Should you rent a car at Disney World?

Six Considerations for Renting a Car at Disney World

Many people love relying on Disney transportation whether it is the fun of eating breakfast at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and then hopping a monorail to the Magic Kingdom or the relaxing quality of letting someone else do the driving on Disney’s Magical Express as it takes you from the Orlando International Airport to your Disney Resort Hotel.

While there are plenty of advantages to Disney’s transportation, there are also some disadvantages. Even though it is free, some people present good arguments that Disney’s transportation isn’t worth it.

If you plan to fly to Disney World and not use Disney’s transportation, then you will probably end up renting a car.

Let’s look at the top six considerations for renting a car.

Should you rent a car at Disney World?
Should you rent a car at Disney World?

1 – Speed

Whether you love it or hate it, most people will admit that Disney’s transportation systems aren’t the fastest ways to get from point A to point B. This starts with Disney’s Magical Express to and from the airport. Sure, you don’t have to deal with your luggage – a wonderful perk, but you will likely have to wait in line to get the next bus, and you might not be the first or even second stop on the bus route that visits a number of different Disney World Resort hotels. It’s a similar story with on-site buses, watercraft, and even monorail service to the parks.  Plan for multiple stops and a trip that might well take longer than a quick drive in the car. Up front, it takes a bit of time to rent a car, but you often save time in waiting and not having to make multiple stops.

2 – Convenience

Closely related to speed is convenience. With buses, especially those returning to the airport, you’ve got to leave when Disney says you need to leave. Generally speaking, on any given day of going to the theme parks, many families find themselves running after buses so that they don’t have to wait for the next one. With a car, you can come and go when you are good and ready.

3 – Storage

Many folks don’t consider this, but the trunk of your car makes for a mighty convenient traveling storage bin. Yes, you can rent lockers at the entrance to each park, but if you want to bring along extra clothes, food, or other necessities, you can store them in your car. Keep in mind that these items will bake in the Florida sun and heat nearly any time of the year, and that it might be a huge hike to get back to your car, but going back to your car will surely take less time that traveling all the way back to your hotel.

4 – Navigation

Some people love following maps or listening to the soothing voice of their GPS telling them how to get to their next destination. For others, figuring out the navigation around Orlando and Disney World is mind-blowing. Consider your aptitude for getting around new and unfamiliar areas when deciding if you should rent a car or opt for Disney transportation.

5 – Cost

This one is pretty easy. Disney transportation is free. A rental car is not. If you rent a car you will not only need to pay for the car itself, but also for gas (which you will need to hunt down on your way back to the airport) and tolls. All those things add up.  If you stay at a Disney Resort Hotel, you can park for free at both the hotel and the parks, but if you stay at a Disney Springs Resort or an off-site resort, you may have to pay for parking.

6 – Fun

Here is where you need to think about your idea of a good time. Some people just love making new friends on the Disney bus or listening to the videos play as you sit back and enjoy having someone else drive you to and from the airport. Other folks much prefer their own personal space and a bit of quiet.


There are plenty of advantages and disadvantages to both Disney’s transportation as well as renting a car. Consider the items above, and make an informed decision on the best way to get to, around, and from Disney World.

Do you rent a car when visiting Disney World?