The Stupid Mistake I Made On Our Disney Trip

Here’s hoping nobody else is as stupid as me on this one. I made a bonehead mistake on our way back from Disney World last month.

We usually don’t rent a car but this trip we did. We were staying at Legoland before going to Disney World. Since Legoland is just about an hour away, a rental car was the best option.

The last time we rented a car for a Disney World was a similar situation. I filled up the rental car with gas near our hotel on the grounds of Disney World.  The airport is about 20 miles from Disney World.

When I returned the rental car the agent asked me if I had filled up. I answered yes and she asked me for the receipt. No receipt, she’d need to charge me a refill charge. By dumb luck I had the receipt in my backpack. She pointed out that the gas station was too far from the airport and proceeded to charge me a small fortune for a gallon of gas.  I honestly don’t remember the amount but I was determined not to make that mistake again.

We had a very early flight home so I didn’t build in a ton of extra time to get gas.  But, we did have enough time and I checked to see that there were a couple of gas stations close to Orlando airport (there don’t appear to be any on airport grounds).

I pulled off the highway and drive about half a mile to the closest station. I pulled in, swiped my credit card at the pump and selected regular unleaded gas. As I was starting to pump gas I noticed the pricing for the first time.  To be clear, I don’t blame the gas station, though they don’t appear to have a sign showing prices at the side of the road. Maybe that should have been a signal.

The difference in price between regular, mid-grade and premium was 4 cents per gallon. And, that wasn’t the bad part.

Disney Gas Orlando Airport

Disney Gas Orlando Airport

Disney Gas Orlando Airport

Yup, I spent $6/gallon to fill up the tank. It may not have been cheaper to return it to the rental company  but I still felt like I got taken for a bit of a ride. I noticed this before the tank was full but after I started filling up. I debated going to another station but didn’t know if pricing would be the same.  Just in case you’re in the same situation, here’s what the station looks like.

Disney Gas Orlando Airport

After filling up and pulling a u-turn to get back to the airport I noticed that the station across the street was much more reasonably priced at $4.50 a gallon. Hah!

Live and learn. Not sure how I’ll skin that particular car if I’m in the same position again. Hopefully, this saves someone else a little bit of pain.

The post The Stupid Mistake I Made On Our Disney Trip was published first on Pizza in Motion

68 Comments

  1. for some reason that is fairly common in the orlando area. One gas station will be extremely high like you experienced, and a mile down the road it will be normal, like $2 per gallon. I go there about twice a year and in my experience only about 10% of the gas stations are like that. Just have to keep your eyes open.

  2. for some reason that is fairly common in the orlando area. One gas station will be extremely high like you experienced, and a mile down the road it will be normal, like $2 per gallon. I go there about twice a year and in my experience only about 10% of the gas stations are like that. Just have to keep your eyes open.

  3. I pulled in there several years ago… the price caught my eye as I was starting the process.
    Talk about highway robbery.
    I doubled back to Narcossee Road where prices are more reasonable.
    A year or so later, I saw a television news story about this… obviously it had no effect.

  4. I pulled in there several years ago… the price caught my eye as I was starting the process.
    Talk about highway robbery.
    I doubled back to Narcossee Road where prices are more reasonable.
    A year or so later, I saw a television news story about this… obviously it had no effect.

  5. I feel your pain. One thing that can help avoid this is to search for gas stations using Google maps. It usually lists the gas price at each station either on the map or in the list of locations (don’t know if Apple maps has the same feature). For MCO, it shows Wawa as being $1.97/gallon, but 2 minutes farther from MCO.

  6. I feel your pain. One thing that can help avoid this is to search for gas stations using Google maps. It usually lists the gas price at each station either on the map or in the list of locations (don’t know if Apple maps has the same feature). For MCO, it shows Wawa as being $1.97/gallon, but 2 minutes farther from MCO.

  7. I would recommend that you use Gasbuddy or any similar apps, before you leave the hotel. It will at least give you a general idea of how much gas stations charges even if the price posted were a day or two old.

