The extensive renovations at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will begin paying off Monday with a new check-in area and dining options opening after 17 months of construction.
Guests to the hotel will notice the changes immediately after arriving on site. The resort’s new Old Port Royale will now provide the front desk and concierge services for the resort. This more centralized location will replace the old Custom House, located at the far end of the resort property, a design quirk Disney largely avoided in moderate and value hotels built after Caribbean Beach opened in October 1988.
This section will also feature Sebastian’s Bistro, a new restaurant with “Latin and Caribbean flavors” like jerk chicken and Jamaican meat pies.
“With a diverse variety of items that range from seafood and steak to salads, sandwiches, and burgers, the menu balances classic spices with tropical flavors to create bright, fresh tastes,” Alex Dunlap, food and beverage communications coordinator at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, wrote on the Disney Parks Blog.
Also opening on Monday will be the Calypso Trading Post, the Centertown Market quick service dining location and the Banana Cabana pool bar.
Since resort began its major overhaul in May 2017, closing the old food court, shopping area and Shutters restaurant, guests have relied on stopgap solutions like marketplaces built in what used to be guest rooms. Disney opted not to close the resort entirely during this construction period and room rates still rarely went below $200 per night, despite the reduced amenities.
“For my guests, a big factor was the price difference between Port Orleans, another moderate resort, and Caribbean Beach,” said Robin Woodmansee, co-owner of the Mouse & Muggle Travel Company, which specializes in Disney and Universal vacations. “They felt that since they would not be spending tons of time at the resort eating that they were fine with the main food area being closed and the presence of construction.”
Woodmansee said she would make Disney World vacationers aware of the construction. Since work was limited to the hours of 9 a.m. and dusk, and the resort’s main Fuentes del Morro pool remained open, she said guests were often “very happy” with their decision to stay at Caribbean Beach over the past year.
The resort won’t be free of bulldozers and construction crews quite yet. It will likely be another year until the neighboring Riviera Resort opens, adding more space for Disney Vacation Club members. Work will continue on the new Disney Skyliner station, part of a new gondola system connecting Caribbean Beach and other resorts with Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
“I do expect Caribbean Beach Resort to increase in popularity as well as price point once the construction and Disney Skyliner are complete,” Woodmansee said. “The ease of transportation that the Disney Skyliner will provide will be a big incentive for many clients.”