The 12 Best Airbnbs in Orlando Near Disney World

Staying off-property can save a lot of money, and some Airbnb hosts have really stepped up to the plate with themed homes and tons of space and amenities. But which is the best Airbnb in Orlando near Disney?

Best Overall

The Best Airbnbs in Orlando Near Disney World Option Extraordinary Disney-Themed Home

Extraordinary Disney-Themed Home

Best Themed Decor

The Best Airbnbs in Orlando Near Disney World Option Character-Themed 7-Bedroom

Character-Themed 7-Bedroom

Luxury Pick

The Best Airbnbs in Orlando Near Disney World Option “Happily Ever After” Luxury Playhouse

“Happily Ever After” Luxury Playhouse

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Planning a Disney vacation is an exhilarating combination of excitement, overwhelm, budget stretching, and decision fatigue. There are so many choices to make, many of them with significant financial commitment. While for some the planning stages build the anticipation, for others it’s just exhausting. One of the toughest decisions while planning a trip is deciding where to stay. Whether a guest is looking for a spot that feels like a luxurious vacation or trying to save every last penny by staying in a no-frills accommodation, there are many options both on-property and off. There are some advantages to staying on a Disney property, but especially for those who want a quieter retreat after a long, hot day of park entertainment or those who are traveling with larger parties, an off-property accommodation that is still close to the parks can be a great answer. Several large hotel chains have entered into that market, promising cheaper rates than Disney with all the luxury vacationers expect, but Airbnb hosts have also observed this gap in the market and stepped up with some genuinely exciting options for much, much less money than most of the resorts and hotels. An Airbnb near Disney World can be a great, economical option.

These Orlando Airbnbs have embraced the market in which they exist, theming different spaces and creating layouts that allow large groups to stay together, cook together, and relax without feeling like they need to be doing something else all the time. They’re not inexpensive—no rental that’s close to a major tourist attraction is—but savvy shoppers can save a significant amount of money and stay in charming accommodations that add to the vacation experience without paying an arm and a leg, leaving more space in the budget to bring home wands, ears, and oversize stuffed animals. We’ve evaluated the best Airbnbs in Orlando near Disney World and identified the best options for different types of vacationers to help guests wade through the many offerings.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Extraordinary Disney-Themed Home
  2. BEST THEMED DECOR: Character-Themed 7-Bedroom 
  3. LUXURY PICK: “Happily Ever After” Luxury Playhouse
  4. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Encore Resort Movie Lovers’ Mansion
  5. BEST FOR LARGER GROUPS: 8-Bedroom Encore Resort Stay
  6. BEST FOR ADULTS: Stylish Home With Pops of Pink
  7. MOST MICKEY: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
  8. BEST VIEWS: Family-Friendly Lakefront Resort
  9. MOST UNIQUE DESIGN: Pineapples in Paradise at Ultimate Vista Cay
  10. BEST HISTORIC HOME: Downtown Historic Home
  11. BEST FOR STAR WARS FANS: Space-Themed Villa
  12. PRINCESS-FOCUSED PICK: Princess Penthouse
The Best Airbnbs in Orlando Near Disney World Options
Photo: istockphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Airbnbs in Orlando Near Disney World

One of the advantages of Airbnb rentals is that each property is unique, bearing a different flavor and feel (and in this case, literally a different character). To evaluate the properties, we established some basic criteria that travelers may find helpful.

Number of Guests, Bedrooms, and Bathrooms

This is the first, most basic piece of information that should be clear in an Airbnb listing—travelers need to know if the property can accommodate the guests they’re bringing with them with appropriate sleeping arrangements. For example, a listing may say it sleeps 12 people, but if the group consists of separate family units traveling together, two double beds in one room and a bunkhouse with eight bunks isn’t going to work. Nor is a property that sleeps 10 that has only a single small bathroom. Balancing cost and convenience against the very real need to find restful, comfortable sleep at night and the ability to wash off the sunscreen at the end of a long park day is critical.

Rates and Fees

The next important piece of information—and for some guests, the most important part—how much is it going to cost? When comparing the prices of any accommodation, it’s important not to take the price listed on the search results page at face value, because there are likely taxes and fees that will be tacked onto the price before the checkout is finished. Cleaning fees, local rental taxes, parking—all of these may increase the total cost of the rental, so looking deeper before comparing costs makes a big difference.

Ratings and Reviews

It’s always a good idea to be a critical reader of readings and reviews, because as everyone knows, sometimes people are more inclined to take the time to complain than they are to praise. Also, online commenters are often willing to stretch the truth a bit when they’re safely behind their computer screens. However, ratings and reviews can be instrumental in showing a potential renter what the general trend is and can allow them to look for patterns of complaints or problems (or benefits!) that are repeatedly mentioned in the reviews. Because Airbnbs are rented by individual hosts, potential guests can take note not only of the reviews of the property itself but also of the ease of working with a particular host.

Amenities

The list of amenities on the Airbnb search site is nearly endless. Everything a guest could think of is a possible amenity—and Airbnb lets guests search and sort by the amenities that are necessary for their party to travel successfully. Critical elements such as wheelchair accessibility and baby cribs or vacation-themed components such as pools, streaming services, and game tables are all available to search and sort.

