Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort sometimes gets a bad rap for being the oldest Moderate resort or for being huge/spread out.
While these two facts are true, I think Caribbean Beach has a lot of strengths, including an incredible pool complex and recently refurbished rooms. In this post I’ll share my recent experience staying at Caribbean Beach as well as the pros and cons of the resort.
It took me MANY visits to Walt Disney World until I stayed at Caribbean Beach, and here’s why: up until this year, it was the only Moderate resort that still sported double beds as opposed to queen beds. Though I love my husband dearly, sharing a double bed with him is pretty rough (sorry honey), so we usually stay at resorts with either a queen or king bed.
My sister and I decided to meet up at Disney World this spring with our kiddos in tow, and I suggested staying at Caribbean Beach. We weren’t going to be visiting the theme parks (crazy, right?) so we wanted a resort with a great pool and lots to do.
I figured it was time to give Caribbean Beach a try since it got up-fitted with queen beds last year and sported a fairly new feature pool.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Instead of making you wait until the end of this (kinda long) review for the pros and cons of the resort, I’ll share them now and explain as I go along.
Caribbean Beach Strengths:
- Newly refurbished rooms (including some that sleep five)
- Incredible pool complex
- Gorgeous grounds with lots to do
- Great cast members
- One of last resorts to fill up and is always included in discounts
Caribbean Beach Drawbacks:
- Lower quality of food than other Disney resorts (some was downright icky)
- Long bus rides to/from the theme parks
- Long walks to food/pool from many rooms at the resort
- Not very “Disney” (which could be a pro or con depending on how much you love the Mouse)
Now I’ll share details on every aspect of the resort and explain my list of strengths and drawbacks as I go. Let’s start with the rooms!
As I already mentioned, Caribbean Beach went through a major room refurbishment last year. All rooms (with the exception of the Pirate-themed rooms – more on those soon) received queen beds and all new furniture, fixtures, and soft goods. In fact, I think the rooms are barely recognizable after the remodel – in a good way.
The buildings at Caribbean Beach are only two stories tall but they do not have elevators. This is important to note if you are traveling with strollers, wheelchairs or scooters. If you are, make sure you confirm that you have been assigned a ground floor room at check-in. You access the rooms via outdoor walkways, similar to all of the other Moderate resorts.
I really enjoyed everything about the new rooms. The decor was modern and understated but still had a Caribbean vibe.
The queen beds were comfortable and the room seemed larger than most Disney rooms to me, likely due to the fact that the resort was built in 1988. We were able to fit two strollers plus all of our stuff in the room and still had room to move around.
Our room had a small table with two chairs, a storage unit with drawers, a small coffee maker, a mini-fridge, and a bench located to the right of the storage unit.
I was actually expecting the room to have a fold-out Murphy bed in the storage unit similar to the one I read about in this review at EasyWDW. But it turns out that every room didn’t get a fold-out bed to sleep a fifth person, so if this is important for your party, be sure to request one!
My favorite feature of the room was the heavy rolling wooden doors that separate the bathroom area from the main room.
My nephew is one year old and our plan was to put his Pack ‘n Play in the bathroom area and close it off from the main area with the doors during nap time and at night.
Unlike many aspects of most vacations, this actually worked like a charm! He never woke up from noise from the main room and the Pack ‘n Play fit perfectly under the shelving once we moved the ironing board.
The heavy doors essentially made a second room for him to sleep in, which was great considering there was also a three-year-old in the room!
The bathroom area contained two sinks and a separate (and really tiny) room with a toilet and shower. My only complaint about the room was how small the sink/shower area was. Is was hard to maneuver in that space, especially when I was giving both kids a bath.
Wait, I lied, I have one more complaint. I could not for the life of me find a single hidden Mickey in this room! Maybe I just didn’t find them, but I was disappointed that Mickey didn’t make it into the refurbished rooms. 🙁 Please leave a comment if you have found one!
Now about those Pirate rooms… The Trinidad South area of the resort contains rooms that are heavily themed to the Pirates of the Caribbean. These rooms have two double beds and cost around $55 more per night than a standard room.
Be warned that they are some of the furthest rooms from the dining and main pool, which is a deterrent for some folks. But if you have a pirate-crazed little one, these rooms might be worth the extra walking and cost.