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Old 11-20-2012, 02:47 PM   #31
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i doubt that it usually takes that long. It happened to me one time - from the Dolphin. But that was just a one time issue.
It's never taken that long for me from AKL, which is my home resort - so II stay there more often than other places....and that's the one that's supposed to be farthest away from everything...
I don't think it's worth renting a car for me...but if I happened to have one with me, I might use it on some days. You can certainly play it by ear...see how things go on your first day.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:07 PM   #32
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I'll speak to the AAA parking pass. We stayed at POR last Oct near Halloween time. We always took the bus to MK and even to MK to the boat to FW to HDDR and it worked beautifully. One time going to MK in the afternoon we were the ONLY ones on the bus. Coming back from MK in the evenings would entail more of a wait because, well, the Wishes masses entail lots and lots of need for busses, as you can imagine. We drove to Epcot and AK. At AK the AAA diamond parking was right near handicap, close to the front entrance and convenient. However, I will say, we got there before park opening and most parking looked convenient at that point. The AAA parking at EPcot was awesome. We walked in with the CM's...again we parked early because we had and ADR for Akershus. This all said, the AAA diamond parking pass will get you a closer parking space, theoretically. However, if you get to parks early, you can park almost just as close in some of the regular spots. There are a limited number of AAA spaces. The pass comes with a package booked with a AAA agent. Some agencies may give you one even if you didn't book with them. Varies by location.

We fly into Tampa instead of Orlando. It is cheaper for us. We keep the car. Like having it. It was literally a breeze traveling to Epcot and AK in the car. It seemed like 10-15 minutes. We never had any problem driving. It was also a breeze taking the bus to MK from POR. I'd still, however, always get a car. That's just us. I get a great leisure rate as a benefit from work. It is worth it to us.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:13 PM   #33
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We always have a car so I can't really speak to the bus situation.
I do know that I loathe the transportation center!!! I do not like that experience of MK to transportation center to tram. Too many hops. Too crowded.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:35 PM   #34
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We've started driving the last couple trips. We have found there are some advantages. We went to breakfast at Chef Mickey's on our MK day. My wife took the kid to the park on the monorail from there while I took the car to the parking lot.

I didn't have to go through bag check, which was a win for me, but the express monorail line wasn't working yet, so I had to take the ferry, which I really didn't mind anyway, since the wife and daughter went straight to Merida M&G anywho.

Disadvantage was the next day when we went to EPCOT. Long walk back to the car, it was Saturday during F&W and we missed opening that morning, so that was to be expected. But we had an early morning BBB appointment, so we had to drive to DTD before going to the park.

Overall, we are probably going to continue to play the day by ear between the bus or car every morning. We'll have better data after our trip in May.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:53 PM   #35
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We've sometimes had a car with us, but when we did, it never moved out of the parking lot. (Although we always go during very low crowd weeks, ergo the buses and transportation is never mobbed.) The one time we were there with crowds, we still preferred to let Disney do the driving. We like the down time, being able to chat, being with other folks, playing with our DW apps, etc. I also like the feeling of checking in to the resort and not having to fuss over anything while I'm there, including driving.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:33 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by ItsNotMuchofaTail View Post
I wll not have a car when I am there next week, but my last 2 trips I had a car and didn't move it from the lot until the day we had to leave.

Different strokes for different folks of course, but I can't think of a situation where I would voluntarily get in my car and fight traffic when I could sit on a bus for "free." A bus that takes me closer to the gate than the parking lot.

I have stayed at ASM and CBR (both in the busy summer season) and used bus transportation over the car I already had there with no regrets. Sure, we waited a few minutes, and the night we stayed at MK for the light parade we waited through 3 rounds of pickups to get on. But I didn't have to find a place to park, find my car again later, and walk to the gate from area 51.

I can relax and chat with my DD on the bus. This time we are flying, but I didn't even consider renting a car. We never waited more than 10 minutes I don't think for a bus, and we had seats more often than not.

