When planning for your next vacation, you have no shortage of possible destinations to consider. Maybe someone in your family wants to visit a Caribbean island where the landscape is filled with palm-lined beaches and pastel-hued buildings, and air is filled with the sound of steel drums. Perhaps someone else in your family wishes instead to visit Walt Disney World.
Well, maybe everyone can get their wish with a stay at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort (CBR). Conveniently situated near Epcot and Hollywood Studios, CBR is a big, beautiful moderate resort that has become a favorite for many Disney guests for a variety of reasons including the top six things to love listed below.
1. Fuentes Del Morro Pool
One of the chief amenities of any Disney resort is the pool, and Caribbean Beach has one of the best themed pools of them all. Called “Fuentes Del Morro,” presumably a tribute to the famous Castillo San Felipe Del Morro in San Juan, the entire pool area is themed to resemble an old Spanish Caribbean fortress.
The architecture is immersive making one feel that he or she is swimming around on the set of a Pirates Of The Caribbean film. There are two water slides, including one that measures 102 feet long, that emerge from the fortress. There is also a zero entry area of the pool, a spectacular children’s splash area that is themed as a shipwreck, and a hot tub (which is admittedly a bit on the small side). Throughout the day, Disney Recreation Cast Members offer a variety of entertainment and activity poolside.
The pool is just outside the Old Port Royale food court and adjacent to the Banana Cabana Pool Bar, so refreshments are just a short walk from the water. In addition to Fuentes Del Morro, there are six quiet pools (one in each “village” or “island” of the resort) to enjoy. Often, these are closer to your room, less crowded, and the water is usually warmer in these pools.
2. Caribbean Cay
Central to the resort, in the middle of Barefoot Bay, is an island called Caribbean Cay connected to the resort’s villages by walking bridges. Formerly known as Parrot Cay, the lush vegetation of the island can make one feel miles away from the hustle and bustle of the Disney crowds.
There are children’s play areas on the island, as well as walking paths and quiet places to sit and relax. Visitors often report seeing interesting birds, lizards, and turtles on the island or just out in the water not to mention the occasional alligator sighting.
3. Trinidad South
If you read the guide books and fan sites, you will often find suggestions to avoid the village of Trinidad South at Caribbean Beach Resort because it is so far away from Old Port Royale (home of the dining options), feature pool, and resort activities. Of course, for some, this is not a drawback at all, but rather provides a perfect retreat for solitude and relaxation.
One of the most remarkable features of Trinidad South is the view from the quiet pool and beach: entirely undeveloped wetlands with no man-made structures in sight across the water. The main resort areas are just an enjoyable lakeside stroll away along a scenic wandering path.
Trinidad South is also home to a special category of accommodations: the uniquely themed pirate rooms. From beds shaped like sailing ships and furniture that looks like shipping crates, to the Pirates of Caribbean touches around the room, these rooms are definitely the most swashbuckling rooms you will find at Walt Disney World.
4. The Beaches
Most Disney guests realize that there is no swimming allowed in the lakes around the resort, but there is still much relaxation to discover on the beaches scattered around Barefoot Bay. Catch a beautiful sunrise while enjoying your morning coffee or unwind to a stunning sunset as you sink your feet in the soft sand. There are hammocks and lounge chairs on each of the beaches for you to enjoy in peaceful quiet or in the company of your traveling companions.
5. Walking and Running
Whether for fitness, relaxation, or both, Caribbean Beach offers guests a wonderful network of paved trails around Barefoot Bay. A lap around the Bay, excluding the Trinidad South village, measures out at 1.2 miles, but extra distance can be added by crossing over to Caribbean Cay or extending down to Trinidad South.
6. Unique Menus
For a variety of reasons, the cuisine at Caribbean Beach is often vastly underrated by many guidebooks and fan sites. The resort seems under served for dining considering its vast size, with only one smallish food court (Old Port Royale), one table service restaurant (Shutters), one pool bar (Banana Cabana), and the Blue Runner Pizza Delivery service.
Limited options aside, guests should definitely check out some of the unique menu items offered at Caribbean Beach’s dining outlets, particularly those with Caribbean flair. Old Port Royale has been designed to look like an exotic outdoor island market, but fortunately it is indoors and well air-conditioned! If you’ve ever been to the Caribbean, you will recognize the theming as authentic. The menus offer island-inspired dishes like Cuban sandwiches, jerk chicken sandwiches, and a variety of tropical smoothies. At Shutters, you will find items like island pasta (served with shrimp or chicken), surf and turf (featuring flat-iron steak, coconut shrimp, mashed yucca, and pineapple chutney), and the inimitable banana-crusted Mahi-Mahi. Kick off your meal with an appetizer like crab cakes with mango salsa, or citrus barbecue shrimp and grits, and finish it off with a dessert like flancocho or tres leches cake.