Disney Caribbean Beach Resort: Rooms, Pools, Renovations, And More…

Posted in Disney World
on April 23, 2019

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Disney Caribbean Beach Resort sometimes gets a bad rap for being the oldest Moderate resort or for being huge/spread out.

While this is true, I think Caribbean Beach has a lot of strengths, including:

  • An incredible pool complex
  • Recently refurbished rooms
  • Excellent renovations to the lobby and restaurants

In this post, I’ll share my resort review with info on the pools, restaurants, rooms, and the Caribbean Beach Resort renovations that were completed in 2019.

I’ll also share what I think are the pros and cons of the resort to help you decide if it is right for you!

Disney Caribbean Beach Resort Map

disney caribbean beach resort map 2019

Caribbean Beach Resort is made up of five “villages” positioned around a body of water called Barefoot Bay. To give you a sense of scale, it is 1.2 miles around the main part of Barefoot Bay.

Construction of the new Riviera DVC resort eliminated the “Barbados” section from Caribbean Beach. Here is an updated Disney Caribbean Beach Resort Map 2019.

disney caribbean beach resort map 2019 with old port royale

And here is a close-up map of the Old Port Royale area. This map shows where you will find the different dining options and Freestyle Machines (now found all over the resort!)

You can click on these Disney Caribbean Beach Resort Maps if you’d like to print them for your reference. 

If you want to see how Caribbean Beach stacks up against the other Disney Moderate Resorts, check out this post on the best and worst of the Moderate Resorts at Disney World. 

Rooms at Caribbean Beach Resort

Refurbished rooms, an amazing pool, and some drawback at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort. Get all of the details in this Caribbean Beach resort review. #disneyworld #familytravel

Most rooms at Caribbean Beach Resort (with the exception of the Pirate rooms and King rooms) received two queen beds and all new furniture, fixtures, and soft goods in 2016 renovations

Some rooms now sleep five thanks to the addition of a fold-down Murphy bed. 

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Entrance to our room in the Martinique village

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 need a ground floor room due to an ECV or wheelchair, be sure to note that in a room request. You access the rooms via outdoor walkways, similar to all of the other Moderate resorts.

I lucked out and got a corner room on my recent stay which has an extra window. I really enjoyed everything about the new rooms. The decor is modern and understated but still has 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.

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My favorite feature of the room was the heavy rolling wooden doors that separate the bathroom area from the main room.

We were able to fit two strollers plus all of our stuff in the room and still had room to move around.

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My nephew was 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.

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!

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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.

Disney Caribbean Beach Room Categories

There are many different types of rooms you can book at Caribbean Beach. Here they are, listed from least to most expensive:

  • Standard View
  • Standard View – Sleeps 5
  • Water or Pool View
  • King Bed
  • Water or Pool View – Sleeps 5
  • Preferred Room (Bldgs 24-26 in Martinique)
  • Pirate Room – Standard View
  • Pirate Room – Water or Pool View

Caribbean Beach Resort Pirate Room

pirate room

Photo Credit: DisneyWorld.com

Now about those Pirate rooms… The Trinidad South area of the resort contains rooms that are heavily themed to the Pirates of the Caribbean.

A Caribbean Beach Resort Pirate room has two double beds and costs around $60 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.

If you want help deciding on the right resort and room for your Disney vacation, I highly suggest getting a free quote from my travel agent partner Siera with Destinations in Florida! At no additional cost to you, she can help you with all aspects of planning your trip.

Disney Caribbean Beach Resort Pools

Pools are always a big attraction for us at Disney resorts, and this pool ended up being one of my favorites.

The feature pool is located at Old Port Royale and is called Fuentes del Morro. It is the only zero-entry pool at a Moderate resort and I thought it was a fairly large pool.

Two water slides empty into the main pool – a shorter one for the younger crowd and a 102-foot long slide that requires climbing to the top of the fort and sliding through the almost-total darkness.

There are towels, restrooms, showers, and lockers located in the pool area as well. I was most impressed with how well it was themed to a pirate’s fort, complete with cannons, lookouts, hidden passageways, and iron bars over the windows.

