Dad is Retiring!

We’ll be closing this site on December 31, 2020.

As of June 2, 2020, we’ll no longer be updating content. But don’t worry - Dad’s friends can still help with all your Disney dreaming, planning, and booking needs!

Thank you for your support of Dad’s Guide to WDW for the past 11 years!

Do you need a car at Disney World?

This is a question I ask myself all the time. For Mrs. Mom and I the answer always has been yes, you do. (Except for the time …) We like the freedom of not being tied to Disney Transportation. Don’t get me wrong, Disney Transportation does a great job and we love riding on the boats and monorail, but we’re not big fans of the buses.

A car at Disney World from Lights, Motors, Action

No Dad's driving doesn't usually cause explosions - Photo by Don Sullivan

Before we tackle the burning question of the day, I just want to share a few random thoughts about having a car at Disney World. Take a couple of minutes then come back. We’ll wait.

Dad’s random thoughts about a car at Disney World

But the question is not does Dad need a car at Disney World, the question is do you need a car at Disney World? So let’s talk about it some.

You do need a car at Disney World if …

  • You are not staying on-site (meaning the Disney Hotels and the Swan and Dolphin) – those of you that stay in any of the off-site locations even if they say they have a shuttle should probably have a car. For example, Dad stayed in the Embassy Suites in Lake Buena Vista. It had shuttle service to the parks. But as someone once said things aren’t always as they seem. Shuttle service to the parks just might not be very convenient or quick. (Dad’s experience with off-site shuttle service.)
  • You want to venture off Disney property – if you want to leave the confines of the most money sucking place on earth and find a McDonalds or a less expensive restaurant. Or if you want to visit on to the other (sorry Uncle Walt but I have to say it) entertainment sites in the Orlando area, or if you want to do some shopping  outside of mouseville, you will probably want a car. (Yes, you can get a taxi but will you save anything?)
  • You are at Walt Disney World during the busy season – if you are visiting during Christmas or the summer or any of the other red, purple or black times on Dad’s Disney World Crowd calendars, you need to consider a car. Even during slow periods you can spend over an hour making a 20 minute trip because you are waiting for a bus (like Dad did).

You might not need a car if …

  • You like riding buses
  • You like waiting in long lines
  • You aren’t going to leave Disney property and are willing to spend all your money on overpriced Disney restaurants
  • You will be staying in a Disney hotel
  • You like standing up when riding a bus

OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit. Millions of people each year go to Disney World and don’t have a car and have a perfectly wonderful time. Dad even did it once (but won’t do it again). Let me just say, for this guy that drives an average of 30,000 miles per year, I’m a big fan of being in control (yes, I’m a bit of a control freak). You might be different.

Dad’s Bottom Line

Dad wants to have a car, but that doesn’t mean you have too. Dad also likes the Polynesian and the Pop Century, but they aren’t for everyone. We are all different. Yes, Disney will be glad to drive you around and they even do it pretty efficiently most of the time. You can have a perfectly great time without having a car. It’s up to you.

Comments 0

  1. Staying on property and good planning does make the use of taxis vs. rental car something to be considered. Rental car for a week = $300+. Take advantage of the Disney transportation system and use a cab only when necessary. As Dad exclaims, this is relevant only if you’re staying on property and using the Magical Express and need to get from a resort to another resort or (read and heed) to/from anywhere and Downtown Disney is involved (which you should never do, DTD should be considered as an off property attraction for transportation purposes), take a cab (trust me too). Only if your week schedule would require 20 taxi services at an average of $15 per trip would a rental car be justified.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

three × 3 =