4 Best Places to Live Near Disney World (Explained)

Choosing from the best places to live near Disney World can be a fun and exciting process, especially if you’re a Disney employee or a frequent visitor to the park.

What are some of the best places to live near Disney World? – Winter Garden, Celebration, Winter Park, and Lakeland are four of the best places to live near Disney World. Celebration is the only place founded by Disney.

(Looking for a retirement community near Disney World?)

Introduction to the Best Places to Live Near Disney World

Living near Disney World comes with a unique set of benefits.

Imagine waking up and knowing that you’re just a short drive away from the “Happiest Place on Earth”.

You can take advantage of last-minute plans to visit the park, enjoy the various events throughout the year, and experience the joy and magic that Walt Disney World offers on a regular basis.

However, choosing the best place to live near Disney World isn’t just about proximity.

There are several important factors to consider, such as community amenities, cost of living, the general vibe of the community, and, of course, the commute to Disney World.

The best places to live near Disney World often offer a balance of these factors, creating a living experience that’s as magical as the park itself.

When choosing the best places to live near Disney World, it’s essential to think about your lifestyle and needs.

For employees of Disney World, living nearby can significantly reduce commute times and provide more flexible scheduling opportunities.

For Disney lovers, having a home near the park means being able to visit your favorite attractions, characters, and events on a whim.

Even if you’re not a frequent visitor to Disney, living in one of the best places to live near Disney World provides a unique lifestyle that’s hard to match.

Are you looking for a family-friendly community with great schools?

Do you want to be close to other attractions in Orlando?

Are you seeking a place with a lower cost of living, or are you prepared for a higher cost to be closer to the park?

Do you prefer a bustling urban environment or a quiet suburban neighborhood?

These are all essential questions to consider as you explore the best places to live near Disney World.

In the following sections, we’ll dive deeper into some of the top communities near Disney World, helping you get a better sense of what each area offers. Stay tuned!

Winter Garden: A Perfect Blend of Proximity, Amenities, and Year-Round Activities

best places to live near disney world

Winter Garden, a charming city located in Orange County, Florida, offers a unique blend of close proximity to Disney World, a variety of community amenities, and a robust calendar of events and activities available throughout the year.

Proximity to Disney World

Nestled approximately 14 miles west of downtown Orlando, Winter Garden is less than half an hour’s drive from the magic and wonder of Disney World.

The city’s location makes it a perfect home base for those who frequent the world-renowned theme park, whether for work or leisure.

Community Amenities in Winter Garden

Winter Garden boasts a wealth of community amenities that contribute to the high quality of life enjoyed by its residents.

The city is known for its beautiful parks, trails, and open spaces that offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities.

In addition, Winter Garden features a historic downtown area, which is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and cultural institutions, such as the Garden Theatre.

The city also offers various services and resources, including excellent schools and healthcare facilities.

Year-Round Events and Activities

One of the key highlights of life in Winter Garden is the diverse array of events and activities that the city offers throughout the year.

From the weekly farmers market held in the city’s downtown area to the seasonal festivals that celebrate various occasions, there’s always something going on in Winter Garden.

In addition, the city hosts a variety of cultural events, including concerts and theater productions at the Garden Theatre.

For nature lovers, Winter Garden offers numerous recreational activities, such as hiking and biking along the West Orange Trail.

Celebration: A Disney-Inspired Community with Exceptional Amenities and Lifestyle

best places to live near disney world celebration

Celebration, Florida, is a unique community that combines an ideal location near Disney World, a rich history tied to the Walt Disney Company, exceptional community amenities, and a distinct lifestyle that sets it apart.

Proximity to Disney World and Unique History

Situated just a few miles south of the renowned Walt Disney World Resort, Celebration enjoys a prime location that makes it a desirable spot for Disney enthusiasts and employees alike.

However, it is the town’s unique history that truly sets it apart. Celebration was actually conceived and developed by the Walt Disney Company in the mid-1990s as a master-planned community.

The town was designed to embody the perfect vision of small-town America, with an emphasis on community, neighborliness, and aesthetic beauty.

Community Amenities in Celebration

Celebration offers a variety of community amenities that cater to a wide range of interests and lifestyles.

The town boasts a number of parks and green spaces, community pools, and a vibrant downtown area filled with shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

Additionally, Celebration is home to top-rated schools, a state-of-the-art hospital, and a comprehensive network of walking and biking trails that weave through the town’s picturesque neighborhoods.

Lifestyle and Vibe of the Celebration Community

Living in Celebration is about more than just the physical amenities; it’s about embracing a particular kind of lifestyle.

The town exudes a nostalgic, small-town vibe, where neighbors know each other by name and community events are a regular occurrence. These events, ranging from farmers’ markets to holiday parades, foster a sense of community and camaraderie among residents.

