It may seem difficult to envision Orlando without Disney World, but the resort’s first theme park, the Magic Kingdom, did not officially open to the public until 1971. Orlando’s popularity has grown in relation to the opening of new theme parks, having welcomed roughly 47 million visitors in 2009. With over 450 hotels in the greater Orlando area, all guests can find suitable lodgings to meet their budget and guestroom requirements.
Orlando’s proximity to Disney World makes it a haven for kids of all ages. But the fun does not have to end when you leave the park. Several hotels surrounding Disney World have made it their mission to make sure the fun never stops. Nickelodeon Suites Resort offers a water park, on-site mall, 4D film theater, a spa for the kids and roaming Nickelodeon characters like SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer. Although the Marriott Orlando World Center Resort may seem an unlikely kids’ retreat, it offers six swimming pools including one indoors, waterfalls, whirlpools, a 106-foot water slide, play room, video arcade and daily organized events for kids.
For Sports Fans
Located just a short drive from Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex, Disney's All-Star Sports Resort will satisfy even the most avid sports fan. Each of the five hotel towers focuses on a featured sport -- baseball, basketball, football, tennis or surfing. Dining options are somewhat limited with only one on-site restaurant, but there is plenty of entertainment in the form of a video arcade, two pools, a playground and a jogging trail.
A Golfer's Delight
Florida is home to more golf courses than any other state, and Orlando hosts its fare share. The Villas of Grand Cypress resort, host of the 2010 LPGA Tour Championship, offers three nine-hole courses and one 18-hole course at the Grand Cypress Golf Club, as well as the full-service Academy of Golf for those who want to up their game. The resort is located just north of Walt Disney World Resort and minutes from the area’s theme parks.
Top of the Line
The Ritz-Carlton name is almost synonymous with luxury thanks to the efforts of Swiss-born Cesar Ritz, and the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes lives up to the brand’s reputation. The hotel offers elegant furnishings, impeccable service, an on-site spa, a golf course and nine on-site restaurants serving everything from sushi to haute cuisine. Located on 482 acres in the exclusive Bonnet Creek area of Orlando, just a short distance from Walt Disney World Resort, the Waldorf Astoria Orlando offers championship golf, an on-site spa, six dining venues and impeccably appointed guestrooms.
The Fantasy World Resort invites guests to enjoy the feel of a resort with a wallet-friendly price tag. A mere two miles from the Walt Disney World Resort, this Kissimmee hotel features two-bedroom villas with a kitchen area, living room and in-room laundry. When your day at the park is over, the kids can enjoy the three swimming pools, lit tennis courts, basketball, shuffleboard and a game room. The truly budget conscious can head to the Old Town area where the Celebration Suites offers large family-friendly suites with dine-in kitchen and free shuttles to Disney World, just 1.5 miles down the road.
- Nickelodeon Suites Resort: contact us
- Marriott Orlando World Center Resort: Contact Us
- Walt Disney World: Disney's All-Star Sports Resort
- The Villas of Grand Cypress: Maps & Directions
- The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes: Contact Us
- Waldorf Astoria Orlando: Contact Us
- Fantasy World Resort: Contact Fantasy World
- Celebration Suites, Old Town: Close to Everything
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