If you’re looking for an upgraded Disney resort experience with more amenities and options than the Value resorts typically offer, then a Moderate Resort might be a great option for you! We stayed at one of Disney’s Moderate level resorts during one of our recent trips. Below is our full Caribbean Beach Resort Review and Guide to help you learn more about this fun island-themed resort.
Compared to Disney’s Value Resorts, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort offers a more relaxed, resort style stay, but often at a lower price than many may realize. During its last major refurbishment, we were able to stay at this resort for significantly less per night than usual, but even the regular Moderate Resort price range isn’t nearly as expensive as you might expect – especially when compared to the average per-night cost of Deluxe Resorts.
According to Disney’s website, current rates for standard rooms at Caribbean Beach often start at about $250 per night before tax and parking fees, which is only around $60 more per night than the starting rate of a standard room at Art of Animation. So if you’re looking to add a bit extra to your Walt Disney World resort stay without breaking the bank, then Caribbean Beach Resort can offer great value for your experience!
As always, we encourage you to visit Disney’s website for all official information and to make sure that none of this information has changed since this article was written. We update our website and articles as often as we can, but it is always a good idea to double check Disney’s official website before booking any resorts stays or visiting the Walt Disney World Resort.
Caribbean Beach Resort Overview
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is located just down the road from Hollywood Studios in one direction and Epcot in another. It is also quite close to Disney Springs and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, making this resort’s location a prime spot for easy access to a large portion of Walt Disney World. Even though this resort is so close to multiple theme park offerings, the property is quite large and spread out compared to the Value resorts, which makes Caribbean Beach a much more relaxed and quiet atmosphere overall.
The features of this resort include four eateries, one large shop, six pools, and multiple beaches, as well as a limited number of specially themed rooms and a sky gondola station. Like other Disney resorts, Caribbean Beach also offers bus transportation, Magical Express services, merchandise pickup and delivery services, mail and laundry services, and online check-in, among other offerings.
Special activities offered at this resort include a beach campfires, movies under the stars, a pirate-themed boat adventure for kids, fishing, bike rentals, volleyball, and a jogging trail. Some of these activities are complimentary while others charge a separate fee, so be sure to check Disney’s official website or talk to a Cast Member ahead of time to find out all the details.
Parking fees are now standard for all Disney resorts, but price varies by resort level. Currently, parking for Moderate Resorts is $20 per night, which is five dollars more than that of Value Resort overnight parking.
The main area of Caribbean Beach Resort is called Old Port Royale, which is home to the resort’s lobby, gift shop, and several dining locations. This section of the resort overlooks a large lake, with a view of the recently opened Disney Skyliner and new Riviera Resort in the distance. The resort’s largest pool, kiddie pool, and hot tub are located just outside the main building, and a children’s play area is located on a small island connected by one of the resort’s main pathways.
Caribbean Beach Resort hotel room buildings are divided into five areas – Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad, Jamaica, and Aruba – which they refer to as villages. All five of these areas have their own small pools, beaches, and bus stops. Martinique and Barbados are located on either side of the main common area and are closest to Old Port Royale, and Trinidad is located on the other side of Barbados. Jamaica and Aruba are located directly across the lake from Old Port Royale with Jamaica being the closest to Caribbean Beach’s Skyliner station. This station acts as the central hub of sorts as it transports guests to and from Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Pop Century Resort, Art of Animation Resort, and the new Riviera Resort.
The main resort restaurant at Caribbean Beach is the Centertown Market, which Disney describes as “fast-casual”. We found to be somewhat in-between the quick service food courts at Value Resorts and a full restaurant. It’s similar to Value quick service dining in that the seating arrangement is a large open area and guests order at a counter rather than being served by a waiter. You head out either of the side doors and sit at one of the many tables that wrap around the courtyard area.
The food quality is also closer to quick service with things like sandwiches and fries, but with most of the options being Latin-inspired and Caribbean-inspired instead of the more American-style meals that Value Resorts typically offer.
Centertown Market also offers a smaller Grab-and-Go market that offers pre-made options like muffins, salads, sandwiches, and specialty coffees. These options are particularly good for early mornings when you need to grab a quick bite and head right to the parks. The Value Resorts also have some pre-made options for guests to choose from, but unlike the Value Resorts the grab-and-go section at Caribbean Beach has its own area and pay counter separate from the main restaurant.
Both the Centertown Market and the Grab-and-Go market are located in the main common area building, which is also where you will find the resort’s lobby and check-in.
Our Review of Centertown Market
The food here wasn’t exactly what we were expecting for a Moderate Level Resort. While we did like the island and latin flair for most of the dishes, the quality was still a bit underwhelming. It wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t as good as we thought it would be considering the jump in overall resort price from Value to Moderate. Perhaps this isn’t too surprising, though, given that Centertown Market is still a quick service, counter-style eatery. In that respect it isn’t much different from the Value resorts’ quick service dining options.
