Bay.

In the middle of Barefoot Bay, there’s an island called Caribbean Cay.

Thankfully, there’s a bridge across the lake. The bridge makes a trip over to Old Port Royale, the resort’s hub, more accessible for guests staying on the opposite side.

A few years back, Caribbean Beach underwent an extensive refurbishment. The newer Riviera Resort was built next door to Caribbean Beach during that time. And the Skyliner system was installed.

Related: Disney’s Riviera Resort Review

Caribbean Beach Resort is made up of five different villages:

  • Martinique
  • Barbados
  • Trinidad
  • Jamaica
  • Aruba

And then there’s Old Port Royale which serves as the resort’s main lobby and dining area.

As far as room location requests for Caribbean Beach, there are a few preferences you’ll want to consider. And while room location requests are not guaranteed, Disney does try their best to fulfill them from my experience.

The first consideration is that each village is made up of two-story bungalow buildings. There are no elevators in any of the buildings at Caribbean Beach.

Therefore, some might want to request a first-floor room.

Half of the rooms are upstairs and the other half down. So it’s safe to say there’s a 50/50 chance you’ll end up in a second-floor room.

My initial room assignment was on the second floor, and I requested they move me to the first floor.

If I hadn’t had so much luggage, I wouldn’t have minded. But given circumstances, I’ve refrained from using bell services.

So if not having guaranteed access to an elevator is a deal-breaker, you might want to consider another moderate resort. Coronado Springs will likely be the most comparable option.

Related: Coronado Springs Resort Review

Also, it’s essential to know that Caribbean Beach is a massive resort that covers a good bit of ground. So it’s worth considering a preferred room location or requesting a specific section of the resort if possible.

Since the resort is sprawling, I would request Aruba or Jamaica for the best access to the most conveniences. Both of these sections sit directly between the two Skyliner stations.

Additionally, Jamaica is a few short steps away from the bridge over to Old Port Royale. And Aruba is only a few steps away from Disney’s Riviera Resort, which means you can walk over to enjoy their dining options.

Here is the Caribbean Beach Map, so you can see what I mean.

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort Map
Courtesy of Disney

You can download the PDF version of the map here.

However, preferred rooms at Caribbean Beach are located in Barbados and Martinique. Both of these villages sit on either side of Old Port Royale. So if you stay in either village, you’ll be near the feature pool, main lobby, gift shop, and restaurants.

Now, if you want to stay in a pirate-themed room at Caribbean Beach, you are stuck down in Trinidad. Unfortunately, it’s the most remote village at the resort.

All the same, if you are looking for privacy, a pirate room might be a wonderful option. Trinidad is genuinely a serene area with private beaches.

Thankfully, I was placed in Jamaica. I felt this location was extremely convenient.

Rooms

For this Caribbean Beach Review, we’ll preview a standard guest room at the resort. One thing to note, all of the rooms will have exterior access.

Therefore, none of the rooms will have a balcony. And when there is no balcony, I don’t usually see any point in paying for a view upgrade.

Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs is the only moderate that offers interior room access similar to a hotel.

Related: Gran Destino Tower Review

Caribbean Beach has the following room types:

  • Standard View
  • Standard View with 5th Sleeper
  • Water or Pool View with 5th Sleeper
  • King Bed
  • Preferred Location
  • Pirate Standard
  • Pirate Water View

Before we look at the standard rooms, I want to touch on the pirate-themed rooms briefly. To date, I have yet to stay in a pirate room. And I don’t know if I ever will.

We reserved a Royal Princess Room a few years back at Disney’s Riverside Resort.

This princess-themed room was the biggest disappointment. And I would have never paid extra money for a hotel room where the only upgrade was the decor. Not only that, these rooms have a terrible location.

Related: Port Orleans Riverside Review

Since I’ve spent a good deal of time at Caribbean Beach the past few years, I already know the pirate-themed rooms are far away from almost everything at the resort.

You might look at the map and think they are the closest section to the central Skyliner station. But what you probably won’t realize is that you have to walk around the lake and over the bridge to get there.

If you would like to learn more about the pirate-themed rooms, I would check out this review here from Disney Tourist Blog. It pretty much sums up everything I’ve ever heard about this room type.

As mentioned earlier, my room assignment was in Jamaica. I found this village charming and enjoyed some of the outdoor spaces it provided.

For instance, there was a garden with tables and umbrellas right outside my room.

I felt like these areas were very thoughtful and convenient. And it was the perfect place to enjoy a meal outside instead of in the room.

