Although most attractions are located near each other (e.g., Disney), you still need a vehicle to get around town. Plus, we ventured out to St. Augustine, Kennedy Space Center and Miami, so the car came in very handy.
It might be a hassle and you might spend more time driving than in a bus, however to see everything the Orlando area has to offer you definitely need a car. Most hotels/motels/ offer shuttlebuses to the theme parks but you will be operating on their time schedule-not your own. and probably spend more time waiting around for the buses than necessary especially if you are visiting in the summer time during the height of heat and rain. Anywhere in Florida is not the place to be without a car as you are in a definite disadvantage.
When flying into Orlando the best car/limo service is Happy Limo. They are very customer friendly and handle their business well. However, we advise those wanting transportation around Orlando to stay away from Quicksilver. They are not customer friendly and their prices are not all that great for what you get. They do not handle their reservations in a professional manner and when making mistakes it is the customer at fault not them. Even if you have to pay a few extra dollars make your vacation more relaxing by starting out with a customer friendly car service like Happy Limo.
Anyone planning a visit to the Sunshine State, one of the essentials will be Car Hire, if you are intending to go FlyDrive you will find that the vehicle will be supplied by one of the big national company's such as Dollar, Alamo, Avis etc. You will be assured that the vehicle will be suitable for your vacation. If you intend booking the car yourself, steer clear of the company's that claim to offer cheap rates, you can end up paying more.
Some major airlines offer discounted rates with the major Hire Company's.
OK so you have got your car, your off on your first visit to one of the parks ie WDW. You will find the car parks are huge, so big that there is transport from the end of the line of where you parked your car to the Ticket Centre, make a note of the section you parked in (ie Mickey 23). On your return transport will take you back to the section. If you have problems locating your car, try walking down the line and press the trunk/boot button on the key ring/fob and when you see the lid go up, Bingo you found it. If this does not work, there are allways plenty of staff around to help you.
Just drive there but beware that it get very congested and people get very crazy.
You can drive or walk. I suggest you park somewhere and walk around if your just trying to see the city and don't have a particular destination.
Orlando International Airport is great.
Rent a car! The roads are easy as pie to get around on and finding everything is no problem. If you should get lost, stop and ask directions. There shouldn't be one person living in Orlando that cannot tell you how to get somewhere. Do NOT rely on public transportation. Taxis are overpriced and unreliable and the bus system is horrible. Most hotels should have shuttles to the theme parks, so take advantage of those if you can.
Orlando is a extremely spread-out city, and it takes ages to get from one place to another. I cannot imagine how people could get around without a car. If you don't have one, renting one is essential.
Depends on where you are staying. It's a fun road trip, but if you are going far you may want to fly.
If you are staying in or near Disney or theme parks, courtesy shuttles are the best way to go. If you plan to travel around Orlando and to the beaches a car is best, but bring a map....sometimes the toll roads are the best roads...sorry. Public transport is a abysmal.
We flew to Orlando, and then rented a car to get around.
We rented a car which I think is one of the best ways to get around and see all the sites you might be interested in. It is very easy to navigate around Orlando.
The local mass transportation is not very good. If you are staying at a hotel that is close to the places you are planning to go, the hotel will usually have a van that will take you for free (with a small tip for the driver). If you will be travelling farther away from your hotel or are staying somewhere else, you will probably want to rent a car.
If you plan to spend most of your time at the amusement parks, you will want to stay either near Disney or International Drive. If you stay in the city of Orlando, it will be cheaper, but you will have to drive about 15-25 miles (25-40 km) to get to the amusement parks.
You really have to hire a car for your trip here, as everything is so far apart. Before we left the UK, we thought the Theme Parks were a bit closer together than they turned out to be, and if we hadn't booked a car before we left, we would have been in trouble.
As a great tip, book a car that you feel will be just big enough for yourselves and your baggage, without being really cramped in. Then when you arrive to pick up your keys with the hire company, start to go through the motions with the booking, and if it looks like the hire company is just going to let you continue with your booking, suggest to him/her that you would have got a bigger car but couldn't really justify the extra cost. If he/she bites, you can start haggling.
If he/she still doesn't get talking about a cheap upgrade, then you must ask if there are any upgrades available. If there are, then you can start haggling for a price your happy with.
On our trip to Orlando, we had booked a standard saloon car, but after haggling an upgrade, we managed to get a Chrysler 300C Hemi V8 for only $200 more for the 2 weeks. What a bargain, and we loved it. My teenage daughters loved it too and said it was like a gangster car :)
To Disney property from the Orlando Airport- if you aren't going to rent a car take Mears transportation. They are the best!
Rent a car if you won't be staying on Disney Property. But while on Disney Property, use the buses and the monorails.