Where to Stay in Orlando: Best Places for Families
The theme park capital of the world, Orlando is a place where imagination blooms and adventures are meant to be had. Famous for Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and a long list of other world-class attractions, here visitors will find thrilling experiences that appeal to the entire family.
Nicknamed “The City Beautiful”, Orlando has a lot to offer not only in terms of attractions but with accommodation options too. With so many hotels available, it can be a daunting task to narrow down the possibilities. With over 400 million visitors per year to HotelsCombined, we’ve taken the guesswork out of hotel searches in Orlando by highlighting the top hotels close to the city’s top attractions, Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. Under a 15-minute drive from each other, Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando are two of Orlando’s premier theme parks. Consistently ranked the most popular tourism destination in the world, choosing which Orlando attraction to include in your itinerary can be tough, so we’ve provided a list of top attractions that aren’t Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando that both kids and adults alike will enjoy.
From family-friendly amenities to unique perks just for the kids, these hotels provide easy access to the city’s attractions and entertainment nearby. Organised by distance, let us help you discover which hotel in Orlando meets all your family’s travel needs.
Orlando Hotels Near Walt Disney World
Twice the size of Manhattan, Walt Disney World is a magical attraction that encompasses an expansive property south-west of Downtown Orlando. A place where childhood dreams come true, visitors come to Walt Disney World to meet Mickey Mouse and walk along the famous Main Street towards Cinderella’s Castle for a chance to catch a sight of its nightly awe-inspiring fireworks show. From world-famous rides in the Magic Kingdom to African safaris in Animal Kingdom and travelling the globe at Epcot, here you’ll find something for everyone. Less than a 15-minute drive to Walt Disney World, these hotels put you in a prime location to explore “The Happiest Place on Earth.”
Only a 12-minute drive from Disney World, Seralago Hotel & Suites Main Gate East is a family-friendly hotel in an excellent position to explore Orlando’s top attractions. Featuring a convenient shuttle to Disney World, families can also take advantage of the hotel’s other on-site services such as an Olympic-style pool, theatre for movie nights, tennis and basketball courts and a Dungeon Castle Video Arcade.
Boasting 614 rooms, from a Standard Deluxe to a Two-Bedroom Suite, the Seralago Hotel & Suites Main Gate East also offers guests a choice of booking a Kid’s Suite designed for families with junior bunk beds and fun decor. The hotel’s on-site restaurant, The Vineyard Cafe, serves a hearty breakfast, while The People’s Choice Food Court & General Store offers tempting snacks on the go.
Star Rating: 3*
Price: US$24 – US$142
Guest Rating: 6.4
Address: 5678 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Orlando, FL, USA
Offering adventure right on your doorstep, Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites – Waterpark is an all-suite hotel with a long list of amenities. Ranging from 1 to 3-bedroom suites only a five-minute drive from Disney World, here guests can choose from 777 spacious rooms that include a living area, kitchenette and set of luxurious Bath & Body Works toiletries.
The real treat at Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites – Waterpark is of course, the water park. Here guests will find kid-friendly slides and flumes alongside luxurious cabanas for the adults. The hotel’s fun-filled features don’t stop there as guests can also spend their day at the 4-D Experience, Batman Laser Challenge and 278-square-metre arcade. Live entertainment is also offered in the hotel’s Celebration Theater.
Star Rating: 3*
Price: US$71 – US$312
Guest Rating: 6.9
Address: 14500 Continental Gateway, Orlando, FL, USA
Only three kilometres from Disney World, Maingate Lakeside Resort is not only in a convenient location to explore the park but only a 15-minute drive to nearby attractions. This 475 room hotel features three outdoor pools, an on-site cafe and an 18-hole mini golf course. Kid’s will also find plenty of reasons to be entertained, with two playgrounds, a kid’s club and a video arcade.
Spacious rooms at Maingate Lakeside Resort include pillowtop bedding so you can get a good night’s sleep, while the on-site restaurant, The Greenhouse, serves guests a daily breakfast buffet to start your morning off right. A free airport and theme park shuttle is a convenient hotel perk for exploring the area, while the expansive on-site Pooch Park will keep your four-legged friends content.
