Posted Friday, March 15, 2013 9:23 PM | Contributed by VitaminsAndGravy
The new Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando is scheduled to open in March 2014 with 900 suites and 900 standard rooms, as well as a plethora of extra amenities like a bowling alley and a lazy river.
Read more and see behind the scenes construction video from The Orlando Business Journal.
I've stayed at Universal before, (I like Royal Pacific), but it's expensive and I can't do it every time. My week this last February was spent at the Holiday Inn Express "Nearest" to Universal. (it wasn't)
Anyway, a moderately priced resort hotel experience is something they lack over Disney, and maybe this will fill the niche. It's got a great retro Florida motor inn look to it, as well. (I swear, when I was a kid we stayed at a place in St. Pete that was just like it.) Maybe one or two more cheaper places will be in order for Universal if this proves to be successful.
I'm not sure how to feel about it. Obviously, you could argue that they were leaving money on the table by not offering something more in the "value" range, but I would also argue that it maintained a certain crowd quality, especially at CityWalk. Not sure how this will impact that.
You might be right about that. Wasn't there a discussion a while back about the new city funded pedestrian bridge for safe, easy access? And looking at the model, this new place certainly seems huge, (bigger than that place in St Pete!) and with 1800 doors maybe they won't need anything else.
Truth told, when I was there in February it wasn't very busy and the crowd at Citywalk was already kind of pushing it a little. This was right before Mardi Gras, I think. I know they hadn't had a concert yet.
And speaking of Citywalk, I noticed for the first time that the place is starting to look a little run down with age. I know they get a blue-bazillion people thru there every year, and maybe it's no wonder theres some fading and wear. Perhaps it was the lack of crowds, but some of the back streets and upper levels there seemed so lackluster and forlorn, especially compared to that new miniature golf course. We didn't play, but that place is cute as hell.
Typically, I've gone to Universal at the lowest of crowd levels, when you were lucky to see anyone else on CityWalk. I haven't been there at a crowded time since probably 2007 or so. My last visit was early 2010, and I had walk-ons to Forbidden Journey, if that tells you something.
I would be surprised if CityWalk needed anything more than a little paint. I think they're very aware that it's an important first impression.
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