The Best Places to Live Near Walt Disney World in Orlando: A Guide to Top Neighborhoods


Living near Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, is a dream for many. The allure of having the world-renowned theme park in one’s backyard offers an enchanting prospect with unparalleled accessibility to a realm of magic and entertainment. The surrounding communities each provide distinct lifestyles, amenities, and atmospheres, catering to a diverse range of preferences and needs, from bustling districts to tranquil suburban enclaves.

Winter Garden is frequently noted for its charm and vibrancy, just 12 miles north of Disney. Its historic downtown brims with events, while the local Farmers Market presents a weekly cornucopia of fresh produce and artisanal products. On the other hand, Windermere offers an ambiance of sophistication and luxury with its grand estates and pristine lakeside setting. The Reunion Resort in Kissimmee stands out for investment opportunities, combining leisure amenities like golf courses and a waterpark with proximity to the theme park.

Each of these areas around Orlando presents a unique set of advantages for residents, whether it’s for those seeking a picturesque neighborhood or Disney employees prioritizing a short commute. They represent the diverse tapestry of options available for those desiring to live in the vicinity of Disney World, thus signaling the importance of considering personal lifestyle preferences in the quest for a place to call home.

Overview of Walt Disney World Vicinity

The Walt Disney World, an anchor of Central Florida’s entertainment industry, is encircled by diverse communities highly desirable for relocation. Found in the Greater Orlando area, this region combines the enchanting allure of Disney’s theme parks with a practical place for residents to call home.

Orlando stands at the center of this magnetic draw, where individuals and families often settle due to its proximity to not only Walt Disney World but also other major attractions such as Universal Studios and SeaWorld. The area is not simply a tourist destination but a dynamic place to live, where the blend of entertainment options and residential amenities attract a wide demographic, from young professionals to retirees.

Moving to the vicinity of Walt Disney World means joining a growing and vibrant population that enjoys easy access to world-class entertainment, a variety of employment opportunities, and a year-round calendar of local events. Here is a quick snapshot of what the area has to offer:

  • Proximity to Parks: Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld Orlando
  • Employment: Opportunities in tourism, entertainment, and hospitality sectors
  • Communities: Suburban havens such as Winter Garden and Kissimmee
  • Entertainment: A broad spectrum from theme parks to local cultural events
  • Lifestyle: Options ranging from the lively urban feel of Orlando to serene suburban life

The area around Walt Disney World offers a mix of the metropolitan bustle of Orlando and quieter suburban retreats, all within reach of Central Florida’s famed entertainment options. Those considering relocation can find a community that meets their preferences for lifestyle, access to entertainment, and a sense of community.

Top Residential Communities Near Disney World

For those looking to relocate close to the magic of Walt Disney World, several communities offer a variety of amenities that cater to families, single professionals, and Disney enthusiasts alike. From master-planned communities to vibrant towns with a family-friendly atmosphere, each area presents unique living experiences within close proximity to the park.

Celebration

Celebration is a master-planned community originally developed by the Walt Disney Company. It boasts a charming small-town feel with a mix of single-family homes, townhouses, and condominiums. Residents can enjoy the walkable downtown area with its variety of shops and dining options.

Golden Oak

Golden Oak is a luxury residential resort community offering single-family, custom-built homes within the bounds of Walt Disney World. This exclusive neighborhood is for those seeking the highest level of luxury living with Disney’s world-class service and amenities.

Windermere

Windermere offers upscale family homes nestled among the Butler Chain of Lakes. The area is known for its high-end properties, lush landscapes, and a serene environment, just a stone’s throw from Disney World.

Winter Park

Winter Park is recognized for its scenic parks, a lively arts scene, and a bustling Park Avenue. Residents value the city for its sense of community and exquisite homes, making it a preferred choice for those who desire a suburban lifestyle with urban amenities.

Doctor Phillips

Doctor Phillips is prized for its prime location, top-rated schools, and the famous ‘Restaurant Row.’ It is an ideal choice for families looking for a suburban feel close to Disney World and other Orlando attractions.

Lake Nona

Lake Nona is a planned community with a focus on health and wellness. The area offers modern family homes and is quickly becoming a hub for medical research and education, attracting professionals and families alike.

Kissimmee

Kissimmee has a thriving local community that enjoys quick access to Disney World. The area’s historic downtown and Kissimmee Lakefront Park provide residents with a blend of urban and natural spaces.

Winter Garden

Winter Garden is known for its lively downtown and historic charm, coupled with a variety of modern single-family homes and townhomes. The community is celebrated for its family-oriented events and large Farmers Market.

Clermont

Clermont is favored by those who love outdoor activities, offering waterfront properties and a landscape dotted with hills and lakes. The area is a draw for families and active retirees who prefer a quieter setting.

Davenport

Davenport offers affordable housing options while still being conveniently located near Disney World. This area is ideal for those looking for a suburban atmosphere at a more modest price point.

Hunters Creek

Hunters Creek is a well-established community with a diverse selection of homes, from apartments to large family residences. The area’s parks, schools, and regular community events make it a desirable location for families.

Reunion

Reunion is a resort community that includes condominiums and single-family homes. It caters to Disney lovers with its golf courses, water park, and proximity to the Disney parks, making it a unique place to call home.

Amenities and Lifestyle

When considering a move to the vicinity of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, potential residents have a wealth of amenities and lifestyle options to consider. Each community offers a unique blend of shopping, dining, outdoor and cultural activities, along with quality education and healthcare facilities.

