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View Full Version : How hard is it to drive around Disney?


mbh106
03-06-2012, 08:39 AM
We are renting a car for the first time and I was wondering how difficult it is to find your way around Disney. Should we bring a GPS with us, or is that not necessary? We are staying at the Caribe Royale. Does anyone have any tips about getting around, best way to Disney from the airport (or is there only one way), etc. Are there any good driving maps of the Disney property that you can buy/order? I'm sure I am overreacting because people do this all the time, but it just seems so intimidating to me!

skelooch
03-06-2012, 08:56 AM
Driving around WDW is extremely easy, signage is very easy to follow.
No need for a GPS, which could give you wrong info.

Your best route from airport to your resort is to follow signs for the south exit to Rt 417, take 417 to exit 6 (just after second toll), continue straight, Royal Caribe is a few hundred yards on the right.

When you leave your resort for WDW turn right out of resort and follow Rt 536 approx 2.5 miles straight into Disney.

Here's map which is pretty up to date:
http://i968.photobucket.com/albums/ae164/skelooch/Walt_Disney_World_Map2.jpg

goofy4tink
03-06-2012, 08:56 AM
I actually find that almost all of Florida is very well marked, with the tourist in mind. I have driven around the WDW a few times. It's got very good signage. There are maps of WDW proper, but I'm not sure where you can get them other than at the WDW resorts. That's where I've always seen them. You may actually be able to find some online!!! They aren't really specific, but do give you a good idea of where you are supposed to be going.
My only advice would be to drive slowly and be watchful. I have seen way too many people driving down the roadways at 50+mph, in the left lane and then see their exit, so skip over to the far right just in time to make the exit!! Not so safe!!! Usually, if there is an accident, it's tourists involved. So, be smart.

And there it is...the map of which I speak. Thanks skelooch!!!

cruisingkat
03-06-2012, 10:35 AM
The first few times we drove around Disney, we actually needed the GPS. Hubby did not find the signage - especially for the resorts - that good. On our first trip (before we got a GPS). we missed the directional sign for our resort and ended up driving out of our way.
After 4 years of 4-5 trips to Disney, our car now goes on automatic. We still keep the GPS running though, but we really don't refer to it.

bbowers
03-06-2012, 06:24 PM
The one I consistently miss is Old Key West. At 1 AM after a very long evening at Magic Kingdom, I didn't think we were ever going to get back to our room. :sad2:

Hawk
03-06-2012, 06:47 PM
Hi mbh:

On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being easy, I would rate driving in WDW as a 2! I think you can drive without using a GPS no problem, BUT- I would take one so that you can find your way to some terrific places off-site. There are big money savings off-site for both shopping, dining and nightlife. It may be a little intimidating at first, but once you start you will never go back to WDW transportation.

As far as airport; follow the signs for "south exit" and then get on 417 directly to exit 6 onto Route 536 (World Center Drive) then straight to Caribe Royal on the left just before the intersection of Routes 535/536. You will be directly across from a small plaza that has a pharmacy, store, gas station, eatery etc. We had a thanksgiving dinner at Caribe Royal two years ago. It appeared to be a nice hotel. I think you won't be disappointed.

Good Luck! :thumbsup2

Tim/Hawk

Tony NY
03-06-2012, 07:34 PM
it's a brezze The sign are in disney are lager and easy but a GPS is a great thing to have when you go offsite for shoping .

SDSorority
03-06-2012, 07:38 PM
We always always always rent a car. Even after driving around the world a bazillion times, it never fails- we always take a wrong turn somewhere. But, that's ok- it's so easy to get off and turn around. The roads are pretty well marked, and even if you do head toward, say, EPCOT but you're trying to get to the Swalphin (for example... real life example....oops), the CM will let you go in and turn around without paying (if you're staying offsite...if your onsite it makes no difference at all). The gate attendants are normally REALLY helpful. :goodvibes

cmhguy
03-06-2012, 08:20 PM
The PPs map is great. I found it very easy and didn't really need the map after studying it, but somehow, I can never find the GF - I know right where it is but miss the turn every time! I leave plenty early for my dinning rezs there for this very reason.

mbh106
03-06-2012, 08:57 PM
Thanks for all the help. It sounds like it shouldn't be too hard to get around. I can usually get where I need to go without much problem, but my husband...not so much. I'm mostly concerned that if he takes 1 or 2 of the kids back to the hotel by himself he'll get lost. But if everything is clearly marked, he should be ok. Even if he has trouble, the kids could probably get him back to the hotel.


