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It’s convenient to rent a car when visiting Disney World, especially for families who want to travel at their own pace. Car rental shops are often found inside the airport or outside the terminal. Be careful, though - not all car rental companies are created equal. Precaution and vigilance can ensure a nice and safe vacation.

Car rates and discounts

The first thing to consider when choosing a Disney World car rental office is rates. Rates are normally offered on a daily or weekly basis, with the latter’s cost equivalent to about five and a half days worth of rental.

Do not be misled by rent a car advertised rates. Typically, these published rates are for subcompacts, and the bigger the car, you want the higher the rental fee. But there are a variety of ways to avail of discounts from pre-existing obligations like organizational memberships and credit card use. The important thing to remember is to first ask the car rental company if they honor discounts from your present connections.

More often than not, organizations like Airline frequent flyer clubs, AAA, AARP, and Entertainment Book have agreements with auto rental businesses. The place where you work can also be a source for discount when borrowing a car, even if it’s for personal consumption. Check with your employer/s if they allow the company’s negotiated rates to be used by its employees when in private travel. If you work for the government, inform your car rental provider but tell them that you are not on an official business trip.

Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is the park where storybook fantasies come to life. It is the best place for children of all ages. Famous Some of the must-sees at the Magic Kingdom are: Monster, Inc. Laugh Floor, featuring Mike Wazowski and other Monsters, Inc. characters performing in an interactive comedy show; Mickey’s Philhar Magic, a 3-D adventure with Mickey Mouse plus a surprise "con-DUCK-tor"; Wishes - Nighttime Spectacular - the biggest and brightest fireworks show in the history of Magic Kingdom; Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, where you can fire interactive laser cannon to help Toy Story’s Buzz Light Year fight targets and save the toy galaxy from the Evil Emperor Zurg; Space Mountain, a space adventure in a high-speed roller coaster; and The Haunted Mansion, wall-to-wall creeps of a ride through the macabre manor with a "ghost host" informing you that "there’s no way out!"

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Car types and included options

Your requirements on the size and make of the car to rent for a Disney World trip should be your next determinant. Though companies define their array of cars in a rather similar manner, they differ in terms of the quality of vehicles they offer.

Take for example the Plymouth Acclaim and Chrysler LeBaron. Both belong to the full-size four-door variety, but the Plymouth does not have the amenities that the Chrysler can offer. They are in the same size category, but the comfort level they provide is different. Make sure you get cars with at least the basic comforts, like power windows and power door locks, among many others.

Taxes and surcharges

Taxes are imposed by the state, while surcharges are placed by car rental companies as fee for additional services like "airport access fee" and other add-ons. In the state of Florida, all auto rentals are subjected to 6% Sales Tax. The "airport access fee" is charged by a company whose counter is not located inside the terminal, since they have to provide a shuttle for you. This will cost you around 8.64% of the rental fee. If you rent from a company located inside the terminal, an add-on fee of 10% of the car’s rent is mandated by Airport Authority. However, these surcharges can be waived under certain circumstances.

NOTE: The aforementioned 8.64% and 10% surcharges are also subject to the Sales Tax. When asking for a quote, it is advisable to include all taxes and surcharges so you have a clear idea of the total cost.

Insurance

Auto rental companies offer several types of insurance - the amount is computed per day (it’s very rare that they offer discounts for weekly or longer leases). The usual kinds are Collision (or Loss) Damage Waiver (CDW or LDW), Personal Accident Insurance (PAI), and Personal Effects Coverage (PEC). The CDW or LDW covers any damage to the vehicle because of your negligence or fault. PAI is medical insurance to protect you or your passengers from hospital costs in case you encounter an accident. PEC safeguards your belongings in the event of theft from the car. Your present automobile insurance (commonly called "Standard Family Automobile Policy" in the US) or your credit card can also serve as your insurance. Contact your agent or bank officer to ask if you can avail of these services when you rent a car.

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