Being a budget-conscious young family, we’ve only ever considered staying in value resorts while visiting Walt Disney World. This time, I’m doing my research and planning to splurge on a moderate or deluxe resort during an off-season time, when (historically speaking) crowds are down and savings are at their peak. For our trip next September, it’s going to be H-O-T so I’m planning on fewer theme park days and more water park and resort pool days. The pools and water slides, transportation options, and the grounds/rooms themselves are all important factors in my choice. I’ve been digging into which moderate resort would suit us best – an active family of four with two little boys, ages 5 and 6. Today I’m looking closely at Caribbean Beach Resort.
CBR features a fantastic main pool area – Fuentes del Morro Pool and Water Play Area – with 2 water slides and a pirate themed kids water park area for children 48″ and under. The resort is divided up into 6 themed sections, each with their own tranquil pool as well. The sections are Trinidad North, Trinidad South, Jamaica, Martinique, Barbados, and Aruba. Since the sprawling grounds are so spread out, the main complaints I’ve heard about this resort is that it’s a lot of walking. Maybe that doesn’t play a part if you’re actually in the Caribbean islands, but after walking all day in the theme parks, little legs might be tired and it’s a long way to walk just to satisfy your cravings for a snack or quench your thirst with a soda.
Along with the complaints about the resort being spread out, not everyone loves the transportation situation. Due to the layout of the resort, there are five separate bus stops. I have not visited CBR yet but I imagine this would be better than one central location that would mean that much more walking. The issue is that if your section is the last stop, the bus will often already be full before it gets to you and you’ll be standing or waiting for the next bus to arrive. There is not an option for traveling to any other areas of Walt Disney World by boat. CBR is an EPCOT area resort so transportation to EPCOT and Magic Kingdom both should be fairly quick, aside from potentially waiting through 4 other stops on your way to or back from the parks.
The resort recently underwent a refurbishment that brought fresh new looks to the rooms, all queen size beds instead of full, and the option of a having a 5th person in your room (that person would have to be a child as the extra sleeping space is a small murphy bed). Another improvement to the resort was the addition of fun pirate-themed rooms, which I know my children would both enjoy tremendously. These rooms come with an upcharge but during fall discount season, it might be worth checking out.
Last but not least, let’s talk about food. Caribbean Beach Resort offers a variety of options with (and without) Caribbean flair at Old Port Royal Food Court (quickservice), Shutters (table service), and refreshments for all ages at Banana Cabana Pool Bar. Pizza delivery to your room is also available.
Aside from minimal concerns about the size of the resort (just how long are these walks to the food court, anyway?), it sounds like Caribbean Beach Resort might be a great option for our next Disney vacation!
Have you experienced this resort? What are your thoughts?
Candice was raised in east Tennessee. While in college, her best friend dragged her to a Walt Disney World College Program recruiting session at the University of Tennessee and the rest is Disney history. In the Fall of 1999, Candice became a quick service food hostess for Sunset Ranch Market and Fantasmic at Disney-MGM Studios – or what is now known as Disney’s Hollywood Studios. While soaking up her time as a cast member, she met Ryan, a neighbor and a fellow college programmer who worked as a custodial host at Epcot. Four years later, Candice moved to the Midwest and married that boy from across the hall. They now live in Greenwood, Indiana with their two little boys. The Disney-loving foursome took their first family trip to The Happiest Place on Earth in 2013 and Candice is eagerly planning their return. Candice also works full-time at a community mental health center and enjoys taking photographs and blogging at Mommy in the Midwest.