Property Theme and Decor

For some Disney guests, the biggest sacrifice of staying off-property is giving up the themed resort rooms in the parks for a themed Airbnb in Orlando. The appeal of sleeping in a pirate bed or in a bungalow close to wild animals is, for many, part of the point of vacationing at Disney, where the resort becomes part of the vacation. Those guests will be delighted with the many Airbnb hosts who have embraced the mouse and built a Disney-themed Airbnb; some are quite elaborate, and some have a variety of themes throughout the home to appeal to the little guests with discerning character preferences.

Other families will be desperate to escape the wild overstimulation that can happen to kids (and, frankly, adults) after a long, hot day in the parks, and those families will find that accommodations with calm, serene decor that have lots of places to crash and relax are the best choice. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for these families, too—kid-friendly homes that are just a bit calmer, but no less fun. And for the many adults who enjoy the Orlando parks without kids tagging along, there are plenty of lovely Airbnb Orlando/Disney World choices that are appropriate for couples and groups of adult friends planning to enjoy after-park hours with dinner and drinks without all the hubbub.

And if the biggest thing a family member will miss when staying at an off-property accommodation is the hand-towel animal creations that Disney’s talented Mousekeeping staff leave arranged on the beds each day, then parents take note: There are videos online that will teach you how to make them yourself!

Our Top Picks

After sorting through the many options on Airbnb that fit these categories, we’ve identified these rentals as our top choices, including the pluses and minuses of each option. The creativity and effort that went into creating these Airbnb rentals is astonishing and a credit to hosts who have capitalized beautifully on their opportunity within this very specific market.

Best Overall

Extraordinary Disney-Themed Home

Why It Made the Cut:

Beautifully themed without being overstimulating, this large home will satisfy kids and adults with its many amenities and conveniences. Plus, it sleeps 16 for less than the cost of a single hotel room anywhere else in town.

Feel like hanging out with Darth Vader in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon while watching TV? Check. Hoping for a magic carpet ride with Aladdin, or a tea party in Wonderland? Check. Nightmare Before Christmas? Lilo and Stitch? Huge Hulk fist plunging through the wall? Check, check, and check. This home, located minutes from the parks, has 7 bedrooms with a mix of twin beds, bunks, and larger beds, each room thoughtfully decorated with every detail matched to the theme of the space. The master bedroom is Mickey themed, but mostly black and white, which is soothing for parents who have been surrounded by people all day. One of the most thoughtful touches in the home acknowledges that often small children aren’t comfortable sleeping away from their parents when in a strange place—the host has built two small bunk beds with curtains into the corner of the master bedroom for kids who want to be close to their parents when the parents need to stretch out in their own bed without being kicked all night by little feet.

There are nearly too many amenities to mention at this property: a movie theater with stadium seating and heated seats, large pool with a hot tub and a retractable roof so everyone can swim if it’s too rainy to go to the parks, and gaming tables and consoles. Amenities within the community including a fitness center and water park. The host provides ponchos for rainy days, supplies for families with young children including cribs, strollers, and high chairs, and a kitchen fully stocked with equipment, including a fun waffle bar, so that families can choose to cook rather than go out. Linens, toiletries, and some supplies for breakfast and movie nights are included as well. Because of all the effort the host has clearly put into making this listing special, the cleaning and damage policy is a bit more restrictive than some properties: there is a “no shoes in the house” rule, and no food or drink (other than water) in the bedrooms or on fabric furniture. No pets, smoking, or parties are allowed. However, these policies are clearly posted on the listing, and the “Tidy Up” requirements are listed as well. None are unreasonable—the hosts basically ask guests to put things away and throw away trash before they leave. Given the relatively low cost of renting this amazing home—just a fraction of the cost of renting even one room at an on-property resort—these requests are well within bounds.

 

Specs

  • Maximum number of guests: 16 guests/7 bedrooms/13 beds
  • Number of bathrooms: 6 baths
  • Rate: $357/night
  • Rating: 4.95 stars
  • Standout amenities: Waffle bar, movie theater, stroller, high chair, crib, gaming room

Pros

  • Popular character-themed decor throughout whole home
  • Home theater with luxurious recliners
  • Large game room with foosball, ping pong, pool table, and gaming consoles
  • Enclosed pool and hot tub with retractable roof
  • Strollers, high chairs, and cribs available for families with young children
  • Full access to community amenities, including water park and fitness center
  • DIY waffle and coffee bar

Cons

  • Somewhat strict cleaning and damage policy

Sample Review:“What an absolutely dream home! Our 5-year-old daughter thought she had already arrived at Disney World when she walked inside! No detail was missed (even just-in-case ponchos)! The few times I had questions, I heard right back from Michelle and she was beyond helpful and willing! The drive to the Disney parks was great, and we loved getting away back to our own fun-filled cozy house at the end of each day! Totally incredible! So much fun!”

Best Themed Decor

Character-Themed 7-Bedroom

Why It Made the Cut:

For those looking for a Disney-themed experience without staying on-property, this 7-bedroom house has every detail covered.

