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Magic Kingdom Review 4 Days of Fun in Orlando

Welcome to the ultimate family guide to planning your 4-day trip to Orlando, Florida, where you can create unforgettable memories, including having a magical day, or week, at the iconic Magic Kingdom Park.


Orlando, Florida, is a popular destination for families with kids, and it’s a great choice to add to your bucket list if you’re looking for a fun and memorable vacation. Orlando can be a destination that offers something for everyone, from theme parks to natural wonders and endless entertainment options.


In this guide, I will be sharing our family’s journey through Orlando, with a particular focus on how to create an unforgettable experience for the whole family.


I will take you through the must-visit attractions, insider tips on how to make the most of your time at the Magic Kingdom Park in Disney World, and you can read my recommendations for the best family-friendly restaurants and accommodations.


Join us on this adventure through the enchanting Magic Kingdom Park in the city of Orlando, and let’s create unforgettable memories together!

Map thanks to Wanderlog, a vacation planner app on iOS and Android

Our Magic Kingdom Resort Choice: The Grove Resort and Water Park

We stayed at The Grove Resort and Water Park Orlando, a luxurious family-friendly resort located in the city. This family-friendly resort is just a few miles from Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort, making it an ideal destination for families exploring Orlando’s theme parks.


The resort offers spacious suites and villas that accommodate families of all sizes. Each suite has a fully equipped kitchen, a living room, a private balcony, and in-room laundry facilities. The villas have private pools, hot tubs, and outdoor kitchens, perfect for families who want to relax and enjoy their time together.

The resort features a large water park perfect for kids of all ages. The park has several water slides, a lazy river, a kid’s splash area, and a wave pool. The resort also has a state-of-the-art fitness center, a spa, and several dining options that offer various cuisine options.


Guests can also enjoy various outdoor activities, including fishing, paddleboarding, and kayaking on Lake Austin, just a few steps away from the resort. Overall, The Grove Resort and Water Park Orlando is an ideal destination for families who want to enjoy a luxurious stay in Orlando, with easy access to the city’s top attractions.

The Grove Resort and Water Park in Orlando offers a variety of activities for kids. Some of these include:

1. Surfuri Water Park: The water park at The Grove Resort features a large lazy river, multiple slides, a surf simulator, and a children’s play area.

2. Kid’s Club: The Kid’s Club at The Grove Resort is a supervised program that offers a variety of activities for kids, including arts and crafts, movies, games, and more.

3. Flip Flop’s Arcade: The on-site arcade at The Grove Resort has a variety of games that kids can enjoy, including classic arcade games and glowing mini golf.

4. Paddle Boats or kayaking: Families can rent swan boats or kayaks and explore the resort’s 20-acre Lake Austin Pier. 

5. Outdoor Sports: The resort offers a variety of outdoor sports activities for kids, including basketball, volleyball, and a large lawn for playing games like frisbee or soccer.

6. Fishing: The Grove Resort has a stocked lake open for fishing. Kids can enjoy a fun and relaxing afternoon catching fish with their families.

7. Bike Rentals: The resort offers bicycles for rent, including single bikes, tandem bikes, and bicycles with child seats. Guests can explore the resort’s 20-acre lake and surrounding nature trails by bike.

8. Movie Nights: The resort has a 50-seat movie theater that shows family-friendly films, but during select nights, the resort also hosts outdoor movie nights, which take place on the resort’s lawn or near the pool area.

9. Tennis: The resort has two tennis courts available for guests to use. The courts are lit for nighttime play and equipment is available for rent.

10. Pickleball: The resort has four pickleball courts available for guests to use. Pickleball equipment is available for rent as well.


These are just a few of the many activities that The Grove Resort and Waterpark offer for kids. The destination is designed to provide families with a fun and memorable vacation experience that will last for years.

Pricing for The Grove Resort and Water Park

The daily rate for a Superior 3-bedroom 2 Bathroom Suite with view at The Grove Resort ranges between 250$ and 450 $USD and can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the time of year, length of stay, availability, and demand. However, I can tell you that there are additional fees for staying at the resort, so keep reading to find out what to look out for.


