• On Feb 24, 2023
    Pamela from AZ Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Our family of 3 and an young adult family friend are coming to WDW in December. It's a first trip for the friend and first holiday time for all. I'm wondering if this first visit should include WDW transportation or a rental car?

    Welcome back, Pamela! We are so happy you reached out again to planDisney. Oh, how I love the winter holidays at Walt Disney World Resort and you are bringing a "first-timer!" There is fun for everyone and it even "snows" on Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom Park.

    The answer depends on where you stay, how much you want to spend, how fast you want to get around, and whether you want to travel on your own time.

    The biggest benefit of renting a car is that it gives you the most flexibility and you can park close to the theme parks except at Magic Kingdom Park (you have to ferryboat or ride the Walt Disney World Monorail System to arrive at the front gate). If you are traveling between Disney Resort hotels a lot during your trip then renting a car is your best option. The downside is the additional expense for the car but one benefit of staying at a Disney Resort hotel gives you complimentary hotel and theme park parking.

    Most transportation at Walt Disney World Resort is complimentary. Walt Disney World Bus Service is dependable and will get you where you need to go but the caveat is that you should plan about 90 minutes of travel time using the bus. This includes waiting for the bus. Only one time in 14 years has a bus trip between my Disney Resort hotel and a theme park been longer than 60 minutes. You will notice it the most if you stay till the theme park closes each night and you are at a Value Resort Hotel (many more rooms and people). I prefer staying at a place within walking distance or another form of transportation such as watercraft, monorail, or Disney Skyliner. If you need a car you can always order a Lyft/Uber instead of the expense of a rental car and gas. 

    Another option is Minnie Van Service Connect by Lyft. It is your magic carpet ride if you want the full Disney experience and private transportation. I love these drivers. They seem to know everything about Disney theme parks. This is the one exception to complimentary transportation.

    planDisney Pro Tip: Be sure to stop by Guest Relations at your first theme park to pick up a "1st Visit" badge for your friend and they should wear it every day of your trip.

    Pamela, I hope this answer helps cover your Disney vacation in pixie dust. Please reach out to me again for more enchanting answers.

    Enjoy making many Magical Memories.
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Meet the Panelist: Jason, Georgia

I am a father and orthodontist who loves the hidden treasures found on Disney vacations. For over a decade, my wife and I have raised our two sons on Disney Cruise Line, Adventures By Disney, and Disney Theme Parks on both coasts. From large group and multigeneration family vacations to adult trips and couples getaways, I am excited to share my years of pixie-dust-covered experiences with you while planning your Disney vacation. Let the lifelong magical memories ... begin! Learn More About Jason

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