If someone asks you to name the city where Walt Disney World is located, you'd probably say, "Orlando, of course!" Actually, much of Disney's property is adjacent to the city of Kissimmee. If you don't stay at a Disney-owned hotel, Kissimmee actually has a wide range of budgetary hotel options that put you just outside the Walt Disney World resort.
Kissimmee borders such a wide stretch of Disney property that you can be within a stone's throw of any of the four Disney theme parks, depending where you are in the city. Highway 192, also known as Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, is a main artery in Kissimmee. Its western portion runs right near Disney's Animal Kingdom. If you stay at a hotel near Sherbeth Road or Black Lake Road, like the Baymont Inn and Suites Celebration or Mystic Dunes Resort, you can easily get to the park within minutes on the back roads. You're also very close to the Blizzard Beach water park.
As you head east, you can turn down Griffin Road, take it to World Drive, and be at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and the Magic Kingdom within minutes. ESPN Wild World of Sports is also right in this vicinity. You'll pass it if you keep heading east on 192.
The town of Celebration, which was built by Disney in the mid-1990s, is thought of as a distinct community, but it's actually an unincorporated part of Kissimmee. It's located just off 192, near I-4, and plenty of convenient hotels, like Celebration Suites at Old Town, Royale Parc Suites and Holiday Inn Maingate East are right in this area. You can easily get to the Epcot and Disney Springs areas, including the Typhoon Lagoon water park, via I-4 or the back roads. If you take International Drive from 192 to Osceola Parkway, you'll right by ESPN Wild World of Sports and only a short distance from Disney's Animal Kingdom.
If you keep going east past Celebration, you'll eventually reach the intersection of 192 and State Road 535. Take 535 toward Orlando/Lake Buena Vista and you'll reach the Disney entrance closest to Disney Springs and Typhoon Lagoon. Orlando hotels and resorts with great rates in this area include the Grand Beach Resort at Lake Buena Vista, Grande Villas Resort at Lake Buena Vista, Best Western Lake Buena Vista resort hotel, and Holiday Inn Resort Lake Buena Vista.
Kissimmee is a great home base for your Disney vacations not just because of its proximity to Walt Disney World, but also for its other features. 192 is lined with restaurants and tourist attractions like miniature golf courses and go-kart tracks. It also has multiple Target and Wal-Mart locations and Publix grocery stores.
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Davenport, where you can find the Regal Palms Resort and Spa, is a little farther out, but still within minutes of Walt Disney World. Highway 27 intersects with the west end of 192, which means you can quickly reach the Animal Kingdom area. You can also jump on the 429 toll road via 192 and take it to the Disney area or just take 192 east.
The Davenport area is just outside the main part of the Disney tourist zone, so you don't have to fight traffic or be in the middle of a crowd, even during the peak season. It's a popular spot for vacation homes because of its convenience and privacy.
Davenport is also a great choice if you plan to detour to Legoland Florida during your Walt Disney World trip. Highway 27 is the main route to Legoland. Just head south and take 27 to State Road 540. You'll be there in about half an hour.
Highway 27 has plenty of shopping areas, including the Posner Place mall where it intersects I-4. Just head south to reach the Target, and other stores. If you head north, you'll find a Wal-Mart and other shops in neighboring Clermont.