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There is a hot tub in the main pool area along with a gated kiddie water play area.

The shipwreck play area was a big hit with my three-year-old, though she had NO INTEREST in getting water dumped on her head (which happens every few minutes).

There were a few slides and lots of room to splash and play for the little ones.

There are also five “leisure” pools found in each village around the resort. They are basic pools but are decent sized and may offer a calmer experience. 

Disney Caribbean Beach Resort Restaurants

All of the Caribbean Beach Resort restaurants received an overhaul in 2018-2019. 

Here are the four restaurants:

  • Centertown Market in Old Part Royale (quick service)
  • Sebastian’s Bistro (table service)
  • Spyglass Grill in Trinidad South (quick service)
  • Banana Cabana (outdoor bar with some food)

Overall the dining scene improved at Caribbean Beach with these new restaurants. I particularly love Sebastian’s Bistro and recommend eating dinner there one night during your stay.

The quick service food still leaves much to be desired, unfortunately. I had lackluster food at both quick service locations on my recent trip.

Get all of the details about Caribbean Beach Resort restaurants in this post. 

Transportation

Currently the only way to get to the theme parks from Caribbean Beach is via Disney buses or car. Starting later this summer there will be a Skyliner stop at Caribbean Beach as well!

Since the resort is huge there are six bus stops within the resort.

That’s right, you will possibly stop up to five additional times before you reach the parks/return to your room.

We had a pretty rough time with the buses on our trip and we only took them a handful of times. It took us almost an hour to get back to our room from Epcot one night. 

I normally advise taking Disney buses to the theme parks for the convenience and time that it saves. However, at Caribbean Beach, I would suggest driving to every park except the Magic Kingdom if you have a car available.

Epcot would have been a less than 10-minute drive, and even with an additional 10 minutes of trekking to your car you still would have saved about 40 minutes in our situation.

I still would recommend taking a bus to the Magic Kingdom because of the additional time involved in taking a ferry or the monorail to get to/from the parking lot.

Caribbean Beach Resort Renovations: Lobby & Gift Shop

caribbean beach resort renovations new check-in desk

Thanks to the Caribbean Beach Resort renovations, you’ll be treated to a brand new lobby, check-in area, and gift shop. 

The new location of the check-in desks at Old Port Royale is a HUGE improvement to the resort. You used to have to trek to the very front of the resort to visit the desks which was a giant pain. 

caribbean beach resort renovations new lobby

I think the new lobby is beautiful and very upscale. I liked all of the furniture to lounge on. It was very much appreciated when we arrived after a 5:30 am flight!

The gift shop (Calypso Trading Post) is located right off of the lobby. It is smaller than the old gift shop but had a nice selection of items and some basic food supplies. 

Disney Caribbean Beach Resort Review: Cost

Refurbished rooms, an amazing pool, and some drawback at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort. Get all of the details in this Caribbean Beach resort review. #disneyworld #familytravel

One of the strengths of Caribbean Beach is that it is the most affordable of the Moderate resorts.

Not only is its rate rack slightly lower (e.g. about $20 less per night than Port Orleans Riverside), but you can also often find discounted rooms available at this resort when other Moderate resorts are booked up.

Disney releases “room-only” discounts for most dates throughout the year, and I’ve never seen Caribbean Beach excluded from these discounts.

I always suggest booking room-only Disney reservation with Orbitz because you can stack these Disney discounts with promo codes from Orbitz to save even more.

I purposefully planned this trip to fall in the “Regular” season that begins after Easter and runs until the end of May. This is one of my most recommended times to visit Walt Disney World due to the great weather and lower rates.

Caribbean Beach Resort Activities

We decided in part to stay at Caribbean Beach because of how much there is to do here, and it didn’t disappoint.

The kids played on the beach, swam in the pools, played on the playground, roasted marshmallows over a campfire, caught part of Frozen on a giant screen by the pool, and even watched fireworks from the beach.

We ran out of time to do all we wanted to do at the resort, even after five days there and not going to the theme parks!

Our little ones really loved playing on the beach closest to our building. I think they would have been happy spending hours here each day.