  8. I would recommend that you use Gasbuddy or any similar apps, before you leave the hotel. It will at least give you a general idea of how much gas stations charges even if the price posted were a day or two old.

  9. There is a Wawa just north of the Orlando Airport. Get your gas there. It is very close to the 2 gas stations with the obscene prices.

  10. There is a Wawa just north of the Orlando Airport. Get your gas there. It is very close to the 2 gas stations with the obscene prices.

  11. I rented a car this May through Enterprise and got the gas prepaid at the rental agent. I don’t remember how much exactly but it was very reasonable and even cheaper than some stations as I was driving by!

  12. I rented a car this May through Enterprise and got the gas prepaid at the rental agent. I don’t remember how much exactly but it was very reasonable and even cheaper than some stations as I was driving by!

  13. Gas stations near MIA rental car facility charge outlandish prices too. Much cheaper options not too far away, but tourists may not want to get lost/be in a rush/etc.

  14. Gas stations near MIA rental car facility charge outlandish prices too. Much cheaper options not too far away, but tourists may not want to get lost/be in a rush/etc.

  15. Why did the lady need the receipt? Couldn’t she take a look and see that the tank was full by looking at it? I’ve never been asked for a receipt before so that sounds weird to me. Is this policy just for the place you went to or is it just normal policy?

    1. Jenny, some car rental companies instituted a charge if you drive more than X miles and don’t fill up/show receipt. Not sure if this is one of those locations or they just know that most folks are doing the drive to Disney World and not filling up. I’ve only been asked for a receipt in one other market, though I’ve heard of others that run into this more frequently than me.

    2. You can drive up to 30 miles before some gas gauges is even start to move. I rent from Dollar, and sometimes they ask for a receipt. Last time I used Google maps to scope out gas prices within 5 miles of the airport. Another tip: I’ve fill up the night before and just top off right before getting to the airport the next day.

      1. Jackson, agree on gas gauges. I understand why the car companies want to make sure you bring back a full tank, just wish they didn’t charge so much per gallon when you didn’t. Hertz had a program where they charged you a $6 fill-up charge, then street prices for gas. Lasted like 6 weeks before they pulled it.

  16. Why did the lady need the receipt? Couldn’t she take a look and see that the tank was full by looking at it? I’ve never been asked for a receipt before so that sounds weird to me. Is this policy just for the place you went to or is it just normal policy?

    1. Jenny, some car rental companies instituted a charge if you drive more than X miles and don’t fill up/show receipt. Not sure if this is one of those locations or they just know that most folks are doing the drive to Disney World and not filling up. I’ve only been asked for a receipt in one other market, though I’ve heard of others that run into this more frequently than me.

    2. You can drive up to 30 miles before some gas gauges is even start to move. I rent from Dollar, and sometimes they ask for a receipt. Last time I used Google maps to scope out gas prices within 5 miles of the airport. Another tip: I’ve fill up the night before and just top off right before getting to the airport the next day.

      1. Jackson, agree on gas gauges. I understand why the car companies want to make sure you bring back a full tank, just wish they didn’t charge so much per gallon when you didn’t. Hertz had a program where they charged you a $6 fill-up charge, then street prices for gas. Lasted like 6 weeks before they pulled it.

  17. +1 on the Wawa. This particular gas station has been a thorn in the side of the Orlando City Council for years. They tried to require all gas stations to put their costs on clearly posted signs; however, that went down in flames.

    I grew up in Orlando, went to college there, and visit 2-3x a year – I still got taken by this place on time. It happens to the best of us.

    To be clear – I DO BLAME THE GAS STATION. They are intentionally ripping off people by purposefully not displaying their prices on a road sign like every other gas station in the country. They purposefully spent tons of money fighting the City of Orlando on regulations to prevent this.

    I seriously recommend that you write to the Orlando City Commissioners. This place has got to go.

    On a side note – car rental agencies seem to suck at MCO. I recently was charged $200 by Budget for a car that I returned with a full tank. Four days later they claimed it was empty. Thank god I had my return receipt showing a full tank and the Wawa gas receipt. Budget was a total PITA … I swear its a scam.

