I rented a cabana for a day at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon water park for $365.
The service, private hang-out space, and perks made it worth it for us.
I've gone to the Disney water parks for years — the cabana made the day so much easier.
I've been going to Disney World for over 25 years, and I've been to its water parks — Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach — a few times.
But during my most recent visit to Typhoon Lagoon, my family and I decided to spring for a poolside cabana.
It took some patience to book the cabana before my trip
I booked a Beachcomber Shack cabana to use for the entire day.
Unfortunately, the cabana can't be booked online through the website or app, so I had to call and sit on hold with Disney's reservation center for almost three hours.
But the employee who eventually assisted me was very helpful in getting my group booked and answering my questions.
I went with a standard Beachcomber Shack, which accommodates up to 10 people, for $340 before tax. The cabana rates also don't include the cost of admission to the water parks.
When my family and friends arrived at Typhoon Lagoon, check-in for the cabana was easy
When we walked through the main gates, we found the check-in for the cabana rentals near the merchandise store and locker rentals.
I gave the employee my name and confirmed the number of people. She walked away for a moment and came back with a bag filled with wristbands we needed to wear, refillable plastic mugs for each person, and park maps.
I was also given directions to our cabana.
My cabana was steps from the wave pool, the lazy river, and a drink machine
My group was assigned Beachcomber Shack 7, which was steps from the massive wave pool and one of the entrances to the lazy river.
The location was perfect, since there were five adults and one child who all wanted to do different things.
The cabana was also just a short walk to one of the park's many Coca-Cola Freestyle machines. When my plastic mug was running low, I didn't need to walk far to fill it back up.
Each cabana has many amenities
When I got to our cabana, I was surprised by how large it was.
Each adult had a seat, and there was an extra lounge chair for the kid in our group.
The chairs were far enough apart that everyone had their own space but we could still talk to one another.
Each chair also had two towels to go with it.
The cabana had one small table and a larger one for food and drinks, which came in handy at lunchtime.
There was also a cooler filled with ice and water that was restocked throughout the day. Above the cooler was a large locker where we could store our wallets, phones, and other valuables.
Our cabana host was superb
As part of the cabana service, groups are entitled to a cabana host who can bring more towels and water, answer general water-park questions, and deliver food, snacks, and cocktails to the cabana.
Our host came over to introduce herself shortly after we arrived. She let us know that she would be checking in on us periodically and that if she wasn't around we could text her.
I was sad to leave the cabana at the end of the day because her service was so good. We really wanted to tip our host, but it's not allowed — our group felt that was unfortunate since the hosts provide a specialized service.
I was able to order lunch for everyone via text
When my group was ready for lunch, I was able to text our cabana host what we wanted to buy.
Each cabana has a menu that includes family-style nachos, rice bowls, and chicken strips.
We ordered nachos and rice bowls, both of which came with a variety of toppings.
After our lunch was delivered, my mom and I set it out on the large table under the roof of our cabana. This made lunch easy — everyone could build their own bowl and go back to their lounger to eat.
Our host even brought extra napkins, plasticware, plates, and a garbage bag without us having to ask.
Before packing up, I knew we needed to share a birthday-cake sundae
One of the highlights of the day was getting a massive birthday-cake sundae delivered right to the cabana.
The sundae started with a base of sliced birthday cake that's loaded with vanilla and birthday-cake-flavored soft serve, sprinkles, waffle-cone pieces, hot fudge, caramel sauce, whipped cream, and a cherry.
Our host brought extra spoons and small cups for everyone so we could split the ice cream instead of passing around the Mickey-emblazoned pail it's served in.
It was the perfect sweet treat to end the day.
I spent about half the day in the cabana
Overall, my group spent about half of the day in the cabana relaxing, telling jokes, and snacking, and the other half in the water.
It was a good mix of time, and I felt that we used the cabana to its fullest to get the most for our money.
The time spent in the water was mostly on the lazy river, because the water park was very busy. When we left, we saw cars parked up on curbs and in the overflow grass parking lot, which I'd never seen at a Disney water park before.
After experiencing the cabana life, I never want to do a Disney water park without one
The Beachcomber Shacks at Typhoon Lagoon are pricey, but it was worth it for my group.
We ended up saving money and a ton of time. The towels, water bottles, refillable mugs, and locker included with our cabana meant we didn't need to buy all those things separately for six people.
The time my group saved by not having to wait in lines for food or drinks and our proximity to the water also made this an ideal situation for us.
Next time I go to Typhoon Lagoon with a big group, I'll likely be booking another cabana because our experience was so good.
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