The Caribbean Beach Resort Review, Spoiler…Never Again!
Let me start off by saying I was super excited about staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort with other travelers loving their experiences. Perhaps I elevated it too high in my head and set it up to fail. Hopefully we can deliver some thoughts that help you decide between Caribbean Beach Resort and other moderate resorts.
We didn’t love the Caribbean Beach Resort….at all….like not even a little….why? You ask. Let’s jump right in.
The Good About Caribbean Beach Resort
The price point is extremely attractive. I am sure that is why many of you are reading this article now. Well, we predict with the overhaul of the resort areas and the looming completion of the Gondola system that this resort will soon get a new pricing structure. We paid $229 per night and paired it with a Deluxe Dining Plan…which we almost always do. That was about the only good thing I can say about the resort. That’s 2 things…price…and dining plan access. Note: it was unseasonably cold for our November trip. We’re talking 40 degrees some days. With that being said, the pool did look amazing. I’d want to work in some time to go to the pool if it were warm weather season.
The Bad About Caribbean Beach Resort
First, the location isn’t bad but it wasn’t great either. It was nestled neatly off the main road near Epcot and near Hollywood Studios.
The resort is YYYUUUUUUUGE…yes, huge. From the moment we arrived on site we were boggled with turns and curves, just to find the check in point. Yes, there are signs but this experience is different than most of the other resorts we’ve stayed at. Upon check in, there was no one out front to welcome us, no one at the luggage/bag check, no one, anywhere. We had already gone through early check in with app (days before, and listed our arrival time in the app) My wife went on in to activate our dining plan and such. Someone did finally show up. The person was very nice and took care of our luggage. We left for the parks (after seeing where our unit was located so that when we arrived later in the dark that we would know where to go — which also leads me to say that we “checked in” before the room was ready, which we normally do). Jump back to resort that night after an awesome day in the parks…still optimistic even though the process of check in was less than optimal. There were entire rows (the first 2 rows) of parking just blocked with cones. Leaving very little parking for a giant resort. We found a parking spot. Found our room…eventually. Even though we had found the building earlier that day, the room, on the other hand was still a bit difficult to get to. We get in the room with no trouble via our magic bands and call for our luggage. The luggage takes about 35 minutes to get to the room. I understand this a large resort and it probably took that much time to load it, drive to us, and hike to our room. No complaints…just factor that into your planning. Our kids were exhausted and ready for bed but we had to wait for our clothes. Next time, we’ll have a small bag just for post park day baths and pajamas ready to go in from the car with us.
About the Resort and Rooms
I thought, I’ll run over to the Old Port Royale (the main dining area, resort services, pool, general store, etc). Ok, so from our room it was a 20 minute walk to that area, which due to the layout of the resort would have been quite the drive as well…pick your poison. I bought $7 water, got our resort cups and trekked back.
The rooms were disappointing. The “resort refurbishment” either missed our room or the execution of the refurbishment was lacking. Either way, disappointing. There was very little storage for our family of 5. The bathroom has very little extra space to offer. There is a clothing rod with one shelf above it in that area. The footprint of the room was similar to all the other resorts we stayed in but overall it felt smaller.
The drive to the parks wasn’t too bad but wasn’t great either. We had pretty much expected this due to being a moderate resort. But there are resorts closer, even moderate ones.
The lower price point means way more people to deal with. This was particularly an issue at “check-in” (activating our dining plan) and at “check out”. Fun note: If you don’t charge anything to the room you can simply not go through the burden of “check out”…just leave. Yeah, that was fun to learn after standing in line for about 45 minutes. It was expected to have more “negatives” to deal with at a moderate resort. The realization of the expectations was still not fun. Plan extra time into your days when you have to go through areas like check in, resort services, eating, etc.
What Disney has to say about Caribbean Beach Resort
Caribbean Beach Resort versus Port Orleans Riverside.
We are writing about our recent stay at Port Orleans currently for an upcoming post. But let’s give you the overview for those of you trying to decide between the two. Port Orleans had the same size room but it felt larger, the color scheme was more relaxing, it was nestled in the middle of nature, the room seemed cleaner, overall it felt like less people and there was ample parking and the resort was easy to navigate. There were beignets served onsite…enough said. They are virtually the same price. We will definitely be staying onsite with Port Orleans in the future.
A video about Port Orleans Resort
Is It Worth It to Stay at Caribbean Beach Resort?
We say no. The price point is not worth the extra large resort, the extra people, and the extra driving when other resorts are suitable alternatives. That’s not even taking into account the room itself, which we weren’t fans of – even though the sizes are pretty much the same in all moderate resorts.