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!
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 now connected by the new 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!).
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.
The resort completed a major refurbishment project in 2018 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.
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 newly renovated standard rooms or the special pirate-themed 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.
Each room comes with a small table and chairs, a dresser, 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. We especially love the colorful light fixtures and detailed wooden headboards! 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.
Got any young buccaneers in the family? Stay in a pirate-themed room fit for the swashbuckling captain of the high seas, and slumber in your very own pirate ship! These themed rooms come furnished with two double beds — there are no additional options for two queen-size beds, a king-size bed or a “5th sleeper” pull-down bed. However, the pirate rooms have the same amenities as the standard rooms, and similarly, you can choose between a “Standard View” or a “Water View.” Unique touches also include the dresser resembling crates and the minifridge fitting inside a barrel! Pirate 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.
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
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.
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
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 Cay connects the Aruba and Jamaica villages to Old Port Royale, but it also provides a playground for tadpoles (currently closed) and lounging areas with beautiful views of Barefoot Bay. A few water excursions depart from Caribbean Cay, as well. The kids-only Islands of the Caribbean Pirate Cruise sails the waters while the tadpoles listen to the story of Old Port Royale. Guided catch-and-release fishing excursions are also fun for frogs of all ages. (These additionally priced experiences are temporarily unavailable.) 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 bike rentals, beach volleyball courts or the jogging trail around Bayfoot 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 get first access to the Disney Park Pass reservation system to book their theme park reservations. Previously, added benefits to staying on-site included early FastPass+ access and Extra Magic Hours (these benefits are currently unavailable, but may return in the future).
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
- Childcare services
- Laundry and dry cleaning services
- Mail services
- Resort airline check-in (temporarily unavailable)
- Self-parking ($20 per night)
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 (Reopening June 24, 2021)
As the sole table-service option, Sebastian’s Bistro only serves dinner. The menu features entrees with rich Latin and Caribbean flavors, such as jerk chicken, mahi mahi and coconut shrimp. Tadpoles can test their taste buds with pork shoulder and shrimp skewers or stick to the basics such as chicken strips and cheeseburgers. Frogs of legal drinking age may choose from a wide variety of specialty cocktails, wines, beers and ciders. Sebastian's Bistro will reopen June 24, with nightly walk-in availability through July 4. Booking will be available June 10 for any reservations starting July 5.
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 farm-to-table salads, sandwiches, fish tacos, burgers, pizza or pasta. Currently, Centertown Market is accepting mobile ordering exclusively.
Centertown Market Grab and Go (temporarily unavailable) offers salads, sandwiches, bakery items and coffee if you prefer to bring your meal with you.
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 potato fries!
Spyglass Grill (Temporarily Unavailable)
Located in the Trinidad pool area, this walk-up counter typically serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Unique bites include the breakfast yucca hash, cream cheese guava-stuffed French toast and pineapple-banana pancakes in the morning, or the chorizo burger and Caribbean taco trio for lunch and dinner.
Because Caribbean Beach’s dining options are limited right now, 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
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!