Star Rating: 3*
Price: US$23 – US$147
Guest Rating: 6.5
Address: 7769 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Orlando, FL, USA
A family-friendly hotel conveniently located four kilometres from Disney World, Celebration Suites at Old Town offers spacious suites across from Kissimmee’s top attraction, the Old Town Entertainment Complex. Rooms boast full kitchens and a separate living area that are perfect for making your own meals and relaxing before exploring Orlando’s famous theme parks, while the hotel’s on-site coffee shop keeps you refuelled for another day of adventure.
Outdoor enthusiasts will be in for a real treat with three outdoor pools, sand volleyball courts, a putting green and lawn chess. Indoor fun is also in abundance at the hotel, where kids will be delighted to discover a game room, ping-pong table and Kid’s Club Centre. Free shuttles to Disney are available in addition to a Concierge Desk with discounted attraction tickets.
Star Rating: 3*
Price: US$43 – US$159
Guest Rating: 7.2
Address: 5820 W. Hwy 192, Orlando, FL, USA
Less than a five-minute drive to Disney World, Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista Rosen Hotel is situated in an ideal location for a vacation filled with theme park and roller coaster action. Boasting 640 rooms, guests here are treated to luxury Simmons Beautyrest pillow top mattresses to ensure they get their beauty rest in addition to other modern conveniences.
The hotel also features plenty of fun features for the kids, with two seasonally heated pools, a splash ground, kid’s playground and a 24-hour video arcade with billiards and air hockey. A range of dining options is available, from the all-you-can-eat-buffet to a late-night bar menu.
Star Rating: 3*
Price: US$50 – US$107
Guest Rating: 7.4
Address: 8442 Palm Parkway, Orlando, FL, USA
Just walking distance from Disney World’s Disney Springs, Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace – Disney Springs Area is in a premier location to enjoy all the world-renown park has to offer. Nestled on 27 lush acres, this family-friendly hotel features four on-site restaurants, a swimming pool and a golf course across the street.
Breakfast is an adventure here, as guests not only have a menu filled with locally sourced ingredients and views of the lagoon, but they also have the rare opportunity to meet their favourite Disney Characters. Every 30 minutes you’ll find a shuttle whisking away guests to The Happiest Place on Earth, while coffee lovers will want to make a pit stop in the Citrus 28 mini-market for their morning Starbucks jolt.
Star Rating: 4*
Price: US$75 – US$246
Guest Rating: 7.8
Address: 1900 Buena Vista Dr, Orlando, FL, USA
Kid-friendly amenities are in abundance at Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort Disney Springs Resort Area, conveniently located directly across the shopping, dining and entertainment mecca that is Disney Springs. A lush lakeside resort, here guests are treated to two sun-drenched pools, an aquatic playground for kids, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts in addition to a featured breakfast day with Disney characters.
A luxury resort with 232 spacious rooms, guests will find comfort and convenience reign supreme at this resort with plush bedding, lake house-themed decor and a range of amenities to ensure your stay is memorable. An upgraded Disney View Room even offers picturesque views of the park, especially a spectacular sight at night.
Star Rating: 3*
Price: US$68 – US$247
Guest Rating: 7.5
Address: 1850 Hotel Plaza Boulevard, Orlando, FL, USA
Designed with kids in mind, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort feels like you’re in a Disney movie. Surrounded by the magic of Disney World, guests here will find an array of themes that immerse visitors into classics like The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo and The Lion King. Spacious Family Suites suit a family of 6, where decor highlights some of your favourite Disney films.
Kids are in for a real treat, as they can plunge into the largest resort pool in Disney World or catch a classic Disney movie under the stars in the resort’s grassy area. The Landscape of Flavors restaurant serves guests fresh, made-to-order international and American cuisine, while those who prefer to stay in can enjoy a delicious pizza conveniently delivered to their door.
Star Rating: 3*
Price: US$128 – US$522
Guest Rating: 8.7
Address: 1850 Century Drive, Orlando, FL, USA
Orlando Attractions Near Walt Disney World
Discover magic beyond Walt Disney World at some of the most famous attractions only minutes away. From the stunning city views at Coca-Cola Orlando Eye to the mesmerising acrobatics at Cirque du Soleil, those staying near Walt Disney World will find plenty of unique attractions to explore with the entire family. Organised by their driving distance from the park, discover some of the top attractions in Orlando that aren’t Walt Disney World.
