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Old 07-03-2012, 02:34 PM   #1
chimo2u
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Question Did you feel your Cabana Rental was worth the $$$? Reviews please!

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!
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Last edited by chimo2u; 07-04-2012 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:50 PM   #2
Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina
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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 .
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Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899



Last edited by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina; 07-03-2012 at 02:51 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:01 PM   #3
chimo2u
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina View Post
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 .
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! decisions, decisions,
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:22 AM   #4
bas71873
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We go August 17 so I can report back too. We booked a premium package cabana!
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:25 AM   #5
anierodzik
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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.



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
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:28 AM   #6
cinderellamom123
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wavering

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.
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:13 PM   #7
Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinderellamom123 View Post
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 . 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.
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 07-05-2012, 05:02 PM   #8
BigDaddyShoo
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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.
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:37 PM   #9
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Question

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?
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:17 PM   #10
Jenny3
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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)
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:53 AM   #11
Cdnmom2001
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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!
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:28 PM   #12
chimo2u
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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
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:13 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:00 PM   #14
chimo2u
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Originally Posted by brinkley07 View Post
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
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:52 AM   #15
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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.
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