The resort fee is between $35 – $45 USD plus tax per night and per suite, and is required to pay at the time of check-in the resort. This fee includes excellent amenities such as Wi-Fi access, Walt Disney World Resort transportation, fitness center access, Water Park and pool access, In-suite coffee and tea, and local and toll-free calls.


When I booked our vacation package online, which included hotel and flights for 1 adult and 1 child, I didn’t realize how big the room was until we got there. My friend also booked the same vacation package for her son and herself, as we wanted to make sure we had our own room and bathroom.


When we arrived, it wasn’t just a room with 2 beds but a Superior suite that included 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, and a living room. We ended up having 2 separate Superior suites and had to pay a resort fee of 180 $USD per suite.


Given that, the 4 of us could have comfortably stayed in only one Superior suite at The Grove Resort. We felt like we unnecessarily paid resort fees for an extra Superior suite. I wish the staff at the front desk should have mentioned that and made other arrangements.


Overall, our stay at The Grove Resort and Water Park was wonderful! The accommodations were so comfortable and clean, and the water park was so much fun for the whole family. We also appreciated the friendly staff and the great amenities they offer guests. We will definitely come back, but this time, one Superior suite for 4 people is more than enough!


You can watch the video below to see our suite first-hand!

Where To Eat Close The Grove Resort

Several family-friendly dining options are near The Grove Resort and Water Park in Orlando. Here are some recommendations:


1. Olive Garden: Located about 15 minutes from The Grove Resort, is an Italian-inspired casual dining restaurant chain that serves various pasta dishes, salads, soups, and other Italian-American favorites. We had dinner at this restaurant and absolutely loved it! The food was great, and they also offered a kid’s menu.

Olive Garden restaurant orlando
Olive Garden. Toasted Ravioli Appetizer 9.79 $USD & Kids Spaghetti with Alfredo Sauce 7 $USD

2. Drafts Sports Bar & Grill: Located near Westgate Vacation Villas Resort & Spa, this restaurant offers a family-friendly atmosphere with classic American dishes like burgers, wings, and pizza.

3. Miller’s Ale House: Another nearby restaurant, Miller’s Ale House, offers a wide range of American cuisine, from salads and sandwiches to steaks and seafood. They also have a kids’ menu and TVs throughout the restaurant for sports fans.

4. Bahama Breeze Island Grille: This Caribbean-inspired restaurant is located in the nearby town of Kissimmee. It offers a variety of island-themed dishes, including jerk chicken, seafood, and tropical drinks. They also have a kids’ menu.

5. Valencia Restaurant: Located inside The Grove Resort, this restaurant serves American cuisine with a Florida twist. They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner and a kids’ menu. We had breakfast there, and I found this place too pricey, in my opinion. I feel frustrated and misled because The Grove Resort charged my daughter and me $60 USD for breakfast, despite being told by their website and the restaurant staff that it was included. This has left me feeling disappointed with my experience at the resort.

These are just a few dining options near The Grove Resort and Water Park in Orlando.

4 Simple Ways to Save Money on Food

If you’re looking to save money on food while traveling in the city of Orlando, there are a few things you can do:


1. Cook your own meals: At The Grove Resort and Water Park, each suite is equipped with a full kitchen, so you can cook your own meals. This can be a great way to save money, as grocery stores in the area tend to be more affordable than restaurants.

2. Shop at nearby grocery stores: Several grocery stores are located within a short distance of The Grove Resort and Water Park, including Publix, Walmart, Aldi, and Target. By shopping at these stores, you can stock up on groceries and other supplies at a lower cost than at the resort.

3. Find local restaurant deals and specials: If you decide to eat out, look for bargains and specials at local restaurants. Many restaurants in the area offer discounted meals on certain days of the week or during specific times. You can also look for coupons in local newspapers or online sites like Groupon.

4. Bring your own snacks and drinks: While you’re out and about, bring your own snacks and drinks to avoid paying for expensive snacks and beverages. This can be a great way to save money, especially if your kids get hungry or thirsty frequently throughout the day.

Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World: A Magical Place to Visit

Magic Kingdom is one of four theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. It is the original park and has welcomed visitors since its opening in 1971.

Magic Kingdom walt disney world map 2023

The park is designed to be a place where guests can experience the magic of Disney and immerse themselves in a world of fantasy and adventure.