The level of detail in the bedrooms of this Airbnb Disney-themed house is intense. The host refers to the home as a “Magic Clubhouse,” and it really is, with space for up to 15 guests across 7 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. Located in a rental community called Rolling Hills Estates, the home is close to Disney World, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and other attractions. Bedroom themes include Harry Potter, Frozen, Star Wars, Avengers, Tron, and a soothing beach theme, along with a safari area, a Haunted Mansion landing, Pirates of the Caribbean TV room, an adorable diner booth in the kitchen named after Mickey, and dedicated gaming console areas throughout the home. The themed rooms include dress-up costumes and large-scale wall murals that place the occupants in the middle of their chosen theme, complete with accessories. A large kitchen and roomy table (in addition to the diner) provides space to cook (or reheat) and spread out to eat.

The attached pool enclosure features a large pool and hot tub with loungers where parents can keep an eye on kids playing in the Snow White cottage playhouse or the Jurassic Park workshop, complete with a kid-size ATV and a velociraptor in a cage where little ones can work out any excess energy while parents rest their feet. Reviews suggest that the host is extremely responsive to any needs or concerns, and there’s one extra-special option for guests staying for a longer span: For an additional fee, guests can request a mid-stay cleaning, which involves washing and replacing all the linens and towels; bathroom and kitchen cleaning; vacuuming, dusting, and mopping the entire home; and a refresh of paper products. It costs a little extra, but for parents trying to enjoy a busy vacation it’s well worth the cost to start fresh, and given that the home itself costs less than a room for four guests at most of the Orlando resorts, it’s a treat parents may want to consider for themselves.

 

Specs

  • Maximum number of guests: 15 guests/7 bedrooms/10 beds
  • Number of bathrooms: 4.5 baths
  • Rate: $324/night
  • Rating: 4.85 stars
  • Standout amenities: Pool, hot tub, crib

Pros

  • Popular character-themed decor throughout whole home
  • Jurassic Park-themed playhouse with life-size velociraptor model
  • Snow White–themed cottage playhouse
  • Enclosed pool and hot tub with retractable roof

Sample Review:“We had a beautiful stay at Michael’s place…so much so that my 5-year-old wanted to stay at the Airbnb instead of doing another day at Disney! The rooms are so well outfitted with costumes and decorations. The pool and outdoor play area is wonderful for parents of little ones. Michael was extremely responsive whenever we had a question. We would stay here again in a heartbeat.”

Luxury Pick

“Happily Ever After” Luxury Playhouse

Why It Made the Cut:

The themed bedrooms are so immersive that guests may not even need the Orlando parks.

At this property, guests can move the bricks from side to side to enter Diagon Alley, then wander in a potion shop theater while Harry Potter, Hermione, Ron, and Professor Dumbledore look over their shoulder, then go sleep in a bed that is inside a Hogwarts tower. Or they can hang with full-size Anna and Elsa cutouts (and dress like them, too!) while Olaf peers over the TV screen in the game room. Belle’s ball gown stands on a dress form in the Beauty and the Beast–themed room, as does the Beast. Ewoks peer down from atop an Endor-themed bunk bed in another bedroom, while the beautiful and lush Cinderella bedroom sports a king-size canopy bed, a twin-sized carriage bed, and a pack-n-play in a dressing closet alongside an en suite bathroom. Costumes, props, and things to play with are thoughtfully incorporated into the rooms as well.

Everything in this rental is luxurious and beautifully finished. Even the pool and hot tub are themed (The Little Mermaid, of course). The unit sleeps 16 in 8 bedrooms, so the cost is a bit higher than some other options, especially when the cleaning fee and Airbnb service fee are tacked on. The price per night varies based on the number of nights reserved (there is sometimes a four-night minimum stay) and on the timing of the stay. One significant drawback for guests who require service animals is that no animals of any kind, including hairless animals and service animals, are permitted. This is not technically an ADA violation due to the owner’s asthma and severe allergy to animals; the presence of animals in the home is a genuine and serious threat to her health, so the ban on animals is considered acceptable. While not ideal, it’s important for potential guests to know this up front so they can select a different property if necessary.

 

 Specs

  • Maximum number of guests: 16 guests/8 bedrooms/10 beds
  • Number of bathrooms: 5 baths
  • Rate: $525/night
  • Rating: 4.84 stars
  • Standout amenities: 3D home theater, pool, hot tub, gaming consoles

Pros

  • Popular character-themed decor throughout whole home
  • Enclosed pool and hot tub with retractable roof
  • 3D home theater with luxurious recliners
  • Upscale furnishings and finishes

Cons

  • Assistance animals not permitted

Sample Review:The house was a vacation all by itself! Our family loved the decor and instantly felt at home. We were able to spend our off days at the house playing in the pool and watching movies in the theater room, and after full days of Disney, just a couple minutes away, it was nice to come home to relax here. The beds are all incredibly comfortable at the end of long days. In addition, this house was also the cleanest house that we have ever stayed at!”

Best Bang for the Buck

Encore Resort Movie Lovers’ Mansion

Why It Made the Cut:

This budget-friendly property has a perfect mix of charming character-themed rooms and soothing serenity in common areas and adult areas—plus an amazing movie theater.

