Archive for the UNIVERSAL STUDIOS Category

A Visit to Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort!

Posted in UNIVERSAL STUDIOS with tags , , on June 26, 2014 by disneychronicles

Cabana Bay

Splash back to the 1950’s and 60’s for endless family fun at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. From the moment you arrive, you will be taken back to the iconic beach resorts of the era. With a hip, vintage look, the resort offers 1,800 on-site rooms – including 900 family suites and 900 standard guest rooms.

Located across the street from Universal Orlando Resort, this resort features free Wi-Fi and exclusive early admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter for guests who buy park tickets. A free shuttle service is available throughout the property. Guests can relax at 2 zero-entry pools at this beach-themed resort or can float down a lazy river, relax on the sandy beach or go down the water slide. A 10-lane bowling alley, fitness center, and game room are also available on site.

All rooms at Universal’s Cabana Bay Resort feature a 40-inch flat-screen cable TV. Coffee-making facilities are also provided. The rooms are basic but colorful. Guests can stay in traditional or poolside rooms as well as spacious family suites, which include kitchenettes.

CB room

Here’s how it breaks down..

315 Courtyard family suites (North Courtyard)

285 Courtyard family suites poolside (North Courtyard)

176 Tower family suites (South Courtyard)

124 Tower family suites poolside (South Courtyard)

528 standard rooms (South Courtyard)

372 standard rooms poolside (South Courtyard)

50% of rooms are connecting

I also want to add that poolside is not necessarily pool view!



Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort makes it easy for guests to dine in or take out. The food court serves burgers, milk shakes, pizza, and sandwiches.

A Starbucks is on-site, in addition to lobby and pool bars to which I must add there were 8 baristas working in the morning! Splendid!! Especially when you really need your coffee fix!

Staying at Cabana Bay will help save your family money versus Universal’s deluxe on-site hotels– especially if you have six people in your party and can now occupy one family suite instead of two standard rooms – but there are trade-offs. First, and perhaps most importantly, guests staying on-site at Cabana Bay will not receive unlimited Express Pass access. This is the best benefit of staying at Portofino Bay, Hard Rock, or Royal Pacific (not to mention that complimentary Express Passes hold a value of up to $80.00 per person per day compared to buying them separately).

Guests at Cabana Bay will not have the option of using Universal’s water taxis to get to and from the parks. Instead, guests will have the option of (1) using shuttle buses or (2) walking. I think it will take 20 minutes to walk from Cabana Bay to the theme parks and I would not recommend it.

Guests staying at Cabana Bay Beach Resort will also not receive the benefit of priority seating at the full-service restaurants inside Universal’s theme parks or at CityWalk.

The advantages to staying at Cabana Bay Beach Resort include all the other standard on-site benefits for Universal Orlando guests:

Early Park Admission

Complimentary package delivery.

Resort-wide charging privileges with your room key.

Complimentary scheduled transportation to Wet ‘n Wild, SeaWorld, and Aquatica.

Access to the other amenities at Universal’s deluxe on-site hotels, including the pool areas (this may change, so please verify at check in).

Oh, are you wondering about parking? Yes, Cabana Bay guests will have to deal with the biggest complaint about all of Universal’s on-site hotels: the per night self-parking fee. At Cabana Bay, it costs overnight guests $10.00 per night to park a car. For daytime guests, parking is $8.00 for up to 30 minutes, $20.00 up to 24 hours. Ouch!

Overall, it’s a brand new resort! Who doesn’t LOVE that?

The theme is great and the pools are not to be missed! For a Value property…in my book this one is Fantastic!


See all my photos here….



Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem….Universal Studios

Posted in UNIVERSAL STUDIOS with tags , , on November 9, 2012 by disneychronicles

Have you been to Universal lately?

We have been wanting to check out Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem since we loved the movie!

It is very cute!

Minion Mayhem starts in the living room, where you pick up 3-D minion glasses and enter the Minionization Prep Room. Gru scans new recruits for “human germs,” cracks a few jokes and shoots a fart gun, which, of course, the kids find hilarious.

From there, you board Minion Transformation Pods — eight-seat ride simulators in a big auditorium. For the next four minutes, you whiz through a minion obstacle course, fall into an antigravity recycling room and dodge a monster crusher, all the while Agnes tries to give daddy Gru a gift.

It is bumpy and 3D so if you easily get motion sickness beware!

It’s rare to say a theme park ride lasts long enough, but this one actually does.

While it helps to be familiar with the movie, it isn’t necessary. Newbies can watch a 15-minute video introduction to the plot as they wait in line.

The ride incorporates so many details from the movie — right down to the banana trees out front — that visitors can go multiple times and still see something new. That will be a big plus when minions return to the big screen next July for the release of Despicable Me 2.

Children must be 48 inches tall to ride alone or 40 inches if accompanied by an adult. Pregnant women and those prone to dizziness are prohibited. There is the option for stationary seating which makes this perfect for everyone!

Halloween Horror Nights….Heck NO!

Posted in UNIVERSAL STUDIOS with tags , on October 4, 2012 by disneychronicles

So as almost everyone knows Universal Studios hosts one of the scariest Halloween events in the state of Florida!

and Heck NO! I will not be attending…well at least not this year! (never say never!) 😀

But since I did visit last weekend I thought I would take a look around. There were a few decorations around the parks but not many. The shops were selling many souvenirs and these were scary enough!

