Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach resort is a retro themed moderate resort at Universal Orlando. It offers on-site amenities, family suites and early entry to the theme parks. Read on for our Cabana Bay Beach resort family suite room review and resort tour.
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We have stayed many times in the last few years at the Cabana Bay Beach resort family suites because they fit our family of five and are close to the Universal theme parks.
The minute you pull into the resort you are transported to a different era. Vintage cars line the front entrance and the retro vibe is felt immediately.
Cabana Bay Beach Resort opened in 2014 as a value resort for guests visiting the Universal Orlando theme parks. 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.
With the addition of the Endless Summer value resorts Cabana Bay has been added to the Prime Value resort category. It still offers a lot of value to guests staying because of the on-site perks.
As a family of five it can be difficult finding rooms that fit us and are budget friendly, especially at the theme parks. The family suites at Cabana Bay Beach resort fit our family and help us stay within a budget at Universal.
We love visiting Universal’s two main theme parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, and staying on-site is our favorite way to enjoy the parks.
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As you walk into the bright lobby guests have two main areas for accommodations. They are the towers and the courtyards. Family suites can be found in both areas of the resort.
What is the difference between the Towers and the Courtyards at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort?
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. The 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. Read our Volcano Bay tips to help plan your visit.
A few questions to ask yourself:
- Do you want to be close to Water Slide and Splash Pad or Lazy River?
- Do you want to be inside or are you okay with the motel style?
- Are you trying to stay within a specific budget?
- Will you be visiting Volcano Bay?
Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort Family Suite Tour
The Cabana Bay Beach resort family suites are located in the towers and the courtyard areas of the resort. When making your reservation you can request where you would like to be.
The room has two queen beds, a pull-out sofa, mini-fridge, coffee maker, and one bathroom. There are two T.V.s and a partition wall to the main sleeping area and the sitting area(with the pull-out sofa).
We have stayed at the resort for a week and it has been a good fit for our family of five. As the kids have gotten 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.
If you are looking for more space you may want to consider the family suites at Endless Summer Surfside and Endless Summer Dockside. They offer 2 bedroom suites and cost less than Cabana Bay. As our kids are getting older the space is appreciated.
Where are the Family Suites at Cabana Bay located?
The family suites at Cabana Bay are located in the towers and the courtyards. There are pros and cons to each. If you plan to walk to the theme parks you are closer to the walking path at the courtyards. If you plan to spend you days at the lazy river the towers are closer.
Guests staying at the towers do not have to go outside once arriving at the lobby to reach their room. Guests staying at the courtyard will have to go outside to reach their rooms.
Can you get adjoining rooms at Cabana Bay Beach Resort?
Yes you can get adjoining rooms at Cabana Bay Beach resort family suites.
Are Universal tickets included in your stay at Cabana Bay Beach Resort?
No, tickets are not included in your stay at Cabana Bay. Check the latest ticket prices from our partner Undercover Tourist.
Can you walk to Universal from Cabana Bay?
Yes! On our most recent visit we didn’t use the bus transportation at all. We walked to and from the parks. 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. It really depends on how much walking you are willing to do and the people you are with.
I will say our feet were tired once we got to the room.
If you don’t mind walking or your kids are older it can save you a little 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.
Cost of Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando Resort
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. Check out Cabana Bay prices here.
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- $325.00 a night. If you are visiting during the holidays and school breaks you will pay more than during low season.
Universal allows offers discounts for longer stays so be sure to check their website and then compare prices to Undercover Tourist to find the best deal.
These prices can change and we also used our Annual Pass discounts. We live out of state but having an annual pass saves us a lot on hotel stays. Read: Why I Think an Annual Pass is Worth It
Cabana Bay Beach Resort On-Site Perks
Early entry at Cabana Bay Beach resort is a great perk of staying on-site. It is also nice to be able to walk from the resort to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and CityWalk. Although the walk is long and can be tough with little ones. We did it on our most recent trip and it took about 15-20 minutes.
Guests staying at Cabana Bay Beach resort have walking access to Volcano Bay. This is a huge perk if you are planning on visiting Volcano Bay.
Express Pass is not included in your stay at Cabana Bay. Express Pass is a paid add-on to your daily admission that allows guests to skip the lines. Guests staying at a premier resort have express pass included with their stay. Check out our stay at Hard Rock Hotel for more information and to see if it is worth it.
Guests not wanting to walk to the parks can take the resort provided bus transportation to the theme parks. We have used the buses and have had no issues. There are usually multiple buses running continuously.
At times during your stay guests can meet characters in the lobby of Cabana Bay. This is always a hit for the kids and the lines are shorter than meeting the characters at the parks. Upon check-in you can learn which characters will be there and the times.
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.
Cabana Bay Beach Resort Pools
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.
Cabana Bay Beach Resort Dining
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.
Read This: Top 16 Best Restaurants at Universal Orlando Resort
Amenities at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort
- Galaxy Bowling Alley
- Game-O-Rama (Arcade)
- Jack Lalanne Physical Fitness Studio
- Private Cabanas (For Rent)
- Poolside Activities- pool tables, hula hoops, ping pong, + more
- Dive-In Movies
- All activities can change. You will receive the resort schedule at check-in.
Holidays at Cabana Bay Beach Resort
For 2022 Universal has included a Halloween themed photo op for guests at the resort. The Universal’s Gallery Monsters of Legends is included with your stay.
My favorite time to visit Cabana Bay is during the Christmas Holidays at Universal. It is decorated so beautifully and puts you in the holiday spirit.
@fivefortheroad Holidays at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort #cabanabaybeachresort #universalorlando #universalorlandoresort #holidaydecor ♬ The Assignment – Tay Money
Is Cabana Bay Worth it for Families
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.
I think the value in comparison to the price is fantastic. You are getting a family suite, with 2 amazing pools, on-site activities, and within walking distance to the parks for a moderate price.
On our most recent stay we did find the value resorts to offer more space for our family. When you are planning your trip you should definitely consider how much time you will be at the resort and what your vacation needs are.
The value resorts do not have the amenities that Cabana Bay Beach resort has. We loved the vibe of Cabana Bay and would stay there again. I would even consider booking two standard rooms for the space we are looking for without sacrificing the on-site pools and amenities.
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