Just finished the day at Volcano Bay and we had a Cabana, my thoughts..........

cdoc29

Cruising with the Crazies
Joined
Apr 22, 2010
So we just finished the day at Volcano Bay and we had a cabana for the day.

My impression of the park was 'wow, it's awesome' and I definitely plan on going again. The rides were all top notch, the food was tasty and my kids had a blast on the slides and activities. Definitely a win for my family. The Cabana was a waste of money for us and not a value for the money. But I can see where in the right situation it would work and could have worked for us.

The Cabana

After all the great reviews I have read the cabana did not live up to hype for me and the way my family did the water park.

Having a cabana is great if you have someone who plans on spending all day in it, like those who hang out in a lounger chair all day or if you can get one closer to the action so its easier to utilize. As we were riding slides and rivers we didn't feel like walking back except for lunch and when they temporarily closed for lightning. We felt we would have been better off just securing chairs (they are everywhere and I cannot see having a hard time finding a couple of chairs unless its the middle of the super busy season) in a central locale.

The cabanas come with early entry, when we got into the park at 9am (early entry time) from time of walking through the turnstiles to checking in at concierge to getting walked to your cabana probably takes about 45 minutes. You would be better off hitting a few rides while they are all empty and checking into your cabana around 10-11am.

My Experience: (and I did mention several of these things to the concierge desk who thanked me for my my input and asked me to fill out the survey at the end of the day to help them improve)

1) Don't let anyone tell you there is no such thing as a bad location with a cabana, that is not true. When we were called the day before I simply asked to be centrally located, we wound up in 21C which near the entrance off to the side of the wave pool, All the slides and both rivers were a long walk from the cabana. What made me especially upset was there were several cabanas not being used (like all of #16) that would have been more centrally located. I am guessing they placed all the cabanas near each other for their convenance but that made for a poor day for us.

2) Despite what people have said in previous reviews you can only order off the cabana menu for delivery to your cabana, want tacos from the feasting frog be prepared to schlep yourself over to get it. Have little ones that only eat chicken tenders, no dice you gotta go get them yourselves. While they can do things like withhold onions on burgers for food orders anything beyond this was not possible. The exclusive menu is not really that exclusive and limited compared to all that is offered in the park.

3) The website says a fridge stocked with water and that means 12 waters that come with the Cabana is all the complimentary water you get, after that its $5.50 a bottle.

4) it was such a slow day that the other than using the Tapu Tapu for the water coaster it was a waste to have the ability in cabin, plus if you are out and about riding slides it is a long walk from your cabana to use it. As it was a slow day all the rides were pretty much walk on, and when we went for the water coaster we still waited in line for 35 minutes.

5) The lock was not functioning for the locker and when we texted about this some came and jingled it till it worked which lasted all of till the next time we used it. I never felt secure leaving valuables there. Or as secure as I would have felt leaving a bag on the chair.

6) The Cabana Attendant left a lot to be desired, We only met them when they took our one food order and when they brought the bill for the food. She also implied when we were first met her that the they were expecting lightning and made it sound as if they would be closed for the day after 2pm. When I inquired about what does that mean for cabanas she replied you can check with concierge about that. Also if the park closes for lightning that means the attendant cannot do anything for you, no food orders, no fresh towels, nothing until everything opens up. You can still go get food for yourself because of course they are still selling food during this time, just that your attendant services are also on hold. They also closed out the check so when everything opened back up we simply never contacted them again as they proved to not be as helpful as reviews made out. They were good about bringing us fresh towels the one time we asked.

Overall if you are going during a slow time of the year, like we did on a Wednesday in the middle of September, you are probably better off not wasting your money on a cabana. (the $450 goes a long way to other vacation stuff and the big splurge would have been better spent on something like a day pf express passes or something) I hope to visit Volcano bay in the future but as we tend to be more Disney Centric vacationers and this week reinforces what we love about Disney that may never happen. Keep in mind my experience may be unique to me and you may have a totally different one but I just wanted to share my perspective for anyone considering a cabana and has read nothing but positive glowing reviews.
 
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reddog21

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 10, 2013
For us the main reason for the cabana, is having our own personal space(everything else is just a bonus) regardless of house much time we spend in it. I can't tell you how many times I get to the park early get a nice spot and people move the chairs to basically sit on top of you. We have tried multiple occasions we to spread out our chairs to have a little space and to come back to people having moved our stuff closer together so they can squeeze into a good spot. We have had our towels moved off chairs and taken. We gave up and started getting the cabanas and I can tell you I would "almost" pay any price. We don't go any more unless we can get one. There just way to many inconsiderate people at the water parks to deal with.

The problem is that I have gone to the water parks in September when it's been crowed and I have been when it's basically empty so you never really know what your going to get. The cabanas at least in Disney are so popular that you have to reserve one way ahead of time.

Just my opinion of the cabanas, Thanks for the review!!!
 

jcvalenti

Wine Snob
Joined
Jul 15, 2008
So we have never done Volcano Bay. 6 of us are planning to stop by this Sunday at opening, but (contrary to my nature) I really haven't done much homework on VB. If we get there at opening, will tracking down lounge chairs be tough ? What area should I shoot for ? I'm not a big fan of laying in a lounger all day and we do plan to hit some of the wave pools and a bar or two so I really don't think a cabana would be our style (as opposed to when we're in Vegas and spend the whole day at the pool).
 

