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Old 07-24-2013, 12:37 PM   #1
JayhawkFans
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Rental Car Dilemma

I have everything booked for our trip in September except for ground transportation. We have vacationed in Orlando many times and have always had a rental car but I'm wondering what makes the most sense financially and realistically for this trip. We are a party of just 3 .. 2 adults and 1 child (age 11)

We are flying into MCO on Sunday, 9/22 and spending a few days in Orlando prior to the cruise on Thursday 9/26. We return from the cruise on Sunday 9/30 and will then stay in Orlando until Tuesday morning, 10/1.

We HAVE to have a car pre-cruise because we are staying at Wyndham Bonnet Creek and doing both Universal Studios and Disney parks.

Dilemma is when to return the car & where? Do we return to MCO and take DCL to port; return at port and take shuttle from car company to ship; park in off port parking for duration of cruise; aaugh .. I can't figure out what makes the most sense.

This is our first cruise so we "think" we have to be at the port a.s.a.p. to get every minute that we can on the ship. We have an 11:00 a.m. port arrival time. Post cruise we are staying at POP Century and doing just MNSSHP on Sunday and Epcot on Monday so I'm thinking maybe we can get by w/out a car and just use Disney transportation post cruise (not crazy about leaving at 4:30 a.m. to get to the airport).

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:43 PM   #2
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Two one-way rentals make the most sense (unless you price one rental out for the entire time and it is a better deal). Why pay car rental AND transfer price.

Rent from MCO and return to the port area. Pick up another rental when you get off the ship and return to MCO. No parking fees involved at the port.

Price out a few scenarios and see what works best for your family.

Car rental agencies at the port are:

Avis, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty/Dollar, Alamo/Enterprise. all have shuttles to the port from their rental office.

There are actually a few threads on transportation options on the board today..check those out as well for some ideas. If you feel you don't need a car at WDW then take the DCL transfers from ship to WDW. DCL transfers are $35 pp each way. Then you would just take Magical Express from WDW back to MCO at the end of your stay.

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Old 07-24-2013, 12:43 PM   #3
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Im not an expert, but I think if you rely on DCL transport, they take you when they take you. I personally vote for renting your car for as long as you want in MCO and then dropping it off at the port and the shuttle is VERY quick to the dock. If you can DCL transport back from the cruise to your WDW resort, you won't really need a car after that. But you may be able to rent a car again from there if you need to.

You do want to get on that ship asap. We let the time go on our last one and didn't end up boarding til 2:30. Will NOT be stopping for breakfast at IHOP ever again prior to boarding...
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:51 PM   #4
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Also check out the cost to rent the car for you whole stay, including parking either at the port or nearby.

I have sometimes found that it has been cheaper to rent a car for the whole time and pay for parking than to do two one way rentals. Parking at the port may be a bit more expensive than parking offsite, but it is way more convenient. I have done both ways and would prefer to park at the port if the cost is not too much more.

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Old 07-24-2013, 12:55 PM   #5
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We are renting a car from National Car from the airport at MCO using it for a stay at Bay Lake @Contemporary for a few days before our Disney Dream Cruise. We will return it to National Car Rental in Port Canaveral a few miles from the Cruise Ship. National Car has a free shuttle to take us to the ship. When we get back from our cruise we will take a shuttle to National Car rental in port Canaveral and re-rent a vehicle for just the next day to take us to Kidani Animal Kingdom lodge. My husband will return the car to the National Car Care Center right on Disney property. They too offer a free shuttle service to Disney Resorts or Theme Parks. It saved us hundreds of dollars since there are 9 of us. Hope this is helpful...?
http://www.mousesavers.com/how-to-re...-disney-world/
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:09 PM   #6
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If you return the car in Port Canaveral, you can drop the family and luggage off at the port, just pull up in front of the port and the porters will take the luggage from your car. then return the rental car by yourself. This will make it easier to catch the shuttle back (one seat vs. 3) and you won't have to move the luggage twice. Just be sure to have all the luggage tags on your bags when you pull up, have a day bag to keep with you with passports, bathing suites, sunscreen. Make sure the person checking in has this stuff, all you will need when you return is a drivers licence to enter the building.
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:20 PM   #7
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Definitely check through different scenarios - I checked many different ways and found that doing two one way rentals was going to cost over $100 more after taxes/fees/drop off charges (just to return to a different port cost about $90 each time). It made more sense for us to have the car sit in a parking lot without being used then to return it and re-rent after the cruise or take the Disney bus. Also, keep checking those car rental rates - ours went down $210 3 weeks after I first booked it and was able to update our reservation with the better price.
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajgardner View Post
Definitely check through different scenarios - I checked many different ways and found that doing two one way rentals was going to cost over $100 more after taxes/fees/drop off charges (just to return to a different port cost about $90 each time). It made more sense for us to have the car sit in a parking lot without being used then to return it and re-rent after the cruise or take the Disney bus. Also, keep checking those car rental rates - ours went down $210 3 weeks after I first booked it and was able to update our reservation with the better price.
I agree!

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Old 07-24-2013, 01:31 PM   #9
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It all depends...

We had a very similar situation to that a few years ago. What worked out for us was an MCO-MCO car rental and we paid for parking at the port. In our case, even with paying for parking, it was less expensive to do that than an MCO to port rental, then a port to MCO rental. Another cool thing about doing that is that you can leave junk (i.e. dirty laundry and WDW souvenirs) that you don't need for the cruise in the trunk of the car while you cruise.

Some have also had success doing a "stay and park" at one of several hotels near the port.

One thing that makes this a little difficult to plan is that usually the good car rental discounts don't show up until a week or two before you leave, which makes it harder to figure things out, and more likely the MCO-MCO rentals will show the biggest drops than one-way rentals.
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:39 PM   #10
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I'll second the suggestion to price out all the options. We actually found on one of our cruise/wdw trips it was more economical to rent a car for the entire time rather than two separate rentals before/after the cruise. We stayed at a hotel near the port (Residence Inn) the night before the cruise on a park and cruise rate that was only about $10 more than the regular hotel price.
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:55 PM   #11
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What other ID aside from a drivers licence would people think were suitable to gain terminal entry. My father, along with me, has been tasked to return a hire car and his drivers licence was issued in the UK before there was a requirement to have a photograph on it
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:03 PM   #12
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What other ID aside from a drivers licence would people think were suitable to gain terminal entry. My father, along with me, has been tasked to return a hire car and his drivers licence was issued in the UK before there was a requirement to have a photograph on it
His passport would do the trick.
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:09 PM   #13
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That would be in the terminal already with the rest of the group checking in. Didn't mention that sorry
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Old 07-24-2013, 03:12 PM   #14
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For us it was a lot cheaper to rent a car for the entire trip instead of paying for 2 one ways

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Old 07-24-2013, 08:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
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It all depends...
. Another cool thing about doing that is that you can leave junk (i.e. dirty laundry and WDW souvenirs) that you don't need for the cruise in the trunk of the car while you cruise.

.
Oh my goodness! That is genius - I didn't even think of that when deciding if we wanted to rent!
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