With Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Legoland, and more located near the vibrant city of Orlando, it’s no wonder the city is popularly known as the amusement park capital of the world. Convenience is one thing you can be sure of in this city. In fact, if you’re thinking about taking a break from all the driving and want to visit Orlando without a car, that’s one less thing to worry about.
Nicknamed “The City Beautiful”, a trip here involves spending quality time with the family and having pure unabashed fun with your little ones to create a truckload of memories. From hotel-sponsored shuttles to local buses and taxis, everything is at your service.
To help you plan your holiday, we’ve covered some of the best stays for you and your family that offer good connectivity to the amusement parks on your bucket list.
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Orlando Without a Car: Overview of The Area
Orlando is a city that is generally bustling with tourists. Its many neighborhoods are placed at strategic locations, making it extremely easy to travel to and from the city’s many attractions.
If you’re looking for a central location that will allow you to fit in both Disney and Universal Studios, then Kissimmee is just the place for you. Many tourists choose to stay in this area due to its affordable accommodations, despite it being placed 25 minutes south of Orlando.
You can avail of hotel transport, taxi service, or a bus to get to the parks. Although hired taxis can be a little pricey, taking the bus is an inexpensive option you can consider to get around the city.
You might even be able to squeeze in trips to SeaWorld, which is 11 miles away, and Legoland, located 36 miles away. It’s just that convenient!
Is it the heart of the city where you would prefer to stay? Then I-Drive is one of the best areas to stay in Orlando without a car. You’ll have front-row access to Universal Studios and SeaWorld, which are roughly about 10-15 minutes away, as well as Orlando’s premier ICON Park.
Just hop on the I-4 highway with your family, and you’ll reach the theme park of your choice in no time – subject to peak traffic hours! What’s more, your stay here becomes even more worth it since you don’t have to pay the premiums that hotels located within the premises of the theme parks charge:
Another prime area that tourists should consider when visiting Orlando is Port Canaveral. It combines the best of a long Caribbean cruise and some post-cruise fun in Central Florida’s theme parks.
The only downside is that traveling to and from Orlando often takes over an hour as it is located 45 miles east of Orlando. That said, shuttles, hotel transport, and hired taxis can make the journey with your kids more than comfortable, even if a little long.
Orlando Without a Car: Transport
Orlando Without a Car: Using Uber or Lyft
Booking an Uber or a Lyft is the go-to choice for many visitors. It’s convenient for getting around Orlando without a car and is available with the simple tap of a finger.
Fares are a little on the higher end, especially when you’re traveling from areas outside the city like Kissimmee, Celebration, or Port Canaveral. In terms of duration, however, they’re much faster and don’t involve the trouble of multiple stops in between.
A lot of taxis in Orlando are operated by Mears Transportation. While they can be a bit pricey compared to ride-sharing, they’re more exclusive, and you won’t have to share your route with anyone else.
Travelers from outside the US who don’t have a US data plan can easily be called a hired taxi by their hotel concierge.
This option ensures a private and pleasant ride with the family, that unlike in public transport, doesn’t involve restricting your child’s playful side during the journey.
I-RIDE trolley on I-Drive
If you are staying in the I-Drive area, this is one of the best ways to get around Orlando without a car. These trolleys operate year-round along the International Drive route, from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., with stops every 20 minutes.
You’ll find two routes, the red route, and the green route. Through the red route, you can travel from north to south of International Drive, and while on the green route, you travel along Universal Boulevard. Fares are completely affordable, and there are even passes available if you’re looking for some extra savings.
Public transportation in Orlando, Florida is a great way to introduce your kid to the joys of traveling and exploring together. It’s super accessible and vouched for by a lot of visitors. Many hotels even provide complimentary shuttle services to favored locations, especially theme parks.
On the flip side, there are also plenty of paid options to opt for too. This will allow your comings and goings to be more flexible, and do away with the worry of having to stick to the restricted departure timings that hotel shuttles impose.
Gray Line of Orlando offers some extensive packages that you can consider. Florida Dolphin Tours is also terrific and has tours that shuttle to the popular theme parks and places like the Kennedy Space Center at extremely affordable prices.
Orlando Without a Car: Using Local Buses
Local buses are a comfortable and common mode of transport to look into when you’re thinking of visiting Orlando without a car. Lynx is the bus service provider that people opt for.
