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An Orlando bedtime story

With 114,000 rooms to choose from, the city of the Mouse has options for every type of traveler from cheapskate to big spender.
Image: Orlando
The entrance to Universal Studios at Universal OrlandoOrlando CVB
/ Source: a href="" linktype="External" resizable="true" status="true" scrollbars="true"><p>The Washington Post</p></a

When it comes to Orlando area hotels, it's not such a small world after all.

Tourists heading for Central Florida's theme park metroplex can choose from a whopping 114,000 hotel rooms. That amounts to separate digs for every man, woman and child of, say, Ann Arbor, Mich. And with a price point for every checkbook, picking a place to stay can be as difficult as deciding whether to spend your day-off-from-Disney at Sea World or Universal Studios. You'll find every option available, from bargain-basement Orlando to mid-range Orlando to, forgive us, tony Orlando.

Want a campsite within a lion's whisker of Animal Kingdom? A place to park the RV not too far from Interstate 4? A B&B with a hot tub? Where can you find breakfast with Snow White? A decent poolside rum drink? A rental home of your own? Consider this: At Disney World alone, there are more than two dozen hotels from which to choose.

So how do you select the right accommodations for you—and your budget?

With the holiday season approaching like a speeding monorail and kitchen tables already littered with brochures for 2005 spring and summer planning, we dispatched a team of researchers to make sense of Orlando's motel madness. Three Travel staffers roamed the area's vast lodging scene, bedding down in econo-hotels (their budget picks are marked by stars in the above graphic), reconnoitering Disney resorts and test-bouncing mattresses in rooms that ranged from dive to deluxe. (And, in one case, napping on an Epcot park bench.)


Page 1: An Orlando bedtime story

Part 6: Choosing the right Disney resort for you