Help on Volcano Bay - Cabana - Early Entry

I’ve tried my best to do my homework and educate myself but some info I couldn’t nail down. We’ll be at VB on Thu, 8/25. We have a cabana. We are staying on site at Royal Pacific and have early entry. Plan right now is to open and close it and spend all day there. I’ve read about and understand the Tapu system. No VB express passes.

I think I have 3 main questions - early entry plan, cabana location, how to get the most out of the morning.

  1. Early Entry plan. I found one forum post, about a year old, talking about a miserable experience for trying to get situated with a cabana and losing valuable early entry time. Someone even said to skip claiming the cabana first thing. To go and ride those premier slides during early entry and come back later to claim the cabana. Is that for real? I’m hoping Uni has this figured out better and can get earlier arrivers all set up BEFORE early entry begins? Anybody have recent experience here or tips to share?

  2. Cabana locations. I’ve studied the map from this post - Volcano Bay Cabana Locations. I think I remember Uni asking me which cabana style I preferred when I reserved it. But that was a couple months ago. I think I told them “standalone single”. This map only lists 4 standalone single locations. Two are in the kiddie zone. That would be great for my DS7 maybe but not for the rest of us. I think those two locations would be at the bottom of my list. Those were 11 and 12. That leaves 8 or 22? Anybody have preference here? And if I’m early enough, I wonder if the TM’s would allow me to switch to a lower / upper if they have not yet been claimed. Any advice for cabana location for 2 adults, DS’s of 14/11/7? We would make the best of anything but with this being our first time at VB, I wouldn’t mind something sorta private but also decent for people / park watching.

  3. Say we nail down #1 and #2 above, I’ve come to understand this should be the order we ride for early entry:

  • Krakatau Aqua Coaster
  • Ko’okiri Body Plunge
  • Honu of the Honu Ika Moana
  • Ohyah of Ohyah & Ohno Drop Slides
  • Ohno of Ohyah & Ohno Drop Slides
  • ika Moana of the Honu ika Moana
  • Punga Racers (once we get into regular park open / not on EE list)

We good here?

  1. Does anybody have a spreadsheet/document for each slide with info? Maybe I only need to know what my DS7 should avoid? We are all strong swimmers and I’m not worried about my other two boys. They might be scared by some of the rides and choose not to go on them. But I’m not worried about their survival skills. My DS7 can swim without a jacket but the drop slides into 10ft of water might be a little too much for us to watch!

  2. If we do manage to complete the entire open to close day, are there any slides to redo the last hour of park open? Same list as above?

Thank you!

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I will say it has been years since I rented my cabana (I should have a report about it here?) but when I read this my first thought was “genius”. You would think they could figure this out but my early experience was: they sent us to two different check in places and we waited in line at both; they couldn’t find the lists of cabanas (it was hand written at the time and it “wasn’t where it was supposed to be”).

This was the location of the cabana I had. It was also close to the bathroom and pretty quiet. We were assigned an area when we booked.

Are you doing both sides? I would not do them back to back- unless you are very young. That is a lot of stairs!

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  1. They hold everyone at the gate till Early Entry begins, so there is no early check-in for cabanas. Cabanas are assigned the day before (I’ll touch on this next) so getting there early for cabana check-in isn’t required. Do the slides first, come back for the cabana later (or have someone who prefers to just relax get the cabana).
  2. Universal will call you the day before about cabana assignments, so keep an eye out for someone calling. This is when you can request a location or such.
  3. Sounds good, get as many rides as you can on Krakatau first.
  4. Krakatau, Krakatau, Krakatau. Also enjoy the wave pool, lazy rivers, and interactive elements throughout the park. Try and find your way into the volcano and meet Vol!
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Thank you. Do you (or anybody else that’s still reading) have directions for where best to temporarily store our gear? I want to follow this advice and really get the most out of those first couple hours. I’m seeing us heading in the correct direction for:

  • Krakatau Aqua Coaster
  • Ko’okiri Body Plunge
  • Honu of the Honu Ika Moana
  • Ohyah of Ohyah & Ohno Drop Slides
  • ika Moana of the Honu ika Moana
  • Punga Racers

But we’ll need to drop our backpacks on a lounger or pony up for a temporary locker for 2 hours. Go back and retrieve them, then go get the cabana, and then finally have our place to call home for the day.

Thanks for any advice on how that might work best.

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If it were me I’d drop my stuff in an undesirable location. Actually that is what I always do. Our home base is the entrance to the Fearless River and that back area isn’t open for EA. So we head to the left when we enter and I dump our stuff in a sunny lounger with no view near the bathroom then go to Kraka-whatever.

Thank you! Just what I was looking for.

Do you mean here (the red box on the map)?

Yeah that is it. It has been still empty when I picked up our stuff. Waited until the first time I got a wait time ~ half hour. We don’t do cabanas (too cheap), so DH would claim some chairs in the deep shade, I’d grab our stuff and DD would do the Fearless River.

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Thank you again. This puts my mind at ease more than it should (I know I’m stressing too much about this).

