How long does it take to drop off the rental car at port? - Resolved

Cheburashka

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 25, 2020
ETA: I solved my problem by finding an incredible rental car deal via tips on the March car rental forum in Transportation. I'll be able to keep a car parked at Port Canaveral, and not have to worry about drop off or pick up there. Thanks, everyone, for your caring suggestions!

I've decided to rent a car for the first day of my trip (driving from MCO to Disney resort the evening before, followed by driving from Disney resort to Port Canaveral the next day). I'm going to spend the morning at my resort and drive to Port Canaveral around check-out time. How long does it tend to take to drop the rental car off at the port and get a shuttle back to the port? Fyi, I'll be traveling solo, and am dropping the rental off at the Enterprise near the port. Keeping the car during the cruise would be astronomically expensive, so that is not an option. Thanks for any info.
 
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soniam

Wooden leg named Smith...
Joined
Jun 22, 2012
The only time we did it, it took forever to get the shuttle. They only had one and were waiting for it to fill up before we could leave. We waited 30 minutes to an hour after we had dropped off the car and were ready to leave. This was in 2014. I think it was Enterprise. I am sure it varies by company and day though.
 

Cheburashka

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 25, 2020
The only time we did it, it took forever to get the shuttle. They only had one and were waiting for it to fill up before we could leave. We waited 30 minutes to an hour after we had dropped off the car and were ready to leave. This was in 2014. I think it was Enterprise. I am sure it varies by company and day though.
Wow. Yuck. I guess you can get a taxi or Uber if the shuttle doesn't work out? Maybe with Covid they won't be so set on filling the shuttle to the brim?
 

stout

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 26, 2007
Budget at Port Canaveral…parking the rental car in the Budget parking lot to the time we were dropped at port (and we were the first people out of the shuttle van)…75 minutes!!! The line at Budget was horrible! That was 12/26.
On 01/02 when we went to pick up a car again, was worse…I didn’t time it, but I think 90 minutes’ish! That being said, my kids have great memories of mini golfing at WDW before heading to the airport…
I don’t think I would rent a car again.
I hope Enterprise is better…after all, it can’t get much worse…
 

Cheburashka

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 25, 2020
The only time we did it, it took forever to get the shuttle. They only had one and were waiting for it to fill up before we could leave. We waited 30 minutes to an hour after we had dropped off the car and were ready to leave.
Budget at Port Canaveral…parking the rental car in the Budget parking lot to the time we were dropped at port (and we were the first people out of the shuttle van)…75 minutes!!!
Okay, this is making me reconsider renting a car. Maybe I'll just bite the bullet and book a town car for both the airport to the resort, and from the resort to the port. It would cost about $160 more than renting a car (it's still waaay cheaper than renting a car for the whole trip), but would involve no hassles of picking up the car, putting gas in the car, dropping off the car, or taking a shuttle back to the port. It would also allow me to have more time at the resort. And I wouldn't have to drive. You can see me trying to talk myself into this.
 
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Cyn T

Earning My Ears
Joined
Mar 13, 2020
Wow! Our plan was the same, but for a family of 4. Don't most rental places have a key drop box return setup? Is that just wishful thinking?
 

MomOTwins

The Mommy Fairy
Joined
Mar 5, 2018
Okay, this is making me reconsider renting a car. Maybe I'll just bite the bullet and book a town car for both the airport to the resort, and from the resort to the port. It would cost about $160 more than renting a car (it's still waaay cheaper than renting a car for the whole trip), but would involve no hassles of picking up the car, putting gas in the car, dropping off the car, or taking a shuttle back to the port. It would also allow me to have more time at the resort. And I wouldn't have to drive. You can see me trying to talk myself into this.
Is there a reason you do not want to take the DCL bus? Since you are at a WDW resort it is pretty convenient and inexpensive since you are solo.
 

mousefan73

Germans are faster at dubbing
Joined
May 9, 2012
We've dropped cars off 2x at Alamo in PC.. Both times were totally different experiences.

