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Our ~Ribbeting~ Guide to Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort

by Mommy Frog on May 30, 2023 11 Orlando

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Walt Disney World Resort is well known for being a magical place that transports you to different worlds at its immersive theme parks. But it doesn't stop there — the elaborate theming extends to its resort hotels! In this case, at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, you're whisked away to a tropical paradise, complete with palm trees, hammocks and sandy shores. The only thing missing is the actual ocean! In this guide, we'll dive into all of the details about the moderate resort — accommodations, amenities, recreational activities, restaurants and more!

Caribbean Beach Resort - Entrance

Overview of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

For the Disney World history buffs out there, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort opened Oct. 1, 1988, as the first Disney moderate resort hotel. As a moderate resort, Caribbean Beach offers a balanced blend of amenities and affordable rates that attracts many families. Though it’s not within walking distance of any theme parks, the resort is closest to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which are all connected by the Disney Skyliner gondola system. (We’ll get into more details about the resort’s transportation options later in this guide, or you can read our separate in-depth post about Disney Skyliner!).

Caribbean Beach Resort - Barefoot Bay

Sticking to its Caribbean theme, the resort is split into five island-themed “villages” — Aruba, Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad and Jamaica — that surround Barefoot Bay. The neighboring Disney’s Riviera Resort completes the circle around the 45-acre lake, as it stands where a sixth Caribbean Beach village used to be. Sandy beaches, swaying hammocks and lush landscaping provide a relaxing escape at this tropical paradise.

Back in 2018, the resort completed a major refurbishment project that transformed the standard rooms, revamped the dining areas and introduced a new lobby area. Old Port Royale now acts as “the port of entry” for the resort, where guests can access check-in, concierge services and other resort amenities.

Caribbean Beach Resort - Lobby

Right now, guests are highly encouraged to use the Direct-to-Room service via mobile check-in through the My Disney Experience app. You’ll receive your room number through a text message once the room is ready, so you don’t have to visit the front desk! While you’re at Old Port Royale, enjoy a meal or a drink, shop for souvenirs or take a dip at the main feature pool. Everything you need is in one convenient location!

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort Rooms

At Caribbean Beach Resort, you have a (very important!) choice between the standard rooms or the newly renovated 5th sleeper "Little Mermaid"-themed rooms.

Caribbean Beach Resort - Caribbean Beach Rooms

Generally, the standard rooms can sleep up to four adults with two queen beds. If your travel party is smaller, there is a room option for a king bed. If your travel party is a bit larger, you can opt for a “5th Sleeper” room, which features an additional child-sized, pull-down bed. You will also need to select a specific view — either “Standard View” (views of the hotel, courtyard or woodlands) or “Water or Pool View.” If you want to be near the feature pool and the restaurants, there is a Preferred Room option, which places you in close proximity to the Old Port Royale.

Caribbean Beach Resort - Rooms

Each room comes with mini-refrigerator, in-room safe, Wi-Fi, iron and ironing board, hair dryer, coffee maker and telephone. If you’re in a “5th Sleeper” room, the pull-down bed is connected to the dresser. The decor fits in nicely with the resort’s lush island theming without being too over-the-top. The addition of a sliding partition creates extra privacy for the bathroom area. Plus, the double-sink vanity is still separate from the shower and toilet, so you can easily take turns while preparing for the parks in the morning or getting ready for bedtime in the evening.

Caribbean Beach Resort - Little Mermaid

Got any young water lovers in the family? Stay in a "Little Mermaid" room fit for aquatic royalty! These themed rooms come furnished with two Queen beds and one child-size pull down bed OR one Queen bed and one Queen-size pull down bed and one child-size pull down bed. However, the "Little Mermaid" rooms have the same amenities as the standard rooms, and similarly, you can choose between a “Standard View” or a “Water or Pool View.” Unique touches also include the adorable artwork around the room of Flounder, Sebastian and more of Ariel's fishy friends! "Little Mermaid" rooms are located in the Trinidad village.

Some frog families may want to strongly consider requesting a certain location of a room, as the resort is large and extends outward. For easy reference, take a look at the official Caribbean Beach Resort map.

Caribbean Beach Resort - Caribbean Beach Map

Guests staying in the Barbados and Martinique villages will be the closest to Old Port Royale, while those who have a room in the Trinidad village will have quite a long walk to the main pool, restaurants and guest services. If you’re looking to hop quickly onto Disney Skyliner, your best bet will be either the Jamaica village, which is closest to the Caribbean Beach station, or the Aruba village, which is closest to the Riviera station.

Transportation at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

Caribbean Beach Resort - Skyliner

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort is at the center of the Disney Skyliner transportation system, which debuted in 2019. Guests can take to the sky to travel back and forth in gondolas between several Disney Resort hotels, EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Disney Skyliner has three different routes that all connect at this main hub. Similar to the monorail station at the Transportation and Ticket Center, guests are able to transfer lines at Caribbean Beach’s Skyliner station. There is a direct line between Hollywood Studios and Caribbean Beach. You can also hop on the line that goes to EPCOT, though it makes a brief stop at Disney’s Riviera Resort (you remain inside the gondola unless you want to jump off at the hotel). Lastly, there’s a direct Skyliner route from Disney’s Pop Century and Disney’s Art of Animation Resorts to Caribbean Beach.

