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View Full Version : Did you feel your Cabana Rental was worth the $$$? Reviews please!


chimo2u
07-03-2012, 02:34 PM
Well, despite the $248 price tag, I gave in and booked a Cabana today for our Oct 1, 2012 DC day. My 2 boys (20/16) and myself, and my BFF will be enjoying a beautiful day at DC and since my BFF is not a strong swimmer, I thought it best that she have a place she can relax and enjoy if she got tired. I heard that there aren't a lot of shady spots, so having a home base will be a good thing I think! I am having the buoy brought to her as a keepsake gift of our trip, the whole Dolphin swim/DC day is my surprise to her and this will give her a momento of the day. Also she just became a grandma, in Feb, and her grandson will be 8 moths old, so he'll be a good recipient of the Dolphin Plush :)

Those who've rented the Cabanas......they are pricey, have you felt you got your use out of them??? and was it a good purchase for the day???

Can't wait to try the new experiences at DC, we haven't been since 2009, so we have yet to see the new Grand Reef, and the Fresh Oasis area, as well, my 16yo isn't doing a dolphin swim this time, but he's eager to try Sea Venture!

Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina
07-03-2012, 02:50 PM
We go on August 29th......so I will be happy to report back after our visit!

If you can find a post by saintstickets (he has posted replies to a few threads in this section), he has a link to his trip report in his signature. He has some good info about the DC cabanas around page 6 or 7 of his TR, complete with photos of the package inclusions too :thumbsup2 .

chimo2u
07-04-2012, 11:01 PM
We go on August 29th......so I will be happy to report back after our visit!

If you can find a post by saintstickets (he has posted replies to a few threads in this section), he has a link to his trip report in his signature. He has some good info about the DC cabanas around page 6 or 7 of his TR, complete with photos of the package inclusions too :thumbsup2 .

Thanks Gina! Look forward to your thoughts. I am wondering where the best spot for the Cabana would be, right now I have a request ( I know not guaranteed ;) ) in for by the dolphin pool. I wonder also if those ones have the fans, being that they are older than the grand reef ones? Hoping this is a good use of $250 ....being that my BFF isn't a strong swimmer though, I re thought my earlier decision to not get one, and figure it might be best for us after all! :thumbsup2 decisions, decisions, :upsidedow

bas71873
07-05-2012, 08:22 AM
We go August 17 so I can report back too. We booked a premium package cabana!

anierodzik
07-05-2012, 08:25 AM
We went to Discovery Cove on Memorial Day weekend, and had the cabana with the celebration package. LOVED it. When we arrived at the park, after checkin, we had our breakfast, then we were escorted to our cabana at the Grand Reef. First perk was we got our wetsuits/vests from an area that was not "open" yet to the general public, so we walked right up. At our cabana, of course, there was a full fridge and a locker, and also ample towels. A table and two loungers. I can't remember if there was a fan, but if there wasn't, we did not miss having one. When our attendant came by to introduce herself, we requested a different soft drink, which was in the fridge the next time we came by.

We loved having a home base. My kids were 10, 9, and 7. We did everything together as a family (first snorkel in grand reef, aviary, dolphin swim, lunch, lazy river), until the afternoon, which is when we really made use of the cabana. We spent the last part of the day snorkeling in the Grand Reef, and since we were literally on the beach, we could come and go individually.

http://i1073.photobucket.com/albums/w391/anierodzik/DSCN0700.jpg

Enjoy your trip! I'm working on a trip report about our trip to the area, but Discovery Cove is the last place we visited, so I am not there yet (I am currently up to our 3rd day).


http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2951020

cinderellamom123
07-05-2012, 10:28 AM
we go 8/5 and have been wavering on the whole cabana rental thing. I think it would be awesome but I can't see us spending that much time in it. We are a family of 4 DH, me, and twin10 year old daughters. We are pretty active so that is one negative. The other thing that concerned me were the summer thunderstorms. I would be so mad if we had a storm and had to evacuate our $250 cabana due to lightening. So for now I am holding off. I do agree, they are very nice. Wondering if DC would give you some type of compensation if they make you evacuate.

Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina
07-05-2012, 12:13 PM
we go 8/5 and have been wavering on the whole cabana rental thing. I think it would be awesome but I can't see us spending that much time in it. We are a family of 4 DH, me, and twin10 year old daughters. We are pretty active so that is one negative. The other thing that concerned me were the summer thunderstorms. I would be so mad if we had a storm and had to evacuate our $250 cabana due to lightening. So for now I am holding off. I do agree, they are very nice. Wondering if DC would give you some type of compensation if they make you evacuate.

