rent A car from mco or wdw? First wdw trip


Sep 12, 2019
Hi we have our first welcome home trip and it’s our first time visiting wdw for all of us. Family of four which includes a 5 yr old and a one year old. Would you rent a car from the airport for our entire 10 days it’s 252 or rent within the parks which cost more at 277 and take the magical express to and from the resort? Hubby likes the idea of the car than taking magical express or the bus due to convenience. We have never been to Florida let alone wdw. We have always been to Disneyland. So we are newbs.. thoughts?


Home is just where you stay when not at WDW
Jan 19, 2013
I would probably rent at WDW.

I-4 is a disaster, so I would probably avoid it for the 25 bucks. Although the disaster is a little further north the WDW. Plus these rental cars with their license plate paying toll tags and their convenience fees, and there is tolls on some of the routes from the airport to WDW - so that will chew into your 25$ savings A LITTLE.

You can rent a car at the car care center, and gas it up when you return it, only issue is depending on where you rent the car on property, you have the hassle of getting back to the hotel for the magical express. I have rented cars from the car care center (near the Polynesian) and there was a courtesy shuttle, but I would probably return the car and just take a lyft back to the hotel at this point in time.

Plus, it does leave you the option of maybe picking it up on day 2, or returning it a day early perhaps, if thats something you want to do and save a few $$.

However, the biggest hassle of an airport rental (in my eyes) is the handling of the luggage, and that is negated by hotel-airport checkin when leaving, and EVEN if you do rent at the airport, I would still register for ME so they grab your bags at the airport upon arrival.

To me, renting at WDW would be less stressful and the way I'd go. Whomever is the first one packed to leave can go return the car while the other one packs/watches kids.

ETA: I actually like the ME. They have a disney video playing that the 5 year old will probably like, the seats on the bus are comfortable. To me its kind of like a preshow before getting on the main attraction.
my 2 cents.


DIS Veteran
Sep 7, 1999
Agree, why deal with luggage when DME will deliver it to your room at no cost. On the way home, you can also check in at the resort, with or with out DME. You can get a car at The Swan/dolphin from Alamo/National. Also others are located in the Disney Springs hotel area. Will you really need a car for 10 days? Also, you may look into food delivery services and maybe not need a car at all. Have a great trip.
  • aoconnor

    WDW Nut
    Apr 27, 2016
    I always used to rent a car, but with Uber/Lyft now I find it's really not necessary. I take DME to/from the airport, and if I'm not in a rush I'll take Disney transportation to the parks. On the way back when I want to get home fast, or if I'm visiting another resort, I'll Uber. To go anywhere on property is typically only around $10-12.


    Boardwalk owner since 1999
    Jan 13, 2012
    Have a great time no matter what you choose. Just a fyi, if you do rent a car at WDW you may choose to drive it back to the airport (cost may be the same). The reason to do that would be if you have carry-on bags misc. and do not fly out until later in the day (and you want to do parks). This way you can have stuff with you instead of having to go back to hotel to get it. The return trip to airport by Magical Express leaves 3 hours (sometimes longer) b4 flight. That means 4 hours if you have to get back to your hotel in time to board ME. All depends on what you are comfortable with, especially with little ones.


    DIS Veteran
    Jan 5, 2006
    Renting at the parks would be easier, especially the return part not having to deal with it at the airport. That being said, we always rented a car until we discovered it was a big waste of money and time. Once at the parks we found we never left, using WDW transportation to the parks and other areas of the complex. So the rental just sat in the lot until we drove back to the airport. We did use a car service once when we spent a day at Universal. They picked us up right at the resort and we set a time a place at Universal to meet for the return. Worked out great. But if you plan on many outside the park travels then rent and enjoy.

    go cowboys

    Jun 6, 2004
    We have always used Happy Limo to and from the airport. Faster than DME and back before grocery delivery we could stop for a 20 grocery trip. Still use them on occasion when we don't wan to leave for airport as early as DME requires.
    Still can use DME tags and have luggage delivered, we just don't get on the bus.
    I have also found that we don't use a car everyday. Maybe rent for just a few days and save some money as opposed to paying for a rental just to sit in the hotel lot. Onsite rental is quick and easy though and even pick you up and take you back when you return.

    Elvis Glazier

    I work solely for the enrichment of Disney
    Jan 15, 2020
    I do one better. I get my car at MCO and my wife and kids take the Magical Express. I walk unburdened and care free to the rental car and meet them at the resort. I will usually stop and grab some refreshments and snacks on the way. The timing is pretty close. They usually beat me by 5 to 15 minutes.


    DIS Veteran
    Mar 9, 2012
    This is only good at Epcot resorts. We take DME to and from the airport and rent our car (National or Alamo) at the Dolphin.

    Elvis Glazier

    I work solely for the enrichment of Disney
    Jan 15, 2020
    I was tempted to do the National on property but I really like using the Emerald Aisle to choose my own vehicle and they only have that at the airport. If you didn't National on resort you have to pay for the class of car you want where at the airport I can pull a big SUV or minivan of I need it for the price of an economy car.

    But our needs are different because we rarely do less than three weeks (because we come all the way across continent from Vancouver) so when we come to Disney World and a car is a must for us. That's also why we will do split stays and switch between on resort and off resort.


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