Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Travel Tips Tuesday - To drive or not to drive

For many people headed to a Walt Disney World vacation, driving is not always an option.  Disney makes travelers not need their own cars with the Magical Express and transportation between all resorts and parks, but are there other reasons a family might want a car when visiting the parks?


I've always had a car when I've been to the parks.  For the past 6 years, trips have always been an extension of visiting my parents in South Florida and before that, they were mostly day trips on school breaks.  Our last trip (June 2010), we borrowed my mother's minivan and drove up for 5 days of Disney awesomeness.  We stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort and took WDW transportation everywhere.  Most of the time, this worked well, but doing it over, I think I would have done things differently.

Staying at a resort like the CBR, you're often riding on HUGELY packed buses.  And, for some odd reason, it always seemed like every other resort bus showed up before ours did.  Not to mention that one night it took us nearly an hour to get back from the Magic Kingdom.  Made me very ready for an updated transportation system.  

In the past week, I learned something new: if you are staying on property - even at a resort like CBR that has free parking, you can park for FREE at the parks!  Talk about a huge time saver!  Worried about making a dinner reservation at a different resort or park?  You can drive yourself on your own time!  Need some groceries, baby food, diapers, or eats somewhere off property?  Or, curious about other Orlando attractions like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (I know that's not just me!)?  Drive yourself!
Driving into WDW June '09!

If you're flying down and think bringing the car seats is a hassle, well, you're right.  From what I've seen, airlines don't charge for baby equipment (strollers/carseats), but you should definitely call your airline to double check.  
Even my hubby was excited to be driving in!

I've listed many of the pros, but there are some cons: price, extra luggage (car seats).  Plus, extra responsibility.  Part of the joy of vacation is going to get away from it all and driving can definitely be a hassle for some. 

Do you like to have a car when you go to the parks?  What are some other reasons to rent or not to rent?

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. We are coming from up North and we are taking the AmTrak Auto Train- it allows us to pack our car full, load it onto the train, and unload the next morning. (train loads in Virginia, and unloads in Sanford Fl, which is 45 minutes from Disney. So you can have your car but not the long drive south!

  2. I've heard mixed reviews of the auto train - We're fairly close to the first stop in VA and my husband was tempted. The cost was shocking - more than flying for us - and I've heard mixed reviews. I know the trip is just about the same time as driving, so not something I'm willing to try with my over-active toddler! But, I'd love to hear about your experience!

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