If you’re planning to stay at any one of the hundreds of off-site hotels in Orlando, there are some things to consider before you make your reservation. I’ve compiled this list of questions to help you choose the perfect “digs” for your family.
1. What kind of transportation services does the hotel offer?
If the hotel offers transportation to and from the airport and has complimentary shuttle service to and from the parks, you may not have to rent a car or rent one for only part of the time. If not, you’ll definitely need to rent a car; the parks are too far apart for reasonable cab fares.
2. How close is the hotel to the main parks and attractions?
Check how far away the hotel is from the theme parks. The address may say “Orlando,” but it’s a large city and you don’t want to have to drive 30 minutes each morning to the park.
3. What kind of dining options are there?
You may spend most of your time in the parks and eat at park restaurants, but it’s important to know that you can grab a bite to eat close to the hotel. Check if the hotel has on-site dining or if there are close-by restaurants. And don’t forget to check if there is complimentary breakfast.
4. Can I get a refrigerator for my room?
One of the Frog Family’s favorite money-saving tips is to bring sandwich items, snacks and drinks with us. Make sure you’ll have somewhere to store your food in the room.
5. Are there extra fees for things like hotel parking, crib rental, cleaning fees (condo or rental), internet access?
These extra fees can really add up and if you don’t know about them in advance they can really bust your budget.
6. Is the staff knowledgeable about the Orlando area & the attractions in case I need help with directions or reservations?
Where is the nearest Walmart? How far is Animal Kingdom from Disney Springs? You definitely want to be able to call the Front Desk and get answers to your questions.
7. What are the recreation areas (playgrounds, picnic areas, pools) like?
It might be a theme park vacation, but believe it or not your kids still want to hang out at the hotel sometimes. (When else can they ride up and down elevators and take late night dips in the pool?) Make sure the hotel has recreation options for those afternoons when everyone needs a break from the park crowds.
8. What are the check-in/out times? Can I request an early check-in? If I have a late flight can I store my baggage?
Make sure you know all these details when you’re booking your flights and planning your trip. It really cuts down on the stress of the “unknown.”
Considering staying on property at the Walt Disney World® Resort or Universal Orlando® Resort? Here’s why the Frog Family likes to. For more helpful lodging tips, check out our Where to Stay in Orlando page inside the Orlando Planning Timeline!