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View Full Version : car vs disney transportation


spartacus
05-04-2004, 09:32 PM
pirate: ::MinnieMo :earsgirl: :earsgirl: :earsgirl: :earsboy:
We are six adults going to okw in july. Is a rental car necessary or sholud we rely on the disny trans portation. DW and I have been to disany parks alot. Our adult kida have never been.
What do you suggest ?

OneMoreTry
05-04-2004, 09:38 PM
When we have a car I prefer to use it.

But we've been without and I don't think it would be worth renting one. some have recommended using taxis if you need to get somewhere quickly. I would try that if I didn't have a car or if I was going to enjoy some serious refreshment.

:drinking:

kbhehl
05-04-2004, 09:45 PM
We've gotten by without cars (have been three times and only had a rental car the first day of the first trip), and IMHO it's entirely do-able, esp. with just adults. But it partly depends on what you want to do: just the major parks (including water parks and DD), you're prob. fine without the car.

It's kind of a pain to try to go from resort to resort, in the case of dining at another resort, without a car--at least if you're using WDW transportation. But you could call a cab (or two) --much easier than transferring buses.

Have fun!

doubletrouble_vb
05-04-2004, 10:00 PM
I've pretty much been carless since my first onsite trip. The only problem I've encountered is getting to another resort which unfortunately includes The Boardwalk. Disney should add a frequent direct shuttle to the EPCOT bus area from Boardwalk...or from the Swan/Dolphin since it's easier to get to the actual boardwalk from there.

Given there are six of you and you are all adults maybe a mini-van would be the way to go. It would enable you to go offsite or to other hotels easily. The trouble with taxis is that you would need two of them. If you are only going to theme parks, water parks and DTD I wouldn't bother.

mowog
05-04-2004, 10:33 PM
We've been to WDW probably 15 times in last 25 years and never had a car until our trip last October. There were usually 4 of us (only wife and I in Oct.). Transportation at Disney is like a computer- at first it seems so fast but gets slower and slower the more you use it. Off season the car was great and we used it all the time and found it much faster for many trips. We stayed at PR and would park at BCV and walk to Epcot. Parking lots were fairly empty but I would be leary of July thinking car traffic may be horrid. If you plan to stay on property the entire time I would probably forgo the car and use Disney transportation. Where are you staying?

Nlihte
05-04-2004, 11:11 PM
Dear Spartacus,
Our family visits Disney every year. We love the conveinience of a car. Disney is so spread out that we save an amazing amount of time hopping in the vehicle without having to stop everywhere Disney transportation stops. The Disney investment as quite expensive but a rental vehicle will not break the bank. Make life as easy on yourself as you can during these special times. Dennis

all5ofus
05-04-2004, 11:27 PM
Originally posted by mowog
...Transportation at Disney is like a computer- at first it seems so fast but gets slower and slower the more you use it.

How True! Take a cab or drive if you have to be somewhere at a specific time as busses can be unpredictable.

Tiggeriffic
05-05-2004, 06:40 AM
Disney transportation is overall very good except for going from resort to resort. However, a lot of this is in the perception. On our recent trip we used the bus occasionally, but mostly we drove. However, one time we took the ferry from OKW to DTD and then had to take the bus back because the ferry was no longer running. We ended up waiting over 45 minutes to get a bus. This was a little too long in my opiniion. However, the OKW bus stop was the same bus stop as POR. You should have heard these people complaining about how long they had to wait. All of these people showed up at the stop after we did and during the time we were waiting we actually saw three POR busses. So, none of these people waited longer than twenty minutes, but I actually heard some of them complain that they had been there over an hour.

My expectation is that you can have to wait up to about 20 minutes for a bus. This would put the average wait at about 10 minutes. However, many people never remember the times that they walk right up and on the bus.

A car is nice if you like to be in control. However, it is not really necessary except for going from resort to resort. For example, we usually eat at Artist Point once during our trip and one year we were staying at CBR. Well we asked what the best way to get there and we were told to take a bus to DTD and then a bus from there to WL. We left an hour and a half early and were late for our reservation. From then on, we decided that we would not use the busses to go from one resort to another. However, we do still use them to go to some of the parks, especially MK.

dianeschlicht
05-05-2004, 07:24 AM
I can't add anything to the good responses you have already gotten, but I think it makes a bit of a difference by which resort you are staying at. We find the Disney transportation at OKW to be very good with the exception of going to Animal Kingdom and between resorts to the restaurants. If we are going to DTD, we usually walk the path or take the boat. To the parks, you are much better off with Disney transportation. I think the bigger issue about having a car or not is the cost of getting from the airport to the resort. We often find it is cheaper to rent a car than pay transportation for all the adults each way.

