It doesn’t naturally occur to most people that after paying eye-watering prices to buy tickets to a theme park that they would then be required to pay for parking. Often they only realize this as they pull up to the Ticket Booth and are asked for
$20 $22! We put this guide together to help you understand how much parking is a Disney World and help you find any free Parking at Disney World Parks. We also discuss the fact that Disney is Now Charging for Hotel Parking.
How Much is Parking at Disney World?
- Standard parking: car or motorcycle – $22 per day
- Preferred parking: car or motorcycle – $45 per day
- Oversized Vehicle Parking: Shuttle, Limo, Camper Trailer, RV, Bus or Tractor Trailer – $27 per day
As you can see this is not an inconsequential charge. even if you only visit each park once it is $88. That’s a fair chunk of money for something most people would probably feel should be included in the very expensive entry tickets!
Is the Preferred Parking Worthwhile?
This is a matter of opinion, but ours is NO. Sure Preferred Parking might get you right next to the gate. But in reality, this doesn’t happen often and you will be at the far end of the huge preferred lot and sometimes not much closer than the standard lots, right next to people who paid half what you did!
The Shuttle Trains from the Standard lots are regular, in fact almost continuous as one leave the next pull in. The Hard sell is put on the Preferred parking at the turnstile, it’s offered in a way that makes people feel they need it, that if they don’t they will be hugely inconvenienced. This is not the case and they rely on this to get people to pay for something they don’t need. Our advice is just to pay for the standard.
We are sure there are people out there who always pay for preferred and feel it’s worth it. But we just saw almost no real advantage for paying over double the already steep parking costs!
Free Parking for all Disney Hotel Guests!
This has been the case and used to be the best way to ensure free parking at all Disney Parks. Just stay at a Disney World Hotel and receive free complimentary parking at the parks. Disney Hotels offer plenty of advantages over staying outside of Disney along with a few drawbacks. Until Recently one of these was the free parking at the Disney Parks. But as of March 21st, 2018* Disney has diluted this “perk” considerably. And that is if you don’t question the fact the Disney-brand hotels are considerably more expensive, to begin with.
As of March 21st*, 2018 Disney now Charges for overnight Parking at all its Disney resort Hotels. Yep if you want to park your car in a Disney hotel you will have to pay for the privilege. It’s not an inconsequential charge either and due to the location of Disney hotels, there is no real way around Parking at your Disney Hotel Carpark!
- Disney Value Resorts: $13 per night
- Disney Moderate Resorts: $19 per night
- Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts: $24 per night
That’s $182 for a 14 night Stay in a “value” Resort…Ouch.
Of course, they have retained the Free Parking “perk” at the Parks but it’s a hollow Gesture as you will be paying probably more, assuming you don’t go to a park every day, just to park overnight. The charge is only for overnight stays and if you visit any other hotel or resort parking will be free. It is added to your bill at the end of your stay
* The Changeover date is based on Booking So if you booked before this but staying after you should not have to pay as you will not have known about it at the time of booking
Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach Water Parks Still offer Complimentary parking for everyone.
You can still park at Disney springs for free. We do really suspect this is a target for Disney and they will instigate a charge soon enough. But for now, you can happily park here and enjoy some shopping and a meal out without having to pay for parking.
Can I park at Disney Springs and get to the Parks Via the Disney Transport?
Yes. There is nothing in the world stopping you from doing this. Head to Saratoga Springs Disney resort and jump on a Bus to wherever you are heading! Simple. But not quite that Simple. There are no direct Bus routes to the parks so you will need to head to another resort (the Contemporary) and then transfer onto a bus or Monorail to head to the park of choice.
From the Door of your hotel to the park is likely to be 2 hours of your time, Each Way. A lot of that walking or standing in the burning sun (or pouring rain). We don’t consider that worthwhile use of your holiday time. You will be spending enough of the day Standing in the burning heat
So How Do I avoid it?
There are very few ways to really get around either the Resort Parking or the Park Parking. If you have a Car Disney wants your money but for now, there are a few options.
This is one for us Brits. Sorry to Our US readers, but it seems that most UK Tour operators are still offering complimentary parking both overnight and at the parks when booking a package deal through them.
Both are Disney Holiday Specialists and are at present offering complimentary parking for any Dinsey Holiday at a Disney Property. This isn’t much help for our USA Readers sorry. We think this is as Brits we are far more sensitive to these sorts of charges. It’s just not the done thing over here. If you are already paying for something you kind of expect things like parking to be included. Whereas over in the USA it’s a lot more accepted.
Obviously, we have no control over when and if the UK Operators will drop the free Parking option, and you need to check when booking if this is still included.
If you are Staying in an offsite Hotel you will likely get free overnight Parking and most Hotels offer Courtesy Shuttles to the Disney parks (and others). So this is a great way to save a bunch of cash. The Hotel is likely to be a lot cheaper by comparison too! We think this is a real incentive to stay off-site after the parking charge introduction! Dinsey really is whittling down the incentives!
Taxi / Uber / Lyft!
It’s getting to the point that these are becoming cheaper than having your own car. Especially now the Ride Sharing apps have put the squeeze on Fairs. It might be that you don’t save that much getting around by this way but at least you are not letting Disney Steal the money
BIG WARNING !!!
If you are planning on using these at a busy time such as park closing be prepared to wait! And be prepared to PAY. Surge Charging will be in full effect as people flood out of the parks! This is always what people forget about using the Ridesharing apps! Taxies may not surge charge but you can expect similar availability issues as up to 100,000 people head out of the Parks!
Don’t Hire a Car!
Sounds obvious, but there it is easy enough to get around without hiring a car. Especially if you are staying on a Disney property. Yes, it means Disney will have you in their grasp for the whole trip, but at least they won’t be getting your parking money. If you want to venture out you could just hire a car for the days you want to leave the Disney resort.
Is there an upside?
Disney Parks are incredibly overcrowded. This overcrowding is even extending into the historically low seasons. By employing this sort of aggressive and downright nasty charging policies it may well drive people away. Leaving the parks quiet and empty for those that can afford it. Which is nice…
In Disney’s Defence!
As the big player in the area, Disney is copping the flack for this and we are fine with that as after all our post gives it Disney pretty hard! But the reality is Universal has been Charging for overnight parking at their resorts for a while and at the Universal Studios car parking too. So it was probably only a matter of time. It is also fair to mention there are still no Resort Fees at Disney Hotels. Something that’s slowly crept across the States. Some off-site hotels offer free parking but charge resort fee’s so that way you are paying for parking even if you don’t have a car!
We predict as the dust settles and this becomes the new norm the storm will subside and people will continue to flock here to enjoy the parks. And Disney will come up with more and more inventive ways to get at your cash.
Have Your Say?
Let us know what you think about the Parking charge? Is it fair to charge people extra who have already shelled out $1000’s Have you been stung by it? Were you aware BEFORE your stay? Have you got any cunning ways around it? And UK readers please keep us up to date on any changes to the Packages deals? Just drop us a comment if you have anything to say or any questions.