Deciding on where to stay in Orlando often times can be very confusing. We have broken out the 6 different areas below for you to look at:
1. South of Disney – The US 192 highway has been a popular tourist destination for many years. There are plenty of restaurants, putt-putt-golf courses, and family attractions. Most of these hotels near Disney World on US Highway 192 (also called West Irlo Bronson Highway) are older hotels and many of hotels on 192 are not affiliated with national name brands.
Pros– This area has Highway 192 which is a 4 lane highway and it makes getting into and out of Disney World much easier. The prices for hotels on 192 tend to be the less expensive as compared to the other areas. If you are going to any sporting events at Disney Wide World of Sports or if you are going to Animal Kingdom, staying on Highway 192 in Kissimmee will make it an easy to commute back and forth.
Cons– Most of the Kissimmee hotels on Highway 192 are older (most of them were built in the late 1970’s) and many are not associated with national brands.
North of Disney World (Lake Buena Vista Area) – The Lake Buena Vista area is the newest area to stay for Disney World travelers. Most of the hotels built in the Lake Buena Vista area were built in the early 1990’s, and almost all of the Lake Buena Vista Hotels in this area are associated with a national brand. There is great shopping and many top restaurants within a few blocks of each other.
Pros– Most of the hotels are newer and almost all of them are associated with name brand properties. The Lake Buena Vista Premium Outlet mall offers great shopping and many great restaurants.
Cons– State Route 528 gets very congested near the Interstate 4 interchange. There are many top restaurants in the area but if you want to go out to eat between 5pm and 8pm the wait can be extremely long.
Inside Disney World Resort- If you want to stay at one of the hotels inside Disney World, then staying inside the main gate is the best place to stay for you.
Pros– The free use of the Disney shuttle services, which run every 30 minutes to all the Disney World theme parks, is a huge plus. Disney has very high standards for all the hotels located inside the Disney parks, so you are more than likely guaranteed an extremely nice room.
Cons- None of the hotels in Disney allow more than 4 people into a room, and the room rates are almost double as compared to similar hotels outside the main gate.
Universal Area– There are a few hotels around the Universal area, but the competition is not nearly what it is among hotels which cater to Disney World so the prices are not going to be as attractive.
Downtown Orlando– If you are going to the theme parks I would not even consider hotels located in downtown area. Downtown Orlando is located almost 30 minutes to Disney World. It is not convenient to stay at Downtown Orlando Hotels.
I-Drive/Convention Center Area– If you are going to SeaWorld then the I-Drive area might be where you want to stay. I would caution you, the prices are a little more expensive on I- Drive and the hotel amenities are more geared toward business travelers than they are for families. I-Drive area does have many great restaurants, but beware if you are traveling while there is a convention in town it is going to be almost impossible to find a seat at any of these restaurants during peak eating times.