View Full Version : Car rental instead of bus?

04-13-2010, 11:20 AM
I've read that you need 90 minutes to travel on the bus, and you all have confirmed that that is pretty much true. We are there for a "short" time and want to maximize our time - so we think renting a car may be worth it. How long for, say - a POR trip to the Park then? Or POR to Animal Kingdom Lodge?


04-13-2010, 12:01 PM
I have not found car rental to be worth while. Using Disney Transport and knowing how to work the system will save you tons of time and money.

Resort to resort doesn't work all that well, the key is to go resort to closest park and then to the destination. This works for many of the deluxe hotels since they tend to be closer to the parks. Not as well for moderates and values.

I'd say 30 minutes for POR to a park. POR to AKL will take longer, depends on when you want to get there.

In the AM they don't run nearly as many busses fromt he parks to resorts as they do from resorts to the parks. You would think that the busses run in a loop, resort/park/resort, repeat. THEY DO NOT!

Afternoons and Evenings it's easier to get from a park to a resort.

You can get from MK to Contemporary, Poly, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness on foot (maybe a boat or monorail as well). From Epcot you can walk to Boardwalk, Beach Club, Yacht Club, Swan and Dolphin (entry into Epcot required). From MGM you can get to the same resorts (no park admission required) and from AK you need to bus anywhere you need to go.

DTD is often a pretty good hub for getting to moderate/value resorts.

04-13-2010, 02:31 PM
Let me preface this by saying that we usually have a car at WDW anyway, because we either drive, or if we fly, we fly into Orlando Sanford, which does not offer Magical Express service to WDW so we wind up renting a car.

Now, with that said, the last time we went to the World, we decided to drive our car to the parks instead of using the Disney Transportation System. We *loved* it. No more waiting. It doesn't take *any* time at all to get to the parks from POR (where we always stay). POR to Epcot? Ten minutes. To DHS? Ten minutes. To DTD? Five minutes. To AK? 15 minutes from your door to their gate. And if we had booked through AAA, we would have gotten their Diamond Parking passes, and would have been closer to the gate. The only one that really doesn't make sense to drive to is MK, as you have to park at the TTC and either take a bus, boat, or monorail anyway. So it's just as easy to use the Disney Transportation to the MK from the resort.

Now, if I were flying into MCO, then I would just use Disney Transportation I think. But since we never do, and we provide our own way to the resort, it's totally a time saver to use your own vehicle.

One argument FOR the buses...Disney Transportation is part of the Disney Experience. When we go this fall with first timers, we'll use the buses more, because the kids love it.

However, because of the long lines to get on the buses at the end of the day (especially if you have waited around for Illuminations or Wishes), it's so much easier if you drive. We stuck around for Illuminations last time...when it was over, we walked out of the park, to the car, and we had the kids in bed 20 minutes after Illuminations ended. If we had been using the buses, we may still have been waiting for one.

04-16-2010, 08:48 AM
Thanks so much for all the info! It really helps to work out our decision!

I am just so torn.

We will already have a rental car as we are going to St. Pete's Beach for 5 days first. We are debating turning the car in at that point, or keeping it for the entire trip. We are at WDW for 5 days and only 1 day is Magic Kingdom. The rest of the time is DTD, relaxing around the pool and doing some meals at other resorts. And as I've learned the property to property bus trips are the most "painful". I feel like every minute we are there has a $ value. And it is kind of a "waste" of time to spend jumping from bus to bus. BUT I DO agree with the idea that using the Disney buses is part of the experience. And we have never been on property before to use them!

(Now that I think about it - actually, for me, with going to Disney many times throughout my childhood ...all day visits with family from Daytona Beach....riding the monorail is actually PREFERABLE for me. It is as much a part of Disney to me as the castle is. So MAYBE that seals the deal?! )

04-16-2010, 11:45 AM
I'll just give you some thoughts from our Trip Reports from last September:

6. Get a rental car. We spent nearly 14 hours on buses and some of the stuff we kind of wanted to do was “eliminated” because of projected transportation times (Jelly Rolls and Yee Haw Bob)

Yeah, okay, we were there for some 11 days, but still. We wanted to do the Miniature Golfing. We were staying at CBR basically, across the street. Here's what we had to do using transportation (maybe there was an easier way?). Bus to DHS, boat to Swan, and then a walk to golf. Like an HOUR. Could have walked it in much less time.