Attractions Under 15 Minutes’ Drive from Walt Disney World
Conveniently located on the Disney property, visitors who come here will find an abundance of eclectic boutiques, unique culinary delights and vibrant entertainment options for all ages. Over 50 brand name and Disney-themed shops are a shopper’s delight, while the world-class restaurants and waterside cafes are a real treat. A highlight of the area includes the extensive list of entertainment options, from the indoor interactive theme park to the bowling lanes, movie theatres and live concerts held on the streets.
Less than a 10-minute drive from Disney World, Discovery Cove is where visitors can swim with bottlenose dolphins, hand-feed tropical birds and snorkel amongst underwater marine life in a saltwater reef. A must-see for animal enthusiasts, here you can get up close and personal with stingrays, otters and marmosets. An exciting tropical experience, Disney Cove is nestled in lush landscaping and rocky lagoons, where visitors will find rainforest canopies above and sparkling natural springs below.
La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil
An evening like no other, La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil is a breathtaking high-energy show with seemingly impossible displays of acrobatics intertwined with extraordinary choreography. Located at Disney Springs on the Disney World property, La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil boasts live music and a spectacular array of lights mixed with imagination, creativity and whimsical characters that captivate audiences through a set of over-the-top artistic performances.
Attractions Over 15 Minutes’ Drive from Walt Disney World
A large 150-acre theme park designed for families, LEGOLAND Florida boasts more than 50 rides, a water park and live shows, in addition to its abundance of interactive features and family-friendly restaurants designed for children age two to 12. From the Lego-themed rides to Miniland USA, Lego Star Wars and 10 other engaging themed zones, there is plenty of fun to be had only a 30-minute drive from Disney World.
Coca-Cola Orlando Eye
A newly built Ferris Wheel in Orlando, the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye offers visitors a brilliant 360-degree view of Orlando from 121 metres in the air in a glass enclosure, where you’ll soar over the city and try your best to spot iconic buildings and attractions over Orlando’s International Drive. Less than a 20-minute drive from Disney World, if you time your visit right, you can even catch a glimpse of Disney’s famous fireworks display from above.
Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
Under a 20-minute drive from Disney World, Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament offers visitors a family-style dinner like no other. A chance to see an epic battle between knights and horses with live jousting and sword fighting, history enthusiasts can be taken back in time with a four-course feast worthy of 11th-century royalty. Cheer on your knight of choosing and watch the tournament play out with a set of thrilling medieval style games.
Orlando Hotels near Universal Orlando
Boasting two distinct theme parks with an abundance of fun, Universal Orlando encompasses both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Here visitors can go behind the scenes and jump into the movie action, with an array of exciting rides, shows and movie sets. From the action-packed 3-D Transformers ride to the Minions at Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and Hogwarts adventures in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you are spoiled for choice in where you can find your thrills. Step into the pages of a comic book at Toon Lagoon, explore Jurassic Park or visit the high-tech Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man for a delightful day of discoveries. Situated less than a 15-minute drive to Universal Orlando, these hotels put you in a prime location to explore Universal’s abundance of theme park attractions.
A picturesque lakefront property, Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa offers a wealth of activities to ensure your visit to Orlando is memorable. Ranging from Studio Villas to Four-Bedroom Presidential Villas, guests will find spacious accommodations with kitchenettes and a separate living and dining room in the upgraded villa’s, perfect for large families.
Only four kilometres from Universal, you’re within minutes to one of Orlando’s top theme parks, but you’ll also find that you have plenty of activities to choose from at the resort. Boasting five restaurants, seven heated pools, mini-golf, a game room, boat rentals and a packed events calendar that includes anything from a scavenger hunt to a pool party, the kids are sure to enjoy staying on site.
Star Rating: 4*
Price: US$59 – US$280
Guest Rating: 7.4
Address: 10000 Turkey Lake Road, Orlando, FL, USA
Walking distance from Universal theme park, Avanti Palms Resort And Conference Center is in the heart of the city’s most popular street, International Drive. This hotel provides a unique accommodation experience, as guests can get up close and personal with some of Florida’s fiercest animals at the on-site Alligator Alley, a habitat for 40 rescue alligators.
The hotel’s 652 spacious rooms surround an abundance of features that include three restaurants, two bars and a lagoon-style swimming pool lined with palm trees and a rock waterfall. After a day at the theme parks, guests are encouraged to book an appointment at the on-site Aqua Spa for some rest and relaxation or head to the game room for a round of billiards.
