Staying off site

Discussion in 'Welcome to the DIS' started by bcastle5, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. bcastle5

    bcastle5 Earning My Ears

    Jun 15, 2013
    Hello! I'm new here. We just booked our Disney trip for October 14-18, and are so excited! We booked off site for $$ reasons, as we have five small kids (9, 7, 5, 2, 13 months). We've reserved a shuttle to drive us from the airport to hotel, and our hotel has a shuttle to the parks. My question is do you feel we need to rent a car? We are attending the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue at Pioneer Lodge the night we arrive & brunch at 1900 Fare Park one morning. Will there be a way to get to those spots without a car? Thanks in advance!
  2. kathie859

    kathie859 DIS Veteran

    Jul 19, 2005
    Hi--Welcome to the DisBoards:wave2:

    We've stayed off site several times BUT always with a car. It makes life a lot easier. That way you can easily drop by the grocery for supplies, arrive at the parks when YOU want to get there. One thing to factor in calculating ways to save money. Since you have 3 adults (your 9 yr old is an ADULT by Disney standards) and 2 paying kids and 2 free; you may want to price out one adult buying an Annual Pass. You'll get free parking and the opportunity to buy a Tables In Wonderland card. Depending on how many days your visiting and how many WDW restaurants you plan on doing, this may save you money. Happy Planning!!
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  4. ignatz1957

    ignatz1957 Earning My Ears

    Aug 18, 2003
    Hi bcastle5! It is possible to get to those venues without renting a car, but you will need to allow plenty of time to get there before your reservation time. Your hotel shuttle will probably drop you off at the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC). To get to Fort Wilderness, take either the ferry or Express Monorail to the Magic Kingdom, then take the launch to Fort Wilderness from the boat dock there. That will drop you at The Settlement; Pioneer Lodge is a short walk from there.

    To reach the Grand Floridian from the TTC, take the Resort Monorail.

    If you are running late, take a taxi. Many of them are vans that can accommodate a large party.

    I hope this helps!
  5. deakam

    deakam DIS Veteran

    Mar 7, 2011
    I have stayed off-site on several occasions. I would definitely rent a car. You should be able to get one for about 200 to 300 dollars for a week. Most off site shuttles run on fixed schedules and will drop you off in the outer parking lots at most parks. The only off site hotels I would not rent a car for are the downtown Disney hotels.

    We stayed at a hotel one year that left us stranded at the Magic Kingdom. We missed the last bus out. Had to take a taxi. Even back then it was not cheap. When you add the cost of airport transfers and the possibility of taxi fees I think it might be cheaper to rent a car. Then you are not stuck with the hotel shuttle schedule should you need to leave a park.
  6. Nakkira

    Nakkira DIS Veteran

    Apr 30, 2013

    I will be there the same Dates, also off-site for $ reasons.
    We will not be renting a car, but then we have no children to juggle. With that many children I would highly recommend it.
  7. MOpGrad2013

    MOpGrad2013 DIS Veteran

    Dec 29, 2012

    I understand having to save money. We're a family of 6 (one in a car seat). I would say you should definitely look into renting the vehicle. I did a quick check on budget just now. It's not cheap...without a discount code $450-500 for a van or suv (seats 7).

    When I went to Nashville last month, we depended on the hotel shuttle to and from the airport. Problem was the seatbelts were there, but not enough room for a carseat to safely be installed. My DS is in a forward facing and originally I had been told there would be a booster, but there wasn't. I had him buckled and we sat on either side of him. Driver was not too happy about having him out of a carseat "maybe it's better if you take your own vehicle..but it's your decision. And if I get a ticket.." As he is a couple of pounds below the state requirement and we were on 40mph roads for no more than 2 miles, we were ok.

    I hope it works out for you! I'm just worried about the safety issue!

    Ask about military, AAA, and nonpublished discounts for your rental. There are links on here with the latest info.
  8. MHSweb79

    MHSweb79 DIS Veteran

    Aug 18, 2008
    Absolutely rent a car if you can, especially with that many young children. Your hotel will most likely share a shuttle with other hotels, and they can get extremely crowded. Who's going to stand? Also, the shuttle times may not be convenient for you (or frequent enough). And finally, it can take upwards of 45-60 minutes given these factors to make it to the parks, only to be dropped off a long distance from the entrance. So you've got to schlep all the little ones all that way just to even get to the turnstyles.

    With a car, the advantages are:

    No shuttle fees to/ from the airport
    You can come & go at your convenience, and everyone will get a seat
    Quick drive directly to the park of your choice, whenever you want to get there
    Much faster/ easier to get to other resorts (like Wilderness Lodge) than using Disney transportation
    Easy access to TONS of off-site restaurants, which can save you big $$$
    You can come & go as you please, just save your parking receipt. Disney only makes you pay once

    My advice for finding better prices on rentals is to join the "insider" clubs for the rental companies (we've gotten great deals from alamo) and check out for current coupon codes. If you've got a Costco, BJ's, AAA, Visa, airlines, or other membership they all provide coupon codes as well. I've made/ cancelled/ rebooked a dozen or more rentals without penalty when a new coupon code comes along. We like Alamo because you can stack discounts.
  9. martinezmom3

    martinezmom3 Mouseketeer

    Feb 5, 2013
    Disney adult age is 10 and up. And I would agree, with so many little ones, a car will make things much smoother! Have a great trip! :)
  10. visionsfantastic

    visionsfantastic Mouseketeer

    Jun 21, 2013
    i always stay of site but on i drive and buses are very easy there, im not to sure where your staying is though ? but hi :)
  11. kymom99

    kymom99 DIS Veteran

    May 24, 2008

    Try this link for rental car discounts.

    As others have said, I would rent a car if I was in your situation. It will give you way more control over your vacation. You can still use the shuttle for some thngs, like if one of you wants to take the littlest kids back to the room a little earlier. The other could stay in the parks longer and drive back when you are ready.
  12. bcastle5

    bcastle5 Earning My Ears

    Jun 15, 2013
    Thanks for all of your responses. We went ahead and booked minivan for our trip. I think it'll be much easier since we have so many kids. :)

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