After spending a few minutes at my least favorite Deluxe resort, we’ll head over to my least favorite Moderate Resort, the Caribbean Beach. It looks like this gentleman in front of us took my advice and picked up a 12-pack of Busch from the Downtown Disney Hess.
Correct me if I’m wrong (I love it), but Caribbean Beach is the only monstrosity where you check in to the resort in a completely different building than the restaurants, concierge, etc.
Said check-in for the 2,112 rooms.
At least it’s pretty out.
One thing Caribbean Beach has going for it is the pool complex, which is one of the most popular.
And there are lots of bushes for us creepy Disney lifestyle bloggers to pop out from behind to take pictures of your kids.
That’s a little better. The pirate-themed water play area adjacent to the feature pool is always popular and one of Disney’s best.
Otherwise the resort is huge.
Huge. So huge that it has an internal bus system that circles the resort all day just in case you’d rather wait 15 minutes for a bus to the main building rather than spend the 15 minutes walking.
Room-wise, you’d think it would have to be up next for a lengthy refurbishment.
The Port Orleans properties now offer plush queen beds.
Caribbean Beach is the only Moderate that still rocks double beds.
However, if you’re willing to walk the 15 or so minutes between Trinidad South and Old Port Royale/The Feature Pool, you can stay in one of these Pirate-themed-rooms:
I stayed here for a night after the Christmas Party last year if memory serves. These rooms run a somewhat insane $34-$39 extra per night over a standard room. That’s around $238 for a seven night stay. You could probably outfit a room at home in pirate gear for a similar amount of money. The fridge inside of the keg was kind of cool, but I was not otherwise wowed. It’s certainly no Princess room over at the Riverside. But I guess I prefer to feel fabulous rather than swashbuckling.
Anyway, Caribbean Cay, set up in the middle of Barefoot Bay, is another asset.
It serves as a bridge over to Old Port Royale from the Aruba and Jamaica sections. If you don’t want to pay the $30/night extra for a Preferred Room, Jamaica 45 and Aruba 51 are a relatively short walk away across the Caribbean Cay bridge. Preferred rooms are found in Martinique and Trinidad North. There’s a map you can peruse here.
The Cay affords an opportunity to lounge around a bit.
You can also toss something of little value out in front of this cannon and then send your brother flying towards Epcot when he sets out to pick it up. Ask him to bring back some fountain drinks from Electric Umbrella – it would probably be faster than sending him to the main building.
Out on the beach, you can roast some marshmallows in the evening. And like all of the other resorts these days, a movie is played nightly at the pool.
Back to the mainland, there is a bar of course, this time the Banana Cabana.
It’s outside the main pool complex, which means it’s a little quieter and sees less foot traffic than some of the others.
It should look familiar.
We’ll head inside.
Almost. This is Shutters’ exterior – the resort’s table service restaurant.
Some time ago now, I was sitting on the Monorail from the Transportation and Ticket Center to Epcot. It was pouring rain. I mentioned the weather to the only other family in the car and must have asked them what they were planning to do at Epcot. They informed me that they were staying at the Polynesian Resort and were headed to Shutters for dinner. So they walked at least ten minutes from the Polynesian to the TTC in pouring rain to wait for the Epcot Monorail. Then they boarded and rode the monorail over to Epcot to stand at a bus stop to wait for the bus to the Caribbean Beach Resort. Then they probably stood on the bus ride to the resort. It was one of the most bizarre plans I’d ever heard. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I asked inquisitively, “Why?” They informed me that it was quiet and they had eaten there during a prior visit. Yeah. It’s quiet because no one wants to eat there! Shutters versus the Deluxe Monorail restaurants.
At the food court, you’ll see a setup a little different than most resort quick services, which favor more of a circular area. The food court here has five stations in a line. Here’s what’s available:
I was impressed with the list of options, several of which are themed specifically for the resort.
Some breakfast choices across the top.
Some additional cold options – clementines, apples with caramel, grapes, veggies, salad, yogurt, mixed fruit or vegetables, pineapple, cantaloupe, milk.
Dranks. Sutter Home – 187ml for $6.95. I just can’t believe it.
“Monkey Cake,” Carrot Cake, “Worms in Dirt,” Chocolate Cake.
And some bakery items.
Unfortunately, this entry is going to be on the boring side. This is the Turkey BLT with Pasta Salad, which was quite good as usual with a healthy gob of turkey, fresh lettuce, and crispy bacon. The pasta salad with a nice, cold, potentially lighter option than your prototypical Disney french fry.
Shutters…..it’s just a room….
Otherwise, the quick service seating area is bright and colorful. Unless you book a preferred room, you’re probably eating your food in here or just outside. It’s a trek just about anywhere else.
Goombay Games is located inside across from the food court.
With the usual assortment of games.
And Calypso Trading Post with the usual wares.
While Caribbean Beach Resort isn’t bad by any means, I don’t think it does anything better than the other Moderates. If you’re willing to put up with the size, Coronado Springs Resort has additional amenities (gym, spa, indoor bar/club, additional dining options), varied architecture, queen beds, and a wooden divider between the bathroom and sleep areas. The rooms at either of the Port Orleans properties would be nicer and offer boat transportation to Downtown Disney. Riverside is arguably prettier with more rooms closer to the main building. French Quarter is teensy weensy. But they’re all operated by Disney and the differences within the category are much more nuanced than if you were comparing off-property hotels, condos, etc. But Caribbean Beach remains last on my list.