Disney World Resorts - Caribbean Beach Review

There are so many options for resorts you can stay at when visiting Walt Disney World.  You can choose to stay on property or off property.  You do get added benefits when staying on property and it does make it easier to go back and forth from parks and resort which is especially helpful when you have tired kids after a long day.

We stayed at Caribbean Beach Resort and our friends stayed next door at the Riviera.  Both are great hotels.  I would say the Caribbean Beach is definitely more kid friendly.  They have a playground on the property for kids and a fenced in sand area with hammocks as well as astroturf.  The Riviera has bocce ball and a nice astroturf patio area where kids can run.  They both have splash pads for kids and a larger pool with slides.  Caribbean Beach definitely is a more "beachy" feel, hence the name.  Whereas the Riviera is more of a European style hotel.  I'm not sure how the rooms are at the Riviera but I do know that our room had a mini fridge and I believe in the Riviera you can get a room with a full fridge.  That may be available at the Caribbean Beach too, but it isn't something we got.  I can see how it would be important for kids with allergies or if you have a lot of perishable goods.  We managed to Instacart just enough to fit in the mini fridge.


If you watched my stories then you saw that when we arrived it was nighttime and I felt the resort was a little underwhelming.  It was much better the next day but I have to say, the rooms are "Disney Small," meaning, unless you upgrade to a suite, they are tiny.  Our room had 2 queen size beds and a murphy bed that we only used to keep things off the floor so we didn't trip.  The bathroom was big enough for a family of four, and I could see it being okay for a family of 5, but much bigger than that, you would probably need a larger room.

Unlimited Drinks




When you arrive you get to pick out a cup that you can refill for free at any of the resorts.  It has a bar code/sensor on the bottom that deactivates at the end of your stay.  I would recommend writing your name on it with a sharpie.  My husband's had his stolen off the stroller at one of the parks.  I would not recommend bringing it to the parks unless you put it in the bottom of your stroller.  The resort will give you one replacement.

Extra Perks



Not everyday but some days their are extra perks at the hotel.  Certain days they do Mickey Mouse T-shirt tie dying (costs extra) and everyday at 5pm they do Smores.  The smores box is $10 but you can get unlimited marshmallows for free.

Skyliner



The best part of staying at the Caribbean Beach or the Riviera is the Skyliner.  It's a new gondola system and is a comparable transportation to the monorail.  It is way faster than the bus and is super easy.  If you have a single umbrella stroller you can actually just wheel it on.  For double strollers, they have to be folded up.  It is moving when you get on, but if you are handicapped or you feel like your kids can't handle it, you can get one that is stationary.  I'd say if you are 1 parent with multiple kids getting on it, you may want the stationary option.  The Skyliner goes to Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Disney's Riviera Resort, Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney's Pop Century Resort, and Disney's Art of Animation Resort.  If you are going from Caribbean Beach or the Riviera to Epcot it's about a 7 minute trip.  To get to Hollywood Studios, you have to get off and switch cars, so it is about 15 minutes.

Bus

If you are staying at Caribbean Beach or the Riviera then you need to take the bus to Magic Kingdom.  It runs about every 20 minutes depending on traffic.  It's hit or miss regarding whether you actually get a seat.  Sometimes people are nice if you have children.  If you are planning to stay for fireworks at Magic Kingdom, I highly recommend making your way to the bus before they end.  We left in the middle of fireworks and the bus was still pretty packed.  You also need to fold up strollers.

Minnie Van



We utilized the Minnie van once during our trip.  It is definitely pricey but that is because they provide 2 car seats.  Regular Lyft drivers can refuse to drive you because it is unsafe to drive children without a carseat.  The price of the ride in the Minnie van is about 3x the price of a regular lyft.  We took it to Animal Kingdom for dinner.  It took 10 minutes versus the bus ride that could take 30 minutes with the stops they make.

Grocery Delivery

We used Instacart.  If you are new and sign up for Instacart Express they waive delivery over $35.  You can cancel it before it renews in 14 days and you get charged the monthly fee.  If you use my link here when you sign up you get $10 off your first purchase.  We utilized Instacart 3x while on vacation.  We placed an order before we arrived so that it was delivered right before we got there.  They will refrigerate any perishables for you.  My husband later ordered some beer for the week and later we ordered a few more snacks and cups.

Amazon Delivery

I would not recommend Amazon delivery.  You are charged $6 per package, so if you order something from Amazon and it is delivered in multiple shipments/boxes, you are charged $6 service fee from the resort per box.  If you can get it from Instacart or Shipt you are better off.

Stroller Rental



For the trip we brought our single umbrella stroller (Uppababy G-Luxe) which we used at the airport.  For the parks we rented from Kingdom Strollers a Baby Jogger City Mini Double Stroller and it was perfect.  It comes with a rain cover, parent console and cooler.  We didn't end up using their cooler, we brought our own.  If you have kids, even if they are older, I would highly recommend a stroller.  "Disney Tired" is a real thing.  I wasn't sure if my kids would nap in the stroller because they usually don't, but they did.  My oldest didn't nap everyday but my youngest did.  The stroller is definitely a little heavy and the bottom baskets are sometimes hard to get to when you recline the stroller, but for the trip it was perfect.

Take a half day or two

Most afternoons we didn't have anything scheduled.  If we were at a park and used up our fast passes we would check to see if we could add anymore based on how our kids were doing.  One of the days of the trip we took the whole morning off to sleep in (which obviously didn't happen with kids).  My husband actually got up early with my toddler instead to take her to Animal Kingdom for the safari ride.  We didn't have fast passes because we already had our allotted 3 scheduled for the afternoon, but they got there early enough that they made it on before the 90 minute wait.

Back at the resort, my youngest and I took it easy.  It was a little chilly to swim so we played at the playground and she was able to nap back in our room rather than a stroller.

Overall I would recommend Disney's Caribbean Beach for families with kids.  I liked the fact that it had a playground and the pool had slides and a splash area.  It was also a good price point and the Skyliner made it really easy to get to Epcot and Hollywood Studios.  My husband, mom, and oldest went to Hollywood Studios one night just for the fireworks.

In terms of making reservations, we had a family friend plan our trip.  You can find her on Facebook here if you are interested.

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