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Toy Story–themed bedrooms provide cheerful, friendly resting spots for kids, while a clean, soothing white space with soft beige furniture presents a place for grown-ups to rest their eyes and feet in the spacious open-plan living room and kitchen. Other bedrooms are cool, deep blue and soft, light-filled sky and sand colors, so every guest can find a spot among the 5 bedrooms and 5 baths that meets their needs. Everyone can get together to enjoy the black box home theater with low blue lighting, reclining stadium seating, fun movie posters, and movie posters lining the walls. A pool and hot tub in the fenced yard offer a spot for more relaxation and fun. Averaging about $173 per night (plus cleaning and service fees), this home truly is a bargain. It’s worth noting that the community amenities offered by the Encore Resort neighborhood are not currently available for guests, and that the host has suggested that the home is not child-safe for kids under 2 years of age. A handful of reviews suggest that perhaps there are not as many extra linens on hand as guests—especially guests with young children—might like. For the cost, however, this property offers a lot of space and amenities for a much lower cost than many alternatives.

 

Specs

  • Maximum number of guests: 12 guests/5 bedrooms/8 beds
  • Number of bathrooms: 5 baths
  • Rate: $173/night
  • Rating: 4.94 stars
  • Standout amenities: Movie theater, board games, fully fenced backyard, pool, hot tub

Pros

  • Relatively affordable cost per night
  • Popular character-themed bedrooms
  • Home theater with luxurious recliners
  • Private pool and spa

Cons

  • Some essentials may not be available

Sample Review:“Staying at Chris’s home was a wonderful experience. He was great at communicating and helpful. The home was perfect for hopping over to Disney in about 12 to 15 minutes! Coming back from a long park day and watching a Disney movie in the theater room was a fun addition to the week. The home has ample space and everything you’d need for a perfect time.”

Best for Larger Groups

8-Bedroom Encore Resort Stay

Why It Made the Cut:

Premium furnishings and finishes in a nearly 4,000-square-foot home for 16 guests, with one of the most flexible sleeping arrangements in the market, make this space a luxurious but affordable choice for groups of adult friends or several family units.

There’s just so much space. After the claustrophobia of constant motion and constant closeness to other people, this oasis for up to 16 guests is painted with calm and cool (but not boring) colors. There are no themes here; this is a sophisticated offering that is still comfortable and bright enough for a family to enjoy. There are 8 bedrooms: 6 are fitted with king-size beds dressed in luxury linens, while the other two include two sets of bunk beds each. A huge open- plan great room offers a unique double-sided couch to maximize seating opportunities between a large television and a dining table, so there’s plenty of space to spread out. A cobbled poolscape is adorned with loungers and comfortable chairs by the pool and hot tub, while indoors there’s a game room, televisions, gaming consoles and tables, and a solid stash of board games for entertainment. There’s plenty of room inside and out for everyone to sprawl out and gather or to retreat to their own rooms for quiet and privacy. The owner specifies that only paying guests are allowed in the home—no parties and no outside guests are permitted, with a consequence of immediate booking termination. Because of the luxury furnishings, this booking is probably more appropriate for adults or families with older children rather than littles—there are simply too many things that could be damaged by a toddler.

 

Specs

  • Maximum number of guests: 16 guests/8 bedrooms/8 beds
  • Number of bathrooms: 6.5 baths
  • Rate: $409/night
  • Rating: 4.89 stars
  • Standout amenities: Game room, pool, hot tub, gym

Pros

  • Almost 4,000 square feet of living space
  • Luxurious private pool and spa
  • Large game room with pool and foosball
  • Upscale furnishings and finishes

Sample Review:“This home was beautiful and extremely clean. The hosts were amazing and always responsive to any questions of concern I had! I definitely will be booking again. My friends and I enjoyed every moment of my birthday vacation!”

Best for Adults

Stylish Home With Pops of Pink

Why It Made the Cut:

Minimalist, airy spaces with a light-filled, restful decor make this a great option for adults staying together or traveling with much older children.

“Understated” isn’t really a word that comes to mind in the Orlando area, but this property displays a cool drink of understated elegance. White, gray, muted mauve, almost-blue—the walls, soft furnishings, and decor of this home are full of light and contemporary sophistication. While there are spaces that older children will enjoy, the style (and the almost 30-minute drive from park attractions) skew this property in the direction of adults traveling together. In addition, the combination of queen and single beds makes the sleeping arrangements easy to organize among a larger group; unlike many properties, the choices aren’t just king or bunk beds. There’s a beautiful pool with a retractable roof, surrounded with comfortable lounge furniture, and a large game room. The kitchen is simple and well equipped with a breakfast bar and nearby eat-in area. Additionally, the vaulted ceiling makes the living room feel wide open.

 

Specs

  • Maximum number of guests: 8 guests/4 bedrooms/6 beds
  • Number of bathrooms: 3 baths
  • Rate: $180/night
  • Rating: 4.96 stars
  • Standout amenities: Pool, game room

Pros

  • Quality-assured Airbnb Plus property
  • Sophisticated, design-forward contemporary interior
  • Large game room with pool and foosball
  • Enclosed pool with retractable roof

Cons

  • Relatively long 25- to 30-minute drive from Disney World

Sample Review:“This is one of those reviews that has me torn, because on one hand, Phil and Sue are excellent hosts and the home was superb. On the other hand, this is a gem that I don’t want others to know about so that I can book here again. Pure selfishness. The location of the home is perfect for getting to all the activities that Orlando has to offer. The pool is just right. The home is clean and comfortable … spacious and feels welcoming. Great stay. Wish I had booked for a few more days.”

