Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando Resort!
First off, huge thanks to Universal Studios and Cabana Bay Beach Resort for hosting us on our recent trip to Florida! This was my second time at Universal Studios, but not for over a decade, and Tom and Jayne’s first time!! So EXCITING! As my followers will know Tom managed to rupture his Achilles in February, which required surgery and meant we did this trip with him in a cast, on a knee scooter and ultimately renting a proper scooter and making use of the Accessibility Pass!
So, to the accommodation. The Cabana Bay Beach Resort is located right amongst all the fun, providing shuttle buses to the parks and is right next to the water park: Volcano Bay! The hotel has an amazing retro vibe, inspired by the classic Florida beach resorts of the 50s and 60s, even including a bowling alley and a selection of vintage cars on display for good measure!
When we arrived (around noon) we had to wait for the room so scouted out the food options and the pool. The Atomic Tonic was definitely the best value for money on site, so we grabbed a light lunch. The hotel has a great splash area for little ones. It is enclosed so no chance of them running off and we found it offered good shade. Jayne had a blast running around before I took her swimming in one of the main pools. The weather was great for most of the stay, so we generally found the pools to be quite busy but plenty of seating/towels!!
The room we had was great, nice and spacious, with a view of Volcano Bay. The room had 2 Queen beds and they provided a sizeable crib to put Jayne in. The layout of the property means for some rooms you have to walk/scooter quite far to your room, depending where you are located so if this could be a problem, be sure to make your request known.
The property also has a Starbucks which always seemed to have the longest queues, so if time is important then dive into the diner and get a to-go cup of coffee. The other pool has its own outdoor bar and grill called Hideaway and you can also get a pizza.
We were always aiming to be heading off to the parks nice and early to take advantage of the early admittance granted by staying at the hotel. The line for the early buses was never too bad and they drivers were extremely helpful in dealing with the scooter. Overall, our entire experience showed Universal to be very accommodating to disabilities. There were plenty of buses constantly running as well!
When you get to Universal Studios, the bus drops you at the entrance to Universal CityWalk. This area has so many food and drink options, including Voodoo Donuts and Toothsome Chocolate Emporium. The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium is amazing! Not only do they offer unbelievable dessert options and milkshakes, but the actual food on offer is really delicious. Our advice is head there for a late brunch/early lunch when it is less packed!
The parks themselves are great with lots of options for thrill seekers. The options for toddlers are more limited but definitely enough to have a packed day. The real highlights were the shows, especially the animal actors show, the ET ride, Woody Woodpecker and everything Dr. Seuss. Jayne even got to meet the Grinch and she went absolutely wild! The Shrek 4D adventure is great fun too, be sure to watch out by the exit for a chance to meet Shrek and Donkey!!
As huge Harry Potter fans it was amazing to see what they have done with the recreation of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley! The Gringots Dragon breathing fire over the street is a really cool feature. There are also shows throughout which provide great entertainment. One of the great highlights is the food and drink that we all know and love from the movies! Butter Beer is available, along with every flavored beans and chocolate frogs. Our other favorite themed food and drink from around the park was everything Simpsons, where you can grab a taco from Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck or stop into Moe’s Tavern.
As we were travelling with the scooter we picked up an accessibility pass at Guest Relations. It was very helpful. Generally, the idea is that it works as a virtual queue and they will say to come back after whatever wait time is showing on the screen, but for the most part the staff would find a spot to slot us onto the ride as soon as possible. The other benefit was front row seats to shows!! I’m not saying Tom will aim to rupture his Achilles before our next Universal trip, but it did have some benefits!
Overall, Cabana Bay Beach Resort is a good option for anyone visiting Universal Studios. It is definitely budget friendly and enables you to make the most of the parks, while providing a fun place to return to for some lunch, a swim, and to sleep!
*This post is sponsored by Universal Orlando Studios & Universal Orlando Hotels, but all opinions are my own!