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Walt Disney World Parking Tips

Disney World parks age huge, which means the parking lots are also huge. Today I am going to share with you everything you need to know about Disney World Parking lots, fees, and tips. I have a friend who was a parking lot Cast Member that helped contribute to this article.

Disney World Parking

If you are staying off-property, drove to Disney World, or are a local you probably utilize Disney parking in one way or another. You will NOT find ways of cheating the parking lot system in this article just helpful informational tips, hacks, and secrets for you to keep in mind during your Disney World Vacation.

How Much is Disney World Parks Parking?

Registered Guests of Disney Resort Hotels, select Annual Passholders, Premium Passholders, and Disney Premier Passport holders may enjoy free standard self-parking at Disney theme parks.

Other guests must pay for parking once a day for Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, and Epcot. If you are park hopping, keep your receipt and it will get you into another park without paying again.

The price of Disney World parking is based on your vehicle type. You can pay with cash or credit card. These are the prices as of October 2019. 

  • Standard parking: car or motorcycle – $25 per day
  • Oversized Vehicle Parking: Shuttle, Limo, Camper Trailer, RV, Bus or Tractor Trailer – $30 per day
  • Preferred Parking – $50 per day

Parking is free at Disney Springs, Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, and Wide World of Sports. Disney Springs does offer valet parking for $20/day.

Is there ever Free Parking at Disney Parks?

Other than the guests who do not have to pay for parking listed above, there are a few times where you might encounter free parking. If you arrive super early like 2-3 hours before park opening or arrive within an hour or so before park closing. Sometimes the toll booths will not be open yet or they will have already closed. I would always plan on paying parking fees and if you encounter “free” parking, take it as extra Disney magic.

How Much is Parking at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels?

Starting March 2018 Disney World started charging a parking fee to resort guests. This was a charge that used to be “hidden” in the nightly charge. The price you pay is based on whether you are staying at a value, moderate, or deluxe resort. All parking fees include applicable tax.

For all 2019 arrivals and any reservations made before June 18, 2019 for arrivals in 2020:

  • Disney Value Resorts: $13 per night
  • Disney Moderate Resorts: $19 per night
  • Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts: $24 per night

For reservations made on or after June 18, 2019 for arrivals in 2020:

  • Disney Value Resorts: $15 per night
  • Disney Moderate Resorts: $20 per night
  • Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts: $25 per night

Free standard parking is available to Guests staying at the Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Each campsite provides parking space for one (1) motorized vehicle.

If you are not staying overnight at a resort and just want to visit the resort to see it, dine, or shop you do not have to pay for parking. They do limit your visit to a couple of hours though. During peak times they monitor this by giving you a colored parking sheet that you put in your dash. They have a color for each hour and monitor the lot.

DVC Members will not be charged for standard overnight self-parking when staying at a DVC Deluxe Villa, regardless of whether they use vacation points or another form of payment. Members also will not be charged to park when using vacation points to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel.

Valet parking is available at some Disney resorts for registered guests and also for those visiting the resort. Valet Parking is available at select Disney Deluxe Resorts and Disney Deluxe Villas for $33 per night (sales tax included).

Disney World Parking Tips

Even if I am staying on property, I prefer driving rather than the buses sometimes. Using your own car means you always have a seat,  you don’t wait for a bus, and getting to resort dining reservations is easier. Of course, there are times the bus or other Disney transportation like the Minnie Vans is more convenient, it all depends on what my plans are.

Disney Parking Tips

Take a Picture. Disney parking lots are huge and you will not want to lose your car at the end of a tiring park day. Take a quick picture of which section you are in and what row number you are in and text it to a family member so that it has a timestamp.

Forgot Where You Parked? If you forget the section that you parked in, let the Parking Lot Cast Member know the approximate time that you arrived. Based on that info, they should be able to direct you to the section that you are in since they park sections in a certain order.

Fold Your Stroller. Just like on the buses, you will be asked to fold your stroller before boarding a Disney Tram. Try to sit in the front row of the tram car because the rows are two rows facing each and there is more room for a stroller.

Lock Your Car. This may seem like common sense but so many people are so busy getting their things together for the day and are rushing for the tram that they forget.

