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  1. #1

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    Car Rental vs. Resort Transportation - What do you use?

    When you go to "The World", what do you usually do? Rent a car or rely on resort transportation.

    We have been 3 times and have rented a car every time.

    But this last time, we had the first and last days without a car, and it really solidified our choice that we NEED our rental car and will NEVER be without one again.

    The first night we were there we had reservations at 'Ohana at 8:00. We figured we would leave an hour and 15 minutes early to give us time to take the bus to the MK and then the Monorail to the Polynesian. Well, in theory we should have been fine.

    We head to the bus stop at 6:45 and then waited until about 7:10 for the bus to come, arriving at the MK at about 7:25ish. Still had PLENTY of time. Right???

    Well, we get to the station and there is a monorail there. But they aren't loading it and it leaves about 10 minutes later with nobody on it. The next one comes and we get on the resort monorail and proceed to sit at the MK station for about 15 minutes. While on the Monorail at the station they turn OFF the power to the monorail (with the doors closed) in the Florida heat because they were having power issues. Some people were freaking out and about to open up the safety windows.

    I understand having power issues, but why load the monorail, close the doors then shut off the power (including air conditioning) with a packed monorail?

    Finally were on our way and got to the Polynesian at about 8:10 and almost missed our reservation. So it took about 1 1/2 hours to get from French Quarter to the Polynesian. TOTALLY unnacceptable.

    The next time we went to 'Ohana on Sunday, with our car it took us around 10 minutes. We had enough with resort transportation that night to be done with it.

    The last time we used Resort Transportation was the last Friday at Epcot at about 11pm. The busses going to Port Orleans had about 300 people in line and there were busses coming around every 10 minutes. It took us about an hour from the time we walked out of the Epcot gate to get to our resort even though it's about 1/2 mile away or so.

    Never again without a car.

    So what are your thoughts on Resort Transport? Any horror-stories?


  2. #2

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    Re: Car Rental vs. Resort Transportation - What do you use?

    We always rent a car. Once I went without when it was just me and the hubby and we did the park/cruise vacation. The transportation system (the buses) were extremely packed. Coming home from the Magic Kingdom, with shopping bags full of goodies and waiting on line for the bus to take us back to our hotel sucked. Than crammed in the bus becuase it was closing time so everyone was leaving the park was not fun. Now I have to stand in this overcrowded bus (since I didn't have any children at the time I gave my seat up ) It took forever to load and unload.

    Now I usually travel with kids (neice and nephew and in Dec my son), and it is always easier to have a car. Car seats strapped in, we can eave extra stuff in the cars for the kiddies. We don't have to stand in line for the bus. Its just less stressful to me.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Car Rental vs. Resort Transportation - What do you use?

    It's definitely nice NOT having to drive around when you don't rent a car, but you just have to accept that fact that sometimes there's going to be long lines and/or A LOT of people to deal with.

    I think the last trip there solidified my wanting to rent a car next time I go.

  4. #4

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    Re: Car Rental vs. Resort Transportation - What do you use?

    Renting a car is just part of the routine for us. First trip, on Invasion I, we rode the resort transports the first couple of days, but standing all the way home on a bus, making multiple stops before getting to your stop, just plain sucks after 10+ hours of theme-parking. We used our mini van the remainder of the trip for everything, even going to our resort's food court one time. Staying on property, you get free parking in the parks and the most you usually have to walk is the length of one parking aisle, because the shuttle comes to pick up where the crowds are currently parking. You're still stuck with the TTA going to Magic Kingdom, but both the boat and monorail rides are an attraction in themselves. We also love to explore towns, sock in some snacks from a normal priced grocery store, and do a little shopping. We have a small gps we take with us, and always get where we are going in short order. Absolutely worth it!

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  5. #5

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    Re: Car Rental vs. Resort Transportation - What do you use?

    We usually go with a large group and rent a house for the entire trip. therefore we rent a car. however, we did stay on property this summer and we still rented a car. i just like to have the option of going to steak and shake (haha!) we don't have those here!!





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  6. #6

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    Re: Car Rental vs. Resort Transportation - What do you use?

    We have done it both ways, but usually we skip the rental car and just use Disney Transport. Mostly for the following reasons:

    • We tend to visit the MK the most and since we almost always stay at either the Polynesian or the Wilderness Lodge there's really no need to rent a car to get to the MK as it would take longer than the resort transportation.
    • The past few times we had rented a car it was a nightmare, why are all the rentals white? I mean really trying to find a white rental car among 1000's of them at night in the dark after a long day when they don't have an alarm... Not fun to be wandering around in a parking at night, even at Disney.
    • We (my wife and I) like to drink on vacation, cut loose a little, we both have lost good friends to drunk drivers and well we never would do it ourselves so we wind up leaving the car at the hotel most of the time.
    • On our honey moon we waited for 3 1/2 hours waiting for a rental car in the heat with our luggage since Alamo was overbooked. Sorry never again!
    • Usually at the Polynesian the only parks we need to visit by Bus are the AK, MGM and DTD. We can walk to the TTC or lobby to hop a Monorail to Epcot or MK.
    • We usually ship most of our packages home and since we're out of state it saves the Taxes and if anything doesn't make it intact Disney always has been good at replacing it for free. Small stuff gets stuffed in the daypack or sent to the room.
    • I guess most importantly I go to relax and enjoy a vacation, I'm on call 24/7 except on the few vacations I take... I don't really want to drive on my vacation. I hire a towncar/limo from MCO with a grocery stop. I can always rent a car at the park for a day if I wanted to so I just skip it all together.