Universal Orlando presents one of the nation’s most elaborate Halloween celebrations with Halloween Horror Nights. Universal’s “scream team” researches the human psyche and its deepest fears so that Halloween Horror Nights’ guests can confront their most terrifying nightmares. There are specially designed haunted houses, inescapable scare zones, and hundreds of street performers. This fright-fest invades Universal Orlando on select nights throughout the month of October.

So will you be going?

Dates & Times

6:30PM – 12AM:
SEPT. 21, 22, 27, 30, OCT. 4, 17, 24, 28 & 31
6:30PM – 1AM:
SEPT. 28, 29, OCT. 7, 11, 14, 18, 21 & 25
6:30PM – 2AM:
OCT. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 & 27

Pin Trading….at Universal Studios?

Posted in UNIVERSAL STUDIOS with tags on September 29, 2012 by disneychronicles

So as you may know by now our family does participate in pin trading at Disney. Yes, I use the word participate lightly!

Since it is really more of an obsession. Well for my husband and my boys anyway. I admit I do have a few but I stick with the  special event or passholder ones.

Sunday we spent the day at Universal Studios. I had no idea that they have pin trading at Universal. To be honest it has been a while since we really took the time to walk through this park and I’m sure I just missed it.

Well it’s not the same but for those who want to do it, it’s there.

It is much more low-key and not hyped up like Disney’s, I think that in my opinion they tried it but it didn’t take.

Here are a few examples…

Will you do it?

The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man…behind the scenes….

Posted in UNIVERSAL STUDIOS with tags , on September 26, 2012 by disneychronicles

A great bonus of our Universal VIP tour was a back stage tour of the spiderman ride.  We were able to see the back lot and where they maintenance the vehicles otherwise known as “Scoops”.

The attraction is a hybrid ride combining special roving motion vehicles with 3-D projection, elaborate physical sets, and both practical and tactile effects.

After donning night vision goggles (3D glasses) the “cub reporters” get in the Scoops and leave the loading docks to a New York back alley where they encounter Spider-Man. He warns that he is in for the most dangerous night of his life and for the guests to be careful.

There are 13 large screens in the attraction, 12 of which use 3D projection. The process utilizes two projectors that have polarizers to interact with each lens of the 3D glasses. By blocking light from one projector with each lens, the 3D effect is achieved.

The illusion of levitating the ride vehicle is achieved by a choreographed combination of several elements: the on-screen visuals with faux-projected windows to the left and right; a large, collapsible building facade; the vehicle’s DOF (Degrees of Freedom) motors moving slowly and without stops; and overhead fans blowing air down onto the vehicle. Afterward, two IMAX screens in the following scene allow for the feeling of being whipped high above the city during the final showdown.

The ride vehicles in the attraction cost several million dollars each. Each is mounted to a track-roaming platform that provides the forward motion to move the vehicle through each show scene. The cabin is capable of moving 360 degrees and different angles thanks to the yaw motor and the six DOF motors attaching it to the platform.

Each vehicle is outfitted with a motor that controls the right side door. Attendants and technicians operate the door by the five- button console under the right-front headlight.

The ride track is constantly monitored by a control-booth operating attendant, who can report errors to the technical crew.

Now I think you know everything you need to know so go ride it! 😀

So it STARTED out being a Great Weekend….

Posted in DISNEY ATTRACTIONS, DISNEY'S ANIMAL KINGDOM, EVERYTHING DISNEY, UNIVERSAL STUDIOS with tags , , on September 24, 2012 by disneychronicles

This past weekend we had a training convention at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club.

I won’t bore you with the minor details of it all but it was fun and educational. (I will be posting individual post for each event in a little more detail in the coming weeks.)

Friday night it started out with a trade show and a cocktail reception all fine and dandy. Saturday we had a ship inspection on the Disney Fantasy! I really need (want) to sail this ship!


Saturday night we had a surprise event at Animal Kingdom after it closed!

How awesome is that! It started with some appetizers and cocktails then moved on to dinner at the Tusker House restaurant.

After dinner we moved to another area which was set up with coffee and desserts! and for the finale a no wait no lines chance to get on and ride Expedition Everest! (as many times as you please) :-/

Well for the record I only rode once! Yup you got it…that’s all it took! so this is where it all went down hill! 😦

After ALL the eating that had just commenced you would think that maybe I would be a little smarter then to jump on a rickety super fast 50 mph with an 80′ drop roller coaster that also goes backwards.

Ahhhhhh but NO I suppose I could blame it on peer pressure but off I went! and since there was no line the only chance for hesitation was perhaps when I heard the clink of the lap restraint.

Oh yeah and did I mention it was DARK!

Well we all know how this ended (me behind a bush) didn’t even make it to the bathroom! Well not the first time anyway!

And THANKS to the GREAT Disney gift bag I was handed as I wearily schlepped myself out of the park I was able to finish on the bus on our way back to my hotel. A little graphic… yes I suppose.

(No worries no gifts were damaged, I had removed them first) 😀

So it was a horrible ending to an otherwise fabulous night!

So have you rode it? did you like it?

So some may not know…what is Expedition Everest exactly? and what’s the story?

Check it out here….

The following morning as I DRAGGED myself out of bed we were scheduled on a 8 hour VIP tour of Universal Studios.

No way was I missing that! I did forego most of the rides….do it once shame on me but twice oh NO!

It was a great tour!

More on that to come!



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