Lake Buena Vista or Kissimmee – Which Is Better?

As you start to plan a trip to Orlando, you’ll likely find accommodation options in Lake Buena Vista and Kissimmee. But which is best?

Lake Buena Vista is best if you’re staying in Orlando for less than five nights and plan to spend the majority of your trip at Walt Disney World.

Kissimmee is better for longer Orlando vacations, larger families, budget-conscious travellers, and those visiting multiple theme parks.

I’ve been to Orlando more than ten times, both with and without kids. I’ve also stayed in both Kissimmee and Lake Buena Vista several times, so I know first-hand what makes each place great.

Lake Buena Vista is owned by Disney. It has its own fire station and its own police department, and all the hotels here are either:

  • Walt Disney World Hotels
  • Disney Good Neighbour Hotels

This means that all hotels in Lake Buena Vista have free shuttles to the Disney World theme parks. Albeit, the Walt Disney World hotel shuttles are more frequent.

However, since Lake Buena Vista is owned by Disney, three- and four-star hotels here cost more than those in Kissimmee.

The premium of staying in Lake Buena Vista is worth it if you plan to spend most of your trip at Disney World. However, on vacations longer than five days, it may not be worthwhile.

Kissimmee is about 13 miles southeast of Lake Buena Vista. You’ll find more accommodation options here, including budget hotels and vacation homes. This unsurprisingly makes Kissimmee great for budget travellers and larger families or groups.

However, it’s not just accommodation. There are also more restaurants and stores in Kissimmee, including Publix, CVS, and McDonald’s.

While staying in Kissimmee is cheaper, you’ll need to consider how you’ll get around. Walt Disney World is around 25 minutes each way, while Universal is around 30. Public transport out here is pretty much non-existent. Instead, you will have to choose between a rental car or rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft.

Orlando Travel Planning Guide

πŸ₯ Should I Buy Travel Insurance for a Trip to Orlando?

If you’re travelling to Orlando for vacation, then travel insurance is recommended. Basic travel insurance coverage with Safety Wing averages between $5 – $10 per day and offers peace of mind.

However, if a trip to Orlando isn’t part of a vacation. For example, you live locally. Then travel insurance isn’t likely to be necessary.

🚘 Do I Need to Rent a Car for a Trip to Orlando?

You don’t need to rent a car for a trip to Orlando (you can use rideshare services instead). However, a hire car will make your trip to Orlando significantly more convenient.

I personally use Discover Cars to find the best car rental deals when visiting Orlando. Discover Cars allows you to compare different companies and cars to find the best prices.

🏨 Where to Stay in Orlando?

Deciding where to stay in Orlando can be incredibly overwhelming. Having visited Orlando several times over the past decade, I’m going to try and make it as simple as possible.

When booking accommodation in Orlando, I use either Booking.com or Hotels.com. However, for large families and groups, VRBO is my number one choice.

🎟️ Where To Buy Orlando Theme Park Tickets?

If you are visiting a theme park in Orlando, then you’ll need to purchase theme park tickets. If you’re based in the US or Canada, I recommend Klook for your Orlando theme park tickets.

Klook consistently has the most competitive prices. There’s also a range of different ticket options to suit all budgets and requirements.

Meanwhile, if you’re based in the United Kingdom. Then I recommend buying your Orlando theme park tickets from AttractionTix.

I personally use AttractionTix when purchasing theme park tickets. That’s because AttractionTix has the most competitive prices and incredible customer service.

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