Rooms at Disney, in general, are similar to a standard hotel room. Caribbean Beach is no exception.

Most of the guest rooms will consist of two queen beds with an attached bath.

I found this room spacious and clean, but overall very bland.

I think that Disney must have realized, last minute, that it was bland. It appeared as though they threw in this loud shower curtain. I’m not a fan of shower curtains.

The beds were both queen-sized. However, they do not have the modern platform style we’ve seen in recent room updates.

At other resorts, the platforms provide space to store your luggage underneath the bed.

Related: Pop Century Resort Review

Although, the room provided ample storage space. There was a dresser and an armoire instead of a formal closet.

The armoire has room to hang clothes and store items on the top shelf. The extra blankets and pillows were tucked inside.

The table and chairs provided a nice space to dine inside. Or work, if you are like me.

You’ll find individual cup coffee makers with Joffrey’s coffee, hot tea, and other accompaniments.

There’s a pocket door between the room and guest bath, which is a bit of a space saver.

The bathroom is all one large area. So, on the one hand, the space is nice to have. But on the other hand, it limits the ability for more than one guest to use the space at a time.

Most of the Disney resorts provide a make-up mirror. And there were plenty of toiletries provided.

Underneath the vanity, the shelves were open. The usual extras were in place while still leaving additional room for storage.

You’ll find the soap, shampoo, and conditioner in dispensers attached to the wall in the shower area. The dispensers are a newer thing added over the past few years.

These attached dispensers were a bit questionable at first. However, I have found that they save much hassle over trying to squeeze the last drops out of a tiny plastic bottle.

The bathroom has an iron and safe built into the wall.

Next to the armoire, there was a full-size ironing board. I do not iron, so I never use these things.

But I’m sure many of you do iron on vacation, right?

Overall, the room was fine. But by the end of the week, I was ready for a change.

Some complain about the newer rooms not being themed. However, I have found that the rooms with light color palettes and minimal details are soothing after a long day in the parks.

Recreation

As we continue our resort review, it’s time to preview the items that make this resort shine. The first is one that most guests rave about, the resort’s feature pool, Fuentes del Morro.

The feature pool is next to Old Port Royale, behind the main lobby area.

Related: Caribbean Beach Resort Pools

This pool area is tremendous and offers several lagoon-like areas. Additionally, there are plenty of loungers and tables with chairs positioned around the pool deck.

Some of the seating areas provide umbrellas for shade. But, of course, shade is always lovely when you spend a day at the pool.

One of the differences between moderate and value resorts is that all moderate pools have a water slide feature. That is also true of the Disney deluxe resorts.

Caribbean Beach’s pool is exceptional because it has two waterslides. One of them measures 102 feet long!

Related: The Best Pools at Disney World

Additionally, this fun pirate-themed pool offers a zero-entry pool area. You might notice in the photo below that the pool area was closed this day due to low temperatures.

Pool closures are somewhat rare since the temperatures remain reasonably mild throughout most of the year in Orlando.

Thankfully, Disney Resort pools are heated to 82 degrees during the colder months. Therefore, you’ll often see guests using the pool, even on chilly days.

Not only is the pool area fun for older children and teens, but a water play area is provided for smaller children. This play zone is designed for children 48″ or less in height.

A shallow wading area surrounds the play zone making it an excellent place for toddlers who might be timid about the larger splashes.

The only real downside is that the feature pool will likely be busy on your vacation.

However, if crowded pools are not for you, Caribbean Beach does offer a quiet pool at all five of its villages.

The quiet pools are all substantial.

Ane each leisure pool offers guest laundry facilities.

Having convenient access to a laundry room is necessary for me while on vacation. There are times when I tell myself I won’t do laundry while visiting. But it never fails. If I’m on a property for more than a few days, you’ll find me at the guest laundry.

Related: Laundry at Caribbean Beach

And it’s nice to take a break sometimes to soak in the sun while you’re waiting.

Caribbean Beach also has an excellent walking or jogging trail that circles Barefoot Bay. Here is a photo of the trail.

Related: Best Jogging Trails at Disney World

Unfortunately, Caribbean Beach does not have a fitness center. The only moderate resort that offers a fitness center is Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

Additionally, all deluxe and deluxe villa resorts have a fitness center. And there are no hotel gyms at any of the value resorts.

For those that enjoy bicycling, Caribbean Beach does offer rentals. More information about bike rentals at Disney’s Caribbean Beach is available here on Disney’s site.

