Deciding whether to not to rent a car to use during your Disney Vacation is an individual choice and should be based solely on your vacation plans, personal preferences, and expectations for the vacation.
Before renting a car, you should decide whether you’re staying on and off property. This will be your primary decision-making influence since Disney World hotels and off-site hotels in the immediate area offer transportation. It’s usually free with your stay, but Disney transportation runs to and from Disney World Parks much more often than off-site hotel transportation, which may only run a couple times a day.
I’m staying at a Disney Resort Hotel.
It’s probably no surprise that people who choose to stay on Disney property are less likely to include other activities in their itineraries. This is by design: Because Disney World Resort provides food, entertainment, and a massive free transportation system, resort guests have no reason or desire to leave the resort.
If you plan to spend the vast majority of your time on Disney property or you don’t plan to leave at all, you don’t need a rental car. This will also save you some money in other places since you won’t have to pay for parking, rental insurance, and fuel costs.
I’m staying at another local hotel or resort.
If you plan to spend even some of your time at the other Orlando theme parks or touristy areas, like Universal Studios, Sea World, or world-famous beaches and ecosystems, you might want to stay off-site. International travelers who tend to stay for longer periods of time or those who plan to visit family or friends in the area may be particularly interested in off-site hotels since they are closer to other local attractions while still providing easy access to Disney World. You can also have the opportunity to explore local history and culture.
If this sounds like your plan for vacation, you might want to consider renting a car. Although the hotel will likely provide a shuttle to Disney World and even Universal Studios and Sea World, you will experience much more freedom with a rental car. You can make your own schedule, and come and go as you please.