Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

We are back from our first ever stay at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort! Let’s go on a tour!


Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is a retro themed resort on Universal property. We stayed in a standard room, but the resort features family suites with kitchenettes as well. (We’ll talk about our room in a separate blog post.) Nicely themed pools, one with a lazy river, and an onsite bowling alley are the main features. Complimentary shuttle buses to the parks are included (or you can chose to walk and be greeted by an extremely short security line in Universal CityWalk if you do!) along with early park admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This resort does not include Express Pass. You can purchase it separately, however.

We stayed in the Americana building, very close to Universal’s Volcano Bay water park, which made for a long walk at the end of the night. We still chose to walk over taking a Universal bus because of the convenience of entering through CityWalk (instead of the parking garage area) and the short security line, as I mentioned above.

I really enjoyed the ambiance of the resort. It was definitely less hectic than many of the Disney resorts. Gary saw that as a negative though – he felt the resort didn’t have much life to it. Universal in general just has a different vibe from Disney.

This is the lobby of the resort. Check-in was smooth. We did get a little confused with the parking situation however. There is a small garage along with parking closer to the rooms. You must swipe your room key to get in and out of the parking area (and yes, there is a parking fee charged when you check-out) but our card never worked. And if you dare miss the right-hand turn when you first enter Cabana Bay, it’s back on to I-4 you go.

But, as a bonus, I was gifted a free drink coupon to use at the resort since it was my birthday a few days before. This was good at any of the bars and also the Starbucks. I’m not a coffee drinker so you know where I headed.

We stopped at the pool bar nearest the main lobby, Atomic Tonic. And since we were there during Halloween Horror Nights, there were drink specials we just had to get. Both were great!

Back inside, in the gift shop you can purchase resort specific merchandise.

And, as mentioned in the video, you can go bowling here during your stay.

We did a quick dip in the pool that was nearest our room, the one with the lazy river. We didn’t use the lazy river, but here is my attempt at a photo of it.

And also mentioned in the video is the Jack Lalanne Physical Fitness Studio, near Galaxy Bowl.

I thought this gym looked pretty great. If we had a more relaxing stay we would have definitely spent a little time here. Since our trip to Cabana Bay Beach Resort was a whirlwind 2-night stay for Halloween Horror Nights, and our feet were killing us from all the walking, we skipped it. And if you’re especially a big fan of Jack LaLanne, you can actually buy Jack LaLanne merchandise in the gift shop as well.

This was actually our first time on Universal property and overall we enjoyed our stay here. Next time I think we’ll try deluxe (we’ve talked about the Hard Rock Hotel). 😀

(Stay tuned for a tour of our room at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort.)

November 15, 2018

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