Ksp
05-05-2004, 08:26 AM
We really like having a car with us. It makes getting around so much easier. ::yes::

crisi
05-05-2004, 08:50 AM
We tend to do Disney transportation and liberally augment with cabs. We find Disney transportation to be adequate for most things - and when we do time sensitive travel or don't want to deal with the buses, cabs are always around. But it is a matter of expectations. If you take buses, you will spend time standing in line waiting for a bus...you will end up standing on the bus. The buses aren't bad for buses - but they are buses - involving lots of people on a single bus and some amount of waiting.

With six adults, you may find the party splitting up a lot - some people might get up early, some sleep in, some decide that they want to do a different activity from the group that day and meet you later.. One car (or a minivan) will be enough if you spend all your time together, but you'll probably use a lot of Disney buses or cabs anyway if your party splits up.

TammyNC
05-05-2004, 09:03 AM
We drove down this past March for the first time. We stayed at OKW and didn't use our vehicle to get back and forth to the parks, we used the Disney transportation. We did enjoy having the van in the evenings and we could drive over to Downtown Disney and we did have a PS at Polyn. for dinner. Those were the only times we used our vehicle while staying there.

Frozenfingers
05-05-2004, 09:04 AM
We have always rented a car, except for our very first trip. We are 2 adults and 2 teens (4 adults in size). We really dislike having to wait on meers cattle cars, and prefer the control and peace of mind of having a vehicle available to us. With codes/coupons, it usually is less than 40 bucks difference. Except for the initial grocery stop, the car sits in the lot until the weekend and we leave orlando.. Once on site we rely on the WDW transportation almost exclusively, and it works well for us.

With six people, you may wish to look at a limo/lux van to get to/from MCO (150 RT?) with groc stop,.. Meers will run you about 180 bucks, two taxies a couple hundred. a week rental of a mini van is just under 500. If you need to leave for the weekend, the Swan, CC center, and Doubletree have car rental desks. (A weekend minivan rental from Budget @ doubletree is 155.)

Personally, I would go for the limo, enjoy the buses and boats, and treat everyone to a steak at LeCeller.

doubletrouble_vb
05-05-2004, 10:32 AM
I forgot about getting from the airport...to me that really begins to justify getting the mini-van for the week. Find a coupon, find a deal but with six people I'd say get the mini-van. By the time you get two taxis to go to indirect places you may as well have paid for the convenience for the mini-van or a very full size car if you are smallish people.

At the same time I would not use the mini-van to go to theme parks unless you've got special parking (I think AAA had it one year) you'll spend just as much time waiting for the tram as you will for the bus. Again, an exception, if you go to EPCOT for dinner you may as well drive because close spots open up just before dinner time.

Hint for getting between resorts: I have never taken a bus to DTD to get to another resort. The easiest way to do it is use a theme park as a turn around point. Take a bus to the nearest theme park or T&T to go to the resort you want to get to. Works for most except AKL. Found out the buses run into the theme parks fairly late because of the park hopper passes. The only place this doesn't really work is for Boardwalk...which is really stupid IMHO...you'd have to make MGM your exchange point when EPCOT is just a stones throw away and open late.

Mickmse2002
05-05-2004, 11:27 AM
We have gone carless before and have rented cars before. As a family of five it can be expensive to use cabs/shuttles to get around. For going between resorts or to/from DTD you can't beat the convenience of the car. We normally stay at BCV and obviously walk to Epcot and MGM. We use our car to go to Animal Kingdom and the bus to go to Magic Kindom in order to bypass the ticket and transportation center.

WDW LifeLong Fan
05-05-2004, 04:15 PM
IMHO I would rent one and use it to go to DTD and other hotels if you want to visit them to eat, etc..

However, we always use Disney Transportation for the Parks.::yes::

I know...I know....I'm a big help:rolleyes:

Either way you will have a great time!

:bounce: :Pinkbounc :Pinkbounc :Pinkbounc

lenshanem
05-06-2004, 08:42 AM
We drive down and then park our car and never look at it again the rest of the vacation. It is totally doable.

This next trip I think we have planned to use our car a couple times cause we have late dinners planned at resorts and we have young kids. Otherwise, we wouldn't use it at all.

