Should I Drive to Parks?


#1

We are staying at POFQ and driving to Orlando from home, so we'll have our car. I am wondering if it's worth it to drive to the parks rather than trying to get on busses and having an hour of travel time. Anyone drive when they go?
Also, how bad is the traffic and parking going to the parks?


#2

I wouldn't advise driving to MK as you have to park at the TTC and get the monorail or ferry to the park.

We stayed at POFQ and had a rental car but didn't end up driving to any parks except Universal. It's so conveniently located pretty close to everything - buses took around 20 minutes and we never waited long for one going to the parks - I'd say 10 minutes on average. We did wait a while to come back at closing a couple of times.


#3

What month did you go in?


#4

Beginning of August last year. CL7-8.


#5

Oh. So you DID go in the summer. We are going mid June and I'm just worried that travel time is going to eat up half our day.


#6

When you drive often you have to wait for the little tram to the front anyway so it doesn't necessarily save loads of time. What it does mean is that you can leave on your own schedule and are guaranteed a seat!

I don't think there's a right or wrong answer, but definitely don't drive to MK!


#7

Well, I am glad I know about MK cause I would have found THAT out the hard way.
The tram to the front of where? The resort?


#8

Sorry, I meant if you're parked far back there is a little tram that picks you up and drives you to the front of the park. When we stayed offsite and drove in, we never used it but it can be a lengthy walk even if you arrive pre RD.


#9

We almost always drive to the parks except for Magic Kingdom. I find it faster to get around in my car and we like to go early at rope drop. MK is always faster with the bus system at the resorts.


#10

We always drive to the parks, getting around WDW is quite easy once you know where everything is. We usually go in cooler months, so even leaving for a midday break, we prefer the car. However, I was there in late May last year, and the car kind of drove me crazy. It was great in the morning, but we park hopped or left the park mid afternoon and walking out to a burning hot car was horrid compared to cooler months. Since you are there in summer, I would drive if going for RD, then use the buses for a break, and then return by bus to same park and then at the end of the night the car is near the front of the park (no need to wait for tram). If you are not panning on returning to the same park, I would stick to the buses. This is completetely out of character for me to recommend this as I hate the buses (the wait, having to stand as they are overpacked, and several other things like puking kids, sweaty people, and similar that we have experienced)....but getting in the car was so horribly hot, I wished I was on the buses!
Traffic is no problem with driving. Occasionally it takes awhile to leave MK late, but there we valet park at the Contemporary so have to funnel into all the traffic leaving MK parking lots as well. There is no right answer, but for both my trip in 11 days and 74 days, I will have a car. Whether we use it or the buses will depend on how hot it is.


#11

We drive, too, and we are usually there during peak weeks. We have never found the traffic to be too bad, but we are people who go for rope drop, leave during the afternoon, and sometimes return to the parks in the evening.

We've had friends who have missed dining reservations due to the busses. Last time we were at WDW we were there the last week of July and took the bus from MK to Boardwalk for a DVC membership mixer, then we took a boat to DS so we could wait for 45 minutes for a bus back to Wilderness Lodge, where we were staying. By the end of that odyssey, we spent the rest of the day in the pool. Although nothing terrible happened, it has gone down in our family annals as The Day That Must Not Be Repeated.

Other car advantages - so we can get up and out faster, I usually drive and my husband brings his morning coffee in one of the refillable mugs. By the time we get to the park, he's sufficiently caffeinated to enjoy the day and he can leave the mug in the car instead of lugging it around the parks. Sometimes the kids and I will fill our mugs with ice and leave them in the car. Depending on the heat of the day and how long we are in the park, that often means we have a cool drink of water waiting in the car for the ride back to the resort. And, unlike the busses, we all fit in the car and no one has to stand. When the kids were still in strollers, the car was a must for lugging those and avoiding the stroller/bus aggravation.


#12

I always drive to WDW, but I am happy to keep the car in the parking lot and use the buses. I do not especially enjoy driving (anywhere) and I prefer to not have to be bothered with it on vacation. It maybe takes a little longer, but I don't have to hike across a parking lot (or wait for a tram), deal with traffic, etc. I also don't have to worry if I want to enjoy "adult beverages" - something I am likely to do on vacation. At least that's the case when I go solo. DW prefers to drive, but that's probably because I drop her off at the entrance and then go find a parking spot (she has bad arthritis in her hips and uses a scooter in the parks) and then go get the car and pick her up at the end of the day.

However, whatever choice you make in general, as others have said, definitely use the bus for MK; it will save you a lot of time.