If you want to do anything that requires you to switch buses, I'd rent a car. In my experience, the bus service at DTD is miserable, and if you need to switch there, you are going to wait and wait. If you are going only to the parks from your resort, and don't mind standing in the buses (which always seems to be the case for me), then the buses could be okay, but you'll lose some time. If you are staying mostly at the resort and nothing unusual in your traveling around the kingdom, then buses could be way to go.

But if you want to do anything earlier than bus service, going to anything at some other resort, or things like that, I think a car is the better choice.

04-16-2010, 12:53 PM
As I mentioned, we used to rent a car, the cost got prohibitive. Prices are surely less now, but last time we rented, we were approaching about $700 after fees, taxes, etc. This was probably back in 2001 or so, and we're talking about 2 1/2 week trips.

I agree with you on time is money as well, I put a $$ figure on my time often and usually it's easier to pay for convenience.

A car in Disney though, I've found anyway isn't all that convenient. You're dealing with people who don't know the roads, so you're chances of an accident are greater around WDW than elsewhere.

Mostly at MK, but elsewhere to a smaller extent, the parking lots are further than the bus stops. So, yes, travel time may be quicker to the park, but you're also going to have to park the car, tram to the front of the park, and the same in reverse. MK is worse in that you may have long lines for the ferry/monorail as well.

Then you have other incidentals, like last time we rented a car, we got hit in the parking lot, ended up footing bill on the repairs (it was less than our deductible, but more than I would have liked to pay.

The convenience of Disney transportation has proven to be worth it for me. Knowing how to get around though really helps. This new on-demand system they have though makes working the system a little harder. There's always a taxi if you really need to get somewhere in a hurry. If you don't have many of those occasions, then it's probably cheaper than a rental car.

04-16-2010, 03:04 PM
DH and I don't want to have to drive around and worry about having a rental car when we are on vacation!

In our opinion, DIsney transportation is actually pretty fun! We like the journey just as much as anything else at Disney. We think the boats are a fun diversion as is the monorail. It also gives us a chance to sit and chat with each other - it slows us down a bit so we can "stop and smell the flowers".

We are :cloud9: that we don't have to rent a car anymore.

Jeff G
04-17-2010, 09:11 AM
My opinion differs from most.

We've had a rental for all but three of our trips. What I've found is that relying on Disney transportation adds way to much travel time to my vacation.

Last fall we were with a group of 15 so a rental wasn't an option. We ended up spending a lot of time waiting for buses. The main problem we had was when we went to a late diner a few nights at resorts. One night for example, we dined at the Cape May Café and finished around 8:30. Afterwards we strolled the Boardwalk catching the magician and juggler. It was an awesome night then we got to the bus stop. It was around 9:20. To get to our resort we needed a bus to DTD and then to the resort. At 10:10 we decided that waiting 50 minutes for a bus was out of control knowing that once we get on the bus we still had to go to another stop. We ended up getting a cab and paid $25 to get back. My sister in law didn't want to spend the money on a cab so they waited. They didn't get back until 11:30. That time we waited was our swimming time we couldn't get back.

The other reason we get a car is for the park close chaos, we have kids and piling in a overfull bus after spending a day in a park with tired little ones is never fun. In many cases I am stuck standing with one half a sleep child in my arms.

Anyhow, if you trip is short I would recommend a car to maximize your time. Driving to any park takes no more than 10 minutes from any resort,. You also get free parking.

I use Dollar and use a kiss2 discount code which is a public coded from the Florida visitor guide. I booked an intermediate size car for a weekly rate of $130. In my mind money well spent.

04-17-2010, 02:55 PM
In our experience, the only time we have found using Disney transportation to be a hassle & stressful is when trying to make it from one resort to another for dining reservations.

We had it take over 2 hours to get from POR to YC on our very first trip.

We eliminated this issue by just taking a taxi anytime we want to get from 1 resort to another. Especially for trying to catch a show or a dinner reservation. Its just a lot less stressful to us.

Typical fare is $13 to $18.

The rest of the time, we too feel the busses, boats and monorails are part of the staying on-site experience.

A far as renting a car - I don't want to worry about having to remember where I parked because I was too excited headed in for the day ;) well... maybe my iphone has an app for that now. :D