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millerpjm
08-04-2010, 11:20 AM
Hi all, I am debating on-site vs. off-site - one of the big deterrents is needing a car if we are off-site. Driving in unfamiliar surroundings adds LOTS of stress to a vacation for me, especially in lots of traffic. How easy is it to drive from MCO to the WDW area, and how easy is it to navigate once there? How is parking at the parks? Any info would be appreciated - thanks.

grimley1968
08-04-2010, 11:38 AM
Parking at the parks is extremely easy, and basically you are guided everywhere by CM's along the way. The parking fee covers a full day, and allows moving from park to park without paying again during the day.

Driving from MCO to WDW is extremely easy. There are signs the whole way. You will probably even see a Magical Express bus at some point at the airport. Follow that bus if you like, but the signs should be sufficient. WDW is southwest of MCO.

Getting around within WDW is not that hard, but the signage leaves a bit to be desired. The signage is fine to get from park to park, but not so great if going to a resort. If going to a resort, it helps to know which park the resort is closest to, since you'll see signs saying "EPCOT area resorts", for instance, long before you see individual signs for each of the resorts in the EPCOT area.

Even being a WDW veteran, I make a wrong turn at least once a trip. Not to worry, though. I'm always able to turn back around within 1/2 mile or so. Once you've been there a day or so, it becomes a lot easier.

A GPS navigation system, or even Google Maps on a smartphone, can greatly alleviate the stress of driving around WDW.

k&a&c'smom
08-04-2010, 02:56 PM
We drive to/in Orlando often, and as the PP stated, it's quite easy to get from MCO to WDW, the signs are very good. We take our GPS, but rarely need it.

It's not hard to drive within WDW, and there's very little traffic, most of the time. We've never encountered the kind of traffic you'd expect in a big city, and usually not even as much as we experience here in our tiny town of 10,000!

If that is your biggest worry in regards to staying offsite, I wouldn't worry about it at all.:goodvibes

joelkfla
08-04-2010, 05:16 PM
If you get lost or confused driving around WDW, don't panic, don't backup, don't make a dangerous and possibly illegal U-turn -- just pull into the nearest park or resort and ask the friendly parking or security cm for directions. You won't be charged a parking fee if you're just asking directions.

Peanut Giggleface
08-04-2010, 06:25 PM
I avoid driving in large cities whenever possible because it is very stressful for me, so I hear what you're saying. However, driving out of MCO to the WDW area is easy peasy. Unlike driving in LA or NY where the freeway system looks like a bowl of spaghetti, the freeways in the Orlando area are pretty much straight shots. You will need to bring quarters for the toll booths. I think we passed through three of them getting from the airport to International Drive. We brought a roll of quarters so if we wanted to do some sight seeing we could. Getting around Orlando is like driving through suburbs. Think large wide-laned streets with large intersections.

Driving around WDW is another story. I think they could mark their highways a little better. Get yourself a driving map of WDW and you'll be fine...better yet rent a GPS system with your rental car and you'll have no problems.