Even if you travel to Walt Disney World by air, having a car has it’s benefits when staying at a Walt Disney World Resort. The convenience and comfort of having a car and not relying on Disney transportation definitely has it’s benefits and more often than not, I find myself renting a car. From avoiding long bus lines at the end of the day to being able to get to places outside of Walt Disney World, here are 8 Reasons to Have a Car at Walt Disney World on your next trip.
Thanks to Lexus for providing us with the Lexus RX 450H during our trip. All opinions are my own.
In all my years of going to Walt Disney World, I’ve had a car with us on about half of our trips. While I love the Disney transportation system and think they do an amazing job with it, there’s just something to be said about having your own vehicle to get up and go as you please.
Our latest trip we enjoyed the Lexus RX 450H to take us around Disney World and over to Port Canaveral for our cruise.This car made such an impression on me that I told my husband, I think it’s time I trade my big SUV in for something a bit more manageable for me. I loved driving this car and I loved having it at Disney World with us. Here’s why.
EASY TO TAKES BREAKS IN BETWEEN
Having a car makes it easy to break up your day and take breaks during the day. For my family it makes nap time a breeze too! My daughter, even at 4, will only nap in the car. So that ride back to the hotel in the car guarantees her a nap even if just for 15 minutes.
HAVING A CAR MAKES PARK HOPPING A BREEZE
Each park in Disney World, except Magic Kingdom has parking right outside the gates with a tram running every few minutes to pick people up and drop them off up front.
For Magic Kingdom, you have to park at the TTC (Ticket and Transportation Center) and take the monorail to Magic Kingdom.
A CAR MAKES SPLIT STAYS EASIER
During our most recent trip, we stayed at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort then moved to Coronado Springs Gran Destino Tower and then over to Port Orleans Riverside.
Bell services did a great job moving us the first part of the stay but when we moved over to Port Orleans from Coronado Springs, we just loaded the car and moved ourselves. We didn’t have to wait for our luggage to get delivered and were able to unpack and hit the parks quicker than if bell services did it.
LET’S YOU VISIT PLACES OFF SITE WITHOUT HAVING TO USE AN UBER
Whether you want to explore other things while you’re in Florida or you just need to hit Target to grab some essentials you forgot, having a car is pretty much the only way you can guarantee you’ll be able to do these things.
On this last trip alone, I made two trips to Target and a quick stop at Walmart for a cute Minnie Mouse dress for my daughter and I to Disney Bound in. Not to mention resort hopping to find the new Arendelle Aqua collection when it was released.
Plus a trip to the Disney Character Warehouse which was totally worth it! Without the Lexus RX 450H, I would’t have been able to do any of this.
PARKING IS FREE AT THE THEME PARKS IF YOU’RE STAYING AT A WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT HOTEL
There’s not much in Disney World that is FREE but parking at the theme parks is! As long as your staying at a Walt Disney World Resort. For guests staying at a Walt Disney World hotel, parking at the 4 theme parks is FREE. You can also upgrade to preferred parking for $20-$25 a day.
If you’re NOT staying onsite, park rates are as follows:
- Preferred parking: car or motorcycle – $45-$50 per day*
- Standard parking: car or motorcycle – $25 per day
- Oversized Vehicle Parking: Shuttle, Limo, Camper Trailer, RV, Bus or Tractor Trailer – $30 per day
HAVING A CAR MAKES IT EASIER TO GET TO DINING RESERVATION
I absolutely love the Disney Dining Plan and while I know others have different opinions, I swear by it and always try and book our trips during one of their free dining promotions. I do a lot of character dining so my kids can see their favorite characters without having to wait in lines in the theme parks.
Having your own vehicle means you don’t have to rely on Disney Transportation to get you to and from your dining reservations. This trip alone, we lost almost THREE hours getting to and from our reservation at Artist Pointe. Three hours.
Our actually dining time was about an hour and the rest was travel time. We could have cut that in half at least by driving ourself to the resort and then to the park after dinner.
This was the standard I experienced for most of our dining experiences on this trip. Our time was drastically down on the ones we drove to ourselves.
HAVING YOUR OWN VEHICLE GIVES YOU MORE PARK TIME
We tend to try and sneak out mid-fireworks or before they even start just to avoid the major bus lines that form when everyone leaves. While it doesn’t bother some people, my kids get real antsy waiting in large lines. Over the years, I’ve been pretty good a timing our exit to manage waiting in smaller lines but there have been times that the lines were so long, I had to figure out another way.
This is where using the Minnie Van service or having your own car would come in handy. Sure there are lines back to the TTC center but from what I’ve experienced it’s nothing like waiting for the bus or standing on a jam packed bus holding your sleeping child. It’s the worst.
Having our own car lets us spend more time in the parks and not worry about trying to avoid the bus crowds.
KEEP EXTRA THINGS IN YOUR CAR
This came in handy for us on our last trip. We were literally in Disney for two weeks before heading out on a Halloween on the High Seas Cruise. We had LOTS of luggage. I packed according to which portion of the trip we were on. So I had suitcase designated for the cruise, for the first portion of our trip at Disney’s Grand Floridian and for the second half at Disney’s Coronado Springs Gran Destino tower.
I left all the suitcase in the trunk of the car and only brought in which ones we needed freeing up plenty of space in our rooms. The same went with the cruise. We all know how valuable space is in our rooms on a cruise ship, so this was nice to be able to leave the rest behind.
Oversized items like strollers, extra luggage and even large souvenirs are great to leave in the trunk.
WHY DO I NEED A CAR IF MAGICAL EXPRESS IS FREE ?
That’s a good questions and while you don’t need a car when your staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, it’s an added bonus to have one.
I’ve stayed at all the different hotel options in Walt Disney World. I’ve stayed at Value (not my favorite), moderate ( which we do often) and deluxe (I’ve totally been spoiled and only want to stay in the Grand Floridian from now on) and with the exception of a monorail resort like the Grand Floridian, waiting for a bus to and from the parks is not my favorite thing.
It’s not bad by any means and I do it because I love Disney but I loathe the lines at the end of a day and the standing room only busses while I’m holding my 40lb. toddler.
Having a car lets me avoid that.
IS THERE A FEE TO PARK AT WALT DISNEY WORLD HOTELS?
While parking at the hotels used to be free, as of 2019 there is a charge for overnight parking at the hotels. It’s based on which level hotel you’re staying at:
- Disney Value Resorts: $15 per night
- Disney Moderate Resorts: $20 per night
- Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts: $25 per night
If you’re staying at the Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort., each campsite provides parking space for one (1) motorized vehicle for FREE.
Valet parking is also available at select Disney Deluxe Resorts and Disney Deluxe Villas for $33 per night (sales tax included).
ALL ABOUT THE LEXUS RX 450H
The 2019 Lexus RX 450h in Nightfall Mica is a real head-turner. With 18in wheels and a two-tone interior the looks are there with this SUV.
With a starting price of $46,000 this AWD SUV gives you piece of mind and good looks all in one unbelievable comfortable package. Some vehicles we test out lack on interior space but thankfully the Lexus RX 450h did not. Given that we’re all tall people, we need the leg room and even when I sat in the back, I was comfortable.
When it comes to fuel economy, count on 31/28/30 EPA-ESTIMATED MPG (CITY/HWY/COMBINED). Trunk space has plenty of room to fit all your suitcases and whatever else you may want to transport
Visit Lexus.com to learn more about the Lexus RX 450h and to find a dealer near you.