Magic Kingdom Entrance at Night
As Kirstie and Phil would say, the initial reaction is LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. But when looking at a map does it really matter how close you are to the airport, Disney World or International Drive?
We are often asked how far are most of the Orlando villas from the airport, I appreciate that it’s interesting to know, but it shouldn’t affect your decision on where to rent, after all you are only going to make the journey twice in your stay. Most will fly into Orlando International Airport (MCO), which is within a 35-45 minute drive of all our Orlando villas.
So how close is the Orlando villa to Disney World, again in a 14 night stay how many times will you be going to the parks? If you decided to go Mickey Mad, then it might be quite a few, but bear in mind, as I head back to location, the closest might not actually be the quickest. You may be surprised to hear that vacation rentals located on HWY 27 (Davenport) that have easy access to the I4 can take only 12 minutes to get to Disney (we timed it once from The Shire at West Haven). Whilst the closest communities to Disney (Windsor Hills, Formosa Gardens, Emerald Island Resort) when looking at map will have to navigate one of the busiest roads in the area, HWY 192, with many stop start traffic lights etc. That said there is a sneaky back route into Disney which could have you there in 5 minutes, but I’ll leave that for another blog post!
Worst case all our Orlando villas are within 15-20 minutes of Disney World and that's including a little traffic!
International Drive used to be THE place to stay, and it still has a draw as most hotels are located in this area, however, if you are not staying in them, why would you want to be close to it? Either end of International Drive there is a reason to make the 25 minute journey. At the bottom end you have Pointe Orlando, which has recently been redeveloped with some fun restaurants and bars, the cinema is also good value for the area. I know you have just travelled 9 hours to leave the UK, but the London pub is a great place to experience, other than the pub the restaurants are more expensive than those found on HWY 192, great for couples on a special night out but could be expensive to take the full family. Fun nights can be had at the Opa Taverna which offers a Greek style evening complete with Belly Dancing starting at 7pm. Next door you have BB Kings with live Blues music and dancing.
At the top end of iDrive you have Orlando Premium Outlets which is great for nabbing a bargain, Festival Bay which has Outdoor World, Ron Jons Surf shop, plus a 20 screen Cinemark cinema which is a much cheaper alternative to the AMC cinema at Downtown Disney, there are also a few other shops and restaurants but at the moment not much else.
The network of roads built around Disney World and the other Orlando theme parks are so quick and easy to navigate that location does become immaterial when looking where to stay, after all it’s probably more important to have a relaxing home to retreat to after a day at the parks!