Beach trip during visit - rent a car for the whole week? Just the day?

We’re planning to fly to WDW in early August with two adults and two boys, ages 9 and 11. (Yes, I know it will be hot and crowded.) Obviously a lot has changed since our last trip in early 2019.

We’ll be staying 8 nights at BCV. Our plan for most days is to start at a park that is not Epcot, come back and swim or whatever, then walk over to Epcot for the evening. Believe it or not, our kids’ #1 request for the trip is to visit World Showcase. :woman_shrugging: (Side note: is the big store in Japan still open right now?)

Their #2 request is to visit a real beach and see the ocean. We figure we can drive to one for most of one day - is it realistic to just rent a car for a day or two?

Or will we wish we had one all week? Is Magical Express going to be a frustrating nightmare? Will we want to drive ourselves to rope-drops? Help!

I’m in the same boat as you. I’ve got 12 nights at BWV and 3 night’s at Vero Beach. So here’s my response. In my experience in Oct and Jan I think Disney transportation/walking for DHS and EPC are better than parking. You certainly won’t save any time by parking at AK or MK so no need for a car unless you plan to go offsite or spend a lot of time at DS or BB as I know their bus service isn’t as frequent and is shared. I have booked a rental at the Disney Car Care Center (Disney Car Care
1000 Car Care Dr
Orlando, FL, United States 32830) and they will pick you up from a theme park or hotel and take you to the rental car location (it’s Enterprise). So we’re going to do a half day in AK our last day and after lunch I’ll have them pick us up at the hotel (so we can go get our bags) and we’ll head out to Vero Beach.

Yes the Mitsukoshi is open in Japan. I just bought my hubby a ton of Naruto stuff in Jan.

Magical Express was not a frustrating nightmare for me in Jan. It was very smooth.

Yes you can drive to Vero Beach in 2 hours so I’m sure there are tons of other beaches on the other coast as well you can drive to and back in the same day if you choose.

Edit: I will add you might want a rental car if you plan to eat at resorts besides the Epcot ones. But one way I am avoiding this is we’re doing earlier dinners such as a 6:30pm at California Grill so I can still catch the bus back to my hotel from Magic Kingdom after and I have a 6pm at Sanaa on my Animal Kingdom day. My plan here is to take the AKL bus from AK to AKL and then take the AKL bus to Epcot after dinner since it’s open till 9pm and just walk through Epcot back to my hotel since we have park hoppers. Maybe we’ll ride something on the way too :wink:

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Thanks for all the helpful information! I’m especially glad to hear Mitsukoshi is open, because it’s literally my kids’ favorite part of WDW. Hopefully I can tear them away to go ride Test Track or something.

Good point about the flexibility to eat elsewhere, I was thinking about maybe trying to have dinner at Sanaa one night, too. Not sure if we will go to DS, but maybe.

I’ve seen a lot of people struggle to get Ubers and with parks closing earlier than normal no busses so really that’s the only reason I’d get a rental car for the whole week. You really do not want to drive to rope drop. We were very far behind people that took the busses to AK when we drove in Oct because they wouldn’t even let us in the parking lot until they opened the park gates. However, the bus people were let out right away as we were still looking for parking. For MK you’d be all the way in the TTC so much better to try and catch the first bus. and you can walk to DHS and EPC so do not get one for rope drop. That’s a waste in my experience.

Thanks! Buses it is! Sounds like we’d just want a car if we decide to hop to MK later in the day (not sure we would hop to AK at all; we have two mornings there which should be plenty).

Walking to Epcot is definitely part of the appeal of staying at Beach Club. Is walking the best way to get to DHS early?

100% the best way imho. That’s one of the reasons I love BW.

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