We will be staying at BLT with DW, DD6 and DS4 and deciding between:
(a) car rental; and
(b) car service to and from airport to BLT along with Uber/Lyft to and from Epcot, HS and AK.
This issue is new to me because for our 2018 and 2019 trips, we used Minnie Vans … and for pre-kid trips before 2018, we used DME and Disney buses between parks.
My questions are as follows. I’m more concerned with saving time (and making sure the kids have car seats) than the cost difference between the various options.
How long of a walk is it from the parking lots to the Epcot, HS and AK entrances? Assume we will arrive about 15 mins before park opening.
Will Uber/Lyft save us time (I’m weighing the time spent waiting for Uber/Lyft to arrive vs the time spent parking and walking to the entrance)?
Would the monorail from CR be faster for Epcot?
How does our need for a car seat and a high back booster factor into the equation?
What other considerations am I missing?
If you’re not going to use Disney transport, you may want to rent a car. Using car service and Lyft/Uber would be a nightmare with car seats - no guarantee you could get one at all let alone promptly.
If you do have a car, talk to @OBNurseNH - her trip report makes it seem like having a car and parking has been a dream. I think you’d give Uber a run for its money on timing.
If you want to go for simplicity, stick to Disney transport and car service to / from the airport. A car service usually has booster chairs and car seats.
If I had the choice and considering time as the biggest factor I would rent a car.
- The walks from the parking lots are not horrible just depends on if you get the end of row or the beginning maybe a 5-8 minute walk to the gate, but getting there around opening should not be horrible.
- Lyft/Uber may be difficult to find a car with multiple car seat/booster options and may still have a wait to be picked up
- Not 100% sure about this one
- At least with a rental car you can factor that in.
- Disney busing is always an option but can be a time suck and with little ones having flexibility to come and go when needed is always good. Mears is still an option to and from the airport but then you would still have to find ways to the parks.
To do monorail from CR to EP, you first walk from your room in BLT to CR, then ride from CR to TTC, then switch to the TTC to EP monorail. The monorail dumps you inside security (since you went through security to board it at CR). There are always the possibilities for waiting for monorails to be factored in. I don’t know the exact times involved.
If you drove, you go from room to your car, drive to EP, walk to entry and do security.
How does preferred parking work? Can I purchase in advance at BLT on my arrival day? Or is it only available at the entry gate for the park on each day? Having cancelled 2 years of WDW trips (and other vacations), I can live with the $20 upcharge if it saves time.
At each park each day. Your pass is good at all four parks for the day though. So for us $20 at AK paved the way for preferred at the other parks for the rest of the day too.
But know this: when you arrives determines where you park for preferred too. Example: on 4P1D day we parked at Peacock 5 as preferred, and allllll the way at the end.
Last night we were basic parking but wound up in Peacock 12, but also much much closer to the sidewalk to the entrance.
We figured on both days we were equidistant from the entrance, once preferred and once not. In the evenings they do fill in spots to some degree as guests leave
So ive done both. Rent a car and pay for preferred parking. Witbout car seats, the answer is ride share but with them, absolutelyrent.
I think this sums it up. With the seat requirements you are better off with your own car. Uber might save a few minutes here and there but the seats can and probably will be an issue.
I found Uber to be convenient and fast last december, BUT we didn’t need seats anymore and we didn’t use it when RD’ing. it might be more difficult to get a ride, especially one with a booster at more popular times (morning and 8-9pm) and chances of getting a car with both a seat and a booster might be slim to none.
When you no longer need seats I vouch for a combination of WDW transportation and Uber.
Maybe someone can confirm further but it looks like Minnie Vans are returning this summer. Those have car seats but cost more.
That’s right. I haven’t seen a date yet though.
Yes. We would use the Minnie Vans, but I don’t think they will be back in time for our trip. At least I can’t count on it.
DW reserved a rental car today so looks like we are going that route. Thanks for your input.
On an unrelated note, here is a portion of a conversation between DW and I the other night while planning: @OBNurseNH
Me: One day at each park won’t be enough time at Magic Kingdom.
DW: Let’s skip Animal Kingdom and do two days at Magic Kingdom
Me: OBNurse wouldn’t approve
We are back from WDW.
(1) Thank you for the recommendation to rent a car. It was great. We drove from BLT to HS (twice), Epcot, AK and Disney Springs. Easy drive and much better than waiting for (and riding) buses.
(2) Despite DW’s suggestion to skip AK, we went to AK. Afterward DW said … next time we should spend more time in Animal Kingdom.
It’s addictive because it’s such a great experience. Glad it worked out well for you!
She is a wise woman (now that she’s been enlightened). Glad she enjoyed the best park of them all!
Happy to hear this! Glad you had a great trip!
I rented a car for my AUG trip and have done so in the oast. But Im considering trying preferred parking this time as the heat kills me in those parking lots!
Unfortunately my DH and DS are not early birds. How is parking in preferred with arrivals say mid morning 11ish or late afternoon? Will cast members let you find an open spot on your own?
We never arrived mid morning but did arrive late afternoon once and at that time we were in the last row of preferred parking just in front of regular parking and it felt a little bit of a ripoff.
But most of the time we ended up in the middle of the area. They don’t usually let you find your own spot, but we did have one time when we arrived in the evening at AK and that was the directive - we got pretty close to the gate area that time.
I don’t know that I’d do it again, but for this trip it made sense for different reasons. I just hate paying for the upcharges.