Summertime and the living’s easy. At least it is when you rent a Cabana at DisneyWorld. The last few trips we’ve taken we’ve rented a cabana and I can’t say enough good things about it. It ends up being my favorite day at DisneyWorld because it’s full of magic, but it’s also so much calmer and quieter than the typical hectic park day.
What Does the Cabana Include
Your cabana includes a super comfy couch and bed, lounge chairs, TV, a refrigerator with sodas and water, cold towels, a fruit plate, and a cabana attendant to bring food and drinks to you.
What Are the Options
Currently there are cabana rentals available at four resorts at DisneyWorld – Beach Club and Yacht Club, the Grand Floridian, and the Contemporary. The caveat for Beach Club and Yacht Club is that you must be staying at those properties to partake in their cabanas. Those restrictions don’t apply to the Contemporary or Grand Floridian so in our recent visit (when we stayed at the Boardwalk) we rented a cabana at the Contemporary. You can rent in half day intervals (10-2 or 3-7) or full day (10-7). We’ve done full day rentals the last few times and found it to be an awesome use of time.
How Much Does it Cost
If you’re a DVC member, you do get a 15% discount. So our full day rental in July was $225. That includes the items listed above, but not any additional food, beverages, or gratuities. Depending on how many people you have and where your tastes lie, the final amount could be considerably higher than just the base price for your cabana rental.
So, What Do You Do for 9 Hours?!
We arrived at our cabana right at 10am and got situated. We had Disney music playing and grabbed waters, started putting on our sunscreen and laid out the ground rules for the kids. Since they’re 7 and 9, it tends to work out well for everyone if they know what they can and can’t do, and where they can and can’t go early on. We were by the Bay Leisure pool, which is the quieter pool set by the water and the beach at the Contemporary. It was like having our own private pool most of the day since very few people use that pool. The splash pad, outdoor games (corn hole, ping pong, connect four), water slide, main pool, hot tub, and beach were all pretty visible from the cabana so the kids had an enormous number of activities to keep them busy.
Around 11, your attendant will come check in on you and see if you need anything. That meant mimosas on one of our trips, fun pool drinks on another one. They check back in every 15-30 minutes throughout the day and can bring more water (included), alcoholic beverages (they have a full bar at The Sand Bar), and food from the Sand Bar. While options weren’t enormous (hot dog, cheeseburger, chicken quesadilla, chicken wrap, turkey sandwich), they were very tasty. The chicken quesadilla is awesome there and it’s super filling.
Our kids went back and forth from the pool to the beach to the slide, back to the pool, took breaks in the cabana to watch some TV (before we threw them out because “we aren’t at Disney to watch TV”), back to the slide, over to the splash pad, back to the pool, and beyond. Pool games start at 1:30, so they played bingo, trivia, and participated in the dance party. I think I only heard “I’m bored” once throughout the day, which is a pretty big win for me.
While the kids did all that, I read, napped, had some rose, listened to music, cooled off in the pool, watched them on the slide, requested they build me a castle worth of Westeros (they didn’t understand the Game of Thrones reference sadly), and had some down time. What I like about the controlled safety of the Disney pools is that my kids feel like they have freedom to move around and do what they want to do, but it’s all supervised. There are lifeguards, attendants, and Magic Bands watching every move they make. It makes them feel more grown up and gives me a little bit of peace and quiet – which can be harder to find at DisneyWorld.
If you don’t like water or spending time at the pools, the cabana is not for you. But, if you’re like me and long for a little R&R on your Disney trip and want to spend time with your family, but also get away from the kids a little bit, this might be the right move for. you. If you want to rent a cabana and are a DVC member, the best way to reserve it is to call the DVC member services line. If you try to reserve on the main line (WDW-PLAY), they’ll probably tell you to hang up and call member services anyway. You’ll need your member number, phone number, and address, along with the date you want to reserve, which pool, and if you want a half day or a full day. They’ll put a credit card on file to reserve it and then you just check in at your approved date and time. If (like us) you aren’t staying at the property where you booked, you will just need to check in with the gate attendant before you park and tell them you have a cabana booked.
Cabanas can be a truly awesome enhancement to your Disney Luxe vacation.
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