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Where to Stay in Orlando - Undercover Tourist Blog

by Mommy Frog on June 12, 2014

When planning your theme park vacation, there is no shortage of options for where to stay in Orlando. With more than 400 hotels as well as vacation home rentals and campgrounds, Orlando has enough accommodation options to suit all needs with regard to budget, location and size.

Where to Stay in Orlando - Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

There are, of course, tons of considerations for what type of accommodation to pursue. Some of them include which attractions you will be visiting, how long you will be staying, whether you will be renting a car or flying, and the size of your party. There are also personal preferences to consider. Do you want to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort property or are you looking for a budget hotel close by on International Drive? Would a vacation home/villa rental work better for your family or are you driving an RV to Florida and need a campground?

Where to Stay in Orlando - Hard Rock Hotel Pool

For most families, we recommend staying at the resort properties at the Walt Disney World Resort and the Universal Orlando Resort or the partner hotels at the SeaWorld Orlando Resort. Each of them carries its own benefits and perks, which we outline below, including proximity to the theme parks. Some offer free transportation, by monorail, bus or boat. All offer early entry to the theme parks. Larger groups or those who are looking for extended stays may find the most economical options are renting vacation homes or time shares.

Where to Stay in Orlando

We hope you’ve found this guide on where to stay in Orlando helpful as you plan your trip. You’ll find more planning information in our Orlando Planning Guide.

Hoppy planning!
Mommy Frog

Comments
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Michelle Jul 8, 2014 at 3:44 p.m.

This is great advice! My family of 6 and I have stayed on site at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and it was AMAZING! Truly great recommendation. However, we've found it got a bit expensive. We started staying at Hawthorn Lake Buena Vista which offers free shuttles to Disney. It's allowed us more opportunities to spend money on more enjoyable family activities. However, it does not have the luxury of staying on site.

Reply
Victoria M Feb 12, 2015 at 8:33 p.m.

Thanks so much for your review. We are planning a first trip this coming nov, and your hotel tip (wyndham) is just what needed as another family of 6!

Reply
Dalisa Feb 25, 2015 at 12:47 p.m.

HI I was just wondering is there any on-site hotel in orlando that offers a shuttle to both Universal Studios and Disney?

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FrogBlog Mar 2, 2015 at 8:30 a.m.

Hi Dalisa,

No, there are not. While you could take a cab or shuttle, we find that it's easier and even sometimes more economical to rent a car.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Karishma Mar 6, 2015 at 7:20 p.m.

i wanted to visit olando Disney in this nov or dec (suggest which month I should plan)we r 4in family .recommend me where should I stay which should be in my budget n convenient for me n also how many days we need to see properly whole Disney ?pls suggest me so that way I plan my trip .thnakyou

Reply
FrogBlog Mar 16, 2015 at 7:35 a.m.

Hi Karishma,

November and December are both good choices during parts of the month if you avoid the holidays. Check out our Crowd Calendar to see the best days. For a first visit, I would suggest at least five days for Disney World. There are many terrific resort hotels at Disney World, but the decision on where to stay is largely based on your budget and which types of amenities you would like. Disney's Art of Animation family suites are an all-round good budget option for a first visit, with terrific theming and pools.

Hoppy planning!

Reply
wendy Mar 10, 2015 at 12:23 a.m.

Hi We are flying out of the Sanford airport and are visiting Universal Studios. Which area is a good one to stay in giving us an almost equal drive to each place?

Thanks

Reply
FrogBlog Mar 16, 2015 at 8:18 a.m.

Hi Wendy,

Do you mean equal between Universal and Disney World? We generally recommend staying at one of the resorts (or both) as there definite benefits to staying on-site, but if you are set on staying off-site, I would recommend looking at some of the hotels along International Drive (I-Drive).

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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Cynthia Mar 16, 2015 at 8:51 p.m.

Hi!

I'm planning my family's upcoming trip to Disney World and I came across a website for renting a Disney time share. I was curious if you have ever used a website in dealing with this or is it risky business?

Thanks!

Reply
FrogBlog Mar 17, 2015 at 8:19 a.m.

Hi Cynthia,

There are some legitimate time share sites. We prefer to stay on-site, but time shares can be an affordable option, especially for a larger group.

Mommy Frog

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Stacy Apr 3, 2015 at 1:22 p.m.

Are the shuttles handicap accessible. Our son has CMD and is in a power wheel chair. Trying to decide it we should stay on site or drive each day.

