The question of “should I rent a car?” is a big one when it comes to planning out your Walt Disney World vacation, and before you can answer it, you might want to ask yourself these questions:
Will You Visit The World Outside of WDW? There is PLENTY to do at Walt Disney World, but if you decide you want to venture off property, then you will be rewarded with many many more entertainment and dining options, many people choose to travel to beaches, Universal Studios, the Kennedy Space Center, or Downtown Orlando while visiting WDW, and the easiest way to get to these places is by car, so I highly recommend you rent a car if you decide to experience the world outside of Disney.
Is It Your First Time? There is a LOT to do and see at WDW, and if you have never been before, you will want as much time as possible at the Parks so you can experience all the Magic! Unfortunately, there’s this thing my family calls “Disney Time”, which basically means that if you’re using Disney Transportation, you should plan on it taking an hour or so to reach your destination – between wait times and loading/unloading times, traveling to and from Parks/restaurants/Resorts can eat up a big chunk of your day. One way to avoid this is to rent a car, so you can make the 5 minute drive from your WDW Resort to your Park of choice, and get to the rides and attractions that much sooner
Who Are You Traveling With? If it’s just you and your significant other, a car might not be a must, but if you have children and strollers and multiple bags that need to be lugged around with you, you might want to consider renting a car, that way you aren’t trying to worry about getting seats on a full bus/boat or trying to squeeze your stroller into a monorail car
Where Are You Staying? If you’re staying on site (which I recommend), you have the Magical Express shuttle service to get you to and from the Orlando airport, and then you have Disney Transportation to help you get around from your Resort. If you are staying off property, you still might not need a car as many nearby Hotels offer Disney shuttles. It all depends on what your needs are – if you think you might need to go back and forth between your hotel and the Parks more than once a day, I would recommend that you rent a car – it will be a huge timesaver
So, if you have decided that a rental car is for you – you have a few options. You can book online and pick the car up at the Orlando Airport (click here for more information on that), or you can take the Magical Express to your Disney Resort, get settled, and then pick up your rental car at the WDW Car Care Center – where you can rent from both Alamo and National, and they have a shuttle that will pick you up from your Resort. Picking up the car at WDW may be a great option for you if you want to maybe spend just 1 or 2 days away from WDW – you can rent the car just for part of your stay and save some money that way
What about you – do you rent a car while vacationing at WDW?