sleep in the car?

Discussion in 'Disney for Adults and Solo Travelers' started by single_eeyore, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. single_eeyore

    single_eeyore Earning My Ears

    Jan 5, 2017
    I have this weird question....I'm curious if it would be too weird to sleep in a rental car for a night or 2 somewhere near WDW? I happen to have the blessing of being hop on a plane and go wherever at no cost, but I'm still quite budget-conscious. I'm a Disney fanatic and have been countless times in the past, but not recently as I've been playing the cheap card. If I were to get an annual pass (big trip planned for my son and I in the coming year anyway that I'm already planning to buy one for, will just buy my son tickets), would it be too weird to hop down to FL for a night or two, do a day/two at WDW, but sleep in a rental car? I could get an SUV/mini-van for approx $20-$25/day and just pack a blanket/pillow and, with an annual pass already purchased, my only costs would be what I spend on food/souvenirs. (For the record, in everyday life, I've been known to sleep in my car for a night every now and then for commuting purposes and/or to get to go somewhere/do something that time and/or money might otherwise constrain, and I don't mind it as odd as that may be...and I'm not one to spend time in my hotel room aside from sleep/shower)

    If I could do this, I could see myself doing 1/2 days at Disney each month...and that would be dream come true :) Thoughts, comments, advice?
  2. loves to dive

    loves to dive DIS Veteran

    Aug 21, 2011
    I guess it would depend on a couple of factors. What are the laws in Florida regarding that. I know here (in Georgia) there have been people travelling through and just can't drive any more so pull into places like WalMart and nap in their parking lots but it's not allowed in most public places. I guess you might be able to get away with it in maybe a State Park but you would have to pay. Safety would be another concern, I don't know how often public parking lots are patrolled so I'm not sure how safe it would be. Another thought for me would be if you are going to be there certain hot times and you are there for longer than a day, what about showering? It's not going to be pleasant for you or anyone else if you don't. I would think it might be better to find a cheap hotel not in Orlando proper, maybe in a smaller town near there that you could get for $30 or $40 a night or a campground.
    Pkltm likes this.
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  4. plutosbuddie

    plutosbuddie Mouseketeer

    Jun 16, 2014
    Disney has a campground, you should camp.. Its a really cheep option with showers. It's kinda gross if you don't shower after walking around the park all day..

    Just put your camp stuff in a suitcase and use the free Disney magical express to the campground. No rental car and you get to shower.

    Addiationlly people will report you sleeping in the car, then the cops will
    Come -- especially in or around Disney.

    I wish you the best, and I hope you enjoy your trip to Disney nonetheless.
  5. HopperFan

    HopperFan "It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess."

    Sep 6, 2003
    There are plenty of hotel rooms close to Disney for $40 a night.

    This way you have a bed and bathroom/shower.

    Be safe, you only have to turn the corner to go from good to really unsafe in Orlando.

    If you must check Walmarts. Some in Orlando are okay with it, some are not.

    Florida ...
    You Should Not Trespass While Sleeping in the Car
    Many people who get in trouble for sleeping in a car are arrested for trespassing. If you sleep in your car, it must be in an area where you have permission to remain throughout the entire night. Rest areas and truck stops often allow sleeping, but many public parks and private commercial properties do not. Check with the owner of the property to avoid trespassing charges and obey all local parking laws.

    Sleeping in a Car Can Be an Ordinance Violation
    Specific cities may have ordinances that make it a violation to sleep or loiter in a public area. These laws are mostly put in place to deter the homeless, but they can also be applied to people sleeping in a vehicle. Though ordinance violations do not usually result in severe punishments, you may face a fine or jail time. It is always important to be aware of local laws before sleeping in an area.
    ConnecticutNonna likes this.
  6. com_op_2000

    com_op_2000 DVC Member since '93; One Hour from WDW

    Jul 13, 2010
    If you do not mind driving for a 15 - 20 minutes.
    Go I-4 west towards Tampa.
    There is a rest area that you could pull into and sleep for the night.
    As far as the FWC goes, I have done the FWC and just slept in the car. It is very reasonably priced to have a safe parking location then you have WDW transportation to get around.
  7. single_eeyore

    single_eeyore Earning My Ears

    Jan 5, 2017
    Awesome all - thanks for the input! First and foremost, yes, I agree it's gross to walk around the park all day and then not shower, but I can clean up enough for a flight home where my shower awaits...frankly I've spent many a night in an airport after a day out on some town or another, and while it's less pleasant than being home, it's totally do-able for just myself.

    I definitely will pay attention to laws/ordinances as that's something I hadn't given any thought to, and the rest area tip is a good thought too, but in the past when I've stayed in my personal car just far enough from home I didn't want to make the trek I've always kinda hopped from one public place to another where I might reasonably be a patron in the wee hours of the night (late night Steak'n'Shake run anyone? midnight Walmart run - been there for real!). And yes, I agree, lots of parts of Orlando are shady (I actually lived an hour away for 3 years or so and visited a lot so I'm not altogether unfamiliar).

    I know it's weird, but I actually kind of like the idea of being free enough to just pick up and go early in the morning and not have the technicalities of checking in and checking out and paying for something I feel like I didn't even use (even though I know sleeping is using)....not to mention - I sleep a LOT longer in a bed than I would in a car - translation: more time in the parks!

