However, since I first stayed at a Disney hotel resort, I have been spoiled and find it impossible to stay anywhere else!
I've stayed in Kissimmee, Orlando, and Lake Buena Vista. Lake Buena Vista being the city that Walt Disney World is technically in and not Orlando.
I come from Southern California and driving around in Kissimmee reminds me of driving around Orange County, California. It's all right as far as towns go, and there a lot of fun things to do, but it's not Disney! I guess the traffic isn't that bad, but I really don't want to deal with that on vacation.
I'll tell you where the traffic is really bad... International dr.! There are so many attractions and they all seemed to be right next to each other.
If you really want to stay on International dr. I'd advise you not to stay too far away from the Orange County Convention Center. The closer to the convention center and to SeaWorld, the nicer the hotels.
The hotels in the 6000 numbers or lower are not that great! Plus, one thing you need to be aware of when staying at a hotel that's close to the convention center is, there are a lot of dog shows that are at the convention center. Many of the hotels there allow dogs. Depending how nice your hotel is, they may not shampoo their carpets often enough! My son and I got flee bites on our legs!
Another word of warning about the hotels on International dr. I picked a hotel that looked really nice from their pictures on Expedia. When I got there, it didn't look like that same hotel! Many hotel chains will advertise a hotel using some pictures from one of their other hotels!
Now for Lake Buena Vista . We stayed at a cheaper hotel in Lake Buena Vista a few miles away from Downtown Disney. One reason why I picked it was it said that it had free transportation to the parks from the hotel. Well, on the way to the Ticket and Transportation Center, we stopped at 3 or 4 other hotels to pick up additional passengers. It took about an hour to get there.
When we wanted to go back to the hotel, we had to stand in the rain in the middle of a parking lot at the Ticket and Transportation Center. Once the bus came, there wasn't enough room for everyone and we had to wait for almost another hour for the next bus!
So, that's other hotels idea of free transportation to the parks. I'd advice you that if you pick a hotel with free transportation, be sure they go a more direct route.