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  • To rent a car, or not rent a car - that is the question

    Family of four (two young daughters) with an up-coming trip to WDW next month. We're staying at PO:FQ, and booked our package with AAA. We were originally planning on not having a rental car while there, and just utilizing the Magic Express and the park busses.

    But now we're going to see the shuttle launch, and that's going to take a car. If we just do the car for the 24 hours to get out to the coast for the launch, that's going to cost us about $60+gas. It turns out we can get a car for the whole 8 days for $160+gas. Seems like it might be worth the extra $100 to have the car while we're there - hoping some of you might have some input.

    We'll have the AAA Diamond Parking pass, which I guess lets us park for free, up "close" at some of the parks. And with our two daughters (6 and 3), it seems like having our own vehicle to come and go as we need/want, and to assist in bringing stuff like a stroller and our bags (vs brining all of that on the bus everyday) might be a nice convenience. Kind of feels like it might take some of the "immersion" out of the staying on property experience, but we're going to be there over Spring Break, and we might be feed up with the crowded buses after a day or two.

    Anyone tried both options, while staying on property, and have comments/suggestions?

  • #2
    Re: To rent a car, or not rent a car - that is the question

    We rented a car when we went in October.

    There are a few things to consider:
    • Are you going to Universal/Sea World/Busch Gardens? If so, you may want a car.
    • You can also use a car to go to the grocery store and stock-up on snacks, water, etc.
    • You are staying at a resort that only has bus service. While a good thing, you may have to wait for a bus, especially in the mornings, etc.
    Honestly, we loved having a car. We used the bus system a few times and it was VERY hit and miss. One morning it took us 5 minutes to get to MGM (the bus showed up right when we went to the stop). Later that same day it took us OVER an hour to get to Epcot from the Carribean. We could have driven it in 5 minutes.

    Hope this helps.

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    • #3
      Re: To rent a car, or not rent a car - that is the question

      Get the car. Cut back on $100 of something else if money is that tight. One less t-shirt per party member, for example.

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      • #4
        Re: To rent a car, or not rent a car - that is the question

        I would also recommend renting the car. It's there for you if you need it. You can use the car and the WDW buses in combination.

        Also, if you're going to see the shuttle launch, keep in mind that there could be delays and cancellations to the launch.

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        • #5
          Re: To rent a car, or not rent a car - that is the question

          I'd go for the car. We're considering the same thing for our trip in the summer. We don't want to have to wait on the buses and want the convience of if we need to leave park grounds we can.

          Plus, if cost is an issue, I found out that since I'm a SAM'S club member we get a major discount on car rentals from lots of places. This appears to be true for COSTCO and other wholesale places as well. Some of the sites were giving me better rates then my AAA card was! I don't know if you're a member of one of these clubs or not, but if so it's worth looking into and might lower the cost further!
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          • #6
            Re: To rent a car, or not rent a car - that is the question

            Usually I always rent a car... Normally when I go to Disney, I never stay on property, so I need a car... then again I always hit up other spots as well. I go to Universal, Sea World, International Drive, Old Town, ect... So I like to have that freedom of having a car... Also another trick you can do is go to a hotel like the Poly or Contemporary and tell the parking guard u are here for lunch and dinner and he will give u a pass to park, and then u dont have to go looking for a spot at the MK parking lot..

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            • #7
              Re: To rent a car, or not rent a car - that is the question

              We always rent a car. I like the option to go off Disney property. I also rather take the car than the transportation system. parking is free
              Fratsor Sister - Delta Mu Chi Alpha

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              • #8
                Re: To rent a car, or not rent a car - that is the question

                Originally posted by Ayeegit View Post
                Family of four (two young daughters) with an up-coming trip to WDW next month. We're staying at PO:FQ, and booked our package with AAA. We were originally planning on not having a rental car while there, and just utilizing the Magic Express and the park busses.

                But now we're going to see the shuttle launch, and that's going to take a car. If we just do the car for the 24 hours to get out to the coast for the launch, that's going to cost us about $60+gas. It turns out we can get a car for the whole 8 days for $160+gas. Seems like it might be worth the extra $100 to have the car while we're there - hoping some of you might have some input.

                We'll have the AAA Diamond Parking pass, which I guess lets us park for free, up "close" at some of the parks. And with our two daughters (6 and 3), it seems like having our own vehicle to come and go as we need/want, and to assist in bringing stuff like a stroller and our bags (vs brining all of that on the bus everyday) might be a nice convenience. Kind of feels like it might take some of the "immersion" out of the staying on property experience, but we're going to be there over Spring Break, and we might be feed up with the crowded buses after a day or two.

                Anyone tried both options, while staying on property, and have comments/suggestions?
                ok, i would suggest a car while there. there is alot outside of WDW like international drive and other small amusement parks - plus, u might get tired of paying $50+ per meal for your family AAA is an advantage because you can park as close as kennel users can, which at epcot i know is merely feet from the main area where you get your passes checked. also, the buses may not run as fast as they could, and i once spent an hour+ waiting for a bus to MGM. so i would suggest a car, also because everything is within a mile or two of each other and your daughters may not want to ride a bus for eight days. plus there is ther "what if" factor and "safe than sorry" theory. because "oh, this" might happen or something that u really wish u had a car for, so i would definitely suggest it
                have fun at Port orleans, i have been there a lot, and is very beautiful, and they have these streams and bayous that make you feel like you are in new orleans bayous. i hope you enjoy the trip )