The resort also offers guided fishing excursions that leave from Caribbean Cay. Those details are available here.

Additionally, the resort offers a multitude of pleasant beaches for relaxing. Kids seem to enjoy playing in the sand here.

Each village has a beach that faces out toward Barefoot Bay.

Since the Skyliner was added, you can watch the gondolas come and go in the distance.

The beach down at Martinique has a sand volleyball court and a fire pit. This is a pleasant area to enjoy the sunset.

Bird lovers will want to know that this area is also home to a bird colony of Purple Martins.

And if you want to relax outside with no sand or pools involved, there are plenty of areas to do so.

While there is most definitely a lot of sunshine involved at this Disney Resort, one should be able to find a retreat in the shade as well.

Those that like to see everything will also want to explore Caribbean Cay Island on their vacation. This is the island area accessible from the bridge over Barefoot Bay.

The resort’s playground is located on the island.

Lastly, Disney’s Movies Under the Stars program is available each night. Movies Under the Stars is where the resort offers a feature Disney film outdoors each evening.

Most of the resorts have a movie at the pool. But Caribbean Beach’s are held nightly on the island.

So make sure to pick up a copy of the recreation schedule. The schedule will list the movies for each night of your stay.

Old Port Royale

When you arrive at Caribbean Beach, you’ll more than likely head to Old Port Royale. This area is home to the resort’s lobby, dining, and feature pool.

The lobby is bright and cheerful like everything else here.

This stay was over Christmas. The tropical decor fits in wonderfully with the island vibe.

Related: Disney World Resort Hopping at Christmas

Perhaps, the most popular portion of the resort is the backside of the lobby. The buildings all have bright paint colors, and lights are strung overhead.

This entire area is even more special at night.

Old Port Royale is also where you’ll find the gift shop, Calypso Trading Post.

Calypso offers a selection of Caribbean Beach-themed merchandise.

There are plenty of mugs, candies, and other snack items available.

Dining

Anyone planning a stay at Caribbean Beach will want to familiarize themselves with the dining options available at the resort. Centertown Market is the primary quick-service location.

Guests can order food from various kitchens ranging from standard American to spicy Jamaican.

Disney prefers guests to use their mobile ordering service, but it isn’t required. Mobile ordering is convenient. I recommend learning to use the service early on in your trip.

However, if you need assistance, a cast member at the restaurant can help you.

Guests can sit either inside or outside at Centertown Market.

Sebastian’s Bistro is the table service dining location at Caribbean Beach.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity to dine at Sebastian’s yet. The restaurant is a little different from most. It’s one price per adult or child, and several offerings are brought to the table.

Banana Cabana is Caribbean Beach’s lounge that doubles as a pool bar. You can view the menu here on Disney’s site if you like.

The lounge has an excellent outdoor space that gets extremely busy from the early afternoon into the evening.

Banana Cabana is located at Old Port Royale and sits directly across from the feature pool. There’s quite a good bit of foot traffic in the area due to guests coming and going from the lobby and pool.

Unfortunately, Spyglass Grill has not reopened to date. This quick service is located on the Trinidad side of the resort, where the pirate rooms are located.

It is nice to have this option down at Trinidad since this area is a little more to itself.

You can learn more in detail about the dining options at Caribbean Beach in our complete restaurant guide.

Related: Disney’s Caribbean Beach Restaurants

Additionally, Disney’s Riviera Resort sits next door and provides several other favorable restaurants within walking distance. You might want to try these articles for more information:

These options are excellent, and I have yet to order anything disappointing at the resort. And Topolino’s is our choice for the best character dining at Disney World.

As you can see, having an upscale resort next door is another tremendous asset to Caribbean Beach.

Transportation

Before we wrap up this review of Caribbean Beach, we’ll go over the transportation options available at the resort. As you already know, the Skyliner is a tremendous asset to the resort.

From Caribbean Beach’s central Skyliner station, you can travel directly to the following locations:

Since the Skyliner is available, bus transportation is not provided to Epcot or Hollywood Studios. That is unless the Skyliner were to experience downtime.

Additionally, if you’re wanting to visit the Epcot Resorts, you can take the Skyliner to Epcot and then walk over to the following resorts:

This makes it easy to get to dining options at any of these resorts. Or you could take the Skyliner over for a stroll around Crescent Lake.

While the Skyliner is a huge positive, it is not perfect. I don’t want to sell you on staying here because of the gondolas without telling you about a few experiences.