Caribbean Beach Resort - Internal Bus Station

Bus service to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios has been cut down to once an hour, thus making Disney Skyliner the primary mode of transportation if you’re staying at Caribbean Beach or any of the other hotels that host Disney Skyliner stations. (Additional buses will become available if Disney Skyliner experiences any downtime.) If traveling elsewhere on Disney property, you’ll need to take a Disney bus or use a ride-share service. Because of its size, Caribbean Beach has an internal bus route with stops at each village, the Skyliner station and Old Port Royale.

Amenities, Recreation & Shopping at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

Caribbean Beach Resort - Pool

While Caribbean Beach may not have an actual beach to swim in, the Fuentes del Morro Pool is toadally worth factoring in some swimming time. As one of the best pools on Disney World property, this zero-entry feature pool is themed after a colonial Spanish fortress. Climb the staircases of the fortress to zip down one of two waterslides, or aim the water cannons at unsuspecting swimmers below. The nearby shipwreck-themed splash pad is a perfect paradise, complete with mini-slides for younger tadpoles. Just watch out — a large crate unleashes gallons of water from above! If you want a more relaxed experience (or don’t want to walk over to Old Port Royale), each village has its own leisure pool to take dip or lounge on the deck.

Caribbean Beach Resort - Caribbean Cay

Caribbean Cay connects the Aruba and Jamaica villages to Old Port Royale, but it also provides a playground for tadpoles and lounging areas with beautiful views of Barefoot Bay. A few water excursions depart from Caribbean Cay, as well. Guided catch-and-release fishing excursions are also fun for frogs of all ages. At night, gather around for Movies Under the Stars to watch a Disney movie, or roast marshmallows around the campfire.

Active frogs can also take advantage of beach volleyball courts or the jogging trail around Barefoot Bay. For those who’d rather relax under the sun, beach chairs and hammocks are available along the sandy beaches of each village.

At this time, the biggest perks of staying on-site include the ability to book advance dining reservations for your length of stay 60 days in advance of check-in and easy access to Disney World's complimentary transportation options. Additionally, on-site guests are the first ones to be able to purchase individual Lightning Lanes (starting at 7 a.m. each day of your visit) and can enter all four Disney World theme parks 30 minutes early each morning!

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort amenities include:

  • A 24-hour ATM at Old Port Royale and banking services (may exchange foreign currencies at the Front Desk or Lobby Concierge)
  • Bell services
  • Housekeeping services
  • Laundry and dry cleaning services
  • Mail services
  • Resort airline check-in (temporarily unavailable)
  • Complimentary overnight self-parking

Caribbean Beach Resort - Calypso Trading Post

If you need to do any last-minute souvenir shopping, stop by Calypso Trading Post at Old Port Royale.

Dining at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

You can find the majority of Caribbean Beach’s restaurants at Old Port Royale, with the exception of Spyglass Grill.

Sebastian’s Bistro

Caribbean Beach Resort - Sebastian's Bistro

As the sole table-service option, Sebastian’s Bistro only serves dinner. The restaurant serves a family-style feast featuring rich Latin and Caribbean flavors. You'll start your meal off with Buttery House-baked Pull-apart rolls. Next, you'll be served The Spice Necklace Salad. You'll then move onto your entree, the Taste of the Caribbean, which includes Oven-Roasted Citrus Chicken, Slow-Cooked Mojo Pork and Grilled Chili-Rubbed Beef. Lastly, you get finish off your meal by indulging in the Celebrated Hosue-made Coconut-Pineapple Bread Pudding. (The meal is even available in a Plant-based version!) There's also a wide variety of specialty cocktails, wines, beers and sangrias for frogs of legal drinking age to enjoy.

Centertown Market

Caribbean Beach Resort - Centertown Market

Centertown Market serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Start the day with Mickey waffles, a ham and cheese omelet or avocado toast. Meanwhile, lunch and dinner share the same menu. If everyone in the family is feeling in the mood for something different, then you’re in luck. Take your pick from salads, sandwiches, fish tacos, burgers, pizza or chicken strips. Currently, Centertown Market is accepting mobile ordering.

Centertown Market Grab and Go offers salads, sandwiches, bakery items and coffee if you prefer to bring your meal with you.

Banana Cabana

Caribbean Beach Resort - Banana Cabana

This poolside bar sits right next to Sebastian’s Bistro and the Fuentes del Morro pool. Not only does it provide a range of nonalcoholic and alcoholic drinks to sip on, but it also serves appetizers to munch on and entrees to dig into. It’s so hard to pick between the jerk chicken wings, chile con queso and loaded fries!

