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Old 10-01-2014, 11:54 AM   #1
PensFan
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Car rental at Disney!

We are thinking about renting a car while at disney to just try it for a change as opposed to the busses!

just asking for any imput from anyone who has either driven to disney or rented a car while there ... IS IT WORTH IT?

We dont have really any issues waiting for the bus or packing in with everyone but I just thought it might be a nice change to come and go as we please with a car!

how long does it take for the packing lot shuttle to come around? is it hard to park and get to the park etc...

really any advice anyone can share would be greatly appricated!
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:06 PM   #2
minnie mum
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We drive down, and after the first trip, our car has stayed in the parking lot for the duration. I'm assuming you are staying on site. Buses start running at 6:30 am and run til at least an hour after each park closes. The DTD buses run til very late at night. Park buses run frequently, usually every 20 min. but more frequently before park opening and after park closing.

Unless you are there at the very busiest times, parking isn't a problem. There are CMs who direct you where to park. I'm not overly fond of signage at WDW. They are sometimes a bit confusing and exits can appear with little warning. A good map is very helpful. Your GPS, not so much. We've ended up at blocked service entrances more than once by relying on GPS.

DH really doesn't enjoy driving at WDW. And I don't like parking in the back of beyond and then taking a tram just to get to the park gates. At MK a car makes even less sense because the tram only gets you to the TTC, where you then have to wait for a monorail or ferry.. And we don't drive to the other resorts for dinner because we will both have at least a couple of drinks during the evening. So we use a taxi for that.

There are people who don't have the patience to wait for a bus or who can't tolerate the possibility of having to stand if the lines are long. Or who have to wrangle ginormous strollers and small children. For them a car is the solution. I can't say that either one is a right or wrong choice; just personal preference.
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:05 PM   #3
thebigman65
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We have done both and much prefer renting a car. It is convenient, less stressed and less crowded...with the added advantage of being able to go off property for a different restaurant experience or better yet to the great outlet malls!

Parking at the parks is not an issue, especially if you get there at a reasonable time (i.e. earlier in the day)...the trams are fast and get you to the gate quickly, but if your are there early you can usually walk it. The only one I would say is a bit of a trek is MK, because you have to drive to the TTC and take the monorail or ferry from there...however, we enjoy taking the ferry...its nice.

If you keep your eye on the transportation part of the board you can usually find coupon codes for car rental discounts, etc. We usually are able to get a full size or minivan for around $250 for the week. We bring a portable GPS and I program all the parks, resorts, and other things like DTD in to it before we leave.....honestly, driving on property is a cinch.....and the GPS is pretty accurate. We usually rent from Budget at the airport, because Budget allows spouses to drive as well for free.....this way one of you can have a few drinks if you want and trade places the next day....

For us having a car is the way to go!
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:39 PM   #4
Maddysdaddy
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Honestly, I can't fathom not having a car while staying at WDW, even with Magical Express and on-property buses being complimentary.

The cost of the rental (provided you book far enough in advance or find a great coupon) is pretty much a wash when you compare it to the cost of taking a taxi to and from a grocery store/Target/outlet mall/etc. - let alone the convenience factor of not having to wait around for buses.

If you don't plan to leave the property at all, then it may be a different story for you, but even then, I like the security of having a vehicle handy and knowing that if I 'wanted' to leave the property, I could do it.
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Old 10-05-2014, 07:32 AM   #5
roberthodgson
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Rent a car if you are flying, it's worth having access to a car as it's faster to drive to each park then taking the bus. You also can have dinner offsite ie Olive Garden , Outback, Golden coral just to name a few.

You also can take extra cloths, and othe items that may come in handy while at the park if the Kids get soaked you don't have to wait till you get back to the hotel to get them or you dry cloths.

We drive every time (tried the bus once and we froze as it was raining and they had the air on full blast) that was the last time we used Disney transportation

You can also hit Walmart or Target to pick up snacks and water way cheaper then buying at Disney.
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Old 10-05-2014, 08:32 AM   #6
stefanospops
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We always have a car while there. Granted, we are DVC members and our room has a full kitchen, so driving for groceries is something we do. Usually I have my wife and kids take the Magical Express to the resort while I get the rental from the airport. That way we don't have to worry about collecting our suitcases.

While on site we actually drive to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. We never drive to Magic Kingdom but take Disney Transportation there. We find that we save a lot of time not waiting for buses to these parks, but the distance of the parking lot from Magic Kingdom eats up too much time.

Also, having a car lets you go to the premium outlets in addition to groceries, restaurants, COSTCO, etc. This said, we rarely use a full tank of gas, to give you an idea of our usage and that includes going to the outlets at least once a trip and usually twice. Also, since we go at least twice a year we don't spend as much time in the parks and drive our car almost every day.
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:17 PM   #7
pigletto
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We did the first trip or two with no car and using only Disney transportation. It was fine, but all the waiting and having to be ready to leave for an ADR 1.5 hours before the actual ADR (just in case of delays, which we definitely have experienced) got old fast. We like to be able to get groceries and other things, we like to be able to drive over to Universal, and most of all we LOVE coming and going as we please. We do feel it saves a great deal of time overall. The only exception is the MK. It's less convenient to have a car for the MK because you still have to park, get the shuttle, then take the ferry or the monorail to the front of the park. If staying on property we still use Disney transportation for MK days. This time we are offsite, so we'll be driving everywhere we go.

Our upcoming trip is $190 for a 10 day rental of a Standard car for the four of us.
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Old 10-06-2014, 05:26 AM   #8
alc571
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We always rent a car. It's just so much easier - no waiting, son can fall asleep in the car on the way back to the hotel, we can park almost outside our room so little walking. We also hit Target for water, snacks, etc for the room. So much cheaper!

There are no shuttles for the car rental agencies located at MCO and there are a lot to choose from. They're all parked across from the airport and easy to get to.

We would never go without a car.
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:37 PM   #9
MrWilderness
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For first-time visitors staying on Disney property, I think that you'll enjoy your visit more if you let Disney shuttle you around. There's peace of mind in knowing that your driver will get you exactly where you want to go... even if it takes a while longer than if you'd driven yourself.

For repeat visitors, I suspect that you'll see more of WDW (either intentionally or by accident!) if you have a car. We've done it both ways and I can't imagine being without a car anymore. Renting a car just gives you so much more flexibility, even if you're staying on Disney property.
And having a vehicle is a huge relief for tired feet at park closing. Why is it that no line at Disney seems longer than the one for the bus?

If you decide that renting a car is the way to go, be sure to plan ahead and know what you'll spend. Researching for our summer 2015 trip, I discovered that the average price for a 10 day rental on Expedia.ca was around $325-$350 CAD. Persistent checking found a deal for $198 CAD for the same time. Start early and jump on a bargain once you've found it!

Navigating the World is pretty straightforward and signage is great. Even if you get turned around, it's easy to get back on track. All roads lead to the parks.
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