First time: no line to pull into lot to park car, minimal wait for shuttle. Shuttle took 15 minutes to drop us off at boat.
Second time: line on the road to turn right to drop car off ( 20 min), chaos in the building and we somehow got on a shuttle after the 2nd one). Worse though was the traffic from Alamo to the boat. I think we were waiting a good 30 -45 min. One poor lady was calling her family as they did the trick of dropping luggage and group off and one drops car off. They were all waiting for her as she had the paperwork. So tip! if you drop others off first, give them their stuff so they can enter the buidling at least. ( pre-covid process here)

I think what matter is not hitting that rush time of when many ships are disembarking/embarking.. I think the second time we were there at 11ish?? I am sure the first time we were earlier.
 

Cheburashka

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 25, 2020
Is there a reason you do not want to take the DCL bus? Since you are at a WDW resort it is pretty convenient and inexpensive since you are solo.
I want to spend the morning at the resort, and the DCL bus has been picking resort guests up around 8am. I'll be arriving in the evening the night before (can't go earlier due to work), and won't have much time to enjoy it then. I also am going to keep my carry-on sized suitcase & shoulder bag filled with (non-alcoholic) drinks with me during embarkation, and don't want to lug them around the boat much. If I board early afternoon, the staterooms will either be open when I arrive, or will open soon. It's a week-long cruise, so I don't need to be the first onboard.
 
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ladyofthetramp

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 3, 2014
We did a rent and return at the port from Enterprise-our experience was before the pandemic. My husband is an Emerald Club member as well. Return was just extremely easy- I think it was through an app on our cell phone, but there were, at that time, plenty of attendants at the return lot and there did not seem to be any wait. Their facility to wait for the shuttle, at the time, was very clean, had restroom facilities. We waited maybe 20 minutes for a shuttle and then it was a quick trip to the port. I want to add that our timing was also good as when we arrived, there were not too many waiting, so I knew we would make it on the next shuttle that would arrive. I think with rental car return/shuttles, it is always a roll of the dice and timing. You do need your patience. If you are in a hurry, you may be disappointed. The bus is early these days, I totally get why you would rather have a relaxing morning.
 

mousefan73

Germans are faster at dubbing
Joined
May 9, 2012
I want to spend the morning at the resort, and the DCL bus has been picking resort guests up around 8am. I'll be arriving in the evening the night before (can't go earlier due to work), and won't have much time to enjoy it then. I also am going to keep my carry-on sized suitcase & shoulder bag filled with (non-alcoholic) drinks with me during embarkation, and don't want to lug them around the boat much. If I board early afternoon, the staterooms will either be open when I arrive, or will open soon. It's a week-long cruise, so I don't need to be the first onboard.
Wow then they must have changed things around. Usually it was the airport transfers that got picked up so early. Resorts always were noon and after ( pre-covid times). People complained the DCL transfers from resorts always got them on the ship too late like after 2pm or so.. f We want the earliest PAT possible, so that is why we always rented a car. I remember people used to use a fake super early flight "home" to transfer to MCO and catch the bus from there to get to port early.

Is this then a new covid thing? Resort folks being picked up super early?? If so, then we would definately look into the DCL transfer.When did they make this change. New for me..thx
 

TinkLoverSam

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Is this then a new covid thing? Resort folks being picked up super early?? If so, then we would definately look into the DCL transfer.When did they make this change. New for me..thx
Yes, since restart the dcl pickup at resorts has been super early (except for the first couple cruises when the earliest PAT was like 1pm)
 

jcarwash

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 16, 2008
I used National (same company as Enterprise and Dollar) for my one-way rentals in 2018 and 2019. I'm happy with them. I also had good experiences with Hertz on four prior cruises.

In 2019, I dropped off the car at the Enterprise/National/Dollar facility at 9:55am. There was no wait for the shuttle van and we were at the Disney terminal by 10:10am.

In 2018, we dropped off the car at 10:45am. We were at the Disney terminal by 11:20am.
 
