Walt Disney World has unveiled a reimagined room for the Trinidad area of the Caribbean Beach Resort. In this article, we will share the announcement, what we expect, and other comments. Let’s start with the official information from Disney Destinations:
“In an effort to continually improve the guest experience, some of the guest rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort Trinidad area resort will receive an all-new look. These new rooms, which will include subtle nods to fan-favorite underwater characters, will accommodate more guests and feature updated finishes not found anywhere else in the resort.
As we prepare these new rooms, guests will be able to see and hear renovations in and around Trinidad starting October 3. We look forward to welcoming guests to these new rooms in 2023.”
It doesn’t exactly come out of left field. Back this summer, Walt Disney World has released vacation packages and resort reservations for 2023, and one room category was missing from the hotel listing: Pirate Rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Nothing was available from January to October 2023, and the rooms weren’t even listed as unavailable. Disappeared as if they had never existed.
The company followed up with a statement during the Walt Disney World Travel Agents webcast that the Pirate Rooms at the Caribbean Beach Resort were discontinued. Disney also announced that there are no new themes planned to replace the Pirate Rooms “at this time”.
Now we have more details.
There are a few things that are interesting here. First, the line that the new rooms will feature fan-favorite characters from “under the sea.” In all likelihood, this is Disney’s cute way of SEO The little Mermaid without directly naming the film that will be presented. In this way, the next announcement that these are The little Mermaid the rooms are always new.
It’s also possible that this is a red herring and that “under the sea” isn’t capitalized in the ad, as these rooms will feature an amalgamation of aquatic characters from a bunch of different films. It could be fun and would be my preference.
Disney has released a lot of seafaring movies in recent years, and it looks like they’re planning to put Moana everywhere. In addition to this, there is Luca, Finding Dory, and other characters that reside underwater. (Before the 2014 revamp, Caribbean Beach had The world of Nemo characters in the rooms.)
However, there already exists The little Mermaid rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, which is just a short Skyliner ride away. While these are some of the most popular and least expensive rooms in all of Walt Disney World, it’s interesting that they revisit this style of room.
Despite being at two different resort levels, these The little Mermaid the rooms would be very in a similar situation. In addition to the characters, the two would be on the Skyliner and in a location away from their respective stations. I don’t know how Disney would manage to charge high prices for The little Mermaid rooms in a moderate resort when Value Resort options are comparable counterparts.
That brings us to the announcement’s second line of significance, which is that these rooms “will accommodate more guests and feature updated finishes not found anywhere else in the resort.”
Accommodating more guests might just mean Disney adding a 5th Murphy bed under the TV, which is an option in other rooms at the Caribbean Beach Resort and elsewhere at Walt Disney World. That would be the quick and easy approach.
As for the part about updated finishes, that could just be a marketing whiff. If these rooms have The little Mermaid characters, they will already be unlike anything else at CBR. Moreover, it stands to reason that the new halls built in 2022-2023 will be different from those designed almost a decade earlier. (Seriously, it’s been almost that long. Caribbean Beach’s “new” Poly-lite rooms will be 9 years old next year!)
These Poly-lite chambers were a great upgrade back then, but are now showing their age. It would be crazy for Walt Disney World to install this same style nearly a decade later, given all the innovations and other space-saving improvements that have been rolled out over the last 8-9 years. So it could just be a throwaway line, stating the obvious.
…or it could hint at something more.
The easiest way to distinguish these parts from The little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation while accommodating more guests and making them unique to the Caribbean Beach Resort would be to convert them into family suites.
Personally, I’m skeptical about this. While I think there is a huge untapped market for larger accommodations, I also think Walt Disney World’s out of control pricing has made this difficult. Families who want or need more space often opt for the Disney Vacation Club (either through purchase or rental of points) or opt off-site where there is much better value.
That is to say that The little Mermaid Art of Animation standard rooms often sell for full price, while Cars/Lion King/Finding Nemo family suites are available at discounted rates. It doesn’t happen because The little Mermaid the rooms are superior. On the contrary, they are far inferior. That’s because even at a discount, these family suites are still way too expensive for most families. Most squeeze into small rooms to save money, not out of preference.
That doesn’t mean we won’t see substantial changes to the Pirate Rooms as they are converted to ‘under the sea’ accommodations.
As mentioned above, Walt Disney World has made many functional upgrades to the rooms, with space-saving features and other upgrades that make them feel larger. Adding them while maintaining the same footprint would be the best of both worlds for Disney. This would allow them to charge higher prices for these rooms while maintaining the same number of them in inventory. This is my expectation.
Either way, Walt Disney World needs to do something major in these rooms. Repainting the walls blue or green, replacing some textile products and adding fish decals to pirate beds won’t be enough. At the very least, the beds need to go.
All kidding aside, the Pirate Rooms are actually infamous. our original Caribbean Beach Resort Pirate Room Review called them the worst at Walt Disney World. This was for a number of reasons – they are located away from everything else in the Caribbean Beach Resort, the small size of the beds and the thin mattresses that literally feel like sleeping on an uneven pile of plastic.
Over the years, we’ve cautioned readers against accepting an “upgrade” to Pirate Rooms. Even if these rooms had a higher rate, they would be a functional downgrade for most guests due to the aforementioned location and level of comfort.
In fact, that’s why Walt Disney World converted this section of Caribbean Beach into the Pirate Rooms in the first place: to make this area away from the hotel more appealing and convince guests to book it. When that didn’t work, Disney overbooked the rest of the resort and handed out free “upgrades” to the Pirate Rooms. It’s the equivalent of getting a free copy of the Cats DVD — sometimes nothing is better than something.
One thing to note is that the Trinidad section of Caribbean Beach has improved dramatically in 2019.
Since the launch of the Pirate Rooms, so have the Skyliner and the Spyglass Grill. The central gondola station is directly across from the Trinidad section of Caribbean Beach where the Pirate Rooms are located, and they now have a convenient dining option at Spyglass Grill. These are great upgrades that really elevate pirate rooms.
In other words, if you haven’t stayed at Pirate Rooms in the past 5 years, things have changed. Although it’s still a long walk from the main lobby and pool area, this area isn’t as junk as you might remember. It’s not where the ‘premium’ rooms would be if this was a brand new resort being built, but it’s not a horrible place anymore either.
Ultimately, it will be interesting to see what happens with the Under the Sea style replacing the Pirate Rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. As should be obvious from the rambling commentary, I have no idea what the plan is here. It could be an ambitious project that involves knocking down walls and converting standard rooms into family suites, or maybe it will just be a simple renovation to remove the cape-and-duty belongings. ‘sword.
Personally, I think it will be on the smaller scale of the spectrum. Not just swapping out a new style – I guess it’ll be more substantial than that – but I’m still skeptical that Disney wants to invest a ton of money in these room redos. Finally, it is a property of choice for a seaside resort. It may not happen this decade, but it will happen someday. As the monorail loop can only support such development, more will be built around the Skyliner in due course. Replacing Trinidad’s buildings in Caribbean Beach with a tower makes too much sense for that to ever happen.
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Are you excited for an “Under the Sea” style replacing the Pirate Rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort? Will your excitement depend on whether it’s family suites or standard rooms that sleep 5? Do you think this will be a makeover of the Garden Variety Room, or something more? Does the nearby Skyliner hub change your perspective on the Trinidad section of CBR? Do you agree or disagree with my assessment that this real estate is too “prime” to be part of Caribbean Beach forever? Questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback – even when you disagree with us – is both interesting for us and helpful for other readers, so share your thoughts below in the comments!