Monday, April 23, 2018
Things To Do

Theme Park Guide: 3 must-see mod touches at Cabana Bay resort

Cabana Bay Beach Resort isn't just the largest of the four hotels now on Universal Orlando property — at 1,800 rooms, 38 acres and a price tag of some $206 million, it's one of the most massive lodgings in all of O-Town. (Click here for our full review of the hotel.)

Universal's first value hotel is also exhaustively, puckishly themed, a throwback to the loopy Space Age, road-trip America from the good ol' days between 1958 and 1962, an age of uplift before things got sticky.

Construction is still going on, including a lazy river and wings of 1,200 standard rooms. If you want to spend the night, family suites are relatively affordable, about $250. But theme-park fanatics should drop by even if just for a quick, curious peek. Herewith, three must-see "mod" touches at Cabana Bay Beach Resort:

1) The Bayliner Diner With the bonus of an era-appropriate soundtrack gamboling from speakers (Ray Charles, Dave Brubeck), and an IMAX-size mural of 'toony tourists in all their camera-happy glory, this 600-seat eatery doles out kitsch, tuna casserole and, a la Disney's Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater at Hollywood Studios, old films running on a loop. (I had breakfast with Lucy and Desi. Good company.)

2) Galaxy Bowl This neon-swirled 10-lane alley sits on the hotel's second floor — right next to the equally winky Jack LaLanne Fitness Center. You don't have to be a guest to bowl; Universal knows Cabana Bay is going to draw a whole lot of lookie-loos this summer, especially when the second Harry Potter land is unveiled.

3) The Swizzle Lounge At Universal and Disney, "value" resorts are no longer scaled back; you can't cut corners anymore. The Mouse House's Art of Animation is a wonderland of innovation, and Cabana Bay aims to wow, as well. That goes for the yowza lobby, with its NASA-inspired centerpiece of palms seemingly rocketing into space and the retro fizz of the Swizzle Lounge, which will seduce many guests whether they're checking in or out. Try the cucumber gimlet and keep an eye out for the suave ghost of Cary Grant.

Sean Daly can be reached at [email protected] Follow @seandalypoplife on Twitter.

 
Comments
Blueberry Festival returns with special Brooksville touches

Blueberry Festival returns with special Brooksville touches

When the Florida Blueberry Festival made its debut in downtown Brooksville in 2012, it drew both praise and criticism. When state organizers pulled out last June, that also drew both sneers and cheers.But when the Brooksville Blueberry Festival debut...
Updated: 2 hours ago
SoundBytes: Tracy Morgan, Nipsey Hussle, Jimmie Vaughan and more

SoundBytes: Tracy Morgan, Nipsey Hussle, Jimmie Vaughan and more

— Tracy Morgan is coming to the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater. He'll perform there on Nov. 2. Tickets are $49.50 and up. Click here.— Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley is returning to the Capitol Theatre on Nov. 9. Tickets are $35 and up....
Updated: 2 hours ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 24

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 24

Waitress: The Broadway hit musical based on Adrienne Shelley’s film follows Jenna, a waitress stuck in a bad marriage and a small town. 7:30 p.m., Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $45-$128....
Updated: 3 hours ago
Dwayne Johnson turns down promposal, but rents a movie theater for her instead

Dwayne Johnson turns down promposal, but rents a movie theater for her instead

STILLWATER, Minn. — An eastern Minnesota teen who asked her celebrity crush Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to prom got a huge surprise when he actually responded. The Pioneer Press reports that Stillwater Area High School Senior Katie Ke...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Review: American Stage hits 'The Producers' out of the park

Review: American Stage hits 'The Producers' out of the park

You might want to hurry up and get tickets for American Stage in the Park at Demens Landing.
Updated: 5 hours ago
Janet Jackson coming to Tampa

Janet Jackson coming to Tampa

A mere three years after her last trip to Tampa, Janet Jackson is on her way back.
Updated: 5 hours ago
Janelle Monae coming to St. Petersburg

Janelle Monae coming to St. Petersburg

Getting tickets for Janelle Monae?
Updated: 5 hours ago
Janelle Monae coming to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg

Janelle Monae coming to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg

Janelle Monae's Dirty Computer, which drops this Friday, is one of most music watchers' most anticipated albums of 2018.Looks like the R&B star will follow it with one of the year's most anticipated tours.Monae's Dirty Computer Tour will take her to ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Review: American Stage hits ‘The Producers’ out of the park

Review: American Stage hits ‘The Producers’ out of the park

ST. PETERSBURG — Without question, Mel Brooks’ The Producers carved a more indelible mark than most of the musicals in the entire genre of throwaway musicals it parodied.The creator of Get Smart and Blazing Saddles not only co-wrote the adaptation of...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Black Maria Film Festival brings 10 short films to Richey Suncoast Theatre

Black Maria Film Festival brings 10 short films to Richey Suncoast Theatre

NEW PORT RICHEY — The world-renowned Black Maria Film Festival returns to the Richey Suncoast Theatre April 27, giving the usual nod to the creator of motion pictures, Thomas Edison, as well as the diversity of 10 award-winning short films.Now in it’...
Updated: 7 hours ago