This was my first time visiting Caribbean Beach Resort and my third Moderate Resort hotel stay. I was interested to see how this hotel compared to Coronado Springs and Port Orleans Riverside (Royal Room).
The Room (Trinidad North – Preferred Room)
*This review of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is based on my stay in November 2017. Construction at the resort is ongoing, so things could be set up in a different way when others visit.
Unfortunately, the rooms I had at the first two Moderates were not the cleanest, so I was hoping this stay would be different. I was not disappointed! First of all, we were given our request of a corner room, which was very nice. Also, since there was construction at the resort, we were given a complimentary pin set. The pin set is really cute!
Since our room was a corner room, the windows were on different walls and the table was set up in the corner by the windows, which I liked. The design of the table is very cute because the base is a pineapple. The chairs at the table are padded with a bluish/green material and are pretty comfortable. I spent a decent amount of time in those chairs writing posts while we were there and they never felt uncomfortable.
The bedding is a little more plain than it used to be, but that’s true for most of the hotels after the recent refurbs. Unfortunately, our beds did not have the long colorful pillow or throw at the end of the bed like they do in the pictures on Disney’s website. Not huge deal, but just something to note. The beds were comfortable though and I had no problem passing out after a long day at the parks.
Over each bed is a long light with a design that is outlined in colorful gem like accents. In between the beds is the usual nightstand with an outlet that has both regular plug and USB ports. To the side of the beds is a shelf that has hooks to hang bags and jackets. It’s a good place to hang your Disney Parks bags with all the fun souvenirs.
On the ceiling in each room is a fan. There is, of course, air conditioning as well, but the fan is there too if you would like to use it.
Some of the rooms have a pulldown bed, which is great for families of five. Our room did not have this. Instead we had the big dresser with the refrigerator in the dresser. The rooms with the pulldown bed should also have a refrigerator, there just won’t be as much drawer space.
On top of the dresser are the t.v., the coffee maker, and the ice bucket. The coffee maker has Joffrey’s Coffee and paper cups. Also built into the dresser/fridge unit are more plug/USB ports, so there is no shortage of places to charge your electronics. Next to the dresser is a bench with the same blue/green padding that the chairs have.
Next to the beds and the dresser are the sinks, the open closet, and the digital safe. This area can be closed off with sliding doors that match the design of the dresser and the nightstand, which comes in very handy in the morning if you are trying to get ready without waking up anyone else. There are two sinks, tissues, and soaps on top of the sink. Below the sink there is some open space that comes in handy if you need to store things like diapers or wipes. The mirror at the sinks is very big, so multiple people can get ready at the same time. There’s also a mirror that is attached to the wall and has an extendable arm.
In this same area there is an open closet and a digital safe. The open closet has space to hang clothes, has a shelf to store things like your suitcases, has an ironing board and an iron, and extra pillows. The digital safe is a great place to store electronics, wallets, or other valuables that you don’t bring to the parks. These safes do not have keys, instead you set a code to use during your stay. There is a good amount of space inside. We were able to fit multiple electronics (laptops and tablets) and wallets inside with no problems.
Next to the sink area is the bathroom. The door to the bathroom has a full length mirror. Inside the bathroom is the toilet and the shower. The shower curtain has a tropical palm tree design on it and there are extra towels on the shelf above the toilet. In the shower guests will also find the Disney H2O shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and soap to use.
We liked our room a lot, but we did notice one thing…there are no Hidden Mickeys in the room. In other hotel rooms there have been Hidden Mickeys in the patterns on the curtains and things like that, but we looked all over and could not find any Mickeys.
The Custom House Lobby is very open with high ceilings and white beams. There are windows that line the top of the lobby and the design of them keeps with the tropical feel to the resort.
The lobby is decorated with exotic plants and brightly colored furniture. In the center of the lobby is clock with faces on all sides, so you can see the time no matter where you are. When I was there they also had an small area set up where you could purchase snacks and refillable mugs.
The lobby is not really near any of the rooms. The Caribbean Beach Resort has an internal bus system and you will need to use that if you want to go to the lobby from your room or vice versa.
Even with all the construction going on, this is a fun resort. We took one evening to walk around and explore a little bit and ended up near the main pool. It was a nice stroll and it was fun seeing the different buildings (each one has a different design). There is a walkway that follows the body of water that is in the middle of the resort, so that makes for a very nice walk too.
Due to the construction, the pool bar and gift shop were in different locations when we were there. The gift shop was actually on a truck, but it was set up nicely. Disney has done a pretty good job making sure these things are still available during the construction. Some of the things I liked in that area are the beach seating and the games that were set up on the sidewalk by the pool bar. It felt like a very inviting area and a good place to spend your evening after a long day at the parks.
There are beaches with seating and hammocks in multiple places at the Caribbean Beach Resort. Each area will have the fence and rocks blocking wildlife from coming onto the beach.
The main pool area (Fuentes del Morro) is really nice. Disney designed it to look like an old Spanish fort and it is very detailed, for a hotel pool. One of the Cast Members there told me it is one of the most photographed pools on property and I can understand why. It’s beautiful! The pool has a zero entry section and also has 2 80 ft water slides. I think you could easily spend a good portion of your day at this pool.
Near the main pool there is also a splash area for kids. It’s not just a little splash pool, it’s a whole playground splash area that gets water dumped on it every few minutes. It looks like a lot of fun for the kids.
In addition to the main pool there are four quiet pools located by each section in the resort. These pools have seating around them, but there are no water slides or pool bars by they pools. It’s a good place to go if you want a quieter place to swim or lay in the sun.
