Disney vacations are expensive, and lodging is a big part of that expense. Thankfully, Walt Disney World offers three categories of lodging, including moderate resorts for those on a budget who want a step up from a value resort. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is one of these moderate resorts, and it’s a great option for families. If you are planning a trip, here are some Disney Caribbean Beach Resort tips to make the most of your family vacation.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing and/or clicking on these links may result in a commission paid to us. I am a former member of the Disney Parks Moms Panel/planDisney Panel and have been on some complimentary press trips at Walt Disney World, but all opinions are my own.
I have stayed at most of the Walt Disney World resort hotels over the years, but Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is one that I had never visited. A few weeks ago, during a short trip to Walt Disney World, I had the opportunity to stay there. I was impressed with the atmosphere at the resort, as well as the amenities and activities.
Disney Caribbean Beach Resort Tips and Overview for Families
The Best Rooms at the Caribbean Beach Resort
I usually don’t spend too much time in my resort hotel room when I visit Walt Disney World. However, you’ll still want to make sure you have a nice, comfortable room for your stay. The Caribbean Beach Resort is a huge resort, so you’ll probably want to request a specific room location to make sure you don’t have to do too much walking.
There are five villages named after Caribbean Islands: Aruba, Barbados, Martinique, Jamaica, and Trinidad. Martinique and Barbados are located on either side of Old Port Royale, while Aruba is adjacent to Disney’s Riviera Resort (along with their Skyliner Station). Another Skyliner station, specifically for the Caribbean Beach Resort, is located next to Jamaica.
The villages are all fairly similar, with a different color scheme. Each village is compromised of several two-story buildings. There are no elevators, so keep this in mind if traveling with a stroller or wheelchair.
Each section has a bus stop, as well as a quiet pool. Because it’s such a big resort, there’s also an internal bus that runs a loop around the different sections.
Pirate-themed rooms are available at an additional cost. These rooms are located in the Trinidad section. They are fun for any pirate lover, but may not be worth the extra money unless you have a true pirate fan in your family.
Most of the amenities are centralized in the Old Port Royale area. This is where you’ll find the main pool area (the Fuentes Del Morro Pool), the resort lobby, the gift shop, the quick-service restaurant, the pool bar, and the restaurant (Sebastian’s).
There are a few room types including king bed rooms, water-view rooms, preferred rooms (located closest to the main pool and the food court), standard-view rooms, and rooms with a fifth sleeper bed. If you are looking to save money, a standard view room can be a great option, and may even be quieter.
Our standard-view room was located in the Aruba section, and it was about a 10-minute walk to Old Port Royale. But it was located right near the new Disney’s Riviera Resort and was just a few minutes walk from that Skyliner station. It was nice to be so close to another option for food and shopping.
The room had two queen beds, a bathroom separated by sliding doors, a coffee maker, a refrigerator, a small table with two chairs, an armoire, and two sinks in the bathroom. Connecting rooms are available. Like the other moderate and value resorts, they are external entry rooms.
Determining which are the best rooms can be more of a personal decision. The first floor is great because you won’t have to walk upstairs with your luggage/strollers. However, the second floor is likely to be a little quieter.
Choose your village based upon how you will use the resort. We liked being in Aruba because it was right next to the Riviera Skyliner station as well as the quick service restaurant at that resort.
Amenities at the Caribbean Beach Resort
Disney Caribbean Beach Resort offers some great amenities for guests. This includes complimentary transportation to the Disney theme parks. There’s a Skyliner station right at the resort, as well as one at the adjacent Riviera Resort. In addition, bus transportation is available if you are going to Disney Springs, the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, or the water parks.
There is a bus stop at each village, which can make those bus rides take a little longer. It really is convenient to have the Skyliner, however. You can find bus arrival times on the My Disney Experience app as well as right at the bus stop.
Near the lobby, there’s also Caribbean Cay, an “island” with a playground, seating areas, and paths. The seating areas would be the perfect place to enjoy your morning coffee before a hectic day at the theme parks.
Other amenities include laundry facilities, an ATM, and self-parking (for an additional fee). Guests can complete online check-in and will be texted when their room is available. You can either use a MagicBand (these are no longer offered for free) or the app to open your room, or you can go to the front desk to get a key card.
Pools at the Caribbean Beach Resort
Even with the most optimistic of theme park schedules, some pool and relaxation time should be built-in. Perhaps you won’t have a theme park ticket for each day of your trip, or maybe you’ll want to spend the afternoon in the pool before getting ready for dinner.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort offers a huge pool area in the center of the resort – the Fuentes del Morro Pool. This Pirate/Spanish Fortress-themed pool is zero-entry, with two waterslides and spray cannons. There’s also a small water play area for little ones. Pool activities take place daily by this main feature pool.
If you are looking to cool off in a quieter environment, there are leisure pools in each village. We spent the afternoon sitting by the pool in the Aruba section. It was so relaxing, and it’s nice to have a pool so close to the room. Complimentary towels are available at each pool.
Another relaxing place to sit is along the different beach areas located on Barefoot Bay. There are beach chairs and hammocks right on the sand. While you can’t swim in the water, it’s relaxing to sit beside it.
Recreation at the Caribbean Beach Resort
There’s even more to do beyond the pools. Right by the Old Port Royale, you’ll find the marina, with cornhole, a life-size chessboard, and a huge Connect Four game. You can also play table tennis right by the entrance to the lobby.
Activities are offered right at the resort. A campfire takes place at the Martinique village beach each night. In addition, movies under the stars featuring popular Disney classics are scheduled each evening. The schedule is listed around the resort.
Looking to get some exercise? There’s a sand volleyball court located in the Martinique section, as well as a .6 mile jogging trail around the resort.
There are some fun recreational activities offered for an additional fee. These include catch and release fishing, as well as bike rentals.
Restaurants at the Caribbean Beach Resort
If you are hungry, you’ll find plenty of options right at the resort. In addition, you can easily walk over to the Riviera Resort for additional dining options.
With Caribbean Beach, you’ll find the Centertown Market, along with the Centertown Market Grab and Go. Place your order at the main desk, and then go to the counter to pick up your items. Mobile ordering is available on the app, and I found that to be the most convenient.
There’s also Sebastian’s Grill, a table service restaurant offering Caribbean specialties for dinner. The menu includes a prix fix Taste of the Caribbean offering, with pork, steak, and chicken. Shrimp can be added for an additional fee.
Looking for a drink in a relaxing environment? The Banana Cabana offers appetizers, tropical drinks, and other drinks.
The Spyglass Grill, located in the Trinidad pool area, is currently closed to guests.
General Disney Caribbean Beach Resort Tips
Think about how much time you’ll spend in the room before booking a more expensive room. We enjoyed our standard room and didn’t need to spend more money to upgrade.
This is a huge resort, so consider your location carefully.
Make sure you have your app loaded on your phone, and bring an old MagicBand if you have one.
A portable charger is always a good idea, because you’ll be using the app so much. Use mobile ordering at Centertown Market to save time and avoid crowded lines.
Trying to find the best Disney resort? Click to find our guide with all the information you need before making a decision.