Planning an Orlando Vacation

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There’s a reason Orlando is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the country. Its blend of theme parks, shopping and local attractions appeals to couples, families and groups of friends. If you’re planning a vacation to the area, the most important questions to ask are when to go and where to stay in Orlando.

Best Time to Visit Orlando

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The best time to visit Orlando depends on what you want to do there and your budget. From March through May, the weather is still pleasant and the crowds tend to be smaller at the parks. June through August is hot and humid, and hurricane season picks up from September to the end of November. Parks tend to fill up quickly around the holidays.

Where to Stay in the Orlando Area

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The greater Orlando area encompasses a large region in central Florida, so there are plenty of places to stay in the area. In addition to Orlando itself, there are several cities that cater to vacationers, including Lake Buena Vista and Kissimmee. They’re all within driving distance to the parks, and many hotels also have complimentary shuttle service if you want to avoid driving.

Universal Resorts

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A few miles northeast of Disney World, Universal Orlando has its own resort area that rivals Disney. All Universal hotels are within walking distance of each other and conveniently located to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. You can walk, ride in a shuttle or enjoy a ride on a water taxi. Guests have early access to the parks and priority access to the restaurants.

Downtown Orlando

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For guests who appreciate a more urban environment, downtown Orlando has several hotels, including luxury brands like Ritz Carlton as well as well-known chains. The downtown area is home to boutiques, restaurants and nightlife and gives guests a view of the area outside the theme parks. Take a stroll around Lake Eola, explore historic Church Street Station or enjoy live music at Wall Street Plaza.

International Drive South

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International Drive South covers a long stretch of land near the Sea World parks, the convention center and outlet shopping. Stay near the southern end of the road if you want to be closer to Disney World and the Lake Buena Vista area. Choose a hotel on the northern end of the area for access to Sea World and the Orlando area attractions.

Walt Disney World Resort Vacations

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If your vacation plans include Disney World, consider staying at the Walt Disney World Resort. Covering an area larger than the city of San Francisco, the resort includes an assortment of budget-friendly and luxury hotels with full amenities. Guests also enjoy perks like free transportation, extra hours at the parks and priority access to purchase Magic Bands that let them make reservations for popular rides.

Disney Vacation Club

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Disney Vacation Club is its timeshare program and another option for guests who want to be near all the Disney action. You can rent spots from Vacation Club owners and enjoy all the amenities of being on Disney property including easy access to Disney Springs

International Drive North

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The northern end of International Drive goes from Sand Lake Road to the Oak Ridge area past an assortment of hotels, restaurants and small attractions. This area offers easy access to the interstate as well as bustling night life. It’s also home to Universal’s Volcano Bay water park.


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Kissimmee is a town in Osceola county that borders Disney World. The 192 corridor has a selection of hotels, restaurants and area attractions that are still close to the Disney theme parks. Several highways, including Florida’s Turnpike pass through Kissimmee, providing convenient access to the greater Orlando area, yet many neighborhoods still have a small town feel.