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Old 05-03-2013, 02:43 AM   #1
Sam1
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Is a car necessary?

We're staying offsite and would prefer not to have a car, purely because we just want a break from driving. If it's really necessary we'll have to rethink it though.

We're splitting our stay between the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress and the Hilton at Bonnet Creek. We're planning on doing just Disney and Universal. Both hotels have Disney, Universal and shopping outlet transport, although the Hyatt isn't that regular (just the morning and early evening). We plan to eat onsite, at the crossroads, or at the hotels. We'd more than likely go to the parks once a day and use Disney transport while there, so once we head back to the hotel that would be it for Disney.

I think we can walk to the crossroads for food from the Hyatt in the evening, but getting from the Hilton to anywhere would mean a taxi. On the plus side, the Hilton has better transport so we could possibly go back to the parks to eat.

We don't mind getting a taxi and assume they won't be overly expensive because we wouldn't be going that far. I might be wrong though. It's not so much a cost thing though, I think we'd prefer to pay a bit more to not have a car. I know we'll lose some of the convenience of having a car, but would it be that bad based on what we plan to do?
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:31 AM   #2
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For us 100% yes for others no.

Hotel transport needs to be checked for times, some only have 2 buses a day there and 2 back. many only drop at Epcot then you have to get to each park from there. So check what sort of service you get, I know someone who stayed a couple of years ago on Idrive, used Lynx bus and took upto 2 hours each way, they did it twice and used taxis after that. Others have no problems.

Convenience, I want to be able to nip to Walgreens for a bottle of vodka, Walmart for cheap Coke, snacks, visit the outlets 2 or 3 times etc.

We are now planning August, a trip to St Petes, a day at Cocoa/Port Canaveral, meals at Cheesecake factory & Mannys, visit friends at Hunters Creek, we just couldn't be tied without a car.

A trip can be done without a car but that's not our kind of holiday, others do car free holidays no problem, your choice.
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:55 AM   #3
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Our first trip was for my 21 st so we couldnt have a car but hired one while we were there and im so glad we did, im the on,y drive but its so nice to just pop where ever we want. I would never go without a car now as you are very restricted i feel without it
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:57 AM   #4
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If you need a break from driving, you'll get a break from driving, even if you rent a car.
Driving in Florida is so much different than driving in France or in the UK.

Is a car necessary ? : if you're staying onsite and intend to strictly remain in the "Disney Bubble", then the answer is no. You can manage with Disney Transportation

If you're staying onsite but intend to go shopping, visiting other theme parks, or eating offsite, then you'll probably realise that it will be cheaper and faster to rent than to rely on Lynx and Taxis.
You can do without, but renting a car is so much more convinient.

If you're staying offsite, then the answer is most definitely Yes.
Even staying on Hotel Plaza Boulevard, can you picture yourself walking for half an hour each way to go to crossroads after a full day (10 to 15 miles) in the parks ?
First day you'd be happy to
Second day you'd complain about it half of the way through
Third day you'd order pizza off Domino's
Fourth day you'd be picking up a car at the car care center


you can do without a car, but only if you stick to the Disney transportation and if you're willing to accept the downsides of this kind of transportation. A quick trip offsite is possible, but can take a lot of time (bus) or a lot of money (taxi)
If you're planning on more than a quick trip offsite, you need a car. Simple as that.
As you live in France, let me just remind you about this one figure : Disney Property is as large a the city of Paris.
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:14 AM   #5
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Others have already said it - yes you can manage in Orlando without a car however life will much easier with a car.

A taxi from either hotel to universal will set you back around $30 each way - Disney depending which park anything from $10-$20.

We also wouldn't be without a car. We always have a least one day out at the beach. We like to go to Celebration and meet friends. Pop to the shops when we want. All would be possible without but either very expensive or very restricted - not my kind of holiday.

I prefer driving in the US and don't find it stressful - I would get more stressed waiting for or trying to be on time for transport.
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:18 AM   #6
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We stayed onsite 7 times without a car and look back thinking how did we manage? Last few times we've had the car and as others said, gives you freedom to pop to Walmart, outlets whenever you feel like it x
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:23 AM   #7
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I don't drive so had to do no car. I found that taxis are expensive though. They will soon add up if your doing them regularly. We spent $60 just getting to walmart and back!! Not worth it!

I am looking forward to having a car next trip. (my partner drives)
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:45 AM   #8
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I would never do an offsite trip without a car. We use it to get to the restaurants we love, the supermarket, the malls, Universal and Disney. If we stay onsite I have considered it but always get a car so we can still do the supermarket and some offsite restaurants. i would hate to do Orlando without a car
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:04 AM   #9
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As I'm sure you will have already realised, you will get differing response and opinions.

A car is not necessary - as you say, you will be able to get around using hotel shuttles, buses and taxis. However, a car is (possibly) cheaper and much more convenient.