When we were there, due to construction, there was a food truck set up and the main dining was in a large (durable) tent that had been set up. As I said above, there is quite a bit of construction going on, so that impacted the dining as well. Disney has done a good job of keeping the dining options open though and there was a constant flow of people going in and coming out while we were by the dining area. If you don’t get your refillable mug in the lobby you can also get it by the main dining area.
The transportation option at the Caribbean Beach Resort is the Disney bus system. There is an internal bus, which will take you around the resort, and there are park buses, which will take you to the them parks, water parks, Disney Springs, and ESPN Wide World of Sports.
The internal bus system is nice, because you can’t walk to the lobby (it’s also good if your room is far from the main pool). This is the bus you will look for if you need to go to the lobby for any reason, including departure day. The Magical Express will pick you up at the lobby, so you will need to board the internal bus with your luggage. *Cast Members will come to pick up your luggage, you just have to call and schedule a pick up time.
The bus transportation to the parks can take a bit of time. The bus makes multiple stops around the resort before actually leaving to go to the park. If you are using the Disney buses and have dining reservations or FastPasses just make sure to give yourself enough time to get to the park, go through bag check, and get through the entrance. Disney recommends giving yourself at least 90 minutes.
In all honesty, my friend and I ended up using taxis quite a bit. There was a turnaround right by our building and that’s where they would park to pick us up. It was easier for us, quicker travel time to the parks, and we made all of our reservations on time. We had discussed using taxis before we left for Disney though, so we budgeted for it. Lyft and Uber will also pick up at the hotels.
There is no hiding that the Caribbean Beach Resort is undergoing a lot of construction. It’s kind of everywhere, but as I said above, Disney has done a good job making sure the amenities, recreation activities, shopping, and dining, are all still available while the construction is going on.
Here are the details from Disney’s website about the construction:
In an effort to make future visits even more magical, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is being reimagined!
Please note that noise will be heard while our Resort is undergoing refurbishments, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9:00 AM daily. We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience this work may cause.
Dining & Marketplace Closures
Beginning in May 2017, the following venues will be unavailable due to refurbishment: Old Port Royale Food Court, Shutters at Old Port Royale, Banana Cabana Pool Bar and Calypso Trading Post.
During this time, there will be a variety of dining options available to you for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Centertown, a dining location, will serve an all‐you‐care‐to‐enjoy buffet for breakfast and dinner, and à la carte options at lunch. A selection of grab‐and‐go meals will be conveniently available for purchase in 3 new island markets located in the Aruba, Jamaica and Martinique regions of the Resort. Additional à la carte offerings will be available at mobile food vending locations. Our in‐room dining will remain available. Disney dining plans will be accepted. We will make every effort to assist you with your dietary needs.
Will you see cranes, piles of dirt, construction walls, and construction vehicles driving around the resort? Yeah, you will. We saw all those things, but we still really enjoyed our time at the Caribbean Beach Resort. That being said, this was not a first trip for either of us. Had this been a first trip I might not be so positive about it.
Should You Stay at the Caribbean Beach Resort
It really depends on a few things:
- Is this your first trip?
- Will you be spending a lot of time at the resort?
- Do you think the construction will bother you?
If you plan on being at the parks all the time, then I wouldn’t even worry about it. It’s still a nice resort to walk around and the pool area is great. Though we saw the construction areas, we never heard the construction and we were around the resort at all different times.
Overall, I liked the resort. Our room was comfortable, the grounds are really nice, the pool is fun, and the Cast Members were all very friendly and helpful. I can’t wait to stay at the Caribbean Beach Resort again when the construction is complete!
Have you ever stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort?
Thanks for reading!
You mentioned a shower in the room, and I am wondering if it was a tub shower combo? We recently stayed at Grand California in Aneheim and had to ask for a tub room.
Yes, it’s a tub/shower combo. I believe most rooms have the tub/shower combo, but that’s good to know about the rooms at the Grand Californian.
We are staying here in April. Would you mind sharing how much you spent for taxis? We are flying instead of driving, so I’m used to having my car. We really don’t like relying on Disney transportation. Thanks!
I don’t mind. 🙂 I don’t have a total in front of me, but depending on which park you are going to it could be anywhere from $15 – $22 a ride. We usually took the buses back to the resorts, to save a little, but we thought it was totally worth it to budget in taxi cost to the parks. I believe Lyft and Uber might be a little cheaper, from what I have heard.
We stayed at CBR in October and used Lyft. Loved Lyft. We took it 1 way from Bay Lake Tower to CBR and paid $11 plus a tip. Then used it to go over to Beach Club Resort for under $7 Plus tip and another trip from Beach club to CBR for just under $7 plus tip. We usually used it during more prime time. So it seems to be about $2 a mile, little less little more. But the biggest thing, Spanish was prime language for our drivers. Nicest guys ever! We will totally use Lyft when we are there. Especially, when we stay at the moderates. Maybe not so much at the deluxes. We have been spoiled with deluxe resorts proximity to what we like!
That’s good to know, Holi! Thanks! I’m thinking we need to try Lyft the next time we stay at a Moderate Resort. 🙂
90 minutes to Magic Kingdom? Wow I wasn’t expecting that. So how long by taxi? We are going to Magic Kingdom twice and really don’t want an hour and a half on a bus. Also how long to get to the other parks? Love seeing the resort before we get there. 19 more sleeps! My grand daughter is super excited, and I’m hoping for a smooth, no hiccup holiday
Don’t worry, it’s not 90 minutes on the bus. The 90 minutes includes waiting for the bus, making stops around the resort, the bus ride to the park, getting from the bus stop to the entrance of the park, getting through bag check, and getting to the restaurant or attraction where you have your dining/FastPass reservation. A taxi is much quicker, because they will text you when they are there, so there’s no waiting and no extra stops around the resort.