For my husbands 40th we stayed at a Universal Orlando Resort Hotel and it was amazing! We didn't even use the parks that trip just enjoyed Universal CityWalk and the resort itself. I had known about the amazing perks you get at the parks when you stay at a Universal Orlando Resort Hotel and couldn't wait to experience them!
We stayed at Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort. I had seen this hotel before while perusing hotels and always thought it looked so amazing! Well, I was right! The resort takes you back in time to the iconic beach resorts of the 1950's! Every single detail is so well played out you can't help but smile as you walk around! The feeling of good old fashion family fun is everywhere!!
As soon as we arrived on that Friday the girls were greeted by some of their favorite characters in the hotel lobby. This happens every Friday between 4pm-7pm! What a fun way to start our weekend!! The lobby is incredible with huge palm trees and a retro themed bar the "Swizzle Lounge".
Our building was called "Castaway" and each building displays it's name in huge letters above it making navigating around the resort super easy. Just by walking around the grounds to our room and seeing all the detail in the theme I knew the suite was going to be amazing! They offer rooms and suites so that you can accomodate your family comfortably. We stayed in the "Family Suite' which was quite large at 430 sq ft with a living area, kitchenette, bedroom and compartmentalized bathroom. I loved how they set up the design of the room and really made it a thought out plan for families.
After check in the girls immediately wanted to head down to the pools and the lazy river! YES! This momma loves a good lazy river. While the girls are I drifted down the river we sent Elton over to the poolside "Hideaway Bar and Grill" for drinks and to order some dinner. I saw fish tacos on the menu so you can guess what I ordered! After some more relaxing at the pool we headed back to explore more of the hotel. By explore I mean the girls read there was an arcade and they were determined to stay up and play! The resort not only has "Game-O-Rama" the arcade but also a 10 lane bowling alley called "Galaxy Bowl" with big screen TV's and even a restaurant. How awesome is that?!
One of the coolest benefits of staying at a Universal Orlando Resort Hotel is getting into the parks with early admission! We took full advantage of that! On Saturday morning we woke up and had breakfast at the "Bayliner Diner'" which is a massive food court with so many options and plenty of seating. Then we headed out bright and early to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The resort offers free shuttles to and from the parks. They run one hour before the parks open all the way until 2a.m. We didn't even have to wait for a shuttle once...I kid you not. The shuttles were there waiting throughout our entire trip!
The Universal Orlando Resort theme parks are amazing! They have three. Universal Studios Florida, Universal's Islands of Adventure and Universal's Volcano Bay. Universal Studios Florida is where The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is in case you were wondering. It also is where we spent most of our day. There is so much for families to see and ride. My girls are 6 and 8 and we rode probably 90% of the attractions! It was such a fun day and we ended it by taking the Hogwarts Express over to Universal's Islands of Adventure. We rode a few more rides here (Water rides to cool off!) then walked directly into Universal CityWalk for dinner. Afterward we hopped back on the shuttle and straight to Cabana Bay!
Our second night we were exhausted from spending the whole day at the parks but we all changed into our swim suits and went down to the one of the resort pools. I soaked in the hot tub for a bit while the girls and Elton played in the large "Cabana Courtyard" pool. The hotel grounds are honestly even more beautiful at night with all the lights! It was the perfect way to end the day!
Sunday morning we woke up early again and headed back to the Bayliner Diner for breakfast. An amazing part of staying at Cabana Bay Beach Resort is to get over to Universal's Volcano Bay guests have their own walking path! (You also get to bring your pool towels) Plus early admission again!! We arrived at the park within minutes... the park is right next door!! I can't even tell you how amazing it was to have the whole park basically to ourselves that first hour! Universals Volcano Bay is amazing!! We got lounge chairs right in the front row and started exploring. There is so much for the whole family! Waterslides, lazy river, the famous Volcano! Even if your kiddos are younger (or just too young for the large slides) there is an entire kids play area. My girls loved it!! Lots of smaller water slides and splash areas and just a bunch of water FUN! We had the best day playing as a family! We grabbed a late lunch at one of the restaurants inside the park before changing and heading back home.
I couldn't of even imagined all the fun we ended up having! Every single aspect of this trip was beyond all my expectations. All four of us had the very best time. There is so much to do and see at Universal Orlando Resort. I hope that we eventually see all the Universal Orlando Resort Hotels because they all seem to be amazing! I know for sure that we will be back at Cabana Bay Beach Resort not only because of the early park benefits but because of the whole experience! From the design of the rooms, the beautiful pools and amenities to the convenience to the parks! It has it all!!!
*Thank you to Universal Orlando Resort and Loews Hotels for sponsoring this blog post*