Star Rating: 3*
Price: US$42 – US$213
Guest Rating: 5.7
Address: 6515 International Dr, Orlando, FL, USA
An excellent location to explore the area’s theme parks, Allure Resort International Drive Orlando is situated near two of Orlando’s main highways. Designed with a tropical paradise theme, guests will find a wide variety of rooms available with modern conveniences such as mini fridges, complimentary breakfast and access to a YMCA fitness centre next door.
Boasting tranquil surroundings that are perfect for families travelling with kids, Allure Resort International Drive Orlando offers two convenient on-site restaurants, a cafe and a gift shop in addition to a children’s pool and play area.
Star Rating: 4*
Price: US$42 – US$156
Guest Rating: 6.5
Address: 8444 International Dr, Orlando, FL, USA
Less than a five-minute drive to Universal and a two-minute walk from the exciting iFLY Orlando attraction, Hotel Monreale Express International Drive Orlando is in an excellent location for families. Surrounded by the shops and restaurants on Orlando’s famous International Drive, guests will have plenty of opportunities to have some fun.
Orlando Continental Plaza Hotel has 190 comfortable rooms and a range of recreational features such as an outdoor pool, game room and gift shop. A complimentary shuttle to Universal, 24-hour front desk and ticket assistant are also available to ensure families get the most out of your stay.
Star Rating: 2*
Price: US$25 – US$208
Guest Rating: 5.3
Address: 6825 Visitors Circle, Orlando, FL, USA
An excellent choice for families, Hyatt Regency Orlando is less than 10 minutes to Universal and less than a 20-minute drive from other attractions such as Universal Citywalk and Fun Spot America. An impressively large hotel, here guests will discover 1,639 guestrooms that include 192 suites with stunning views over the city.
Relaxation is a priority here, as guests will find plenty of places to unwind at the three tropical-style pools and luxurious on-site spa. Seven restaurants offer a wide range of dining choices, from Italian fare at Fiorenzo Italian Steakhouse to an extensive menu of comfort foods at the 24-hour B-Line Diner and poolside drinks and snacks from the hotel’s Coconuts Poolside Bar & Grill.
Star Rating: 4*
Price: US$45 – US$614
Guest Rating: 9.0
Address: 9801 International Drive, Orlando, FL, USA
Providing a cheerful ambience, Avanti Internation Resort is a family-friendly hotel close to the theme parks. Only a 10-minute drive from Universal and 20 minutes from the Orlando International Airport, the hotel offers guests a complimentary shuttle to and from the park and airport. Boasting a contemporary design and modern decor, the hotel’s 652 rooms offer guests all the necessities for a comfortable stay.
A treat for both kids and adults alike, the hotel has an oversized zero-entry pool and interactive water fountains that provide a refreshing break from Florida’s sunshine. Offering multiple ways to refuel, guests can choose from a variety of on-site dining along with a menu of Starbucks drinks from a professional barista.
Star Rating: 3*
Price: US$36 – US$138
Guest Rating: 7.7
Address: 8738 International Dr, Orlando, FL, USA
Located on International Drive, Rosen Inn Closest to Universal is ideal for vacationers who want to be less than a five-minute drive to Universal. After a day of adventure, retire to one of the 300 comfortable rooms that feature luxury Simmons Beautyrest pillow top mattresses, Disney cable channels and complimentary toiletries to make you feel at home.
Guests have a variety of on-site eateries to choose from, including all-you-can-eat buffets, pub-style food and a Japanese grill steakhouse. A mini-market is also available for late-night check-ins and park-hopping guests that are on the go, while a swimming pool and video arcade game room are perfect for keeping the family entertained.
Star Rating: 3*
Price: US$57 – US$137
Guest Rating: 8.0
Address: 6327 International Dr, Orlando, FL, USA
Less than a five-minute drive to Universal, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort gives guests exclusive theme park benefits like Early Park Admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. A fun 1950s-themed resort, guests here are greeted with colourful retro decor, spacious rooms and family suites that are ideal for families travelling with children.
After a day at the theme park, guests can unwind with the kids at the two zero-entry pools, lazy river and beach area to soak up the sunshine. Those who still have energy for some action-packed fun will be delighted to discover an on-site waterslide, 10-lane bowling alley and family-friendly game room. Burgers, milkshakes, pizza and sandwiches are served at the hotel’s food court, while a convenient on-site coffee shop is perfect for parents who need to recharge.
