There are SO. MANY. HOTELS. in Disney World! Well over 20 that are owned and operated by Disney themselves, and several that are run by third parties; and there are even some swanky ones like the Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, and the Waldorf Astoria!
And while some of these resorts are selling out on the regular, there’s been one that’s been a little neglected — at least anecdotally — by guests for the past few years. But guess what! This “forgotten resort” just became one of the hottest places to stay on Disney property…and we’re going to tell you why!
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort was looking a little rough around the edges a couple of years ago. The rooms badly needed a refurbishment, and the food options were meh at best. And while they had a great main pool and some fun themed pirate rooms, it never seemed to be on most folks’ “favorite resort hotels” list for Disney World.
Then…Disney made it worse, in order to make it better. CBR entered into a multi-year refurbishment, which meant all of the dining options in the resort were shut down in order to create brand new spaces and places to eat. So guests were actually eating buffet food in a giant tent…and if they were in a hurry, they had to go to a rando hotel room to get grab-and-go items from a misplaced fridge. Not appealing at all.
But when the resort emerged, it was truly lovely — shiny new lobby, brand new table-service dining, a plussed up pool bar, and a fancier (if not all that much better in the actual food department) food court.
And then it finally all made sense when THIS was announced… .
Skyliner Gondola System
Of course! Disney had to make Caribbean Beach Resort more appealing, because it was just about to become a super popular resort hotel… at least in theory! Disney’s newest mode of transportation — the Skyliner Gondola System — has just opened to the public…and Caribbean Beach Resort is its main HUB!
The Skyliner gondola system connects Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot to several Disney World resorts, including Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.
Why Is This Such A Big Deal for Guests?
Before this, bus travel was the only option available to get to theme parks for those staying at Caribbean Beach, and that meant waiting up to 20 minutes for a bus, and ten undertaking the potentially 20 minute drive to a theme park…on a crowded bus. But the skyliner means guests can get to and from Hollywood Studios and Epcot from Caribbean Beach Resort in mere minutes — much more quickly than they likely can on a bus.
And while several of the buses have been getting a bit of an upgrade, the addition of the Skyliner allowing much faster access to two of Disney’s theme parks will likely make Caribbean Beach a more appealing place to stay for many Disney World guests.
Also, previously the only way to quickly get to a Disney World theme park without riding a bus was to stay at a much more expensive Deluxe Resort — they were the only resorts that had direct access to a theme park via boat, monorail, or walking, which are usually much faster ways to get to a park because they cover less ground than buses. Now guests staying at Caribbean Beach Resort can pay LESS for their hotel, but still get direct and fast access to two Disney World theme parks.
New Joffrey’s Coffee Location
The Skyliner Gondola System will bring more than just a new transportation option to Caribbean Beach Resort. There’s also a NEW Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea location at the resort’s Skyliner station!
This new location servers coffees, pastries, and specialty items, including the Toffee Flight Latte, which blends sea salt, caramel, toffee, and dark chocolate.
So you can (hopefully) see why Caribbean Beach Resort is going to be much higher on the lists of best Disney Resorts now that the skyliner is here! But let’s not forget how much that original refurbishment upgraded the resort overall!
The Caribbean Beach renovation introduced us to brand new versions of Centertown Market, Sebastian’s Bistro (formerly Shutters), and the updated Banana Cabana. The Banana Cabana may just be a pool bar, but it’s honestly so much greater than typical Disney World pool bars.
We love the colorful and relaxed vibe of this hangout spot, and we enjoy the food and beverage offerings here as well.
The menu features Caribbean influences throughout, and during our visits, we’ve enjoyed Banana Cabana’s Jerk Chicken Sandwich and Loaded Sweet Potato Fries. The drinks are enjoyable as well, including the Kraken Punch, Pink Guava Colada, and Banana Cabana.
After Caribbean Beach Resort’s massive refurbishment, Sebastian’s Bistro opened and replaced Shutters. So far, we’ve enjoyed our experiences at Sebastian’s!
We love the Disney-fied Caribbean look of this restaurant, and it’s certainly a stark improvement from what was there before. And we love the fact that this gives Sebastian a little much-needed spotlight!
During our most recent visit, we were pretty impressed with the food. We’ve enjoyed menu items like the Taste of the Caribbean and the Grilled Rib-Eye.
Yep, Caribbean Beach Resort is really coming into its own! And we really do think that with the addition of the skyliner, better food options, and an overall refurb, this resort will become a hot spot in 2020! Stay tuned… .
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Do you have an upcoming stay at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort? Let us know in the comments below!