Orlando only has one choice of hostel, and that's the Palms Lakefront Resort & Hostel. Thankfully, however, it's not a bad choice! I recently had TWO 4-day stays there, broken up by a trip to visit some family outside of Orlando for 3 nights. I enjoyed my total of 8 nights there thoroughly.
The hostel is located on Hwy 192 in Kissimmee...not Orlando proper, but that makes it much closer to Disney. It's a former "motel" and that makes for a multitude of options for lodging - there are 6-bed single-sex dorms, combination rooms (as in, some bunk beds and a regular bed), and private rooms. Each room has an ensuite bath and an A/C-heating unit (which was nice to crank up on the warmer days).
There's a common kitchen in the main office that's well stocked with utensils and cookware and a massive three-door commercial fridge.
As of my stay, they were working on wiring up the computers in the TV/Computer/Library room with broadband internet, but the cable company was having difficulty getting it to work. It's certainly not something I can put blame on the hostel staff for, because they were trying to get it up & running but the cable people are imbeciles. Although they should have it going (with a WiFi access point as well) by the time any fellow T-Punks stay there, I do want to mention that in the evenings they had free internet access (albeit dial-up) every evening. There's a sign-up sheet posted every morning.
Out back behind the office was beautiful...there's a full-size swimming pool to cool off in and lie in the sun next to, and then there's a lake. Swimming is discouraged in the lake, but makes for excellent fishing off of the gazebo/pier on the water.
There's also a picnic and grilling area. The day I left, the owner had just purchased a brand new large gas grill that he's going to put out there and host frequent cookouts with.
The hostel is pretty well located...there is a Publix supermarket directly across the street, and Target is just down the street a little ways. There are plenty of restaurants and tourist attractions along Highway 192 like a bunch of mini-golfs, Go-Karting, canoe & airboat rentals, etc. Matter of fact, here are pictures of me canoing and mini-golfing with friends I met at the hostel
Canoe rentals were $7/hr...I'd recommend only renting for 1 hour since that's all it took us to paddle down to the end of the route and back. Only rent for longer if you want to fish. It's a bit of a walk, so I'd recommend taking the bus. It's also next to a mini-golf place and the Wal-Mart so you can combine visits to economize.
This particular mini-golf was within walking distance of the hostel.
Best of all, there's a British-owned pub called CoConut Willy's
a short walk from the hostel that has karaoke every night, decent food & drink specials, and is a fun place. You frequently meet people that work for the various parks and attractions. One night, my hostel friends and I met some guys & girls that work for Arabian Nights - they invited us to party with them that night and we were in the hot tubs at the resort next to their condo from the time the pub closed (2AM) until about 5AM...then they put us on the guest list for the show a few nights later. It cost us $8 to get a full dinner show, including unlimited beer & wine, for what normally goes for nearly $60. The people that work for Disney, Universal, etc...can also often get you in for free.
Anyways, as you can probably tell from this review, I really enjoyed my time in Orlando. I hope to visit again soon, and I encourage all T-Punks to check out the Palms Lakefront on your next visit to Orlando-Kissimmee! If you'd like more tips on how to best enjoy your stay in Orlando, PM me!