As I mentioned last week, I was visiting Disney World and while there I stayed at Disney’s Carribean Beach Resort. I thought I would share my experience with you and some of the things I always value when staying on a Disney Property versus staying off a Disney property.
If you have Googled Carribean Beach you will note that it is under construction. Should that deter you from staying there? Short answer no. The rooms are in fine condition, they are redoing the common areas, like dining rooms, pools at this time. The renovation is scheduled to be completed in 2019. In the meantime, I can tell you we did not miss one single thing because of this construction.
The main lobby is very lovely and you actually do feel like you walked into the Carribean even in January, when we visited! The lobby smells sweet and is of course staffed with friendly Disney cast members. The resort is exceptionally large so you may have to take a bus to your room. That is right, the resort is so large it has an internal bus to transport guests. The buildings are named for individual Carribean countries: Aruba, Jamaica, Trinidad etc. We stayed in Trinidad South and actually enjoyed walking the property as it is quite lovely even while it is under construction. Each building is convenient to a bus stop and each stop has a monitor that will tell you when the next bus will arrive. There will be a bus for each Disney Park (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom) along with the Internal Bus. They usually run ahead of scheduled time. We were there for the Dopey Marathon weekend, so there were helpful signs for us to find the bus stop to take us to the finish line to meet our friends participating in the races. This is a benefit of course so you do not have to pay for parking at the parks, and you will be dropped off at the bus area which is very close to the entrance of each park or for race participants close to the area to meet your race participant.
The room that we stayed in was a pirate themed room in Trinidad South and it was fun. I am a fan of the Pirate’s of the Carribean movies and the room was a huge tribute to them. See the video below for a full walk thru. We stayed in a room with two queen beds shaped like pirate ships, complete with pirate-themed furniture. It was definitely fun and well thought out. The only drawback, there is no microwave in the room. There is a refrigerator, so you can bring meals if you would like.
Our visit was focused on the parks so I cannot speak to the amenities of the resort, like pools but I can tell you that the areas leading to the buffet for breakfast were pleasant, complete with beach chairs, food trucks, and areas to purchase a few drinks, snacks or souvenirs from your favorite Disney movie. The buffet is exceptionally delicious and gives you a wonderful start to the day. I am a kid at heart and always look forward to having Mickey Waffles at breakfast when at Disney. The buffet was 14 per person (We only had adults, I am unsure of child pricing) each offering was delicious, there was plenty of healthy fare (fruit, yogurt, and granola) and plenty of indulgent bites, like bacon, sausage, biscuits, different waffle toppings and delicious eggs with cheese, onion, and tomato.
The buffet staff is friendly and obviously hardworking, but I must give a special shoutout to Steven, he was working at the buffet and went over and beyond to make sure guests had a wonderful time. They have a very good pastrami hash on the buffet and I only got a little before going back to my seat. When I went to get more they had finished preparing it for the day. I asked Steven about it and he had more made for me. I thought it was so nice. When he would see people he would give a greeting to let them know he was glad to see them and the next day always made it a point to come and say hello and ask about our visit and how it was going. Service and care from the staff at hotels are very rare these days, so when I experience it I always have to give it special attention. Thanks, Steven!
Here are pointers if you are staying for transportation and a few park perks:
If you are staying on property once you are at the park, you can have any souvenirs purchased delivered to your room so you remain hands-free to enjoy. The only exception to this is the day before you check-out. The deliveries are done before 3 pm the following day.
If you are using the Magical Express to get to and from the airport, please know you will be at the airport long before your flight. Our flight was at 11:50 am but we were at the airport at 7:45 am. This has been due to long security lines at Orlando International. Be sure to bring the document they put in the door explaining the process with you to the bus as the driver does not have a list of names and depends on that form to identify you for the bus ride.
Overall, I loved staying here and will usually choose to stay on the property over staying at a hotel in the area. This is my second time, staying on a Disney property and I want to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge next time. We will see how that is. If it is anything like my last two visits, it will be quite lovely. Do you have a favorite place to stay when visiting Disney? Let me know in the comments.