Once I had my hubby drive to AK and he was so put out. He complained that by the time we drove there, parked, took the tram up, etc. we could have been there by bus. I know many would argue with that, but we find the bus transportation to be quite easy and this caused more steps for hubby with the stroller than he wanted. :rolleyes:

dianeschlicht
05-06-2004, 09:15 AM
Hint for getting between resorts: I have never taken a bus to DTD to get to another resort. The easiest way to do it is use a theme park as a turn around point. Take a bus to the nearest theme park or T&T to go to the resort you want to get to. Works for most except AKL. Found out the buses run into the theme parks fairly late because of the park hopper passes. The only place this doesn't really work is for Boardwalk...which is really stupid IMHO...you'd have to make MGM your exchange point when EPCOT is just a stones throw away and open late.
This doesn't work if you are travelling during slow times like January or September when the parks close really early.

MiaSRN62
05-06-2004, 09:40 AM
We prefer to have our car there if we need it, but I wouldn't say it's necessary. We've had pretty good luck with the busses (most of the time) at most of the resorts. Generally we've had not more than 10-20 min waits at OKW. I can say there have been some exceptions (where we felt the wait was a little excessive) with bus/boat schedules, time to time, at a few resorts.
We like having our car should we feel like getting up and going to Wintersummerland golf course or to DD later at night. It's really just a preference thing with us----we also go offsite to IOA, Sea World or to visit various relatives locally.

doubletrouble_vb
05-06-2004, 03:11 PM
Originally posted by dianeschlicht
This doesn't work if you are travelling during slow times like January or September when the parks close really early.

Sure it does. EPCOT is still open until 9PM under those conditions so you could still use it as a transit point since their restaurants close sometime after 9PM. The reason I noticed this is because I think after AK closes the AK busline merges with AKL. We were staying at AKL and it trundled right into AK at 9PM. Granted this was in October...but EPCOT is definitely open until 9 in Jan & Sept.

jimmytammy
05-07-2004, 06:20 AM
We have flown all trips except the last one. That one was the only time we had a car. The car was useful for 2 purposes. Going to DTD, having a vehicle is great cause transportation from any of the resorts to DTD and back isnt so great. We also went to a Braves game at WWOS and it was useful then. If you are going offsite for any reason a car would be handy also. But if none of these things are in your agenda you probably dont need it. If DTD is in your schedule every day, a minivan would be nice.

Good luck in your decision!

dianeschlicht
05-07-2004, 07:37 AM
Originally posted by doubletrouble_vb
Sure it does. EPCOT is still open until 9PM under those conditions so you could still use it as a transit point since their restaurants close sometime after 9PM. The reason I noticed this is because I think after AK closes the AK busline merges with AKL. We were staying at AKL and it trundled right into AK at 9PM. Granted this was in October...but EPCOT is definitely open until 9 in Jan & Sept.
True, but how often are you ready to leave a first class restaurant in time to be back to Epcot to catch a bus to the resort. It's possible, but not practical for us. We rarely use the car for anything other than the occational resort/restaurant trip and grocery runs. Our main use is for getting back and forth to the airport.

zulaya
05-07-2004, 08:42 AM
I guess I'll be the lone person who drives just about everywhere. I haven't ridden a bus yet. Mostly because I am a control freak and I don't like giving up control of my transportation to anyone, even Disney. Especially when bus service can be hit or miss in terms of timing.

When I read about people waiting 20, 30, 45 minutes for a bus, that just reinforces my want to drive. In that 20, 30, 45 minutes, instead of standing in one place waiting for a bus, I could be walking, taking a monorail, whatever to my car and driving back to my resort. I much prefer to be in motion than sitting there waiting, wondering when the bus for my resort will make an appearance.

That and since I am at BCV mostly, the whole loop having to share that bus doesn't inspire me to want to take it.

crisi
05-07-2004, 08:59 AM
Originally posted by Mickmse2002
We have gone carless before and have rented cars before. As a family of five it can be expensive to use cabs/shuttles to get around. For going between resorts or to/from DTD you can't beat the convenience of the car. We normally stay at BCV and obviously walk to Epcot and MGM. We use our car to go to Animal Kingdom and the bus to go to Magic Kindom in order to bypass the ticket and transportation center.

FYI, Disney has plenty of taxi minivans that charge the same rate as a regular 3/4 person cab does. You will need a minivan "towncar" to get from the airport to Disney - which is a little more expense - but then with a family of five, you are probably renting a full size car - which isn't cheap either. There were six of us last trip - and shuttles and cabs were significantly cheaper than the minivan rental we'd done with six of us the time before.

disneymom3
05-07-2004, 01:58 PM
Went without a car for the first time in March and will never do it again! Staying at the Poly, waited 25 minutes (at 7:30) for a bus to AK on early entry day. It came and was standing room only as it had already stopped at the Contempo. Not fun with a two and three year old.