It is divided into 6 different lands, each with its own unique theme and attractions:

  1. Main Street, USA: This park area is designed to look like an old-fashioned American town at the turn of the 20th century. It features shops, restaurants, and the park’s iconic Cinderella Castle.
  2. Adventureland: Inspired by exotic locations and adventure stories, this area of the park features attractions like the Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Enchanted Tiki Room.
  3. Frontierland: This area of the park is designed to look like the American frontier of the 1800s. Attractions include Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the Country Bear Jamboree, and Tom Sawyer Island.
  4. Liberty Square: Inspired by Colonial America, this area of the park features the Haunted Mansion attraction and the Hall of Presidents, which showcases animatronic figures of all U.S. Presidents.
  5. Fantasyland: This park area is inspired by classic Disney fairy tales and features attractions like “it’s a small world,” Peter Pan’s Flight, and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
  6. Tomorrowland: This park area is designed to look like a futuristic city and includes attractions like Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover.


In addition to these lands, Magic Kingdom Park also features parades, and a daily 15-minute nighttime fireworks show starting at 8:15 pm, character meet-and-greets and live performances throughout the park.

For little kids between 3 and 12 years old, Magic Kingdom Park is usually one of the best Disney Parks to visit. Magic Kingdom Park is the classic Disney park that features iconic attractions, such as Cinderella’s Castle, “it’s a small world,” and Dumbo the Flying Elephant.


It also has many rides and experiences that cater to younger kids, including the Mad Tea Party, the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.


Additionally, once you get tired from all the thrilling rides, Magic Kingdom Park will also host daily parades and fireworks displays that will captivate young children’s imaginations. Overall, Magic Kingdom offers a well-rounded experience that is sure to entertain and delight kids of all ages.


I decided to visit Walt Disney World for only 1 day because it was our first visit, and I wasn’t sure if my daughter would be able to walk all day for more than one day or how I would manage everything as a single mother.


I wanted to try a shorter visit to the Magic Kingdom to see how we would handle it and ensure it would be an enjoyable experience for everyone. If everything goes well, I may consider a more extended visit in the future.

Magic Kingdom Review: How much does it cost?

The cost of a 1-day ticket to Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida can vary depending on the time of year and whether you purchase the ticket in advance or at the gate. We went there on Valentine’s Day (for 1 day) and paid $344 USD for my daughter and me. As for Valentine’s Day, there are no special rates or additional fees, and the price is the same online and at the gate.


A 1-day ticket to Magic Kingdom for an adult (ages 10+) typically ranges from 109 $ to 159 $USD, depending on the date, while a 1-day ticket for a child (ages 3-9) usually ranges from 104 $ to 154 $USD. Children under the age of 3 don’t need a ticket to join you as you visit Magic Kingdom at Disney World.


Save on tickets to Orlando’s famous theme parks including Walt Disney World® Resort.


Learn more about ways to cut costs for your trip to Walt Disney World by reading this post: “WHY YOU SHOULD BUY CITYPASS ON YOUR NEXT TRIP

How many rides can you do in 1 day at Magic Kingdom Park?

The number of rides you can do in one day at Magic Kingdom Park depends on several factors, such as the crowd level, the time of year, and how efficiently you move through the park. Magic Kingdom has more than 30 attractions, including thrill rides, a daily firework show, and character experiences, so it’s unlikely that you will be able to experience everything in one day.


However, with good planning and strategic use of the Lightning Lanes to avoid long wait times, you can experience some of the most popular attractions in one day. On average, visitors can experience around 10-12 attractions in a day, but this can vary widely depending on the factors I’ve already discussed above. We were only able to ride 5 rides because we didn’t know about Lightning Lanes.


Below are the 5 rides we did in 1 day:

  • 42 Prince Charming Regal Carrousel 
  • 54 Princess Fairytale Hall
  • 34 Haunted Mansion Ride 
  • 49 Dumbo Flying Elephant
  • 66 Tomorrowland Speedway

Shows we saw:

  • Disney Characters on Parade
  • Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire
  • Disney Enchantment Nighttime Fireworks

What are lighting lanes?

