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Old 09-07-2012, 05:35 AM   #31
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We always rent. If you do your homework, a rental car can be less than $200 for a week (sometimes less than $100). You can decide to take the bus or take the car. If we are going to parks early we always take the car, as we can park very close to front. If we are going to a park until closing we also take the car. Standing on long bus lines with tired kids to board a packed standing room only bus is not fun. We always have a comfortable seat in the car!

I also like to keep just in case items in the car, like raincoats and sweatshirts in case the weather prediction turns out wrong. We can keep our swimsuits and towels in the car so we can head to the water park in the afternoon after spending the morning in the theme park. We also like to get our mugs filled before leaving the resort, drink in the car on the way to the park and then we leave the mugs in the car and don't have to lug them around all day.

Having a car also make offsite trips easier. We like to head to the outlets to shop (especially the Disney outlet). If you need water or snacks it can be as easy as stopping off at the Hess station on Disney property. We can eat offsite for more options and better prices (we love Sweet Tomatoes). If you plan on going to any other offsite places, like Legoland, Universal Studios and Seaworld a rental car really makes sense.

Good luck with whatever you decide!
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:55 AM   #32
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Lots of people have already weighed in and as you can see if really depends on each family and what works best for them. We are in the rental car camp. We have always rented a car in WDW and for us it is the best option. We eat very often at other resorts. We visit all our favorite resorts as well. That alone is enough for us to rent a car. It will take about 15 minutes to get anywhere. When our kids were little that time was so valuable in terms of getting ready and out the door. We drive to all theme parks as well. We are RD people so always are at the front of the lot so there is no tram or too much walking involved. The MK can be a bit of a hassle and I know you said you didn't want to take a cab but when we go to MK we cab to the CR and then walk over to the MK. Since you have rented a car before you know what to expect, on site should be no differrent with a car.

Good luck and enjoy your trip!

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Old 09-07-2012, 08:26 AM   #33
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And full disclosure from me, this year I will have family that is driving down, so we will have a car AVAILABLE for the first time.. Not saying we will use it, but perhaps we'll do a run or two where they leave the room at the same time as I do and we'll see who hits the gate first.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:34 AM   #34
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We always rent a car. So on one occasion we did a test. We were at Epcot and when we left DH drove the rental car to SSR and I took the bus. Well as it turns out he waited for me at the resort for 40 minutes until I arrived! The bus was not crowded so I was able to get on the first bus that came but the fact that it took 40 minutes was more reason to have a rental car.

Plus if you need something from a store you have the freedom to drive off property.

From the airport to Disney we always stop at Super Target to get a case of water, pop, clorox wipes, snacks and breakfast items for the room. There is a Buffalo Wild Wings next to the Target so first we stop for lunch/dinner then pick up our Target items.

I would get a car if I were you. It will be so much easier especially since you have a 2yr old that will need to go back and take a nap.

The last 3 trips we have taken our mid size rental car for a week with Alamo was just under $100!!! We belong to the Alamo Insiders program - which is free to join- and Alamo offers their Insiders members better daily rates and higher coupon discounts than what is available to the general public.!!!
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:31 AM   #35
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Everyone should rent a car!

That means there will be more room on the bus for me, yes!

Personal preference, everyone has given you good advice. But there is no right or wrong answer to this question.
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:58 AM   #36
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Guess it's my turn.... We never rent or use a car... 47 trips so far and no regrets! I enjoy the feeling of walking with my hands in my pockets, no wallet and letting Disney take me away...

Take away from park time... Come on, we're in the parks hours on end, what an hour of travel do... Park my car and walk or tram to the park entrance ... Bus drops me close enough...

And for us, a rental is an unnecessary expense and a trip without a car is just as good if not better than one with one.... Personal preference!
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:04 AM   #37
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I think the 2 yr old

makes the difference. DD (adult) and I visit yearly and have never rented a car for our trips. Don't have any real horror stories. Parks at close can be trying but we don't mind waiting/standing for the most part.

This year, we took DGS who was 2 1/2 & had access to DD's car as she lives in Kissimmee now. I think, with a small child, having the car was a good idea. We didn't have to wait for a bus at the end of the day, could throw the stroller in the trunk & all get a seat. The only problem was the busses are cool as soon as you get on & the car was hot from sitting closed up in the parking lot!!! We did use the bus a few times and DGS was very excited to be on one!!
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:06 PM   #38
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You should be able to look on the Run Disney site to see which resorts will have buses for the 5k Race. Last year we stayed at OKW which was on the list and used the busses. A few things - you have to be on your bus almost 2 hours before the race starts, and at OKW, the bus for the race was not stopping at all stops, so you had to get to the HH.

I ended up using our car to drive our runners to the bus...Then I went back and got myself and DS ready and we drove our car to the race an hour later to be a spectator! Everyone piled in our van on the way home, but there was PLENTY of post race transportation to the resorts listed on their website as hosts.

We have done disney with and without a CAR. With one child - without a car, using the buses has been a breeze. There was one time when we opted for a cab with a carseat rental which was scary, but we were trying to get from POFQ to BC for a photoshoot with little time and minimal sweating, so it was the only choice...We have had very few bus waits that have been LONG...and this includes many trips home for naps in the middle of the day etc.

Having a car is also very convenient - and more so with the double stroller...but I dont enjoy lugging carseats (my 6 year old doesnt need one on the plane anymore, but we still have to take one for him to use the car) and having to buckle my kids into their carseats when they are whining about the hot car etc...

We also miss the ME movie on the way from the airport, and there has been at least 1 or 2 times every trip with a car where we have to take the kids on the bus because they want SOO badly to go on the bus! ha! So, we usually do that on MK days so it works out for everyone!

My sister and BIL rented at the car care center last year just for the weekend of the race. I think thats something you should consider - its easy to get to with complimentary transportation etc.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:59 PM   #39
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I thought choosing between where to lodge was most difficult, I guess not
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:43 PM   #40
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I think it really depends on when you go and where you stay. We stayed at the BWV last early December. We walked to EP and it was a quick bus to DHS. The longest bus rides were to MK and our breakfast at Chef Mickey's. Our son was 2.5 at the time and we never had any issues with him waiting or on the bus. He napped in his stroller, so we didn't have to bring him back to the resort during the day.

Then again, we are very much laid back kind of people and weren't on a tight schedule or on the go at all times. Except for our ADRs, we just went with the flow. If we got to the park a bit later than expected and missed a parade, so be it. Another one eventually rolls along, LOL.

My BIL and family also went with us and brought their car. They only times they used it was when they had to bring their daughter's electric wheelchair to the parks. Other times with her stroller, they just used the buses with us.
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:09 PM   #41
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I think for me one of the nicest parts about having a car available is that it takes some of the pressure to pack EVERYTHING we might possibly need. If I forget toothpaste, no biggy, we can run to Target. My packing list is now much shorter because I don't have to pack the "just in case" stuff because I don't have to worry about not having a way to get to a store. Last trip DD's curling iron broke, we avoided a major catastrophe by being able to run to Target
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