There have been a lot of great posts on this website about all the different resorts in Walt Disney World. Rather than trying to dream the impossible dream that is writing better than my fellow bloggers, I am going to try to do something a bit different.
This is part one of a series on resort exploring, which is something that I’ve been doing more and more of on my recent trips.
Maybe it’s a sign of aging, but I have come to really appreciate a top notch theme job in Walt Disney World, and there is some great themes at all the Disney resorts that not everyone sees as they’re buzzing from their rooms to the parks.Since I’m a wanderer (okay, I’m nosy), I have seen a lot of the nooks and crannies of many Disney resorts, and that’s what I’m going to talk about; nooks and crannies (of the resorts…minds out of the gutters people). If you would like room descriptions or recommendations, I am going to suggest a wonderful book that you may have heard of; The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World.
For my first in this massive series I’m going to wander through the Caribbean Beach Resort, the lush, expansive moderately priced guest complex.
The Caribbean Beach Resort covers a massive 200 acres, 45 of which are the lovely Barefoot Bay (which, of course, is not really a bay). I am not even going to pretend that I was able to explore every bit of this resort, but I will say that it is a fantastic place to walk, especially on a nice summer morning. The resort is split into six “villages;” Martinique, Barbados, Aruba, Jamaica (ooh, I wanna take you…sorry), and Trinidads North and South.
Obviously the theme is that of a Caribbean beach resort, which makes the hotel complex very aptly named (kudos for that Disney). Personally, I think the theme is kind of an easy one. Yes it is relaxing and beautifully done, but they really just had to throw down some sand and a lot of vegetation and anything was going to look “Caribbean.” Before you jump on me, the different architecture of each village is well done and as close to authentic Caribbean as can be done in a modern hotel.
ALl I am trying to say is that the overall feeling of “Caribbean” is not a hard feeling to accomplish (because it feels kind of like Florida). All that said, there is never anything wrong with a beach, water, and lush vegetation.
What I really like about Caribbean Beach is that there are a lot of quiet areas that can be found if you are willing to look.The buildings of each village are staggered, making many small courtyards, although these double as smoking areas which is less desirable for non-smokers. In addition there are quiet pools in every village as well as lots of benches and hammocks that overlook the plants or the water (beware the hammocks! You may not want to get up).
Waking 15 minutes early to seek out an area to enjoy your morning coffee while watching the sun rise on a beach is an extremely lovely way to start your day (okay enough relaxing, it’s rope drop time…go, go, go!).
By far my favorite part of the resort is Caribbean Cay, the small island in the middle of the bay (that I did not photograph for some reason). Functionally it serves as a way to bridge the water between Jamaica and the food court area, Old Port Royale. Stylistically, Caribbean Cay is a mini-paradise with pathways, benches, lush plantings, and some native birds. Just about every morning that I stayed here I spent at least a few minutes wandering this island by myself (there is very little truth to the rumor that I would sing to the birds like Snow White).
Quiet space can be difficult to find at Walt Disney World, but the Caribbean Beach Resort is a place that privacy can be accomplished. I strongly suggest you take the time to find it.