Private Cabanas at water parks across Florida seem to be one of the new things that happened in Florida since our last trip, they seem to have popped up everywhere. For those that are not sure what they are and the benefits then in parks such as Discovery Cove, Blizzard Beach, Aquatica by SeaWorld and Typhoon Lagoon and other water parks this new option for those willing to pay the extra. The Private cabanas are located in a number of different positions around the park and they offer a selection of benefits and their prices vary a little depending on the facilities offered to you when using the cabana as well as the location of it in the park.
The typical cabana is like the photo above that I took at Disney’s Blizzard Beach or also know is this cold world as a Polar Patio. This cabana is one of 15 in the park and was located in what is similar to a cul de sac of cabanas and offer each of the people that hire the cabana a reserved space for your party for the day that includes for you a selection of seats in which to relax, a locker with key, towels and a cool box stacked with ice and bottled water. A nice feature is that there should be attendant nearby that basically will act as a waiter to get you food and drink, the food and drink you still need to pay for but you don’t have to waste time queuing up and if someone is having a lazy day, this is a great chill out. The locations vary and so you can make the most of being in a slightly quieter area of close to the smaller kids areas for those will the small guys. There is an alternative option called Lodge Picnic Umbrellas which whilst not being an effective room as per the photo above but seats in a private area and so offering you the guaranteed locations and seats without the expense of the cabana / Polar Patio.
The idea of the cabana if basically the same from park to park where you can hire one of these rooms in the sun with amenities and prices changing a bit from site to site. Some parks also have a range of prices of cabanas depending on location and size in the park.
The park with the most inclusive cabana would be that of Discovery Cove. This is just because this park is a bit different from the other parks in our view at least as it is a fully inclusive park, offering something really special and so expectations are high. However, as the food and drink are included anyway at Discovery Cove this means that the cabana is a true relaxation as the food and drink can be delivered to you.
This, of course, is the big question and the answer very much depends on your circumstance I think. If you had one I am sure it would be a nice base for the day but you would really want to make the most of it. Each package is slightly different but when allowing for the locker, and drinks cups if there is one of bottles of water then this makes the price a bit better. People that seem to have seen the most benefit have been those with either very small children or older group members as this has given them a committed reserved space with someone nearby looking after it. It has given you comfortable seats and in some cases a fan but importantly some shade.
This was a quite new thing to see at the parks for us and as you walk past you think it would be nice to have one of those, BUT, for $300 we could do something a lot more fun doing something else like a character meal, helicopter ride or shopping spree.
A number of the parks do a half version which is a quieter location where you can reserve 2-4 seats and an umbrella and so for those really needing the umbrella and chairs then this could be a better option at about half the price but… If budget isn’t and issue this would be a lovely add on but for others (and we fall into that category) we would go at a good time to make the most of the day anyway, get a locker to store the valuable and then find some seats, we haven’t not be able to find any yet!
Cabana Price Information
Prices for the cabanas vary of course from park to park and if wanted need to be pre-booked and so below are some prices to give you an idea of the costs.
Discovery Cove – Start with the Elite Package is $399
This is a package that includes the cabana and so is the starting price (in addition to the entrance) that will give you access to a cabana. This includes a personalised buoy with a message brought to you by a Dolphin, a Discovery Cove Tote bag, a photo frame and plush toy, the private cabana (including a stocked fridge) and a discovery cove photo package (the top level pack which is currently $225 on its own).
Aquatica – Roa Rapid’s River View – Prices start at $59 in off season $99 Mid Week $190 at weekends high season
Booking the cabana at Aquatica includes for a locker for the valuables, rental towels, a ceiling fan, fridge stocked with 12 bottles of water and up to 4 guests, more guests up to 7 can be added for a small charge per person. Also with this package, you can benefit from a 20% discount off any photos bought.
Blizzard Beach (Polar Patios) – $150 – $300+ depending on the time of year
The polar patio includes a private attendant, a private locker, lounge furniture, table, all-day drink mugs, an ice chest stocked with 12 bottles of water and rental towels to use.
Typhoon Lagoon –
The typhoon lagoon seating areas work on the same pricing and inclusions as Blizzard Beach..