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Old 02-26-2013, 10:38 AM   #1
just teachin
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need first timer advice: rent a car or not?

Here's our background story:

1. First timers staying at AoA (LM section - i.e. fairly long walks from bus) during the first week of June.
2. Have park hoppers, and will travel back to AoA for rest and/or park hop most of our 8 days.
3. Will be travelling out to Kennedy Space Center/Titusville for 2+ days at the end of our Disney trip, and have already booked a rental from MCO for those days.
4. DH does NOT do well with feeling lost (but I do have an iPhone with navigation).
5. DH does not necessarily do well with unknown wait times either...
6. Most of our meals will be at the park we're at. Have one at 'Ohana, but that's after some time at DTD.

I guess I'm panicking after having read somewhere to plan on one hour every time you use Disney transportation... that seems excessive to me. (Maybe to get from AoA to MK... but from AoA to Epcot or AK?

I love the idea of ME taking my luggage and me not having to deal with it. I love the idea of not having to stress on the roads between places. I don't love the idea of being at the mercy of a bus schedule/crowding...

The car we've booked for after our Disney trip is $130. Right now to book for Disney and the coastal days would be $375. I'm thinking about booking it, and then sometimes using the car and sometimes using buses.

Anyone have some advice for me? I'd appreciate it!!
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:17 AM   #2
just teachin
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Just to add to the dilemma, I found a new rental rate of $300 for the whole trip...
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:25 AM   #3
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We like getting a car. It is so much easier for us. I know alot of people don't want to drive at all but for us it was easy to get around
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:38 AM   #4
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Whether to rent or not is up to you, and you've already mentioned most of the pros and cons of each option.

However, I would add that you can rent a car at WDW, such as at the Car Care Center, the Dolphin resort, and I think some other places near Downtown Disney. If you stick with your plan to only rent a car a couple of days at the end of your trip, I'd definitely rent from the Dolphin or CCC rather than MCO. If you decide to rent a car for the duration of the vacation, I'd rent from MCO.

We normally drive rather than fly, so renting is not something we need to do. But I have to admit, it is nice to have a car with us as an option when we just don't feel like being at the mercy of Disney's sometimes not-too-speedy buses. But if we can ride a boat or monorail somewhere, we normally choose that over driving, as well as almost never driving to MK, which means parking at the TTC, then taking the tram, then taking a monorail or ferry to the park. Driving to other parks is much simpler.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:38 AM   #5
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Never used a car in 47 trips, to us just an added expense...

What's the hurry, paying for a rental saves what, 10 minutes plus the headache of parking, accidents and getting out of the lots with a bunch of others that have no clue how....no thanks!

Disney transportation has suited us fine over all the years and trips!
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:40 AM   #6
just teachin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grimley1968 View Post

However, I would add that you can rent a car at WDW, such as at the Car Care Center, the Dolphin resort, and I think some other places near Downtown Disney. If you stick with your plan to only rent a car a couple of days at the end of your trip, I'd definitely rent from the Dolphin or CCC rather than MCO. If you decide to rent a car for the duration of the vacation, I'd rent from MCO.
Thanks for the tip to look into that option-- but how would I get from WDW to the airport once I return the car? (Or can I just return it to MCO after getting it at WDW?)

Thanks!
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by just teachin View Post
Thanks for the tip to look into that option-- but how would I get from WDW to the airport once I return the car? (Or can I just return it to MCO after getting it at WDW?)

Thanks!
You can use Magical Express to get back to MCO, even after renting and returning a car, if you want. You could forgo ME and do a one-way car rental, picking up at Dolphin or wherever and returning to MCO. But this is normally WAY more expensive than renting/returning at the same location.
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:00 PM   #8
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I was a firsttimer in 2010, we rented a car and didn't regret it one little bit. We've since rented on the next two trips. This last trip we rented only part of the time, and regretted the days we left the car in the parking lot at the resort (or didn't have the car).

I'm a definite renter. I don't do well with waiting at bus stops before or after my day in the parks. I have NO problem driving the roads to and from MCO, driving the roads inside of WDW, in parking, or any of that. It's so well marked that even if you miss your exit, especially with the iphone Maps application (or better an ipad b/c it's bigger), you'll eventually see another sign telling you how to get back. We take 417 from and to the airport and have had NO problems whatsoever. Bring some quarters and some dollar bills, have the navigator tell the driver to get off to the right for the tolls, and it's no big deal at all.
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:17 PM   #9
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I'm currently staying at Pop, so travel times to/from are the same as from AOA.

By far the longest ride is Magic Kingdom, but if you drove you would have to park at the TTC and monorail or ferry your way to the gates.

Also, consider the cost of fuel. We also normally do 8 day trips, with hopping and breaks. It normally adds a full tank of gas onto our costs.

I'm posting this from the bus. We had a 6 minute wait for the bus at DHS, and it was a 7 minute bus ride.

Save the money and the frustration and take the bus.
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:32 PM   #10
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I work on an ambulance for 12 hours a day so I really enjoy the buses. Ok, "enjoy" is not the most appropriate term...I "prefer" the buses. For me, it is so much more relaxing to just get on the bus, sit (or stand) back and let someone else worry about the traffic. I don't have to worry about reading the signs, diving across four lanes to get to my exit or slamming on the brakes when someone else does. Sure, it might take longer than driving myself and I don't have a lot of control, but that's OK with me. I am on vacation and I am more than willing to leave the driving to someone else. For me, the cost of a rental car is not worth the benefit it would provide me. I have rented a car in the past ($77 total for 8 days so I couldn't turn it down!) and sometimes we drive instead of fly, so I have been to WDW with a vehicle. Even when we have a car, we still use the DTS 75% of the time, or more. Every person is different so the decision to rent a car is really a personal choice.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:47 PM   #11
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Allowing 1 hour is not excessive! We did an experiment last year. DH took the rental car back to the resort and I took the bus. He was waiting 53 minutes for me to arrive. I then took the bus to Epcot from SSR and this time it took me 47 minutes to meet up with my DH. So When they say to a lot for an 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes to get from one point to another its true.

So if you go to two places a day or two roundtrips on a bus you could be wasting 3 1/2 to 4 hours taking a bus.

Driving is so much faster.

Why are you go back to the airport to rent a car? That is a waste of time when there are several rental locations onsite at Disney - Alamo has two onsite locations. There are many rental locations across the street from DTD - Avis at the Hilton hotel, Dollar at the Wyndham, Alamo at the Holiday Inn.

When is your trip? The best rental car rates can be found 7-10 days before your trip. I always book my car the Tues before we leave because that is when the rental companies release the last minute car specials and in the last 5 trips and the most recent trip was two weeks ago, we have taken I have paid just under $100 for a mid size rental with Alamo.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:44 PM   #12
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It really is a personal choice for each family. We always rent a car, never would consider not renting a car. We don't like Disney transportation. Plus like to travel to the other resorts to visit, eat and shop. For us the cost is worth the time we save and is a total convenience. For others driving is nerve wracking, costly and inconvenient.

If you are comfortable with the rate you can find and don't mind spending the additional money you may at least want to give it a try so you will know for certain which option works best for your family.

Good luck!
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