Universal Orlando Resort
Kristin Harmel
December 17, 2014

If you’re taking your family to Orlando, expenses can add up fast. Theme park tickets certainly aren’t cheap, and when you add on the prices of plane tickets or a long drive, you can come close to maxing out your budget before your feet are even on Central Florida soil. One way to hang on to more of your money, though, is to take advantage of one of Orlando’s more budget-friendly lodging options (especially since you’ll likely be spending most of your time out and about in the parks). Sure, there are a lot of one- and two-star hotels in the Orlando area that cost very little; you can find those with an easy online search. But especially if you’re traveling with kids, safety, comfort and convenience should be a priority. Luckily, there are plenty of hotel options that fit the bill—including these five, which I believe are some of the best values in Orlando.

Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Disney’s value resorts are perfect for families on a budget, and this one gives you the most bang for your buck. Each section of the resort is a shout-out to a different 20th-century decade, and the rooms are colorful and comfortable. But what really makes this a great value is the free transportation to and from the airport on the Disney Magical Express bus.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando

This sprawling retro-themed hotel, which is designed to look like a beach club from the 1950s and ‘60s, is the newest lodging addition to the Universal fold. It’s still spanking new, and it offers fantastic rates. If you have a larger family, reasonably priced family suites are available, and all Universal guests get early theme park admission.

CoCo Key Hotel and Water Resort

One way to save money while on vacation? Spend a day at a water park without paying an entry fee. At CoCo Key, admission to the on-site water park is included in your mandatory resort fee Rooms are basic, but you can enjoy four heated pools and fourteen water slides at no additional cost. 

Rosen Inn International

Rosen Hotels & Resorts is a well-known hotel group in Orlando, and the company’s properties are generally great values. The recently remodeled Rosen Inn International, on International Drive, is no exception. Conveniently located, the hotel offers two swimming pools, a wading pool, a playground, and even a restaurant where kids under 9 eat free. 

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa

With low room rates and easy shuttle service to the theme parks, this amenity-rich property is a great value, especially for larger groups. The rooms are condo-style suites, and each includes a washer and dryer, a kitchen, and a dining area. Save money by preparing your own meals or by spending a free day at the hotel’s great pools.

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