I am guessing that they wouldn't compensate you if the evacuation was temporary. For a whole day....they would probably offer to rebook your family for another date. For a portion of the afternoon, I would guess you would be out of luck.

We, too, are worried about the afternoon rains, and that's was a huge factor in our decision to book a cabana. We wanted somewhere to hang out and stay dry if the skies really opened up (fingers crossed no thunderstorms though!!). We also wanted somewhere to get out of the blazing sun if there's not a cloud in the sky and the temps are in the high 90's ('cause hey, you never know!!). We figured the cabana would work well in both situations. Then to have a nice private place to come back to for a snack or lunch....oh, it sounds heavenly :littleangel: . We basically wanted a "home base" that was all ours....no worries then about someone moving your stuff off a chair so they can relax because they think you might not be returning.

We are also very active (we seemed to hardly sit down on our January 1st visit), and wondered if we'd be in the cabana enough to justify the cost, but I think on a hot and humid day, ANY opportunity to kick back and relax in our own private area will be priceless. Having our own private locker, drinks restocked at our request, snacks right in the cabana, all the extra inclusions with the Premium Package (the t-shirt, backpack, photo frame, underwater camera, etc.).......all those little extras just help make it even more special.

Good luck deciding, either way. :)

BigDaddyShoo
07-05-2012, 05:02 PM
My thoughts from our visit last Saturday, 6/30/12:

We also did the celebration package and our attendant, Todd, said that the cabanas right on the Grand Reef are typically reserved for those celebration packages. The cabanas in this area were all great. You are literally 10 feet away from the less-used shallow area of the Grand Reef. I think this was the best thing about them. My 9YO is pretty active and wanted me to do everything with him, but I still felt I used the private space enough through the day.

Our attendant brought us a basket of various snacks we munched on throughout the day and left us a new set of Pina Coladas in the fridge each time we got back.

My kids, 9 & 6, absolutely LOVED when a dolphin, Thelma, brought them the souvenir buoy.

The only drawback to the cabanas with the direct Grand Reef access, in my opinion, was that it seemed like a hike to get to the restaurant for lunch. I would have liked to bring the food back to the cabana, but walking back such a distance with a full tray wasn't going to happen on a 95 degree summer day.

This was our first time at DC, and when we're in Orlando again, I would ABSOLUTELY not hesitate to do another day there and get another cabana.

Treelight
07-17-2012, 12:37 PM
BigDaddyShoo-did you find that the cabanas on the Grand Reef were private enough? In some youtube videos, they seem very close to each other? Our family will really appreciate a VERY private cabana as we tend to stick to ourselves and really enjoy our vacation time together as a family. Also, I have seen some videos and pics from others that show a private entrance toward the cabana area with a sign stating "Reserved for...last name of party", my DH would absolutely love that. Did the cabanas on the Grand Reef have this?

Jenny3
07-17-2012, 07:17 PM
So glad to hear you enjoyed your cabana so much, BigDaddy! I am seriously considering this for my husband and I for our trip in November. Did you happen to notice which cabanas were the most private? I looked at the map and saw a few that seemed tucked away, but wasn't sure how secluded they really were.

Can you also share what the extras in your package were like? (t-shirt, plush, underwater camera, etc)

Cdnmom2001
07-18-2012, 11:53 AM
We went to DC on May 9th, 2012. We did not book the cabana and I am glad we did not spend the extra money. We had breakfast, found probably 98% of the chairs open after breakfast. We went and found the locker/wetsuits/vests and got ones for our whole family. We changed and then used our locker. We then went back to the chair and we had an umbrella with our chair and put the few things down that we wanted to keep out for the day and hit the lazy river and I can tell you I didn't expect the lazy river to be a big as it was and or as time consuming as it was. We loved it so but it was more than we expected. We then got out of the lazy river went back to our seat for probably 3 minutes went to the snack bar for a drink/slushie and then went for our dolphin encounter. Did that , picked our pictures and then it was pretty much lunch time. During lunch the skies opened and dumped down hard for about 1/2 hour and then we were allowed back out and we hit the grand reef, the lazy river again and walked the grounds. By the end of all this time it was almost 4pm and they were talking of more bad weather possibly coming in and life guards to be on the watchout. So we showered, picked up our pictures, hit the gift store and left the grounds for 5pm. We maybe sat at our seats for 10 minutes all, at most! The only time I could have seen a cabana being worth it was during the rain but there was thunder and lightening and from what I understand you are not allowed to stay in them at that point. Remember this is just how our day went, yours maybe different!

