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Old 09-24-2012, 08:56 AM   #1
OhThePain
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WDW to Fort Lauderdale Timing

After a lot of back and forth between my fiancee and I, we are pretty sure that we will be spending a few days in WDW before heading down to Port Everglades for our honeymoon cruise. We will be renting a car from the Dolphin the night before we check out and plan on leaving WDW pretty early in the morning. From what I have heard and seen, the drive is roughly 3.5 hours, which is no big deal for me (I often spend many hours a day in traffic in the NYC/Bronx/Brooklyn/Queens/SI area). How bad does the traffic get on 91 on a weekday morning? Will it typically stay true to the 3.5 hour drive or is 4.5-5 hours more typical? While we have quite some time before this trip, we are just trying to get our planning in order.

If anyone else has rented a car from the Dolphin and dropped it off in Fort Lauderdale, where did you drop it off? It seems that the rental car center at the airport is the best bet. Is there a shuttle from there to the pier and if so how much is it and how often does it run?

TIA for any help!
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:18 PM   #2
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The drive to Fort Lauderdale can easily be done in 3 hours. If you stop anywhere along the way, such as to refill the car's gas tank, 3.5 hours.

You won't find State Road 91 anywhere but on a map. The road is signed only as "Florida's Turnpike". It is never congested in the Orlando area, even on a weekday morning. There can be congestion in parts of Palm Beach and Broward Counties but by the time you get there (late morning, noonish) that won't be the case. It will cost around $15 in tolls between Orlando and Fort Lauderdale (I-595). Some people leave the Turnpike at Fort Pierce or Stuart and hop over the adjoining I-95 to save money. Please note that as you depart the Orlando area, there is no interchange from TOLL 417 to the Turnpike. There is an interchange between TOLL 528 and the Turnpike.

Yes, drop the rental car at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. From there, you'll have to take a taxi to the port. But given that the airport and cruise port are less than 5 miles from each other, the cab fare won't be that much....certainly under $20 including tip. Just make sure that whoever you rent from at Disney has a location at FLL. There should not be a drop charge for rentals within Florida.

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Old 09-25-2012, 08:25 AM   #3
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Thank you King.

We figured we would probably leave the resort sometime between 6:30 and 7 in the morning. We would rather get there early than risk being late. We thought about leaving the night before and just getting a cheap hotel somewhere in the Fort Lauderdale area, but I convinced my fiancee that we would end up losing out on that whole last day, so we plan on getting our car the night before, so we can enjoy our final day there and head out early in the morning.

From what I have read from others is that getting on to I-95 is a big mistake and that we are better off just staying on the Turnpike. Do you agree?

It appears that both Alamo and National, who are both at the Dolphin, are part of the Rental Car Center at FLL, so that should not be an issue for us. I thought I had read about a shuttle that goes from the rental car area to the port, but if not there is no isse with taking a taxi. Between 5 nights in Disney and an 11 night cruise, what's another $20.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:37 AM   #4
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congrats

FLL is an easy to navigate airport with taxis plentiful to the port. We always go into ports a day or two prior (except for Port Canaveral where we do drive over in the am) so I can't comment on how easy it is to grab a taxi on busy port days.

We like to be among the 1st aboard to grab lunch and explore before our cabin is ready. You might want to check out cruise critic forums to check when your ship typically starts to board and def make sure to be there well before departure.
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keishashadow View Post
congrats

FLL is an easy to navigate airport with taxis plentiful to the port. We always go into ports a day or two prior (except for Port Canaveral where we do drive over in the am) so I can't comment on how easy it is to grab a taxi on busy port days.

We like to be among the 1st aboard to grab lunch and explore before our cabin is ready. You might want to check out cruise critic forums to check when your ship typically starts to board and def make sure to be there well before departure.
Thanks for the congrats. Good to know that the airport is easy to navigate (I'm used to JFK and LGA... not so much at first).

We are going to be on Princess and we'll be the only cruise ship in port that day from what it seems. I'm pretty sure the embarkation begins at about 12 or 12:30, once all the rooms are ready. I usually check out the CC boards a few times a day. They are like the cruise version of the DIS (lots of experienced memebers always willing to answer questions).
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:31 AM   #6
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:41 AM   #7
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If you can handle JFK/LGA then FLL will be a breeze!

Also, you are better off staying on the Turnpike then going on 95. This is a toll rode but it's worth it. You shouldn't have any problems and will take the Turnpike right to 95/595 for the airport. When I lived in Ft/ Lauderdale it took us 3 hours to get to Disney and that was a trip made often. You should be fine. There used to be shuttles for the taxi returns to port but I'm not sure they are still around. Even if not, the airport and port are pretty close in distance.

Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:29 AM   #8
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