A Lightning Lane is a paid service introduced by Walt Disney World as a replacement for the complimentary FastPass+ service, which was suspended during the phased reopening of the theme parks in 2021. Lightning Lanes allow guests to make a paid reservation to skip the regular standby line for select attractions at Walt Disney World.


With Lightning Lane, guests can reserve a time to visit their favorite ride through the My Disney Experience mobile app or at designated kiosks within the park. The reservation will give guests one hour to enter the Lightning Lane entrance for the fun ride, bypassing the regular standby line.


The cost of Lightning Lane varies depending on the date, park, and attraction. The price range for the service is currently advertised as starting from 7 $USD per person and per ride but can be as high as 15 $USD or more per ride for each person. However, it’s important to note that the availability of Lightning Lane reservations may be limited and subject to change.


Guests who purchase the Disney Genie+ service, which costs 15$-29 $USD per person each day, can make Lightning Lane reservations for select attractions throughout the day. Some favorite rides may require an additional fee on top of the Disney Genie+ service.


It’s important to note that while trying to ride as many attractions as possible can be fun, taking breaks, staying hydrated, and enjoying the atmosphere and entertainment in the park are essential. Rushing from ride to ride can be exhausting, so it’s important to pace yourself and have realistic expectations about what you can accomplish in a day.

Where to eat at the Magic Kingdom Park


There are many great dining options at Magic Kingdom. It’s always a good idea to make advance reservations to ensure you can enjoy the restaurant of your choice. Here are a few popular ones:


  1. Be Our Guest Restaurant: This restaurant is themed after the Beast’s castle from “Beauty and the Beast” and serves French-inspired cuisine for lunch and dinner. It’s one of the most popular restaurants at Magic Kingdom, so advance reservations are highly recommended.
  2. Cinderella’s Royal Table: This restaurant is located inside Cinderella Castle and offers a dining experience fit for royalty. Guests can meet several Disney princesses while enjoying a meal of American cuisine.
  3. The Crystal Palace: This restaurant is located on Main Street, USA, and features a character dining experience with Winnie the Pooh and his friends. The buffet-style restaurant serves American cuisine and offers a great view of Cinderella Castle.
  4. Skipper Canteen: This restaurant is in Adventureland and is themed after the Jungle Cruise attraction. The menu features international cuisine, and the atmosphere is fun and adventurous.
  5. Tony’s Town Square Restaurant: This restaurant is located on Main Street, USA, and is themed after the Italian restaurant featured in the movie “Lady and the Tramp.” The menu features classic Italian dishes, and the atmosphere is cozy and charming.
  6. The Plaza Restaurant: This restaurant is a table-service dining location on Main Street, U.S.A., and offers classic American fare in a charming, turn-of-the-century setting.
Plaza restaurant magic kingdom walt disney world
The Plaza Restaurant. Cheeseburger with Sliced Apples Kids Meal 12 $USD & Seared Crab Cakes Appetizer 11 $USD

These are just a few great dining options at Magic Kingdom Park. Since these restaurants are popular dining locations, reservations are always recommended. Guests can make a reservation up to 60 days in advance using the My Disney Experience app.

Magic Kingdom Review: Cost of Renting a stroller

The cost to rent a single stroller at Walt Disney World is 15 $USD per day, and double strollers are 31 $USD per day. The strollers are available for rent at all four Walt Disney World theme parks and Disney Springs.


On a first-come, first-served basis, strollers are available for daily rental. The rental fee includes a clean and sanitized stroller that is easy to maneuver, with comfortable seats and canopies to provide shade and protection from the sun.


The strollers are recommended for children aged 6 months to 6 years, with a weight limit of 50 pounds. I opted not to rent a stroller at Walt Disney World since my daughter, who is 5 years old, is able to walk all day. While she did complain about her feet hurting at times or it was too hot, I found a place to sit, have some snacks, and wait until she was ready to keep going.

Orlando, Florida: Exploring Old Town Kissimmee

Old Town Kissimmee is a shopping, dining, and entertainment complex located in Kissimmee, Florida, United States. It is a recreation of a classic Florida town in the 1950s and features a variety of shops, restaurants, and attractions that evoke the charm and nostalgia of a bygone era. Old Town is only 15 min from The Grove Resort and is open 7 days a week from 10 am to 11 pm.


