Cass, Rob & Kira - 10 nights at Universal Orlando August 2019 - "It's a sniffler!!"


DIS Veteran
DIS Lifetime Sponsor
Aug 18, 1999

Howdy, folks :wave2:

We just returned from 10 nights at Cabana Bay Beach Resort and I am here now to share it with you. :cool1:

If you have read my previous trippies, welcome back, you know what you're in for :goodvibes

If you haven't, then you should know that I take a lot of photos, I use more than my fair share of smileys, and most importantly, I have strong opinions and I'm not afraid to share them :rotfl2:

So, grab a drink, strap yourselves in, I hope you enjoy the ride :drive:


DIS Veteran
DIS Lifetime Sponsor
Aug 18, 1999
Chapter Links :flower:

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019
Part 1 - YYC to YYZ the Zoo!

Part 2 - Universally tired

Friday, August 23rd, 2019
Part 1 - What the what??!!!
Part 2 - We saw a blast-ended skrewt!
Part 3 - Hogwarts Castle

Saturday, August 24th, 2019
Part 1 - First Watch & Studio time
Part 2 - Menageries & More

Part 3- Spectacular crowds!

Sunday, August 25th, 2019
Part 1 - Ready with my blinders on!
Part 2 - Kia Ora!
Part 3
- And because we didn't get enough time in the water...

Monday, August 26th, 2019
Part 1 - Non-shopping and Darkenon
Part 2 - A Brazilian and a Mythical deluge
Part 3 - Spidey senses and butter beer ice creams!

Part 4 - A wonderful end!

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019
Part 1 - Breakfast, Lunch, Croissants & Dino DNA
Part 2 - Hagrid's, lost shaker of salt & the BEST Hagrid's of all time
Part 3 - Beers and H2O

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019
Part 1 - No dang music for us this morning!
Part 2 - Soaked and happy
Part 3- But that sky!!!

Thursday, August 29th, 2019
Part 1 - Accio delicioso
Part 2 - Hogsmeade and more

Friday, August 30th, 2019
Part 1 - Goin' Solo
Part 2
- KSC & park time

Saturday, August 31st, 2019
Part 1 - The Hot Springs
Part 2 - The Man, the Myth(os), the Legend of our last evening.

Sunday, September 1st, 2019
Part 1 - So long, suckah!
Part 2 - And that's a wrap!

Vacation Videos

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DIS Veteran
Aug 6, 2012
So glad for another Cass trip report! Hope you had a wonderful time...


DIS Veteran
DIS Lifetime Sponsor
Aug 18, 1999
Thursday, August 22nd Part 1

This was the first trip in ages where we didn't have to get up at the crack of 2 am ๐Ÿฅด

It was weird actually and I don't think I liked it ๐Ÿ˜œ I don't care to get up early, I am a night owl but now that I've experienced a later start to our journey, I MUCH prefer getting an early start, even if that means sacrificing some sleep.

Our flight didn't leave until 1:30pm but I like to leave early so that we have extra time just in case something happens. I was up at about 7am so I could shower, pack the last-minute items and we were all packed and ready to go just before 9am.

Poor Rob had caught a cold the day before we left so he was feeling run down a little but we left our house exactly when I had hoped we would be leaving. He had bought this hoodie last summer but hadn't worn it yet so I encouraged him to wear it on this trip. ๐Ÿ˜‰

At the airport, we grabbed some carts and threw our luggage on them and then went to take a photo and someone kindly offered to take a family pic.

Rob went to Park2Go to drop off our vehicle while Kira and I took care of the bags. This was also the first time for us a family not going through USA customs right away as we had a connecting flight in Toronto this time and you always pre-clear customs in your last Canadian airport.

We checked in at the kiosk, tagged our bags, dropped them off and then waited for Rob to get back. I had to remind him to get off at the domestic terminal as he's so used to getting off the shuttle bus at the USA/International terminal. ๐Ÿ˜œ

He found us, yay! Rob is directionally challenged and sometimes can't find things ๐Ÿ˜ He has many wonderful qualities but I'm afraid that if he was ever lost in the woods, we would never see him again. ๐Ÿ˜‚

And don't mind my weird, slightly grumpy looking face, in this pic and in many to come. After 10 months, I am still having issues with my braces, I loathe them and I am constantly moving my lips and mouth and I often look miserable in photos and if I don't smile very enthusiastically, my lips get caught on the braces and I look downright miserable. :earboy2:

We used the Nexus line to go through security and we all got through without any issues! Usually Rob gets a secondary screening but he breezed right through!

I knew Kira would get a kick out of flying through C gate because it would be her first time seeing the Link buses that travel between terminals. She loved them and requested that we take one. :p

Since we couldn't enjoy our traditional meal at The Kitchen, we stopped at Chili's instead. I enjoy Chili's and the only one left now in Calgary is at the airport so it was the perfect stop as we had plenty of time!

