Universal Orlando has spent most of 2013 adding new attractions and shows to enhance the guest experience. Today, they announced plans to build a new resort, which will be Universal’s fourth on-site lodging.
Cabana Bay Beach Resort will be themed after motels of the 1950’s and 1960’s. The retro look of the exterior and interior will be accented by modern touches. It will be built adjacent to Universal’s Islands of Adventure, just off Hollywood Way and Turkey Lake Road.
The resort will feature 1,800 rooms. 900 of those will be family-style suites, that include kitchens and are capable of sleeping six. The other 900 will be standard guest rooms, capable of sleeping four.
The hotel will also have two themed pool areas.
Universal states this will be the park’s first value resort, though they have yet to release pricing details. Guests will also be able to take advantage of some on-site perks, such as early park admission and resort-wide charging privileges.
However one thing Cabana Bay Beach guests will not get that guests of the other three on-site resorts currently do, is complimentary Universal Express Unlimited Access. This feature allows guests of Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort to use their room keys as an express pass that allows the guest to jump the lines at the major attractions in both parks. To me, this was one of the major selling points for staying on-site at a Universal Orlando resort.
I’m also wondering what type of transportation Universal will offer guests to get them from the resort to the parks area. Currently all three on-site resorts are serviced by a water shuttle that takes resort guests to a dock at CityWalk, just outside the park entrances.It’s possible they could extend the lagoon from the Royal Pacific to Cabana Bay Beach, allowing water shuttle access.
Universal Orlando has set an opening date in 2014 for the resort, which will be operated by Loews Hotels & Resorts.
Here are some preliminary artist renderings of Cabana Bay Beach, courtesy of Universal Orlando: