Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort Review: What You Should Know – 3 Things We Loved

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Planning a vacation should be easy! Pick a location, and a hotel, and then take a much-needed vacation. That's not always the case for large families. If you're planning a vacation to Orlando, I've got you covered.

I'm sharing with you why Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort is one of the best vacation resorts in Orlando for large families.

3 Things We Loved About Staying At Cabana Bay Beach Resort

  1. We loved the space of the family suite. Scroll down to see everything included!
  2. The theming was amazing! We just needed to pack our poodle skirts.
  3. Early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

My family loved it so much, that the kids were begging to go back before we unpacked the van.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort Sign

Universal Orlando Resort Hotels

If you've ever tried planning a trip to Universal Studios Orlando, you understand my confusion when trying to figure out where to stay! As an avid visitor to Walt Disney World, I knew we wanted to stay at a Universal Resort but which one would fit our family of six?

Universal Studios Orlando Resort groups their onsite hotels into four categories:

  • Premier
  • Preferred
  • Prime Value
  • Value

Universal Studios Orlando Premier Resort Hotels

  • Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
  • Hard Rock Hotel
  • Loews Royal Pacific Resort

Universal Studios Orlando Preferred Resort Hotels

  • Loews Sapphire Falls Resort
  • Universal Studios Orlando Prime Value Resort Hotels
  • Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort
  • Universal's Aventura Hotel

Universal Studios Orlando Value Resort Hotels

Why do we choose to stay on-site when visiting Universal Orlando?

I love that each hotel offers free transportation to and from the Universal theme parks AND early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

It's worth it just for early park admission!

We haven't stayed in the Preferred or Premier resort hotels but it is important to note that the Premier hotels include free Universal Express Unlimited so you can skip the standard line at many attractions. 


Simplifying Family Travel Planner

Simplifying Family Travel Planner

Looking to make your family vacation a breeze? Then grab The Simplifying Family Travel Planner! This comprehensive 18-page guide will help you plan and execute a stress-free vacation. From itineraries and budget sheets to pet-sitting checklists and outfit planners, we’ve got you covered. Plus, our witty and friendly tone will keep you entertained throughout.


If you've ever wanted to walk inside of a 1950s-themed beach movie, you will love Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Maybe I'm the only one who dreamed of doing that while watching old movies with my parents. Driving up to the resort, we felt like we were driving back in time. The colors are fun with vibrant oranges and turquoise on a white backdrop. We walked through the sliding glass doors and we all audibly gasped. The lobby is stunning! 

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Check-in was a breeze, even on a Friday evening after the kids got out of school.

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While Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort is within a short bus ride to Universal Orlando, there is so much to do on resort property, you could totally stay and play all day. In fact, that's what my kids keep begging to do.

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Why is Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort One of The Best Vacation Resorts in Orlando for Large Families?

Easy! There is SPACE.

Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort Family Suite

Listed below is what you’ll find in your Family Suite at Cabana Bay Beach Resort:

  • 430-square feet of living space
  • 2 Queen beds
  • 1 Pull-out sofa bed
  • 2 Flat screen TVs
  • Kitchenette with sink
  • Coffee maker
  • Mini refrigerator
  • Small table and chairs
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Soap and Body Wash
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet – Free WiFi Service
  • Telephone with voicemail
  • In-Room Safe
  • Closet
  • Exterior or Interior Entry depending on view type

Did you know that most hotel rooms hold a maximum of five people? Yep. Five. We have six people in our immediate family. That one extra person makes it hard to find a place to stay together. Who knew, right?!

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Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort offers Family Suites that give guests 430-square-foot worth of space to sleep up to 6 with two queen beds in the sleeping area and a pull-out sofa in the living room section. Each suite also includes a sliding privacy partition. There is plenty of space for everyone to spread out and relax.

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As a family of six, one of my favorite features of the Family Suite was the compartmentalized bathroom. One person can go to the bathroom while another is at the main sink getting ready, and someone else can be in the shower.

It's as amazing as it sounds!

We also loved that each suite features a kitchenette with a mini-refrigerator, microwave, and sink. Not really enough to make a meal but perfect for having breakfast in the room and snacks.

You can choose either interior hallways or exterior entries.

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What Is There To Do At Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort?

There is something for everyone in your family. Whether you want to relax by one of the two massive pools, float along the Lazy River, play a game at the bowling alley, or relax in your room watching one of two flat-panel televisions with HD channels, there is something for everyone.

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Things to Do

  • Cabana Courtyard – Features a zero-entry pool with an iconic dive tower waterslide, interactive kids’ play area, cabanas for rent, and Atomic Tonic pool bar.
  • Lazy River Courtyard – Features a zero-entry pool, a lazy river with waterfalls and cannons for interactive fun, and The Hideaway Bar & Grill
  • Galaxy Bowl – Play a game or two at the hotel’s own 10-lane bowling alley (fees apply)
  • Jack LaLanne Physical Fitness Studio – Complimentary for hotel guests
  • Game-O-Rama – Enjoy old school classics and the latest high-tech games (fees apply)
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Places to Grab a Bite to Eat or Drink

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  • Bayliner Diner – This food court offers grab-and-go items from a variety of themed stations. There was even a section of gluten-free items that made my heart so happy to see! They also have refillable mugs that are great if you know you are going to spend the majority of your time at the resort.
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  • Galaxy Bowl Restaurant – Casual table service dining in an old-school bowling alley
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  • Atomic Tonic – A poolside bar and grill where a variety of specialty cocktails, beers, non-alcoholic beverages, sandwiches, salads, wraps, and Doner Kebabs are served alongside the Cabana Courtyard Pool Deck.
  • The Hideaway Bar & Grill – A Lazy River Courtyard stop for drinks, burgers and more
  • Swizzle Lounge – The lobby lounge features cocktails and made-to-order specialties
  • Starbucks® – Conveniently located in the lobby serving premium coffee, tea, and fresh food items
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  • Delizioso Pizza – Classic, home-style pizza delivered to your room or other hotel locations (available during limited hours)
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Cabana Bay Beach Resort Map

Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort Perks

Do you ever pick a place to stay because of the perks and add-ons? I absolutely do, and Universal Resort Hotels treats their guests like royalty. As a guest at Universal's Cabana Beach Resort, there are exclusive hotel guest benefits that include:

  • Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (perfect if you want pictures without a lot of people in them) and Universal’s Volcano Bay (which is within walking distance!).
  • Free shuttles so it’s always a quick hop between your room and the parks. I timed the drive and it was less than six minutes!
  • Resort-wide charging privileges with your room key.
  • Complimentary merchandise delivery to your hotel from Universal shops because you really don't want to carry your stuff with you all day.
  • Complimentary Universal CityWalk access to select venues for the length of stay.
  • Priority seating at select Universal Orlando restaurants.
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Our Favorite Things to Do At Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort

If I'm honest, I went into this thinking I would go crazy staying at Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort and would need to hit Universal Orlando Resort ASAP. Even on vacation, I have to be on the move. I was pleasantly surprised at all that there is to do at the resort!

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We spent time at both pools, played a few arcade games, and grabbed dinner both nights at Bayliner Diner. We even roasted marshmallows at the fire pit.

Yes, we visited Universal Orlando Resort so we could spend time in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but that's not what my kids keep talking about. They kept talking about swimming in the pools, eating together as a family, and cuddling up in the beds as we discussed adventures that day.

It was exactly the kind of staycation we needed together as a family.

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2 Comments

  1. I was very curious about Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort! Love that it’s like being in a 1950’s beach movie!

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