Bus vs Rental Car?

We are staying at AKL starting on Thursday and were wondering if we should rent a car. We’ve always relied on Disney transportation, but haven’t ever stayed as far out as AKL. Would love some input from some seasoned veterans! Thanks1

Good question! I’ve read here and on Chat that it can take a long time to get to Magic Kingdom from AKL. The 2015 Unofficial Guide gives these times…

From Animal Kingdom Lodge - The first number is average time. The one in parentheses is maximum time

In Your Car 39 (50); Disney Bus 19 (37)

To Epcot
In Your Car 19 (21); Disney Bus 27 (41)

To Hollywood Studios
In Your Car 18 (19); Disney Bus 22 (32)

To Animal Kingdom
In Your Car 9 (10); Disney Bus 17 (31)

MK is almost never worth driving, unless you’re hopping elsewhere.

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After relying almost exclusively on Disney transportation during my early visits to the parks I now almost always rent a car. Doing so saves a little time, but more importantly for me it also makes the time traveling between parks more predictable. I never have to guess how long I’ll wait for my car to arrive and I’m always guaranteed a seat. The latter has become more important as I’ve had many days leaving the park with a sore back and I’ll usually give up my seat to someone who looks like they need it more than I do and just deal with the pain. Regarding waiting, Disney buses are pretty reliable, but driving is generally faster. I don’t mind walking through the parking lots to/from my car, but that could also be a consideration for some. Another factor may be whether or not you want to visit things off property. At the very least, I’ll usually stop at Target or a grocery store to buy snacks/breakfast foods and will sometimes venture to other Orlando attractions and/or visit friends. Having a car also makes visiting other Disney hotels easier, as you don’t have to bus to a park first before going to that hotel, which could be an issue if you plan to eat at another Disney resort.

It’s hard to say whether it’s worth $150 for someone else to rent a car, but for me the time saving and the relative comfort of the car makes it a worthwhile expense.


I always rent a car, not so much for the time saved going to and from the parks- I mainly rent one so that I don’t have to wait on line at the end of the night (with thousands of others) waiting for the bus and then being squished inside like a sardine, with no empty seat to be had. I ride a bus all week to and from work- last thing I want to do is ride one on vacation.

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I will say the two things that made me always rent a car after my on time without one: Resort Hopping, and saving two hours on my last day. My usual car rental for a 3 day weekend is about $55. Minus the two cab rides I had to take to make it back from a resort bar or to a resort breakfast, that costs me $25. $25 to not have to leave what I’m doing 4-5 hours before my flight to get back to my hotel to take MDE is well worth it :slight_smile:

Thanks all-- does anyone have a link to that website/app where you can plug in your location and it tells you the commute time between parks, hotels, etc?

We’ve always had a rental car but on our last trip, we only rented for a few days in the middle. We ended up calling the rental company and keeping it for the last week of our trip. We now budget for a rental car as a necessity of each trip. My sanity alone is worth the cost. :wink:

@marlo7245 http://www.ourlaughingplace.com/aspx/twiz.aspx#.U_fzVO29LCQ

Thank you!!!

We prefer to take the bus and let someone else do the driving. If we are tight on time or have a very early resey, we just pay for a cab. I don’t want to drive on vacation :slight_smile: The vast majority of the time I have had no problem with the buses, provided you have reasonable expectations.

We are seriously considering a rental car for our next stay. Disney is so great and exciting and stimulating and I love meeting people and watching people too. That said, the time alone in the car, the quiet, the air conditioning, we think it might provide the respite between parks and at end of day that will make a difference to us. It’s an experiment, so we will see!