Where to stay in Orlando for families with kids: 4 Best areas

Hi guys, on my website, I already wrote an article about the best areas in Orlando for couples and car-free travelers (I will put the links to them at the end of this article). In today’s article, I will help you to find the best places to stay in Orlando for families with kids.

I will share with you what I believe are the best areas to stay in Orlando for families, along with a map. I’ll also share where I stayed in Orlando and recommend some of the best family-friendly hotels for all budgets.

Orlando is a popular tourist destination in Florida, known for its many theme parks and attractions. Some of the most famous include Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, and LEGOLAND Florida Resort.

Walt Disney World Resort is the largest and most visited vacation resort in the world, featuring multiple theme parks such as the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Universal Orlando Resort includes Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, with attractions based on popular movies and TV shows.

SeaWorld Orlando is a marine-themed park with shows and exhibits featuring marine animals, while LEGOLAND Florida Resort caters to families with younger children and features attractions made from Lego bricks.

Apart from its theme parks, Orlando has a thriving arts and culture scene, shopping districts, and a variety of dining options. The city is also a major convention and conference destination. 

Is Orlando a good place to visit with family?

Yes, Orlando is often considered a great destination for families. Your families can explore some of the world’s most famous theme parks, try various cuisines at many family-friendly restaurants, or go shopping at many outlet malls and unique boutiques.

Where to stay in Orlando for families with kids?

The best areas to stay in Orlando for families with kids are International Drive, Universal Orlando Resort Area, Lake Buena Vista/ Walt Disney World, and Kissimmee/Celebration.

International Drive is the best location for families who want a central location with easy access to both Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World. This area has lots of hotels, restaurants, and entertainment options.

Lake Buena Vista/Walt Disney World is a great base if your primary focus is on Walt Disney World. Generally, accommodations within the Disney resort can be more expensive. 

Kissimmee/Celebration is a great base for families who want a more budget-friendly option while still being close to the major attractions. These areas are generally more affordable accommodations than Disney or Universal areas. Celebration, in particular, offers a charming town atmosphere.

During my trip to Orlando, I stayed at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando International Drive.  It was a great hotel, located close to everything, within walking distance to many attractions on I-Drive including Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE Aquarium, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Short taxi/ Uber ride to major theme parks like Universal and SeaWorld.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Orlando for families. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the best areas to stay in Orlando for families with kids
Map of the best areas to stay in Orlando for families with kids

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Orlando, especially for families. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Orlando have been carefully selected by me from well-known and secure booking sites such as booking.com, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. 

If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

4 Best areas to stay in Orlando with family:

1. International Drive

International Drive is a great base for families who want a central location with easy access to multiple attractions, a variety of dining options, and diverse entertainment. It provides a bustling and lively atmosphere, making it suitable for those who enjoy being in the midst of the action.

International Drive is centrally located, making it convenient for accessing many of Orlando’s major attractions, including Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, and ICON Park.

Many hotels on I-Drive provide shuttle services to major theme parks, offering added convenience for families without a car. If not using the hotel’s shuttle, it is also a short Uber/taxi ride to major theme parks.

I-Drive is home to a diverse array of restaurants, ranging from casual eateries to fine dining. You’ll find a variety of international cuisines to suit different tastes. The area also features entertainment complexes like ICON Park, offering attractions, dining, and nightlife options.

International Drive boasts several shopping opportunities, including outlet malls and unique boutiques. This can be a great option for families looking to do some shopping during their stay.

I-Drive has a well-developed transportation system, including the I-Ride Trolley, which makes it easy to move along the corridor and access various attractions.

Best places to stay in Orlando in International Drive with kids:

Mid-range ($$): Hyatt Regency Orlando, great 4-star family-friendly hotel located in the heart of International Drive, easy walk to a lot of amenities and restaurants on International drive. It has a kiddie pool. 10–15 min Uber ride from Disney and Universal.

Budget ($): Holiday Inn Orlando International Drive, 3-star kid-friendly hotel conveniently located close to ICON PARK and Convention Center. The hotel offers free shuttle service to Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando, which is a bonus for those who don’t drive. It has an outdoor pool, fitness center, and free parking.

Budget ($): Drury Inn & Suites Orlando, 3-star child-friendly hotel, welcomes children of all ages. Children 18 and above will be charged as adults. It is located adjacent to Interstate 4 Exit 74A in the Restaurant Row, very close to Universal. Free shuttle bus to Universal, also a short reasonable taxi/Uber ride to all theme parks.