What is interesting, however, is that we actually preferred the food served at Pop Century (a Value Resort) over the food that we tried from Centertown Market. We found the selection at Pop to be more diverse and flavorful, while Caribbean’s quick service options were a bit bland and all somewhat similar in comparison. The portions we received here were also quite a bit smaller than what we experienced at the Value Resorts. The choices at Centertown Market weren’t bad by any means – just not what we expected and not as preferable to us as the food we ate at Everything Pop.
Maybe we were there during a off week and it is normally better, but based on our experience we would suggest skipping Centertown Market if you’re looking for a more substantial meal. If you just want to grab a quick bite and don’t mind a more fast-food-like quality, then it’s not a bad option. If you’re expecting a little more from a Moderate Quick Service location compared to Value Level, though, it isn’t really much of a step up overall.
The Banana Cabana is located on the Old Porte Royale promenade just across from Centertown Market and the Fuentes del Morro pool on one side and the lake on the other. It is considered a “walk-up bar” that serves mainly specialty cocktails and other beverages (both alcohol and non-alcohol), but you can find several smaller plates and snacks here as well. Banana Cabana serves things like jerk chicken wings, salads, and burgers, as well as one of our personal favorites – the Loaded Sweet Potato Fries.
This entire dining area is open-air, which makes it a great place to sit and take in the view of the beautiful lake across the way. The decor has fun tropical flair with a steal drum chandelier and bright colors all around. Seating at this location includes the bar as well as a few small tables, and it’s a great place relax after a long day at the parks and enjoy the evening breeze!
Our Review of Banana Cabana
We really enjoyed the food that we tried at Banana Cabana. The Loaded Sweet Potato Fries were a good appetizer sharing size, and they had a great flavor. Seating is limited and they don’t serve any of the tables located on the deck just in front of the restaurant (or at least they didn’t at that time), which was kind of a bummer, but if you can manage to find a seat inside then we recommend trying some of their tasty options!
A more recent addition the Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is Sebastian’s Bistro – a casual dining experience that serves Latin-inspired and Caribbean-inspired dishes. This restaurant is located right next door to the Banana Cabana near the Old Porte Royale, Centertown Market, and the Fuentes del Morro pool.
The theming has a tropical style with a subtle hint of Disney’s classic “The Little Mermaid”, and you’ll find Sebastian the crab featured in some of the signs and menu cover design. If you listen closely you may even hear him singing some Caribbean-style tunes while you enjoy your meal!
In keeping with the Caribbean theme, much of the menu offers seafood-based plates and tropical flavored desserts and drinks. The restaurant itself is rather small, so it might be a good idea to reserve a table ahead of time if eating here is a must-do for you. It is a table service restaurant, so the prices are higher than most of the options that you’ll find over at the quick service-style Centertown Market.
Our Review of Sebastian’s Bistro
We really wanted to love this place with it’s Little Mermaid theme and Caribbean-style dishes, but this was unfortunately our least favorite dining experience we had during our stay. Even with a reservation, the two of us waited over forty minutes as we watched other guests come and go and saw empty tables scattered throughout the restaurant. We asked the hostess at two different times if our table would be ready soon, and she was very nice but didn’t seem to really have an answer as to why it taking so long for us to be seated.
Once we were finally seated, the dining experience was unfortunately less than stellar. The staff seemed a bit inexperienced and flustered, and the waiters seemed too overwhelmed with busing tables to be able to attend to their guests. We were nearly finished with our meals before our drinks were refilled, and there were some some other issues going on for more guests than just us that evening. We were also honestly disappointed with how the manager responded to the whole situation in a rather indifferent manner and didn’t feel like everyone’s concerns were handled appropriately.
This was certainly the biggest issue we had with Sebastian’s Bistro, but unfortunately the food was not particularly fantastic that night either. The rolls were very good, but we can’t comfortably say that the other dishes were really worth the prices we paid. The empanadas were quite tough and didn’t have much flavor, which was pretty disappointing since this was one of the dishes we were most excited about. The shrimp and grits were okay – the shrimp was actually cooked well and had a nice flavor, but there were only four or five small to medium sized shrimp total and no side dish aside from the thin layer of grits with a handful of corn kernels mixed in. Because the portions were small and left us still a little hungry, we didn’t feel quite satisfied with the meal, especially given the cost of each dish.