chimo2u
07-18-2012, 11:28 PM
thanks so much for your review! you now have me rethinking my plan for a cabana! Presently I have a premium pkg booked, but at $250 it's a fair chunk of money! I chose to book one for the fact that my BFF whose coming with me isn't a strong swimmer. I don't know how much time she will want to be in the water. Also, we ate going on Oct 1, which is still fairly hot temps in Orlando. If it was my DH , myself and the boys (16/20) we'd probably not do it because we are in the water a lot....but with my BFF I thought it might be good for her to have a spot to relax if she tires of the water. I have until 30 days out to cancel, so we will wait and see. I love DC, it's a beautiful oasis :)

brinkley07
07-19-2012, 03:13 PM
We have been twice and had a cabana both times. It was worth every penny to have a quiet space in the shade for some down time. We were very active while we were there, but still used the cabana a good deal of the time. To give you and idea we did dolphin swims, SeaVenture, swimming in the Great Reef, breakfast, lunch, the river, the aviary, and still found time for the cabana. Ours was around the dolphin lagoon and I loved being able to sit and watch them for a bit. Plus the staff was wonderful consistently checking in when you are in the cabana and happy to get anything you may need. Also having our own refrigerator of cold beverages was nice. We have been in the park with weather issues, but they rarely close the park. I have seen them clear people out of the water for a short period of time, but they were back in within half an hour. The staff has weather monitoring equipment that they are on top of (which I know from having had our wedding at the park in 2010), and they only remove people when they have to for safety. The rain we had was a welcome refresher even with all the swimming we were doing. Definitely go with a cabana you'll love having one.

chimo2u
07-20-2012, 02:00 PM
We have been twice and had a cabana both times. It was worth every penny to have a quiet space in the shade for some down time. We were very active while we were there, but still used the cabana a good deal of the time. To give you and idea we did dolphin swims, SeaVenture, swimming in the Great Reef, breakfast, lunch, the river, the aviary, and still found time for the cabana. Ours was around the dolphin lagoon and I loved being able to sit and watch them for a bit. Plus the staff was wonderful consistently checking in when you are in the cabana and happy to get anything you may need. Also having our own refrigerator of cold beverages was nice. We have been in the park with weather issues, but they rarely close the park. I have seen them clear people out of the water for a short period of time, but they were back in within half an hour. The staff has weather monitoring equipment that they are on top of (which I know from having had our wedding at the park in 2010), and they only remove people when they have to for safety. The rain we had was a welcome refresher even with all the swimming we were doing. Definitely go with a cabana you'll love having one.

Thanks Brinkley :) I think we will keep the cabana....it's paid and rented now, after all :thumbsup2

bas71873
07-21-2012, 08:52 AM
Do you tip your cabana attendant? I'm 3 weeks out and staring my list of everything I need and cash I need to have handy.

Jenny3
07-21-2012, 08:59 AM
Do you tip your cabana attendant? I'm 3 weeks out and staring my list of everything I need and cash I need to have handy.

I asked DC that and she said it's up to you. I am planning on bringing tip money for my cabana boy ;)

saintstickets
07-21-2012, 02:40 PM
Well, despite the $248 price tag, I gave in and booked a Cabana today for our Oct 1, 2012 DC day. My 2 boys (20/16) and myself, and my BFF will be enjoying a beautiful day at DC and since my BFF is not a strong swimmer, I thought it best that she have a place she can relax and enjoy if she got tired. I heard that there aren't a lot of shady spots, so having a home base will be a good thing I think! I am having the buoy brought to her as a keepsake gift of our trip, the whole Dolphin swim/DC day is my surprise to her and this will give her a momento of the day. Also she just became a grandma, in Feb, and her grandson will be 8 moths old, so he'll be a good recipient of the Dolphin Plush :)

Those who've rented the Cabanas......they are pricey, have you felt you got your use out of them??? and was it a good purchase for the day???

Can't wait to try the new experiences at DC, we haven't been since 2009, so we have yet to see the new Grand Reef, and the Fresh Oasis area, as well, my 16yo isn't doing a dolphin swim this time, but he's eager to try Sea Venture!