Spyglass Grill

Located in the Trinidad pool area, this walk-up counter typically serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Unique bites include the Trinidad Sunrise Crispy Yuca Bowl, the Fresh Fruit Plate and a Banana-Bran Muffin in the morning, or the Korean-style Impossible Burger and Mojo Pork Tacos for lunch and dinner.

If you're looking for more options, you could easily walk over to Disney’s Riviera Resort to take advantage of its restaurants. Or, take Disney Skyliner to the EPCOT station and eat somewhere along Disney’s BoardWalk.

What to Consider Before Staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

Caribbean Beach Resort - Signs

For us frogs, the biggest draws of Disney’s Caribbean Beach are its moderate resort status and its easy access to two theme parks via Disney Skyliner. In fact, it’s the only moderate resort hotel that doesn’t rely solely on bus transportation to get to the theme parks. (Although, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter and Disney’s Port Orleans Resort - Riverside both offer boat service to Disney Springs.)

Because it's a large resort, prepare to walk a good distance from your room to Old Port Royale or the Skyliner stations (or rely on the internal bus service). During peak times, consider booking rooms closer in because the internal buses do fill up — you may end up needing to wait for a second bus! You always have the option to book a Preferred Room, or you could request a certain building or village (while not guaranteed, Disney will try to accommodate). However, if you need mobility assistance, be sure to request a first floor room, as there are no elevators available for any of the two-story buildings.

Overall, Disney's Caribbean Beach has a fun, tropical vibe fit for an island escape in the middle of Disney World. Tadpoles will love the fortress-themed pool and swinging hammocks, while mommy and daddy frogs will appreciate the resort's family-friendly value and proximity to the parks (made even easier thanks to Disney Skyliner!).

Have you ever stayed at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort? Tell us your favorite memories from your vacation! If you're planning an upcoming stay, share what you're most looking forward to!

Related: Which Disney World Moderate Resort Hotel Is Right for You?

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
View Comments
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Aug 30, 2021 at 2:28 a.m. Says...

Does anybody know what section 5th sleeper water/pool views are located?

Aug 30, 2021 at 12:41 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

The Water/Pool 5th Sleeper rooms can be found in each of the themed villages, except for Trinidad.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jun 26, 2021 at 5:07 p.m. Eri Says...

As I sort through and read some tidbits, I am wondering if reservations can be made for breakfast (same time x 3 mornings) as well as reservations for the skyliner, bus and resort to airport transportation?? I cannot seem to find a "solid" answer on this Thank you!

Jun 28, 2021 at 3:32 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Eri!

Reservations aren't available for the Skyliner or the bus, but if you are taking the Magical Express to the airport, your pick-up time will be given to you at check-in. If reservations are available for breakfast, you can absolutely book them for three mornings! It will just depend on availability, which you can view on My Disney Experience. At Caribbean Beach, Sebastian's Bistro recently reopened for dinner and is taking reservations for July 5 and later. Hope this helps!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Apr 11, 2021 at 12:45 a.m. Kerry Says...

We are going in Nov (2021) before Thanksgiving.

Why are some of the restaurants not available? Have some reopened? I know things can change before Nov. Also, between Jamaica and Aruba - if we want best access to Hollywood Studios and water view - which is better?

Thanks for all this helpful info.

Apr 12, 2021 at 8:46 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kerry,

Due to COVID-19 guidelines and/or the effects of the pandemic, some restaurants remain unavailable. As you mentioned, things may change between now and November, so keep checking for any updates! For best access to Hollywood Studios, we'd recommend Jamaica, specifically Buildings 42 or 43, as they are the closest to the Skyliner station with a water view.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jan 24, 2021 at 2:07 a.m. Wendy Says...

Hi, I was wondering if the rooms have the full size shampoo/conditioner/shower gel like at Port Orleans or the trial size? Also, do you know if they offer bed rails for the little ones.

Jan 26, 2021 at 7:41 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Wendy,

Caribbean Beach has the full-sized toiletry bottles, and bed rails are available upon request. If you're staying in a 5th Sleeper room, the bed rails will not fit on the child-size, pull-down bed.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Sep 22, 2020 at 1:46 p.m. Kevin McGee Says...

I stayed there with my (now ex-) wife not long after the resort opened (in 1989). What I remember best are the enormous, delicious cinnamon buns the resort used to have at one of its takeout restaurants, made on site. One of the best cinnamon buns ever! (even if they're probably no longer there or made there).

Sep 20, 2020 at 2:59 p.m. Adrienne Says...

Hello! We are staying here in October. I believe we will be staying in the Trinidad section. I was curious if you knew if the drink filling stations were open. Since we're staying so far away from the Old Port Royale, I'm sort of counting on them to be open.

Sep 21, 2020 at 6:56 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Adrienne!

On our most recent stay a few weeks back, the refill stations were not open. Instead, we'd ask for a refill at any of the open restaurants and would receive a paper cup of the drink of our choice to fill our cups ourselves. Our best tip is to keep your mug receipt with you so that no matter the circumstances, it's with you and you don't have to make a run to the room! Things are changing frequently, so it may be good to verify at check-in so there's no surprises :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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