Sorry this is coming a bit late, but school started for me the day after we returned, so I am still playing catch-up. We had a 10 night stay at CBR (Aug 14-24). I was extremely hesitant to stay here, but thanks to a BB offer and the construction gift card (thanks @potternut for the heads-up!), and an unofficial forum survey, we really couldn’t pass up the deal…and I am happy to report, I’m glad we took the plunge!
My chief concern was the bus system…so many horror stories! We toyed with renting a car, but DD really wanted to stay within the Disney bubble the entire time, so we allocated a chunk of money for Uber/Lyft. Luckily we never had to dip into that fund! We were supposed to be in the pirate rooms, but a kind CM switched us to Aruba building 55. At first I was a tad disappointed because Aruba was the last stop on the bus loop, but I wasn’t going to complain.
Building 55 room 5544 turned out to be an excellent location for us. In the mornings we walked to Port Royale (second stop) to make sure we got on the buses. “Walking with purpose” this trip took 7 minutes. For the return trips back to the resort we got off at the Aruba stop just because of our aching feet! Of the 10 morning trips to the parks, 8 of those had very short waits for the buses…all less than fifteen minutes…several just 5 minutes! One early morning on our way to MK we were the only guests! We also took several midday breaks. Again, the bus gods must have been smiling down on us because we never waited more than 20 minutes. We even had another personal “limo” ride from Epcot…the driver’s words! We also got lucky at the end of the day, including after MK fireworks!
All of the wait times are pretty accurate because DH took great delight in timing each one…just so he could say “I told ya so”…he had listened to me fret for months about transportation issues and always replied with…it will be fine! I guess he was right!
Now the not so magical…one morning we waited 25 minutes for an MK bus. It seemed like everyone in CBR was going to MK that morning. When the bus finally came it was SRO at this second stop! One poor family had been waiting since 6:40am…their total wait time was 60 minutes! We zoomed by more packed bus stops without stopping. We could see guests throw up their arms in frustration! One woman on board called her friend who was waiting in Jamaica to warn her that we weren’t making any more stops. Her friend responded that a bus had just pulled up! Thank goodness…but where had that bus come from? Oh, and I really wasn’t trying to eavesdrop, but we were in close quarters! This also happened one morning going to AK…another 25 minute wait and a full bus.
One night as I was waiting for an internal bus, I started chatting with a woman who was going to the Custom House to specifically complain about her bus experiences. She also reported an hour wait to go to MK one morning and several long waits in the afternoon to return home. I didn’t have the heart to share our experiences.
On our last morning we saw a CM at the Aruba bus stop tracking waits. Hopefully this will result in more consistent waits for everyone!
Now on to the construction…it really was a non issue at this time. As @JJT stated, most of the construction zones were well hidden, and the ones that weren’t, DH enjoyed watching the progress! Building 55 seemed to be the last building before one of the construction zones. This is what we saw from the second floor if we looked left.
Looking straight ahead we could see Old Port Royale. If we didn’t look too closely, it looked just like it did when we stayed here 7 years ago!
I apologize for my awful picture taking, by the way!! We didn’t really hear much of anything. When we left in the morning we were usually out before work began. When we did come back in the afternoon we could hear the music coming from the pool party and not the construction…and with our door closed we heard absolutely nothing! And speaking of the room…very little foot traffic, right above the Coke Freestyle machine and mini market, next to the quiet pool/laundry area, and a short walk to the Aruba bus stop. Loved 5544!
We did one breakfast buffet and one dinner buffet in the tent. It was a great use of a QS meal since we were on the DDP. The food was fine…nothing special, but there was something for everyone, including uber picky DD. The morning we were there they had 7 or 8 Mickey waffle irons going!! We were given wrist bands when we paid. There were also takeout containers if you wanted to eat in your room. You could also access the tent to refill your mugs or grab a snack from one of the food trucks and eat in air conditioned comfort for a brief respite from the sun/pool. No one will go hungry here…it’s just not spectacular...but definitely
better than some of the QS in the parks.
On the monthly calendar of events we were given, some sort of pool party was listed each day. What wasn’t on the schedule, however, were characters joining some of those parties! During our time the characters came Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays…I think around 1:30. DD was able to do the Macarena with Donald and Goofy…the one time I didn’t bring my phone to the pool!!
Everyone we came in contact with at CBR was super nice and helpful. The landscaping is beautiful and the pools were very clean. We would stay here again if the price was right! I hope this will help to allay some of your fears if you are heading to CBR soon, and I hope you have magical time!!