Reply
FrogBlog Apr 7, 2015 at 11:20 a.m.

Hi Stacy,

The complimentary shuttles are handicap accessible and accommodates wheelchairs/ECVs. Here is more information:

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/bus-transportation/

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/faq/guests-with-disabilities/wheelchair-buses/

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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Rhonda Nowak Apr 16, 2015 at 4:29 p.m.

Okay, I like a good Disney visit, but my daughter wants to get married at the Grand Floridian Wedding Chapel, with a small reception at Citricos. We are planning on meeting with disney people on August 2. Please tell me why I should be plunking down tons of money and we should stay at one of their resorts. I just need a reminder of why my money will be well spent, and it will be amazing! I know it will be, but I need a good reminder from those of you who just LOVE Disney, please give me a "boost" to take my medicine down easier! haha

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FrogBlog Apr 20, 2015 at 8:53 a.m.

Hi Rhonda,

It is a lot of money, but there is no way you or your daughter will regret it! As I am sure you know, Disney's Grand Floridian is absolutely stunning with so many wonderful locations for photos, and the beach and backdrop of Magic Kingdom will be spectacular from the airy wedding chapel that sits on the Seven Seas Lagoon. I can't imagine it being anything but a fairytale come to life!

Mommy Frog

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Greg Apr 29, 2015 at 1:47 p.m.

Hi... Myself and my girlfriend are travelling to the U.S. mid June for a trip up the east coast. We are in our mid 30's. We fly into Orlando and have 3nights (two full days). We are likely to do one day at Universal and another at the waterpark but open to suggestions. She is really interested in anywhere 'movie-set' related. Where would be best place to stay?? Looking for a nice hotel with a good pool area that is convenient for getting to Universal.

Also why would people stay at i-drive over a place 'on site'?

We won't have a car.

Thanks!

Greg

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FrogBlog Apr 29, 2015 at 9:46 a.m.

Hi Greg,

Most people stay off-site because of the cost, but we think the benefits you get from staying on-site generally outweigh that. For one day at Universal in June, I would highly recommend one of their deluxe hotels — the Hard Rock Hotel Orlando, Loews Portofino Resort and Loews Royal Pacific Resort. None of the hotels are movie-set themed, but I love the rock 'n' roll vibe at Hard Rock, especially its pool, and it's the closest hotel to the parks. If you stay on-site, you can also get free transportation to Wet 'n' Wild water park. Let us know what you decide!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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Greg Apr 30, 2015 at 4:13 p.m.

Thanks for the tips..I'll let you know what we do and how it goes!:)

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Martin Apr 29, 2015 at 10:14 p.m.

Hi - we are a family of 6 planning a trip to Orlando from the UK next April. We're staying at a hotel in Universal for 3 nights, but are then looking at staying in a villa with a car so we can get around the other theme parks/water parks and even to Tampa & Cape Canaveral. We're trying to judge where is a good area to stay - there seems to be so much choice - we found a nice villa but someone then told us to avoid the area as it has become run-down and not as safe as others in Orlando. Our kids aren't into Disney, so being close to Disney isn't an imperative. Not being too far from some shops or restaurants would be nice. Any help would be very much appreciated!

Thank you!

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FrogBlog May 5, 2015 at 9:19 a.m.

Hi Martin,

We prefer to stay on-site, but there are plenty of good and safe choices within proximity to Universal. If you are going to stay off-site, I would suggest sticking with a major hotel brand so you have a better idea of quality.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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Jonielle Soderstrom May 1, 2015 at 2:04 a.m.

Bringing a family of 10. All ages! Staying at Bonnet Creek. Don't know where to start for tickets to Disney World.

Reply
FrogBlog May 1, 2015 at 9:03 a.m.

Hi Jonielle,

I would start here with the post on Magic Your Way vs. Park Hopper. Let us know if you have more questions!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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Laura Jul 12, 2015 at 11:39 p.m.

Hi!!

I bought tickets from you guys I want to know if you have or know any houses that are for rent

Thanks

Reply
FrogBlog Jul 16, 2015 at 10:55 a.m.

Hi Laura,

Thanks! Hard to believe, but in all of our trips to Orlando, we have not rented. There are plenty for rent in Orlando, but I would caution you to do your homework, read the reviews and make sure it's a good place in a good location. For larger groups, Disney does offer villas that accommodate larger groups, and there are plenty of off-site options at the major chains that have more amenities such as full kitchens, and washers and dryers.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
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