Rental Car Considerations
Walt Disney World has an extremely efficient, modern, timely transportation
system. Moving from one place to another within the confines of WDW is
not difficult. To be honest, it's sometimes less than totally convenient
to get to a remote place, if you want to go from one resort to another
for example, but it can be done. There's a lot more detailed information
on the WDW transportation options in a later section ("How Do you
get the most out of WDW's Transportation System?"). The bottom line:
If you are flying to Orlando International Airport and going directly
to WDW, and you have no plans to go sightseeing outside of WDW, then you
can save some money by skipping the rental car and hiring an outfit like
Mears Shuttle or Florida Town Car to take you to from the airport to your
resort hotel and back.
If you are traveling to Florida and will just die if you don't get over
the Universal or Sea World or the Space Center, there are a couple of
ways to handle it. First, you can rent a car just for the day and drive
where you want to go. An alternative is to hire a taxi or one of the shuttle
services to drive you around.
National Rental Car maintains a rental facility near the Car Car Center
in the Magic Kingdom parking lot exit area. If you're staying on-property,
National will pick you up and return you to your resort in a courtesy
shuttle van. You should call at least an hour beforehand to make arrangements.
National Rental Car also rents cars directly from the Dolphin Resort.
Having said all of that, I must admit that I personally like having a
car at WDW. We use it for off-site activities (meals and attractions),
for visiting other Disney resorts (for meals and just for the atmosphere),
and for going to the water parks. Only twice have we flown to Florida
and both times we rented a car at the airport.
On both of those trips, we used Alamo as our rental car company. The
Alamo rates are very competitive, but the major disadvantage is that Alamo's
rental facility is both off-airport...and huge. I've never seen such a
large complex dedicated to providing rental cars to masses of people waiting
in interminable lines. It really is amazing. Like I said, the Alamo rates
are very enticing (at least when we used them) but there are clear disadvantages.