by Julie Franklin
Walt Disney World’s Caribbean Beach Resort is a large, with over 200 acres surrounding a 45 acre lake called Barefoot Bay. There is a 1.3 mile path around the resort and lake which connects all the villages that is great for jogging or walking. The lake provides sandy beaches for sunbathing with hammocks for relaxing, though swimming is not permitted in the lake.
The Custom House at the main entrance is where guests check-in and acts as the arrival and departure points for guests using Disney’s Magical Express airport service. Bell Services is located here too. Check in time is 3 p.m.; check out time is 11 a.m.
2112 Rooms are spread out among six Island Villages named after islands in the Caribbean: Aruba, Jamaica, Barbados, Martinique, Trinidad North and Trinidad South.
- Each of the six villages contains its own pool, beach area, and laundry facility.
- All buildings are two-story with NO Elevators. Anyone with mobility issues should request a 1st story room.
- Each village is painted with distinctive cool, calm island colors.
- 350 pirate themed rooms are located in Trinidad South Village.
- Rooms can accommodate two to five adults. Standard rooms contain either a King, 2 Queens or 2 Queens and a bunk size pull down bed meant for children; it is short. Pirate themed rooms contain two full-sized pirate ship beds.
Old Port Royale, also known as Centertown, is the location of the Spanish Fortress-looking main pool, complete with canons and a pirate ship kids’ splash area. The main pool has zero entry for the little ones and an exciting slide for the older ones who dare!
Dining and snack options here include Shutters table service restaurant, Market Street Food Court, pizza delivery service and a pool bar. Calypso Trading Post and Straw Market is where you can purchase Disney parks and resort merchandise along with a few groceries and sundry items. Gamers will enjoy Goombay Games Arcade. This one area serves the entire resort.
Caribbean Cay is an island in the middle of the lake connected with a bridge. The main playground is located on the island for an adventurous escape, although there other playgrounds located around the resort as well. The bridge serves as a shorter way to access Old Port Royale from Aruba and Jamaica villages.
Transportation to the parks and Disney Springs is available using the Disney Resort bus system, which runs approximately every 20 minutes or less. Caribbean Beach park transportation buses do not stop at any other resorts. There are seven bus stops on the resort property for each park and attraction bus to stop at before leaving the; stops are near each village plus one convenient to Old Port Royal Centertown. The bus to Animal Kingdom also stops at Blizzard Beach, and the Disney Springs bus stops at Typhoon Lagoon as well. An internal resort bus takes you from stop to stop and to Old Port Royale.
Because it is a very large resort, transportation can be a concern. I allow 45 minutes to an hour from the time I leave my room to the time I am expected at any location when using Disney Transportation just to be safe. The walk from a room to the bus stop can take longer than you would care for, plus you need to factor in time spent waiting on the bus to arrive. Walking from the furthest room to Old Port Royale Centertown can take 10 minutes. Walking through the lush, green, and quiet grounds around the lake is not necessarily a bad thing.
If you have your own car, parking is plentiful. If you would like to be close to the parking lot, simply request it when you make your reservation. Because the bus stops at two locations, if you are headed to Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs or the water parks, it is probably quicker to drive yourself – remember as a resort guest you park at all the parks for free.
Two styles of rooms decor are available, a neutral tropical decor or pirate themed rooms. The pirate themed rooms accommodate up to four adults, where the other rooms can accommodate up to five.
- Preferred Rooms – located in Martinique buildings 24, 25, 26 and Trinidad North buildings 31,32,33. You pay a premium to be closer to Old Port Royale for shorter walks. Views are of the resort hotel, pools, lagoon or courtyards. Either 2 Queen Beds, or 2 Queens with a Child’s Murphy Bed. Sleep up to five adults.
- Standard View – Cheapest rate option with no guarantees of your view or where you end up. Views include resort hotel, courtyards, woodlands, and could be the parking lot. Either 2 Queen Beds, or 2 Queens with a child’s Murphy Bed. Sleeps up to five adults.
- King Bed – views of lake, pool, woodlands, courtyards, or resort hotel. One King bed, which sleep up to two adults.
- Water or Pool View – Pay a premium for views of the pool or lake. Some views might be a partial water view, and some might be the lagoon. Either 2 Queen Beds, or 2 Queens with a Child’s Murphy Bed. Sleeps up to five adults.
- Pirate Room – Pay a premium for specially themed pirate room decor. 2 Double Beds – NOT queen sized. Sleeps up to four adults.
Room decor nails the vibe of this resort with either the calm relaxing neutral decor that does feature those hidden Mickey’s and Disney touches, to the adventurous Pirate themed rooms which capture the spirit of Disney Parks classic ride. The rooms open to an exterior breezeway type hallway and do not have balconies.
Pirate room video tour:
All other room decor video tour:
All rooms contain:
- Mini Fridge
- Ceiling Fan
- Coffee Maker & Setup
- Hair Dryer
- Ice Bucket
- In-Room Safe
- Iron and Ironing Board
- Pool Towels
- Table & Chairs
- Television – ABC, Disney Channel, ESPN & more
- Vanity Area
- Voice Mail
- Wireless Internet
Available on request and subject to availability:
- Alarm clocks are available on request if not found in room
- Bed Boards/Rails
- Crib: Pack ‘N Play
- International Electrical Adapter
- Rollaway Bed
- Kid’s Nite Out, Inc. – When parents need a night out or at restaurant alone, for a fee, the Kid’s Nite Out caregivers can provide one-on-one in-room childcare in the comfort of a Walt Disney World Resort room.
Being such a large resort there is no shortage of recreation, and you can be as active or lazy as you like on your vacation:
- 7 Pools: feature pool offers waterfalls, water slides & water canons
- Child pool with Splash Area
- Whirlpool spa
- Children’s playground
- Jogging trail
- Pirate Adventure Cruise offered for the little ones for an extra fee
- Beach area
- Bike & Surrey Bike Rentals
While not perfect, Caribbean Beach is most definitely worth considering. Our family loves staying here! Because we typically have a car, we do not have to worry about bus stops. We prefer queen sized beds when we travel, and my daughter loves the murphy bed to have her own space. Knowing the pros and cons can help you decide if this is a good fit for your family.
Bottom Line: I highly recommend Caribbean Beach. I think the extra amenities and space make it a wise investment above a value resort for a relaxing vacation – even better when a promotional offer is available. Providing a nice break from the fast pace of the busy parks, the resort is quiet and lush with amazing landscaping, while offering both table service and food court dining options. Children from toddlers and up love the main pool area, whether daring the water slides or splashing by the pirate ship in the kids’ only area. With the right planning and room requests, you can try to avoid some of the cons of staying here.
Booking with Cheapskate Princess, travel partners Destinations in Florida, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, can help you get the most for your vacation dollar at Caribbean Beach Resort.
Written by Julie Franklin
Julie Franklin is a travel agent creating family memories at Destinations In Florida, An Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. She can plan and book your customized magical vacation anywhere at no extra cost to you. As a blogger, mom and wife of a budget traveler, Julie knows how to get the most magic for you vacation. Whether thinking of heading to the parks in Orlando, cruising, an all-inclusive resort or traveling anywhere, let Julie take the stress out of your vacation planning.