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January 9, 2014

Universal's Cabana Bay On the Way
 
If you've gone to Universal lately -- THIS is hard to miss as you drive from the I-4 exit to the parking garage of doom:

CABANA1

That is one small portion of one ginormous hotel: Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Universal & Loews Hotels are once again partnering on what will, in just weeks, be their 4th, largest, and most affordable hotel.

How ginormous is it? This pan of the outside of one section took three photos to make with some clumsy photoshopping work on my part.

cabana pan
cabana2 cabana3 cabana4

Universal & Loews are wasting no time building this new addition. It was just announced in Mid 2012. Here's what it looked like less than a year later:

cabana bay2


The first phase of the resort will be ready to go for guests starting March 31, 2014 and to help build excitement Universal posted new concept art of what it will look like inside.
 The lobby promises to be bright and airy.
CABANA ART1
CABANA ART2

Cabana Bay Beach Resort claims it is a tribute to 60's motor lodges, but while it has a retro feel, it certainly feels more upscale than your father's Holiday Inn.   Few or none of them had a food court.

CABANA ART3

Or a Bowling Alley and posh pools complete with lazy river and sand beaches.

CABANA ART4
CABANA ART5

Here's a link to concept art of the outside of the resort I posted nearly a year ago.

Cabana Bay is the "value resort" with prices starting at $90 for a room and $131 for a family suite, but while it will let you bowl, swim, and even get into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter an hour early, it won't include Universal Express Pass and its promise of skipping the lines.

You can stay for even less money. Universal and Loews announced a promotion that lets you book a family suite for up to 47% off from opening day in late March - Mid June.
 Here's a link to that deal.  But read the fine print: "Lazy River Courtyard, Hideaway Bar and Grill, Tower Family Suites and Standard Rooms will not be available until grand opening on 7/1/2014."  Oh, and you have to book by the end of January.

With this addition, Universal has 4200 hotel rooms and suites on property. Expect more. The CEO of Comcast believes they could easily support another 10,000 rooms.  That would still be around half of the rooms at  Disney -- but is yet another battleground in the Theme Park Wars. If you stay at Universal, you are more likely to spend more time away from the Mouse.

That's it for today!

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