Start your Orlando family vacation in style with a stay at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. This Universal Orlando Resort is located close to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, and has a retro theme that we absolutely loved! We have stayed at Cabana Bay Beach Resort three times in the last year. This is why we keep coming back.
Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort opened in 2014 as a value resort for guests visiting Universal Orlando. Ever since opening day I knew I wanted to stay there. The retro theme was awesome, but I was really excited about the Cabana Bay Beach Resort family suites.
Finding accommodations for a family of five can be tricky within a budget. I am always doing research on where to find the best on-site accommodations for our theme park visits. I was really excited to see that Cabana Bay Beach Resort would fit my family and help us stay within our family vacation budget.
We have stayed at Cabana Bay three times in the last year. (March 2017, August 2017, and February 2018) We love visiting Orlando and the theme parks as much as we can. The room rates fluctuate and are not as budget friendly during high-peak times, so do your research when planning your vacation. During our stays we have paid between $179.00- $250.00 a night. These prices can change and we also used our Annual Pass discounts.
When booking check Undercover Tourist for their rates. When searching for early August I found a difference in price of over $60.00 a night. That is worth doing your research. You will receive the same on-site benefits when booking through Undercover Tourist that you would when booking directly through Universal Orlando.
I already shared that the Cabana Bay Beach Resort family suites are what attracted us to the resort but we keep coming back because of the close proximity to the park, the on-site perks for guests, the pool, on-site amenities, and the comfortable rooms that work great for my family.
This is not going to be a straight forward answer because it is a yes and no. There are walkways from Cabana Bay to Universal CityWalk. They are easy paths and a very nice walk. They are also a very difficult walk when you have three small children, no stroller, and it is 90 degrees.
If you don’t mind walking or your kids are older it can save you a lot of time. Especially when visiting Islands of Adventure because you will enter CityWalk near Margaritaville-close to the Island of Adventure entrance. If your kids are all in strollers that will help. I also recommend staying in the Courtyard area if you plan to walk because that is close to the path.
We have stayed at both and my favorite is to stay at the Continental Towers(any floor besides 1). This is close to our favorite pool(water slide pool), guest transportation to the parks, and the Bay Line Diner.
The Courtyards are Motel style rooms. They entrance to the room is directly outside and the area is close to the water slide pool. The Towers are hotel style rooms. The entrance to the rooms go to the hotel hallway. The family suites are the same in both areas. It is more a personal preference on what works best for your family.
The tower rooms tend to cost a bit more. There are also Volcano Bay view rooms. Volcano Bay is Universal’s water park. You need a admission ticket to enter. If you stay at the Volcano Bay view rooms you are very close to walk to the park. Cabana Bay is about a 5 minute walk to Volcano Bay.
A few questions to ask yourself:
The family suites at Cabana Bay have two queen beds, a pull-out sofa bed, a mini-fridge, coffee maker, and one bathroom. We have stayed at the resort for a week and it has been a good fit for our family of five. As the kids get older we may look into booking two standard rooms for more comfortable sleeping options. The sleeper sofa is fine for little ones but may be uncomfortable for adults.
There are two main pools at Cabana Bay. One is located in the Courtyard area. There is a water slide, infinity pool, and a splash pad. We preferred this pool area because my kids loved the water slide. The splash pad was a nice addition but geared towards younger kids.
The second pool is located in the Tower area. There is a lazy river and a regular pool for swimming. The lazy river is nice but they do not provide inner tubes. You can purchase ones during your stay that you take back to your room or you can bring them from home. They will blow them up and inflate them for you.
There are a few dining options at Cabana Bay. The main dining area is a quick service restaurant called the Bay Line Diner. They offer grab and go snacks as well as meals. We have always been happy with the service and quality of meals.
There is also a Starbucks, The Hideaway Bar & Grill (Located at the Lazy River Courtyard), Galaxy Bowl Restaurant, Swizzle Loung(Bar) and the Atomic Tonic(Located at the Cabana Courtyard). Our favorite on-site place is the room or poolside pizza delivery service, Deliziozo Pizza. The pizza is our favorite and we loved having it delivered to our room after a long day at the parks.
You can also take the on-site transportation to CityWalk for a meal or snack. The milkshake at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium are a must for every visit to Universal Orlando. All of the on-site resorts have restaurants and are fun places to explore. If you have the energy after a long day checking them out can be a fun activity away from the parks.
When you are an on-site guest at a Universal Orlando Resort you receive special perks and benefits. They are early entry into the theme parks, free on-site transportation to the parks, room charging privileges in the parks, and character meet & greets in the lobby of your resort.
We love meeting characters in the lobby, it is a fun surprise for the kids, but the most valuable benefit is the early entry into the parks.
Typically one of the parks, Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure, open an hour early to resort guests. On all of our visits Islands of Adventure had early entry and it was only for the Harry Potter area. This saved us so much time and allowed us to ride the Harry Potter attractions before the park opened.
An all new Universal Orlando Value Resort will be opening in Summer 2019. Surfside Inn & Suite is a beachy theme and will offer suites that fit up to six people. The resort will offer budget friendly rates as well. I am excited to see what options this resort will have and check it out next year!
I share our favorite characters to meet at Universal and the best places for Universal Orlando photos. Check out our Orlando family vacation itinerary for more in depth planning. When you are ready to organize your plans print out my family vacation worksheet to keep it all together.