Dumb logistics question to save on rental car

We are on-site at WDW from Jan. 4 to Jan. 9. Then we have a 3 night DCL cruise (returning on Jan. 12). Planning to use Disney transport during the WDW portion of this trip.

We have a late pm flight home on Jan. 12, and would like to hit a park (maybe AK) on Jan. 12 after we get off the ship (we typically get off the ship around 8 am, back in Orlando area around 9 am, flight home is at 7:45 pm).

We think that the easiest and most cost-effective way to do all this is to rent a car. The cheapest car rental options seem to be at the airport (the car rental place at WDW is pricing out significantly higher at the moment).

Is there any reason that I couldn’t book DME to the airport on Jan. 9 based on a dummy flight, so that I could walk over to the rental car counter in the airport?

Can I manage my own bags, or does DME want to take them to ticketing/check them for me?

How early does DME pick up for a flight?

Have you checked car rental prices from the cruise port returning car to the airport? That would save a lot of time over renting at the airport and taking DME.

DME would be happy to take you back to MCO. You can bring your bags on the bus / they ride with you and you can retrieve when you arrive at MCO. The bus drops off at both the A and B side so figure out where your rental car counter will be.

It is a 3 hour pick up pre-flight. So if you tell them you have a flight at noon, you will be assigned a 9am DME pick up from your resort.

I agree. Take Disney transport to the cruise and then rent a car out of the port to speed back to WDW and then to MCO vs leaving the car sit while you cruise.

Thanks, MagicMN.

The thing is, Disney transport out to the cruise for us is $105 one-way, where a one-way rental car is about $60-80. I can return the car in Cape Canaveral, catch a shuttle to the ship, and do the same in reverse after the cruise. I think I’m still going to do one-way rental cars in each direction rather than the DCL bus transfer.

Good information on the DME to the airport so I can pick up a rental car, thanks.