By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

Available on Amazon here.

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Category — q. Reviews

Photo Tour of a Studio at Disney’s Riviera Resort

PHOTO TOUR OF A STUDIO AT DISNEY’S RIVIERA RESORT

Disney’s Riviera Resort has two spaces with the word “Studio” in their names: Tower Studios and Deluxe Studios.

Tower Studios are two person spaces not of much interest to most.

Deluxe Studios at Disney’s Riviera Resort–which after this I will simply call Studios– are largely similar to what all the other Disney Vacation Club Resorts offer, and are the subject of this photo tour.

These Studios at Disney’s Riviera Resort are the best-designed DVC studios I have ever stayed in.  They include

  • The split bath layout that first emerged in the Studios at the Villas at the Grand Floridian
  • The flip-down under-TV bed that first showed up in the Studios in the Polynesian Villas and Bungalows
  • The fold-down queen beds that first showed up in the Cabins at Fort Wilderness (since replaced by fold-out couches)
  • Innovative approaches to under-bed storage that are much better than their precursors in the Polynesian Studios

Added to all this is a distinctive approach to the closet.  Fitting a closet, divided bath, kitchenette, and connecting door has in the past challenged the designers of Disney World studios. Poor compromises in the past have included moving the connecting door to the sleeping area (making it less peaceful to those sleeping there), including a small armoire rather than full closest, or rotating the closet and putting it in the wall between the bath and the sleeping are–adding humidity and providing easy access to only half the closet.

At Riviera, the brilliant solution in lock-off studios was to rotate the closet, but to provide access to it from entry space that was taken from what would otherwise be hall space to the connecting door in the entry of the next-door One Bedroom Villa.

As you enter, you’ll find the connecting door and this closet on one side, followed by the kitchenette. The other side has a split bath.

At the entry door itself (this is looking at from inside the studio) you’ll find a sundry shelf on one side and a coat rack on the other.  The object on the floor is a trash can. Not high-concept space branding, but there’s not a better location for it, except the closet, which is where I moved mine.

One side of the closet, pre trash can. Note the bedding above.

The other side includes a safe.

The safe is large–my book is 6 inches by 9.

Beyond the closet down the hall is a kitchenette, outfitted as is usual in DVC studios with a coffee maker, mini fridge, toaster, and microwave.

A closer view of the coffee service.

The cabinets above contain basic serving materials. Note the fun square plates. You can move things around to create storage space.

Under the sink is more storage.  I’ll be calling out storage as we go through this room, as it has no dresser.  There is plenty of storage in this studio, but it is in places other than dresser drawers.

The mini fridge…

…includes a small freezer compartment–broadening the utility of the microwave.

The other side of the room has a split bath, with a toilet and shower in one space…

…and a sink and a tub/shower combo in the other. Each space has its own door from the hall, and there is also a door between the two spaces. It’s hard to think of a more flexible layout in comparable square footage.

Some more bath detail: the shower-head in the shower…

The bench and toiletries in the shower

The sink, with storage below

The tub/shower combo–note the toiletries on the right wall

The shower-head in the combo, not as fancy as in the set-up in the dedicated shower.

Deeper in the room, you’ll find a queen bed and a couch.

The bed side from the back of the room.

A closer view of the queen. Note the headboard.

At the foot of and underneath the queen are two easily accessible large storage drawers.

There’s also room under the queen to store luggage. Out of boredom from taking so many similar shots, I used my backpack as a prop, but standard rolly bags will fit underneath as well.

On both sides of the queen you’ll find a bedside table.

Each has three small drawers.

Next to the queen is this couch and coffee table. Unlike the functionally similar couch in One Bedroom Villas, this couch is comfortable.

The coffee table has two drawers…

…that are quite large. (Rotate your table so the drawers face the TV side for better access to them.)

Don’t overload these drawers, as you have to move the coffee table to clear the fold-down bed that is mounted in the wall above the couch, which disappears as you unfold the bed.

The fold-down queen. Note the stylized dalmatians watching TV above the pillows.  I like the version of this at All-Star Movies better.

It may take you a minute to find the best place to put the coffee table after the bed is down. I slid mine under the foot of the bed until I found resistance.

