Do you Need to Rent a Car in Orlando?

Here are your options for getting around while on your trip to Disney World:

  • Stay on Disney property and use their transportation
  • Stay off-site and use your hotel’s shuttles (if they have them)
  • Bring your own vehicle
  • Rent a car
  • Use taxi cabs
  • Use Uber or Lyft

So should you rent a car, or not?

Here’s what you should consider: 

1. Are you staying in a Disney World-owned resort, or the Swan or Dolphin Resorts?

IF THE ANSWER IS NO  (You’re staying off-site): A rental car should be a strong consideration. Here’s why:

  • Hotel shuttles tend to be inconvenient. Though some resorts and hotels have shuttles, the number of runs and the timing of the runs can be inconvenient, and may not allow for much flexibility.
  • Taxis, and even Uber, can end up costing you a considerable sum. With the amount of driving you’ll need to do, it may be more cost effective, and it will definitely be more convenient to rent a car.
  • City transportation is not an option. Keep in mind that the Orlando area is not like New York City where transportation like buses and trains are easily available everywhere, and can get you everywhere. So city transportation is not really an option.

IF THE ANSWER IS YES – You’re staying in a Disney World Resort (Swan or Dolphin included): You may not need a rental car. Here’s why: 

You’ll have free access to all of the Disney World Transportation. There are pros and cons to consider, so take a look at our article here to see what those are:

Article: Disney World Transportation Overview.

Now that you’ve read all about Disney World transportation with it’s pros and cons, does that sound like you’ll be okay with it? If so, as long as you’re not planning to visit a lot of off-site locations, you might want to skip the expense of a car.

2. Do you plan to visit other Orlando area attractions, restaurants or shopping areas outside of Disney World?

IF THE ANSWER IS YES: You may or may not need to rent a car. Here’s what you need to know: 

If you’re visiting a lot of non-Disney locations, you’ll want to strongly consider getting a rental car.

If you’re planning to visit a small number of off-site locations, you may prefer to use a taxi or Uber service for those rides. You may want to read the following article to help you choose. You’ll be able to compare pricing and learn about how everything works:

Article: How to Use Taxis and Uber While at Disney World, Orlando

IF THE ANSWER IS NO: You may not need to rent a car, unless:

  1. You’d prefer to not have to use Disney World transportation.
  2. You want the freedom and independence that having your own car gives you.

3. Do you have some extra challenges or special needs?

For some of you that won’t matter at all, and you’ll be really happy using Disney transportation. For others, you’ll want to have your own set of wheels, even if you’re planning to only stay on Disney property.

Maybe you want to keep some items easily accessible in your car that you don’t want to bring into the parks. Or maybe you just want to avoid lines and waits for Disney transportation. Perhaps you just want the independence and freedom of choice that you have when you rent your own vehicle.

If any of the above are the case, you’ll want to rent a vehicle.


Do you have more tips or thoughts on this topic?

Please feel free to post them in a comment below. We’d love your input.

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