Caribbean Beach Resort is a Walt Disney World located near Epcot. The hotel fits into the moderate level of Disney World resorts and has a tropical theme. Caribbean Beach is a large resort with sprawling grounds to explore and multiple bus stops. Opening in 1988, Caribbean Beach has just completed a major refurbishment to the rooms and grounds. This review will take a look around the resort and will include our thoughts on the amenities, rooms and whether or not Caribbean Beach is the right place for you.
Disney World has a slew of resorts that you could separate into different categories. The most obvious categories are Value, Moderate and Deluxe which pertain to the typical costs of the resort and are given by Disney. Another category for the hotels could be large and small resorts. Caribbean Beach Resort certainly fits into the former, being one of Disney World’s largest resorts along with the likes of Saratoga Springs and Old Key West.
There are positives and negatives to both large and small resorts but that’s a post for a different day. Caribbean Beach Resort does make good use of one of those advantages by having beautiful grounds to walk around. The resort is separated into five ‘islands’, Barbados, Jamaica, Martinique, Trinidad, and Aruba, that surround Barefoot Bay, a 45-acre lake. There is a path that follows all the way around the lake that is 1.4 miles long. While this potentially makes it difficult to get from place to place within the resort, it also offers beautiful walks, especially around sunrise and sunset.
With the resort receiving an extensive refurbishment over the last few years, all of the areas at Caribbean Beach Resort look sharp with great landscaping and terrific color. As of May 2019, work appears to be done at Caribbean Beach save for some final touches on the Disney Skyliner station and the Riviera Resort just across the water. At this point, I don’t think the construction will be anything to worry about if you’re interested in staying there.
Old Port Royale is mixed in with the other five ‘islands’ and houses Caribbean Beach’s main pool, food court and lobby. The lobby, which was totally redone, has a relaxing vibe invoking the resort’s namesake. Sharp lines and pastel colors, along with ample seating, make the lobby an inviting place to relax. Right beside the lobby is the resort’s food court (counter-service) and table-service restaurant.
Caribbean Beach has an excellent pool, one of Disney World’s best. The pool, named Fuentes del Morro, is themed to an old fortress with plenty of theming. There’s a water slide and plenty of other features to make this a great place for kids (or adults that enjoy a good pool). Along with Fuentes del Morro there are pools at each of the ‘islands’ that are less busy but not as extravagant. Trinidad, the island most out of the way, also has Spyglass Grill, a counter-service restaurant that has earned solid reviews since opening.
Because of the size of the resort, bus service can be somewhat frustrating. There is a bus stop at each island, as well as Old Port Royale, so it’s not a long walk to catch the bus but the rides or waits can take a while. By the fall of 2019, or possibly this summer, the Disney Skyliner will open and should speed up access to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Once the gondolas open, staying at Caribbean Beach will be even more inviting than it already is.
Moving on to the rooms, most have also been refurbished over the last few years. Unfortunately, I don’t think the results here are as much of a home run as the rest of the resort. That’s not to say they’re ugly but they are generic hotel rooms. This is a trend at Disney as a whole, stripping rooms of much character.
Here’s a look at our room. The lighting fixtures in the room were nice but everything else was a fairly standard hotel room. The simple, white beds really drag the room down for me. This is more a personal preference thing and I could understand why some would like this more. The beds were comfortable.
A look at the other side of the room shows a little more color but still nothing that appeals to me.
My favorite feature of the room was this table and light fixture. They had a little character and accented the room nicely.
A hotel bathroom. Actually, I did like these bathrooms more than many other hotel rooms with the toilet, sink and shower all in the same room. This made not only the bathroom but the entire room feel more spacious.
If you had more than two people in the room, this could be a disadvantage but I enjoyed it with just Melissa and I in the room.
Overall, our room at Caribbean Beach Resort was solid but lacked character. That’s not a resort specific problem as most Disney World rooms have started to lean that way. There’s nothing that sets this room apart but we also didn’t have any big complaints with it.
Moving on to the price, Caribbean Beach rooms can be found from about $175 and up. During peak times, the resort might be around $250. For me, Caribbean Beach has value if you find a price under $200/night. Between the beauty of the resort, the strong dining options, and an excellent pool, the hotel is much stronger than any of the value resorts. In our eyes, Caribbean Beach is even with Coronado Springs and those two hotels are generally in the same price range. We like both Port Orleans resorts more but they generally come at a higher price. Once the Disney Skyliner opens Caribbean Beach could become an even better place to stay.
We really enjoy Caribbean Beach Resort. Despite the generic rooms, the resort has beautiful grounds and strong amenities. The biggest negative is just how sprawling the resort is. If you don’t enjoy the extra walking either don’t stay here or request a room close to Old Port Royale. Otherwise, we think this is a great choice for those who are looking for a hotel to spend some time in without a rigorous park schedule. Caribbean Beach Resort has made fantastic gains in the last few years and will continue to become a better place to stay in the future.
Overall Rating – 8/10
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Categories: Hotel Reviews