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Cheburashka

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 25, 2020
Can you get a taxi if the shuttle is taking forever? Do they hang around the car rental places at the port?
 
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BruinEd03

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 23, 2013
I've decided to rent a car for the first day of my trip (driving from MCO to Disney resort the evening before, followed by driving from Disney resort to Port Canaveral the next day). I'm going to spend the morning at my resort and drive to Port Canaveral around check-out time. How long does it tend to take to drop the rental car off at the port and get a shuttle back to the port? Fyi, I'll be traveling solo, and am dropping the rental off at the Enterprise near the port. Keeping the car during the cruise would be astronomically expensive, so that is not an option. Thanks for any info.

This past December, we dropped off our car at around 12:30 pm. At the National/Enterprise/Alamo place at Port Canaveral. We and another mother/daughter were the only other people on the shuttle. Since we had a 1:30 PAT, they almost told us to wait in the lobby for a bit before they took us to the port because they were afraid we would be turned away. However, the shuttle driver thought it would probably be Ok. My guess is he had done the run before and there wasn’t a crowd. He would also drop off the other passengers first to eat up some time.
The lobby of the car rental place was empty, too. All in all it was a really pleasant experience.

My backup plan was to get a Lyft or Uber if the shuttle wait was too long. Based on past research it wasn’t going to be difficult or expensive to do that. I didn’t see any taxis just hanging around.
 

anricat

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2014
We only did it once, with Budget and yah, that place was a ZOO! It took quite awhile to get a shuttle to port and same on the way back, we had to wait forever to get our rental car. The only reason we did it was because we wanted to go to Cocoa Beach and the space center prior to our cruise and after the cruise, DD and I were going to WDW, but DH was going home, so it was easier for him to just drop us off at WDW and then continue on to the airport. Not sure I'd do it again. Car rentals have gotten ridiculously expensive and it was a hassle. I feel like the DCL bus is a bit overpriced, but I can't argue with the convenience of having it all taken care of.
 

MomOTwins

The Mommy Fairy
Joined
Mar 5, 2018
I want to spend the morning at the resort, and the DCL bus has been picking resort guests up around 8am. I'll be arriving in the evening the night before (can't go earlier due to work), and won't have much time to enjoy it then. I also am going to keep my carry-on sized suitcase & shoulder bag filled with (non-alcoholic) drinks with me during embarkation, and don't want to lug them around the boat much. If I board early afternoon, the staterooms will either be open when I arrive, or will open soon. It's a week-long cruise, so I don't need to be the first onboard.
So one thought I had was you could take an uber to the airport and catch the DCL bus there. Still would probably be a lot less expensive than a car rental or a private car to port. There is some inconvenience in having to wait a bit at the airport, but if rental dropoffs are as bad as people are saying, it is probably better than that.
 

Cheburashka

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 25, 2020
So one thought I had was you could take an uber to the airport and catch the DCL bus there. Still would probably be a lot less expensive than a car rental or a private car to port. There is some inconvenience in having to wait a bit at the airport, but if rental dropoffs are as bad as people are saying, it is probably better than that.
That would take away from my resort time, which is the whole reason I'm not taking the DCL bus.

At this point I'm looking at discount prepay options at rental agencies near but not right at the airport, to save money on an all-trip rental. I think it's going to be worth it, as anything else is going to be a huge hassle & still not cheap. Plus, if I test positive, I'll already have a car.
 

JimJoonie

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
I've done the one way rental twice with Hertz. The first time in 2018 was super easy and barely had to wait to drop off and wait for the shuttle. It worked out perfectly. The second time in 2020 (right before Covid), it took a little longer but overall pretty seamless. However we also did a rental on disembarkation day and that process was more painful. Super crowded, long waits, and stress inducing. I learned my lesson.
 

Cheburashka

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 25, 2020
Fyi I solved my problem by finding an incredible rental car deal via tips on the March car rental forum in Transportation. I'll be able to keep a car parked at Port Canaveral, and not have to worry about drop off or pick up there. Thanks, everyone, for your caring suggestions!
 




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