Visitors to Orlando spend a lot of time planning which theme parks they will visit, but comparatively less on which hotels to stay at. Orlando Florida hotels vary widely in cost and amenities; you can stay on theme park property for a premium or opt to stay further away at the expense of less convenient transportation options. Some visitors choose to spend a few days on property while they enjoy the parks, and then stay at off-property hotels while they visit other non-park attractions and shopping destinations. Regardless of your plans, spend some time considering which Orlando Florida hotels would be best suited to your plans.
If you’re traveling to Orlando for the theme parks, you may consider staying at the on-property resorts. Orlando Florida hotels on Disney property include thirty-three hotels with 24 owned directly by Disney. The Grand Floridian is considered the most luxurious; it has a Victorian era Florida theme complete with Italian marble flooring and a cage elevator in the lobby. Certain floors are all-suite levels, with complimentary snacks and beverages throughout the day. Most of the on-property hotels are themed, and Disney characters and charm are prevalent. All of the hotels are on the Disney bus route, but several are also connected to the theme parks via monorail and boat. This can make traveling to and from the parks much more convenient, particularly for those travelers interested in coming in midday for a snack or nap. Similarly, Universal Studios Orlando has several on-property hotels. The Portofino Bay Hotel has an Italian theme and is connected to the parks via boat. Three swimming pools and eight restaurants keep guests busy while relaxing away from the two Universal Studios theme parks in Orlando.
Quality Orlando Florida hotels don’t need to be on theme park property, however. Many visitors choose to stay off property for several reasons, including those who aren’t in town just for the theme parks and those trying to save money. Although it will take longer to get to the theme parks, nearly all Orlanda Florida hotels offer free shuttles to all the area’s theme parks, attractions, and shopping destinations throughout the day. The Hilton Orlando Resort Lake Buena Vista is set on 23 acres above and within walking distance of Downtown Disney and only 7 miles from Magic Kingdom. Even though it is not a Disney hotel, guests get “Extra Magic Hours” at selected parks, allowing early entrance or late exit on certain days. Another budget option is the Crowne Plaza Orlando, located near the Amway Arena (home of the Orlando Magic basketball team). It is near the interstate and train tracks, which can be good for transportation but a bit noisy at times.
The Waldorf Astoria Orlando is one of Orlando’s few five-star resorts, available at a fraction of the price of Disney’s top resorts. The resort sits on over 400 acres and has its own golf course, spa, and restaurants. Complimentary shuttles are available to all of the Disney attractions, and this hotel is particularly close to Downtown Disney and the Typhoon Lagoon water park. For those combining business and pleasure, the Orlando convention center is 10 minutes away. Although many visitors suggest staying on resort property at least once, many return visitors opt to stay at off-property resorts like the Waldorf on subsequent trips.
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