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  1. #1

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    is it worth it to get a rental car if staying ON property?

    We were wondering if it is worth it getting a rental even if staying on Disney property since we will be traveling with a toddler who naps (plus loading stroller might be easier into car than bus)

    If it *is* worth considering, is there ample parking and is it free for Disney guests?

  2. #2

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    Re: is it worth it to get a rental car if staying ON property?

    Quote Originally Posted by janmom View Post
    We were wondering if it is worth it getting a rental even if staying on Disney property since we will be traveling with a toddler who naps (plus loading stroller might be easier into car than bus)

    If it *is* worth considering, is there ample parking and is it free for Disney guests?
    We always rent a car when at Disney and drive to each of the parks. We don't like relying on the buses and sometimes the monorail can be just as slow as well. We are always at the parks at rope drop so we always get a front row parking spot and parking is free at the parks if you are staying on property and we have never had a problem with parking at the resorts.
    Kathy & Mark
    Going back to CSR 9/09 for our 8th stay

  3. #3

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    Re: is it worth it to get a rental car if staying ON property?

    Having your own car really makes a difference at the end of the day when you are in the crush to go back to your room. It is nice quiet, peacefulland FAST to get back.
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  4. #4

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    Re: is it worth it to get a rental car if staying ON property?

    I've ALWAYS recommended skipping the car in the past. With Magical Express, it was even less necessary to get one. But, lately the internal buses are abysmal. So, I always recommend people getting their own car now - especially if you have kids. Waiting for a bus anymore takes longer than waiting for the rides in the park. I just don't think it's worth it.

    Get the car. You'll be happy you did.
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    Re: is it worth it to get a rental car if staying ON property?

    I'd say get the car! The bus systems are incredibly lousy. And when staying on property, I think you get to park at any of the parks for free right?

    PLUS! if you have a car, you can drive to the WDW discount outlet store just outside of WDW. Get a ton of cheap souvenirs!


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  6. #6

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    Re: is it worth it to get a rental car if staying ON property?

    Same here, I heartily recommend a car! No wait times, plus it gives you the freedom to check out other hotels and (depending on which hotel you're staying at) will sometimes return you closer to your room than a bus would.
    .


  7. #7

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    Re: is it worth it to get a rental car if staying ON property?

    Yes! So much less stress and time saving especially if you are going to be travelling with the little ones. Getting around WDW and Orlando I find to be very easy by car. WDW has several HESS gas stations on property and they always seem to have good rates per gallon, (always cheaper than what it is going for back at home and even in-line or beating other stations outside WDW)Usually some pretty good deals on rental cars out of MCO too. And now it is even easier since alot of rental car agencies that used to require a airport shuttle offsite to pick up your car, now are on site making pick up and drop off much faster.

    I have always had a car when i went and one day decided to leave the car at the hotel to try relying soley on the bussses. Won't be making that mistake again.
    Last edited by Disney Magic; 02-10-2009 at 09:51 PM. Reason: can't type today

  8. #8

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    Re: is it worth it to get a rental car if staying ON property?

    Me and my family have never had an issue with the buses. I've been 7 times to the theme parks over the past few years and always traveled with different groups of people, small to large numbers, kids young (2) to older (60) and we've never had a major issue with buses.

    Yes during the busy season you may have to wait for your bus but again it all depends on where you're staying at and when you're going. I've always gone during Summer and the Fall/Winter seasons. If you stay at the value resorts then yes you may be waiting for a bus if the 1st one that arrives fills up too quickly but almost always there are at least 2 buses picking you up at the end of the night but not during the day for value resorts. When they see a large group of people extra buses will be called on and reassigned to take you home.

    The great thing about the buses is you can leave anytime, there are no worries. You don't have to worry about driving around period, it's like taking a week off, just a easy going experience. And now the buses have audio spiels giving you park information and hours and tips. It's great for the kids.

    Another great thing about the buses is at the end of the night the buses DON'T STOP running until everyone is out of the park. Not that you will stay an hour after closing, I did once shopping, and a Cast Member helped me and a few others get our buses home.

    I remember this one time a driver almost ran into our bus, HEAD ON, because they didn't know they were going the wrong way in the street, of course it was raining and the weather was horrible. Another reason to forget the car. Driving around WDW in bad weather, at night. But again if you can handle all types of WDW weather, usually Sunny clear driving weather at the parks, then rent a good car for your trip.

    Oh wait, there is one bad thing about the buses. If the parks are busy and the line is full for your resort bus they will fill the bus up meaning once all the seats are taken you HAVE the option of standing in the middle aisle and holding onto the straps while the bus drives you back to your hotel.