Budget ($): Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando, popular 3-star family-friendly hotel, located in the middle of International Drive, easy access to local attractions and major theme parks. Walking distance to Icon Park and many kid friendly restaurants. The hotel has rooms for big families of 5 and 6.


2. Universal Orlando Resort Area

The Universal Orlando Resort Area is a great option for families primarily interested in Universal Studios and looking for the convenience of being close to the parks. 

The main advantage of staying in this area is the close proximity to Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. Many hotels are within walking distance or offer complimentary shuttles, making it convenient for families visiting Universal Orlando Resort.

This area is home to the CityWalk, an entertainment complex with dining, shopping, and nightlife options. It offers additional entertainment and dining choices for families in the evenings.

Best places to stay in Orlando around Universal Orlando with kids:

Mid-range ($$): Universal’s Loews Royal Pacific Resort, 4-star family-friendly resort, offering unlimited express pass, short walk to the island of adventure or riverboat to universal studio. 10 mins walk from the  Universal CityWalk where you can find many shopping, dining, and nightlife options.

Mid-range ($$): Universal’s Hard Rock Hotel, 4-star child-friendly hotel located only 5 mins walk from CityWalk nightlife and accessible by water taxi. Room rates include Free Universal Express Unlimited. Easy access to Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure.

Mid-range ($$): Universal’s Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, 4-star kid-friendly hotel offers free transfer service between Universal Studios and the Islands of Adventure. You can find a water taxi right outside of the hotel and  convenient to get to/from Universal studios. The rooms are spacious with modern design. Some room rates include Early Park Admission.


3. Lake Buena Vista/ Walt Disney World

Lake Buena Vista is one of the closest areas to Walt Disney World, making it an ideal choice for families planning to primarily visit Disney’s theme parks, including Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

You can choose to stay in a resort in Walt Disney to enjoy the full Disney resort experience. Disney-operated hotels often have themed accommodations, on-site dining options, and convenient transportation to the parks.

Best places to stay in Lake Buena Vista/ Walt Disney World with kids:

Luxury ($$$): Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, 5-star family-friendly hotel, that has wonderful facilities, many pools, a good kids club, and access to early hours at Disney parks

Mid-range ($$): Walt Disney World Dolphin, 4-star child-friendly hotel, conveniently located in the Walt Disney World Resort, offering water taxi service to  Epcot theme park, Disney BoardWalk , and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Room rates include Early Entry To Disney Theme Parks.

Mid-range ($$): Buena Vista Suites Orlando, popular 4-star family-friendly accommodation, located only 5 mins drive from the Walt Disney World Resort, offering free transfer service to local theme parks. Rooms are good size for families of 4.

Budget ($): Hilton Vacation Club Grande Villas Orlando, ·3-star kid-friendly hotel located in a great location, 15-20 mins drive from both Universal, SeaWorld, and Walt Disney World. 3 Bedroom Suites are great options for families of 7,8. 2 Bedroom Suites are great choices for families of 5, 6.


4. Kissimmee/Celebration

The Kissimmee/Celebration area is another popular choice for families visiting Orlando, particularly if they are looking for a more budget-friendly option while still staying relatively close to major attractions.

Kissimmee is located just south of Orlando and is relatively close to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and other major attractions. While not as close as some other areas, it still provides convenient access to the theme parks.

Celebration, a planned community developed by The Walt Disney Company, is known for its charming and picturesque atmosphere. It has a small-town feel with a downtown area, shops, and restaurants. 

Best places to stay in Orlando in Kissimmee with family:

Mid-range ($$): Magic Moment Resort and Kids Club, 4-star children-friendly accommodation in Kissimmee, 13 mins drive from Walt Disney World Resort, 5 mins drive from Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores. It has lots of facilities for kids including the pool, gaming section, bouncy house and swings.

Budget ($): Celebration Suites, 3-star family-friendly accommodation, located close to the Old Town Entertainment Complex, short drive from  Walt Disney World. The hotel has suites with full kitchens, s 3 outdoor pools, a barbecue area, and free parking.

Budget ($): Comfort Suites Maingate East, 3-star family-friendly hotel in Celebration that has no resort fee, offering buffet breakfast and free parking. Family rooms are comfortable for families of 6. Within walking distance/short drive to a range of restaurants including fast food and fine dining options.


In conclusion, International Drive, Universal Orlando, Lake Buena Vista/ Walt Disney World, and Kissimmee/ Celebration are the best places to stay in Orlando for families with kids. These areas offer many family-friendly accommodations, and easy access to tourist amenities and attractions.

You can continue reading about Orlando in these articles:

There you have it, my recommendations for the popular areas and neighborhoods that you can stay during your family trip to Orlando. I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

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