One evening we wanted to go from the Poly to the Beaches and Cream and then to the Boardwalk to ride the surrey bikes. Getting there was iffy at the time of night we wanted to do it, getting home was going to be a nightmare. We gave up and didn't go.

We like the control and freedom of our own car. Usually drive down anyway, but if we fly again, we will still rent a car.

drogerstn
05-07-2004, 07:50 PM
At the same time I would not use the mini-van to go to theme parks unless you've got special parking (I think AAA had it one year) you'll spend just as much time waiting for the tram as you will for the bus. Most of the times we have driven to MGM and EPCOT we were able to park close enough to the entrances that we did not use a tram; just a short walk. We usually arrive prior to park opening or mid-afternoon after earlier guest have departed leaving empty spaces.

I like having a cooler in the car with cold drinks waiting for us when we leave the park. It's nice to leave the parks in a car where we can cool off and talk; many times we have to sit (or stand) apart from one another when riding the buses. A car can really come in handy when visiting the water parks and shopping; its like a portable locker.

sotoalf
05-08-2004, 03:44 PM
So, the bottom line is: you'll only need a car if you're traveling to DTD fairly often or visiting other resorts fairly often. If all you're doing is going to the parks, then Disney transportation will do the job.

crisi
05-08-2004, 05:26 PM
And even then, there are plenty of cabs.

It really comes down to personal preference. Some people hate to drive. Others think ten minutes waiting at a bus stop and then standing on a bus is their personal purgatory. Plenty of folks combo it - rent a car and leave it parked except when doing other resorts - or maybe going out to AK or something.

You can't even make blanket statements like "a rental car is always more expensive" as some incredible deals have been had on rental cars, or "a rental car is always faster" as, if you have a charmed trip, you could find the bus always there when you get out to the bus stop - which is almost always closer than where you'd park your car, and the dropoff point is almost always closer as well.

MiaSRN62
05-08-2004, 06:05 PM
Others think ten minutes waiting at a bus stop and then standing on a bus is their personal purgatory.

This cracked me up :D
For me, 10 min is fine......it's the experiences I've had where I've waited 30-50+ minutes (i.e. from WL to MGM.....from PO Riverside to MK.....etc), just to name a few, over the years. One year ('98), my dd was so sick while at MGM with a high fever and ear ache. We were staying at (then) Dixie Landings, and waited 35 min for the bus from the park back to the resort so we could get her to bed. By the time it was all over, we were back in our room 1 hr and 10 min later from when we first began waiting for the Dixie bus outside MGM Studios. It was a horrible experience with a sick, crying 5 year old. :sad: Had we had our car, we would have been back to Dixie Landings in 20 minutes.
Lately, we use our car at least 50% of the time if not more because we have experienced first hand how inconsistant Disney transportation can be. When it's good...it's very good, but when it's bad.................
Just my personal insight & I'm sure many will disagree. I think it all depends on each individual's personal experiences. :wave2:

fairytinkerbell
05-08-2004, 10:01 PM
Otherwise it's $20-30 each way (i called a local taxi co. in orlando)
by the time ur done w/ a few trips u could have rented a car and go wherever u want 24/7.

Plus it's faster than relying on disn. trans:hyper:

crisi
05-09-2004, 08:58 AM
I've taken a LOT of cabs at Disney and have never had more than a $15 fare after tip one way. Most trips from the BW were between $10-$15 (MK, AK, BB, GF, AKL).

I believe the bell station can give you a chart of expected cab fare from place to place.

(Mia, we've had a couple of LONG waits, too. And they aren't fun. In fact, watching a bus pull away from the stop as we got there and knowing that the next one was twenty minutes away when we had a schedule - dinner reservations - started us on our cab trips).

DisneyChris
05-12-2004, 11:40 AM
I think that the issue about renting vs not renting has more to do with the kind of holiday you want.

If you don't expect to get out of WDW, then there is no need to have a car, WDW transportation and the odd taxis would be sufficient.

However, we do rent since we usually stay about 10-12 days at WDW, and while we do not use the car when going to WDW parks (4-5 days), we want to go to US and IOA, spend a day or two shopping and touring, go out at night for supper on Int'l Drive, getting groceries, etc, and I think that, if we are not having a car, this would be more difficult, and certainly less enjoyable.

As far as cost, our rental in October will cost us $251 for 11 days.

DisneyChris

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