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Is car hire worth it?

Discussion in 'UK Trip Planning Forum' started by tinkandonaldfans, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. tinkandonaldfans

    tinkandonaldfans DIS Veteran

    Jan 21, 2008
    We are planning a family xmas vacation for 2 weeks in 2015. We will be staying at the swan or dolphin and there will be 6 adults and one 4 year old! We have been 7 times and never once used a car! I'm sure we will be going to universal at least twice and as we won't be on a dining plan I'm sure a supermarket trip along with some off site restaurants would be included

    But just wonder whether it's worth the cost! Any extras to consider?
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  3. wayneg

    wayneg Moderator Moderator

    Jul 24, 2003
    To us 100% worth it, to others no.
    Unless we have free dining we eat every evening meal offsite, visit SeaWorld, Busch, Clearwater, Port Canaveral, Daytona, St Augustine, even driven as far up as Savannah, Georgia. We visit friends at Hunters Creek, drive down to Mannys Chophouse Haines City........ endless places.

    We have always said we wouldn't even goto Florida if we didn't have a car, it just wouldn't be the kind of holiday we would want but others never have a car and still enjoy.

    Your costs are the rental with insurance, tolls, gas & parking fees.
  4. luke

    luke Señor Mejor

    Mar 20, 2006
    You have to pay to park at the Swan and Dolphin too don't you? Which could wind up pretty expensive over a fortnight

  5. wayneg

    wayneg Moderator Moderator

    Jul 24, 2003
    Yes, cost us $15/day last August, didn't mind though for the rate I paid:rotfl2:
  6. Elise79

    Elise79 Moderator Moderator

    Aug 17, 2006
    We wouldn't be without a car either...

    Been here 3 days and already driven 400 miles :rolleyes1

    We have been to the beach, the mall, eaten offsite and supermarket shop so far.

    Still have another trip to the beach and a trip to KSC planned plus more meals offsite. Off to Celebration tonight to look at the Christmas lights :goodvibes
  7. flortlebap

    flortlebap Disneyiac!

    Nov 10, 2005
    For us, it's not worth it. We generally use cabs for 2/3 off site days and a couple of resort to resort journeys. We found that the cab cost worked out just less than the car hire cost, without the stress of driving and parking!

    That said, you have far more options and would get to see a lot more if you do have a car.
  8. stba2006

    stba2006 DIS Veteran

    Jun 25, 2008
    We have tried going and not using a car and it didn't work too well for us.

    We always go to universal, Busch Gardens, SeaWorld etc and shopping to at least one of the malls/outlets and maybe KSC.

    The time that we didn't use a car we stayed at AKL and we quietly spent a lot of time queuing and waiting for transport, plus the additional time for stops along the way.

    We just found that we didn't get as much done as we usual would do and said we would never not take a car again.

    That's was just our experience though and as I mentioned we do tend to go to many different places.
  9. queendisney

    queendisney DIS Veteran

    May 31, 2010
    we never hire a car. We are true Disney fans and spend most of our time on resort. When we visit Universal we just go by cab or get a mears transfer. Universal we jump on the Lynx bus for $2 each way. Shopping be it the Malls or Walmart etc. is the same, we use Lynx.
    It just depends what you want to get out of your holiday. We have absolutely no interest in driving miles every day, that's not a holiday to us.:goodvibes
  10. winniepie81

    winniepie81 Mouseketeer

    Mar 8, 2012
    We always hire a car. Really like the freedom and not have to worry about pick up times etc.
    We ve done the Busch gardens shuttle a couple of times but by the time you walk to the pick up point, wait for the bus and do a few more pick ups, it does seem to take forever.
    We do use cabs when we go out out to city walk or boardwalk etc and used I drive trolley a few times. Ok for the odd day but think it d get a bit tedious for 2 weeks.
    With or without a car you know you ll have the best time in orlando!
  11. Minniesgal

    Minniesgal DIS Veteran

    Mar 29, 2013
    The only time I would consider doing it without a car would be if I was staying on Disney property and doing nothing but ?Disney dining parks and resorts. As soon as you want to go off property it becomes worth it. For us we eat offsite as much as onsite as we enjoy it more we shop at Publix and Walmart, we go to the cinema and Universal so it is totally worth it to have a car
  12. gavvy

    gavvy DIS Veteran

    Apr 28, 2003
    When I lived in Orlando years ago doing the international programme I had no car and it was really hard - a simple trip to publix meant a long walk across a field through the premium outlets cross a road and into the Publix - Too heavy to carry stuff shopping back so had to get a Taxi - except as its a really short drive you basically had to bribe them to take you home.

    Now as a Tourist I really cant imagine being without a car- USA is not made for walking the sidewalks just stop and you can easilly end up in the road- even when you can walk its dangerous, its FL law to Yield on a crosswalk - I sware I'm the only guy that does!

    We like doing spontaneous stuff like popping to seaworld in morning IOA in afternoon and maybe Epcot for the fireworks- imagine doing that without a car, way too much hassle.

    Unless you are happy just being in the Disney bubble (and you are missing out if you do) then I would get a car.
  13. WiganTony

    WiganTony DIS Veteran

    Nov 23, 2007
    A consideration may be to rent a car/van for part of the holiday, for example when you are planning on visiting Universal, and keep it for a few extra days to allow you to visit Walmart etc for a "big shop", and maybe visit some areas outside of Orlando.

    That way, you may be able to use Disney's Magical Express (but please do check if it is available to the Swan or Dolphin) and back to the airport (if it is MCO), but still have flexibility for part of your holiday.

    Downsides as noted are the $15 parking at the hotel, plus $15 or so each visit to Universal. However, compare against the costs of a couple of taxi rides (probably a van) from the Swan/Dolphin to Universal would be around $35-$40 each way ($160 total) plus a taxi to/from Walmart at Turkey Lake Road approx. $30 each way, so roughly $220 (approx. £140).

    There is a taxi fare estimator at the Mears website which may allow you to price up journeys to compare against a rental car.
  14. 1andrea

    1andrea DIS Veteran

    Dec 12, 2006
    We've been both with and without a car. When we've been without a car we stayed within WDW and these were for our earlier trips.

    We wouldn't stay offsite without a car, the waiting for busses and taxis would eat into our holiday time too much.

    Our last few onsite trips we've hired a car and loves the freedom it brings. I like to visit Walmart often and like to do a couple of hours shopping a few times a week. If we didn't hire a car I'd struggle to justify the taxi costs for just an hour or two and I'd feel I'd have to squash things in to a single visit to avoid a further $20-$40 taxi fare.

    I love having a car now and wouldn't be without it!
  15. zavandor

    zavandor DIS Veteran

    Jul 22, 2011
    I did this last September. First week I went to Disney parks using Disney transportation, for the second week I got a car and went to Universal and Sea World parks.
    It worked out well.
  16. sarah4291

    sarah4291 Mouseketeer

    May 29, 2012
    We went in August this year and chose not to rent a car!!! Now I wouldn't say it was a mistake, however next time we most definitely would hire one! We went to seaworld, universal, islands and discovery all by his or Mears taxi! It took forever with drop offs at other hotels, etc! We also went to the premium outlets - got a bus there but the taxi back (only to downtown cause it was closest) was $45! We were meant to be going to the animal kingdom lodge - I dread to think how much it would have cost to get there! It also depends where you are eating! We ate at quite a few hotel restaurants and it was a bit annoying trying to get from one hotel to another on Disney transport - hoping to a theme park, then waiting for the next bus to that hotel!!! We managed but next time we would def get a car mainly to save time (give ourselves more time to do stuff)!!!

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