Star Rating: 3*
Price: US$94 – US$175
Guest Rating: 8.9
Address: 6550 Adventure Way, Orlando, FL, USA
Orlando Attractions near Universal Orlando
Less than a 10-minute drive from International Drive and 20 minutes from Downtown Orlando, staying near Universal puts visitors in a prime location to explore everything the city has to offer. From the world-renown Kennedy Space Center to multi-level go-kart fun at Fun Spot, visitors have an abundance of family-friendly attractions to choose from nearby. Organised by their driving distance from Universal, read on to discover the top attractions in Orlando that are an ideal day trip from the theme park area.
Attractions Under 15 Minutes’ Drive from Universal Orlando
The entertainment mecca of Universal, CityWalk is a 27-hectare entertainment and shopping complex located on a small harbour. Lined with restaurants, shops and family-friendly attractions, visitors can choose from an 18-hole mini golf course, movie theatre or a world-renowned Blue Man Group show. The Hot Dog Hall of Fame, The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. are fun restaurants for everyone to enjoy.
Fun Spot America
Less than a 10-minute drive from Universal, Fun Spot America provides an abundance of family-friendly fun. Thrill seekers can have their pick, by getting behind the wheel at multi-level go-kart tracks, riding the virtual reality rollercoaster or hopping on other suspense-filled rides. The park also has bumper boats, kiddie swings and other attractions aimed at smaller kids, ensuring that everyone can join in the lively atmosphere.
If you’ve ever wanted to know what it feels like to jump out of an aeroplane, iFLY Orlando gives you that chance. A vertical wind tunnel provides riders, as young as three years old, an opportunity to fly in free-fall conditions on a once-in-a-lifetime simulation experience. Safe for kids and adults alike, and only a five-minute drive from Universal, visitors can float on a cushion of air while expert instructors guide you through this thrilling flight experience.
Attractions Over 15 Minutes’ Drive from Universal Orlando
Known as the “Alligator Capital of the World”, Gatorland offers visitors a chance to get up close and personal with some of Florida’s oldest inhabitants. A 20-minute drive from Universal, Gatorland feels like worlds away. Watch reptilian shows, visit the splash park or spot the park’s rare white alligators. If you’re feeling brave, climb the three-storey observation tower that overlooks the park or ride the unique Screamin’ Gator Zip Line over the alligator marsh.
Orlando Science Center
A 25-minute drive from Universal, the Orlando Science Center is a fun hands-on experience for visitors of all ages. Four floors of interactive exhibits and experience-based opportunities offer visitors a chance to learn more about science and technology. A family-friendly attraction that promotes education through curiosity and fun, visitors can explore attractions like DinoDigs, Dr. Dare’s Lab, NatureWorks and an observatory with a telescope for galaxy gazing.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Offering visitors all the space-related history they can handle, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex mesmerises space enthusiasts with interactive experiences they simply won’t find anywhere else. Visitors can watch a rocket launch, tour the centre filled with historic space travel artefacts and even get a chance to have lunch with a real-life astronaut to hear real first-hand stories of space travel. A one-hour drive from Universal, a day trip to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is worth the trek.
What is your favourite family-friendly attraction in Orlando?
The theme park capital of the world, Orlando is where imagination and adventure are encouraged. Whether you’re a starry-eyed kid or a kid at heart, Orlando has an abundance of thrilling world-class attractions for the entire family to enjoy.
From on-site Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando resorts to hotels only a short driving distance from the theme park action, visitors are spoiled for choice in accommodation. With over 300 million visitors per year to HotelsCombined, we see a lot of travellers opting for accommodation in Orlando that provides a combination of family-friendly amenities and convenient access to the city’s top attractions. Whether it’s fun-filled on-site facilities for the kids, convenient shuttles to the park or the chance to meet a Disney character, the most popular hotels in Orlando usually boast one or more of these enticing amenities. Visitors to Orlando also want to be near other attractions that aren’t the theme parks, such as the family-friendly International Drive, where they’re in a convenient location to indulge in a variety of fun-filled activities during their stay.
What is your favourite family-friendly attraction in Orlando? Let us know if you’ve stayed in Orlando and which accommodation near Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando you consider the best when visiting the city.