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Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort: Complete guide

Welcome to Orlando Informer’s coverage of Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, one of the two (eventual) prime value hotels at Universal Orlando Resort (the second prime value property, Aventura Hotel, opens in August).

Cabana Bay holds a special place in Universal Orlando history: for over a decade, the resort was home only to three deluxe hotels (Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, and Royal Pacific Resort). This changed with Cabana’s 2014 grand opening; now, 1,800 moderate- and value-priced rooms were added to the mix, all served up in a vintage look that was pulled right from the blockbuster TV show Mad Men (with a dash of Old Florida thrown in for good measure).

The undertaking proved to be so successful, Universal expanded the venue in 2017 (to coincide with the grand opening of the Volcano Bay water theme park), adding on two new towers that contain 200 additional rooms apiece. At a new total of 2,200 rooms, it dwarfs its closest Universal competitors, Royal Pacific and Sapphire Falls Resort, which each brandish 1,000 rooms (and Cabana Bay still sells out during specific times of the year!).

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach ResortCabana Bay Beach Resort’s drop-off area

Cabana Bay Beach Resort – general information

Splash back to the 1950s and ’60s for endless family fun at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. From the moment you arrive, you will be taken back to the iconic beach resorts of the era. With a hip, vintage look, the resort offers 2,200 on-site rooms – including 900 family suites, 20 two-bedroom family suites, and 1,280 standard guest rooms – adding high-quality, high-value options for families that want an affordable on-site experience.

  • Address: 6550 Adventure Way, Orlando, FL 32819.
  • Phone: 407-503-4000; Fax: 407-503-4010
  • Official Loews website
  • Official Universal Orlando website
  • View the hotel using the OI custom-made Google map
  • 2,200 rooms
    • 315 courtyard family suites (North Courtyard)
    • 285 courtyard family suites poolside (North Courtyard)
    • 184 tower family suites (South Courtyard)
    • 116 tower family suites poolside (South Courtyard)
    • 915 standard rooms (South Courtyard and 2017 expansion)
    • 365 standard rooms poolside (South Courtyard)
    • 20 two-bedroom suites (2017 expansion towers)
    • 70% of rooms are connecting
  • North Courtyard opened on March 31, 2014; South Courtyard, June 16, 2014; 2017 expansion towers, May 26, 2017
  • Standard rooms are 300 square feet; family suites, 478 square feet; two-bedroom suites, 772 square feet
  • Standard rooms sleep up to four guests; family suites, up to six guests; two-bedroom suites, up to eight guests. No rollaways are available
  • Prices for standard rooms range between $144 and $239 per night.
  • Guest rooms feature a bold design, period colors, and a neon and retro feel
  • No club level or concierge lounge
  • Free hotel-wide wifi for registered guests
  • Recreation:
    • Galaxy Bowl: a 10-lane bowling alley and full-service restaurant, offering everything needed for a boisterous bowling experience for both children and adults. Features include food and beverage options (soda, beer, wine, hot dogs, churros) and music and video screens. Bowling is $16 per adult ($12 for children, ages 10 and under) plus $4 for shoe rental, and if you have one to three people, that price gets you one hour of lane time. If you have four to eight people, that price gets you one-and-a-half hours of lane time
    • North Courtyard: 10,000-square-foot pool featuring zero entry, a sand beach, iconic dive-tower water feature, and 100-foot water slide
    • South Courtyard: 6,000-square-foot pool featuring zero entry, a sand beach, and Universal’s first lazy river
    • Poolside activities: hula hoop contests, dive-in movies, ping pong, pool tables, and more
    • Universal Orlando Resort Store: offering sundries, guest necessities, newspapers, magazines, etc., as well as Universal and Cabana Bay Beach Resort logo merchandise
    • Jack LaLanne Physical Fitness Studio: offering cardiovascular equipment, an open area with mats, medicine balls, Bosu Balls, rubber dumbbells, and locker rooms
    • Game-O-Rama game room
  • Dining options
    • Bayliner Diner food court: guests can dine-in or “grab and go” at the 600-seat food court that features a variety of food stations, including burgers and milkshakes, pizza and pasta, a bakery, sandwiches, and more
    • Galaxy Bowl: as previously mentioned, Galaxy Bowl also offers a limited-seating, full-service dining option. The menu includes appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, pizza, and hot dogs
    • Additional options: Starbucks coffee shop and lobby and pool bars, which offer signature frozen drinks and smoothies. In addition, guests can have pizza delivered right to their rooms