    For the record - I will get a cheap room for my son and I when we venture down for a random weekend haha! PC or AS resorts here we come!
  8. Anne Mackey

    Anne Mackey Earning My Ears

    Jan 4, 2017
    It is not an offence to sleep in your car, but it is the location that’s important. :duck:
  9. wilkeliza

    wilkeliza Registered

    Feb 1, 2013
    There are places in the greater Orlando area that will let you park and sleep for free. With that being said just know that a lot of areas in and around Orlando are not safe. I would not feel comfortable sleeping in the Wal-Mart parking lot just for a security reason.
    Personally I would splurge for the camp site and sleep on a cheap pop-up tent and mattress pad. Aren't tent spots relatively cheap most of the year? Only issue there is the spontaneity of it but at least then you can take a quick shower, have somewhere safe to sleep, and don't have to deal with the potential consequences of choosing the wrong parking lot to sleep in. I'm kind of shocked though that you can get an SUV or Van in Orlando on short notice for $20 a night. I barely can get a standard car for that in non-peak travel seasons with a pretty good employer discount.
  10. single_eeyore

    single_eeyore Earning My Ears

    Jan 5, 2017
    Well that price was just what I looked up a few days ago, but it's right on par. I've done compact cars for $6/day. Of course the price doubles once they add their fees and taxes but still a great deal. I've never found a better deal than booking the day or two before I need the car and never do it before then in a decently sized market, I for sure wouldn't book more than a day or two out in Orlando.
  11. mikedoyleblogger

    mikedoyleblogger Traded in Disneyland for Magic Kingdom

    Feb 11, 2013
    Instead of paying for a rental car, pay for a hotel room. An on-site value using DME and Disney buses, or a cheap off-site hotel with a shuttle bus to the TTC (and a cheap shared shuttle to get there from MCO.)
    disneynp and disneyseniors like this.
  12. BigAlsGal

    BigAlsGal DIS Veteran

    Jun 16, 2013
    Why not look into airbnb? There's literally people who will let you sleep on their couch or in a spare room for $10-20 a night.
  13. ajrwdwgirl

    ajrwdwgirl DIS Veteran

    Apr 15, 2012
    If you have an Annual Pass there are room discounts you can get, and magical express is included. Personally, I would not sleep in my car as a woman, sleeping alone in my car would be a little too risky for me. And honestly, I would also want to have easy access to a toilet. I understand trying to be thrifty but I think there are better options than sleeping in a car. Also if you are flying down, for free do you still have to pay for baggage or not? If you do the $50 (roundtrip) you have pay to bring along your blanket and pillow could be used for a room. Sorry if that comes off as blunt but that's my personal opinion.
    disneynp and DisAuntie like this.
  14. Roxyfire

    Roxyfire Is butter a carb?

    Jul 1, 2015
    I agree with previous posters just about the shower and bathroom, let alone the bed. It's hard to get a full rest in a car, especially with a lot of walking around. I would price out a rental car including the taxes with an airbnb listing, you can probably find one for less than $20 a night. Then compare it to the value resorts without a rental car. You can probably skip check-in most of the time if you have your information updated in MDE. And checkout is probably pretty easy depending on the time of day. Whichever one is cheaper, go with that.
  15. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

    Aug 29, 1999
    I would never sleep in my car in Orlando. It's far too dangerous. You can get a hotel room for less than $50 per night. If you can't afford that, IMO you can't afford to go to WDW.
  16. OatsZoo

    OatsZoo DIS Veteran

    Mar 17, 2007
    When you consider the price for the rental car and the price for parking at Disney, it would almost add up to the hotel price. I would book a hotel and use Magical Express and the Disney busing instead.
  17. jt'smom

    jt'smom DIS Veteran

    May 20, 2008
    I'll go there, since no one else is... if you are sleeping in a car, where are you going to pee? I mean, do you plan on keeping an old rubber boot tucked in the back for middle of the night emergencies? Have you considered the superior balance that would be required to accomplish all of your toileting needs? You are already going to be stinky, even with budget-minded, store brand hiney-wipe baths that I'm hoping you will take, so the potty question adds an additional element of intrigue, lol.
  18. DIS_MIKE

    DIS_MIKE Mouseketeer

    Feb 2, 2015
    The hotel option is definitely the way to go especially considering how cheap the rooms are in Kissimmee. However, I totally don't see a problem with sleeping in the car to save a few extra bucks but that's all you'll really be saving. $6 per day for the car is quite good but how often will you need it? Do you plan to explore the Orlando area? You won't have the convenience (running water AC, Wi-Fi) and security of staying at WDW or any hotel for that matter. The whole potential for getting a trespassing/ordinance violation also is not worth it, imo. If you don't have your AP by the time of your trip you'll have to pay for parking each day and that adds up. Staying on-site at the value resorts is the way to go for those on a budget and add in the DME factor and it's a solid and affordable vacation. :thumbsup2
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
  19. Ensusieasm

    Ensusieasm DIS Veteran

    Feb 14, 2013
    Florida is a very hot, very humid, buggy place. Not conducive to car sleeping.
    DIS_MIKE likes this.
  20. DisAuntie

    DisAuntie Mouseketeer

    Sep 8, 2016
    Or not showering...
    DisneyNic, Kaytie and disneyjunkie like this.
  21. klacey1

    klacey1 DIS Veteran

    Feb 19, 2008
    Maybe it's doable for you and your standards, but I wouldn't want to wait in line in a theme park with someone who was too cheap to pony up enough money for an inexpensive hotel room or campsite with shower and bathroom facilities. Between BO, bad breath, just the simple danger of sleeping in your car and many more reasons...I really don't understand how a mother could consider this as even a potentially viable option.

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