Note that swimming isn’t permitted, and for your kids’ safety please keep them out of the water. There was a volleyball net set up on this beach, though I’m not sure how you obtain a ball.

Cast members lead a campfire on the Martinique beach select nights during the week, and we liked that it was early enough that our little ones could participate without missing bedtime.

I think it was at 5:30 pm one night, and 6:30 or 7:00 on the others. You can roast as many marshmallows as you want for free, plus you can buy S’mores kits for a few bucks.

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We also spent some time at the playground, which is located on the island called Caribbean Cay (FYI that’s pronounced “key”, just so you don’t look like a goober like I did) near the pool complex.

It had lots of equipment for all ages and was never very crowded.

Like all Disney resorts, Caribbean Beach has daily recreation activities. They were posted on this sign at the pool as well as in an Activities calendar you are given at check-in.

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We did catch a little bit of Frozen on a blow-up screen in the courtyard one night which was really fun.

Finally, you can rent watercraft or bicycles at the marina near Old Port Royale from 10 am through around 4 pm each day.

We intended to rent a surrey bike for a ride around the resort but ran out of time.

Kids ages 4 to 12 can participate in a Pirate Adventure Cruise that leaves the marina on select nights at 5 pm.

It lasts 2 hours, involves following clues to discover secret treasure, and parents aren’t allowed! It costs $37 per child and is a great chance for parents to have an evening for themselves.

Disney Caribbean Beach Resort Theming

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In my opinion, the grounds, architecture and theming at this resort are one of its big strengths. Each village has its own distinct feel from subtle design and color differences.

There are beaches along Barefoot Bay in each village, complete with hammocks and palm trees. The pathways among the villages are shaded and beautifully landscaped.

The vibe at this resort is laid back, tropical and uniquely Caribbean.

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I really enjoyed walking around the resort and checking out the different villages. At over 200 acres, you could spend the better part of your vacation just exploring the resort!

Disney Caribbean Beach Resort Review: Pros & Cons

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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 Pros:

  • Refurbished rooms (including some that sleep five)
  • Incredible pool complex
  • Gorgeous grounds with lots to do
  • New dining & lobby thanks to renovations
  • One of the last resorts to fill up and is always included in discounts
  • Is a stop on the gondola system to open in fall 2019!

Caribbean Beach Cons:

  • Lower quality of food than other Disney resorts (some was downright bad)
  • 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)

A Few Closing Thoughts

Disney’s standards of excellence for its cast members are in full effect at Caribbean Beach. We had nothing but positive interactions with everyone there.

Our little ones received a princess wand/pirate sword at check-in and adorable pirate rubber duckies when we went back to the Customs House to add my sister’s credit card to her Magic Band.

We left some items in our room (including my Kindle… cringe) and a member of the Mousekeeping staff collected them for us and shipped them back to me at no charge. Disney sets the bar so high for guest satisfaction that it makes it hard to vacation anywhere else.

We enjoyed watching fireworks from both Epcot and Hollywood Studios from the beach outside of our room.

However, the noise from the fireworks was so loud in our room that it sounded like they were directly outside.

This might have had something to do with the orientation of our room (facing the water and parks), so if this is going to be problematic for you then request a room facing away from both.

We didn’t have any other trouble with noise in our room until our last night when what sounded like a family of twelve descended on the room next to ours and made tons of noise until past midnight.

I’ve read complaints about paper-thin walls and noise in the rooms at Caribbean Beach, so I thought I should mention our experience.

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Epcot’s Illuminations fireworks from the Martinique beach

Overall, we had a fantastic stay at this resort. I had to physically remove my little one from the pool when it was time to go home because she was having so much fun.

The Caribbean Beach Resort renovations has moved this resort up my list of my favorite moderate resorts. Once the Skyliner opens, it might be right at the top!

Any questions about my Disney Caribbean Beach Resort review? Leave a comment below or join the discussion in my free private Facebook group The Budget Mouse!

10 Comments

  • Courtney Knepp

    This was a wonderful review, and very detailed. We will be staying in the Pirate room in 2 weeks for my son’s third birthday. (We also have a one year old.) So I will def plan on bringing the stroller for the trek to the pool. I requested a room closer to bus station… so well see! Thank you!

