We look at the best and most convenient car hire locations for theme parks when you are staying at a resort hotel. Walt Disney World in Florida recently announced plans to charge a fee for parking overnight at its resort hotels. This move brings the Florida resort in line with the California Disneyland Resort and many hotels in tourism hot spots. Most theme parks have at least one car hire supplier on resort, or nearby. Use our guide to find the best one for you.
Walt Disney World, Orlando
Disney World Resort has three Alamo locations in the resort to make life easy. The largest is the Disney Car Care Centre, located near the Ticket and Transportation Centre. This location is very convenient for collecting a car before leaving the resort. It has the largest choice of cars of any location away from the airport. There are self service kiosks to use if you have pre-registered and it is open from 6 am to 8 pm weekdays, and 7 am to 6 pm at weekends. The Disney resort also has an Alamo location at the Disney Dolphin Hotel which is convenient to drop a car off after check in as it has shorter hours. Alamo has an additional location at the Shades of Green Resort. Hertz has an ‘on property’ presence at the Hilton Hotel, Bonnet Creek, which is within Walt Disney World property.
- Disney Car Care Center – Alamo
- Walt Disney Dolphin – Alamo
- Hilton, Bonnet Creek – Hertz
Near to Disney, but off the resort, is the Lake Buena Vista area of hotels. Most car hire suppliers have a small hotel depot within this area which is easily accessible from Disney Springs. There is another cache of small depots along US 192 in the Celebration area. I recommend collecting a rental from the bigger car care centre because of the greater choice of cars. With complimentary resort transportation you can easily get back to your hotel after drop off.
Universal Studios, Orlando
Unlike the Disney Car Care Centre, there is no larger location here to give you a great choice of cars but there should be a basic selection. On resort we can offer the follow locations (these are only available via our offline quote facility):
- Hard Rock Hotel, 5800 Universal Blvd – Avis
- Loews Royal Pacific Resort, 6300 Hollywood Way – Avis
- Double Tree Hotel, 5780 Major Blvd – Avis
Off resort, there is a choice of suppliers nearby:
- Dollar at Coco Key Hotel & Water Resort, 7400 International Drive
- Alamo at Four Points By Sheraton, 5905 International Drive
There are a couple of car hire locations along International Drive that are reasonably close to SeaWorld, but the closest is Hertz:
- Renaissance Hotel – 6677 Sea Harbor Dr
You can review opening hours for any of the above locations and other Orlando locations here.
There are several car hire options near to Disneyland, California thanks to Alamo and Hertz. There is not a massive amount of choice for cars as the locations are not huge, but the full range should be available.
- 711 West Katella Avenue – Alamo open 07.30-18.00 Mon/Fri and 07.30/16.00 Sat/Sun
- 221 West Katella Avenue – Hertz open 08.00-18.00 Mon/Fri and 08.00-16.00 Sat/08.00-13.00 Sun
- 1717 Disneyland Drive, Paradise Pier Hotel – Alamo open 08.00 to 18.00 Mon/Fri and 08.00-14.00 Sat/08.00-13.00 Sun
- 700 Convention Way, Marriott Hotel – Hertz open 08.00 -13 M/F only
Universal Studios Hollywood, California
Universal Studios is in North Hollywood at Toluca Lake. There are several Hertz locations nearby:
- North Hollywood, 6750 Lankershim Blvd Open 07.30-18.00 M/F 08.30-12.00 Sat
- Toluca Lake, North Hollywood 4426 Lankershim Blvd Open 08.00-18.00 M/F and 09.00-12.00 Sat
One of the restrictions you will find with these smaller, downtown locations is opening hours. Many operate reduced hours at weekends, or are closed altogether. You may need to book a car for a full 24 hour period if you are unable to return the car before the location shuts. This may mean incurring parking charges at your hotel, so that is an important factor to account for.