Moreover, with its close proximity to Disney World, the town also maintains a touch of magic and whimsy that is uniquely its own.

Winter Park: A Culturally Rich Community Near Disney World with Excellent Amenities

best places to live near disney world winter park

Winter Park, Florida, is a town with a unique blend of cultural richness, excellent amenities, and a notable proximity to Disney World that contributes to its charm and appeal.

Distance from Disney World

Winter Park is conveniently located in the Greater Orlando area, only a short drive away from the world-famous Walt Disney World Resort.

This close proximity to one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations makes Winter Park an attractive location for residents and visitors alike.

Whether for a day trip or frequent visits, the magic of Disney is just around the corner from this quaint, historic town.

Community Amenities in Winter Park

The town of Winter Park is well-equipped with a wide array of community amenities that cater to a diverse population.

It boasts a selection of parks and recreational facilities, including the popular Central Park in the heart of downtown.

The city also provides excellent education facilities, with a range of public and private schools, as well as Rollins College, one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in Florida.

Additionally, Winter Park is home to numerous shops, restaurants, and cafes that offer a variety of shopping and dining experiences to its residents.

Cultural and Heritage Offerings of Winter Park

Beyond its practical amenities, Winter Park is notable for its rich cultural and heritage offerings.

The town is home to several museums and art galleries, including the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, which houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Winter Park also hosts numerous events and festivals throughout the year, celebrating arts, culture, and community spirit.

From the annual Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival to music concerts in the park, there’s always something happening in this vibrant community.

Lakeland: A Prime Spot for Proximity, Amenities, and Investment Opportunities

Another contender in the lineup of the best places to live near Disney World is Lakeland.

This community offers a unique mix of proximity to Disney, a host of community amenities, and promising prospects for those interested in investing in short-term rental properties.

Proximity to Disney World

Lakeland is located around 40 minutes away from Disney World, making it a prime spot for Disney enthusiasts who want to live nearby but still enjoy a sense of separation from the park’s high-energy environment.

The distance is just right for an easy commute to the park or a quick weekend visit.

Community Amenities in Lakeland

As a city, Lakeland provides an array of community amenities that add to its appeal as one of the best places to live near Disney World.

It’s home to a number of recreational facilities and parks, making it a great place for outdoor activities and relaxation.

Furthermore, it has a vibrant downtown area and various services, ensuring residents have everything they need within easy reach.

Short-Term Rental Property Investment in Lakeland

Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects of Lakeland is its potential for short-term rental property investment.

With an average rental income of $3,230 per month for a four-bedroom property and $2,218 for a two-bedroom property when rented via Airbnb, Lakeland presents a compelling case for those interested in real estate investment.

The city’s proximity to Disney World enhances its potential as a hotspot for vacation rentals, offering a steady stream of tourists and visitors looking for convenient accommodation options.

Comparisons and Considerations

  1. Distance: Each of the communities – Winter Park, Celebration, Winter Garden, and Lakeland – has its unique geographic location relative to prominent landmarks such as Disney World. The distances vary, with Winter Park being the furthest, followed by Lakeland, Winter Garden, and finally, Celebration, the closest to Disney World.
  2. Cost of Living: Economic factors like cost of living also differ across these communities. Lakeland generally has a lower cost of living compared to the other three, with Winter Garden slightly higher. Celebration and Winter Park are typically on the higher end due to their luxurious amenities and close proximity to popular attractions.
  3. Lifestyle: The lifestyle in each community also varies. Celebration, with its Disney-founded roots, tends to have a unique, whimsical vibe. Winter Park, on the other hand, offers a sophisticated, upscale feel. Winter Garden provides a blend of modernity and history, while Lakeland offers a tranquil, nature-rich environment.
  4. Amenities: In terms of amenities, all four communities are well-equipped, though the specifics differ. Celebration is known for its picturesque downtown and family-friendly amenities, Winter Park for its art and culture scene, Winter Garden for its historic downtown and farmers market, and Lakeland for its beautiful parks and lakes.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Each community has its own set of pros and cons.

  1. Winter Park: Its rich cultural offerings and upscale lifestyle make it attractive, though the higher cost of living may be a deterrent for some.
  2. Celebration: Its close proximity to Disney World and unique Disney heritage make it a fun place to live, especially for families. However, the cost of living can be high.
  3. Winter Garden: Its blend of historic charm and modern amenities is appealing, but it is further from Disney World than Celebration.
  4. Lakeland: Its serene environment and lower cost of living are major draws, but it might not offer the same level of cultural vibrancy as the other communities.

What is the closest housing community to Disney World?

The closest housing community to Disney World is Celebration, a community originally developed by the Walt Disney Company.