We got a great seat right at the window and Rob and Kira began their bunny ears war :rotfl2:

My bracey, half-smile ๐Ÿ˜œ

Kira had....surprise, surprise...the chicken tenders and fries! :rolleyes2 You will notice a trend in her food choices, if you haven't already :lmao:

I had the delicious southwest egg rolls. I sure miss these babies! ::yes::

And Rob was just in time to enjoy breakfast!

We lingered for awhile and then it was time to head to our gate, which was in the B terminal so we acquiesced to Kira's request for a ride on a Link bus. โ˜บ

There's our plane!

We had about an hour to wait so I suggested to Rob that he get some rest. Poor guy has no luck when it comes to trips and getting sick. ๐Ÿคง๐Ÿ˜•

Our plane had the tiniest overhead bins and they were making everyone gate-check any big bag and that included Rob's laptop case. He wasn't very happy about it but nothing we could do so we grabbed his actual laptop out before we checked it and put it in his backpack.

Kira was in the aisle seat of the middle three seats so our family selfie was challenging but she did it ๐Ÿค“

We left Calgary a little late but thankfully we made it up in the air because we had a 90 minute layover in Toronto and we had to get through USA Customs and go through security again!! I wouldn't mind the stop in Toronto so much if we could avoid doing security again but because of the way they have their airport and customs set up there, you have to go through security again. Plus, it's a 4-hour flight so we knew we would have to have a bite to eat there too before boarding our second plane, so time was short! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

One of the Great Lakes, I'm guessing Lake Huron probably??

And then downtown Toronto, with the CN Tower on the left.

I love it when you can see your plane's shadow like this :thumbsup2

The hike from where you land to where you need to go for USA customs is quite the long, complicated journey but thankfully I had done this exact connection last September so I knew where to go. Security took forever but thankfully no hassles and customs was a breeze so we had just enough time to eat where I had wanted to eat....Wahlburgers! ๐Ÿ˜‹ (I always say it in Alma's voice :laughing:)

I had eaten here on my solo trip last year but only breakfast and I had really wanted to try a burger. I love the show and was hoping I would have the opportunity to go back but I wasn't getting my hopes up until we got through everything as one small delay would have burst my burger-eating bubble. ๐Ÿ™ƒ

I was doing a thumbs-up pose for Rob, showing that we had made it and someone photobombed me, she really enjoyed doing that this trip. ๐Ÿ˜œ

Can you guess what she ordered??? :rolleyes1

I had a bite of these and they were REALLY good!

I didn't want to be too full for our next flight and we didn't have a lot of time so Rob and I decided to split a burger. I was NOT disappointed, it was delicious!! ๐Ÿคค

I asked for a side of mayo and they brought me three ๐Ÿคฃ

The service here was great and super fast! We had just enough time to hit the washrooms and find our gate. When we landed we had checked the monitors and found our gate number so we headed down this ridiculously long hallway and found it just in time....but it wasn't our gate. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

We were cutting it close so we had been speed walking and I was now hot and sweaty and my legs and feet were getting tired!!! Our flight would be taking off in about 25 minutes so they would be already boarding so we hoofed it all the way back to where we started, searching for our gate, hoping they were not fully boarded yet!

At my photo limit so I'm just going to leave you all in suspense. :rotfl:


Dec 30, 2016
Been watching for it and waiting! So glad I found it from the beginning!

ETA: I sure hope you make that plane!!
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  • Tink rules

    <font color=teal>The kids in my family sometimes t
    Dec 30, 2006
    Every time you post a TR I have to go reset my password!!! I guess I should write it down or you need to travel more!
  • Timon

    DIS Veteran
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Aug 18, 1999
    August 22nd, Part 2

    When we got to our proper gate, they had delayed boarding for some reason or other and were just about to start pre-boarding, so yay! :banana:

    Kira got our selfie and we were off to Orlando!

    We flew over the CN Tower...this is why I love me a window seat :love:

    At one point, we were flying completely over the Atlantic so it was BLACK out and then *poof*, you could see the Florida coastline all lit up. ๐Ÿ˜ Too bad they left all of the cabin lights on, there was so much glare ๐Ÿ™

    Because of the boarding delay, we ended up landing about 30 minutes late, just after midnight EST. Headed for the faux monorail...

    And waited for our luggage! Kira's a typical tween/teen and sits down every opportunity she gets LOL!

    Rob was worried about getting his laptop case but all of our bags arrived. They were all noticeably more beat up than before but they all arrived :donald:

    Down to level 1 and then across the street to grab our rental car. UGH! Midnight and it was 27ยบC...welcome to Orlando ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ ๐Ÿ˜

    I love Alamo for so many reasons, one of them is that they are on the main level, right there as you enter the garage. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    The SUV aisle was sparse when we got there and Rob headed for a vehicle we had never heard of before so he could check it out. The one Rogue that was there was locked and we couldn't get in. We normally get a Murano or Rogue and I really like driving those and so does Rob so we always choose one when we can. Rob was putting our stuff in that vehicle when I decided that I really wanted the Rogue so I went to go ask someone to open it for us just as a lovely black Rogue pulled up for us. ๐Ÿค—

    Perfect! The license plate was the (phonetically incorrect) name of our nephew so we would totally remember it because when you're in Orlando driving a rental car, it's essential that you remember the license plate ๐Ÿคญ

    We headed to the north exit and we were all very sad when we realized that they had gotten rid of the toll booths that you can toss your quarters in! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ I always make sure I have American quarters for every trip just so we could do this! It's a tradition for us and I have been doing this on every Florida trip since I was a little kid!! ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

    Now there's only one booth between the airport and I-4 and it's manned and is $2.50, JSYK ๐Ÿคจ

    With no traffic, we were at Universal in no time!