BroadwayHermione5

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
So we have never done Volcano Bay. 6 of us are planning to stop by this Sunday at opening, but (contrary to my nature) I really haven't done much homework on VB. If we get there at opening, will tracking down lounge chairs be tough ? What area should I shoot for ? I'm not a big fan of laying in a lounger all day and we do plan to hit some of the wave pools and a bar or two so I really don't think a cabana would be our style (as opposed to when we're in Vegas and spend the whole day at the pool).
Honestly a cabana might suit you better. You can reserve ahead of time. We were able to go on all we wanted, plus we had the Tapu Tapu right there. We were able to get drinks and such delivered to us as well besides the food.
 

georgina

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
So we have never done Volcano Bay. 6 of us are planning to stop by this Sunday at opening, but (contrary to my nature) I really haven't done much homework on VB. If we get there at opening, will tracking down lounge chairs be tough ? What area should I shoot for ? I'm not a big fan of laying in a lounger all day and we do plan to hit some of the wave pools and a bar or two so I really don't think a cabana would be our style (as opposed to when we're in Vegas and spend the whole day at the pool).
chairs will be available at opening. There is a large area of chairs in front of the wave pool, but many smaller areas scattered throughout the park. When I go at opening I stake out a chair under one of the umbrellas in front of the Dancing Dragons Boat Bar (2 on the linked map). Last trip in August I went later in the day and had to wander over to the chairs between the River Village and the River Village lockers on the map. There were still chairs available there into the afternoon.

https://site.universalorlando.com/minisite/Images/uvb-park-map_tcm29-65019.pdf
 

The Gatekeeper

Earning My Ears
Joined
Mar 4, 2022
Sorry your experience was lacking. Different strokes and all that.
We love our many cabana experiences and it is always a highlight of a visit to UOR. Lightening and rain delays are when we are MOST grateful for the cabana. Hunkering under a small umbrella during a downpour isn't the greatest, we've done it.
The attendant doesn't want to disturb you bc many people relax or even nap in the cabanas, so they don't pop in a bunch. They give instructions to either put a flag out to indicate you need service or they give you a number to text your requests. Very easy & efficient. Also, we enjoy the great tropical cocktails at VB so we order an extra round and request that they put them in the refigerator. That way if service gets shut down for lightning, we have a round in the fridge to drink at our leisure. They keep the concession stands open because the employees are safe under the various structures while preparing food and serving you. They stop cabana service so employees aren't exposed to strikes walking back and forth. You can get your own concessions at your own risk if you prefer. I'm glad the safety of team members is a priority to Universal.
I agree that the way your family enjoys a park should be considered when renting a cabana and if you're not big relax and lounge people, it probably isn't worth it. If you are loungers or if you have small kids or older family members, it's fantastic.
 

georgina

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
Different strokes is right! The advantage of finding a chair near the bar is the easy access to get under cover there during a rain. :drinking1I usually go in the morning and head back to my resort (usually a quick walk to Cabana Bay) by mid-afternoon so I haven't had to do that too many times. I'm usually gone before the afternoon rains come.
 

jcvalenti

Wine Snob
Joined
Jul 15, 2008
chairs will be available at opening. There is a large area of chairs in front of the wave pool, but many smaller areas scattered throughout the park. When I go at opening I stake out a chair under one of the umbrellas in front of the Dancing Dragons Boat Bar (2 on the linked map). Last trip in August I went later in the day and had to wander over to the chairs between the River Village and the River Village lockers on the map. There were still chairs available there into the afternoon.

https://site.universalorlando.com/minisite/Images/uvb-park-map_tcm29-65019.pdf
Why yes ... chairs right near the Dancing Dragon Boat Bar. That's exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks.
 

BroadwayHermione5

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
Sorry your experience was lacking. Different strokes and all that.
.
Exactly!


I’m ngl I feel like people forget everyone’s experiences are different which forms an opinion. It caused a lot of issues last year because it felt like people weren’t reading and listening to what I and others were saying. Everything is going to be different for others. It’s just the way the cookie crumbles. And yes sometimes it’s sad. But some people just don’t want to give it a second chance. I always try and root for the second chance, but I respect when others won’t take said chance.
 

jcvalenti

Wine Snob
Joined
Jul 15, 2008
chairs will be available at opening. There is a large area of chairs in front of the wave pool, but many smaller areas scattered throughout the park. When I go at opening I stake out a chair under one of the umbrellas in front of the Dancing Dragons Boat Bar (2 on the linked map). Last trip in August I went later in the day and had to wander over to the chairs between the River Village and the River Village lockers on the map. There were still chairs available there into the afternoon.

https://site.universalorlando.com/minisite/Images/uvb-park-map_tcm29-65019.pdf
Just wanted to say thanks for the recommendation. We went last Sunday and followed your advise. Got 10 cots covered by 2 umbrellas right in the front of the wave pool, right near Dancing Dragons. Great location. Quick walk from cots to lockers, bathroom, the bar and food. We were unsure about doing Volcano Bay this trip but we ended up having a blast there. It was so much fun my son whose down in Orlando working for the summer upgraded his Universal AP to included VBay.
 

Brett Wyman

Legacy Guest
Joined
Mar 30, 2018
We just went last Tuesday. Depending on the size of your party and how much "lounging" you intend to do. We found the reserved seating mini-cabanas to be a better value. We are really in it for the guaranteed seat, shade and lockbox. And you get all that with the reserved seating and a much better location(IMO). Some of the cabanas are REALLY out of the way.
 








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