The only time we had trouble was traveling from MK to GF when the monorail went down. That wasn't even bus related. It made the lines at the boat launch unbelievably long and slow.
I agree with this. My friends and I have been to WDW six times, and never rented a car. I think it might depend on your circumstances about why you might want one. Do you plan to resort-hop a lot, or go from one of the parks directly to DTD? Then renting a car makes some sense. I guess I'm sort of a "go with the flow" type person. I prefer to hop on a bus and let someone else do the driving. I've never had to wait more than 10 or 15 minutes for a bus.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:36 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by epadisney View Post
Hi! My family is driving to Disney in March and staying at POR. I've been hearing that the bus service from this resort is not always the greatest...and to allow 60-90 minutes of travel time to the parks each morning. Really??? That seems crazy. For our last stay (POFQ), we loved the convenience of not having to drive anywhere during the week. But now I'm wondering, would we be better off taking our own car to the parks each morning?
OP, our first couple of years we stayed at POR and the poor bus service from there as we'll other Bus shortcomings is what made us switch to rental cars seven years ago. We've never looked back because having your own car is so much more convenient and faster than riding the buses. Drive the car everywhere including the MK. Plus don't forget when you have your own car you can purchase room provisions at regular store prices.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:01 AM   #38
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We are planning to rent a car next year. In previous years we rode the busses and I am tired of the wait. I hate having to leave the resort 1 1/2 hours before an ADR in order to make it on time. We were late to a few of them because we tried to leave 45 minutes instead of planning over an hour. Bad planning on our part but I just hate having to leave so early. If you walk up to the bus stop and the bus you need is just pulling away it usually means it will be another 20-30 minutes before the next bus even shows up. It is also tough with a stroller, especially the double stroller we had last time. Having to fold it up and lug it onto the bus was a huge pain, especially when the bus was already packed. We will still probably take the busses on some days but I want the car for the convenience factor.

Plus my DH is planning to meet up with a friend on one of the days so this will make it easier for them to get together.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:08 AM   #39
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We recently stayed at POFQ and we had long waiting times twice, once coming and once going. It took 35 minutes for a bus to arrive at the POFQ bus stop once morning and then of course travel time. We waited at DHS for a bus quite a while once too but I always have bad luck there when it comes to buses.

I dislike the buses personally. I'd much rather have a car and that is true even when we go to MK. I love the ferry boats.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:25 AM   #40
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I have relied on WDW buses the last few trips, but next time I will think seriously about renting a car for several reasons...

- Bus service to and from DTD is AWFUL. Let me repeat myself AWFUL. It makes it worse if you are going to DTD several times a trip which we always do.

- Bus rides back to the resort close to or at park closing are ridiculous. Jammed in like sardines, tired kids, tired parents, people angry because they have to stand, etc...

- Waiting for a bus in the blazing sun at value resorts is not fun when temps are warm. The only way this is better than mods or deluxe, is they have the queue versus free for all when bus arrives at mods or deluxes.

- While ME is nice, it is better to have my luggage with me when I get to my resort. The extra time needed to rent a car is negated by having to wait to get to your resort while they drop guests off at other resorts first(how come it always seems like my resort is last?).

These to me are the 4 negatives in terms of relying on bus transporation.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:37 AM   #41
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Bus rides back to the resort close to or at park closing are ridiculous. Jammed in like sardines, tired kids, tired parents, people angry because they have to stand, etc...
And don't forget that most folks are hot and stinky too at the end of a long day in the park! I'll take my own vehicle any day.

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Old 11-21-2012, 11:43 AM   #42
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We always ride the buses. We don't even touch our car while we're at Disney. We like it because it's like "getting away" from everything. Not having to drive a car around in traffic is nice.

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Old 11-21-2012, 11:50 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by jgh
We always ride the buses. We don't even touch our car while we're at Disney. We like it because it's like "getting away" from everything. Not having to drive a car around in traffic is nice.
Same for us. Yes they've been packed at times but overall we haven't had any bad experiences.
Always planning another trip......

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Old 11-21-2012, 12:50 PM   #44
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If you can afford a car, get one and use it.

If you cannot afford to rent a car, allow 60-90 minutes to travel from one place to another. It doesn't always take that long, but it can.

The only time I wouldn't take the car would be if I were going to the MK, leaving before closing and going immediately back to the room...but I rarely even bus in that event because I might want to stop for water or something.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:31 PM   #45
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My leisure time is too valuable to waste it using mass transit. This is true at home, but even more true while on vacation. Couple this with the fact that I don't mind driving at all, but don't like dealing with hoards of tired and occasionally inconsiderate other guests and the end result is that we always drive.

Even at Magic Kingdom, if you're staying until close you'll come out ahead in net transport time. Last year my wife road the bus back to the CBR resort with our 4 year old on 3 separate nights (because he wanted to ride the "Bus Ride"). Despite waiting for the ferry, then walking to our car, I beat them back to the hotel by over 35 minutes on two of those nights, and by over 20 minutes on the other.

While outside the direct comparison of bus vs car, having a car also made it easy and quick to resort hop for ADRs, run to Target for the various and sundry things needed over a two week period, and take a day trip to the beach.
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