Thoughts on renting a car vs using Disney transport from AKL

Hi everyone!
I was able to secure a reservation for my family at AKL- kidani for May 2022. We will be starting off at royal pacific for a night so I can get my roller coaster/HP fix in :shushing_face:

It will be me, my husband and our two boys who will be 5 and 2 at the time. Typically, I rely on Disney transportation but the travel times to parks on the touring plans site seem a bit excessive (50 mins to MK?). In theory, the youngest takes an afternoon nap though I remember it was borderline impossible to get back to a resort before my oldest inevitably fell asleep in the stroller. Except on my animal kingdom day. Naturally, he was wide awake the whole time and was a mental toddler when momma wanted to stroll the gorilla trails! Toddlers man.

Those who have stayed there- is it worth it to rent a car to make it to the parks in a reasonable amount of time? Or are the busses not that bad? My kids are up before 6 am everyday (why?? Why are they always up so early??) so it won’t be an issue being at the bus stops early am for rope dropping!

It just seems like such a hassle to travel with car seats/boosters, not to mention a significant expense, but if it will save us hours per day then I’m game.

If the bus system is sufficient, can anyone recommend a good company I can use for the transfer from airport to universal/universal to Disney?

Thanks so much for your input! I really appreciate it!
-Shannon

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Ok I have never ever ever been on a bus for 50 minutes from AKL. And that’s where I stay most often. 20-25 minutes is the longest, and that’s to MK, which is the furthest away. Fact is, no matter which resort you pick, you’re probably 20 minutes away from at least one park. AKL is 20 mins to MK, but it’s 20 mins to AK from the Contemporary! If you see my point. Plus it’s intended to be a much more serene resort than most of the others. I think the the whole bus time from AKL is over hyped.

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That is a totally reasonable amount of time! Thank you!

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We stayed at AKL in March 2020 with 4 and 6 year olds and honestly, I did find relying on the bus service a hassle - the previous year we’d been at Beach Club and were spoiled by being able to walk to HS and Epcot. That being said I’m not convinced that I would have found having my own car any less of a hassle, I think once you have to start getting to your car, driving to the park, getting from the lot to the gate, you’re probably dealing with a similar amount of irritation. The length of the rides wasn’t really that excessive, it was more the waiting in line for the bus to arrive that started to wear on me.

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The bus system from AKL is totally doable. You may save time driving, but the expense and hassle of car seats, etc. is enough of a downside for me that I’ve chosen to deal with potential delays on the bus. It’s also nice that the buses drop you off closer to the park entrances (especially with no trams running) and are typically allowed in before the parking lots open to cars, so bus is easier for rope dropping.

As far as transport to and from the airport, I highly recommend Quicksilver Tours - very reasonable pricing! They also do 3-way trips with UOR or even UOR to WDW or any combination in between. They will even stop at a grocery store on trips originating at MCO.

https://www.quicksilver-tours.com/

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Here is Quicksilver pricing for a town car. They also have a van service if you have more than 4 passengers or a lot of luggage.

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The one time we stayed at AKL we had read much the same and went ahead and rented a car (it was off season so it was very cheap and before they charged for parking). We ended up never using it during the trip, beyond a grocery trip (and now I’d just remote order and have it delivered). It was convenient on exit day as we drove to MK and departed for the airport straight from the parks. But the bus was fine and we were not tempted to ever drive to a park instead…

Save your $ and don’t bother with a car would be my advice…

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Has anyone had any luck using Uber Carseat in Orlando? Trying to decide how to get from Disney to Universal.

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Don’t forget that if you drive to MK from AKL (or any resort) you have to get from the TTC to park entrance via monorail or ferry (or walking, but that is a long hike). If you are taking the resort bus you are dropped off at the MK park entrance area.

And then ditto in reverse at the end of the day.

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The only walking option would be Poly to GF and then around, correct? Yes that is a long walk.

My impression is you’re not allowed to walk from TTC to Contemporary which is likely a shorter distance, although it may depend on where you’re parked…

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Yes. I walked from the Contemporary to the TTC yesterday. It was a bad idea.

you would have to walk in or alongside the road, so it’s not allowed.

They should build a walking path so it is possible.

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Thank you! I thought you had liked quicksilver but I wasn’t certain.

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I wonder if that might be the next step? Would be kind of cool if you could walk all the way around Seven Seas Lagoon. My recollection is World Drive is fairly narrow there, but there seems to be enough undeveloped land there that the walking path wouldn’t need to be near the road most of the time at least until the bridge for the Wilderness Lodge/Fort Wilderness boats…

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Yes, and there is a pedestrian walkway as the road goes under the bridge so it could be done.

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That’s right - it’s actually a water bridge where the boats go over the top. If there is already a pedestrian walkway there, that was the hard part…

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We rented cars for both our 2020 trips and I will always do that going forward.

We didn’t stay at AKL. We stayed at BWV and BCV in August and October and were able to walk to both DHS and EPCOT, while staying off the buses for AK and MK. AK parking was simple and very close if you get there early, but MK can be a hassle. We made ADRs at Contemporary to avoid the TTC on two MK days, but we did take the ferry one day to give the kids that experience.

We also then had a way to get the stroller back and forth and our own car seats every day. Plus, stopping at Target on the way from the airport is far cheaper than using a delivery service for food/drinks for the room.

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Thank you for this question! I have been going back and forth on the same issue. Will be there during thr Holiday madness

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Since the time my kids were little I prefer a rental car…most of the companies offer decent car/booster seats…

Just our preference- would rather come and go as we please…

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That is an important part. There won’t be that many more buses during the holiday madness than there are now.