Where you choose to stay in a vacation home/villa can make a big difference to your enjoyment. Most of the villas on offer in the Orlando and Kissimmee area are within the "magic" 20 minutes travelling time to the Walt Disney World Resort.
We have stayed in a variety of vacation homes in the Orlando/Kissimmee area and have given summaries of the main areas below
Many travel brochures do not specifically say which development your villa is in (often these are not allocated at the time of booking) but you should try and find out exactly where you are staying as it can make a big difference to your holiday.
Read our tips on things to look for when choosing a villa.
Take a Break
We have found that if your villa is within a reasonable distance from the parks, you can go home for a rest mid-afternoon, when it is very hot, and the children may be tired and grumpy.
A quick dip in the pool, a cool drink and a nap for the kids (oh, ok you can have a nap too!) and you are refreshed for the rest of the day. You will find yourself refreshed ready to take on the evening entertainment if you have had this break.
Davenport and Haines City
To the west of Walt Disney World, along Route 27, there are dozens of new developments such as Calabray Parc, Hampton Lakes, Southern Dunes, Westridge, Highlands Reserve and Dune Sands built amongst golf courses and orange groves.
This is Orlando's newest area of development and from what we have seen, a fantastic range of housing is on offer. This is in the 10-15 minutes from Disney category. There are also some new Malls nearby off I4 like the Mall at Millenia and more are being built.
There are a number of developments clustered about Sierra Largo Road and Poinciana Boulevard, just south of 192 in Kissimmee; many with lakeside views. These include Montego Bay, Hamiltons Reserve, Chatham Park, Bay Pointe, Terra Verde, Indian Point, Eagle Pointe and Cumbrian Lakes. The last four are very new whereas the others were built in the mid 1990's.
This is one of our favourite areas to stay in. The villas are fantastic, there are plenty of amenities (loads of restaurants on 192 and Walmart is just around the corner) and there are quick ways into Disney and International Drive.
Lindfields and Indian Creek
These are part of a large set of developments that are ranged south of 192, west of I4. These are very handy for Disney but not as convenient for International Drive.
In our experience this area can get very busy in the mornings. Highway 192 was usually at a standstill and though technically only minutes drive from Disney, when the traffic is stationary those minutes can stretch! Lovely villas, but not too many amenities close by.
Crescent Lakes, North Poinciana
This is another new development about 9 miles south of 192 on Poinciana Boulevard. A little further out than the others, this development is still just in the 20 minutes circle. We stayed here in 2004 and really enjoyed it. The villa was great and though it was a bit further out, it felt like we were away from the hustle and bustle around 192. It was a very restful area particularly with lakeside views.
Buena Ventura Lakes
This is a very large development, started late 1980's early 1990's, and still being added to. It is east off Orange Blossom Trail, before it hits 192, south of the airport. We found that it was a very nice development at the time, but it is a bit far from the parks and a bit of a trek to go home during the day. Some of the houses are looking a bit dated now.
Any developments that are quoted as being off Boggy Creek Road are adjoining Buena Ventura Lakes.