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Ranking Disney’s Caribbean Beach by Island with Building Recommendations

Ranking Disney’s Caribbean Beach by Island with Building Recommendations

Disney’s Caribbean Beach is one four moderate resorts on property. With Skyliner access and fun theming, it’s a desirable resort to stay at. What island should you stay in? Which building should you choose? I’m ranking Caribbean Beach by village (including building recommendations) to help you make your decision.

Caribbean Beach Resort

Credit: Monica

Caribbean Beach Resort is one of the four moderate resorts on property. Guests are transported back in time to the laid back and relaxing beach vibes of the Caribbean Islands. Sandy beaches, hammocks, and the vibrant colored buildings make you feel like you are taking a tropical vacation within a Disney vacation.

Caribbean Beach Resort was built in the late 1980s. It opened on October 1, (sound familiar?) 1988 as Disney’s first moderate resort. I remember staying here in the late 1990’s as a tween, and I love coming back as an adult. The theming is great, and it is the main “hub” of the Skyliner which gets you to Hollywood Studios and Epcot within minutes.

To read more about this moderate resort, check out our guide HERE.

Credit: Monica

This resort is sprawling; there are 5 distinct areas at Caribbean Beach. Each island – Barbados, Jamaica, Martinique, Trinidad, and Aruba – is made up of two/three buildings. Each section features brightly colored buildings and are reminiscent of the culture and architecture of the Caribbean Islands.

In total, there are over 1,500 rooms at Caribbean Beach spread out over these islands. Standard and preferred rooms may include one king sized bed, two queen beds, or two queen beds PLUS a child-size pull-down bed. Each island has its own beach area and quiet pool.

Resort Layout and Islands

Credit: Monica

Old Port Royale is the main hospitality area of the resort. Here, you will find both quick-service and table-service restaurants, shopping, the main feature pool, check-in, and bell services. Because of the size of the resort, choosing the right area can make or break your stay here. You don’t want to be too far away from Old Port Royale, but you still have to be strategic because the Skyliner is towards the opposite end of the resort.

As far as buses, there are several bus stops at the resort. They start at Martinique and then going around the resort in the following order: Old Port Royale, Barbados, Trinidad, Jamaica, and then Aruba. With so many Guests at this resort, you have to be strategic about the bus stop you get to and which area you may wish to avoid.

Credit: Monica

During busy periods of the day, buses heading to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom fill up quickly before making a full round around the resort. You may be waiting a very long time before a bus reaches you. If transportation is important to you, requesting the right island will be of high importance to you.

I’ve done the research and ranked the islands based on location and amenities. In addition, I included the “best” building in that village to help you narrow it down even more. While Disney certainly tries to accommodate all requests, they are just that – requests.

Keep that in mind as you book your room category (preferred vs standard) and make your room requests. You can do so ahead of ahead when you check in on the app, and you can also talk to Guest Services when you arrive.

#5 Trindad

Screenshot: MDE

Trinidad comes in last because it is so far away from Old Port Royale and you have to cross over the bridge to get to the Skyliner. It is the farthest “south” you can be in all of the resort. It feels secluded and far away from everything, which may be nice if that’s the type of vacation you’re looking for.

However, many people (especially families) do not want to have to walk far to get to the main amenities of the resort.

The best building would be Building 36. It is close to to the parking lot (great if you are driving), quiet pool, and the bus stop. Plus, the quiet pool there has its own quick-service restaurant called Spyglass Grill. It’s the only quiet pool at Caribbean Beach with its own dining.

#4 Aruba

Screenshot: MDE

Arbua does have the advantage of being able to walk to Riviera Resort, which is a deluxe resort with great dining options. You could easily access Bar Riva and Primo Piatto from Caribbean Beach. Plus, you can easily walk to the Riviera’s Skyliner station. This will allow you to get to Epcot in just a few minutes without having to backtrack to the Skyliner station.

However, it is the last bus stop. So, if you are trying to get to Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom, you will be waiting a very long time for a bus to actually make it to you. Plus, when you come back to the resort from a long day in the parks, you are the very last stop to be dropped off.

View of Arbua from Riviera Resort. Credit: KtP

You could avoid this by walking to the bus stop at Riviera, but it is on the opposite side of the resort so that is quite a bit of walking. Not impossible, but both options are not ideal.

I would recommend Building 55 or 56 because they are closest to the Skyliner station at Riviera. Building 55 has the advantage of a Coke Freestyle machine and beach area. But, Building 56 is closer to the bus stop at Caribbean Beach.

#3 Martinique

Screenshot: MDE

Martinique comes in at the very middle of the ranking. Despite the fact that there are preferred rooms here, I don’t necessarily think “preferred” means much at Caribbean Beach now that the Skyliner is around. You do have the advantage of being near Old Port Royale and Riviera as well as being the first bus stop on the route.

But, it is quite the walk over to the Caribbean Beach Skyliner station. You could save some steps by getting on the bus and getting off at Jamaica’s bus stop. Also, walking over to Riviera and using their Skyliner is an option, but that’s a bit of a trek as it is on the opposite side of Riviera Resort from Martinique.

If you want to be close to the quiet pool at this island and close to Riviera, request Building 24. On the other hand, if being close to Old Port Royale is important, request Building 26.

#2 Barbados

Screenshot: MDE

There are preferred rooms here in Barbados as well. This is another island that is close to Old Port Royale, but it is also close to the Skyliner station. Being centrally located will give you access to all of the resort’s amenities without having to travel too far to get to them.

Being that is the third stop on the bus route, you still have a pretty decent chance of getting on a bus during busy periods. Alternatively, you could walk over to Old Port Royale and be the second stop.

I recommend Building 32 in Barbados. It is centrally located, giving you equal access to the quiet pool and Coke Freestyle machine AND the Skyliner AND Old Port Royale.

#1 Jamaica

Screenshot: MDE

Topping our list is Jamaica! I have personally stayed in Jamaica, and I really loved it. It is very close to the Skyliner station, and getting over to Port Royale was very easy. All you have to do is cross the bridge! Speaking of the bridge, that is where the playground and movie lawn are located. If you plan to let your kiddos run off some steam or catch a movie during your stay, Jamaica is a great location to stay in.

One disadvantage of Jamaica is it towards the end of the bus route. To avoid being skipped over, I would walk over to Old Port Royale (or Barbados based on the building you are staying in) and use that bus stop. It does add an extra 5-10 minutes of walking so just be aware of that.

Credit: Monica

I stayed in Building 44, and I was so thankful Disney was able to honor that request. It is very close to the quiet pool and beach area, and behind the building is the bus stop for Jamaica. Additionally, it’s located in the middle of the island so getting to both Old Port Royale and the Skyliner were of equal distance.

Do you agree with my ranking? Have you ever stayed at Caribbean Beach Resort? What building did you stay in? Did you like it? Let us know in the comments below. And, share this post with a friend who is considering a stay at Caribbean Beach.


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Marcy

Tuesday 24th of October 2023

Thanks so much for this information. I am DVC but have often stayed at CB a some islands were good and others not so. I also use a scooter so stops are important. I’ll keep this article for reference. Thanks again.

Monica Street

Tuesday 24th of October 2023

Stops are very important for scooter users! My husband uses one and I am constantly analyzing how to get around the resorts and to the parks. Glad this info could help you, and thanks for reading!

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