Guests at Walt Disney World Resort have access to a variety of free transportation options including buses, boats and monorails. Many guests opt to rely on these modes of transportation to get from point A to point B. However, if you’re staying at on off site resort (or, if you’re like me and prefer the convenience of a car to waiting for a bus), you’ll be relying on a car to get around.
If you are flying into Orlando International Airport and renting a car, be sure to select a car rental company located in the terminal. This eliminates the need for a shuttle bus to pick up and drop off your rental car, and in turn, saves you a lot of time and hassle.
The following car rental companies are located in either Terminal A or Terminal B on the Ground Transportation Level at Orlando International Airport:
- E-Z Rent-A-Car
- Firefly Car Rental
DIStracted Tip: If you are renting a car and your child requires a car seat or booster, check with the car rental company to see if they rent this equipment. There are also baby equipment and stroller agencies in the Orlando area that rent child safety seats and boosters. Renting once you arrive in Orlando will cost more, but will lighten your load and save wear and tear on your equipment.
Once officially on Walt Disney World Resort property, the directional signs change from the traditional green and white to a vibrant purple and red. While the signage is plentiful, most signs list numerous attractions, making it difficult for drivers to read at a glance. In fact, some exits have so many attractions they require two separate signs to list the attractions and resorts; this can make for a lot of last minute lane changes, so be careful!
If you’re someone that usually relies on landmarks to navigate, good luck! Disney has preserved as much of the land as possible, making for expanses of green space beyond the parks. While this is great, it can make it easy to get turned around–even for veteran guests.
DIStracted Tip: Be sure to have a trusted navigator in the car or, better yet, use an app on your smartphone.
If you’re driving to the theme parks, it’s important to note that off site guests pay $17 for a one day parking pass. This pass is valid at each of the four theme parks for the entire day: guests are welcome to leave and come back and/or drive to another park without paying an additional fee. Disney Resort guests park for free–just tap your MagicBand at the parking booth!
The general rule of thumb is to arrive at the theme parks 30-45 minutes before the scheduled opening time. Stick to this, and you’ll get a spot near the front of the parking lot, cutting down your walk to the main gates. If you end up arriving later in the day, or hop to another park, you’ll quickly discover that the parking lots are gigantic. Luckily, Disney provides trams to transport guests from the far reaches of the parking lots to the main gates (or the Transportation and Ticket Center in the case of the Magic Kingdom).
DIStracted Tip: Don’t forget to take a photo of the section and row number before you head into a park. After a day of day of fun in the Florida sun, the last thing you’ll remember is where you parked!