It provides services within the city and also extends to neighboring places including Seminole and Osceola Counties, which includes the Kissimmee area.
Not only is it easy on the wallet, but it also comes with different routes that you can choose from. There are FastLink services that reduce your commute time, and ACCESS LYNX, for those that don’t want to stick to the same fixed route.
However, most of these are not direct buses. They require you to switch midway and walk significant distances to get to your destinations. It is most definitely not a convenient option, especially when with the kids.
Where to stay in Orlando without a car? Here are our top picks
Hyatt House across from Universal Orlando Resort
Hyatt House across from Universal Orlando Resort offers a luxury stay for you and your family. The area is highly rated and is minutes away from theme parks that are surely going to be on your list, including Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, and The Wheel at ICON Park.
The rooms at this grand resort are incredibly spacious, and its family rooms come with a cool addition: bunk beds for the kids! They’re also pet-friendly, so feel free to bring your furry friend along.
Your kids can splash about in the swimming pool when you’re taking some time off from sightseeing, or use the board games and puzzles that the hotel provides.
Due to being a Universal partner hotel, it also offers a free shuttle service to Universal throughout the day. Looking to explore other theme parks in the area? Hire a taxi or consider taking the I-Ride trolley as the location makes everything accessible.
Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando
The Embassy Suites in Kissimmee is a stone’s throw away from theme park paradise. As one of Disney’s Good Neighbor Hotels, it provides you with exclusive access to theme park information way in advance!
Beautiful suites with large double beds, an outdoor pool, an on-site restaurant, a mini golf course, and a games room are just some things to get you started. You’ll find a kid-friendly buffet, kids’ meals, and additional fruits and snacks to keep your little ones satisfied. There’s even a mini-market that’s accessible to the guests.
The hotel’s super fast shuttle service takes guests to Walt Disney World located just 10 minutes away. SeaWorld and Universal Studios, located just 6-10 miles from the hotel, are other nearby attractions that you can venture out to.
Sonesta ES Suites
Cute, homely, and affordable, the Sonesta ES Suites in Lake Buena Vista, Orange County, is all of 30 minutes away from Orlando. The hotel provides an in-house games room for the kids, with plenty of space to let off some steam. If you want to relax outdoors, the hotel also offers an outdoor picnic area and swimming pool where you and your family can frolic about.
The hotel itself is located just around 2-6 miles from Disney World, Universal, and SeaWorld’s Discovery Cove. And the Downtown Disney District is only 1.5 miles away!
Multiple shuttles that operate to and from the hotel at different times of the day will take you to Disney and Universal within minutes. It’s also on the I-Ride route if you’re looking to explore the vicinity and commute to other theme parks on your bucket list.
Located at the heart of Orlando’s tourism district on International Drive, Floridays Orlando guarantees a stay that is worth remembering. The resort comes with roomy two and three-bedroom suites that include a kitchen, washing machine, and spa bath.
The resort is equipped with a vibrant kids’ activity area, Children’s Water Playscape, and Splash Pad that will only heighten your children’s vacation spirit. Indulge your little ones with a vast kids’ menu that is one of the resort’s most celebrated features.
Parents, if you are looking to get a delicious bite as well, do visit their in-house café and marketplace that includes a Starbucks. You will find a range of treats and delectable ice-creams here for the young ones too.
If you’re visiting Orlando without a car, then the resort’s shuttle service will take you to the nearby theme parks and water parks, such as Disney World, SeaWorld, and Universal. You’ll have to reserve seats 48 hours in advance, and the start times range from 8:20 a.m to 9:55 a.m.
Looking for a budget-friendly stay at International Drive, one of the most thriving tourist areas? Here’s where Quality Inn comes in. Incredibly family-oriented and comfy, it’s the absolute best for your time in Orlando.
A complimentary continental breakfast and an outdoor pool with a sun deck are some facilities offered here. To enjoy some relaxation, there’s a hot tub for you and a children’s pool for your little ones to splash around in.
If you are craving a simple family meal together, head to Uno Chicago Bar and Grill, located 6 minutes away. Walk another 600 meters and you’ll arrive at the local bus stop, from where you can chart your own tour to some of the parks.