Sebastian’s Bistro was still fairly new at this point, so we are hoping that all of these issues can be chocked up to the occasional bumps that come along with having only recently opened. Given our experience it would be difficult for us to whole-heartedly recommend eating at Sebastian’s Bistro – particularly if you aren’t already staying at Caribbean Beach – but we are hopefully optimistic that things have improved since our visit, especially since this resort sees more guests come and go now because of its role as the main skyliner hub station. For that reason, we would encourage you to visit Sebastian’s Bistro for yourself if it is a restaurant that you’d really love to try, but maybe just go in with a little lower expectation than you might normally have for a Moderate Level table service dining establishment.
Spyglass Grill is a walk-up counter service restaurant that is located in the Trinidad section of Caribbean Beach Resort. This little restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, sweet treats, and a variety of drinks including specialty coffees. The menu is actually quite vast for such a small location, and you’ll find everything from Cream Cheese Guava-stuffed French Toast to a Shrimp Salad. With all of its flavorful dishes and beverages, Spyglass Grill is a great place to find a lot of options that you may not find near Old Porte Royale!
Pools and Recreation
There are a multitude of activities and amenities at Disney’s Caribbean Beach that can be found all over the resort. There are an impressive six pools at this moderate level resort, with the largest being the Fuentes del Morro Pool located in the Old Porte Royale area. This pool is considered the “feature” pool, and it offers a zero-entry pirate-themed main pool with two water slides and water spraying canons. There is also a 12-person spa located here, as well as a water play area for kids with a water bucket that dumps water every so often.
There are also smaller “leisure” pools located in each of the resort’s villages, for a total of five smaller pools (one in each area). These pools are located near each of the five villages’ beach areas and offer a more relaxed atmosphere than the larger main pool.
Similar to other Disney resorts on property, Caribbean Beach offers complimentary recreational activities such as Movies Under the Stars, a Playground, and a Jogging Trail. You can also find some activities at Caribbean Beach Resort such as Campfire Activities, a Pirate Adventure Cruise for kids, Fishing, and Bike Rentals, and Volleyball, some of which are complimentary and others that you can participate in for an extra fee. To learn more about each of these activities and whether or not they are complimentary with your resort stay, visit Disney’s official website.
Caribbean Beach Resort Rooms
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort offers several different types of rooms, and all of them are quite a bit more spacious then the standard rooms at Disney’s Value Resorts. Regular Standard View rooms at Caribbean Beach include two queen beds, a hairdryer, coffee maker, mini-refrigerator, in-room safe, an ironing board and iron, and a telephone. These Standard View rooms will have a view of either the Courtyard, Woodlands, or the resort in general. For a small up-charge guests can also choose to stay in a standard room with a Water or Pool View.
A Standard View – 5th Sleeper room is also available with all of the same amenities, plus an additional small pull-down “Child-Size” bed. We have stayed in a 5th Sleeper room before, and the pull-down bed does look to be smaller than a twin size, so it is quite small. Just like the regular standard rooms, the 5th Sleeper rooms are also available with a Water or Pool View for a higher price.
King Bed rooms are also offered with all of the same amenities and either a standard view, water view, or pool view. Finally, guests have the choice of a Preferred Room, which is available with either two queen beds and a pull-down 5th sleeper or with just two queen beds (no 5th sleeper). These preferred rooms have all of the same amenities as the standard rooms, but are located closer to Fuentes del Morro Pool (the main resort pool) and Centertown (the resort’s main common area). Because of their location, preferred rooms cost quite a bit more than standard rooms, and they only offer views of the Courtyard, Woodlands, or the Resort Hotel.
Completely unique to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort are the Pirate themed rooms, which are available as a Standard View or a Water View. These rooms offer all of the same amenities as the standard and preferred rooms, but with two double beds (rather than queen beds) that are designed to look like pirate ships. These rooms do cost quite a bit more than the standard or preferred rooms, but they are perfect for any Pirates of the Caribbean fan!
Caribbean Beach Resort Room Types:
- Standard View Room – Two Queen Beds; View of Courtyard, Woodlands, or Resort
- Standard View – 5th Sleeper – Two Queen Beds and a Pull-Down Child-Size Bed; View of Courtyard, Woodlands, or Resort
- Water or Pool View – Two Queen Beds; View of Lake or Pool
- Water or Pool View – 5th Sleeper – Two Queen Beds and a Pull-Down Child-Size Bed; View of Lake or Pool
- King Bed – One King Bed; View of Courtyard, Woodlands, Resort, Lake, or Pool
- Preferred Room – Two Queen Beds; View of Courtyard, Woodlands, or Resort; Close Proximity to Fuentes del Morro Pool and Centertown
- Preferred Room – 5th Sleeper – Two Queen Beds and a Pull-Down Child-Size Bed; View of Courtyard, Woodlands, or Resort; Close Proximity to Fuentes del Morro Pool and Centertown
- Pirate Standard View – Two Double Beds; View of Courtyard, Woodlands, or Resort; Pirate-Themed
- Pirate Water View – Two Double Beds; View of Lake or Pool; Pirate-Themed
Our Review of The Standard Rooms
For our visit to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, we stayed in a Standard View – 5th Sleeper room. At that time, Disney was offering fantastic deals on Caribbean Beach rooms because the resort was being extensively remodeled and the Skyliner station wasn’t quite complete. While we normally stay at Pop Century (our favorite Value Resort), we decided to upgrade to Caribbean Beach for part of our stay to check out some of its Moderate level amenities – and because we love anything beach themed!