Most Mickey

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

Why It Made the Cut:

Mickey—Mickey everywhere, while still preserving a sense of comfort and calm—makes this property a great option for families with older and younger children alike.

For families that take the “find the hidden Mickey!” challenge seriously, this house will top off each day’s count. This home is playful but not overwhelmingly childish: Mickey silhouettes are in contemporary art on the walls, subtly overlapped on the carpets, and woven into pillowcases. It’s fun without being wildly over the top. The children’s bedrooms are more overt: Mickey is all over the bedding and the walls, but in keeping with the red, black, and white color scheme. The home includes a game room with pool and air hockey, along with a fenced-in pool and hot tub with loungers. Comfortable furniture and a midsize kitchen with a breakfast bar and eating area mean there’s space for everyone to relax while keeping the Disney theme front of mind. The listing notes that there’s the potential for noise, although no specifics are provided. The community does observe quiet hours from 11 p.m. until 7 a.m., and guests are asked to keep any noise to a minimum during that time.

 

Specs

  • Maximum number of guests: 9 guests/4 bedroom/7 beds
  • Number of bathrooms: 2 baths
  • Rate: $200/night
  • Rating: 5.0 stars
  • Standout amenities: Pool, game room

Pros

  • Cohesive and whimsical Mickey Mouse–themed decor
  • Large game room with pool and air hockey
  • Enclosed pool and hot tub with retractable roof

Cons

  • Potential for noise

Sample Review:“The home was exactly as described. It was immaculate. Nakisha was very responsive to the point that I felt as if I have known her for years. The home was clean, spacious, and well stocked with basic necessities. While we had no issues, she was very responsive when we did have a question or needed information. The home is within 15 minutes of the parks which was really nice. I would highly recommend this home and would definitely choose it again if I return to Florida.”

Best Views

Family-Friendly Lakefront Resort

Why It Made the Cut:

This 1-bedroom unit is small, but its position on the edge of Lake Bryan is right in the middle of the Walt Disney World resorts, affording spectacular views of the lake, two pools, and the Disney fireworks each night.

Perfect for a family that wants an Airbnb close to Disney World’s action without paying resort prices, this condominium unit in the Blue Heron Beach Resort is less than a mile from the Disney entrance. It’s small, capable of accommodating up to five guests: The unit features one king bedroom, a queen sleeper sofa, and a bunk bed intended for children. However, the stunning view from the living room through an oversize glass sliding door expands the size, as does the amazing balcony that provides both sunrise and sunset views over the lake.

All of the amenities of the resort are available to guests: concierge service for park tickets, two pools, a jacuzzi, access to the pier and water sports, and a tiki bar and restaurant by the pool. Beach access is also included. The decor is simple and coastal, because the real attraction is outside the window. It’s worth noting, as well, that the Airbnb service fee and the cleaning fee are lower on this unit than on many others, probably because of its small footprint—but its proximity to the parks and the ability to watch the fireworks each night more than makes up for its cozy size. The host does advise that this rental is not suitable for guests under age 2, possibly because of the size of the balcony and the presence of furniture for climbing.

 

Specs

  • Maximum number of guests: 5 guests/1 bedroom/4 beds
  • Number of bathrooms: 2 baths
  • Rate: $132/night
  • Rating: 4.94 stars
  • Standout amenities: Lakefront views; shared pool, hot tub, and gym

Pros

  • Striking lakefront views
  • Clear view of Disney World fireworks each night
  • Jet ski and pontoon boat rental available
  • Convenient concierge services for reservations and ticket sales

Cons

  • Not suitable for travelers with infants or children under the age of 2

Sample Review:“This stay exceded my expectations! As soon as we arrived, my family and I felt right at home and were impressed by the space, location, the view, and all the mini details left by Nicoleta. We were greeted with mini snacks and other toiletries. I am definitely booking Nicoleta’s place again!”

Most Unique Design

Pineapples in Paradise at Ultimate Vista Cay

Why It Made the Cut:

Quirky and fun, the overlay of bright colors and patterns in this waterfront unit should be overwhelming, but somehow is not—instead, the decor is splashy, lively, and unlike anywhere you’ve stayed before.

Color. Deep, saturated color. On the chairs, on the walls in a bright pink scrawl or wide stripes, repeating in chair upholstery, rugs, curtains, pillows, and light fixtures—initially this unit vaguely looks like a paint box exploded. And yet, it works: The colors are all tonally equal, the brightness is grounded with a few well-placed deeper shades, and the pattern repeats connect all of the pieces together. It’s a maximalist dream. And if guests can accommodate the mass of pattern, they’ll find a creative and interesting place to stay. One bedroom has a king bed, another has two queen beds. The rest of the beds are located in each of the two living areas: the main living room includes a queen-size sleeper sofa, and the other features four armchairs that each pull out into a twin bed, making that space ideal for kids to pile into, building forts and playing games while the adults relax in the main living area, which is attached to the fully stocked kitchen.