Us too! Just got lucky this time.

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Putting this all together, here’s the morning plan. Please shoot it down if you think it won’t fly.

Be on the lookout for a phone call the day before to set up cabana

Single Cabana locations (info taken from Volcano Bay Cabana Locations):

  1. 19 or 22 - good location, good shade, has sand / chairs in front
  2. 4 or 5 - near volcano / aqua coaster, no sand, people walking by, not much shade
  3. 9 or 10 - at the back of the wave pool, great location for the wave pool, good shade, not much privacy
  4. 2 - great for access to rides, not so great for awesome views, not much privacy since you are on a pathway, no sand/chairs

Upon entry - stay to the left and head towards Rainforest Village. Drop backpacks at Puka Uli Lagoon (P) in a sunny lounger with no view near the bathroom.

Early Entry Ride Priority: This list is strategically organized to help make sure you’re able to experience everything the water theme park has to offer.

A - Krakatau Aqua Coaster

B - Ko’okiri Body Plunge (note: this slide isn’t for everybody – it features a drop door, and guests plummet to the bottom in about seven seconds. In addition, if you’re under 230 pounds, Kala and Tai Nui are far more fun/intense and have a lot lower wait times)

G - Honu of the Honu ika Moana

H - Ika Moana of the Honu ika Moana

O, N - Ohyah or Ohno Drop Slide (Ohyah will have a lower wait time, but it drops you only four feet into the splash pool, whereas Ohno does so at six feet. Beyond this, the slides are very similar, and we do not think you need to do both)

D - Punga Racers

Secure Cabana - once wait times increase, time to get the cabana. Go to any of the 3 concierge huts: Rainforest Village (across from Bambu), Wave Village (close to park enter/exit), River Village (near lazy river).

Tip: When you’re waiting for your next major slide, it’s a great idea to join the physical line for one of these attractions:

L,M - Maku Puihi Round Raft Rides

Q - Tonga and Raki of Taniwha Tubes

C - Kala and Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides

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This is sweet. Nice to know there are other meticulous UOR planners out there. :nerd_face:

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Thanks. When I decide to do something, I over-do that something. It’s a blessing and a curse :hushed:

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This worked out pretty great last Thursday. We didn’t make it out of the hotel room until 805a and I thought we were going to miss the first bus. We were the second to last family to board the first bus. This was at royal Pacific. We were the first bus to arrive. Three people were in line. I assume walkers. We made it first to one of the taps. That cast member scanned my wife in first and she took off to concerierge. I got the rest of us scanned in. She was first at concerierge and we got Cabana 19, our first choice. I felt a little rude to the guy that walked is there as I told everybody to drop their stuff and let’s go. Left him in our dust. Got to ride kraku water coaster with maybe a 10 minute wait. Loved our vb day. It was the best day at uni this trip.

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Glad to see you were able to get a cabana quickly!

I think this was me! It was definitely one of the worst experiences of our trip, but it was mostly because we needed to get EP set up. In the future I will get EP set up at my hotel the day before, or later in the day after Ride Now slows down.

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Haha. That’s pretty funny. So I was telling the cast member about this story that I heard because she kept urging us not to drop everything in a chair first. That’s what got the plan between her and my wife concocted to get my wife to first in line at the concierge. We didn’t have EP to deal with though for the water park.

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What had the CM wanted you to do instead?

Our original plan was to drop our stuff in some chairs during early entry and forgo the cabana until later. We didn’t want to waste precious EE time screwing around with concerierge and cabana hosts.

The CM talked us out of that by getting my wife through the taps asap and she made it to first in line at concerierge. We were able to get the cabana, get to the cabana, secure our stuff, take a wrong turn getting to the water coaster, but still only had a 15 minute wait.

So if your first in line to all that, getting a cabana and still making good use of EE is possible. But if you are not first in line, the original plan is probably still the way to go.

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Do you feel the cabana was worth it and how many people were in your party?

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Totally agree! I use the first 30 minutes of EPA “setting-up camp”. I don’t rent the cabanas, so that time is even more important to stake out my favorite shaded area. That still gives me time to get to Krakatu for a ride, maybe two, before waits get unreasonable

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5 of us. Three boys 14, 11, 7.

Worth it? Yes and no. The week I was there the price for a single standalone was $679. Gulp. Over 7 bills with tax. Gulp.

They are super nice structures. Very nice chairs and seating. And a nice table. Lock box is huge. Can fit two back packs in there. Towels were included. And the best feature is probably the iPad that lets you ‘tap in’ to any ride’s VQ remotely.

I thought they included the one day refillable cups. Nope. I thought they included unlimited water bottles. Nope. TL does so I must have assumed VB would as well. Water was adaquate. 12 bottles I think. We brought a couple home. But c’mon Universal, for $700, you can gift me 5 refillable cups for 1 day.

I wouldn’t do it again for just my family

I would do it again as a treat with other family or friends that are first timers like we were last week.

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Wow. That’s a price tag. I’m curious what the premium seating price will be when we go but I’m salty that it doesn’t include towels lol. There’s only 2 of us.