Since the Disney Skyliner gondolas opened, I’ve had mostly good experiences until this trip. You might even remember how much we enjoyed using it when we stayed at Riviera for the first time.

Unfortunately, that was not the case on this particular trip.

On my first day as a guest on Disney property, I checked into my room at Disney’s Caribbean Beach. Then I spent most of the day touring the resort, doing room photos, and working on this review.

After that, I went to Epcot via the Skyliner at about 4:00 p.m. I used the station on the Riviera side because I was closest to it.

There was no wait, and I was dropped off at the International Gateway within 10 minutes. Everything worked flawlessly.

My return trip at Epcot’s closing time did not go so smoothly. At some point, the Skyliner had an issue and was no longer operating.

I didn’t realize it until I had exited the park to return to Caribbean Beach. A cast member informed me my only option was to walk over to Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and take a bus back to Caribbean Beach.

Not a big deal, right? Well, I’m incredibly familiar with the area and know exactly where to go. But that’s not the case for everybody.

When I got to the Boardwalk bus stop, I was greeted by a sea of disgruntled guests. Some had been waiting for a while and were leaving to find a cab.

Thankfully, several buses did come within a few minutes. But several guests stated they had been waiting close to 25 minutes. And it was cold outside this evening.

To make matters worse, instead of going straight back to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, the bus went to Pop Century and Art of Animation first. After they dropped us off at the Caribbean, there were still guests onboard headed to Riviera.

Later on, in the week, I headed out to Epcot again a little after lunchtime. This picture below is the line that was waiting ahead of me.

I stayed in this line for about 20 minutes before giving up and driving my car.

I probably had about 10-15 minutes left to wait at the point I got out of line. But I kept thinking about how I had a full day ahead of me, and what if the Skyliner wasn’t working when I left?

After giving it some thought, I knew I would be tired and impatient. So I drove over to the Boardwalk, had lunch, and then went to Epcot.

Naturally, the Skyliner was working just fine when I left that evening. But I also didn’t regret my decision.

This experience left me wondering how often this happens, and people like me who visit fairly often aren’t aware of it.

If I hadn’t stayed at Caribbean Beach, I would have probably never noticed these issues. And on our prior stay at Riviera, we didn’t encounter any issues. However, crowds were extremely low at that time.

The reason I shared this with you is not to let my experience deter you from staying at a Skyliner Resort. Instead, my experience is to prepare you for possibilities.

When I am prepared and know my options, I always make better decisions. Or I can at least say, well, I knew this issue might arise.

A taxi ride or car service from Boardwalk back to Caribbean Beach should be around $10 from my guesstimate. It’s less than half a mile.

Since I initially wrote this review, I’ve taken the Skyliner many times with little to no issues. However, I must warn you that while the line moves pretty quickly, it is exceptionally long before and after park openings and closings.

And I did end up using the Skyliner again later on in this trip. One evening I took it to Epcot’s International Gateway and picked up dinner. I ordered a to-go clam chowder from the Beach Club and a salad from the Boardwalk Bakery.

That ended up being a pleasant evening with no transportation issues.

Additionally, Caribbean Beach has six different bus stops that travel from the resort to the following locations:

  • Magic Kingdom
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Disney Springs
  • Blizzard Beach
  • Typhoon Lagoon

Since Caribbean Beach is such a large resort, they have an internal bus system. Each village at the resort has a bus stop located toward the back of the parking lot.

Additionally, the resort’s main bus stop is Old Port Royale. You can take an internal bus from your section of the resort to the lobby if needed.

To learn more, try our full transportation guide for the resort.

Related: Caribbean Beach Transportation Guide

Final Thoughts Caribbean Beach Review

A stay at Disney’s Caribbean Beach offers the opportunity to get away from the real world and visit a tropical landscape. Sure, the rooms are plain and border on boring. But a quick step outside remedies that with the serene setting.

Review thoughts Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort

The pools are great, and the dining options are numerous, especially with access to the offerings at Riviera nearby.

And the island vibe offered at Caribbean Beach is so lovely to return to after a long day in the Disney Parks. I wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again.

For more information about Disney’s Caribbean Beach, all of our articles are listed here. Or you might like to browse our entire list of Disney World Hotel Reviews.

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Some of our other popular articles include the best restaurants at Disney Springs and our guide to signature dining at Disney World and character dining at Disney World.

In the comments: What are your thoughts about the Caribbean Beach Resort review? Did you find it helpful? Are you considering planning a stay here? What pros or cons are important to you?

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