The other side of the room has a 54″ TV above a thingy, and a table and two chairs.

The other side of the room from the back.

From the thingy this bed folds down. I measured it as having a mattress about 74 inches long by 32 inches wide. The framing around the back of the bed makes it sleep pretty tight–there’s only a couple more inches of clearance at the foot and head of the bed.

I like the frogs at Port Orleans Riverside better.

Outside you will find either a balcony, or if you are on the lowest floor as I was, a patio.

All in, these studios at Disney’s Riviera Resort are about as good as you will find at Walt Disney World.

The long-time travel agent partner of this site, Kelly, can book you at Disney’s Riviera Resort or anywhere else at Disney World.  Contact her using the form below!

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March 9, 2020   No Comments

The Living Dining and Kitchen Spaces in One and Two Bedroom Villas at Disney’s Riviera Resort

PHOTO TOUR OF THE KITCHEN DINING LIVING SPACES IN ONE AND TWO BEDROOM VILLAS AT DISNEY’S RIVIERA RESORT

The combined living/kitchen/dining spaces in One and Two Bedroom Villas at Disney’s Riviera Resort are almost identical. I’ll note the one exception as we go through the entry.

The entry to the kitchen dining living space in Rivera is T-shaped.

One side hall goes off to the bath shared by folks sleeping in the living area and those in the master bedroom.

The doors on the left open to a large closet, and on the right to the washer-dryer.  Images of these  are near the end of this page.

The hall on the other side of the entry leads either to a connecting door, if a lock-off, or the second bedroom if a dedicated Two Bedroom Villa (above). Lock-off units have a shorter hall here than dedicated units–see the floor plan at the top of the page.

Dedicated units have the shown longer hall, with this second entry closet, behind the door seen above on the left of the hall.

In lock-off units, the shorter hall and absence of a second closet creates space in the Studio beyond for the Studio closet.

Back to the entry to the kitchen dining living space in Disney’s Rivera Resort, this is the entry area shown from deeper in the room. Note the shelf on one side and coat rack on the other.

Spin yourself about and you can see an overview of the rest of the kitchen dining living space in Rivera.

THE KITCHEN AREA IN ONE AND TWO BEDROOM VILLAS AT DISNEY’S RIVIERA RESORT

Most of the kitchen is on one side–with the fridge on the other.

Note the range with microwave above, and dishwasher and coffeepot at the end.

Across the space is the last major appliance, the refrigerator…

…with all the usual fittings inside.

For those unfamiliar with DVC villas, they come with all the basic tools needed to prep, cook and serve meals. Drawers on either side of the range have eating utensils and prep and serving utensils.

Cabinets underneath have pots and pans and more prep gear–e.g. a colander and cutting board.  The drawer under the range includes a baking sheet and broiler pan (not shown).

Cabinets above the range include bowls, fun square plates, platters, and wineglasses.

Cabinets above the sink include ovenware, cups and mugs, a toaster, and some open space to store food.

There’s more storage space in a cabinet above the refrigerator.

Lower cabinets around the sink and dishwasher include cleaning gear.

THE DINING AREA IN ONE AND TWO BEDROOM VILLAS AT DISNEY’S RIVIERA RESORT

Recent newly constructed DVC villas have much more adequate dining areas (and living areas) than you will find in many older DVC units except for Old Key West. Rivera is no exception, with quite livable (by DVC standards) dining and living areas.

This dining table will seat at least five, and with another chair (perhaps the desk chair from the master bedroom) and some slim hips, perhaps as many as seven.  That’s not equal to the nine to ten people that Two Bedroom Villas will sleep, but is more than many other such DVC spaces, which will seat as few as two to four at their dining room table.

Adding storage options for the up to three folks who might be sleeping in the living room, at each end of the built-in dining bench you’ll find a medium-sized drawer. This is the one next to the refrigerator…

…and this is the one next to the living area.

THE LIVING AREA IN ONE AND TWO BEDROOM VILLAS AT DISNEY’S RIVIERA RESORT

The living area in One and Two Bedroom Villas in Disney’s Rivera Resort has seating (and hidden beds and storage) on one side, and a TV and another hidden bed on the other.