    Of course you can opt to wait for the next bus and get a seat on the next bus but usually this is really an issue for the value and moderate resorts. The deluxe resorts may have standing issues but then again standing on a bus at WDW is not an everyday, every ride thing. It's sporadic.

    Now during the closing hours you may have to wait anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes for your bus to arrive, and again it all depends on what place in line you are in. If you think about your car it will take most people will children that much time to get back to their car after either walking or taking the parking lot tram who also has to make stops and it all depends where you park and if you take the right road back to your hotel. If you get lost in the night by all means call your resort hotline to help you out, that is if you decide to go with the car.

    In this economy saving money is really a great option and the buses are FREE. I just can't understand why you wouldn't want to use the buses, espeically if you have no desire to leave WDW property. As for the thrift story for Disney park mark down stuff, well you can find clearance items at Downtown Disney and around the resorts marked with red tags. Maybe not a huge selection but they are there.

    Now if you leave during the day to return back to your hotel that is on property using the buses you will most likely have to wait either 1 minute to 20 minutes for your bus to arrive. It all depends on how soon you get to the bus stop and how lucky in life you are that a bus is just pulling into the bus stop for your hotel just as you approach the bus stop area.

    Not everyone brings a stroller, but those who do never have major issues with getting it on the bus. You take it on the bus with you, you don't store it anywhere. They just ask that you to fold it up and most husbands/well everyone keeps the folded up stroller in front of them while they sit down.

    Again the buses are not a nightmare. They are easy, the bus drivers are always friendly and the stress of having a car is gone. Plus, it's free. No worries about accidents, car insurance, gas stops cause there will lots of those when getting around the parks. GAS GAS GAS.

    When me and parties go we always use transportation and never leave WDW property. I love the buses. I find nothing wrong with them. Enjoy them.
    Last edited by Micoofy Duck; 02-10-2009 at 10:01 PM.
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  9. #9

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    Re: is it worth it to get a rental car if staying ON property?

    Wow, well I was just about to say it's a full go on the rental until I read the last message. Now I am torn again.

    I must say I like the "experience" of the buses in terms of the excitement of being at DisneyWorld, vs driving. But, the last time I was there we didn't have a little one. We had the stamina of tungsten bulls and could spend 12 hour days in the park doing everything there is to do and then hopping on the last bus back to our hotel. Now that we have a little one that takes a nap mid-day, I started calculating how much time it will take if we have to take the bus back to our resort each time mid-day and then head back.
    I had asked in my last post how long to expect and was told to plan on 40 minutes to get anywhere. On another site, I read plan on an hour. That's a huge chunk out of the day when you think about having to come back to the resort for naps.
    Plus if we want to dine at other resorts, I heard you have to take bus to the park and then bus to the resort you want to go to - that can add up heavily too?

    There's a point of course that buses are free. But on the other hand, time most certainly isn't. I guess I just gotta weigh on whether it is worth it to splurge to cut on drive-to-destination times....

  10. #10

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    Re: is it worth it to get a rental car if staying ON property?

    you know i did forget to mention that time it takes for the bus to go back to your hotel but then again for me its the same for having your own car. You have to spend time to get to your car and then drive back to your hotel. The same amount of time you would spend driving back to your hotel.

    Bus... car... kinda same thing. Again the bus ride can be long or short, depending on which hotel you stay at and which park you're attending that day.

    Sorry to make your "torn" but I just had to talk some good stuff about the buses.
    Micoofy Duck
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  11. #11

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    Re: is it worth it to get a rental car if staying ON property?

    Another plus to having a car is that you can store items that you maynot want to lug around all day, like extra clothes or purchases from the park etc.. Lockers are pretty expensive in the park but a quick ride on the tram to your car and back will still be quicker than waiting for the first bus to return back to your hotel. Riding the parking lot tram just completes the WDW experience if you ask me.

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    Re: is it worth it to get a rental car if staying ON property?

    And if you DO rent a car, it doesn't mean you can't use the bus system a few days just to do it. I think you'll learn though that it takes away from your overall experience.

    I had a driver once who tailgated other cars, honked, and yelled at them. Kinda put a damper on my day pretty quickly.


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  13. #13

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    Re: is it worth it to get a rental car if staying ON property?

    Hmm... lockers are what 7-ish dollars a day? And if you park hop you don't have to pay for another locker, just keep your reicept and 5 bucks for "depoist" that you get back when you return your locker key at the end of the day.

