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Old 10-04-2011, 03:41 AM   #1
HannahBanana84
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Talking Car Hire, Public Transport and getting around

Hi there,

I'm completely new to this forum so forgive me if I've posted a thread that already exists.

I am planning a visit to Orlando, Florida for Nov 2012 with my parents and we have agreed on the Port Orleans Riverside accommodation and we are trying to plan ahead. We want to avoid car hire with staying on site, but we will not be spending all of our time at Walt Disney World. Breaking it down we are looking at the following:
  • 3 days at Universal Studios (not necessarily one day after the other)
  • 1 day at Busch Gardens
  • 1 day at Discovery Cove
  • 1 day at Kennedy Space Centre
  • 1 day at Florida Mall
That leaves us with 7 days to explore the Walt Disney World Resort. What I want to know about is public transport and getting to these areas without hiring a car. Now last time we were in Florida was back in 2004, we were staying in Kissimee and therefore needed a car. This time we're thinking that staying on site will mean we don't need one. What I'm asking is how convenient is the public transport, how much time do we need to allow for travelling to the different areas mentioned, reliability, cost, how often buses run etc. We were thinking of taking a taxi on the odd day but are they very expensive? I'm trying to do my research as much in advance as I can so we can draw up our itinerary.

A day trip to the Kennedy Space Centre for example, can that be booked through your hotel and is there an option for collection from the Resort. Having never stayed on site before I'm not 100% sure. It's just the 3 of us, no children (apart from me, a big child lol) so we should be able to navigate things easy enough.

I'd really appreciate any help you can offer. I know Walt Disney World is a huge resort so if I can plan ahead as much as I can it would be great.

Really appreciate all your help and time and please share past experiences. It's been 7 years almost since we were there last so we're not too sure how much things have changed.

Thanks
~ Hannah
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Old 10-04-2011, 04:37 AM   #2
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Getting around WDW from POR will be very easy with the busses. They are clearly labeled.

Someone else might have better info on going to Kennedy without renting a car, but I'm pretty sure you can get a bus trip there. I have no idea what it would cost.

As far as Universal goes I would recommend staying at least 1 night on Universal property. The Front of the Line Pass is absolutely worth it.

Happy Planning. Try not to get too overwhelmed.
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Old 10-04-2011, 06:05 AM   #3
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With 3 of you- unless you really dislike driving or are not allowed to legally I would say renting a car is your best bet for going to all of those places especially if you are planning on going from a Disney resort. Kenedy Space Center is about 1.5 hours from Disney (we have relatives that live and work out that way).

Day trips to these places can probably be booked through some offsite hotels but I have never seen them booked through Disney hotels. I would have to say I couldn't imagine a bus tripo to Kenedy Space Center either being very very long as you stop at every hotel in Orlando or more than $40 a person for transporation alone.
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Old 10-04-2011, 06:14 AM   #4
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Welcome.

Ready for some info? First of all your post might get moved because you posted in the DVC (Disney Vacation Club) section which doesn't have anything to do with your questions.

Take a look at all of the forums, there is one for transportation.

IMO you are trying to do too much in one trip and I would never attempt your schedule. Your group will be tired and the events will all run together. We enjoy talking our time and smelling the roses, not running from place to place.

I suggest a car rental for the non Disney portion of your vacation and maybe for the Disney portion also. Disney transportation will get you where you need to go but you will spend time waiting in line and the transportation makes several stops. Getting from your resort to a park can take 2 hours out of your day.

Good luck and have a wonderful vacation.

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Old 10-04-2011, 01:47 PM   #5
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I think your trip would be more relaxing if you got a rental car. Since you want to go to a lot of places, with a car you can come and go as you please.. Busses would have schedules to follow, and not miss! and I haven't a clue about them.

Having a car to get around WDW would make it easier too. You can go to a restaurant without making transfers, and you can park hop easier.

I would never consider what you have planned without a rental car.
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Old 10-04-2011, 01:55 PM   #6
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Just a guess ... but the OP's traveling party might not be entirely comfortable driving on the right side of the road? I know I try to avoid left-hand driving altogether in UK but have been "ok" in the AU outback.

