Walt Disney World news

New hotel coming to Universal Orlando in 2014

Leah Zanolla | Posted: Jul 9, 2012 | Updated: Oct 19, 2014 - 9:25:27 AM
Universal Orlando will be adding a new hotel in 2014. Universal Parks & Resorts and Loews Hotels & Resorts just announced Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort, a new affordable on-site option for families visiting the theme parks.

Unlike the current three hotels (Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort), Cabana Bay will feature 900 family suites that will sleep six and include kitchenette areas.

In addition to the suites, 900 standard rooms will also be available. According to Universal, the hotel will have a much different theme than the resort's current offerings. It is designed to remind guests of "the driving vacations so many Americans grew up enjoying with their families - spending time at sweeping motor courts just off the highway, where families relaxed and played after a long day's drive." Clean lines, bright colors and neon signs will accomplish the vintage feel. Two themed pools will give guests a place to relax and enjoy the atmosphere.

The plans for Cabana Bay sound strikingly similar to Walt Disney World's newest resort, Art of Animation, which began opening in May. Art of Animation also features six-person suites, as well as standard rooms, and is being marketed as a value priced family hotel.

Tom Williams, chairman and chief executive officer of Universal Parks & Resorts, said, "Our new hotel will give guests an affordable, incredibly themed on-site hotel experience unlike anything else at our resort. Our new family suites and family-value pricing will give our guests on-site options they've never had before."

Guests at Cabana Bay will receive early entry to the theme parks, just like guests at the three current on-site hotels, but they will not receive the complimentary Universal Express Unlimited Access. Removing the front-of-the-line passes is an interesting development; Universal is ultimately now dividing their guests into a sort of "class system" based on their level of accommodations. Therefore, only those who stay at the higher priced hotels get front of the line access. While there have been rumors of Disney offering Fastpass priority to their on-site resort guests, it has yet to come to fruition.

The new hotel will be located on a 37-acre plot of land adjacent to Islands of Adventure just off Hollywood Way and Turkey Lake Road. Construction is expected to begin soon; pricing and opening date information will be released at a later date.

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