Hide Valuables. If you have something that you wouldn’t want to get stolen keep it hidden in your car. Sadly car robberies still happen. My car was locked, I had my valuables hidden, and found evidence of forced entry while I was parked at Disney Springs once.

Rental Car Tip. Since a rental car is not your car it can often be hard to remember what it looked like. My Cast Member friend has had so many people come up to him asking for his help in locating a rental car. Add some colored ribbon to the antenna or a non-Disney antenna topper so you can easily pick out your rental.

Magic Kingdom Parking Tips

No matter where you park at the Magic Kingdom you are still quite far from the entrance to the Magic Kingdom since parking is at the Ticket and Transportation Center.

If you’re visiting the Magic Kingdom soon, you’ll have a longer walk from the parking lot tram drop off to the Monorail or Ferryboat. Walls are up around the parking lot tram drop off area as improvements are made to the arrival experience. Right now the tram drops you off in front of the Aladdin Lot. 

In my opinion, choosing preferred parking at the Magic Kingdom is silly. You will walk quite a bit, if not more than the other guests who did not choose preferred. You are also walking up an incline.

Hollywood Studios Parking Tips

To reflect the new focus of Hollywood Studios the parking lots got new names. The new parking lot names now reflect the Disney characters that guests will encounter in the park: Mickey, Minnie, Woody, Jessie, Buzz, Olaf, and BB-8. The parking has recently finished its’ renovations and it really nice with new walkways. 

Epcot Parking Tips

Right now (October 2019) the Epcot parking situation requires quite a bit of walking because the parking trams cannot get all the way to the entrance. From where the trams drop you off you probably have to walk about a half of a mile to the security checkpoints. 

Imagine Lot Note.  My Cast Member friend did work primarily in the Epcot parking lot. He said that on busier weekends and during the early holiday season they park the Imagine lot before the Amaze lot. If they do not also park the Explore lot, there is no tram service back to the Imagine lot.

Get There Early. Guests that are parking roughly 45 minutes before and/or after the park opens can expect to have an easy walk to the gates without using a Tram.

Disney Springs Parking Tips

Plan Ahead. Disney Springs has 3 parking garages; Lime, Orange, and Grapefruit. The Grapefruit garage is brand new as of April 2019 and is located across the street. The new Grapefruit garage is only accessible from eastbound Buena Vista Drive. There is a covered walkway above the road to Disney Springs. It takes roughly two minutes to cross the walkway. If you are not exploring all of Disney Springs, look at a map of Disney Springs and then choose the parking garage closest to where you want to visit. 

Do Not Try to Cheat the System. Disney Springs does NOT have busses to Disney Parks. My fear is that if people try to cheat the system and go to a Disney park from Disney Springs that Disney will eventually try to charge for Disney Springs Parking.

Arrive Early. I recommend that you arrive 60 minutes prior to your show time or reservation. On busy days, simply follow the signs to available parking, which may be located across the street—just a short walk to Disney Springs.

Disney World Disability Parking Tips

Disney World has a disability parking section in all of its lots. This section of the parking lot is primarily for those that have a state-issued Disability Hang Tag or License Plate. Since there is a lot of disability parking spots, you are still going to have to do some walking.

Though people have tried it according to my Cast Member friend, your DAS (Disability Access Service) does not grant you use of the disability parking lot.

If you are planning to rent a wheelchair or ECV once you get inside, there are courtesy wheelchairs in the handicap section. Once you rent your scooter/wheelchair you give them back the courtesy wheelchair. You can get the courtesy wheelchair back at the end of your day to get back to your vehicle once you return the rental.

If you are renting a scooter or wheelchair from an outside vendor but do not have a disability parking tag, please let a Cast Member know and they can show you where to park. There are a few “courtesy” rows behind the disability section where you can park.

Final Thoughts about Disney World Parking

Many people think it is too pricey for parking at Walt Disney World. Compared to other popular theme parks and even concert venues Disney is rather comparable in price, oftentimes lower. Parking at Disney can be a pain but that is just because of the massive size of the lots and the number of people using them. When everyone is courteous of those around them it is a much better experience.

Let’s discuss! What is your opinion of parking at Disney? Have you ever had an experience where you got unexpected free parking at a Disney Park? Let me know in the comments.

Article originally published July 2, 2018

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