cruiselineandmagicalexpressIf you are flying to Orlando, Florida for a Disney World vacation, you have several transportation options. In addition to renting a car, you also have the option of using Disney World’s transportation or you can pay for taxis and town cars. Is a rental car necessary for a Disney World vacation?

The short answer is not really. Disney World provides the Magical Express to and from the airport and has a transportation service throughout the parks that will take you to the Disney properties as well as the theme parks all free of charge.

The long answer is maybe. The benefit to having a rental car during your Disney vacation is that you are not confined the Disney grounds. You can visit some of the other theme parks and attractions without having to pay exorbitant taxi fees.

Things to Consider:

If you are staying at a Disney property, most parking is included (unless you valet your car) in the cost of your stay. As a guest of a Disney property, you can park at the theme parks for free.

If you don’t have a car, you will be at the mercy of the Disney stores and grocery delivery services. Having a car makes it easy to pick up lunch supplies, bottles of water or sunscreen at a store rather than the Disney souvenir shop.

The transportation services get very busy during peak visiting times. We waited through several buses to get back to our resort during one Disney stay.

I recently had the chance to try out the Magical Express. I took the Magical Express from the airport to the Animal Kingdom Lodge and then from the Lodge to Port Canaveral for a cruise. After the cruise, I took the transportation back to the airport. I did not have any issues. Everyone was polite, my wait time was minimal and the buses left promptly. However, I was doing some research and came across some horror stories from people who have used the Magical Express. Be prepared for a line, know that you may have to stop at three hotels before getting to yours and that it gets crowded and remember that this is an included (FREE!) service.

When you last visited Orlando, did you rent a car or did you rely on the Disney transportation?