Our Stay At Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort

Monday, October 12, 2015

DISCLOSURE: This is a non-sponsored post. This is not meant to be a comprehensive review of the resort, just a reflection of our recent stay at the resort.

This past August, we spent a week at Disney World. It was our second on-property stay. Last year, we had stayed in two rooms at Pop Century with the Fall Free Dining Promo. This year, we went with one room at Caribbean Beach Resort. I thought it would be interesting to see how a Moderate Resort compared to a Value Resort. Plus, it was cheaper to go with just one room!

We're a family of six. But for booking purposes, since my youngest is only 2, we were treated as a family of five. A lot of the rooms at Caribbean Beach Resort have recently been renovated to include a pull-down bed and sleep five.

I had a fax request sent in to the resort (through Touring Plans) a few days before we were set to arrive. I requested a room in Building 52 in the Aruba Village. On the map, the building looked close to the walking path to the main pool and food court. Plus, it wasn't too far from the quiet pool and laundry facilities.

I also completed Online Check-In before we left. This made it possible for us to bypass going to the Custom House and go straight to our room. After a 16-hour drive, we didn't want to have to wait for our room to be ready.
During the drive down, I received a text and email from Disney saying our room was ready! While I didn't get my exact room or building request, it was close. And it was nice to know that once we arrived, we could just scan our magic band and walk right into our room!

We stayed in Building 53 in the Aruba Village. We booked a Standard Room and was assigned Room 5354.

Using my Magic Band to open the door.
Our room had two Queen Beds and the pull-down Murphy bed and we all slept pretty comfortably. My 8-year-old son claimed the Murphy bed for himself. My ten- and two-year-old daughters slept with me on one Queen and my husband and our five-year-old son slept on the other.

My daughter and the Queen beds
The pull-down Murphy bed
When the Murphy bed is folded up, it converts to a bench with three small drawers underneath.

My youngest two with their dolls
The room included a small table and two chairs. Since we were mainly in the parks all day, these were mainly used to hold our stuff!

Look, it's me in the mirror!
The room also has a dresser with two big drawers. I was able to fit two large ebags packing cubes and a couple small ones in each of them.

Dresser and ice bucket and cups
It was nice to have a small refrigerator and coffeemaker in the room. We often ate breakfast in the room before we went to the parks and we would bring water, milk boxes and juice boxes into the parks to save money. The fridge kept our drinks cool.

The fridge is underneath the coffeemaker behind faux drawers.
With six of us in one room, it was nice that the bathroom had two sinks. Though, one of the sinks in our room was really slow draining, so we didn't use it as much.

There was a hairdryer in the room, but with my thick hair, I usually bring my own to use. There was a shelf in the bathroom that allowed us to store all the stuff we brought with us. As in most hotel rooms, there was also an ironing board and iron and a safe, but we didn't use them.

I liked how you can get separate h2O+ shampoo and conditioner bottles in the Moderate Resorts. I love bringing them home and using them in between Disney trips!

Overall, the room was good. It wasn't far from the parking lot. The laundry facilities and quiet pool were a short walk away. It was a little longer walk to the main pool and food court, but since we weren't on the dining plan this year, we never visited the food court.

Though we came back to the resort several times during our stay to take a break to swim and take naps, the main pool was only open one time. It may have been because there were thunderstorms every day we were down there and they happened to always start around the same time we took our afternoon break.

The one time we did get a chance to try the main pool, it was kind of crowded. We ended up getting chairs around the toddler play area.

The kiddie pool area had a pirate ship theme. My two-year-old enjoyed playing there. Even my 8-year-old liked all the little areas where you could get wet.

My older kids liked the main pool and didn't want to leave! There are two water slides and on the day we visited, they had games for the kids to play.

A tip for the pool area: Wear your flip flops around. The area around the pool gets so hot! Mind you, we visited in the middle of August. So, I'm not sure how it is in the fall and winter months.

While we did have a car with us and drove most of the time to and from the parks, there were a few times that we had to use the buses. My husband and my older kids sometimes ventured back to the parks in the evening and at night to ride more rides, while I put the younger kids to bed. Instead of driving, they just took the bus from the resort to the parks. The wait at the Aruba bus stop usually wasn't very long, at most 20 minutes.

It did get kind of rough on the way back from the parks at night. While Caribbean Beach does have its own buses, it's a really big resort. Aruba was the next to last stop. Often, my husband had two sleepy kids on the bus with him and they didn't always get a seat. They pack the buses pretty tight at night.

We used the laundry facilities once midway through our stay. I love how you can visit the LaundryView website and see how many washers and dryers are available. You can even leave your laundry there and monitor it on the site. It tells you when your cycle is done!

We didn't really get to experience all the resort has to offer. Each of the villages in the resort have small beaches around a lake (Barefoot Bay) with hammocks that you can relax in. I never got the chance to try one!  It also would have been nice to check out the food court and even the table service restaurant, Shutters at Old Port Royale. Overall, though, we enjoyed our stay at Caribbean Beach and we would definitely stay at Caribbean Beach again.

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