Hi mbh:

BUT- I would take one so that you can find your way to some terrific places off-site. There are big money savings off-site for both shopping, dining and nightlife.

Tim/Hawk

We weren't really planning on going anywhere offsite since we always spend all day at the parks, but then again we've never had a car. I didn't realize there were so many great places to go. Anything specific we shouldn't miss? The outlets aren't a big deal for us because we have those here and we'll have the kids with us so nightlife isn't anything we woud do. But any restaurants or other good stores? My mom and 16 year old daughter would probably love to shop!

Muhlenberg
03-07-2012, 04:23 AM
Keep in mind that the WDW signage has DESTINATIONS, as opposed to ROAD NAMES. You'll need to know where you're going (lol) as opposed to the roads you need to use to get there. In that sense, it may be easier to follow the signs, rather than a GPS.

For those of us who like to know what road you're on, it may drive you nuts. :rolleyes1 It is, however, VERY EASY to follow.

goofy4tink
03-07-2012, 05:38 AM
The first few times we drove around Disney, we actually needed the GPS. Hubby did not find the signage - especially for the resorts - that good. On our first trip (before we got a GPS). we missed the directional sign for our resort and ended up driving out of our way.
After 4 years of 4-5 trips to Disney, our car now goes on automatic. We still keep the GPS running though, but we really don't refer to it.

We always always always rent a car. Even after driving around the world a bazillion times, it never fails- we always take a wrong turn somewhere. But, that's ok- it's so easy to get off and turn around. The roads are pretty well marked, and even if you do head toward, say, EPCOT but you're trying to get to the Swalphin (for example... real life example....oops), the CM will let you go in and turn around without paying (if you're staying offsite...if your onsite it makes no difference at all). The gate attendants are normally REALLY helpful. :goodvibes
GPS can be helpful, but remember....it's not an exact science!! We were leaving MK last April, on Easter Day, heading back to Sanford International. I had my GPS on....well, I wasn't really paying attention to the signage, just listening to the GPS. I turned and somehow found myself entering Epcot!! I could see the road I wanted up above. I had just turned a little bit late. I pulled out my AP, flashed it at the gate, and turned around and speedily left!!! Not a big issue, but I should have been more observant!!

Brian Noble
03-07-2012, 08:58 AM
The one I consistently miss is Old Key West.
I've had trouble there too. If you've ever stayed at OKW, and been in a car, you've heard the following at least once:

"Oh $%#@! That's Overpass Road, over there!"

But, even that is only a few minutes out of your way. Most destinations are pretty easy in comparison.

cruisingkat
03-07-2012, 10:32 AM
Also, the signs are on the right hand side of the road. If you happen to be in the left lane and have a big van or SUV next to you in the right lane, you will miss the signs. That is what happened to us on our trip to Disney before our GPS.

figment_jii
03-07-2012, 03:03 PM
For the most part it is very easy to drive around WDW. As others have said, the signage is very easy to read/see. Usually, there are several signs giving you ample warning when you need to turn.

As others have said, you need to know your destination (e.g., Magic Kingdom). It's helpful to also know the general area of where you're going. For example, initially the signs say "Epcot Area Resorts" (or something like that). It won't say Yacht Club (at first), so it's helpful to know that you're looking for the Epcot area resorts. Eventually the signs will say "Yacht Club" but if you like lots of warning, then you'll need to know the general area you're going to as well as the specific destination.

Overall, I would get a paper map and rely on that. The signage around WDW and the GPS won't always match. If that's the case, go with the Disney signage. It's usually the easiest route and some GPS have been reported as trying to use restricted access roads.