    All that said I have not had a bad expierence on the Monorails, I HATE HATE HATE the buses there and would love to see them put in another mass transit system/light rail he here's a concept how about a People mover? But unless I stay at a moderate or value resort I see no need to have a car to get around. The one time we tried the Caribbean Beach and the Music resorts I would have probably been much better off skipping the bus. They where never on time, always over crowded, and the lines... well anyway I understand why most people would want one. I'll be the exception to the rule.
    Hi I'm Jerren and I'm a Disneyholic...

  7. #7

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    Re: Car Rental vs. Resort Transportation - What do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerren View Post
    The past few times we had rented a car it was a nightmare, why are all the rentals white? I mean really trying to find a white rental car among 1000's of them at night in the dark after a long day when they don't have an alarm... Not fun to be wandering around in a parking at night, even at Disney.
    Tip time! Bring a ribbon, or something along those lines, and tie it to the antenna. Maybe a bright pink one, or chartreuse. Then you can rename your car Mini Monorail Chartreuse

  8. #8

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    Re: Car Rental vs. Resort Transportation - What do you use?

    Maybe Disney resorts should rent golf carts for use while there to get from one place to the other. LOL


  9. #9

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    Re: Car Rental vs. Resort Transportation - What do you use?

    We did a full week on nothing but resort transportation, for the most part, without issue.

    I didn't like that I couldn't go straight through from some places, like MK to DTD. And yeah, during peak times the buses can be packed worse than sardines.

    But we learned along the way that you don't ride during peak times. Just like at meal time when everyone is eating at the same time, everyone is riding at park closing time. Either leave early, or take your time getting out, but let the crowds die down.
    And if possible, stay at a more expensive resort. If you notice the most packed are the Value resorts, and the Port Orleans resorts. Why? I figure because they are the cheapest, and more people are staying there. We always saw empty buses for the more expensive resorts, even during peak times for Port Orleans.

    In your case, you could have taken the ferry from MK to the TTC and walked to the Poly.
    Or you could have taken the bus to Epcot and boarded a monorail from there. Always look for alternative routes. Most people will take the most direct route, but it's not always the fastest.

    And we planned to be in the park closest to our dinner reservation for the day. On the day we had reservations for Ohanna, we spent the day at the MK, so we were already as close as possible.

    Next time however, we are probably gonna rent a car, simply because we are gonna spend a day or so at Universal.

  10. #10

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    Re: Car Rental vs. Resort Transportation - What do you use?

    We just got back a few weeks ago and we rented a car for our 9 day trip and it was amazing. The speed we were able to hop and go to restaurants we'd never been to (Jiko, Trail's End, etc.) just because trying to do it with Disney buses is just so impractical and time wasting. It was awesome we could head out and be anywhere in 10 minutes where if we did it with the buses it would be 30 to 45 minutes easily. Waiting for the buses at the end of the night the last few trips just pushed me further and further to this point. In my mind I'll never use the buses again except for the MK. And even then I don't really want to do it because I don't want to wait for a bus with my 2 bratty (but oh so wonderful,yeah right) kids at the end of a long long lonnnnng day.

  11. #11

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    Re: Car Rental vs. Resort Transportation - What do you use?

    I agree, if I was staying at the Poly or something getting a rental is probably not necessary. Easy access to MK and Epcot (the 2 parks we go to most) and you really could just take the monorail to Epcot and boat to MGM. I wouldn't imagine the busses to MGM or AK are bad with the Deluxe hotels either.

    If we go back in December we are going to stay at AKL or Saratoga, but with those we will still get a car.

    Of course, we usually get REALLY good deals on the car ($17 for a week during our last trip) so for us it's not a big deal.

    I love being married to a travel agent.


  12. #12

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    Re: Car Rental vs. Resort Transportation - What do you use?

    No rental car, ever. I have never needed one. I use the Disney buses and monorail and have never had any problems with it. Ok, well one time, our bus broke down, but they loaded everyone up into a new one within 20 minutes. Not bad.

    I also like to use taxis to get from resort to resort. Much quicker, and I'm only out 11 to 14 dollars (with a tip). It's worth getting to my reservation on time. Plus, if I am already spending big bucks with a vacation at Disney, why not fork out a few more bucks for a taxi a couple of times? Not a big deal.

    Maybe I am just lucky in the fact that I have had virtually no problems (with the exception of that one time) with any of the Disney transportation. Who knows?
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  13. #13

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    Re: Car Rental vs. Resort Transportation - What do you use?

    Last few times was strictly resort transportation because to us, it's a major benefit to use Magical Express. Waiting for buses in general can be a bit of a pain, which is a very small part of why we skipped DAK and MGM this past trip. Other than that, we've had pretty good luck with resort transportation...especially boat and monorail.

  14. #14

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    Re: Car Rental vs. Resort Transportation - What do you use?

    I usually just my own car, but the last couple visits I was lazy and used the busses.

  15. #15

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    Re: Car Rental vs. Resort Transportation - What do you use?

    See, we used Magical Express this last time and didn't care for it AT ALL. We got lost in the airport because their weren't really any signs. It really didn't seem to magical or expressy to me.

    I have to say though, the hotel check-in and bag-check is GREAT. But you can use that whether you are using ME or have a car.


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