This year will be our 11th trip. Our first 3 were offsite (International Drive) wihtout a car. We didn't do Disney very much at all as it was just so inconvenient. We had been 3 times before we even saw any fireworks at Disney or experienced an evening in the parks. Even on our 3rd visit, when we had hourly shuttles from our hotel to the parks and back, it was just so much of a trek from I-Drive, we couldn't be bothered to actually go back in the evening. At the end of that 3rd trip, we ended up booking a night at Pop Century because we wanted to go to MNSSHP but would have had to get a taxi back to the hotel as the shuttles didn't run that late.

Since then, we have always had a car and find it so much easier. We have the option of being able to drive anywhere we want; to eat, to shop, theme parks (although we always use Disney transport if staying onsite), to explore the local area.

For us, it isn't about a car being necessary, more about the freedom it offers us, not having to be restricted to bus/shuttle times or the expense of taxis. As chmurf says, driving over there is not the chore that it is here - with all the rental cars being automatic, they are actually a lot easier to drive and there (generally) aren't the traffic issues we have here.

So, in answer to your question, having waffled on quite a bit. No, a car is not necessary. However, you will have a very different (and possibly more relaxing) holiday WITH a car than you would without.

Last edited by wilma-bride; 05-03-2013 at 06:13 AM.
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:30 AM   #10
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Thank you so much for all the replies, it's really helpful.

If we booked a car, how much approximately should we be aiming to pay for two weeks? We've booked the holiday though Virgin Holidays, doing a quick quote on their website a basic car comes in at under £300. It seems very cheap for two weeks, including insurance, so I'm thinking there's a catch. I know when we booked the holiday a free car was offered, but then you were forced to pay high extras and it wasn't free at all.
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam1 View Post
Thank you so much for all the replies, it's really helpful.

If we booked a car, how much approximately should we be aiming to pay for two weeks? We've booked the holiday though Virgin Holidays, doing a quick quote on their website a basic car comes in at under £300. It seems very cheap for two weeks, including insurance, so I'm thinking there's a catch. I know when we booked the holiday a free car was offered, but then you were forced to pay high extras and it wasn't free at all.
All depends on size of car and offers around when you book. Its all about booking at the right time. To give you an example of difference last month we had a 7 seater full size SUV, cost me £230 inclusive with Hertz(booked in sale last Nov), for our next trip in August same car, again 14 nights they want £889

I just did a dummy booking for last 2 weeks in Oct for cheapest car to give you an idea of the price you should be paying, it came to £185 fully inclusive. £48 more if you want to add extra drivers and a tank of gas.
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  • 2010(Easter) Hampton Inn LBV 2010(Aug) Royal Pacific & OKW 2011(Feb)H.I. Express LBV 2011(Aug)OKW, Disney Dream, HI DTD
  • 2011(Oct) Fairfield Inn 2012(Aug) Fairfield Inn, OKW 2012(Nov) Fairfield Inn 2013(Apr) Fairfield Inn LBV 2013(Aug) Swan & ESA LBV 2013(Oct) ESA LBV
  • 2014(Jul) Hilton Garden Inn LBV 2014(Sept) Disney Magic 14nt WBTA, Wyndham Bonnet Creek
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
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All depends on size of car and offers around when you book. Its all about booking at the right time. To give you an example of difference last month we had a 7 seater full size SUV, cost me £230 inclusive with Hertz(booked in sale last Nov), for our next trip in August same car, again 14 nights they want £889

I just did a dummy booking for last 2 weeks in Oct for cheapest car to give you an idea of the price you should be paying, it came to £185 fully inclusive. £48 more if you want to add extra drivers and a tank of gas.
Is that with Hertz? I can't seem to get it as low as that on their website. We've had a quote with Virgin over the phone for £371 including a full tank and a car seat. That's another thing, I know people are funny about secondhand car seats, but ours is huge and heavy so I don't fancy bringing it all the way to Orlando. Surely they have to be a certain standard when you rent them? I'm scared to ask to be honest, but obviously I'd be more bothered about the safety and if it was better I'd have to bring our own. With a taxi that just wouldn't be possible, so I was going to be putting my trust in the car seat the taxi provided.
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:57 AM   #13
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We've never had a car in Orlando and it's always been fine. We get a taxi to Walmart and if we need any extra groceries we go to the Hess gas station at Downtown Disney. We get buses to SeaWorld, the malls and Universal (the latter also involves a 15 minute walk, which is pleasant enough). Easy peasy.
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam1 View Post
Is that with Hertz? I can't seem to get it as low as that on their website. We've had a quote with Virgin over the phone for £371 including a full tank and a car seat. That's another thing, I know people are funny about secondhand car seats, but ours is huge and heavy so I don't fancy bringing it all the way to Orlando. Surely they have to be a certain standard when you rent them? I'm scared to ask to be honest, but obviously I'd be more bothered about the safety and if it was better I'd have to bring our own. With a taxi that just wouldn't be possible, so I was going to be putting my trust in the car seat the taxi provided.
No, Hertz are too expensive just now.
It was thru this link which gives 15% off Alamo rentals
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/other...worldwide.html
It also included 12% cashback with Quidco but that might not be possible if you are in France.
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:52 AM   #15
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We take our cars seats, i have twins and we know they have ot been in accidents and that the girls sleep in them, they charge loads for car seats. Virgin give you bags to put them in too. Ours a britax first class ones
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