Pains me to pay twice for parking

We will be staying at the Hilton at Bonnet Creek beginning December 14th. It charges $29/night for parking. :woozy_face:

But we decided to keep the car because DS19 got us tickets to watch the rocket launch at KSC on December 17th. Barring them scrubbing the launch, we are supposed to be at KSC at 5 AM!! It is too much of a hassle and a waste of park time to go rent a car again. I ran the numbers for keeping the car and rerenting. Even with the Hilton’s parking fee, we come out ahead to keep the car an extra 4 days than to rent again on December 15th. (Didn’t want to rerent on the 16th because it’s our only AK day. It was our favorite park last time. We are going to MVMCP twice and we also have 2 MK days. Therefore, it would be better to leave MK early on the 15th (MK day) to rent the car.)

I’m trying to decide if we should drive to the parks and pay for parking. I would appreciate thoughts on the following:

  1. On December 15th, we (four of us) are going to RD MK for BTMR. I was planning to uber to Contemporary but getting nervous that the guard won’t let us through. I was planning to take the Hilton shuttle back to the hotel afterwards. Should we just drive and park at T&T?

  2. On December 16th, we are going to all RD AK for FOP. I was planning to uber and get to AK by 6:45 AM for EMH. We would take the Hilton shuttle back to the hotel afterwards. Should we just drive and park at AK?

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I would Uber/Lyft instead of paying for parking. We only ever parked at MK, but you’ll have a lot longer walk/need to get there earlier if you drive and park, even if you can’t get dropped off at the Contemporary.


Have been to two launches from Orlando, both by tour bus. They pick up from several hotels and also central locations like the mall - might this be an option for you?

Also - you may be aware of this, but did you know there’s a Hertz in your hotel lobby? Seems renting there would be very straightforward on your way in or out one day.

One more - unless this is an insane day you don’t need to RD BTMR. 7DMT yes, PPF possibly, but nothing else in the park has unmanageable lines on an average day. What are you using your FPPs on?

Finally - I see there’s a hotel shuttle, but it starts too late for EMH. Shame!


I agree with @JDAdams

I would not pay for a rental I was going to have to pay to rent, pay to park at hotel, and then pay again to park at parks. Nope. Hard no from me.

Definitely look to renting at end of day before your trip to the space coast.


I didn’t know this! Which tour bus company did you use? I just looked it up online and came up with Grayline, which doesn’t pick up until 8 AM and will cost us $236 for four of us. We need to be at KSC by 5ish am.

Thanks for the reminder. Hertz opens from 8 AM-6 PM. We would still rent it on the 15th (MK day) at 6 PM to not shortened our day at AK on the 16th. It’s $142 for 48 hours. It’s a whooping $181 if we rented it on the 16th for 24 hours! If the bus transport doesn’t work out, keeping the car through launch day still makes sense for the bottom line but it is also less hassle and nobody has to miss park time.

We haven’t been to any Disney park in 7 years. BTMR is our favorite ride. We would like to get on it 2-3 times with short waits. TP shows that if we get to Frontierland by 8:10, we can get on BTMR with 4 minute waits each time. Our FPPs are for 7DMT at 8:30, Space at 11:10, and PPF at 12:10. We don’t need to be at the front of the pack for RD. It is also a party night.

Agree, but we can’t complain much because all 10 nights are free.


My wallet totally agrees with you. These rental companies close between 5 PM and 8 PM. Sometimes, it’s a matter of time and convenience to pay for somethings.

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It would not be too much to get to the rental company before 5pm to me. I’d do it on the lunch break or before dinner. No issue IMO.

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Reading this it sounds like you already made up your mind to do the rental. So then do it - it’s worth it to you!

I haven’t made up my mind about the car. If I can shuttle to KSC for a reasonable price, I would shuttle.

But if I had the car, it still isn’t clear to me if I should just drive to the parks and pay for parking.

I wouldn’t do that, no. Parking will cost you a lot more than Uber or Lyft.


Thank you! :currency_exchange::money_mouth_face: Money seems to fly out of your wallet when at WDW :money_with_wings:


Quick reply because I need to go to work, but:

  • I’ve used Gray Line, Gator Tours and Florida Dolphin Tours (the last shuttle launch was massively popular so I ended up double booked as all the websites crashed). I had a look and it does seem that early morning transport may not be available with them for this one, sorry!

  • Can you rent the car, I.e. pay and get the keys, and then just not move it from the rental lot until you need it, thus saving on hotel parking? Maybe even pop it back there overnight? I cant see then having a legitimate complaint about having their own car in their lot…

  • Have you tried third party car rental sites or a coupon/corporate rate (I know IHG do one for instance)? Seems unusual you are being charged more for a shorter rental, there must be something going on there.

  • BTMR is my fave ride too :blush: I still think, especially with the multiple visits and parties, you will find it easy enough to re-ride and could use your RD for 7DMT (that is also worth a re-ride if you’ve never been on it - 7 years seems like you wont have been?) but some don’t like that. You do you!

You probably already have thought about this, but you may not want to pay for the rental in advance. Also check on what their policy is for an early return. You want to maintain maximum flexibility since it’s hard to predict when/if the launch will be moved to a different date.

I agree I’d take uber in to the parks, not the car. Even Uber XL for parties of 5 or more will be less than the parking fee.

Also, one possible reason why a two-day rental is less than the one-day rental is that it’s starting on a Sunday when massive numbers of people are returning cars. So there are more to be had, plus it opens up space in their lot. Sunday is the most expensive day to fly for the same reason- end of vacay. :frowning_face:

I hope all your plans work out, it sounds like you’re going to have a fun (and busy!) time.

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Thank you for all of your tips! I’m leaning towards not driving to the parks.