Pros and cons of renting a car in Disney World
For those flying in to Disney World, the "to rent a car or not to rent a car" debate is played out many a time.
Staying Off Property
If you're flying into Orlando and staying in a resort or vacation home off Disney World property, a rental car is almost a must. It can save a huge amount of time getting to and from Disney World property. There is no Disney's Magical Express available to you, and while free Disney transportation is available to you on property as long as you have a park ticket, you have to get there first. So, if staying off property, we highly recommend renting a car.
Staying On Property
But for those staying on Disney World property, it's not so cut and dry.
We've put together a list of pros and cons for renting a car at Disney World when you're staying "on-site."
- Time Savings: While the Disney Transport via bus, boat or monorail can be useful, it can sometimes take a long time to get from Point A to Point B. And if your "commute" from resort to resort has more than one leg, it can often take an hour or more when a rental car would get you there in 10 minutes or less.
- Convenience: Parking fees are zero when you're staying on Disney property, and you can come and go from any location as you please in your rental car. Plus at many WDW resorts, you can park quite close to your room, eliminating the need for long slogs to the bus stop.
In addition, if you've ever tried to take a bus to your resort right after park closing, you know that you may have to wait for up to an hour, then take a crowded bus back to your hotel. With a rental car, by that time you're already in bed asleep.
- No confusion: If you're not well-versed on Disney Transport, it's quite easy to catch the wrong bus, miss the bus and have to wait, or catch a boat that you think goes one place, but actually goes to another. With a rental car, it's fairly easy to navigate WDW with the well-marked signage.
- Cost: Adding up rental cost, taxes, fees and gas can get quite expensive. If you're traveling on a budget, a rental car is not for you.
- Relaxation Factor: If you're traveling via Disney Transport, there's no worries about who's navigating, and once boarded, you can kick back and relax until you get to your destination. Although some people do find that loss of control a bit jarring.
- Not Using Services You've Already Paid For: When renting a car, you're rejecting the free airport shuttle transport and on-property transportation that is available to you, which are essentially built into the cost of your stay.
With all that said, the decision is ultimately up to you and your family's preference. If you decide to rent a car, here are some resources:
What's your opinion on renting a car while staying on Disney World property? Do you like to be in charge of your own transportation, or use the free Disney Transport? Leave a comment below!