    And we pulled into Cabana Bay. I love this sign at night, sorry it's a bad pic but Rob ended getting some good ones later in the trip that I will post.

    We pulled up and there was NO ONE there! It was kind of eerie! I told Kira that she had to pose in front of the lobby doors because it's usually so busy that I can't get a photo of it. ๐Ÿคฉ

    Just before 1am now, it was deserted! We were tired and it had been a looooong day so we were anxious to get our room and head to bed!

    The only request I made was to be as close to the lobby as possible. I've stayed here many times before and love it but it's a massive resort and your room can end up being very far away from the main building.

    A couple of months before we left, my Lupus flared up and I haven't been feeling the best lately so for me, the closer to the lobby, the better,for many reasons. Also, we had a pool-view room last time (well, we could see the very tip of it) and we had some issues with the noise, you could hear the gongs from Volcano Bay, depending on where your room is so I made sure to book a NON-pool view this time. Also, since we were going to be here for 10 nights, we wanted some extra space so we booked a mini-suite, which are quite affordable, especially compared to the deluxe resort prices! Our favourite hotel, by far, is the Hard Rock but it's super pricey and just wasn't in the budget this year.

    I made sure to note on the reservation that we would be arriving after midnight so that they could assign us a room closer to the lobby but when we checked-in, they assigned us a room that was the second furthest possible room from the lobby! I pleaded with him to find us a closer room and after some searching, he found one! I was so happy that I didn't even bother to ask if it was a pool view room or not!

    Room 4116...

    The bathroom was great, three areas for us to get ready! This made it much easier for us. Shower/sink on the left, main sink in the middle and the toilet room on the right. More pics down below.

    Closet that is off the main bedroom...

    Mini-kitchen was awesome!

    And Kira had her own space here, sleeping on the pull-out.

    Heads up, this is probably the most uncomfortable pull out couch I have ever tried! Thankfully our kid is not picky and she said it was just fine. She's a trooper man because if I had to sleep on that for 10 nights I would have been miserable!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    Here's the layout of the Continental building that we were in, which I labeled with our room along with the room he wanted to give us! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

    The first thing I did after taking pics and video, as usual, was take out my big can of Lysol and sanitize the entire room! All of the surfaces that we would be touching need to be as clean as possible because the smallest cold, for me, can turn into something really bad. My immune system sucks butt and especially lately, with my flare-up, I have to be very careful. I bring Lysol wipes, cans of Lysol and tons of hand sanitizer with me and we all use them on the plane and hotels and at every meal. Rob and Kira also need to be careful because anything they catch can and often does get shared with me. Since Rob was already sick, I had to ban him from kissing and touching me until he was over it and we slept in separate beds during the entire trip. :crazy2:

    Neither of us were happy about it but it's just life for me. We have travel medical insurance but I'd rather not spend my vacation in the emergency room. :rolleyes1

    After the deep clean, we unpacked our bags and settled in. It was just before 2am when we finally got to bed!! o_O:faint:

    Oh and I did look out our window and while we were facing in towards the pool, we weren't even close to the pool and there was a cement wall and walkway up towards the second level, so I didn't think we would have any problems with sound/noise.

    Boy was I wrong.
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    It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
    May 15, 2007
    Iโ€™ve never read one of your trip reports before! Nice start.......

    What a worry though with your health......I hope it stays good for you for your trip........looking forward to reading about your time at Universal!


    Dec 10, 2014
    Woohoo I'm IN for another Cass report!!!
    I'm sorry to hear Rob wasn't feeling well, that's no fun :( Hopefully he started feeling better soon into the trip.
    I have not flown through Toronto in decades....I think I not since 1996??? These days when we fly across to get to Orlando I try to choose any other connection besides YYZ :rotfl2:

    Can't wait for the next installment!


    <b><font color=blue>Runs with Scissors!!<br><font
    Feb 1, 2005
    Iโ€™m Heeeere! Popcorn ready and excited to read another trippie from my favorite DISer (and bff). :lovestruc


    Wizard momma living in a muggle world.
    Sep 5, 2013
    Glad you were able to get a room closer to the lobby.....but I hear the gong of noise getting ready to ding and dong!


    Mar 6, 2010
    Enjoying your report. Fellow Canadian here, and also immunosupressed ... am on biologic for rheumatoid arthritis, so I hear you about the constant worry of catching a cold/infection and also flare-ups. Hand sanitizing can get a bit cray-cray! I am hoping your vacation was worry free!