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Where to stay in Orlando - a travel guide to Orlando's neighborhoods

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Finding where to stay in Orlando is central to a successful vacation. Follow this guide to the city’s neighborhoods and choose the right Orlando hotel for you.

Maingate East & West

Maingate East lies southwest of Orlando and is close to the Disney World Theme Parks. Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the nearest park to Maingate East. Visitors are entertained with somersaulting stunt performances and back-stage movie tours. A free monorail transports guests to the other Disney theme parks. Maingate East is convenient for numerous restaurants and the I-RIDE trolley along International Drive and the 18-hole Falcons Fire Golf Club. Maingate West is closest to Disney’s Animal Kingdom of recreated African and Asian villages and wildlife habitats. All Disney World parks are connected by monorail. Maingate West is near the four golf courses of Orange Lake Resorts.

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Universal Orlando & International Drive North

Book an Orlando hotel near Universal Orlando for easy access to the Universal Studios Florida theme park. Southwest of Orlando and northeast of Walt Disneyworld, Universal’s film- themed attractions and rides recreate key movie moments. Relive the suspense of the monstrous shark attack in Jaws and the 8-foot cyberbots in Terminator 2. This is where to stay in Orlando for proximity to the collection of international restaurants on Restaurant Row and International Drive, accessible from the I-RIDE trolley.

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Walt Disney World & Downtown Disney

If you plan to spend your Florida vacation at the Disney theme parks, this is where to stay in Orlando. Hotels in the Walt Disney World neighborhood, southwest of Orlando, are closest to the Magic Kingdom. Classic attractions like the enchanting Cinderella’s Castle and the exhilarating Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster draw the crowds. A free monorail connects the Magic Kingdom to the other Disney parks. Choose a hotel near Lake Buena Vista to the southeast to be closer to Epcot Center. This Disney park is famous for its internationally themed World Showcase and its late-night IllumiNations fireworks show. Nearby Downtown Disney offers fine dining, family-friendly shopping and Disney souvenirs.

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SeaWorld & the Convention Centre

The world’s most famous orca, Shamu, dives to the oohs and ahhs of crowds at SeaWorld. This popular black-and- white marine star and a collection of performing seals and walruses make this area south of Orlando a popular choice for family travelers. Business travelers stay here for its proximity to the Orange County Convention Centre. 

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Downtown & North Orlando

Stay in Downtown or North Orlando for a taste of the city’s cultural attractions. Loch Haven Park lies just north of Downtown and is home to inspiring works at the Orlando Museum of Art and Menello Museum of American Art. Slightly farther north is Winter Park, with trendy boutique shopping and contemporary dining. 

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Looking for more on Orlando? Take a look at our other Orlando guides or visit our partner site Orlando.com for some inspiration for your next trip!