Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida can be such a fun place to spend your vacation or for a weekend getaway. The theme parks are packed full of fun, and having two of them side by side makes is so convenient. But in addition to the theme parks, Universal now has several of their own resorts you can stay at, right on property with the theme parks and Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort one is among the best of them.
Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort Review
Cabana Bay Beach Resort is less expensive than a few of the other ones and having stayed at one of the most expensive ones this past year, I will just put out there now that I expected less from this hotel because of that, but I was proven wrong.
It was much more suited to our family and my kids, just a week later are asking when we can please go back and stay again.
Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort has a fabulous retro style to it, the signage, lighting, seating and everything, down to the last detail echoes vintage and cool.
So, here are a few things to know before you go, and if you are trying to decide on which Universal Hotel to stay at, this may help narrow that down.
The hotel is literally around the block from the parks and right beside Interstate 4. They provide shuttle transportation to the parks and it runs constantly, so you won’t have to move your car and pay for parking at the park, in addition to the hotel.
Also, as far as parking costs, this hotel is about ten dollars to park, whereas the Lowe’s hotels are twice that amount, and you park in a large parking garage there, so it can be a long distance to walk to the car if you needed to go back and forth, and at Cabana Bay, you park by your room, at the building you’re staying in, inside a gated and secure area.
The hotel is laid out in 5 different sections, and there are 2 pools and a lazy river. All five of the sections have rooms facing at least one of the pools and at night, it is a lovely sight.
The larger of the pools has a huge slide and waterfall area and also a hot tub.
There is a kid’s splash pad play area, a lawn area for games, pavilions, cabanas, a fire pit, plenty of picnic tables and beach chairs, and some pool activities like toys, a pool table, bean bag game and more. They do have a sandy beach area there too, so it’s not just the typical concrete pool area most hotels have.
They have a gym, a bowling alley, an arcade and a nice gift shop right there as well.
There are a couple of restaurants, plus lounges to choose from, and also a Starbucks right on site and they really are not far to walk to, several are right near the lobby area and very convenient. There is a poolside bar also, which is really close the slide and hot tub area.
If you want to eat somewhere else other than hotel, you can take the shuttle or walk to Universal’s City Walk area that leads to Islands of Adventures and Universal Studios as well, which has a ton of places to choose from, and they also have a great range as far as type of foods and pricing.
One really awesome perk of staying here is that you can gain access an hour earlier than regular guests into the theme parks, in order to have first shot in the Harry Potter sections at the parks. They are easily the busiest areas in each park and the wait times on those rides can get very long when it’s busy, so if you can, get up and take the shuttle over and go right there and get as much in as you can.
In the rooms, you will find very comfy furniture and bedding, plenty of pillows and nice smart TVs. They definitely provide what you need as far as space and storage as well.
One thing we were impressed with was that the bathroom areas were divided up in two rooms with doors. The shower is in one room, then the vanity and counter area in the center and then the toilet area is another room with a door, so you can have the toilet available to people while someone else is showering.
They also have a retractable clothesline for your swimsuits to dry on in the shower area too. Nice little bonus!
For each member of your family, they give a room key, with their name on it, and you can keep them as souvenirs, which my kids thought was really neat. They each had something different on them, too.
While in Orlando make sure to check out some of the 25 free things to do in Orlando Florida.
Overall, for the price, I think Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is the best choice in Universal Hotels, especially for a family and not just adults.
One more tip. If you want to check out the non Universal or Disney park attractions you can get discount admission with the Orlando GoPass. You can save up to 55% off admission prices buy building your own pass. Locations to choose from including Legoland, Sea World, Bush Gardens, The Titanic Museum, The Kennedy Space Center, Gatorland, many water parks and more! You can also buy an all-inclusive pass for up to 5 days and get into as many attractions as you can fit into your schedule for 5 days!
Have you stayed at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Also, check out my thoughts on Loew’s Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando Florida