Where to Stay On Your Disney World Vacation
So you’ve decided to take your family to Disney World! But before your magical getaway can get underway, you’ll need to determine where your family will stay. So, where are the best resorts near the “happiest place on earth?”
You’ll want to consider three popular resort cities for your Disney World vacation: Orlando, Kissimmee, and Lake Buena Vista, Florida. While most people mistakenly believe that Disney World is in Orlando, it’s actually within the cities of Lake Buena Vista and Bay Lake. Located south of Orlando and north of Kissimmee, Lake Buena Vista is the actual address for Disney World.
Choosing the best hotel for your Disney World adventure is, perhaps, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make. Whether you’re searching for a hotel by location, entertainment, or convenience, it’s important that you find a property to suit your needs. Below we’ll explore five resort hotels in Lake Buena Vista that you can call home for your family’s upcoming trip to Disney!
1. Red Lion Hotel Lake Buena Vista South (Waterpark)
- 5150 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee, FL 34746
- Check In: 4 PM | Check Out: 11 AM
Only four miles from Disney World, the Red Lion Hotel Lake Buena Vista South has a list of amenities you and your family will love. Not only does this hotel have a heated swimming pool with a poolside bar, but it also has its very own waterpark with a lazy river and a slide!
The property has a fitness center and tennis court for your exercise needs and a playground for the kids. Parking and Wi-Fi are free, and the hotel offers a free scheduled shuttle service to Disney World. When you get hungry, there’s an on-sight restaurant that serves authentic Mexican cuisine and other restaurant options in the area. And not to worry, these rooms all come with refrigerators to store your leftovers in!
The Red Lion Hotel Lake Buena Vista South was completely renovated just four years ago and earned the AAA Inspector’s Best of Housekeeping award in 2021. While the Red Lion has quite a few room types for you to choose from, this hotel does not have family rooms. They do, however, allow pets.
2. Holiday Inn Resort Lake Buena Vista (Family Rooms)
- 13351 FL-535, Orlando, FL 32821
- Check In: 3 PM | Check Out: 11 AM
Whether you want to collect IHG Rewards Points, are traveling for work, or just looking for a family-friendly hotel near Disney World, the Holiday Inn Resort Lake Buena Vista is a very convenient option. The hotel is located just 4 minutes from Disney World by car, and if you don’t feel like dealing with traffic or paying for parking, the hotel offers a complimentary scheduled shuttle ride. In addition to being so close to Disney World, you can also get to Universal Studios and SeaWorld reasonably quickly.
If you’re looking to cool down or relax after a day at Disney World, go for a swim in their oversized swimming pool and grab a cold drink from the poolside tiki bar. And if the kids need something to do, there is a Cyber Arcade in the lobby with video games. And when it’s time to eat, head over to the on-site Applebee’s, where kids eat breakfast and dinner, with a paying adult, for free!
Lastly, If you’re vacationing with the kids, you’ll be happy to know that this hotel offers two different family room options with bunk beds, so you don’t have to purchase separate rooms or sleep on cots. Holiday Inn Resort Lake Buena Vista hotel room features include TVs, microwaves, mini-fridges, and free Wi-Fi. This hotel in Lake Buena Vista is also Fido-friendly!
3. Crowne Plaza Lake Buena Vista (Waterslide)
- 8686 Palm Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32836
- Check In: 3 PM | Check Out: 11 AM
Crowne Plaza Lake Buena Vista is another IHG Rewards Points hotel and is less than a mile from Disney World. This hotel also offers a free shuttle to the theme park and other nearby attractions. Wi-Fi, parking, and weekday newspapers are all provided for free.
Hotel amenities include an outdoor pool with a waterfall and slide, an on-site restaurant and lounge, a coffee shop, a game room for the kids, and a fitness center. Although they do not offer family rooms, rooms are spacious and equipped with TVs, mini-fridges, and Keurig coffeemakers. This hotel also allows pets.