We just returned from DC in May2012. Words cannot express how much we enjoyed our stay. We decided on splurging this day and rented a cabana. For us, it was well worth the extra $'s. It was a great place to take a few minutes to relax before going out into the sun again. It was very convenient to have a place to refresh your suntan lotion or grab a snack/drink. The DC attendant kept us supplied in fresh towels, lotion, snacks and drinks. There are no places with shade at DC except at the restaurant so the cabana was perfect. If you want to see pics of our cabana and time at DC, it starts here at post #80 in our TR
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2939811&page=6

or you can start at the beginning of the TR here
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2939811

pixeegrl
07-21-2012, 02:44 PM
There's no shade umbrellas there at all???? That's crazy. We are going towards the end of August and am sure it will be hot hot hot. We are not doing the dolphin swim but can I still rent a cabana???

anonymouscactus
07-21-2012, 09:14 PM
There's no shade umbrellas there at all???? That's crazy.

There are umbrellas in every area. Not all seats have them, but you shouldn't have an issue finding a place to lay in some shade. Here is an arial shot I found online by the dolphin lagoon to give you an idea of the seat / umbrella ratio.

http://www.thethemeparkguy.com/park/discovery-cove/discovery-cove-dolphin-pools-big.jpg

My favorite spot to set up shop is by the conservation cabana.... very little foot traffic since almost everyone walks on the path behind this area, you can overhear the live music from the dining area (and only a short walk to food whenever you get hungry!), and there are plenty of umbrellas [with little tables attached to them] :) -- and you get to see when they bring out all the fun little critters to pet and meet! (armadillo, owl, hornbill, etc.)

Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina
07-21-2012, 09:40 PM
We are not doing the dolphin swim but can I still rent a cabana???

Yes ma'am. We are not doing the dolphin swim but were able to reserve a cabana for our August 29th visit.

pixeegrl
07-22-2012, 08:11 AM
There are umbrellas in every area. Not all seats have them, but you shouldn't have an issue finding a place to lay in some shade. Here is an arial shot I found online by the dolphin lagoon to give you an idea of the seat / umbrella ratio.

http://www.thethemeparkguy.com/park/discovery-cove/discovery-cove-dolphin-pools-big.jpg

My favorite spot to set up shop is by the conservation cabana.... very little foot traffic since almost everyone walks on the path behind this area, you can overhear the live music from the dining area (and only a short walk to food whenever you get hungry!), and there are plenty of umbrellas [with little tables attached to them] :) -- and you get to see when they bring out all the fun little critters to pet and meet! (armadillo, owl, hornbill, etc.)

Thanks! Where is the conservation cabana located? Is it in this picture over on your left? This sounds like a great spot to try and snag! Thanks!

anonymouscactus
07-22-2012, 04:41 PM
Found an even better image using birds-eye-view on bing maps and just overlaid some text... an old image (shows the old reef) but same concept... spent way too much time on this :lmao:

http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/8087/dcmap.jpg
http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/8087/dcmap.jpg

The red path is the main cement path that everyone walks on, the pink area I colored in is the "secret spot" that has lots of shade, gets the ambiance of the live music, and nobody ever walks through! The conservation cabana is colored in yellow, generally people will see it from the main path, stop at it, and then go on their marry way on the main path, instead of walking through the pink area highlighlighted where I like to sit. Yeah, it's sort of away from the reef and everywhere else, but, plenty of shade and no people! And like I said, if you are relaxing, you can see when they bring out the various animals (often times they don't list them on the schedule with a time and will bring them at random times).

I go to Discovery Cove way too much!! Hope that helps! :thumbsup2

claire_ont
07-23-2012, 05:29 AM
Great thread! After reading all the posts on this thread, I decided to take the plunge and booked a cabana for our Christmas day visit as a surprise for the rest of the family. I can't wait.

pixeegrl
07-23-2012, 07:36 AM
Found an even better image using birds-eye-view on bing maps and just overlaid some text... an old image (shows the old reef) but same concept... spent way too much time on this :lmao:

http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/8087/dcmap.jpg
http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/8087/dcmap.jpg

The red path is the main cement path that everyone walks on, the pink area I colored in is the "secret spot" that has lots of shade, gets the ambiance of the live music, and nobody ever walks through! The conservation cabana is colored in yellow, generally people will see it from the main path, stop at it, and then go on their marry way on the main path, instead of walking through the pink area highlighlighted where I like to sit. Yeah, it's sort of away from the reef and everywhere else, but, plenty of shade and no people! And like I said, if you are relaxing, you can see when they bring out the various animals (often times they don't list them on the schedule with a time and will bring them at random times).

I go to Discovery Cove way too much!! Hope that helps! :thumbsup2

Thanks! I actually printed it out for future reference during our trip! I love all the help you can get on the DISboards!!!!