Here’s the seating area at Riviera…

…and the same space from a different angle. The couch, easy chairs, and ottoman will easily seat six, and with slimmer hips and moving in the two chairs from the dining area, nine is possible.

The tops of both the ottoman…

…and also the coffee table open to reveal storage inside.

The couch is oddly proportioned (it is too narrow front to back) and frankly fairly uncomfortable to sit on. Its cushioning is too stiff.

This is apparently an artifact of its design as a disappearing couch, as a queen bed pulls down from the wall behind it, and most of the couch folds itself away when you pull down the bed.

This bed is quite comfortable, and note the Peter Pan art that is revealed when the couch is down.

Also revealed are six storage cubbies built behind the wall, three on each side.

These large cubbies (my book is 6″ by 9″) work best as places to store the pillows and blankets of the fold down beds, because they are only accessible when this bed is down, making them somewhat inflexible for other storage uses.

The other side of the room has a large 64 inch TV above a thingy. At the right is the door to the master bedroom, and not shown is the door to the balcony shared with the master bedroom.

The thingy folds down to this bed, which I measured as having a mattress about 74 inches long by 32 inches wide. The framing around the back of the bed makes it sleep pretty tight–there’s only a couple more inches of clearance at the foot and head of the bed.  It’s also easy (or at least easy for me) to crack your head on the top framing. Thus I bleed for you, dear reader.

This bed is comfortable enough for an adult who is short enough to fit, but better fits a kid sized person (I sleep on all beds in the rooms I review–that’s the only way to give you sound advice).

The living dining kitchen areas at Disney’s Rivera Resort are very well-designed spaces, and by DVC standards, among the most livable of their type, especially for larger parties.

The long-time travel agent partner of this site, Kelly, can book you at Disney’s Riviera Resort or anywhere else at Disney World.  Contact her using the form below!

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March 2, 2020   No Comments

Review: Rise of the Resistance in Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

REVIEW: RISE OF THE RESISTANCE AT DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opened in the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in early December 2019.

By far the better of the two new rides here (Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run  is the other), Rise of the Resistance has received “universal acclaim,” has been called the best ride to open in a Disney park in decades, and has been viewed as one of the top attractions in the world.

I myself am not quite so wild about Rise of the Resistance—but I would absolutely put Rise of The Resistance among the top 5 Disney World rides, and for people who are bigger Star Wars fans than I am—I am at best an average fan, with 90% of my interest in the original trilogy form the 70s and 80s—all of the superlatives are deserved.

Rise of the Resistance is hard to get access to—more on that to follow—and once you do have access, it breaks down a fair amount. But those who access it and are able to ride—some 12,000 to 16,000 people a day—will experience a unique, thrilling, and satisfying ride.

Here’s Disney World’s description of Rise of the Resistance:

Without giving to much away, the ride involves

An interlude and briefing by BB-8 and Rey…

A journey led by Nien Numb…

Some difficulties, associated with bad guys…

…more bad guys…

…a lot of bad guys.

An attempted escape…

…while a battle goes on around you

…and a final adventure, with a return to base.

Much has been made of Rise of the Resistance’s “four ride systems” (there’s actually three) and the technological sophistication of the ride. But frankly the only thing that matters is whether or not you enjoy it, no matter how sophisticated or unsophisticated the ride system is.

And on that basis, Ride of the Resistance is a great ride, and not to be missed.

GETTING ACCESS TO RISE OF THE RESISTANCE: BOARDING GROUPS

Access to most Walt Disney World attractions is rationed by either your ability to get FastPass+ for them, or your willingness to wait.

Rise of the Resistance does not work that way. It offers neither FastPass+ nor the ability to wait in a standby line to get on it. Rather, you need to successfully join a “Boarding Group.”

To join a Boarding Group, you must have the My Disney Experience app on your phone and ready to go, and to have tapped in with your ticket to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Then, as soon as the official open of the park (lately that’s been at 8a; we’ve also seen 7a opens) hits, you will be able to hit the “Join Boarding Group” button and get assigned a boarding group.