All of the amenities that the Vista Cay resort offers are available to guests, including a fitness room, pool, hot tub, and arcade and game room. There are running trails, barbecue grills, a kids’ splash pool, playground, and other benefits. It’s important to note that the host’s policies address the extensive networking of televisions, Wi-Fi, and streaming services, along with the networked lighting, and specifically lists fines that may be levied if guests tamper with these connections to compensate for the time and inconvenience it will take to reprogram. The host also notes that the unit is not specifically childproofed. Located close to all of Orlando’s parks and resorts, this wild unit provides a respite from activity-filled days while keeping a mood that clearly says “vacation.”

 

Specs

  • Maximum number of guests: 8 guests/2 bedrooms/8 beds
  • Number of bathrooms: 2 baths
  • Rate: $150/night
  • Rating: 4.95 stars
  • Standout amenities: Shared pool, hot tub, gym, and game room

Pros

  • Unique maximalist interior design
  • Convenient lake access
  • Spacious floor plan with 2 separate living areas
  • Access to community amenities, including pool, poolside bar, and jogging trail

Sample Review:“My family was so excited to book this space—from the pictures, it was cozy and bright and fun—and this is exactly what we wanted and got for our getaway. Five of us stayed here for four nights, and we all couldn’t agree on a favorite thing. Visually, this place is stunning … and well thought out and convenient. Traci was very helpful and responded very quickly to any questions. We had a wonderful time and made many memories here.”

Best Historic Home

Downtown Historic Home

Why It Made the Cut:

Crisp, simple (but not boring) decor, and a sense of history give this home a flavor different from most of the other units available in this area.

Three arched openings to a porch that spans the entire front of this attractive stucco home welcomes guests to a deep seating area backed by floor-to-ceiling French doors. Above the entryway is a balcony with symmetrical windows and a third-floor cupola with a window at the top. The expansive porch has fans mounted in its tiled ceiling and invites breezes to cool weary travelers enjoying a cup of coffee at the beginning of a long day. The home invites its guests to step back into a cool, century-old oasis—without giving up a single modern convenience.

Simple, classic decor furnishes a bright living room and leads to a fully modern kitchen with stainless appliances and white cabinetry, the only color coming from natural wood tones and stone, light pouring in through multiple windows and French doors. Arched doorways and high ceilings highlight the Spanish architecture and classic design, but beyond the kitchen is an enclosed, private, all-modern saltwater pool and hot tub that are lit from below and surrounded by foliage. There’s an eating area outdoors as well. The second floor features a walkway along the pool enclosure with exposed beams and small seating areas outside the 3 spacious, simple bedrooms that sleep six. The host provides luxury linens and high-end toiletries to make guests feel welcomed and cared for, along with fluffy robes and towels.

Because the home is located in a historic district, neighborhood quiet hours are from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. In addition, while a laundry room is available and free, it’s in an off building adjacent to the host’s living area, so it is only available between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. or 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the evening. In addition, the drive to Orlando attractions is close to 30 minutes. These are fairly minor inconveniences, however, in exchange for the opportunity to experience this secluded and historic home, especially if traveling with adults or older children.

 

Specs

  • Maximum number of guests: 6 guests/3 bedrooms/3 beds
  • Number of bathrooms: 2.5 baths
  • Rate: $394/night
  • Rating: 4.83 stars
  • Standout amenities: Pool, hot tub, exercise equipment

Pros

  • Striking 1920s home with Spanish architecture
  • Over 3,000 square feet of living space
  • Private hot tub and saltwater pool
  • Totally private, fully fenced backyard
  • High-end beauty and body care products provided

Cons

  • Relatively long 30-minute drive from Disney World
  • Relatively long home quiet hours
  • Somewhat restricted laundry access

Sample Review:“The home was better than the photos! Comfy bed, clean linens, small details, tons of fresh plants, and so much more. Nicole was super communicative and really helpful in celebrating our friend’s bachelorette party which made the trip all that more special.”

Best for Star Wars Fans

Space-Themed Villa

Why It Made the Cut:

Guests can feel like they’re traveling across the galaxy without leaving the comfort of their Airbnb.

For superfans of the Star Wars franchise, this themed villa 15 minutes from Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the perfect pick. While the primary renter will have to be at least 25 to book this property, it’s fun for guests of all ages. You can travel from the treetops of Endor to the deserts of Tatooine to the frozen tundra of Hoth in less than 12 parsecs. Kids can sleep in a 3D molded spacecraft or a bed that looks like an Ewok’s hut, while parents can stay in a regal room fit for Queen Padmé of Naboo. A galactic-themed game room with a pool table and ping-pong, as well as a relaxing pool heated to 89 degrees Fahrenheit, provide entertainment when you’re not hitting the parks. Guests also have access to community amenities, including pools, golf courses, and a water park.

