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Review: Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort In Orlando A Cool 60’s Throwback

Cabana Bay Beach Resort
Review: Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort In Orlando A Cool 60’s Throwback

Full disclosure: Monsters & Critics received free entry to the attractions mentioned in this article for review, as well as a free stay at the hotel. However, the opinions expressed are independent and our own.

Monsters and Critics was invited to Orlando to experience press days for Diagon Alley’s preview and red carpet. Diagon Alley is the expansion of Wizarding World of Harry Potter that officially opens July 8. This high-tech laced, live entertainment, shopping, dining, immersive experience is the closest thing there is to being transported to olde London town and that world of Potter.  Even the food at The Leaky Cauldron restaurant is a no miss, tuck into the Fishy Green Ale for a refreshing break.

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

I loved Diagon Alley’s realistic-looking fire-breathing dragon sitting atop Gringotts Bank at the end of Diagon Alley. Escape From Gringotts, part roller coaster, part motion simulator is one to experience when you go.  The dramatic feel of visiting an actual destination, a very real place, and not just entering a theme park ride is prevalent.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort

So how do you assault and delight the senses even more when you head to Orlando to change up the familiar? You have a lot of interesting hotel options awaiting you.

This time around we got to stay at the brand new Cabana Bay Beach Resort Hotel, straight out of the 1950s-1960s Americana and it was awesome going from this mid-century clean lined environment to the moody, cobblestoned and evocative Potter world of Diagon Alley.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort

The Grand Opening of the Cabana Bay Beach resort snagged The Beach Boys to kick off opening ceremonies.  The brand-new hotel features a total of 1,800 moderate and value priced rooms that evoke the classic, retro-feel of iconic beach resorts from the 1950s and 60s.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Super convenient, the property is located on-site at Universal Orlando Resort. Perfect for families, this new hotel is a destination within itself with bright colors and retro-inspired architecture and sweeping vistas that hearken the days of the road trip and wood paneled station wagon with dad at the steering wheel.

We loved the  6,000 square foot sand beach surrounding the 8,000 square foot zero-entry pool at the Lazy River Courtyard. There’s a dive tower waterslide that lands you into a 10,000 square foot zero-entry pool in the Cabana Courtyard…amazing fun.

Enjoy a leisurely float around Universal Orlando’s first Lazy River at an on-site hotel, with waterfalls and cannons for interactive fun. This is a mini water park in itself!

Cabana Bay Beach Resort

The food is terrific. The Lazy River Courtyard is where you can sit and savor a specialty retro cocktail, a freshly made smoothie and simple grill menu items from the rooftop deck at The Hideaway Bar & Grill, or you can go bowling at the 10-lane Galaxy Bowl.

There’s even a Jack LaLanne Physical Fitness Studio, but I was too busy all up in the Lazy River to be honest.  There’s another restaurant too, the Bayliner Diner food court.

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Rates for the standard guest rooms begin at $119 per night, and can run as low as $93 per-night depending on the length of stay. Rates for the family suites begin at $174 per-night, and can run as low as $134 per-night depending on the length of stay. Cabana Bay guests also get exclusive benefits only available to on-site hotel guests at Universal Orlando, including Early Park Admission one hour before the theme parks open.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort

The value-priced standard guest room features two super comfy queen size beds, a mini fridge, and a flat screen TV for a comfortable and affordable stay. The family suite is a great idea, and it sleeps up to six people and includes two queen size beds, a fold-out foam bed, kitchenette, a sliding partition for privacy, two flat-screen TVs and a bathroom with preparation spaces for three people at once – perfect for big groups traveling together.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort

“Our new hotel is a destination unto itself,” said Tom Williams, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Universal Parks and Resorts. “From the incredible retro design to the bowling alley to the lazy river and more – this hotel is the perfect complement to our other hotels.”

For more information call 1-888-273-1311 or visit www.universalorlando.com.

Kieran J. MacIntyre is a voracious music nerd of all genres, bass player and the music editor for M&C Music.

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