Florida Part 1: Resorts

As some of you might be aware, the whole family got very sick with some sort of stomach virus at the end of our trip, and so we weren’t able to fully enjoy Universal Studios’ resort, and couldn’t go to the parks at all (other than a quick trip by Eric before he got sick as well). So instead of breaking our trip down into Disney and Universal, I’m going to break it down into three categories: Resorts, Transportation, and Parks.

I have never stayed on resort before. In the past, when I visited Disney, we stayed in a variety of hotels, timeshares, and rental homes. All of these options have their benefits, and their drawbacks. It really depends on what you are looking for. This time, I was looking for the full resort experience. And I was incredibly impressed!

Disney’s All-Star Music Resort

The accommodations themselves were fairly standard, and felt a little dated. The rooms came equipped with 2 double beds (not queens – very squishy for people who are used to a king!) and they brought us a crib for Dragon. The crib fit nicely beside the TV cabinet, not sticking out, and neither of us clumsy folks tripped over it even once, which was nice. There was a small round table and two chairs that had no arms. Not exactly conducive for breastfeeding, so I ended up nursing on the bed.

I liked the bathroom setup – all the Back Wall toilet units and tubs were behind a door, and the sinks were outside, but there was a curtain to close it off in every room’s bathroom.

We were in connecting rooms with my mother and sister, which was nice.

The beds themselves were old – creaks every time we moved and either lumpy or V-shaped.

However, despite the meh rooms (I’d give them about a 3/5 – they weren’t bad, but they weren’t great), we had a fantastic experience at the resort. Anything we wanted, the staff went out of their way to get. We weren’t unreasonable with our demands (crib, extra coffee for the coffee maker that you also had to request, extra shampoo, extra blanket) except for once: Bran Buds.

They had nothing with high-fibre content for any of their meals. So we requested something that we have at home, and they went to the grocery store, bought it, and had it delivered to our room.

My mother has very strict dietary requirements – and the chefs met and surpassed every single one of them. It is very difficult to make her happy with her meals, and they succeeded.

They also went above and beyond the call of duty when my mother got sick and had to go to the hospital. For the staff alone, I would recommend this resort.

Other awesome things at our resort include the pool, which was warm enough for Dragon to go swimming at 8 pm in January, the arcade, which we didn’t use, but was constantly in use by others, and the laundry. The facility for laundry was fairly nice, although there weren’t any chairs, which sucked. It cost $3 per wash and per dry, and the detergent could be bought there or in the little store attached to the resort (or brought from home, I suppose). But it was worth it to have a full set of clean clothes, burp cloths, wash cloths, and change mat.

Dragon enjoying the pool at Disney's All-Star Music Resort.
Dragon enjoying the pool at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort.

Dining Plan

One of the best parts about staying on resort is the dining plan. We went with the Quick Service meal plan, which includes 2 quick service meals (quick service meals are served at a counter, like at a cafeteria, not a sit-down restaurant) and 2 snacks per night per person. We used all but 6 snacks, and we were never hungry. And was the plan ever worth it! The most expensive meal our plan paid for was flatbread pizza – and we definitely wouldn’t have bought it if we hadn’t had the plan.

Extra Magic Hours

We didn’t take advantage of these, and I blame exhaustion from having a baby.

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

This place was fantastic! I am disappointed that we weren’t able to take greater advantage of the pools (yes, plural!) or the lazy river, or any of the other amenities while we were staying here. I was barely able to walk as far as the Starbucks, and I didn’t even see the cafeteria, let alone the bowling alley.

We were in the family suites, again with connecting rooms, and it was SO worth it for the extra space!

You open the door to a small kitchenette that includes a small microwave, a mini fridge, a coffee maker, and a sink. They provide cutlery, plates, cups, and bowls. They also provided the coffee. Beside the kitchenette is a raised counter-top (perfect for changing a baby, fyi) and a living space with two chairs and a fold-out sofa. There’s a sliding door separating this space from the bedroom (again with 2 double beds, but much newer). The crib didn’t fit quite as easily in this space as in Disney’s room, but it was a nicer crib. Metal bars – it fit the retro theme of the resort very well.

Just inside the sliding door was the bathroom space – there was a sink with no door, a wc (water closet, or a small room for just the toilet), and another small room with a tub and another sink.

If you have more than just 2 adults going to this resort, you will want to upgrade to the suite. It was definitely worth it for us.

The Pool

I only got to see one of the pools, but it was gorgeous. I want to go back to this resort purely for this pool. Spend an entire day at the resort and hop in and out of the pool, go down the slide, let Dragon play on the splash pad, etc. They have free swim diapers behind the bar (how awesome is that??) and the pool is warm enough for Dragon.

I wasn't expecting to go in the pool, so Keladry didn't have her swim diaper on. Just putting our feet in this time.
I wasn’t expecting to go in the pool, so Keladry didn’t have her swim diaper on. Just putting our feet in this time.


I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of both resorts, and can unquestioningly recommend them. I look forward to going back and trying a different Disney resort, and actually getting to experience the Universal one.

If you are interested in booking a trip to Orlando. You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

Jurassic TARDIS

Travelling from Hogwarts to the Jurassic era, the TARDIS took a break in front of a velociraptor of sorts. Yikes!

My Etsy store is having it’s 25% off for Cyber Monday sale. This ends tomorrow morning at 6am! Hurry to order to get your gifts before the Holidays!