Where is the best place to live between Disney and the beach?

The best place to live between Disney and the beach would depend on your specific needs and preferences. However, places like Celebration, Winter Park, and Winter Garden could be good options as they offer a blend of proximity to Disney and easy access to Florida’s beautiful beaches.

Where do people who work for Disney live?

People who work for Disney often live in various communities in and around Orlando, such as Celebration, Winter Park, Winter Garden, and Lakeland. The choice of community often depends on factors like lifestyle, budget, and distance to Disney World.

What major city is near Disney World?

The major city near Disney World is Orlando, Florida.

Does Disney offer affordable housing?

Disney itself does not directly provide housing for the general public. However, they do provide housing for their interns and college program participants. For affordable housing options, one might need to look into surrounding communities like Lakeland, which generally has a lower cost of living.

Is it possible to live on Disney property?

While it’s not possible for the general public to live on Disney property, the community of Celebration was originally developed by the Walt Disney Company and carries some of the Disney magic. However, the property has since been sold to a different company and is now independently managed.

What is special about Celebration, Florida?

Celebration, Florida is a unique master-planned community originally developed by The Walt Disney Company. It’s known for its pedestrian-friendly streets, diverse mix of housing, and close proximity to Walt Disney World Resort. The community was designed with an emphasis on “New Urbanism”, a concept that promotes walkable neighborhoods containing a diverse range of housing and job types. Its pastel-colored buildings, scenic trails, and community events add to its distinct charm.

Is it worth visiting Celebration, Florida?

Yes, it is worth visiting Celebration, Florida. The town offers a unique blend of small-town charm with a convenient location near Disney World’s biggest attractions. Visitors can take self-guided walking tours, horse-drawn carriage rides, or rent bikes to ride through the scenic trails. With its diverse architecture, pretty views, and various dining and shopping opportunities, Celebration offers an interesting experience for visitors.

Does Disney still own Celebration, Florida?

While Celebration, Florida was originally developed by The Walt Disney Company, it is no longer owned by Disney. The property has been sold to a different company and is now independently managed. Disney does still have some influence in the area due to its proximity to the Walt Disney World Resort, but it does not directly control the community.

Is Celebration, Florida expensive to live?

Celebration, Florida, can be considered a more expensive place to live compared to other areas in Orlando. As of 2023, the median property value in Celebration was reported to be $548,000.

Is Lakeland, Florida a good area to live?

Lakeland, Florida, is considered a good place to live due to a variety of factors. It’s home to many parks and has a vibrant, lively nature. The city provides a dense suburban feel, and a lot of residents own their homes. The area attracts both young professionals and retirees, and it has moderate political views. Additionally, Lakeland is known for its unique historical charm and is close to regional attractions. The crime rate in Lakeland is lower than the average in both Florida and the United States, making it a safe place to reside.

Is Lakeland close to Tampa or Orlando?

Yes, Lakeland is relatively close to both Tampa and Orlando. It’s centrally located in Florida, making it a good base for exploring different parts of the state. While the exact distance can vary depending on the route and traffic, generally, Lakeland is closer to Tampa than it is to Orlando.

Why is Winter Park, Florida so expensive?

Winter Park is known to be a bit more expensive than other areas in Florida, with the cost of living reported to be 10.9% higher. This can be attributed to its history and current status as a wealthy area. The city was established as a resort community by affluent northern business people, and wealth tends to attract wealth. This historical wealth and desirability have likely contributed to the higher cost of living in Winter Park.

Is Winter Park, Florida a nice place?

Winter Park is generally considered a nice place to live. It has a suburban feel, which can be attractive for families looking for more space and a good area to raise children. The city is known for its pleasant weather, with an average temperature of 71 degrees Fahrenheit, and enjoys more than 200 days of sunshine each year. Winter Park is also known for its lakes, tree canopy, bricked streets, and shopping district on Park Avenue, as well as Rollins College and Central Park.

Which is nicer, Winter Park or Winter Garden, Florida?

Winter Park is considered a more upscale area with a higher average income. It offers residents an urban suburban mix feel and most residents own their homes. Winter Park has a median age that is 7.7 years older than in Winter Garden, and its housing costs are 4.8% less expensive. On the other hand, Winter Garden has a downtown area that is very cute, but much less glitz and glam, and more what you’d think of when considering a more rural southern downtown. People in Winter Garden are 21.6% more likely to be married and the median age is 8.0 years younger than in Winter Park.

Does Winter Garden have a downtown?

Yes, Winter Garden does have a downtown area. It is described as very cute and more akin to a rural southern downtown. The downtown area of Winter Garden is located about 2 miles up the road from 4Rivers Smokehouse, a popular restaurant in the area. It seems to be a smaller area but includes a variety of dining experiences.