You need to act quickly. All “guaranteed’ Boarding Groups lately have been booking up as quickly as the first minute the park is open. (“Guaranteed” doesn’t actually mean guaranteed. It means that if your Boarding Group is in fact not called, you will receive a FastPass for a later visit on another day to Rise of the Resistance. So don’t plan Rise of the Resistance. Other Boarding Groups, “backup boarding groups,” receive no compensation if they are not called.

There’s been much debate over whether you should try to join over your cellular carrier or via Disney’s wifi, and also about where in Hollywood Studios you will find the least crowded signals. Nothing I have seen on this topic is conclusive. The best advice is that everyone in your party should have the app and their phone, and all try at the same time.

Once you have a Boarding Group, your boarding will later be called (via a push notification, probably, if you have enabled it; keep checking the app just in case). You will have either one or (more likely) two hours to go to the ride and get in line once your Boarding Group has been called.

More people are in the park at opening than will be able to get boarding groups. Some hop away, others stay and see the parks’ other attractions. Of those who are successful, folks with earlier Boarding Groups tend to stay in the park—others may hop, or go back to their hotel, until called.

As a result, Hollywood Studios is seeing a level of morning crowds that is unprecedented, and likely will become even worse with the March 4 opening of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

If all you care about is Rise of the Resistance, you don’t have to arrive at the park super early to be eligible for a boarding pass—you just have to arrive in time to get through security, and get through the tapstiles before official open, say 45 minutes before open.

If, however, you plan to see with low waits and without FastPass+ any of Smugglers Run, Slinky Dog Dash, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and, I expect, the Runaway Railway, you do need to arrive quite early so you can be among the first to line up for these rides once you are allowed access to them.

But that’s a post for another day…

 

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March 1, 2020   No Comments

Photo Tour of the Master/King Bedroom Side of a One or Two Bedroom Villa at Disney’s Riviera Resort

THE MASTER OR KING BEDROOM IN ONE AND TWO BEDROOM VILLAS AT DISNEY’S RIVIERA RESORT

The master bedroom, or king bed, side of both One and Two Bedroom Villas at Disney’s Rivera Resort is the same.

Taking layout cues from the Villas at the Grand Floridian, the king bed area at Disney’s Riviera Resort is accessed at one end from deep in the living room. The bath associated with the space is then divided, with a sink and soaker tub closer to the bedroom, then a full bath with a large shower that is also accessible from the villa’s entry.

PHOTO TOUR OF A MASTER OR KING BEDROOM IN ONE AND TWO BEDROOM VILLAS AT DISNEY’S RIVIERA RESORT

Here’s the king bed side from near the entry from the living room.

The king bed side from closer to the bath.

As had been the case in all recently re-done Disney rooms, the bed is a single mattress on a platform…

…with room underneath for luggage storage–not that you’ll need it; these villas have more closets than pre-Stonewall New York.

Next to the bed are this bedside table with power behind, and an easy chair…

…and just outside is a balcony, also accessible directly from the living room.

On the other side of the bed is this large desk with power. Its size lets it also function as the bedside table for this side of the king bed.

The TV side of the room includes a dresser with a 54” TV above, and a closet.

The TV side from the bath end of the room.

The nine dresser drawers have plenty of storage.

From the outside, the closet looks oddly proportioned, but it actually grabs some space from the kitchen
wall on the other side and ends up with correct dimensions inside.

The first part of the bath, accessible from both the king bedroom and the second part of the bath,
includes a sink on one side…

…and a large soaker tub with spray jets in its base on the other.

The second part of the bath is a full bath that’s also accessible from the rest of the villa. It includes a sink…

…and a toilet and shower.

The shower is large and has both rainfall and regular heads…

…and includes a seat at the back—along with in-wall toiletry bottles.

The hall from the entry to this bath has some important stuff, too—the image is shot from the entry, with the door to the bath directly ahead. On the left is a closet, and on the right, behind a set of doors, is the washer dryer.

The closet serves as the coat closet for everyone in the space, and the clothing closet for people sleeping in the living area (dedicated Two Bedroom Villas have an additional smaller closet, near the entry to the two-queen area). Note the soft focus, adding to the romance of the closet… You’ll also find in this closet spare linens for the living space beds, a vacuum for anyone who misses cleaning,* and a safe.

