FAQ Orlando

Getting around Orlando

Disney World bus picking up guests at resort

Disney's property-wide bus system picks up guests at an All-Star resort

Once people arrive in Orlando for a vacation or business, many rent a car, and Orlando dealers have a huge inventory. A car offers two benefits: One, it’s the cheapest deal if you plan to see several non-related theme parks or attractions and maybe go to the beach. Two – and most important to instant-gratification Americans – a car empowers you to head out the second your slowest family member says, “Okay, I’m ready to go.”

However, there are exceptions:

  • Disney-only trips (or Universal-only): Disney and Universal Studios have a complete transportation system. Disney’s includes monorails, boats, and an extensive bus system; and Universal has a smaller version. As in any city, a single vehicle does not always take you where you want to go, however, and it sometimes takes a change somewhere along the way. For example, if you wish to go from Disney’s Grand Floridian to Disney’s Boardwalk (entertainment area that’s part of the Boardwalk Resort), you’ll take a bus to a common area (such as a theme park) and then you must switch to another bus. You wait for each bus/boat/monorail, of course, though the waits are generally reasonable. Still, if you face two 15-minute waits for two 10-minute rides, you’ve lost almost an hour of theme park time.
  • Limited external activities: If seeing primarily Disney or Universal but making two or three trips locally, consider a taxi. Overall, it’s cheaper and less stressful. If planning a beach day, however, you’ll probably need that car. Resorts offer single-day car rentals too, and you could book a car only for those off-site excursions.
  • You hate driving: If visiting from outside the U.S. and/or uncomfortable with driving, go with the taxis. Even if it costs a bit more, they’re readily available at most resorts, downtown, and the theme parks.

Also see:
Parking a car at Disney World
Driving and lost in Orlando

Posted in: Chapter 2, Planning an Orlando trip, Tips: Save money – beat crowds, Travel Guide

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