Oneish day trip - Transportation from Tampa, one way Magical Express, ROTR boarding group?

I am likely going to need to be in Tampa for a meeting October 6 & 7. I’m considering taking a very brief and my first solo trip while I’m there.

There are no hotels available the weekend before because of the anniversary, so my working thought is to leave work a bit early on Friday and taking the last flight available home on Saturday. I’m thinking about using this time to stay in one of my wish list hotels - either the Contemporary or Animal Kingdom Lodge.

A few questions -

  1. Any recommendations on transportation from Tampa to Orlando? My office is in Temple Terrace, so on the east side of Tampa, so I won’t be at the airport. (I could possibly rent a car, but last time I was in Tampa for work, I barely used it so I hate to incur the expense.)

  2. Can I take the Magical Express out of Orlando but not use it on the way in? I’m thinking I would fly into Tampa and out of Orlando.

  3. It’s been surprisingly hard to figure out what my own personal perfect time at Disney would be since I’ve always gone with my kids or others and had to keep their interests in mind. My favorite rides are HM, FOP, and ROTR so one thing I’m thinking is doing HS that Friday. If I do a park pass for HS, and get a boarding group at 7 am, will they still let me on hours later? Or would I wait until the 1 pm drop? (Boo Bash is at MK that night and I don’t have a ticket so no point in going there.)

Thanks all :slight_smile:

  1. Yes.
  2. Yes (so far no changes on that, but keep in mind that things might change once Genie+ and LL$$ goes live)

Ditto @OBNurseNH for 2 & 3. From Tampa to Orlando I would just rent a car 1 way for the day.

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that was my thought too, but as OP said “not that” I didn’t say “that” LOL

but totally my best recommendation

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Lol I read that as in she didn’t consider having it just for the day vs the whole trip since it wouldn’t be used for the Tampa portion.

I wonder if there is some kind of Mears or Quicksilver equivalent that does Tampa - MCO or Orlando transfers?

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this was my other thought

I am figuring that the cost may be nearly the same as a rental

So my company will allow me to rent a car for my entire Tampa trip and expense it, so it technically wouldn’t cost me personally to do this. (I would check and make sure that the cost between renting at the Tampa airport and returning it to Tampa vs the car center at Disney was comparable to make sure I was being fair to my company.) Renting a car is not my preferred choice, but if it’s the most convenient and best option, then I’m in :slight_smile:

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Why not just return it at MCO???

I am attending a conference in Clearwater 9/24-9/29 and then visiting WDW 9/30-10/5.

My plan is to Uber between the Tampa airport and Clearwater. Dd20 is joining me for the WDW portion of my trip and I will Uber to the airport just before her flight lands, pick up a rental car (Alamo seems to be one of the few w/o a drop off fee), drive up WDW (about 1.5 hours), drop our stuff off at the Poly, and drop the car off at the Car Care Center.

I reserved the car back in May and it will cost just over $140. We will have the car for just a few hours. A rental until 10/5 was far outside of our budget for a “nice to have.”

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I had not considered that, but it would give me more flexibility on my last day. The only problem is that since I would not be working on Saturday and renting a car that I would be expensing for work, I would need to not expense that day of rental, which is a little bit messier for me and our accounting team. Dropping it off on Friday is a little neater.

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I could have expensed a car for the 6 days of my conference (it would have sat in the parking lot the entire time) and dropped it off at WDW, but I felt squidgy about doing that since I wouldn’t have rented it otherwise

Totally get the “messy” accounting. I have tagged on a day or two at my hotel after conferences before and it is always difficult to separate them for the expense report. I was originally going to have one day in Clearwater between the conference and WDW and went so far as to make a separate reservation of one night so it could have a different bill/credit card payment.

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Honestly I would save you and your work the headache and just 1 day 1 way rental the car out of your own expense.

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I researched some options and posting here for future reference for others -

  • MEARS does have a town car service, but the quote I got is around $400
  • Renting a car at the Hertz closest to my office and returning to MCO the next day is ~ $175
  • Returning it to the same day to the Hertz closest to Disney is ~ $135
  • An UberX from my office to the Contemporary is ~ $100