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Orlando Guide to Best Hotel Locations

Where to Stay Near Disney World, Orlando

Finding the right Disney World area hotel location for you and your family can make a big difference in your enjoyment. You'll want the best balance between convenience and price while staying in Orlando or nearby.

Whether you want a cheap, but good quality basic hotel or a big discount on a deluxe luxury hotel, this Orlando guide helps you make the right choice. You'll find the pros and cons of hotel neighborhoods.

Some of the concerns discussed include

  • Should I stay at a hotel on the Disney World transportation system like the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel or Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort?
  • Should my family stay at a hotel adjacent to Disney World like the Sheraton World Resort?
  • What about nearby alternatives, such as being near Universal Studios and International Drive, or staying in Kissimmee?
  • Could I save more in other areas of Orlando?
  • How about visiting and staying in nearby cities?

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1. Should I stay at a hotel on the Disney World transportation system?

Yes, if you are willing to pay top price for convenience.

You definitely pay more—considerably more—to stay virtually inside the gates. These popular hotels seldom discount significantly.

On the other hand, you have no parking hassles. No time wasted commuting. Priority “jump the queue” status in the Disney parks. Nothing gets in the way of your fun.

Nevertheless, your family will most likely want to roam to Universal Studios and to the beaches and to other spots outside the Disney World complex.

That means part of your money spent for convenience at Disney World goes to waste.

2. Should my family stay at a hotel adjacent to Disney World?

Again, you spend more for being “at the gates.”

However, the premium you pay is much less than staying at Disney-owned hotels that are on its transportation system. Instead, you use quick and usually free transfers to avoid parking hassles.

Because you are on Disney World property (or adjacent to it), you remain in an uplifting and pleasant environment. First-class restaurants and top fun spots like the House of Blues Orlando are at your doorstep.

This area is often called “Disney World Vicinity."

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3. What about nearby alternatives such as being near Universal Studios, on International Drive, or in Kissimmee?

Most travelers want to stay near International Drive (Sea World), Kissimmee, West Disney, and the area around Universal Studios.

You remain reasonably close to Disney World, but tend to pay less for accommodation, especially in Kissimmee.

In most cases you can still transfer by van to avoid parking problems, but you may have to pay a nominal fee for each trip.

These areas are close to most attractions and a large variety of restaurants and fun places. In many cases, the restaurants are much less expensive than those on or adjacent to Disney property.

You remain convenient to Orlando International Airport and to Amtrak.

Overall, these areas areas make fine choices for most visitors. Of these, International Drive - Sea World probably works best if you do not have a car.

4. Could I save more in other areas of Orlando?

Except for downtown Orlando, neighborhoods away from Disney World and Universal Studios tend to be less expensive.

However, you'll pay a very heavy price in time due to Orlando’s notorious traffic congestion. The Interstate 4 corridor congests especially easily. Sadly, Orlando lacks rapid transit.

Nevertheless, all areas on the Priceline map, such as Altamonte Springs and Winter Park, are suitable for travelers, in terms of neighborhood quality and general safety. Just use reasonable care as you would in any urban area.

Before you choose on of these alternatives, try for a low price in close by Kissimmee, which offers the largest selections of bargain rates near Disney World and Universal.

5. How about visiting and staying in nearby cities?

Sightseeing in Ocala National Forest, Silver Springs, St. Augustine, Canaveral National Seashore, Ormond Beach, Cocoa Beach, and the Kennedy Space Center are fantastic alternatives to spending all your time in theme parks.

To save driving time to and from Orlando, you may wish to stay elsewhere several nights.

This is discussed in BidonTravel's Florida nature tour. See also the Orlando guide for planning your time.

I hope this Orlando guide helps you find the perfect hotel location!

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