 

Specs

  • Maximum number of guests: 16+ guests/9 bedrooms/16 beds
  • Number of bathrooms: 5 baths
  • Rate: $449/night
  • Rating: 4.83 stars
  • Standout amenities: Resort view, private pool

Pros

  • Enclosed pool with retractable roof
  • Space-themed decor throughout whole home
  • Access to community amenities, including water park and golf courses

Cons

  • Primary renter must be at least 25 years of age

Sample Review: “Our family spent Christmas in this awesome home. The kids absolutely loved it and although it was too cold to enjoy many of the amenities, we still felt that it was well worth the money spent. The home was very clean, the host was very helpful. We’d absolutely stay here again!”

Princess-Focused Pick

Princess Penthouse

Why It Made the Cut:

Want to feel like a princess? This plush pink penthouse won’t disappoint.

For anyone wanting to live out their childhood dream of being a princess while on vacation, the Princess Penthouse is for you. When you’re not spending time at Cinderella’s castle or visiting the princesses at the parks, you can relax on pink velvet sofas or take the perfect Instagram photos with the neon “Happily Ever After” sign. Little touches truly transform the space; the shell-shaped phone looks like something Ariel would have picked it out herself, while the glass chandelier in the Cinderella-themed main bedroom is a subtle homage to her glass slipper. The balcony patio is the perfect place to lounge and watch the sun set over the lake. If guests feel like staying home from the parks, they can also experience plenty of fun within the community, with amenities like a lazy river and an on-site restaurant.

 

Specs

  • Maximum number of guests: 8 guests/2 bedrooms/5 beds
  • Number of bathrooms: 2 baths
  • Rate: $225/night
  • Rating: 4.93 stars
  • Standout amenities: Lake view, shared pool access

Pros

  • Access to community amenities, including lazy river and on-site restaurant
  • Luxurious themed decor
  • Striking lakefront view

Sample Review: “Wonderful place to stay with kids. Our girls loved it! The apartment is very cute, nice layout. Beautiful pool and fun splash park just up the street. The host answers questions within seconds and is very helpful/ friendly.”

Our Verdict

Each of these properties is the winner in its category for a reason: People travel to the Orlando area for many different reasons and with different sizes and types of groups, so the best property for each travel party will always be the one that can best accommodate the needs of the group. That said, our top overall pick remains the Extraordinary Disney-Themed Home because of its balance between theme and practicality, along with the host’s attention to detail in both decor and amenities. In addition, the Encore Resort Movie Lovers’ Mansion is also a strongly recommended option because it can house so many guests in comfort and style at a lower price point, placing the dream Disney vacation in reach for families who might not otherwise be able to afford the trip without sacrificing the fun and style of a Disney resort.

How We Chose the Best Airbnbs in Orlando Near Disney World

Airbnb provides a lot of information on its listings. As we dug through hundreds of search results, we chose to focus on a few areas to ensure that the listings we were considering would hold up under scrutiny. One factor we prioritized was Superhosts. Airbnb grants this designation to hosts who maintain a 4.8 rating or higher out of 5, who provide 10 or more stays per year or 100 nights over three completed stays, who maintain a cancellation rate of less than 1 percent (barring extenuating circumstances), and who respond to 90 percent of new messages within 24 hours. Superhosts are reviewed every 3 months to ascertain that they have maintained these statistics. Because the Superhost designation indicates stability and reliability along with a true commitment to providing an outstanding guest experience, we primarily considered properties rented by Superhosts.

In addition, we only considered homes which had consistently high ratings. While ratings can be a little fickle, a consistent trend of positive comments and ratings is a fairly solid indicator that a satisfied client base has been happy with their experience. These criteria still resulted in a significant number of properties, so as we waded through, we looked for properties that had an extra something—something that made them stand out from the rest, such as a wow factor. Because for those planning a vacation that is as meaningful as Disney is to many guests, it makes sense to look for an accommodation that will stand out from the pack.

Before You Book One of the Best Airbnbs in Orlando Near Disney World

There are a few caveats to consider prior to booking an Airbnb for a Disney vacation. First, there are some benefits to staying on a Disney property that simply can’t be met by an outside rental. A reservation at a Disney resort comes with perks: Early dining reservations, early purchase of park passes, early access to Lightning Lane passes, and extra hours in the parks each day are limited to guests staying in a Disney resort. On-property guests can send gift shop purchases back to their rooms instead of schlepping them around all day. It’s much easier to get around on-property, as well—shuttle bus service is free and runs consistently from each resort to each park all day, every day, so there’s no need to park the car, pay to park, or Uber to and fro. But these things all come with the hefty price tag of staying on a Disney property, and for many guests, that expense is prohibitive (or can quickly turn a planned weeklong vacation into just a few days). Staying in one of the best Airbnbs in Florida—especially a property in which the owner has put a lot of thought, creativity, and energy into thematic decorating—can be a cost-effective way to stretch the budget to its fullest (and often, to enjoy a private pool and hot tub instead of sharing one with 500 of your closest friends).

As with any Airbnb, there are some details guests will need to pay attention to. They’ll want to read through the House Rules, establish an open line of communication with the host, and be sure that everyone is clear and in agreement on fees, fines, and resolution protocols in case there’s a problem along the way. Guests will want to remember that the hosts are people, not corporations, and tidy up on the way out—even if the annoying cleaning fee makes you feel like someone else should take care of it. There’s no need to scrub the floor if it’s not in the House Rules, but taking the trash out and cleaning up debris is appropriate.