Shopping and Dining

The communities near Disney World feature a range of shopping and dining destinations including the Mall at Millennia, the Florida Mall and a number of large outlet centers. Celebration is known for its vibrant downtown area, boasting an array of shops and restaurants. For more extensive shopping needs, residents can visit shopping centers like Winter Garden Village which offers a mix of retail stores and eateries. Farmers markets are a mainstay, with Winter Garden hosting a large one every Saturday, providing local produce and artisanal foods.

Walt Disney World is also home to Disney Springs which is a massive 120-acre outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment complex.  As of March 2024, there are 95 retail stores, pavilions and pop-ups; 69 restaurants and lounges; and 25 attractions, shows and events.

Outdoor Activities

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a variety of activities in the towns around Disney World. Windermere sits along the Butler Chain of Lakes, opening up opportunities for boating, fishing, and swimming. Golfers can find numerous golf courses in the area. Additionally, there are ample parks for hiking and space for rowing as well as other outdoor pursuits.

Cultural Attractions

Those interested in cultural experiences will find several options. Winter Park features a nationally recognized arts festival and boasts a historic downtown with cobblestone streets. Museums and theaters in the area offer venues for live entertainment and educational enrichment. Several of these communities are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, highlighting their historical significance and charm.

Education and Healthcare

Educational opportunities abound with institutions like the University of Central Florida, providing a range of undergraduate and graduate programs. For those in the healthcare sector, the University of Central Florida College of Medicine is within reach, offering advanced medical education and services. Furthermore, the area is home to various liberal arts colleges and well-regarded public and private schools for all ages.

Real Estate Insights

In the vicinity of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, the decision to buy or invest in property is a significant one. Current market conditions and expert advice can be instrumental in navigating these opportunities.

Purchasing a Home

When looking to purchase a home near Disney World, individuals should consider areas like Poinciana and Winter Garden for their affordability and family-friendly amenities. It’s advised to seek a knowledgeable realtor who is familiar with the local market, especially to understand the specific benefits of various residential communities. For those interested in gated communities, options like Reunion Resort in Kissimmee may offer luxury features close to Disney attractions.

Investing in Property

Investing in property near Disney World can be fruitful, with locations such as Reunion Resort offering amenities that can attract both short-term renters and long-term residents. It’s essential to explore different neighborhoods and their potential for return on investment, keeping in mind factors like proximity to Disney World, available community features, and local real estate regulations.

Understanding the Market

One should strive to understand the dynamics of the local real estate market before making a move or opting to relocate. This includes analyzing current housing prices, long-term value trends, and projected growth in areas near Disney World. Potential buyers and investors ought to review market data, considering factors such as demand in residential versus vacation rental markets and the effects of seasonal tourism on property values.

Transportation and Accessibility

When considering a move near Walt Disney World, one must evaluate the ease of local commutes and the options for regional travel, including proximity to Orlando International Airport.

Local Commutes

In communities like Winter Garden and Windermere, residents benefit from a mix of driving and public transit options. These areas have accessible roads leading to the Disney parks, often allowing residents to reach the entertainment complex in less than 30 minutes by car. Public transportation options, although more limited, are available for those seeking alternatives to driving. The Lynx bus system serves the region, providing connections to key areas.

  • Winter Garden: Approximately 12 miles to Disney with a vibrant downtown.
  • Windermere: Roughly 10 miles away, with scenic lake routes and upscale living.

Regional Travel

For broader connectivity, Orlando International Airport serves as a hub for those residing near Walt Disney World, offering flights to domestic and international destinations. The airport is accessible by road, with travel times varying based on the community’s distance and location. Winter Garden, for instance, is about a 30-minute drive to the airport under normal traffic conditions, making it convenient for air travel.

  • Orlando International Airport: A major hub approximately 20-30 minutes from nearby communities by car.

Other Considerations

When considering a move to the vicinity of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, potential residents have several appealing communities from which to choose. Each locale offers its own unique benefits suited to a variety of lifestyles.

Overall, these communities maintain their individual allure while supporting a high quality of life close to Walt Disney World, making them worthy of consideration for anyone looking to move to the area. Their proximity to the parks, along with their distinct features, ensure that residents can enjoy both the magic of Disney and the comforts of a well-suited home community.

Are you interested in owning a home in Florida?

If the allure of sun-kissed beaches, vibrant communities, and year-round warmth speaks to your heart, owning a home in Florida might just be your next great adventure! 

To assist our audience with buying or selling a vacation property, Endless Summer has affiliated with Quantum Realty Advisors, Inc. (“Quantum”) which is a licensed Florida real estate company that has been in business since 1998. Whether you’re dreaming of a cozy beachfront bungalow, a sprawling estate nestled against the backdrop of palm trees, or a chic urban condo in the heart of a bustling city, Quantum will help make that dream a reality.

From less than $500,000 to more than $5 million, the Quantum team will be happy to assist with your vacation home buying process and can be reached at 561.584.8555.

Quantum Realty Advisors, Inc.

4440 PGA Boulevard, Suite 308  |  Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410

561.584.8555

Quantum’s experienced real estate advisors will take the time to discuss exactly what your are looking for in a vacation home as well your what will fit into you budget.  And when you are ready to begin, they will be with you every step of the way.  Click here to learn more about Quantum.

Jerry Joyce

Jerry Joyce has been a Florida resident since 1998 and has lived in a variety of places in the South Florida area. Jerry is an avid boater & water sports enthusiast, beach aficionado, a lover of great food, muscle car fan and a theme park annual passholder for many years. Some of his favorite places in Florida include the Florida Keys, Walt Disney World, Cedar Key, the Loxahatchee River, St. Augustine and Ten Thousand islands.

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