Transportation off-site - rental car best?

I’ll be in town Memorial Day weekend, staying on Irlo Bronson just west of WDW near where AK is. My schedule is a bit awkward.

  1. Friday morning early arrival at airport and will be tired from a red eye - may in fact be a good idea to get a cheap motel to crash at
  2. Friday-Saturday family stuff at resort (graduation)
  3. Sunday - at least 5 of us go to IOA
  4. Monday - I go to USF probably by myself
  5. Tuesday - I have to be at the airport late afternoon and could hopefully do some Disney Springs/Disney mini golfing etc. prior to my flight

Rental car will be expensive because I live in a city without a car or car insurance, so will have to pay for liability insurance. Still, if that winds up being say close to $300, that still might be worthwhile for the saved money and convenience.

Is there any way transportation to and from Universal for 5 of us, plus 1 of us (me) the next day, could be cheap and convenient enough to think about giving up the rental car? I also don’t know how reasonable and costly the idea of, say, getting dropped off at Disney Springs and then taking a cab/shuttle to the airport would be on Tuesday. Plus transportation for myself on Friday…rental seems likely best option but want to check with people.


After reading a blog post about Uber/Lyft in Orlando, I’m now leaning towards just sticking with those:

Because you’ll be in the city most of the time I highly recommend a rental. As for the insurance check with your credit card company. Most credit cards will cover the cost of insuring the car so that you don’t have to pay for the extra coverage. Also you might check with your clubs and affiliations like Costco, Sams, BJs, AAA, etc… as they often have access to lower rates or sometimes even rates that include the damage waivers.

Even though Uber / Lyft can be a less expensive than a taxi option you have to keep some things in mind. Their base rates are usually cheaper, however, they have surges were prices can go double, triple, or even quadruple depending on how much ‘demand’ they say they have. Also for 5 people you’d need the more expensive UberXL which covers larger vehicles and likewise will cost more. Add to that a surge and it can add up quickly. Plus if you are solely relying on this service you’ll need one anytime you want to go anywhere and even cheap trips will add up quickly when you have a lot of them.

There are shuttles to USF but they are typically $20 or more per person. A taxi to the airport from the Kissimmee area is going to cost you more than $50 each way and with 5 people you’d likely need two to fit everyone’s luggage.

With a car you’ll have the freedom to not only get to Universal but you’ll be able to get to much better dining than is likely to be within walking distance of your hotel. You can dine in Disney Resorts or at lots of other really good food in Orlando.

Just my 2 cents and in all fairness I hate going on vacation and not having a car. I like the freedom to change plans if I decide I want to do something else.

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We looked into the same thing :slight_smile: Except we spent part of our time in Daytona :slight_smile:

My tips for you :slight_smile:

  1. I would definitely look into rental of a car! You will arrive late, but most hotels around the airport are higher! We ended up renting a car and then one our return the hotel we stayed at took us back to the airport but it was at least a 20 minute wait. We had a mix up with our car so I’m not sure how well that was!
  2. You would still have the freedom to go where you needed especially if you had different things that you wanted to do!
    3 and 4) Just remember you will have parking which is about $20 on top of that! But a cab for us just around Disney are was about $25. To airport it was about $60.
  3. A rental car would give you the freedom to do what you choose :slight_smile:

Most hotels that we looked into didn’t offer shuttle. I would look at your hotel first. If they offer transportation to and from the airport you may get for your transportation to and from the airport and then you could always rent a car from an off airport location. I would weigh your options and just price everything out!

Totally Agree with @Outer1! I would look at your credit card companies for insurance. Or any members that you might have. I haven’t done the Uber, but we looked into it for Daytona and it was just going to be cheaper to rent a car!

Thanks a lot for the responses!

I can sympathize with wanting a rental car for the freedom; that’s how I usually feel! I have gotten used to life without a car in the city though and using public transportation and Uber/Lyft.

I will continue to monitor prices, but it seems like Uber is winning pretty hard right now. I opened up the app several times throughout the day and last night, and an XL (fitting 6 people) has an estimated fare of $34-$45. $45 was by far the highest estimate too, at many other times it was lower than that. So even if it’s $90 for the Universal day with all of us (5-6), it’s really $70 round trip because of parking (subtract gas as well). And that’s on the high end, it might be $50.

Credit cards do cover some rental car insurance, but not liability which might be the most important. Liability will be, I think, $17-$20 per day minimum. I believe we’ll be getting near $300 for the rental car for the 5 days.

Friday afternoon through Saturday night it is family reunion around the resort/condo, so we don’t need to go anywhere and other family members with cars will drive if we do. The biggest problem will be my own transportation from the airport since regular Ubers are not allowed, so it would be a more expensive ride, or I’d have to somehow get a free shuttle elsewhere, and then call an Uber. However I could also crash on a chair somewhere at the Orlando airport for a few hours until a family member could pick me up.

Sunday-Monday all I need is to get to and from Universal, which Uber looks to have covered. Shorter trips out to restaurants or whatever probably won’t really come up this trip, and if they do there are people with cars and/or I can just call an Uber.

Anyway, like I said, it’s leaning Uber for now. I have not yet seen surge pricing on the app, though that might be different on Memorial Day Sunday and Monday.

They say its based on current demand but I find it a little suspicious. We tried to use them several times when we went to Dallas last year and every time it was anywhere from 2.3x to 4x the usual rate. It was insane.