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Pros and cons of renting a car in Walt Disney World

The process of renting a car to use in Walt Disney World is extremely easy, whether you book directly with the rental company or as part of a package deal. However after new charges were introduced last year, the amount of people opting to use airport transfers and internal transportation over renting a car has increased.

Post updated June 2019 to reflect the new 2020 resort parking fees.

MCO (Orlando International Airport) houses around 20 different rental companies on their ground floor. All of these can be preordered and picked up at your requested time. Also on the ground floor is the DME (Disney’s Magical Express), free transfers from MCO to your resorts to all guests who have booked their holiday through the Walt Disney Company website. There is also a selection of taxis, Lyft and Uber rides, coaches and limos.

While there is no right or wrong answer to renting vs not renting, it is all comes down to personal preference and what kind of holiday you ultimately want. All I can do is give my honest opinion to what we find best to do for us.

Sam and I have rented cars and used the DME and internal transportation system. When we are staying on Disney property we prefer to not rent a car, during this time we have also used Lyft to get us to early morning reservations rather than waiting on the internal system. When we to stay off property it is easier for the pair of us to rent a car, I purchased an international sat-nav which saves money on renting on from the car rental company.

Here are some pros and cons that I have encountered when renting a car.

Pros

  • Freedom – freedom to change plans and to come and go as you please
  • Freedom – to travel further afield and visit other Orlando attractions
  • Free theme park parking when staying on property
  • DVC members are eligible for free resort parking
  • Not having to queue for the buses/monorails/boats can be a bonus especially when travelling with young children

Cons

  • Unless the price is included in the holiday expense then this can be quiet expensive
  • Paying for gas
  • Paying for resort parking – value resorts $13 per night , moderate resorts $19 per night and deluxe resorts $24 per night. (Campsite grounds remain free)
  • Reservations Made June 2019 for arrivals in 2020 value resorts $15 per night, moderate resorts $20 per night and deluxe resorts $25 per night.
  • Being non familiar with the roads can be stressful
  • Paying for toll roads from the airport to WDW

When travelling in a rental then you will not need to add on any extra time arrive at your desired location, however when travelling with the internal system whether it be monorail, bus or boat it is recommended to give 1 hour up to 1 hour and a half to arrive.

For those not staying at a WDW resort and not renting a car, I would recommend researching your hotel and ensuring they offer free transportation to the parks. If not it could become particularly pricey if you were to take a Lyft/Uber or taxi to the attractions.

What are your thought on Disney transportation vs renting a car? Do you rent? Do you not? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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