The safe is quite large—my book is six inches by nine inches—but perhaps not large enough for the nine people a dedicated Two Bedroom Villa will sleep (lock-off Two Bedroom Villas have another safe on their studio side).

Finally on this side of the room is this washer-dryer.

There’s nothing positive I can say about the carpet design, and overall the space is  a bit austere–although not as bad as the second bedroom of dedicated Two Bedroom Villas. But the layout and amenities of this space at Disney’s Riviera Resort are top-notch, and it is as good a master bedroom/bath combo as you will find in a One or Two Bedroom Villa DVC offering at Disney World, with only the Villas at the Grand Floridian in its class.

*Actually, people staying in these rooms with DVC points rather than cash get housekeeping service only every four days—hence the cleaning supplies. Folks staying with cash get housekeeping every day. Don’t forget to tip your maid. I tip $5 per bay per night, unless we’ve made an unusual mess. If one of your guests is pushing the vacuum instead, tip them with dinner at Victoria and Albert’s.

The long-time travel agent partner of this site, Kelly, can book you at Disney’s Riviera Resort or anywhere else at Disney World.  Contact her using the form below!

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February 26, 2020   No Comments

Photo Tour of the Second Bedroom of a Two Bedroom Villa at Disney’s Riviera Resort

THE SECOND BEDROOM IN A DEDICATED TWO BEDROOM VILLA AT DISNEY’S RIVIERA RESORT

The ~238 bookable Two Bedroom Villas at Disney’s Riviera Resort come in two flavors, “lock-off” and “dedicated.”  About 60% are lock-off, and 40% dedicated.

  • Lock-off Two Bedroom Villas are assembled from one One-Bedroom Villa and one standard Studio, with an entry from the hallways to each and an internal connecting door between them.
  • “Dedicated” Two Bedroom Villas were designed from the start as one single unit, and almost all of their differences are in the second bedroom—the space that in a lock-off would be the Studio.

At Disney’s Riviera Resort, the second bedroom of dedicated Two Bedroom units has the following differences from a standard Riviera Studio:

  • No direct entry from the outside hall—they are accessed through the main entry of the villa
  • No microwave, mini-fridge or coffeemaker (all these can be found in the kitchen of the unit)
  • A larger closet
  • Instead of a queen and a fold-out or fold-down couch, they have two queen beds and no couch.
  • No table.
  • Instead of a fifth sleeping spot that unfolds from under the TV, they have a dresser here and sleep four.

This photo tour is of the second bedroom of a Dedicated Two Bedroom Villa at Disney’s Rivera Resort.  I’ll have a photo tour of a Studio here up later in March!

PHOTO TOUR OF THE SECOND BEDROOM OF A DEDICATED TWO BEDROOM VILLA AT DISNEY’S RIVIERA RESORT

In the floor plan, the second bedroom is the bay on the right side.

Entry is through a hall at the side of the main entry to the Two Bedroom Villa.

Once you enter, turn and you’ll find a medium-sized table with storage, in the space that in a Studio would be the entry door.

Turn around, and you’ll find a hall with the bath spaces on one side, the closet on the other, and the sleeping/living space and balcony  beyond.

The bath follows the design at the Villas at the Grand Floridian.  It is divided in half, but each half can be accessed directly from the hall, and there’s also a pocket door connecting the two spaces internally.  This gives the highest degree of flexibility to the bath space I can imagine.

One side has the toilet and a large shower.

The shower fixtures include a rainfall head.

There’s a seat in the back.

Toiletries, as is now trend at Disney World, are supplied in large wall mounted bottles.

The other half of the bath is accessible both from this half, as well as from the room’s hall.

It has a sink…

…and a tub/shower combo.

Across from the bath is this large closet.

One side of the closet.

The other.

Beyond these, in the main living-sleeping space, you’ll find two queen beds on one side.

This side of the room from the back.

A closer view of one of the beds.

On each of the far sides of the beds, there’s a shelf with power points. Between the beds is this bedside table, also with power…

…and with three small drawers, each large enough for your important books, and a foot or two.