The centerpiece of Old Town is its tree-lined brick street, which is filled with classic cars and hot rods every Friday and Saturday night for the weekly car cruise. Visitors can enjoy live music, magic shows, other entertainment throughout the week, and various seasonal events such as Halloween and Christmas.


Old Town also features a range of unique shops selling everything from vintage clothing and jewelry to handmade soap and candles. Several restaurants are on-site, including a classic diner, a Mexican restaurant, and various food stands offering traditional carnival fares,s such as funnel cakes, fried Oreos, and turkey legs.


In addition to the shops and restaurants, Old Town has several attractions, such as a Ferris wheel, a haunted house, and a zip line, providing entertainment for the whole family.


Overall, Old Town Kissimmee is a popular destination for tourists and locals, offering a fun and nostalgic glimpse into the past.

The driving time from The Grove Resort and Waterpark to Old Town Kissimmee can vary depending on traffic. Generally, it takes around 15-20 minutes to drive.

Orlando, Florida: Exploring The Mall at Millenia

The Mall at Millenia is a luxury shopping center in Orlando, Florida, United States. It is known for its high-end fashion brands and upscale shopping experience. The mall features over 150 stores, including designer brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada, and Cartier, and famous department stores such as Neiman Marcus and Macy’s.


In addition to shopping, the mall also offers various dining options, from casual eateries to upscale restaurants, and hosts special events throughout the year. The Mall at Millenia is a popular destination for locals and tourists looking for a premium shopping experience.

Orlando, Florida: Exploring Cocoa Beach Pier

The Cocoa Beach Pier is a great family place with plenty of activities to entertain everyone. The pier is a popular attraction in Cocoa Beach, featuring a variety of restaurants, shops, and activities. This beach is approximately 73 miles (117.5 km) from The Grove Resort and Water Park if you take the most direct route via FL-528 E and FL-520 E.


Several dining options on the pier include seafood restaurants, cafes, and bars. Many of these restaurants offer outdoor seating with beautiful ocean views. Several shops on the dock also sell souvenirs, beach gear, and other items.


In addition to dining and shopping, the pier offers a variety of activities that are fun for the whole family. There is a large fishing pier where visitors can rent fishing equipment and try their luck at catching fish. 


The dock also has an arcade where visitors can play games and win prizes. A beautiful beach near the pier is also great for swimming, sunbathing, and building sandcastles.


The Cocoa Beach Pier also hosts several events throughout the year, such as live music performances and surfing competitions. Overall, the pier is a fun and exciting destination for families visiting Cocoa Beach.

Two more wonderful beaches in Florida that you can visit with your family

Clearwater Beach

It takes around two hours to get from Orlando to Clearwater Beach, which is actually in the Tampa Bay region. But despite the distance, Clearwater Beach is a wonderful place to bring the kids.


The beach has soft, white sand and clear, turquoise waters that are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and building sandcastles. There are also a variety of water sports available, including jet skiing, parasailing, and paddleboarding, which can be fun for families with older children.


In addition to the beach, there are many family-friendly attractions in the area, such as the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where you can see dolphins, sea turtles, and other marine life up close. There is also a pirate-themed mini-golf course, a water park, and a variety of restaurants and shops.


The Grove Resort and Water Park is located in Orlando, Florida, while Clearwater Beach is located in the Tampa Bay area, which is approximately a two-hour drive away.


The distance between The Grove Resort and Water Park and Clearwater Beach is approximately 105 miles (169 kilometers) and it takes around 2 hours to drive there, depending on traffic conditions. 

Daytone Beach

Daytona Beach is another great option for families and is located about an hour northeast of Orlando. The beach is known for its hard-packed sand, which makes it perfect for activities such as driving on the beach, biking, and walking. There are also plenty of family-friendly activities in the area, such as visiting the Daytona Beach Boardwalk and Pier, taking a dolphin-watching tour, or visiting the nearby Daytona International Speedway. 


Daytona Beach and The Grove Resort and Water Park are located in different areas of Florida. The distance between the two locations depends on the specific addresses, but they are approximately 87 miles (140 kilometers) apart, and the travel time can take around 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on traffic conditions.


The beach can be a safe place for families, but like any city, there are some safety concerns to be aware of.


Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Tourist areas: Daytona Beach is a popular tourist destination, so the areas around the beach and boardwalk can get crowded, especially during peak tourist season. While there are usually plenty of police officers around, it’s still a good idea to keep an eye on your children and your belongings.
  2. Crime rates: According to recent crime statistics, Daytona Beach has a higher crime rate than the national average. However, most of the crime in the city occurs in specific areas and is often related to drug use and gang activity. As long as you stick to the tourist areas and take basic safety precautions, your family should be safe.
  3. Beach safety: If you’re planning on spending time on the beach, be sure to follow basic safety rules like swimming in designated areas and keeping an eye on the weather.
  4. Traffic safety: Daytona Beach has some busy roads, especially around the tourist areas, so be sure to use crosswalks and watch for cars.


Overall, Daytona Beach can be a safe place for families, as long as you take basic safety precautions and stay aware of your surroundings.

Is renting a car a good option when you visit Orlando?

Renting a car in Orlando can be a good idea, depending on your specific needs and travel plans.


Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether to rent a car in Orlando:


  1. Transportation needs: Orlando is a sprawling city. If you plan on visiting multiple attractions or staying in a location that is not easily accessible by public transportation, then renting a car may be a good option.
  2. Cost: The cost of renting a car in Orlando can vary depending on the time of year, the length of your rental, and the type of car you choose. Be sure to compare prices from different rental companies and consider the cost of gas and parking when deciding.
  3. Driving experience: If you are not used to driving in the United States, Orlando’s busy roads and highways can be challenging. Additionally, if you plan on visiting attractions like Walt Disney World or Universal Studios, be prepared for heavy traffic and crowded parking lots.
  4. Alternative transportation options: Orlando has various alternative transportation options, including public buses, ride-sharing services, and shuttles provided by many hotels and resorts. Depending on your needs, these options may be more convenient and cost-effective than renting a car.

Renting a car from a major rental car company VS a smaller rental car company

Renting a car from a major rental car company at Orlando International Airport (MCO) has advantages and disadvantages, as does renting from a smaller rental car company. Here are some factors to consider:


Major rental car companies


  • They have a wide selection of cars and locations, so you can usually find a car that fits your needs and budget.
  • They have a larger and more established presence, so you can usually expect a higher level of customer service and support.
  • They often have loyalty programs and partnerships with other travel providers, which can help you save money on your rental.



  • They are more expensive than smaller rental car companies, especially during peak travel.
  • Their policies and fees can be more strict and inflexible, making changing or canceling your reservation harder.
  • They may have longer wait times and lines at their counters, especially during peak travel.


Some of the major rental car companies located at Orlando International Airport (MCO)  include:

  1. Alamo
  2. Avis
  3. Budget
  4. Dollar
  5. Enterprise
  6. Hertz
  7. National
  8. Thrifty


Several smaller rental car companies operate at Orlando International Airport (MCO). Below are some advantages and disadvantages.


Smaller Rental Car Companies


  • They often have lower prices and more flexible policies, which can be helpful if you’re on a tight budget or need to make changes to your reservation.
  • They may have shorter wait times and lines at their counters since they tend to have fewer customers than the major rental car companies.
  • They may offer more personalized customer service and support since they are smaller and more focused.



  • They may have a more limited selection of cars and locations, making finding a vehicle that fits your needs harder.
  • They may not have as established a reputation or presence as the major rental car companies, which can make some customers hesitant to rent from them.
  • They may have less support and resources if something goes wrong with your rentals, such as a breakdown or accident.


Here are a few examples of smaller rental car companies:

  1. E-Z Rent-A-Car
  2. Fox Rent A Car
  3. Green Motion
  4. Nu Car Rentals
  5. Payless Car Rental
  6. Royal Rent-A-Car
  7. Sixt Rent A Car


It’s important to note that some of these smaller rental car companies may not have a counter located directly in the airport terminal like the larger ones. Instead, they may provide shuttle service to their off-site locations. Check the rental car company’s website or contact them directly to confirm their location and procedures.


We booked a rental car a few days before our trip on Skyscanner, where you can find most of the smaller rental car companies. We found a Nissan Rogue SUV at a great price (96 $USD for 4 days) at E-Z Rent-A-Car, but we didn’t realize it was 10 minutes from the airport. The rental car company provided a complimentary shuttle.