    July 23, 2019 at 1:09 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Thanks Courtney and have a great trip!

      July 26, 2019 at 6:41 am Reply
  • Michelle

    My family of 5 stayed here in late May – early June and it was perfect for us. Reading reviews, we were prepared to wait a while for buses. We only had one trying experience with riding the bus.

    July 12, 2019 at 9:24 am Reply
  • Cassondra

    This review made me excited/nervous. We have two boys (6 and 4) and thought the more pirate theme would be best for them, although we didn’t go with that room. We selected pool view instead. The part I am worried about it the walking distance to things, and buses. I just know my husband is going to be a complainer (not the boys) lol.

    July 11, 2019 at 7:58 am Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Cassondra! I think if you prepare him for how spread out the resort is and the potential time on the bus then we won’t be disappointed. It is usually when experience doesn’t match expectations that people get grumpy LOL. I’d just be sure to request a room close to the main building to limit walking to the food court. The good news is that if you get the refillable mugs you won’t have to walk all the way to the main building to refill… there are now Coke Freestyle machines in almost every building. Here is info on room requests and I hope you have a great trip: https://www.thefrugalsouth.com/the-best-way-to-make-a-room-request-at-disney-world-free-printable/

      July 11, 2019 at 8:41 pm Reply
  • PegP

    Glad I read this! We try to stay at a different resort every time we visit, and Caribbean Beach Resort was next on our list. But after reading this review, it’s now going to be relegated to the “don’t stay here” list. I can’t believe in the year 2019 that a resort at this price point wouldn’t have elevators! Even the value resorts have them!

    And I know you said to request a ground floor room, but unless it’s guaranteed (which it won’t be), it’s not a risk worth taking. I can’t do the stairs so if there’s no elevator and we’re on the 2nd floor, we’ll find ourselves in Florida without a resort to stay at. When we went to Disney’s All Star Movies 3 months ago, I requested a room as close to the lobby & transportation as possible. I was even paying for a preferred room so it wasn’t like I was asking for something I didn’t want to pay for. I explained that I’m disabled & can’t do a lot of walking. By the time we get back from the parks, I can barely walk. Our room was on the 2nd floor as far from the lobby as possible with still being a preferred room.

    February 18, 2019 at 11:38 pm Reply
  • Budget-Friendly Rooms That Sleep Five at Disney World! – The Budget Mouse

    […] Rooms at Caribbean Beach start at around $160/night plus tax (this includes the typical Disney room-only discount) and rooms at Riverside start at around $190/night plus tax. Caribbean Beach will stay lower priced until the Skyliner is finished, then expect these rooms to increase in cost. Click here for my full review of Caribbean Beach resort. […]

    April 20, 2018 at 8:56 am Reply
  • Lauren

    Thanks for the review. We are staying here at the end of the year with a 5 and 2 year old. I was worried about how we can fit the pack and play for the 2 year old who is a light sleeper. Feeling very reassured after reading that we can set her up in the closet. Do you have approximate walking times from different places in the resort to the main pool and dining? I keep hearing how big it is but trying to get a realistic understanding.

    January 20, 2017 at 5:54 pm Reply
    • Leah

      That’s great. Lauren! Yes, you will be able to fit the pack n play in the bathroom area, though we did have to move the ironing board out of the way. We stayed in a preferred building that was one of the closest to Town Center. It was still a five minute walk to the food court and pool. It was a 10+ minute walk to the Customs House from our room. If you were in one of the rooms that was farthest away from the pool and dining I estimate you would be looking at a 15 minute walk. It really is a huge resort. I suggest adding a request to your reservation to be as close as possible to the main pool and dining. If you did this I am sure you would be a 5-10 minute walk away. Hope that helps!

      January 21, 2017 at 6:25 am Reply
  • Trip Report: 5 Nights at Disney World this spring for $33 - The Frugal South

    […] with our little ones. Together we stayed four nights at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort (read the full resort review here!) and my daughter and I arrived one day early and stayed one night at Disney’s All-Star Movies […]

    June 24, 2016 at 3:14 pm Reply
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