As has been trend for a while now, the beds have a single mattress on a platform, which creates room below…

…for luggage.

Also at the end of each bed there’s a couple of built-in drawers.

The TV side of the room has a dresser with a 54” TV above and a couple of chairs.

The TV side from the back of the room.

I find this side of the room—and frankly, the entire room, despite some nice moldings behind the beds—a bit austere.  There’s some OK art on the wall between the bed area and the bath, but the blankness of the TV side (and perhaps the funereal color of the carpet) cries out for something.

Anyway, here’s a closer view of the dresser and TV.

There’s plenty of storage in the nine drawers in this dresser.

In fact, this room may have more storage than any other Disney World room I’ve stayed in.  Part of this is an leftover from much of this furniture (e.g. the bedside tables and under-bed drawers) being designed for a Riviera studio, which by Disney design practices has much less storage, as it will lose the dresser to a fold-down bed, the second set of under-bed drawers to a fold-down couch bed, and have a smaller closet as well.

Outside is a balcony.

I have nothing to object to from a livability point of view in this room.  It could, however, have much more interesting decor.

The long-time travel agent partner of this site, Kelly, can book you at Disney’s Riviera Resort or anywhere else at Disney World.  Contact her using the form below!

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February 25, 2020   No Comments

Theming and Villages at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

(For the first page of this review of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, see this.)

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is themed to Caribbean islands, their beaches, and the pirates who once voyaged among them.

Rooms in the resort are found in five “villages” ringing a lake, each of which has three or six two story, 64 room buildings. All the villages are named after Caribbean destinations: Barbados, Trinidad, Martinique, Aruba, and Jamaica.

Each colorful village has palm-tree lined beaches, and each has its own pool and bus stop. The central Old Port Royale area includes another bus stop and the main pool at the resort, the pirate-themed Fuentes del Morro Pool—the best pool of the Disney World moderate resorts.

All rooms were refurbed in 2014-2015. Pirate rooms (in Trinidad) got a light makeover, retained their full beds, and sleep four.

Rooms in all other villages got a major makeover.  Full beds were replaced with queens, and many rooms now have in addition a fold-down Murphy bed, suitable for a person five feet or shorter, increasing the capacity of these rooms to five.

In all villages you can book water-view rooms (some of the “water” views are of the pools). In all villages except Trinidad, you can book king rooms.  Also in all villages except Trinidad, you can book a room with a third sleeping spot–these rooms previously were reserved for families of five, and any left over were randomly assigned.

You can also book “preferred” rooms in Barbados (and perhaps in Martinique), where for an extra cost you can get a room closer to the central services of Old Port Royale.

There’s much similarity among the villages, but also some key differences, especially in access to the central services of the resort and the new Disney Skyliner.

The Skyliner is a gondola system that connects Caribbean Beach with two parks, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios (and also with Pop Century and Art of Animation). The Skyliner has two stations at Caribbean Beach, one south between Jamaica and Trinidad that serves all destinations, and another north between Aruba and Martinique that in one direction goes to Epcot and in the other goes to south station.

This part of my review of Caribbean Beach will discuss the villages one by one, starting with Martinique and going clockwise.

Note that in May 2017, the former village Barbados and half of Martinique were leveled.  In October 2018 the village formerly known as Trinidad North inherited the name of the demolished Barbados, while Trinidad South became simply Trinidad.

MARTINIQUE

Martinique is a three building area (it used to have six, but three were leveled in May 2017). The three buildings that remain here have recently been priced as both preferred and regular.

A re-orientation of bus routes in late June 2017 means that park buses pick up and drop off Martinique guests first. Martinique is the furthest of the villages from the main Skyliner station, but in the middle of the villages in its distance from the Riviera station–where you can pick up the Epcot line. Martinique and Aruba are the two villages closest to Riviera and its new dining options.

Beach Martinique Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Each village has a beach.  At Martinique the beach, shown above, is near Old Port Royale.

Pool Martinique Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Each village has a pool–all are similar. Here’s the one at Martinique.

The view from the Martinique area is of the lovely beaches across Barefoot Bay in Aruba…

…and, at the right, the somewhat jarring Riviera building.

