Review: Renting a Poolside Cabana at Disney World

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to rent a poolside cabana during your Walt Disney World vacation? Well, the bad news is it’s a pretty expensive treat. But the good news is that you’ll probably enjoy the cabana so much that you won’t regret it.

Since I began specializing in providing resort-related information, the idea of renting a cabana rental has been at the top of my list of items I wanted to cover. Of course, you probably already know that the resorts at Disney offer a variety of extra-curricular activities that range from free to additional cost. A cabana rental is one of them.

Several resorts offer cabana rentals at Disney World. They are as follows:

Additionally, poolside patio rentals are available at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. These are a bit different from the actual cabanas, though, and pricing is not the same. For more information on renting a poolside patio at the Polynesian, check here on Disney’s site.

The poolside cabanas at Disney World average around $300 per rental. If you decide to rent one, you’ll need to confirm the exact cost with Disney. From my understanding, full price with tax for a cabana at the Beach and Yacht Club is currently running $318.

At this time, cabana rentals at Disney World can be reserved at 60 days out. You must have a confirmed reservation at the resort for the day you select to reserve the cabana.

Additionally, you’ll want to make this reservation upon the 60-day mark in order to secure your cabana. There are only four cabanas available at the Beach and Yacht Club, so reservations are limited. The number to call to make this reservation is here on Disney’s site.

Make sure to let the cast member know if you are an annual passholder or DVC member. There is a 15% discount, which is definitely something you’ll want to take advantage of, if applicable, considering the price.

What’s Included in a Cabana Rental at Disney World?

Going into this experience, I had a fairly good idea of what to expect when renting a cabana at Disney’s Beach Club. The majority of the items you’ll receive are listed on Disney’s website.

For the Beach and Yacht Club, those items include:

  • A server from Hurricane Hanna’s for food and cocktails
  • Dedicated Cast Member servicing the cabanas
  • Furniture, Lounge Chairs, Outdoor sofas and chairs
  • Ceiling Fan
  • Safe
  • Charging ports and USB
  • Mini fridge with soda and water (included with the price)
  • Fruit Platter
  • Towels
  • Television with cable channels

In addition, we received a dessert tray in the afternoon. This item is not listed in the amenities on Disney’s site. However, I do believe it is a standard item that all advanced cabana reservations receive.

Our Experience Renting a Cabana

Now that we’ve covered the basics, I wanted to provide you with a walk-through of how our day went so you’ll get the full story. This cabana was reserved on our check-in day at Disney’s Beach Club Resort.

If you’re arriving early enough in the day, this is a wonderful way to start your vacation. Cabana rentals begin at 10:00 a.m. and conclude at 7:00 p.m.

Most of our group were flying in and arrived at the Beach Club around 1:00 pm. I was already in Orlando and ended up at the cabana around 11:00 a.m. that morning.

Upon arrival, I had to stop at the pool gate. Normally, a cast member scans your magic band for entry to Stormalong Bay. Then they’ll provide you with a paper wristlet for accessing the pool during the day.

When I indicated that I had rented a cabana, I was immediately escorted to the pool area.

Disney’s Beach and Yacht Club share a large pool area known as Stormalong Bay. There are four cabanas at the pool, and they are all located in the same area.

Cabanas #2 and #1 sit out along the children’s pool that has the sand bar. If you have smaller children, I would recommend requesting either of these. You’ll be able to easily watch your child in the shallow pool from your cabana.

Here is a photo of #2, which is the first cabana you’ll see upon arrival.

And cabana #1 sits beside it to the right.

If I had teenagers or were a group of adults, I would request cabanas #3 or #4. For this trip, I had requested #4 because I knew it was the most private of the bunch.

Below is where we were in relation to the other cabanas.

And here is Cabana #3 for reference.

When we got over to the cabana area, I was informed that they were moving us to #3 because the refrigerator was out in #4. This was very disappointing because I had specifically reserved #4 for privacy and the shaded area around the cabana.

You might notice in the last image that #3 didn’t have much of a shaded area, while #4 was surrounded by trees on three sides. Additionally, #4 looked out to this view, which was a bonus.

After setting my items down in #3, I decided it wasn’t going to work. This wouldn’t have been a big deal had I not looked at the cabanas before making my reservation. However, given the cost and that I had specifically requested a certain cabana, it was really disheartening.

So I asked the cast member if we could use #4 and pull our drinks from the fridge at #3. They said that would be fine, and the non-crisis was averted.

Unfortunately, that was the last real conversation I had with our cabana attendant.

But I digress. After settling in, I decided to take a few photos of everything to share with you. Here is the fruit tray.

It was a nice assortment of fruit and the perfect refreshing treat to enjoy on a hot day at the pool.

It would have been nice had we been given plates, bowls, napkins, and utensils to actually eat the fruit. But, as you can imagine, it was very awkward not having these things, and we didn’t know we were supposed to have them.

The fridge was fully stocked with coke, diet coke, apple juice, and bottled water. The funny thing was our “broken” refrigerator had ice cold drinks, while the drinks in the neighboring cabana were warm.

There were two chairs that were actually quite comfortable.

The little tables in front of the sofa had compartments where you could store your belongings or shoes.

The long cabinet on the backside of the space provided plenty of storage.

And one of the nicest touches was the safe. Since we hadn’t received our room assignment yet, I had my electronic devices on me. So it was nice to store those items and our wallets while we enjoyed the pool.

There was a Bluetooth speaker and plenty of charging ports. These all came in handy.

And the television was another fun perk. I felt like this would be good for husbands wanting to enjoy a football game over the weekend. Or it’s nice to let children take a break and watch a few Mickey shorts while they eat lunch.

