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So many hotels! Where is the best place to stay?

This post was written as part of the Orlando Vacation Tips Blog. For more advice for visiting Orlando click here.

So many hotels! Which one is the best? Which one is the cheapest? Are you just overwhelmed by all the information you read in the brochures? So was I!

In this post I'm going to try and break it all down for you and keep it as short as possible. I know your time is very valuable.


Finding The Best Hotel

Finding the best hotel for you all depends on what you are looking for in a hotel. For example, when my family first went to Florida we were so excited about visiting all the parks, resorts, restaurants and other attractions, that we hardly spend any time in our rented condo. So think about how much you are willing to pay for a bed and living space for basically overnight. Truth is if it's your first time you will just want to stay outside and won't be spending any time at all in your accommodation.

The next few times we visited we were prepared to have some downtime during afternoons, maybe hang out by the pool, take a nap, and then head back out to the attractions in the evening. Maybe for your second and third time visiting I would suggest looking into a place with a good pool and bar.

After you've been a fourth time you really get a sense of which hotels you might like to stay at in future. If you are wanting to visit hotels, Disney lets you look around theirs. All you have to do is show a picture ID (driving licence or passport) and they let you park your car and walking around the hotel freely. By doing this you really get a feel for what the hotel is like, what features you like about it, and how much you would be willing to pay to stay there.

After living in Florida, and taking many vacations there before hand, I would definitely just book myself into a cheap hotel on I-Drive. By checking out deals through a Google search before I book. You can often get a room for $20-$30 a night this way. I hardly ever spend time at my hotel. Who would want to?

My Secret Tip

Another great way to find cheap deals is through www.hotwire.com. The way the website works is, you pay the price you are willing to pay for a 2 star hotel, and you then get options to pay those prices but to stay in a 4 star hotel! The deals I've received from this website are unbeatable! Most of the time I've received a hotel room for 50% of the regular price! Think of the money you would save from this. If you study the prices you can figure out which hotels are which (although Hotwire always keep it a secret until you've booked), especially if you've stayed in Orlando before.

Wet 'N Wild on International Drive.

Staying In Disney

Now if you are going to try to stay at a Disney hotel, I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep checking with their deals. Every two weeks there is always something going on that will get you some good bargain prices. Once that deal comes up that best suits you, take it and don't look back.

I think it would be pretty bad of me (a former Cast Member) not to give you a run down on my most favourite Disney hotels that I've stayed at. So here goes:

In 5th place, Disney's All Star Resorts. In terms of value, you can't get much better than these resorts. You have a nice hotel room, a pool, a cafeteria, and a video game arcade (I'm kind of a gamer). The arcade will be great to keep your kids entertained while you take an afternoon nap by the pool!

Bay Lake Tower with the Magic Kingdom fireworks behind.
In 4th I've chosen Bay Lake Tower. Now I have to be totally honest here, it's very expensive for what you are going to be using it for. I actually only spent one night here when it first opened. The beds were probably the softest I've ever slept on. The room is a bit tight at first, but what you miss out on size, you more than make up for in style. If you manage to get a room with a balcony, try your best to get one overlooking the Magic Kingdom. When it's time for the fireworks you can tune your television set in to the soundtrack they play throughout the park, and the view of the fireworks over the Magic Kingdom is amazing! And if you are staying through Halloween or Christmas time they are even better! The room service here is also great. We enjoyed a nice evening out on the balcony snaking on chips and dip.

3rd Place goes to Port Orleans: Riverside. The design of this resort is amazing! When walking around it truly felt like I was walking in a bayou in Louisiana. There is a nice pool area, a good quality cafeteria, and who could forget a visit to see Yehaa Bob? He plays his shows nightly, rocking his piano across the stage in a great family sing-a-long show.

A close 2nd goes to The Grand Floridian. Just walking around this hotel is enough to make you want to hand over your credit card details and stay there for the week! It is a little expensive, but the elegance and attention to detail in the resort is outstanding. The rooms are very spacious and the grounds are great for an afternoon walk. I would suggest going to visit this hotel before you book, just to give you an idea of what facilities they have. My favourite thing to do here is to visit 1900's Park Fair. They have an excellent buffet style character dining. On the morning they have Winnie the Pooh and friends + Alice in Wonderland, and on the night they have Characters from Cinderella (including Prince Charming, the step sisters, and Cinderella's evil step mother Lady Tremaine). The food is always excellent quality and it's always a treat to watch the characters interact with different Guests.

The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue.
And the title of 1st place goes to... Drum roll please... Fort Wilderness Campground! I cannot talk about this resort enough! I will try to keep it brief though. You have a few options, you can pitch a tent, hook up your RV, or rent a cabin. When we stayed we rented a Cabin, and unless you already have an RV tat you want to drive down to Florida, I would recommend renting one too. It can get a little pricey, but if you use my tip of searching online and calling Disney up to check deals regularly, you can probably get a great price! In terms of activities, there isn't enough time in a vacation to do everything, including the parks. You can go horseback riding through the wilderness trails in the afternoon, which is a real peaceful experience with some nice sights. You can visit the campfire sing along with Chip and Dale, and then watch a movie under the stars (for an up to date movie schedule click here). Rent fishing gear for under $20 and head down the rivers and lakes in the resort. Rent bikes and ride along the many trails. And perhaps the best dinner shows in Orlando, make sure you visit the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue! It's a foot stomping, nostalgic comedy musical show that includes an all your care to eat dinner! As Disney puts it, "Get ready for good, ol' country fun!"


Well hopefully by now you have an idea about the hotels listed above. Remember to keep checking on Disney's reservation website by clicking here and you are sure to find a great deal that fits your needs.

As always I invite you to contact me with any further questions, I don't mind helping you out as I know it can all seems really daunting when planning your Orlando Vacation. You can reach me by email at ovtips@gmail.com or alternatively through the following links:

Or leave a comment below this post.

For more tips and advice for really getting ahead of the crowds at the Orlando Theme Parks check out 175 Orlando Vacation Tips available for a short time only on the Orlando Vacation Tips Blog! Click here.

This entry was posted on Sunday, 11 November 2012 and is filed under ,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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