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Where to stay in Orlando – a neighborhood guide

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Sleep may seem like a novelty in Orlando – with the bright lights of Disney begging to be explored – however, crisp bed sheets and countless amenities await you all around the city. From frenetic theme park hotels - perched right in the heart of all the action - to more tranquil and romantic escapes, you can pick accommodation to suit your holiday temperament. Whether it’s a private villa, family resort or all-inclusive you’re after, you’ll find it here.

Matt & Travis Hope

My Destination local expert on


Walt Disney World


South-west of Orlando, the Walt Disney World neighborhood is closest to the Magic Kingdom. Home to the iconic Cinderella castle towering over the theme park below, people choose to stay here to be close to all the main attractions. However, be warned, the sounds of distant roller coasters reverberating through buzzing crowds are likely to be the soundtrack to your stay.


Hotels in Walt Disney World


Staying in hotels perched on the fringes of Walt Disney World are likely to incur great costs, however, come with the added benefits of theme park attractions, a free monorail service and more Disney attractions than the mind can possibly imagine.


For cultural sights away from the theme parks, Downtown Orlando is a great spot to stay to experience an authentic slice of local life. Visit Loch Haven Park and explore the Menello Museum of American Art. For a relaxing shopping experience, head north from Downtown and find yourself in Winter Park, full of boutique stores with trendy fashions and bargain prices. In November, you can also catch the star-studded Orlando Film Festival here and watch the new releases hitting cinemas.


Hotels in Downtown


The bustling business and commercial district, Downtown’s core consists of trendy hotels and exclusive boutiques. Sprinkled with nightclubs, movie theaters and art galleries, this is a great spot to soak up Orlando’s entertainment, away from the spoils of Walt Disney World.




Lying southwest of Orlando, Maingate East is situated close to the Disney World Theme Parks. Stay here to access Hollywood Studios, where you can be entertained by roller coasters, backstage tours and loveable characters from the Disney franchise. Maingate East also hosts the I-RIDE trolley along International Drive as well as plenty of varied dining options. Maingate West is closest to the wildlife habitats of the sprawling Animal Kingdom while, golf resorts can also be found here by the dozen.


Hotels in Maingate


Lakeside hotels, sprawling condos, cozy motels and plush golf resorts dominate the area of Maingate. Maingate East and Maingate West are also ideal spots for visiting the main theme parks attractions.


Universal Orlando


The neighborhood of Universal Orlando is the perfect destination to stay if you want to visit the Universal Studios Florida Theme Park. Perched north east of Walt Disney World, here you can marvel at the delights of reconstructed film sets and cinematic rides. Universal Orlando also boasts a huge collection of international restaurants on Restaurant Row, easily accessed by the I-RIDE Trolley.


Hotels in Universal Orlando


In Universal Orlando you can choose from a selection of family-friendly on-site hotels. Each of the hotels is individually themed, has a whole host of amenities and is ideally suited for visiting theme park attractions. If swimming pools overrun with children aren’t your scene, however, Orlando is probably not right for you.

Looking for more on Orlando? Take a look at our other Orlando guides or visit our partner site for some inspiration for your next trip!