Rental car vs Disney transportation

(Couldn’t find any recent posts about this)

Help me decide! We are a family of 4 with 2 kids (ages 7 and 9), going on spring break, 7 nights split stay CBR Pirate room/Poly, Park hoppers, no plans to leave Disney. We always rent a car, but we plan to Park hop using Skyliner/boat/monorail.

It seems obvious that the best is to not rent a car, but I have no experience relying on Disney transportation for rope drop and early ADRs and am concerned now with decreased bus times for Skyliner resorts… I don’t want to wait forever in line after park closing.

Any comments from those who recently traveled during CL10 and used Disney transportation? Any regrets?

I would just use Uber if Lyft for the few early and late times and transportation for everything else. That will be way cheaper than renting a car plus paying to park at the resort.


We recently travelled the second week of December (not CL10 by any means, I think maybe a CL7-8 was the highest), but we will rent a car next time.

We didn’t rent a car this time because we didn’t want to hassle with car seats in the airport and didn’t want to pay resort parking/overall rental fees while staying on property.

By mid week, we regretted our decision and wished we had gotten a rental car. The extra cost would have been worth the time saved by relying on busses. For example, we went from HS to the Contemporary via bus around dinner time and waited at HS almost 45 minutes for a bus to arrive, the it also had to stop at WL on the way.

We also didn’t like the uncertainty of when a bus would arrive. The below screenshot was the bus situation at 9:05 am at WL - we couldn’t tell when a bus would arrive for most of the parks. When we had ADRs, we started just taking Minnie Vans/Lyft because we couldn’t rely on a bus being available (this may not be important to you though, if your ADRs are mostly at Epcot/HS since you will have other options for getting there).

Also, we didn’t have major issues with ME, but my parents did. The bus before theirs (going to the airport) didn’t show up, so they had to wait two busses before they could board, then that bus made multiple other resort stops. People were getting off the bus to take taxis because they were worried they wouldn’t make their flights. My parents have pre check, but if they hadn’t, it would’ve been close (security lines were 40+ minutes when we went through).

For us, we decided the extra cost is worth the increased reliability and time savings. You can definitely make Disney transport work for you, but I would plan on leaving ample time for delays.


Absolutely this, and we had to use UberXL because there were five of us. However, we paid far less than we would have renting a car plus parking fees, not to mention the mandatory time-waste at the airport and the slog through the park & resort parking lots. There are only 4 in your family, so the regular-sized versions would be fine, and about 2/3 the price of what we paid.

We were there over Memorial Day and a couple of the days were level 10, we did stay at BWI so could walk to two resorts. You can take the monorail or Skyliner to two resorts. That only leaves two resorts needing the bus, and you can bypass most of those rides using Lyft.

The other thing you might do is just have a car for part of the trip, i.e. maybe the part at CBR. Put the more out-of-the-way ADRs on that part of the trip.


I recommend using Lyft to RD, if you don’t need car seats.

We were there in December for 10 nights at the Hilton at Bonnet Creek. It had a shuttle and we used it sometimes if the time fit us. It was actually on time and much more reliable than the Disney buses. But one bus serviced all the parks and DS. We used Lyft 11 times. A driver was there between 1-5 minutes. We were at the park between 10-15 minutes. It cost between $8-$14/trip. Over 10 nights, we spent around $120. That is way cheaper than renting a car and paying resort parking fee!

We used Disney transportation to get around, too. It was not as reliable as our hotel shuttle. One day, we were going from HS to WL (which shares a bus with the Contemporary). We waited 5 minutes and the bus came. This worked well.

Another evening, it was not as prompt. We were going from HS to the Contemporary (which shares a bus with WL). The line was unusually long. In the time we waited, 2 Grand Floridian buses came. People in the front of the line were mumbling they have been waiting 1 1/2 hours. We ran to the Grand Floridian bus and others in the Contemporary line followed us.

We loved the Skyliner! There were no lines and it was fast!

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We plan on renting a car because our party of 7 will need 3-4 car seats and would only fit in 2 Minnie Vans or Uber/Lyft. Also because we have to travel to UOR and Port Canaveral to DCL. (Resort and theme park parking is included with our DVC rental so that’s not a factor for us.)

If I was just staying at WDW, I would definitely forego the rental car and double dip on Uber or MVs.


I did a trip without a rental car for the first time over the summer. We will continue to rent cars in the future. Disney transport is fine but it is time consuming. We were late to multiple ADRs despite leaving early. Having a car is so much easier and faster. I did look at using Uber/Lyft for our trip next week and estimating the cost it came out close vs the cost of renting a car (we have a good rate from Costco). So we are sticking with the rental.


For my situation it was cheaper to fly into Tampa, rent a car, pay for gas/tolls and pay parking than it was to fly into Orlando and use DME.

That might be something worth checking into…


We have done that a few times. Sometimes the savings is incredible.

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Sounds terrible… thank you for sharing.

Time is so precious, I don’t want to take any chances. I wish Disney transportation were more reliable.


I rented a car for every WDW trip for all my adult life until they started charging for hotel parking a few years ago. I did the math and if you use 0 WDW transportation and only use a ride share, like Uber or Lyft, it’s WAY cheaper and much easier than a rental. (no more tolls / gas fill-ups /parking / hidden expenses) This included getting a Lyft from / to the airport.

I know many people like the Disney buses because they are “free”. However, you can be stuck waiting in the morning as full buses pass by your stop or just don’t show up regularly as advertised. This is a waste of my time, which is money to me. I’d rather pay $12 per trip to have a private car pick me up at my resort and take me directly to the park. No stops at each bus pickup, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with people and fighting to get on the next bus so I don’t get left behind.

The only reason I stay on-site anymore is for the 60 day FPP and MagicBands. My trip I’m considering a Disney Spring Resort w/ 60 day FPP bookings and just paying the $25 for a MB.


We’re doing the same thing for our Spring Break (needed a rental car anyway as we’re doing UOR and Kennedy Space Center).

Just for a number… My kids Ubered from MCO to the Hilton in WDW for about $40 on a Saturday night in December around 8:15 pm.


The last time we went in April / May 2019 this was about the same for 3 people. I think ours was $35(ish) + tip.


DH and I ubered for the first time last month in WDW. We felt totally safe doing that at WDW.


A fam of 4 with kids your kids’ ages can easily opt for a Lyft for the few times you’d use it. Don’t forget that you’ll pay the cost of the rental plus a nightly parking fee at your Disney resort, higher at the deluxe by the way.

For your locations you won’t need a bus except for AK. Skyliner and monorail are perfect.


While I realize you could not, OP can Lyft

This just happened to me. They gave me a taxi with a voucher to pay for it and I was on my way. I’d have insisted on that if it weren’t offered. BTW this is a new thing - honestly have never heard of this before it happened to me yesterday. I wonder what gives??

but the time sink of I-4…

I did that ONCE. Never again.

This was discussed on Resort Loop podcast once too, around the time the Minnie Vans first came out (cheaper edition, not current pricing). It was a huge ah-ha moment for me when they talked it through!


I always drive to WDW, so renting a car is not a consideration for me. But if for some reason I did fly (and was staying on property), I would NOT get a rental car. Even though I drive to WDW, I am perfectly happy leaving it parked for the duration. I spend most of 90 min a day in my car commuting, and after an 8 hour drive to WDW, I am perfectly happy to let someone else do the driving. The only time I’ve felt the “need” to drive is going from one resort directly to another. And now with Uber/Lyft, that would be my choice for those few occasions.