The Crowne Plaza Lake Buena Vista is an excellent place to stay if you’re looking to explore Orlando, as well. Along with the major theme parks in the area, you have access to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, the Orlando Prime Outlet Mall, and many off-site dining options.
4. Hyatt Place Lake Buena Vista (Modern)
- 8688 Palm Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32836
- Check In: 3 PM | Check Out: 12 PM
If you’re looking for a more modern resort, you’ll want to check out Hyatt Place Lake Buena Vista. The resort is just a 5-minute drive to Disney World and is surrounded by excellent shopping, dining, and entertainment options. If you’re all about free stuff, you’ll be happy to know that there is free breakfast, hotel-wide Wi-Fi, a shuttle service, and parking.
The property has a gorgeous outdoor pool and an outdoor jacuzzi tub. There’s also a fitness room, coffee and cocktail bar, and an on-site restaurant. The Hyatt Place Lake Buena Vista does have family rooms with bunk beds available, and rooms come with TVs, Google Chromecast, mini-fridges, and coffee makers. As well, the hotel is pet-friendly.
The property has also earned the GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation, meaning the hotel has created and maintained “a cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention program.” Guests who enjoy this property back up this claim with fantastic reviews about the cleanliness of their rooms and the attentiveness of housekeeping.
5. Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista (Closest to Disney World)
- 1751 Hotel Plaza Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
- Check In: 4 PM | Check Out: 11 AM
If you’re looking for instant access to Disney World and other attractions, the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista is the perfect location for you. The hotel is literally a pedestrian skybridge walk away from the shopping, dining, and entertainment that Disney Springs has to offer. A 2-minute ride to Disney World, those looking to spend most of their time at the theme park will appreciate the location of this hotel in Lake Buena Vista.
This beautiful resort has two outdoor swimming pools, ample outdoor lounging space, a poolside bar, and an on-site restaurant. There’s also a clothing store, a gift shop, and a car rental service. Your resort fee allows access to Wi-Fi, a Disney shuttle, Starbucks coffee, and water bottles.
Unlike the other hotels on this list, pets are not allowed on this property. The Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista does not offer family suites, but it has connecting rooms. Parking is not included and costs $22 per day.
Things To Do in Lake Buena Vista, FL
Interestingly, the municipality of Lake Buena Vista is controlled by the Walt Disney Company. Therefore, you’ll mostly find all things Disney in Lake Buena Vista.
- Disney Springs
- House of Blues Orlando
Things To Do in Orlando, FL
Orlando, Florida is filled with theme parks and things to do with your family. Besides Disney World attractions such as EPCOT and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, here are a few non-Disney things to do in Orlando.
- Universal Orlando Resort
- SeaWorld Orlando
- Harry P Leu Gardens
- Crayola Experience
- Orlando’s Icon Park
- Orlando Science Center
- Madame Tussauds Orlando
- Orlando Watersports Complex
- Chocolate Kingdom
Things To Do in Kissimmee, FL
Kissimmee, Florida is just south of Orlando and is filled with off-the-beaten-path activities, outdoor fun, as well as water-related adventures. If you’re looking for a day outside of Disney, check out all that Kissimmee has to offer!
- ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
- Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures
- Marsh Landing Adventures
- Kissimmee Swamp Tours
- Old Town Kissimmee
- Manor Pro Wrestling Dinner Theater
- Fun Spot America
Hotels in Lake Buena Vista
Finding a hotel that promotes rest and relaxation after a long day at Disney World is an absolute must. Unless you’re willing to pay for a Disney World Resort hotel, you just can’t beat the location and convenience of hotels in Lake Buena Vista, FL.
Alexandrea Sumuel is a travel writer and the founder of the Wander With Alex travel blog, where she provides vacationers and travel enthusiasts with trip ideas, travel guides, news, and itineraries. She travels to experience, eat, and explore-- and, on occasion, escape! Alex’s mission is to help people travel a little easier.