  • Curious to know how Airbnb works? Learn more with our Airbnb review.

Cost of Booking One of the Best Airbnbs in Orlando Near Disney World

Costs for individual Airbnbs vary widely based on size, capacity, amenities, location, time of year, and other considerations. A quick glance through the nightly rate will give guests an idea of the range of costs per night for the type of properties they’re looking for. Many of the larger-capacity themed properties in our recommendations average in the mid-$300 range per night. At least, that’s the rental fee. Airbnb hosts can then add a cleaning fee (which is higher for larger properties, given the larger square footage that needs to be cleaned between guests, and is often higher at properties that cater to younger children, because they’re more likely to make messes that require time to clean). For most of these properties, the cleaning fee fell between $200 and $400 for the whole stay. Then there’s the Airbnb service fee, which can be paid entirely by the guest or split between the guest and the host, as determined by the host. This fee is tricky, because among our recommended properties that were similarly priced, the service fee ranged from just over $100 to more than $300. On the other hand, some hosts offer discounts to guests who stay for a longer period of time.

When all these costs are added together, the average nightly cost of an Airbnb near Disney isn’t much different from the cost of a room at Disney value resorts ($223 to $265 for individual rooms), moderate-priced resorts ($303 to $352 for individual rooms), and some deluxe resorts ($409 to $779). The difference is in the capacity. Most Disney resort rooms are a single room with a private bathroom attached, and they sleep four, possibly five guests. Suites are available, but at a premium price. In contrast, many of the comparably priced Airbnb lodgings have a capacity of 14 to 16 guests with multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, living areas, and a kitchen that allows guests to determine whether they want to eat out or cook in. The pools at many Airbnbs are private, instead of a screaming splash-fest at a resort pool which, while fun, can add more stress to an already overwhelmed guest. Housing 16 guests in a Disney resort would require reserving and paying for a minimum of 4 standard rooms—making the Airbnb cost for large parties considerably more affordable.

FAQs

Planning a Disney vacation can be very stressful (even though it’s fun!)—there’s a reason such an abundance of professional trip planners are available to help. And certainly it’s easier and more straightforward to stay on a Disney property. But sometimes it feels good to just get away from the parks and resorts and relax with the people you went on vacation with in the first place and save some money at the same time. These are some common questions about Airbnbs in Orlando and their answers to help make the decision easier.

Q. Should I stay in an Airbnb in Orlando?

The answer to this depends on both the size of the travel party and what everyone’s priorities and expectations are. An Airbnb near Walt Disney World can be especially ideal for those on a tighter budget (or those who prefer to spend their budget on more park days), larger families or groups, those who want the option of cooking, and those who are staying for a longer period of time. If money is no object and the idea of being surrounded by what is sometimes referred to as the “Disney Bubble” is appealing, then staying in a Disney resort is also a fine option.

Q. What is the closest residential area to Disney World?

Technically, the Golden Oak neighborhood is almost on Disney World property, but as the homes in that neighborhood sell for anywhere between $2 million and $8 million, it’s unlikely there are many Airbnbs there. After that, the neighborhoods and towns in Celebration, Horizon West, Kissimmee, Davenport, and Winter Park, in that order, are closest.

Q. How much is an Airbnb on average in Orlando, FL?

There’s no single answer to this question, as Airbnbs in this area range from small condominiums that sleep five to 4,000-square-foot homes that sleep 20. The best way to find an average cost for the type of rental your party needs is to use the search function on Airbnb to create a very specific search for the type and size of property needed, the amenities needed, and the dates of travel, then scroll through the listings that meet the need to compare prices. Be sure to take note of the cleaning fees and service fees to develop a well-informed budget.

Q. Is Airbnb cheaper than hotels in Orlando near Disney?

For large families or groups and longer-term stays, absolutely yes. For smaller groups and shorter stays, maybe—that answer will depend on the cost of the Airbnb near Orlando and Disney the group selects.

Q. Is Airbnb better than Booking.com?

For those booking their travel well in advance who need more flexibility to reschedule prior to travel, or for those looking for basic accommodation without interacting with other people, Booking.com will suit just fine. For those trying to work within a budget, or those looking for a unique and magical experience without paying the high premium of a Disney resort, Airbnb is the better bet.

Q. What amenities should Airbnb in Orlando near Disney have?

This will depend on the ages of the travel party and what the guests are looking for. Trying to keep a Disney theme? Guests can look for Airbnbs with props, costumes, and heavily themed bedrooms and play spaces. Looking for an oasis? Do the opposite. The Airbnb should have what the family needs to relax—this can mean a pool, several living areas, and multiple bathrooms. For other families, it could mean a small, efficient condo with a view of the Disney fireworks and access to a beach. Take some time to consider which aspects of a Disney resort hotel the group wants to preserve and which they’re happy to let go, and use the search parameters on Airbnb’s website to find just the right combination of amenities and services.

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Meghan Wentland Avatar

Meghan Wentland

Contributing Writer & Editor

Meghan Wentland joined the Bob Vila team as a writer and editor in the home finance, home security, and home improvement spaces in 2020. She is also a professor of writing and literature, where she spends her time teaching students to think critically and look for clarity.

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