If local buses aren’t for you, then board the hotel’s free shuttle and visit Universal Studios, Disney World, and SeaWorld. It’s also strategically located near the Florida Mall and Ripley’s Believe it Or Not, so pop by for a quick look around.
Avanti International Resort
An outdoor swimming pool, a poolside bar and grill, along with an arcade-style game room make Avanti Resort a stay to look forward to for the whole family. There’s a fitness center and a jacuzzi for the grown-ups, as well as a convenient meal service with kids’ menus for your children.
Only a short 10-minute walk from ICON Wheel, this resort is located in Orlando’s favorite I-Drive district. Its free shuttle service operates multiple times during the day, starting from 8 a.m., to take you to Disney World and Universal. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to make reservations for the shuttles 2 hours in advance.
The resort is also less than 10-minutes away by walk from WonderWorks Orlando and Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf, where you can have a blast with the entire family.
For some aquatic fun, take an Uber or Lyft 3 miles out to SeaWorld and Aquatica. With everything in the vicinity, it’s not surprising that this is one of Orlando’s more popular areas.
Drury Inn & Suites
When it comes to a comfortable stay, it’s always the little things that matter. Drury Inn and Suites delivers on this with a family-friendly package that includes a complimentary hot breakfast, a beautiful pool and hot tub, and meals that cater to both the tastes of parents and children. You’ll find classics like mac and cheese along with soups and salads, as well as free soda and popcorn in the evenings.
Universal Orlando Resort and attractions like SeaWorld, Walt Disney World, and Ripley’s Believe it or Not! are located nearby and the Wheel at ICON Park is extremely accessible from here.
To make your visit to the popular Universal Studios a success, the hotel offers an in-house Universal Vacation Planning Center where you can get all details about park packages beforehand. Once you plot your itinerary, simply reserve seats and hop on to one of the hotel’s free scheduled shuttles to Universal.
Magic Moment Resort and Kids Club
When looking for the best areas to stay in Orlando without a car, one of the many localities that is sure to come up is Kissimmee. And for good reason! It’s near the city, has great access, and is super affordable.
One of the most sought-after stays in this city is Magic Moment Resort and Kids Club. Extremely budget-friendly, your package will include outdoor play equipment for the kids, an indoor play area complete with exciting board games and puzzles, and a fun kids club.
As for your meals, breakfast is complimentary and includes a hot continental spread of eggs, sausages, and pastries – enough to get you going for the day.
At an additional charge that ranges from $11 to $40+, the hotel can arrange for a shuttle service for the guests at their preferred time. The prime location of the hotel also makes hiring a cab or boarding a bus easy, whether it be to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Universal, or SeaWorld’s Discovery Cove.
Grande Villas Resort
The Grande Villas Resort by Diamond Resorts offers laid-back and luxurious accommodations. Located just 15 minutes away from Walt Disney World, it features an outdoor swimming pool and picnic area with outdoor play things for kids, a children’s playground, and an indoor play area as well.
As for the parents, you can choose to have a spirited game at the tennis court, table tennis arena, or the mini golf course! The hotel also has an on-site restaurant for a happy and sumptuous meal for the entire family and a minimarket for your quick wants.
Top attractions nearby include the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and SeaWorld. The best part? It doesn’t burn a hole through your pocket.
There’s a free shuttle service waiting at the hotel’s neighboring sister property, the Cypress Point Resort, that will take you to Universal Studios, Disney, and SeaWorld! Remember to get in touch with the hotel and they’ll coordinate timings keeping your preferences in mind.
Homewood Suites by Hilton Orlando Theme Parks
Homewood Suites is a mid-budget hotel and absolutely worth the stay, mainly if you’re visiting Orlando without a car. The hotel has a year-round heated swimming pool for the whole family to take a quick dip in and let loose, and beach chairs to lie low and laze in the sun.
With complimentary hot breakfast and rooms that include a kitchenette, flat-screen TV, and coffee machine, there’s little to be left for wanting.
Located in the bustling International Drive District, it’s only minutes away from SeaWorld and WonderWorks. The hotel’s complimentary shuttle provides transport to Disney World, which is 6.5 miles away, and Universal Studios, located 4.5 miles away. You’ll need to reserve seats 24 hours in advance, and you can call ahead for timings and routes while you’re planning your itinerary.
Hoping to experience something new? Ride I-Drive’s famous I-Ride Trolley and make your commute to the parks that much more special.