    1. When I fill up near MCO it seems like I always get the “please see the attendent” screen on the gas pump when I request the receipt. I am always in a hurry so I skip it. There must be some motivation by the station to not print the receipt at the pump, you figure.

      1. Leighton, my guess is the printers broke some time ago and, since it’s a captive audience, they just don’t bother to repair them. If they don’t want to spend the money for signs, I doubt they care about the printers.

        1. That could be the case, I rather think the want you to come in the store and buy something. Or, they hope you don’t realize the price you paid. By the way, if you take the south exit at the airport you will find several gas stations within 2 miles of the car return exit that is on the left just after the Hyatt exit.

  18. +1 on the Wawa. This particular gas station has been a thorn in the side of the Orlando City Council for years. They tried to require all gas stations to put their costs on clearly posted signs; however, that went down in flames.

    I grew up in Orlando, went to college there, and visit 2-3x a year – I still got taken by this place on time. It happens to the best of us.

    To be clear – I DO BLAME THE GAS STATION. They are intentionally ripping off people by purposefully not displaying their prices on a road sign like every other gas station in the country. They purposefully spent tons of money fighting the City of Orlando on regulations to prevent this.

    I seriously recommend that you write to the Orlando City Commissioners. This place has got to go.

    On a side note – car rental agencies seem to suck at MCO. I recently was charged $200 by Budget for a car that I returned with a full tank. Four days later they claimed it was empty. Thank god I had my return receipt showing a full tank and the Wawa gas receipt. Budget was a total PITA … I swear its a scam.

    1. When I fill up near MCO it seems like I always get the “please see the attendent” screen on the gas pump when I request the receipt. I am always in a hurry so I skip it. There must be some motivation by the station to not print the receipt at the pump, you figure.

      1. Leighton, my guess is the printers broke some time ago and, since it’s a captive audience, they just don’t bother to repair them. If they don’t want to spend the money for signs, I doubt they care about the printers.

        1. That could be the case, I rather think the want you to come in the store and buy something. Or, they hope you don’t realize the price you paid. By the way, if you take the south exit at the airport you will find several gas stations within 2 miles of the car return exit that is on the left just after the Hyatt exit.

  19. i know budget/avis has this drive under 75 miles and show gas receipt rule but didn’t realize Hertz was up to this as well. No doubt a sad attempt to nickel & dime on what used to be a glorious car rental company. Never had any trouble with National/Enterprise. Hell if the needle is close enough to the full nobody has ever given me lip haha

  20. i know budget/avis has this drive under 75 miles and show gas receipt rule but didn’t realize Hertz was up to this as well. No doubt a sad attempt to nickel & dime on what used to be a glorious car rental company. Never had any trouble with National/Enterprise. Hell if the needle is close enough to the full nobody has ever given me lip haha

  21. There are a few in Orlando that are scams. This one near the airport, a few right outside the Disney parks and even one over by the Outlet stores.

    The gas stations located inside Disney property used to have the lowest prices in town, but they were rebranded about a year ago and are now about 10 cents higher than the average in Orlando.

    Wawa and Racetrack always seem to have decent prices. I live four miles from the airport and would suggest when driving from the Disney area or Universal on the 535 Beachline, get off at the McCoy exit just before the airport exit and gas up at the 7-11 or go a few block down to the Wawa. There is one on this road that is a bit of a scam as well, so just keep your eyes open. Yesterday the Wawa was priced at $1.91.

  22. There are a few in Orlando that are scams. This one near the airport, a few right outside the Disney parks and even one over by the Outlet stores.

    The gas stations located inside Disney property used to have the lowest prices in town, but they were rebranded about a year ago and are now about 10 cents higher than the average in Orlando.

    Wawa and Racetrack always seem to have decent prices. I live four miles from the airport and would suggest when driving from the Disney area or Universal on the 535 Beachline, get off at the McCoy exit just before the airport exit and gas up at the 7-11 or go a few block down to the Wawa. There is one on this road that is a bit of a scam as well, so just keep your eyes open. Yesterday the Wawa was priced at $1.91.

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