15 Best Family Hotels in Orlando, Vetted by Experts
Stay close to Disney World and Universal without breaking the budget!
By Karen Cicero
How many hotels do you think there are in Orlando? Hint: You could spend a night at each one over the next year and not get to them all! More than 480 hotels and resorts have an Orlando location, making the city one of the largest hotel markets in the U.S. While the variety of places to stay is incredible, picking one can feel overwhelming. That's why the travel experts at Good Housekeeping have helped narrow down the choices for you.
If you plan to spend most of the trip at Disney, Universal or both, think about whether location, space or budget is the first priority for you, suggests Len Testa, founder of touringplans.com and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. For instance, the prices for hotels inside Walt Disney World will be higher, but they come with some perks — like free transportation, early theme park entry and the ability to chill at your hotel pool or rest during the hot afternoons. "The ease of being able to come back to the hotel quickly for a nap may justify the extra cost — it did for me when my daughter was little," says Testa.
If your family plans to spend several vacation days exploring Orlando's many non-theme park activities, you might want to opt for a suite-style room in another part of town. A villa with a full kitchen and two bedrooms may be around the same price as a budget-friendly resort on Disney or even Universal grounds, says Testa.
Of course, not all Orlando vacations involve a theme park. With abundant flights from many airlines, including value-priced brands, you may land in Orlando as a starting point for a beach vacation. Some families also stay in Orlando overnight before cruising out of Port Canaveral. Or maybe, you just want to explore the tons of fun things to do in and around Orlando.
No matter what your reason is for a family trip to Orlando, check out our experts' picks and make your reservation ASAP because the summer travel season is coming in hot.
Best Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort: Cabana Bay Beach Resort
Pros: On-site bowling alley, retro theming, good value
Keep in mind: Family suites, which typically cost just a bit more than standard rooms, are worth booking for the kitchenette alone.
Inspired by beach hotels from the 1960s, Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort has a retro vibe and price. "It feels like a deluxe resort, but the rates fall into the value category," says Testa. Families rave about the on-site bowling alley and pools, including a lazy river. Just like the pricier Universal hotels, you'll get early theme park access (including the Harry Potter attractions!) at Cabana Bay.
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