Now that Disney World has kicked off the Coolest Summer Ever, what better way to join in the fun than by cooling off at a Disney water park? And if you are looking to take a day of fun to the next level, what better way to experience the ultimate in cool than by renting a water park cabana? My family recently spent a day in a cabana, or “Beachcomber Shack,” at Typhoon Lagoon. If you are considering taking the same plunge, here’s what you need to know.
What You Get
A Typhoon Lagoon Beachcomber Shack provides your party with a comfortable place to call your own for the day, plus plenty of amenities. Upon check in, everyone receives a wrist band that allows access into the private area for cabanas. A Disney Cast Member then walks you to your shack, explains the amenities, and answers any questions about attractions and activities in the park.
Amenities in the shack include cushioned furniture (ours had six Adirondack style chairs as well as a couple of ottomans and side tables), Typhoon Lagoon-themed mugs refillable at a nearby drink station for the day, a locker where you can keep your valuables when roaming the park, lots of towels, and a cooler of ice with bottled water. Plus, the shack’s full roof offers plenty of shade when you need a break from the sun. The shacks also qualify as a shelter if an afternoon storm pops up, with each sporting several lightning rods on the roof.
Cast Member attendants check on guests throughout the day, mainly taking drink and snack/lunch orders and ensuring you have plenty of dry towels and water. Our two attendants checked in with us at least once per hour. They also gave us a number to text or call if we needed anything, and we had success ordering some tropical drinks via text.
Food and Drink
The cabana has a menu that features the same items found at counter service restaurants in the park such as Leaning Palms and Typhoon Tilly’s. Offerings include wraps, sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, salads, and several desserts. Beer, wine, and mixed drinks can also be delivered; available mixed drinks are the same as those offered at the park’s Let’s Go Slurpin bar.
When the mood strikes for a snack, drink, or lunch, a Cast Member attendant will take your order and deliver it to your shack. For lunch, we ordered the tropical salad with chicken and the barbecued pork sandwich. Although the chicken salad was okay, the barbecued pork was quite good.
Desserts are the star in terms of food at Typhoon Lagoon, with a heavy emphasis on ice cream and donuts (We are talking about a day of decadence, right?): And I don’t mean just any ice cream or donut treat. How about a big ol’ Sand Pail of ice cream? My son was in heaven when we ordered the Sand Pail from Happy Landings Ice Cream, with chocolate and vanilla soft serve, hot fudge, caramel sauce, strawberry sauce, cookie and waffle cone pieces, and of course whipped cream, a cherry, and a shovel for scoopin’.
And donuts! Typhoon Lagoon has a snack stand that features fried mini donuts sold by the dozen or half-dozen with a choice of chocolate, raspberry, or white chocolate dipping sauces. These donuts are one of the best snacks at Disney World. Although they aren’t on the menu in the cabana, our attendant was happy to bring us an order upon request.
The park’s 12 Beachcomber Shacks are found in two private, sandy beach areas at opposite sides of the park. Wrist bands issued at check in are required to enter these areas. Six cabanas sit close to Castaway Creek (the park’s lazy river) near Happy Landings Ice Cream. Six more overlook the Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool not far from Typhoon Tilly’s.
The Castaway Creek cabana area is the more quiet and shady of the two, with a nearby entry/exit point for the Castaway Creek lazy river. The shacks near the Surf Pool are closer to the action, and most are in an elevated area so that you can get a great view of the fun in the Surf Pool. You can request to be in one of these areas when you reserve your cabana, though requests are not guaranteed.
Another Option: Getaway Glen Umbrellas
If a cabana is not in your budget but you like the idea of reserved seating in the shade, another premium seating option at Typhoon Lagoon is a Getaway Glen Umbrella. Approximately 25 Getaway Glen Umbrellas are found in the same two private areas as the cabanas, with most located in the Castaway Creek area.
By renting one of these umbrellas, you avoid the rush to find chairs in the shade at park opening but without paying cabana prices (we’ll get to pricing shortly).
In addition to an umbrella, these rentals—for four people maximum—include two loungers, two low beach chairs, a cocktail table, and four towels. You’re on your own for obtaining food and drink, but both areas are an easy walk to a nearby counter service location.
Pricing and Reservation Details
► The current price for a Typhoon Lagoon Beachcomber Shack is $345.06, and Getaway Glen Umbrellas are $58.58 (prices include tax). In addition to the price of your premium seating, water park admission is required.
Interestingly, there is a short off-season from August 23 to October 3, 2015, when the prices are lower, at $238.66 for a Beachcomber Shack and $42.60 for an umbrella. This is a significant discount if you happen to be vacationing during that time.
► Reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance for both cabanas and umbrellas; the direct number for Walt Disney World Recreation is 407-939-7529.
► Cabanas accommodate up to 6 guests, but if you initially reserve a cabana for fewer than 6 people be sure to call in advance if you decide to invite anyone else. Otherwise, there is a $25 charge per person on the day of use.
► Payment is due in full at the time of booking, but cancellations for a full refund can be made up to 24 hours in advance.
► When making our reservation, I was told that check in was at High ‘N Dry Rentals; however, we were directed to Singapore Sal’s souvenir shop for check in. These locations are very close to each other; after you walk up the winding pathway into the park, Singapore Sal’s is on your right and High N’ Dry is a little farther on the left. You will pass Singapore Sal’s first, so it is worth stopping there to ask where to go. Also, there is sometimes a Cast Member there with a sign for premium seating check in.
► Note that Typhoon Lagoon closes for its annual refurbishment starting on October 25, 2015, and reopening on January 1, 2016.
There is no doubt that renting a cabana at Typhoon Lagoon is expensive. Deciding whether to do so is a highly individual decision based on factors such as budget, how much time you are likely to spend enjoying the premium seating, the ages and interests of people in your party, and what other extra activities are planned during your stay.
Spending a day in a Beachcomber Shack at Typhoon Lagoon is an excellent way to enhance your Disney World vacation. If you decide a day in a shack is right for you, definitely plan to maximize the value by spending the entire day enjoying a comfortable home base, personal service, and lots of fun. Put your feet up on an ottoman, take a sip of your drink, order some food, read, nap, go for a float along the lazy river or a wild ride down a water slide, and repeat for maximum luxury and fun.