When we arrived there, the place was very underwhelming, and so many people were already in line. We waited for 1.5 hrs before getting our car, but at least the car was very clean and well maintained like any other big rental car company. Although the wait was long, we saved money because the same car would have cost us about 180 $USD at Alamo.


Ultimately, whether to rent from a large or smaller rental car company at Orlando International Airport will depend on your individual needs and preferences. It’s a good idea to research extensively. Compare prices, policies, and reviews from other customers to help you make an informed decision.

Should I buy a toll pass with a car rental?

Buying a toll pass or transponder can be a good idea if you plan on driving in Orlando and using toll roads frequently. Toll passes can help you save time, avoid long lines at toll plazas, and even save money in some cases.


For instance, it takes around 1.2 hours (the route with toll) instead of 2 hours (avoiding toll) to get to Cocoa Beach from The Grove Resort and Water Park. The distance from there to Cocoa Beach is approximately 73 miles if you take the shortest route via FL-528 E and FL-520 E.


You can still take this route without a toll pass, but you must pay toll fees, which are currently 2.50 $USD each way for two tolls on FL-528 E and 1.00 $USD each way for one toll on FL-520 E. Therefore, the total cost of tolls without a toll pass would be 6.00 $USD for a round trip.


You will pay discounted toll fees if you have an E-PASS or SunPass toll pass. The toll fees with a toll pass are currently 1.09 $USD each way for two tolls on FL-528 E and 0.42 $USD each way for one toll on FL-520 E, for a total of 2.04 $USD for a round trip. However, it’s important to note that the cost of a toll pass varies depending on the provider and usage, so be sure to check the specific fees associated with the toll pass if you plan to get one.


Here are some reasons why you might want to consider buying a toll pass in Orlando:

Time-saving: With a toll pass or transponder, you can use the express lanes and avoid waiting in long lines at toll plazas.

Cost savings: Some toll passes offer discounts or reduced toll rates for frequent users, which can add to significant savings over time.

Convenience: You don’t need to worry about having exact change or stopping to pay tolls, which can make driving in Orlando less stressful.


We didn’t buy a toll pass for our Orlando trip because the furthest we drove was Cocoa Beach. We only had to pay a few tolls on the way there and back, so it made more sense to pay the tolls directly instead of getting a pass.

Here are our Travel essentials for Disney Vacation


Vivaia Collection’s comfortable shoes are designed with sustainable materials and advanced technology, providing comfort and style for everyday wear.

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Minnie Mouse ears are a popular accessory at Disney World, often worn as a fun and festive way to show your enthusiasm for the park and add to the overall experience.


You will probably spend the entire day at Disney, so be sure you will have enough batteries for your smartphone or camera so you can capture the fireworks, which starts at 8:15 pm (Magic Kingdom Park) 


If your child is over 3, giving them lollipops before boarding a plane will help avoid ear pain. Organic lollipops do not contain any artificial colors or flavors, so they are a healthy alternative.


These cute Minnie Mouse LED running sneakers will definitely become your child’s favorite pair for Disney!


This backpack combines fashion and function with a sleek design and plenty of room for all your travel essentials.

Final thoughts on our visit to Disney World in Orlando

For those planning their first trip to Walt Disney World, it can be helpful to do some research ahead of time to make the most of your time there.


Consider purchasing CityPASS tickets to maximize your opportunities to visit different parks and attractions, and be sure to prioritize your must-see experiences.


Make sure that you bring some comfortable shoes, a power charger, organic lollipops (if your child is over three), and a stylish backpack to carry all your essentials.


Finally, if you plan on driving in Orlando, consider getting an E-PASS or SunPass toll pass to save time and money by avoiding the long lines at toll


With careful planning and preparation, anyone can have a memorable and enjoyable vacation at The Happiest Place on Earth!


  • February 25, 2023

    Such a fun informative post regarding Magic Kingdom vacation. I agree research before traveling anywhere honestly. Enjoyed reading. ?

    Pastor Natalie (Examine This Moment)

  • July 29, 2023

    The portable charger idea is brilliant! Thanks for all these helpful tips, they’re all so helpful in making the most of your time!


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