OP: Taxi might be best for the Universal trips ... and I'm sure you'll be able to find a day-trip company for the Kennedy Space Center with round-trip service from Orlando area.
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:05 PM   #7
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Port Orleans Riverside has several bus stops-at least three I think which make it frustrating at times because their buses are also used at Port Orleans French Quater. Coronado Springs is another Moderate resort that is so large it has 2-3 stops. You have to also realize that when you take a bus to the park--especially Magic Kingdom you get dropped of at the gate. If you are in a car, then you park, take a tram to the monorail or ferry and then those take you into the MK gate. Driving is a bit more convienent to the other parks. Each time you take a bus, the time can vary..you can walk out and step right on, sometimes you have to wait. I have stayed at all three types of resorts and can count on two hands at having to wait over 30 minutes--if that much. It happens but then it can be great too. In 12 trips to WDW we have driven our car once, ONCE, to a dinner at a resort. We still have time to do what we want.

I would stay at Universal for those days, then do a couple of nights elsewhere, then go to Disney. I would do the Fl Mall while at WDW. You can take a Lynx bus from the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) or Downtown Disney #111. The DTD bus picks you up across the street from the Marketplace DTD Entrance. There will be a couple of stops but you can find the info on Orlando's Public Transportation by looking up Lynx. There is also an APP for IPhone if that would help. I have heard that the #50 will get you to Seaworld and International Drive from from DTD and TTC. So you may want to stay on WDW property but get to DTD or TTC and take those buses for day trips.

I hope this helps a little.

I think it would take about 45-1hour to take the bus to these locations.
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:10 PM   #8
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If you do decide on a car service for say the Kennedy Space Center. I would use TIffany Towncars--it is the only service DH and I have ever used. Mark and Waseem are very nice friendly drivers and you can request them.

(no I do not work for Tiffany--just like their service a lot and will be using them in 4 weeks). They also have a website and can maybe give you more info.
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HannahBanana84 View Post
  • 3 days at Universal Studios (not necessarily one day after the other)
  • 1 day at Busch Gardens
  • 1 day at Discovery Cove
  • 1 day at Kennedy Space Centre
  • 1 day at Florida Mall
With this itinerary, staying on site at WDW isn't going to help much. Disney provides no transportation to anything off-site except Orlando International Airport and Port Canaveral (for those booked on Disney cruises). They will not help you book any excursions off-site.

Orlando's public transportation system (Lynx) will likely get you to Universal, Discovery Cove, and the Florida Mall, and it will be cheap, but it will not be easy or fast. They will not pick up at your resort. I believe there's a Lynx bus stop up at the Ticket and Transportation Center, you'll need to get there on your own (bus from your resort to MK, then monorail or ferry to TTC. I assume you'll need to transfer at least once for each of these.

Personally, I wouldn't consider using Lynx to get anywhere. Your other options for FL Mall would be cab (roughly $35 each way, not including tip), or rental car. For US and DC, you could do a cab ($20-$30 each way), or use a transportation company like Mears. They will pick up at your resort.

I believe Mears also provides service to Kennedy Space Center and Busch Gardens in Tampa. Be aware that KSC is on the east coast of FL, about 70 miles (90 min) from Disney, and Busch is on the west coast of FL, also about 70 miles/90 min from Disney.

When you add up the cost of all of the transportation you'll need, I believe you'll find renting a car to be much, much more cost effective. You won't need it for the 7 days you'll be spending at WDW, but for all of your off-site days, it's the best way to go.
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:12 PM   #10
ToddyLu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynne M View Post
With this itinerary, staying on site at WDW isn't going to help much. Disney provides no transportation to anything off-site except Orlando International Airport and Port Canaveral (for those booked on Disney cruises). They will not help you book any excursions off-site.

Orlando's public transportation system (Lynx) will likely get you to Universal, Discovery Cove, and the Florida Mall, and it will be cheap, but it will not be easy or fast. They will not pick up at your resort. I believe there's a Lynx bus stop up at the Ticket and Transportation Center, you'll need to get there on your own (bus from your resort to MK, then monorail or ferry to TTC. I assume you'll need to transfer at least once for each of these.

Personally, I wouldn't consider using Lynx to get anywhere. Your other options for FL Mall would be cab (roughly $35 each way, not including tip), or rental car. For US and DC, you could do a cab ($20-$30 each way), or use a transportation company like Mears. They will pick up at your resort.

I believe Mears also provides service to Kennedy Space Center and Busch Gardens in Tampa. Be aware that KSC is on the east coast of FL, about 70 miles (90 min) from Disney, and Busch is on the west coast of FL, also about 70 miles/90 min from Disney.

When you add up the cost of all of the transportation you'll need, I believe you'll find renting a car to be much, much more cost effective. You won't need it for the 7 days you'll be spending at WDW, but for all of your off-site days, it's the best way to go.
I also agree with this advice. I think this type of info is what the OP needed.
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