                Also another trick you can do is go to a hotel like the Poly or Contemporary and tell the parking guard u are here for lunch and dinner and he will give u a pass to park, and then u dont have to go looking for a spot at the MK parking lot..
                i would like to reply to this: now i believe they have a list of the day's reservations, and you need to have spot for lunch or dinner at the poly or con or gra.fla. i would not risk it unless you really have a reservation, because that couls get very embarassing... dont risk that
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                • #9
                  Re: To rent a car, or not rent a car - that is the question

                  We rented a car Over Christmas break and we were thankful for it at Park Closing. We were back at our hotel right away instead of wrestling with crowds for the bus. It was worth every penny. Diamond parking isn't available on "select days" On the back of the voucher there is a list of black out days. It doesn't matter though, tram will take you anywhere you need to be and not always to diamond parking because it is "too Close" . So at the end of the day my feet were tired and then we had to walk farther to our car.

                  AAA has coupons in their office to rent from Hertz. We payed $127 + tax for 7 days. We rented off property In Celebration (I think) We called them and they came to pick us up at our hotel. It was fantastic.
                  "First of all I would like to make one thing perfectly clear.
                  I never explain anything." Mary Poppins
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                  • #10
                    Re: To rent a car, or not rent a car - that is the question

                    We have always rented a car in Florida. You will be glad you have it despite the cost setback. Usually you can get a good deal, so it evens out.

                    You'll enjoy the freedom your rental will afford you. You can eat offsite as well and save a bundle. If you need gas, buy it on Disney property at the Hess station. They're cheaper than the stations outside the park.

                    You can also leave extra clothes, big items, bags, lunch, etc. in your car trunk if you don't want to stuff non-essentials into a locker. This is a little more difficult when visiting the Magic Kingdom because of the distance to the TTC. But, for the other parks, it's easy to just walk out the gate to the parking lot and find your car.

                    Since you are a Disney Resort guest, parking is free everywhere.

                    Stick with your car when you want to get around anywhere on Disney property. The Monorail is okay for TTC to Epcot if you enjoy the experience of it, but it's better to just stick with your car and park hop to Epcot that way. When it comes time to go "home" at night, hopping into your car is much more appreciated than waiting for a Monorail to get to your car.

                    When we were there last December, the wait times for the Disney buses were 20 minutes or more. Scan some of the threads on Intercot or other Disney discussion sites and you'll see more and more complaints about the poor bus wait times that have become more common. Your rental car will afford you the most flexibility and time-saving, guaranteed.

                    Park-Hopping is very easy with a car and you can usually get very good spaces toward the front of the lots in the afternoon. A lot of people leave the parks during the day, so those prime spaces open up by the time you arrive at your second or third park.

                    We park-hopped a few times on our last trip and were very pleased with the time we saved and the ease of it all. Just take your time following the faded painted lines in the parking lots and read all the signs! If you're not sure of where to go, ask an attendant at the gate or a line-up attendant (in the mornings). They'll gladly point you in the right direction.

                    Here's a tip ... When leaving the MK to go to the TTC, take the Resort Monorail instead of the Express. 9 times out of 10 it is actually faster when the lines are crowded! It will stop off in the Contemporary on its way to the TTC, but will still get you to the TTC faster than the Express ... especially when the lines are crowded.
                    "You’re dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up anyway."
                    - Walt Disney

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                    • #11
                      Re: To rent a car, or not rent a car - that is the question

                      The shuttle program as of late has been pretty poor for ontime flights. If you want to go make sure you get research on your location to watch it. Some spots on the coast fill up early.

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                      • #12
                        Re: To rent a car, or not rent a car - that is the question

                        It is so easy to get around in the Orlando area in a rental car. You will have a bunch of freedom. We put 900 miles on our car the first time we were there. The last time we were there we watched in horror as a lady had a "Melt Down" on the ferry going to MK, because the rest of her party was on the other side waiting in a bus area for her and the bus could no longer wait. She would have to make other arrangements to get back with her party. I remember thinking I was thankful to have a car.
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                        • #13
                          Re: To rent a car, or not rent a car - that is the question

                          IF you get a rental car.
                          One: Do not drive to MK the parking lot is a long way for the park.
                          anyway you get on the monorail.
                          So first park in the morning at Epcot parking and take the monorail to
                          MK
                          or the bus but may be pack.
                          Do breakfast at one of the Epcot disney resort and then goto MgM or epcot park. Beach club, boardWalk

                          Two: Late at night at disney studio parking lot is hard to get out and disney bus ues the same exit.
                          I like to take the boat to boardwalk and take disney bus to downtown disney then to the resort.

                          do the same thing if you ae in epcot world showcase area use the international Gateway and one of the Disney Resort bus to DTD
                          AKfandisney Have a Magic Disney day șoș 2010
                          Alan





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                          • #14
                            Re: To rent a car, or not rent a car - that is the question

                            Originally posted by BALASADA View Post
                            The shuttle program as of late has been pretty poor for ontime flights. If you want to go make sure you get research on your location to watch it. Some spots on the coast fill up early.
                            Well the launch has already been scrubbed, thanks to the hail damage the fuel tanks suffered a few days ago

                            But I think we're going to keep the car reservation - it's sure to be busy the week we're there (Spring Break) and it will be nice to have our own transportation.

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                            • #15
                              Re: To rent a car, or not rent a car - that is the question

                              Smart choice! You always need a car at WDW! It's freedom.

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