Towncar or Rental Car?


#1

The age-old debate rears its head again. There are four of us, but we’re arriving and departing on different days, so a towncar won’t exactly save money (we’d have to take two round-trips). We’re staying at AKL, which is, as you know, a bit “out there.” What would you do? Also, Magical Express isn’t an option for us–we’d rather take the private transportation this time.

My questions are:

  1. How hard is it to navigate Disney property? Will I get frustruated and lost all the time?

  2. Do rental cars really save time on property over Disney transportation?


#2

Well… there are signs everywhere. However, we ended up back in the MK parking lot THREE TIMES when trying to navigate from there to the Contemporary.

Of course, I’m a mess on directions. DH isn’t, and he was driving.

In general, though, if it’s not going to save you any money one way or the other, I’d rent the car, just so you’ve got the freedom to drive somewhere if you want to.


#3

I agree. We have always rented a car when we go. It reallly is not hard to navigate on Disney property. Also, it is alot faster if you have a car and need to get to a ADR on time. If you are leaving the parks at closing, you can avoid the long lines for the buses. Also, if you want or need to go offsite for anything you can. For example, we needed to go to a drugstore last trip when my DSister got sick one evening. It was nice to be able to just go. Also, the character outlet stores offsite are much cheaper for souvenirs.


#4

I think the different arrival/departure times seal the deal – rental car all the way. I generally prefer it, and while I haven’t stayed at AKL, I would think that from there especially (as opposed to, say, monorail resorts, or BW/BC/YC) a rental car gives some additional convenience.


#5

Bali, Disney property is SO clear and easy to navigate. There are HUGE purple and red signs everywhere directing you to every area of the resort. I’ll be so bold as to say once you are ON Disney property it is really hard to get really lost. They obvisouly have to make signs and roads easy for many tourists, including internationals, that may or may not be able to read a lot of English. The only part that can get kinda sketchy, in my opinion, is out by DTD. You will be TOTALLY fine though.

I think the flexibility of having a rental car would be really convenient. If you can get a good price on one I think you should go for that option.


#6

Because of all your comings and goings, I would definitely opt for a rental car. And it does make life a whole lot easier in the parks, when you want to go to different resorts for dinner, etc. We usually have a car and use it for every park except MK - it’s just too complicated there.


#7

I am a non-rent a car person on vacation.
I drive everywhere all the time, and part of the fun for me is getting picked up and driven around, starting with the town car and Disney transportation.


#8

See, that’s interesting. I take public transportation everywhere at home–to and from work, during working hours, etc.–so driving is actually a fun, away-from-work thing for me! Taking the bus at WDW just reminds me of being on my way to a meeting uptown :dry: .


#9

We always have a car it just makes life so much easier. We use the buses too but a car is just there and it makes park hopping quicker at most parks.


#10

I would rent a car. When we stayed at AKL we had a car and it came it quite handy. IMO it is much faster to drive to AK, DS and EPCOT. The only time the bus saves you time is when you go to the MK.
We have gone both ways, if we are staying at a MK resort, we do not rent a car and use disney transportation. If we stay at any other resort, we rent a car.
Gives you a lot more dining options. Plus with multiple airport trips- I would rent the car.


#11

We always rent a car. And I think in your paticular instance, it will be the best bet for many different reasons.

The signage on Disney property is very clearly marked. There are however, several times that you will be very glad to have a navigator with you in the passenger seat. As many times as we’ve been to WDW, and we drive every time, we still have at least one wrong turn or near misses. The problem being that they will have a sign telling you your exit is coming and you’ll need to turn and then that’s it. You may not have a second sign at the turn itself, which I’m used to here in RI. So if you see a sign that shows you an arrow to get into say, a right lane to turn somewhere, remember it. You may not see another sign at that turn itself.

The other thing is, AKL is at the far west side of WDW property. You’re very close to 192 where there are loads of places to eat for a fraction of the cost. You can save yourself some money by popping out there by means of the back entrance (a shortcut) to go to the grocery store, drug store, or restaurants. You’ll bypass a great deal of the traffic that way too.


#12

Those are some really great tips–thank you so much! We’re eating too much in the parks to need to go outside for vittels (we’ve got the newbie with us and we’re trying to initiate her at as many restaurants as possible), but drugstores might come in handy (for all of those basics that we forget that Disney sells at 200% profit in the hotel gift shops).


#13

I too vote for the Rental Car… I could not be happy without one… Maybe it’s a control thing, but I have to be able to get where I want to be without waiting for a bus!!!