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Should You Rent A Car For Your Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando Vacation?

There are many ways to get around Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. We have used the theme parks transportation, Uber/Lyft, and renting a car. Renting a car for your Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando vacation is an easy process, and probably our favorite.

Once you exit your plane, you will head to luggage on Level 2. Once you grab your luggage, head down to Level 1 and go to the car rental desk. There are several to choose from and we booked Alamo. We had to provide our return flight information or pay a $300 deposit. Once you complete the rental process, you will exit the airport and go to the crosswalk for your vehicle. The staff will tell you the process to get your vehicle.

There are a few important things to remember.

  1. You will pay a nightly parking fee at your resort.
  2. You will be billed for toll roads. (Usually, a month later and will be separate charges from the rental)
  3. You can park for free at your Walt Disney World theme park because you have paid for parking at your resort.
  4. You will pay for parking at Universal Theme Parks, even if you are staying at resort.
  5. Construction around the theme park areas is always evolving and a consistent change. Please know the area you are driving and remember safety.

Pro Tip: Always do a video and take photos with your phone to confirm the condition of the vehicle when you picked it up. Keep these until after you return the rental.  

Travel Day or Park Day?

Should we visit a Theme Park on the day we arrive and/or the day we travel home?  It’s a question we are asked quite frequently.  We understand you want to get the most of out of your money and your trip.  So, do you hit the ground running or do you pace yourself?

I have found through both personal experience and listening to my client’s testimonials, unless you are local to Walt Disney World Resort or Universal Orlando, I would recommend declaring both your first and last days at the destination, a travel day. 

To put it simply, travel days are hard at any age.  In most circumstances, you have an early flight to catch.  Then you have the hustle and bustle of getting through TSA and your flight to your destination.  With family in tow you know that someone is bound to be hungry as well.  What should the plan be when you finally arrive at your resort? 

I find this is the best time to take a rest, then explore your resort and see all they have to offer.  Take a swim in the pool to refresh and rejuvenate the tired eyes, grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants on site to keep yourself and your family full and happy.  Perhaps enjoy a movie under the stars to unwind and relax from your day of travel if your resort has that feature.

You can also choose to visit Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort or CityWalk at Universal Orlando.  Both of these are shopping/dining districts where you do not need a ticket to visit.  There are many entertainment venues built in as well that you can visit to keep the family happy.

Once your trip is over, most everyone in the family is exhausted.  You will have walked what will seem like a million miles.  You may just be looking forward to getting back home and seeing your family pet that you’ve had to leave behind.  Some choose to make this last day a travel day so that they can slowly begin the “back to reality” routine.

However, there are many of you that still want to squeeze in those last-minute items that you either didn’t get to or would like to revisit.  If you decide to make a go of it, please be sure you factor in the following things.  Your transportation to the airport from your resort will pick you up anywhere between 2-3 hours before your flight home.  Also, think of everything after you land at home, grabbing bags, getting home and settled.

In conclusion, you as a family have to decide what is right for you.  Only you know your family and what they can handle.  If you are rockstars and can keep going without skipping a beat – more power to you!  If you’re the average family, like mine, I think leaving your travel days as such are the way to go! 

Christine Ruszkay has over 3 + years specializing in all Disney destinations, Cruises, and Universal Orlando.  Her joy of planning your vacation comes from her passion to help others experience the happiness and excitement while making memories on your AMAZING trip!  Her concierge services offer insider tips and tricks, plus helping you maximize your time with your family to experience what matters most to you!  

Walt Disney World

Ready to Wear a Mask in the Theme Parks?

We recently visited Universal Orlando because we wanted to share our experience with our clientele. It is not my favorite thing to wear; however, I would wear one to visit the theme parks.  Here is what we learned with some tips!

  1. Find a mask that is comfortable to you. You will wear your mask at all times unless you are in your room, dining/eating, drinking, or swimming.
  2. If you plan to wear disposable masks and will be visiting the theme parks multiple days, bring extra. It is hot and the smell is not appealing after a hot day in the parks.
  3. The worst time to be in the parks in a mask is from 1pm to 3pm or whenever it is the hottest time of the day. This is the perfect time for a break!
  4. If a cast member reminds you to wear your mask, please be nice. They are doing their best to ensure the safety guidelines are being followed by all guests. Remember, we are all in this together!
  5. Wear a hat or sunscreen to prevent those crazy mask tan lines.
  6. Keep your face and skin hydrated.
  7. We experienced what I call “phantom mask” at night. You have your mask on all day and feel like your mask is still on, even after you have removed it. This could be irritable for the little ones, so I suggest practicing with them before your trip.
  8. Drink lots of water, staying hydrated is best during the warm summer months in Florida!
  9. Contact us for your next vacation. We are always here working for you!

Tammy Richardson designs vacations for families and couples with a focus on identifying your vacation needs and dreams. At Fairytales and Sunsets Travel, we specialize in the destinations we book and we also research by visiting them.

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