- Nov 4, 2017
This is a comprehensive review of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. I will give my thoughts about the resort itself and I will review the room. I will also give some recommendations for those who may want to stay at the resort and some suggestions to make your stay better.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is a Moderate resort in the Epcot area of Walt Disney World. There are just over 2000 rooms and they are arranged around Barefoot Bay. The resort is themed in the style of the islands of the Caribbean. There are six villages. Each village is named after a different island.
Sarah and I stayed here during our November 2017 trip. We had never visited the resort before our last trip so I was excited to walk around its vast grounds. Sarah was not incredibly excited about this resort. She is more interested in the Disney intellectual property resorts (Art of Animation, All-Star Movies, or Royal Rooms at Riverside).
During the planning phase of our November 2017 trip, we were considering staying for all 10 days. Disney was giving a considerable discount for guests staying at this resort. Due to construction (more on that to come), this resort is a shadow of its completed self. Sarah disliked the resort so much when we walked through it in July 2017, she did not want to take the discount.
Let’s start with positives. I think the largest positive of Caribbean Beach is the recreation areas. Fuentes del Morro Pool and the Caribbean Cay areas directly in the middle of the resort are excellent.
There are also beach areas with hammocks and lounge chairs in each section of the resort. This creates a laid-back, fun vibe across the entire resort.
If you are looking to stay at this resort, it is important to understand that CB is massive and spread out. I think the size of the resort can be both a positive and a negative. Sarah and I realized that we really enjoy the larger, more spread out resorts on our November 2017 trip. We love walking aimlessly through the resorts and feeling like we are isolated from the rest of the world during our vacations. Because of that fact, we like the size of the resort.
The size of this resort can also be a negative. I have to be honest, this may be the worst Disney bus transportation resort at Disney World, currently. There are several bus depots at CB because of the way the villages are spread out. The buses also need to make a trip around the entire resort and then u-turn and do the entire circle again because of construction. This unorthodox route means that ride times can be painfully long. Even though this resort is centrally located, the ride times were very long. If you are driving to WDW or not using bus transportation, this will not be a problem. If you are, you may consider another resort.
The current renovations at this resort can either be a positive or a negative. Sarah and I both tend to be optimists when it comes to WDW touring. We like to be future-minded about renovations, rather than focusing on the current inconveniences. We see the potential of the changes. I think that CB has incredible potential. As a part of the recent 12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas special, we got a sneak peek of the resort.
These renovations include a reimagined Centertower Market, a new full-service restaurant, and a new lakeside bar and lounge area. We also got to see some artistic renderings of the new Disney Skyliner hub at CB. The new Centertown village looks like a welcomed addition which will centralize the CB experience. I am sure these new eateries will be adequate options for guests who do not want to leave the resort. The Skyliner hub looks like it will fit stylistically with the resort, but was not remarkable. The fact that the gondolas will be coming to CB is exciting enough in itself.
I have to be real, the current state of the resort tests that optimism that Sarah and I hold about renovations. Currently, most of the Centertown village is walled-off for construction. We stayed in the Martinique village of the resort and the entire walk to the central hub was walled-off. The current dining situation is fairly grim at CB. The Centertown Pavilion dining area is a tent. There are mini-markets set up in each village, but they are repurposed rooms. I do like that they put several food trucks surrounding the tent, but it is not worth spending money or credits at the resort.
The rooms at CB do go a long way towards restoring our optimism. Sarah and I were both incredibly impressed by the quality of the space. The rooms have been recently renovated at are beautifully done. During our November 2017 trip, we were having a conversation with a Cast Member at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort who told us that these rooms will be the template for resort rooms across WDW. If that is the case, I am excited!
It was very clear that the rooms had been updated. I am sure that the theming will divide opinions. Some people still may think that it is over-the-top and gaudy, but I did not mind it. I liked that I felt like I was at a tropical island resort. Sarah and I also did not feel like we were being attacked by the islands. I think Disney has transitioned well from overwhelming patterns to subtle nods.
Sarah and I also loved the clearly upgraded aspects like the television and the refrigerator. The television was mounted to the wall and the fridge had a glass door, which feels higher end. The sliding bathroom doors were nice and the fixture fixtures felt like a hotel that happens to be at WDW, not just a WDW resort. The difference seems subtle, but ask anyone who has stayed at an All-Star resort the difference.
We both really liked the bed at CB. It was incredibly soft. Even though Sarah and I prefer firm beds, we can appreciate the softness of the beds here. The only negative of the bed was that the pillows were incredibly weak. We have run into this issue across all the WDW resorts. I prefer to use 2 normal pillows, so I struggle with not having enough support for my head. That is nit-picky, but we really liked the rooms!
Should I Stay Here?
I am going to make a judgment call here that some people may disagree with. I would not recommend staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort until Late 2018. Originally, Disney announced that the renovations would conclude at CB in Late 2017, but it is currently 2018 and they have not concluded yet. Due to the size of the project, I would not count on the renovations being done until Late 2018. The resort is currently a bit of a mess and the renovations severely limit the guest experience. Instead, I would stay at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort - Riverside.
As a result of this, I would recommend CB for the following people:
- Parties looking to save some money, but do not want to stay in a Value resort.
- Guests who are booking last-minute.
- People who may have an emotional connection with the resort.
First, I would not plan on dining at CB until Centertown is complete. The idea of eating in a tent was not appealing to Sarah or I, so we decided to not. I imagine that most people will feel the same way. Stay in Martinique. Being that the bus transportation takes so long, it is best to stay at the first bus stop. Sarah and I both prefer to do our longer waiting on the front end, rather than after the parks have closed and we are exhausted. If you stay in Martinique, you will need to budget extra time to get to the parks, but you will be able to get off earlier upon returning.
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