Should you stay at a Disney owned hotel or stay off-site when visiting the theme parks in Orlando? This is always the debate many families have when planning a Florida vacation.
There are many benefits staying at a Disney owned property – especially if you’re only visiting Disney World theme parks. However, after one of our recent family cruise vacations, we figured being on a ship with our favorite characters and surrounded by all things Disney, we’d take a break from Mickey and friends. We decided to head to an off site hotel for the post-cruise portion of our trip.
We stayed and played at one of the Traveler’s Choice Top Hotels in the US for Families – Floridays Resort Orlando for 3 days and 2 nights and here’s what we thought about this family and kid-friendly hotel.
Located Close to Disney and Universal
Floridays Resort Orlando is a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport and is located even closer to several major theme parks – Disney theme parks, Universal Orlando, and Sea World.
Located on International Drive, it is surrounded a slew of hotels and resorts, strip malls and family friendly restaurants. There’s also two Premium Outlets within driving distance as well.
Spacious Suites at Floridays Resort
Floridays Resort Orlando is an all suites hotel. Ranging from $140 – 250 USD a night, all rooms have separate sleeping areas (guests can choose between 2 bedroom or 3 bedroom suites – max occupancy is 8 people per suite), dining area and full kitchen.
Decorated in gold, taupe and brown tones, there is a homey feel to the rooms at Floridays. There is no particular theme like you’d find at a Disney or Universal resort and the big draw to this place is the amount of space you gain by staying off site.
Our two bedroom suite was located on the 5th floor facing the highway. It was almost triple the size of a room at a Deluxe Disney resort.
We rarely saw or heard our neighbours even though the resort was close to capacity according to the front desk staff.
We loved having a full kitchen and made a few meals in our room.
Both bathrooms were clean and spacious – there was a tub in one bathroom and a stand up shower and jacuzzi tub in the master ensuite.
We made use of the in-room laundry machine and dryer during our 3 day stay and came home with freshly laundered clothes. I didn’t realize how much I would appreciate this amenity until we got home – there was no laundry to do post vacation! A family first!
Lots of Amenities for Non Park Days
- Complimentary WiFi is available throughout the entire property – in the room, lobby, parking lot and outside at the pool.
- Full kitchen in guest rooms including microwave, fridge, stove and coffee maker
- In room safe
- Cable TV
- In room washer and dryer
- Free local and 800-number calls
- Fitness center
- Scheduled shuttles to the theme parks
- Free parking
- Two heated pools, jacuzzi and a small splash pad area for little ones
- Arcade and Game Room
- Pool Bar/Patio
- 24 hour Business Center
- Weekly poolside activities – movies, crafts, and live music
Dining Options at Floridays
The Palm Cafe & Marketplace (a small shop located across from the main pool) serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. All meals are made to order and guests can either dine outside on the patio or have their food delivered to their room.
Floridays Resort Orlando guests can purchase beverages (including Starbucks coffee), pastries, snack items and vacation essentials from the Marketplace which is attached to The Palm Cafe.
If you’re planning on making use of the kitchen, Publix (grocery store) and CVS pharmacy are located less than 5 minutes driving from Floridays.
There’s also many family friendly restaurants and fast food joints in the area as well – Benihana is right next door and McDonalds is a short drive away.
Overall Impressions & Other Notes
Floridays Resort Orlando changed my views of staying at an off site hotel (non Disney owned property). My family loved the pool, the large suite and the relaxed vibe of the resort.
While I appreciated the spacious room and the flexibility to go anywhere in Orlando with our vehicle rental, I didn’t particularly like the traffic and lineup to get into the Universal Orlando parking lot or airport.
I also missed the in your face Disney theming from our family’s previous stays at Disney resort hotels. Take this with a grain of salt because I also like 24/7 Disney holiday music too! 😉
Floridays Resort Orlando offers complimentary shuttle service to Disney theme parks, Universal, SeaWorld, Wet ‘n Wild and Aquatica. Seats must be booked in advance and the shuttle services times are limited.
I’d highly recommended renting a car if your travel group includes young children, toddlers or babies.
WiFi connectivity is hit or miss. While we could connect and surf any time we were in the lobby and pool area, it seemed like our tablets had problems connecting when we were in our room. Internet connection would drop anytime we took our tablets into the bedrooms. It was fine though in the kitchen, dining area and living room.
There is a resort fee ($14/night) which covers the WiFi, parking and shuttle services so make sure you include that into your final accommodation cost calculations.
Floridays Resort Orlando is an affordable mid tier hotel (starting at $140 USD per night) – especially if you have a large travel group – and suites are clean, spacious, and comfortable. The location is hard to beat if your Orlando vacation includes major theme parks.