Cabana Bay Beach Resort concept artCabana Bay Beach Resort concept art

Cabana Bay Beach ResortCabana Bay Beach Resort

Vacation planning for Cabana Bay Beach Resort

We have plenty to discuss about Cabana Bay in all of our pages, but, initially, we want to cover a few key points.

Staying at Cabana Bay will help save your family money versus Universal’s premiere and preferred on-site hotels – especially if you have six people in your party and can now occupy one family suite instead of two standard rooms – but there are trade-offs. First, and perhaps most importantly, guests staying on-site at Cabana Bay will not receive unlimited Express Pass access. This is widely regarded as the single best benefit of staying at Portofino Bay, Hard Rock, or Royal Pacific (not to mention that complimentary Express Passes hold a value of up to $170 per person, per day compared to buying them separately).

Second, Cabana Bay is not connected to Universal via the waterway. This means guests at Cabana Bay will not have the option of using the water taxis to get to and from the theme parks. Instead, guests will have the option of (a) using shuttle buses or (b) walking. We estimate it takes 20 to 30 minutes to walk from Cabana Bay to CityWalk and the theme parks, depending on exactly where your room is located on the Cabana property. As a visual aid, open our interactive map and use the legend to find the walking path from the hotel to the parks. (To learn more, visit our Cabana Bay: Distance from the parks page.)

Third, guests staying at Cabana Bay Beach Resort don’t receive the benefit of priority seating at the full-service restaurants inside Universal’s theme parks or at CityWalk.

Finally, Cabana Bay doesn’t allow pets.

These are the four drawbacks. The advantages to staying at Cabana Bay Beach Resort start with its next-door proximity to Volcano Bay, the new water theme park, which allows guests the ability to simply walk right over to hop on all the magnificent water slides; all other guests at all the other hotels have to take a bus to Universal Orlando’s newest addition. (Also, Cabana’s two new towers feature some rooms that directly overlook Volcano Bay in all of its glory, making for some truly spectacular views, especially at night.) This may not seem like much at first, but trust us when we say that it’s actually a considerable benefit.

As always, there are all the other perks for staying at any of the other on-site hotels:

  • Early Park Admission
  • Complimentary package delivery to your room
  • Resort-wide charging privileges with your room key
  • Complimentary scheduled transportation to SeaWorld and Aquatica
  • Access to the other amenities at Universal’s other on-site hotels, including the pool areas (this may change, so please verify when you make your reservation)

And, of course, guests staying at Cabana Bay will have the opportunity to relax at what is arguably Universal’s most fun resort!

Oh, are you wondering about parking? Yes, Cabana guests will have to deal with the biggest complaint about all of Universal’s on-site hotels: the per-night self-parking fee. Here, it costs overnight guests $12 per night to park a car (paid at time of check-in). For daytime guests, parking is $8 for up to 30 minutes and $20 up to 24 hours.

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

Cabana Bay Beach Resort – HD video

Universal Orlando’s on-site hotels – seasonal rates

Compare these numbers with our crowd level predictions to find the best time to stay on-site:

Universal Orlando Resort on-site hotels 2018 rack rates

Universal Orlando’s on-site hotels – cancellation policy

Since all five on-site hotels are operated by Loews, they all feature the same cancellation policy: if you cancel your reservation six or more days in advance, you will receive a full refund. If it’s anything fewer than five days beforehand, however, you will be charged one night’s room rate, plus tax.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort – map

Click any marker to display the attraction or venue name. To scroll or zoom, use the controls on the top-left of the map. You may also switch to different map views by using the buttons on the top-right of the map.

View OI’s Universal on-site hotel map.

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