Disney’s Caribbean Beach was our first experience staying at a Disney resort and let me tell you, Disney knows hospitality. I don’t think anyone doubted Disney’s ability to excel in hospitality, but here’s the reality: I don’t think we would stay here again. BUT, you’ll have to read more to find out why.
Considering another hotel? Check out our other Resort Rundowns:
The Real Value of a Disney Value Resort
The Ins and Outs of a Disney Good Neighbor Hotel
Breaking down the hype of Pop! Century
Caribbean Beach is a moderate resort in the EPCOT area of the Disney. Moderate resorts typically range from $198-528/night. That being said, Bruce and I got this at a discounted rate, just by (obsessively) checking the website. We scored this room at $150/night (and during a holiday!).
We stayed at Caribbean Beach during the week of the 4th of July. In case you’re new here, you should know that any holiday weekend is going to be busy at Disney World and the 4th is no exception. The main thing to remember when traveling during a holiday (even 3 day weekends) is to expect crowds. You will be fine as long as you don’t have unrealistic expectations. So Bruce and I drove right after work (making record time!) and arrived in Magic Kingdom at 8:45pm on July 3rd. Because we wanted to take in the fireworks, we checked in to the hotel on the “My Disney Experience” app and were sent a text message with our room number. Once we were done with extra magic hours (at 1:30am!) we went to the room they sent, scanned our magic bands and went right in.
Checking Out the Amenities
That’s right. No waiting at the front desk, no fumbling with bags in the lobby and up elevators. We just walked into the room like we had been there for a week. The TV was on, and it was rotating through Disney music and park times. It was a great way to be welcomed into the Disney property and definitely helped to set the Disney mood- even if it was almost 2am!
The next day we got breakfast at the hotel- which was surprisingly good. We did have a bit of a walk to get to the main area, which wasn’t a huge deal but did make it difficult to make good use out of the refillable drink mug. After some food and coffee, we headed out to Animal Kingdom for the first part of the day. We did not take the Disney transportation options because we have free parking with our annual passes and honestly, the buses are pretty slow. That being said, the sky-liners are now open and have a base at the Caribbean Beach so the transportation might be quicker with that option!
After a 12 hour day at Disney, the thing you want the most is good air conditioning, a nice shower and a comfortable bed. Disney’s Caribbean Beach checked all the boxes. The room was extremely clean, well laid out, and the beds were amazing. We even tried to look at what kind of mattress they had- we wanted to take some of the Disney Magic (in the form of a good night’s sleep) home with us! Really though, those beds are incredible.
Also worth mentioning, the free shower essentials that are in every hotel are exceptional here. They actually sell full sizes of the products in the Disney Stores. In certain circles, these things are collected and traded. They are that good.
On the second day, we decided to check out the pool bar and take advantage of the shade. July in Florida is HOT. The theming here was super fun and we really felt like we were at a Caribbean Resort. The food was from Banana Cabana, which I think is super under rated. We got the Jerk Chicken sandwich to share and it was so good that we came back the next day to get it again! We also thought the drinks were pretty well balanced (we’re not super into “sweet” drinks), and we really enjoyed the seating options. Definitely worth checking this out during a hot afternoon!
Here’s a quick overview of our pros and cons for Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort:
Pros: Very comfortable, easy check-in (don’t have to go to the front desk), nicely themed with great service, free transportation, extra magic hours, magic bands
Cons: Expensive room rates, transportation is slow and sometimes unreliable, long walk to the main area (HUGE resort)
So why wouldn’t we stay here again? Well, for the price point it just wasn’t worth it to us (although we may come back for that Jerk Chicken!). We did love the perks of extra magic hours and being “stuck” in the Disney Magic for our whole stay but they just didn’t make up for the fact that it was more money that we usually spend on a hotel. While it was a nice hotel, we didn’t think the rooms were super “themed” like we had expected. There are plenty of nice hotels in the area (even ones that offer extra magic hours) for more reasonable room rates. Pair that with the long walk to the main area, just means we’ll try a different Disney resort next time or stay with ole reliable.
Update: Why We Would Choose a Disney Value Resort Over a Moderate Resort
Have you stay at Caribbean Beach? What are your thoughts on it?