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Cabana Bay Beach Resort: Distance from the parks

This page includes information and photo tours of the transportation between Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal CityWalk, and the Universal Orlando theme parks (Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure). This page also includes information about the shuttle service from Cabana Bay to SeaWorld and Aquatica (SeaWorld’s water park), as well as access to Volcano Bay, Universal’s water theme park.

Distance from Universal CityWalk, Universal Studios Florida, and Islands of Adventure

In terms of transportation, Cabana Bay Beach Resort sits in a new category for Universal hotels: it’s on-site, but it’s not connected to Universal CityWalk and the on-site hotels via the waterway that many Universal guests have become very familiar with. Instead, given Cabana Bay’s location, guests have the option to take a shuttle or walk.

Each method of transportation has its positives and negatives, and we’ll explore these now. At this point, we recommend that you open the OI custom-made Google map using this link (it will open in a separate window):

OI map of Universal Orlando’s on-site hotels

It may be helpful to switch it to Satellite View and zoom in.

As you can see from the map, Cabana sits directly south of Islands of Adventure, and Hollywood Way – a two-lanes-in-each-direction street – separates the hotel from CityWalk and the theme parks.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort shuttleOne of many dedicated shuttles picking up at Cabana Bay Beach Resort.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort WalkwaySigns leading to the walkway from Cabana Bay Beach Resort to Universal’s theme parks.

Transportation options to CityWalk and Universal’s theme parks

Here are your options to get from Cabana Bay Beach Resort to Universal CityWalk and Universal’s theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure:

  • Dedicated shuttle: Universal operates several Cabana Bay shuttles that run continuously between the hotel and the general guest drop-off area near the Universal parking garages, as seen on the OI Google map. The shuttles are ADA compatible, and they operate from one hour before Early Park Admission starts until 2:30 am every single day. There is one pick-up point at Cabana Bay, near the lobby and next to Bayliner Diner, and the trip itself is only about five minutes. In general, the system works well, with a new shuttle arriving about every 12 minutes. However, do be aware that, when leaving Universal to go back to Cabana Bay, the line can get long at peak time, which is when both theme parks are closing. Photos of the Cabana Bay shuttles are displayed below.
  • Garden Walkway: this slightly-shorter-than-one-mile walkway brings you from Cabana Bay, past Sapphire Falls and Royal Pacific Resorts, and onto the side entrance of CityWalk, near Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. As of November 2014, the new Garden Bridge and Walkway connects these points and offers an enjoyable alternative to the shuttle. For a better idea of exactly where the path leads, be sure you view our Google map (switch to Satellite View and zoom in), then check out the photo tour below.
  • Timing this walk is a bit tricky, because it will depend on exactly where your hotel room is on Cabana Bay Beach Resort property. Nevertheless, once you exit the hotel from its northeast corner, the walk will take about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how eager you are. You’ll then enter CityWalk close to Islands of Adventure, so you’ll only need to add another two minutes to get to that park’s turnstiles. If you’re going to Universal Studios Florida, add another seven minutes.
  • While the walkway is very enjoyable, we overall still recommend using the shuttle most times of the day because of the shorter time of the trip and the frequency of the shuttle pick-ups. However, do keep in mind that the bus drops off guests at the parking rotunda, requiring you to go through the central security checkpoint (often busy) and enter through the front of CityWalk. The Garden Walkway, on the other hand, brings you through the on-site hotel security checkpoint next to Margaritaville (which virtually never has a line), and allows you to enter CityWalk very close to Islands of Adventure. Also, as we mentioned above, during peak shuttle use periods like park closing time, the 20-minute walk can conceivably be shorter than waiting in the built-up line for the shuttles.
  • The Cabana Bay Garden Walkway does, indeed, connect to the Royal Pacific Garden Walkway right at the edge of Royal Pacific’s property. This makes the walkway a great option for those interested in visiting Royal Pacific Resort. However, do note that walking from Cabana Bay to the Royal Pacific water taxi dock, and then waiting for the water taxi, will almost always take more time than simply continuing to walk the path on to CityWalk.

Transportation to Volcano Bay

Unlike the four other on-site hotels, guests at Cabana Bay Beach Resort won’t have to take a shuttle to get to Volcano Bay – they have a private entrance all their own, located past the two new towers that opened in the south courtyard alongside the water theme park. Think of it as a way to counter-balance the bus ride that Cabana guests have to take to get to CityWalk and the theme parks – an even faster and more convenient version of the other resorts’ water taxis.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort's private path to Universal's Volcano Bay
Cabana Bay Beach Resort’s private path to Universal’s Volcano Bay

Please note that each guest must have her own room key on her in order to access this exclusive Volcano Bay entrance.

Transportation to the other on-site hotels

Universal offers a special Hotel Dining Shuttle, which allows guests staying at one on-site hotel to visit restaurants at the others for a meal (or drink). Here’s the official explanation direct from the company:

Get a taste of everything our resort hotels have to offer. A free shuttle provides transportation to and from our on-site hotel restaurants with pick-up available in the hotel lobby approximately every 30 minutes from 6-10 pm. Board the shuttle early to allow you to arrive at least 15 minutes before your dinner reservation. Call (407) 503-DINE (3463) or visit the hotel concierge to make your reservation.

Transportation to SeaWorld and Aquatica

Universal’s on-site hotels provide complimentary scheduled shuttle transportation, called the Super Star Shuttle, to SeaWorld and Aquatica (SeaWorld’s water park). I have emphasized scheduled because it is very important to understand that the bus does not run continuously; rather, in general, it picks up and drops off once in the morning and once in the evening. Here is an example of the schedule:

Cabana Bay Beach Resort Superstar Shuttle scheduleSuperstar Shuttle schedule.

IMPORTANT: The Super Star Shuttle does not pick up Cabana Bay guests at Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Instead, guests need to first take the hotel shuttle to the general guest drop-off area near Universal’s parking garages, just as if they were going to the theme parks. At the drop-off area, guests will then need to find the Super Star Shuttle and take it from there to either SeaWorld or Aquatica. Be sure you include both legs of the trip when figuring out your timing.

Do you have a question about staying at Cabana Bay Beach Resort? We invite you to join our vacation planning community in our Universal Community Facebook group.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort shuttle – photo gallery

Cabana Bay Beach Resort shuttleCabana Bay Beach Resort shuttle service picking up at the hotel.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort shuttleCabana Bay Beach Resort shuttle service.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort shuttleCabana Bay Beach Resort shuttle service.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort shuttleCabana Bay Beach Resort shuttle service picking up at CityWalk.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort shuttleCabana Bay Beach Resort shuttle service picking up at CityWalk.

Cabana Bay Garden Walkway – video & photo highlights

Cabana Bay Beach Resort shuttleGarden Walkway from Cabana Bay to Universal CityWalk.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort shuttleGarden Walkway from Cabana Bay to Universal CityWalk.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort shuttleGarden Walkway from Cabana Bay to Universal CityWalk.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort shuttleGarden Walkway from Cabana Bay to Universal CityWalk.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort shuttleGarden Walkway from Cabana Bay to Universal CityWalk.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort shuttleGarden Walkway from Cabana Bay to Universal CityWalk.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort shuttleGarden Walkway from Cabana Bay to Universal CityWalk.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort shuttleGarden Walkway from Cabana Bay to Universal CityWalk (night).

Cabana Bay Garden Walkway – full photo gallery

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Cabana Bay Beach Resort: Splash back to the 1950s & 60s

 

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