Overall the cabana had so many pluses. Another example, we experienced a tremendous downpour later in the day.

Since there was no lightning involved, we could let down the curtains and enjoy the breeze that came with the rain. It was nice that we didn’t need to rush anywhere to protect our belongings.

Additionally, there was a list of television channels, menus for Hurricane Hanna’s, and a list of snack items that came complimentary with the cabana. Unfortunately, we were never offered any of the snack items until much later in the day.

Two lounge chairs sat out in front of the cabana. They could be easily turned around and pulled into the shade if desired.

Cabana guests are given a set of blue wristbands that differentiate them from other guests. This makes it easy for the attendants to identify guests coming and going from the cabana area while keeping regular pool guests out.

You wouldn’t want to come back in from the pool and find someone using your rented space. And that’s probably why all of these are in the same area on the far side of the pool.

It is important to note that even though the large, shallow children’s pool is nearby, most will want to use the larger pools. While they aren’t far, you will have to walk over to those pool areas to enjoy them. Don’t rent a cabana here, thinking the pool will be within its footsteps.

Back to our day, we had a server from Hurricane Hanna’s wait on us. This server came by when he was making his rounds at the pool. When he got to our area, he would check in to see if we had any orders.

I’m mentioning this because it’s the same exact service you would get at any lounge chair or table at the pool.

I’m not hard to please, and I know this sounds trivial. However, this is a review, and I want to paint a clear picture.

We had a great server, but he was swamped. So when it came time for lunch, we had to go and find him after waiting over 30 minutes for him to stop back by. Not his fault in any way.

During this whole time, the girls attending the cabanas never checked on us. Nor did they offer us snacks or provide any value. We had no idea that there was a large cabinet full of snack trays that they were supposed to bring by and offer throughout the day. And all those napkins, plates, and things were stored in the cabinet as well.

Back to our lunch. When our server returned, we ended up ordering a kids’ meal. These come in a pail that children can use to play in the nearby sand bar pool.

And I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich.

Thankfully, the grill at Hurricane Hanna’s has reopened, and more items are now available on the menu. Here are the choices we had on this day.

The grab-and-go items are the same things they have in the other counter service locations in the area. I recommend ordering something fresh.

In addition, there was a cocktail menu available. All of the items from Hurricane Hanna’s are extra cost, and you’ll have to pay for them separately.

Around 2:00 p.m., one of the attendants brought us a dessert tray. We thought this was a very nice gesture.

There were red velvet cupcakes, key lime cups, a mocha-flavored dessert, and chocolate with cheesecake. Everything was tasty, and it reminded me of the times when we used to enjoy the club level at the Beach Club.

After finishing up our meal and waiting the full thirty minutes to let our food digest, so we didn’t sink to the bottom, we headed out to the pool. Okay, between us, we probably didn’t wait the full thirty minutes.

Stormalong Bay ranks as our top choice for the best pools at Disney World. It’s basically a small water park that includes a lazy river area, waterslides, and spas. We have a full list of all the reasons you’ll love the pools at Disney’s Beach Club if you would like to learn more.

When we got back from the pool, it was nearing 4:00 p.m., and bad weather was approaching. At that time, a new cast member had appeared and introduced herself to me.

This cast member was so kind and immediately checked to see if we needed anything and offered to bring us snacks. I told her that no one had checked on us all day other than dropping off the dessert tray. She said that was not the way things were supposed to be and got her manager.

We ended up explaining our day to the manager. It was a bit uncomfortable. Given the current times and circumstances, I would never want anyone to get in trouble.

If you’ve had the opportunity to visit recently, you probably already know the situation at Disney World isn’t ideal. There is a lack of employees, and many of the ones there have not been thoroughly trained.

Personally, I’ve taken the stance to try to remain patient and understanding. No one was rude or mistreated us at the cabana. But it felt like we were left out on an island and that no one cared we were there.

That’s not the way you want to feel when you drop $300 for a cabana, and I HATE to have to share these negatives. But the reality is we didn’t get the standard of Disney care that we were accustomed to experiencing.

With all of that being said, we did enjoy our time at the cabana. And it’s definitely something I would consider doing again. Only next time, I’ll know a little more about how the way things are supposed to go.

Before we left, our group discussed what kind of people would enjoy this type of rental. We felt like a group of women, like us, or a bridal party might really enjoy that extra luxurious feeling.

Those traveling with grandparents who can’t stay out in the sunshine might enjoy resting in the shade. Or a family with small children who would use the nearby pool. One member of our group suggested that a child could easily take a nap on the sofa during the day, and you wouldn’t have to leave.

If you decide to rent a cabana, I recommend planning a full resort day. You might even plan to enjoy Movies Under the Stars at your resort that evening after the rental has ended.

Overall, it was nice to have the dedicated space, even though it was unfortunate that we didn’t receive the full cabana experience.

Is a cabana a necessity? By all means, no. It is something I would only do sparingly and when fully committing to spending the day there. Additionally, I would consider renting a polar patio at a water park like Blizzard Beach.

Planning a Walt Disney World vacation? Make sure to check with our friends at Firefly Travels. They can help you with making all of your vacation plans, including a cabana rental.

For more information about Disney’s Beach Club, all of our articles related to the resort are available here. Or you might enjoy the following:

Now I want to hear from you. What are your thoughts on renting a cabana at Disney World? Have you had the opportunity to try this before? Do you have any questions? Leave a comment below.

One Comment

  1. Thanks for the thorough review. I will be traveling in the fall with my 2 kids under 5 and extended family and the info about the Cabana location was helpful. It sucks that the first shift cast members didn’t provide the service they should have but glad to know what things should be provided.

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