Flexibility has become increasingly important as travel continues to change as a result of the impact of COVID-19. While I absolutely LOVE Disney's Pop Century resort and I think it offers one of the best values of all the Disney Resorts, we decided to make a change for our upcoming Walt Disney World trip. We will be staying at Disney's Caribbean Beach resort for the first time in TWENTY years.
There have been a lot of changes to the resort since the last time we stayed there. One thing that hasn't changed is the beautiful and lush vegetation surrounding the resort, giving it a great Caribbean feel. In fact, since this is the most "mature" (re:oldest) of Disney's Moderate resorts, the plant life will be more grown in and I'm excited for that.
Disney's Caribbean Beach is located near both Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios. It was first opened in 1988 (which makes us the same age!). The main check in area is Old Port Royale and the resort is grouped into 5 villages surrounding a lake: Trinidad, Jamaica, Aruba, Martinique and Barbados.
Each of the villages has buildings that have 3 stories, similar to the other Disney Moderate resorts. When you complete your online check-in you can request whether you'd prefer to be on the first floor or on the upper floors. Keep in mind that there is no elevator at this resort when you make your preferences. Disney will do their best to honor your requests, but there is no guarantee you will get what you asked for.
After the most recent renovations, all the rooms have two queen beds with two notable exceptions. King rooms are available to book, and the "Pirate-themed" rooms have two full beds. However, these rooms have such a fun theme featuring beds shaped like pirate ships, perfect for a pirate-loving boy or girl.
So why did we decided to make the change from Pop Century to Caribbean Beach? There were a couple of factors that helped us make this decision:
1) Skyliner -One of the appeals of Pop Century was definitely its access to the new Skyliner system. By staying at Caribbean Beach, not only will we be on the Skyliner, but will be at the hub of the system, making both Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios even easier to access. We will also have a rental car for the majority of our trip, which should help us get to Magic Kingdom, Disney's Animal Kingdom, and Disney Springs. Caribbean Beach has multiple bus stops, which can add transit time to those locations.
2) Spacing & Distance -Disney's Caribbean Beach is definitely more spread out than Pop Century. With social distancing being of paramount importance, we wanted a resort that would give us a little more space. We were all willing to sacrifice the convenience of a preferred room at Pop for a standard room at Caribbean Beach.
3) Staying somewhere new -While I've stayed at this resort before, that was TWENTY years ago. I'm so excited to revisit! Disney's Caribbean Beach resort underwent a huge renovation in 2017-2018. All the rooms were refurbished and the whole resort underwent an upgrade. The last time I visited (2018) most of the resort was under construction and there was construction next door at Disney's Riviera Resort. I'm excited to stay here now that everything is finished!
4) Theme and Resort Feel -Disney's Moderate Resorts definitely have a more 'resort' feel than Disney's Value resorts and having most recently stayed at Pop Century in January (which again, we love), we're ready to try a different vibe. This Disney trip will definitely look different than any other. We won't be racing around to dining reservations and Fastpass+ times. It will be more relaxed and "go with the flow" than any trip and recent memory and that's perfect. I think this resort will fit the vibe.
Of note, these pictures were taken during a travel agent tour in 2018, so I can't wait to get some updated pictures to share!
What do you think? Have you stayed at Caribbean Beach recently? What's something we can't miss?
Ready to plan your next Walt Disney World vacation? Contact me at KellyP@MagicalAdventuresTravel.com to see how I can make your next Disney trip the best one yet!