Are you planning a visit to Universal Studios Orlando and have been looking for an on-site resort? Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is one of our favorite family-friendly resorts to stay at and one I highly recommend. Located only minutes from the two Universal parks and steps away from Universal’s Volcano Bay water theme park, this Value Resort was designed top to bottom for families in mind. Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort includes so much to talk about so let’s get to it.
Our vacation to Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort was provided in exchange for this sponsored content creation. As always, all opinions are my own.
The Best Things About Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort
This wasn’t our first time staying at Cabana Bay but it has been a few years so I was excited my kids would experience the resort again now that they’re older. My son was only a few months old when we were last here so he was really in for a treat. The spacious family suites and amazing amenities at a budget-friendly price are what draws us and other families to the resort. Plus, with fabulous Florida Resident rates, you can always be sure you’re getting the best deal possible.
Benefits of an On-Site Hotel-
When planning our staycations at theme parks, we prefer to stay in an on-site resort hotel. Universal Studios Florida offers great benefits to on-site guests that you’ll want to take advantage of. Staying at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort not only allows guests early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Volcano Bay but also provides these great benefits:
- Complimentary bus transportation to and from Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Universal’s Volcano Bay water theme park, and Universal CityWalk.
- Resort-wide charging privileges via your room key/card.
- Complimentary Wi-Fi.
- Character experiences in the resorts (on Friday only).
- Complimentary scheduled transfers to SeaWorld, and Aquatica.
- Resort-wide no smoking policy.
Negative: Because Cabana Bay Beach Resort is a “Value Resort”, Universal Express Pass is not offered complimentary.
FUN Retro Theme-
From bright colors to old school decor to nostalgic in-room products – Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort fully immerses you into the “beach party” days of the 1950s & ’60s right away. Pose next to the classic cars parked in front of the entrance, or jam out to music from Buddy Holly and the Turtles playing throughout the lobby. You’ll have a great time from the moment you arrive at the resort.
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Universal’s Volcano Bay – The Ultimate Guide
As a family of five, we need a lot of space. During this particular trip, we also had my mother-in-law travel with us. The 430-square-feet family suite was perfect for the duration of our stay.
The living room has a full-size sofa bed, chair, and 40″ flat panel television. The kitchenette has a mini refrigerator, microwave, sink, and a Cuisinart Single Coffee Pod Brewer. The restroom is split off into 3 separate sections and there you’ll also find nostalgic with V05 hair products and Zest soap which is restocked daily. I loved the different areas so we could all get ready at once. There’s a had a sink with a shower on the left, sink area with a hairdryer & towels in the middle, and finally the toilet with its own door on the right side.
We actually ended up moving to a 2-Bedroom Suite… more on that later.
The bedroom has two queen beds and another 40″ flat-screen tv. Other amenities include an iron, ironing board and in-room safe inside the large walk-in closet. There is a convenient sliding partition that separates the living area/kitchenette from the bedroom. Again, perfect for the end of the night when the kiddos need to sleep but the adults want to stay up just a tad longer. Simply slide the partition closed and you have access to the couch and TV.
There are two large pools on the property so you’ll never have to walk far to cool off. The first one is The Cabana Pool, located in the Cabana Courtyard. With a dive tower-themed water slide, the poolside Atomic Tonic™ bar, cabanas for rent, shaded picnic tables and a large fire pit, the Cabana Courtyard offers fun for the whole family. Who doesn’t love a huge slide?!
The second pool is in the Lazy River Courtyard. It is home to a sparkling swimming pool that features a perfectly winding lazy river, sand beach, the poolside Hideaway Bar & Grill, two fire pits, and plenty of outdoor seating perfect for relaxing and soaking up the warm Florida sunshine. I’m a lazy river kind of girl so I wanted to spend all of our time here.
Negative: You have to have an inner tube in the lazy river and they range from $6-$15. Save money by bringing your own.
Our favorite on-site amenity is definitely the 10 lane bowling alley, Galaxy Bowl. Complete with a table service restaurant and a full bar, you don’t even have to stop the fun to eat. You can find burgers, hot dogs, chicken wings, salads, and more on their large menu. Coming back from the parks late? Don’t worry – Galaxy Bowl is open daily until midnight!
There are many places at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort to grab a quick snack or meal. Bayliner Diner serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and meals can be dine-in or carry out which is great if you just want to relax in your room. There’s also Cabana Bay’s food court if you are only in need of a quick pick-me-up. Craving some pizza late at night? Delizioso Pizza offers pizza delivered wherever you are on property! At your room? Call up some pizza. Cozy in your cabana? They’ll deliver to you. Getting your tan on poolside? You guessed it, they’ll find you by the pool and you can have hot pizza! Do you also need a caffeine fix before heading to the parks? Stop by Starbucks, conveniently located right in the lobby of Cabana Bay. And believe me, you’ll need it to keep up with your kids.
We Actually Had a Bad Experience…
Let’s have some real talk time now. When I post about something on Double Duty Mommy I want you, my valued readers (and friends), to know that I’m being honest with you. I will never give a positive review of a product, trip, or experience because the brand and I have a partnership together. I hold my personal brand to high standards and I never want you to lose trust in what I write. That being said, our stay at Cabana Bay Beach Resort was actually not all rainbows, sunshine, and Hogwarts magic during this visit. While the resort amenities were as advertised, our overall experience on property was subpar at best.
We ended up having to be moved into THREE different rooms on our first night at the resort. From 9 PM – 1 AM, my family had to repack and pack twice and pretty much walked the entire stretch of property in our pajamas. My kids were exhausted, the adults were fed up, I was in tears. The next morning everyone was so tired from the night before (we didn’t go to bed until 1:30-2 AM) that we did not get a good start to the day which ended up setting the tone for the rest of the day at the two Universal Studios Florida theme parks.
I will say, the two Cabana Bay Beach Resort managers my husband and I spoke to did their best to make us happy but because this is not only a vacation for my family but also a work trip for me I look at situations a bit differently. My family left the resort stressed, drained, and feeling like we need a vacation from this vacation. I will not go into specifics but I will say that the rooms we were given were not up to Loews Hotel standard so moving my family was extremely necessary. I also just wanted to let you know that not every trip I’m on is great. That doesn’t mean I don’t love this resort as a whole and I definitely want to give Cabana Bay Beach Resort another chance to provide my family with a great vacation, hopefully in the near future.
With so much to do, your family will never get bored. When we weren’t at Universal Studios Orlando, we spent a lot of our time at the pools and of course, absolutely love Galaxy Bowl because we can have fun and some of our favorite foods at the same time.