Martinique guests will find two bus stops to use–one at Old Port Royale is closer to some rooms especially in building 26, and most other rooms will be closer to the other bus stop.

BARBADOS

Barbados was known until October 2018 as Trinidad North. All buildings here are at “preferred” prices. Because many of its rooms are not far from the central services, dining and pool at Old Port Royale, and also among the closer rooms to the Skyliner, rates are $85-120 per night higher than standard rooms in non-preferred buildings. The other dining venue at Caribbean Beach, the Spyglass Grill in Trinidad, is also fairly close.

It has just three buildings and two beaches, and thus is overall with Martinique the most compact of all the Villages, and is by far the most convenient.

Beach at North End of Trinidad North Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

One of the beaches–near Old Port Royale.

Beach Trinidad North Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

The second beach, further south.

Pool Trinidad North Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

The pool at Barbados is at the end furthest from Old Port Royal–if this were a six building village, it would be right in the middle. This means all rooms are close to both the main pool and this smaller “quiet” pool.

Buildings here are a brown pink that adults probably call “coral.” We’ll get a better view in the same-color Trinidad material coming next.

The view from Barbados is of the great beach of Jamaica.

The bus stop is in the center and convenient to all rooms. The main Skyliner hub is just across the bridge between Barbados and Trinidad and Jamaica.

TRINIDAD

Up the road–in a dead end–are the six buildings of Trinidad, known until October 2018 as Trinidad South.

In this somewhat inconvenient area of Caribbean Beach, you’ll find the expensive Pirate rooms.

 

Pirate rooms are full bed rooms with special decorations meant to make them nautical and piratical. More on these is here.

Here’s the beach at Trinidad.

Pool Trinidad South Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…and here’s the pool.

In March 2018 a new quick-service venue, Spyglass Grill, opened here.

Spyglass Grill provides interesting, though limited, dining options that are much more convenient than what is in Centertown/Old Port Royale.

Trinidad North Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

A better view of the insipid colors it shares with Barbados.

Trinidad is on a separate lobe of Barefoot Bay–Barefoot Bay Bay? The hub station of the Skyliner is just across the bay. On average, both Barbados and Jamaica rooms are closer, but Trinidad is the next closest village to the Skyliner.

The Spyglass Grill and gondola stop make Trinidad a better and less isolated choice than it had been in the past.

The bus stop is in the center of the village.

JAMAICA

Jamaica is my favorite among the Caribbean Beach Villages. Most of its six buildings are near enough to Old Port Royale via the bridge across Caribbean Cay, and those that aren’t are still a reasonable walk via the road bridge and Barbados. Along with Barbados, on average its rooms are closest to the Skyliner among the five villages.

Some southern rooms are close to the new Spyglass Grill in Trinidad, and Jamaica is just north of the Caribbean Beach hub of the Disney Skyliner transportation system to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Jamaica Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Jamaica also has a great color scheme…

Pool Jamaica Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…a pool similar to the rest…

Beach Jamaica Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…a huge, gorgeous beach, and a nice view of Barbados and Old Port Royale.

The bus stop is in the center. It’s the second to last stop.

ARUBA

Aruba is the next best choice after Jamaica for those unwilling to pay for a preferred room.

Aruba Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

It has a so-so color scheme, and its bus stop is at the far end.  Some rooms will be closer to the footbridge to Caribbean Cay and Old Port Royal, others will be closer to the bus stop. The Riviera Skyliner stop to Epcot is close, and the rest of the Skyliner stops are on the other side of Jamaica.

Pool Aruba Village Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

It has the usual pool…

…and a beach second only to Jamaica’s in extent and loveliness.

Aruba View Disney's Caribbean Beach from yourfirstvisit.net

It has a nice view of Martinique and Old Port Royale.

Buses stop here last.

The best overall village, almost regardless of what you are looking for, is Jamaica.

PHOTO TOUR OF A FOUR PERSON QUEEN ROOM AT CARIBBEAN BEACH

This review continues here.

 

PAGES IN THIS REVIEW OF DISNEY’S CARIBBEAN BEACH RESORT

OTHER KEY PAGES FOR WHERE TO STAY AT DISNEY WORLD

 

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December 11, 2019   No Comments