    If you buy anything in the park and you want to send it to your hotel remember the parks can do this for you. You fill out a slip and they send it on your behalf to your room and/or hotel pick up area. But you can only use this service most of your stay meaning you can't use it the day before or on the day you leave the park to return home.

    True the parking tram is fun but really not necessary when you have lockers and package delivery.
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  14. #14

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    Re: is it worth it to get a rental car if staying ON property?

    Quote Originally Posted by janmom View Post
    We were wondering if it is worth it getting a rental even if staying on Disney property since we will be traveling with a toddler who naps (plus loading stroller might be easier into car than bus)

    If it *is* worth considering, is there ample parking and is it free for Disney guests?
    First off and sorry I didn't see anyone answer this question yet, if you are staying on Property parking is free with your parking pass the resort issues you at check in. If you stay off property parking is up to $12/day now unless you have an Annual Pass. There usually is ample parking but during peak seasons/days it's not unheard of that the MK lot will be full and you may have to re-route to one of the other parks and take a bus/monorail from there. (at which point the park may be at capacity anyway and you probably want to go to a different one...)

    In terms of "do I need one" the simple answer is no, the bus system for the most part does work for most people. The main reasons I would consider renting the car are:


    • If you are staying in a value resort or moderate resort in a non preferred room - this can save a lot of walking by driving to the food courts or front desk areas.
    • If you are planning to spend more than 1 day off property - Sea world, Universal/IOA, gatorland etc. More than one day it may be cheaper to rent at the airport.
    • Groceries - Nice to be able to run out and get them off hours as needed but there are alternative like grocery delivery services, buying them on site, and hiring a car w/ grocery stop. (see below)
    • Time issues - If your doing an early tour (like the steam trains at the MK) or want to be the first in line at the rope drop, or you have a very early breakfast at O'Hana's a car will get you in before the Bus transportation will be up and running. It also may be faster than the express in terms of getting to the hotel and especially on the trip back. The DME will pick you up 3 hours before your flight time, a car (rental or hired) will give you an extra hour or so on the return trip.


    Now that said I have rented cars and never used them the entire trip, but I usually stay at the Poly where you have access to two parks by Monorail or the Wilderness Lodge where the bus service is for the most part just fine. While staying at the Crrebean beach I wish we had rented a car due to the distance to anything from there and at the time (it was two months after 9/11) the bus service was not running at full service levels and it took a long time to get anywhere where by car it would have been much faster.

    DME is free but for around $100 I generally just hire a towncar (usually wind up being picked up by a Lincoln navigator these days) which includes the driver meeting me at the baggage claim, handling the luggage, Dropping us off for Groceries (There's usualy a Liqor store there as well for those who want to buy a bottle or a case of beer) and then drop us off at the front door of the resort. They pick us up there at the end of the trip and drive us right up to the skycap at the end of the trip. (unlike DME which drops you off on the bottom level of the terminal and you have to walk up 3 levels to check in/board your flight). If your staying on property for a week or more it's cheaper than a rental car and a lot faster/more convenient than DME in my opinion. It's also faster even with the grocery stop than the DME in getting you to the resort and saves you an hour or so getting to the airport so that equals a couple more hours in Disney with is what matters to me.

    So it really comes down to what resort are you staying at and what if any plans you have offsite or early in the morning. If you just want groceries etc there are cheaper options. If you think it'll be easier with the strollers I would caution you will still have to unpack and repack going to the tram stop, wrestle with it on the tram to the front of the park OR in the case of the MK you may have to do it again on the monorail/ferry boat before you get to the park entrance. With the bus you only have to wrangle it once.
    Last edited by Jerren; 02-11-2009 at 05:59 AM.
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  15. #15

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    Re: is it worth it to get a rental car if staying ON property?

    I'm going to chime in on this one--the debate rages on! Really, it depends on your plans. I'm a beach bum, always have been. Secondly, I'm a control freak, so that doesn't help either. In my 8 trips to Florida, 7 times I'd gotten a rental. I had to.

    See, I have family down there.

    And the bus doesn't go to Cocoa or Tampa.

    What you will need to do is plan ahead and decide--are you only going to the parks at WDW? You can survive without the auto. But do you want to pick up food? Do you have medical needs?

    Do you want to go to the beach?

    I'm also not one for crowds (one of the control issues) and find that mass quantities of families, all exhausted from lugging child, stroller, pram, souvies and boring husband around tends to make relations in another queue a bit steep and very grouchy. Can't blame them.

    I've often offered them a ride.

    So I go to the car side, just my way.

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