Overall we did find the resort to have a much more laid-back, relaxed atmosphere and feel compared to the normal hustle and bustle of the Value resorts, and our room was a bit more spread out and spacious than that of the standard rooms at Value level. The room was somewhat dated, but we determined that this was because they had not yet renovated the building we were staying in yet, which was in the Aruba section of the resort. The biggest downside to the room itself was that the wall outlets were obviously quite old, and our phone chargers kept falling out unless we propped them up with something to hold them in place. There were a few other small details that ultimately didn’t disrupt our stay, but they were things that one would expect to be a little higher in quality given the Moderate level and price. However, we suspect that these little things have since been fixed thanks to the resort’s full refurbishment, so we wouldn’t count this resort out based on these minor issues.
The pull-down sleeper was quite small, but a nice addition if you need an extra bed. The two queen size beds were comfortable, and the room was large enough that we still had space to walk around each of the beds easily and not feel cramped.
The bathroom area included a double sink – something that is especially nice to have when you have limited time in the mornings to get ready for an early morning rope drop at the parks – and a separate area for the toilet and tub/shower. One of the room’s best features might be easily missed if you’re not looking for it, but a ceiling fan is a fantastic feature of this Moderate resort that the Value resorts don’t have. If you’ve ever been to Florida in the middle of summer, you’ll be glad to have this additional bonus in your room!
By far the biggest drawback of the rooms offered at Caribbean Beach Resort is that the buildings do not have any elevators. Since it is an outside corridor style hotel, all of the room doors are located along the outside of the building, which is the same way that Value resorts are built. However, Value resorts do offer elevators that stop on every floor, but Caribbean Beach only offers stairs. This can be an issue for anyone who has a difficult time with stairs, and it makes carrying your luggage up to your second-story room quite a challenge as well. After four days at this resort, we were already exhausted from climbing up and down the stairs multiple times a day, especially after a long day in the parks. For this reason, Caribbean Beach resort wouldn’t be our top choice for anyone who has mobility concerns or chronic fatigue and pain like we both do, but if we were to stay there again we would opt for a first floor room instead.
Standard Room Review Summary:
- Good size room
- Comfortable beds
- Extra seating area
- Sliding doors to separate bathroom
- Double sink
- Ceiling fan
- Somewhat outdated (these rooms have since been renovated, so they are hopefully better now)
- No elevators (only stairs)
- Some areas are located quite far from the main building and common areas (but there is parking for every section)
- One of the higher-priced Moderate Level Resorts
Review of Our Complete Resort Experience
– Caribbean Beach Resort Review
Overall, we would say that Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is a good resort, but not the best. It has since been refurbished, which we hope has remedied all the issues we noted. If you are wanting to upgrade from a Value to a Moderate Resort for more amenities and choices in both room styles and restaurants, then Caribbean Beach could still be a great option considering it isn’t as big of a jump in price per night as one might think at first. Another plus is that there are also more year-round activities and the entire resort is more spacious, which leads to a more relaxed, less crowded feel than Value Resorts typically have. There is also the theming, which offers an island resort style that you won’t find at any of the cheaper Disney resorts on property.
As we mentioned in our full restaurant reviews above, the dining options at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort weren’t our favorite on a whole, and we were a little disappointed by the quality of the food at Centertown Market and Sebastian’s Bistro, particularly for Moderate Level pricing. The food was not terrible, however, and it certainly wouldn’t keep us from staying here again in the future – especially in hopes that both of these eateries have improved since the resort has been fully updated and increased in popularity due to the new skyliner addition.
All in all, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is a nice resort if you are staying for more than just a few days and would like to have a place to relax after a long day in the parks, or if you’re looking to add some resort-only days to your Walt Disney World vacation. Since it’s recent refurb, we expect that most, if not all, of the major concerns we had about this resort have been resolved, save the stair issue for those who experience some mobility difficulties as we sometimes do. However, if this particular issue isn’t a concern for you personally, then Caribbean Beach Resort might be a great choice, especially if you want close access to the new Disney Skyliner system and all of its destinations!