How To Avoid Parking Fees At Disney World Parks
Parking at Disney World theme parks, including Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and Epcot is $25 per car per day. This allows you parking at any park it transfers with you if you are to park hop.
Thats one saving grace, I guess.
If you want preferred parking closer to the park, thats $50.
So, yeah, I understand why you might want to save on parking fees at Disney!
If You Want To Spend A Bit Less
The budget figure given above $3,927 involves a stay at one of Disneys All-Star hotels, few-to-no table service meals , and a discounted ticket option. Its a relatively low target if youre booking a traditional Disney World stay.
To go below that, youll need to start thinking out of the boxbooking around only the best Disney deals booking non-Disney hotels or Airbnb waiting for deep deals on Priceline cutting a day off your tickets buying groceries and bringing your own food. We cover much of these in the rest of this guide in the appropriate sections.
Beyond the rest of this post, we also have a separate post of 50+ Ways to Save On Your Disney Vacation.
Park At Disney Springs And Grab The Boat To A Resort Then Grab A Bus
If youre looking forward to some Beignets to start your day at Walt Disney World then you can head to the bus ramp at Disney Springs. This will take you to Port Orleans French Quarter and Port Orleans Riverside. While this wont be the best way to save time at Disney it will, by all means, be the most leisurely and fun.
Also Check: Walt Disney World Resident Tickets
Do Disney Resort Guests Pay For Parking
According to Disney, registered guests of Disney Resort Hotels, select Annual Passholders, Premium Passholders and Disney Premier Passport holders will have free standard self-parking at Disney Theme Parks.
They also go on to say that you can choose Preferred Parking by paying the difference in cost between the standard parking and preferred parking fee.
This comes out to about a $20-$25 difference if you go with this option.
Park Hopper Plus Option
All prices listed include tax.
Special note: Park hopping is available from 2:00 pm until park closing read more about how Park Hopper currently works.
The extra cost on top of a Park Hopper ticket is a flat rate of $21.30 total for any ticket length. If you want to add this option to a Base Ticket, you need to also add Park Hopper, so the total cost to upgrade from a Base Ticket ranges from $90.53 to $111.83, depending on length.
When you add the Park Hopper Plus option to a Base or Park Hopper ticket, it extends the validity length of the ticket by one day. That doesnt add any park admission days, but does give you one extra day to use all your park days and special water park & sports visits. For example, a 7-day ticket normally is valid for a 10-day span, but adding Park Hopper Plus makes it valid for an 11-day span.
Disney World tickets are only valid on the dates you specify at purchase time . You can change the dates or options at any time before arriving, though if the change results in the price being higher, you have to pay the difference. If you make a change that results in a lower price, you dont get a refund. If they expire unused, they can still be traded for new tickets. See our comprehensive explanation of Disney World ticket expiration and upgrades for more.
Park Hopper Plus Ticket Prices
Read Also: What Airport In Orlando For Disney World
Is There Valet Parking
Yes, but only at the Deluxe Resorts, some DVC resorts , Coronado Springs, and at Disney Springs.
Note: Since the reopening, Valet Service had temporarily suspended. However, Disney has been slowly bringing Valet Services back and we expect it to return to the remaining Deluxe resorts soon.
Valet parking costs $33/day but guests with a Tables in Wonderland card or ones that qualify for handicapped parking can valet park for free.
Is Preferred Parking Worth It At Disney World
In our opinion, preferred parking is definitely not worth it at Disney World parks. Youre usually saving yourself around five minutes of walking with preferred parking. The $20-$25 premium is not at all worth it.
If youre a hardcore rope drop fan you might wonder if preferred parking is worth it to get you to be first in line, and here the answer is still no. If youre one of the first cars in the lot, the time from car to queue for your first ride has plenty of opportunity for you to catch up to the very few guests paying for preferred parking at this hour.
Preferred parking makes the most sense at the peak of the day, from about noon to 3PM, when youll be filling the farthest spots. Sometime after 3PM , theyll actually start letting guests fill any available spaces, which leaves little reason to pay for preferred parking.
Also Check: Taking A Baby To Disney World
Regular Walt Disney World Ticket Prices
Annual Pass prices last went up on August 30, 2021.
This page lists the prices of standard tickets that you can buy at the gate. We list the full price, including tax youll pay if you buy in person at Walt Disney World. Youll pay less for some tickets when purchased in advance read below for more.
There are discounts available on most of the tickets listed below. See our comprehensive list of discount sources for standard Walt Disney World tickets.
Prices on this page include tax! Note that ticket prices quoted at DisneyWorld.com do not include tax. On the Disney site the tax is added to the price during the ordering process, which is why the prices look lower than the prices below. Sales tax of 6.5% is charged regardless of where you buy the tickets.
Special note:You will need a theme park reservation for the first Walt Disney World theme park you want to visit each day. Before buying tickets, check the park reservation calendar to make sure you can get into the parks you want to visit, then buy your tickets, link the tickets to MyDisneyExperience, then go back to the park reservation calendar to lock in your park reservations. If your plans change, you can change your park reservations later, assuming theres availability at the park you want to switch to. Park hopping is available from 2:00 pm until park closing read more about how Park Hopper currently works.
Choose The Right Dates
Disney World is much cheaper if you go during the off-season than during the busy times of the year. This is the most effective way to save money. If you go during January, February, Late August, or September, tickets are less expensive, hotel prices are cut dramatically and you will probably find a cheaper flight to Orlando.
If you go during Spring Break, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any holiday for that matter, you will pay more, period.
Read Also: Disney World Vacation Special Offers
Parking Costs For Walt Disney World
4 main parks
- Free for Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests
- Offsite guests $25/day
- Passholders Free with Passholder card and photo ID
- Preferred Parking $50/day & $45/day
- Oversized Vehicle Parking $30/day
- If you are visiting for dining reservations or to tour, etc., you can park up to 3 hours for free
- Valet $33/day
Water Parks & Disney Springs
- Free for self-parking
- Valet parking for $20/day is available at Disney Springs
Stay At Disney Resort In Walt Disney World
Lets start with the easiest one first. If you are a Disney Resort Guest you get Free Parking at Disney Theme Parks. Yep. Thats right. Complimentary parking at any park comes as a perk of staying on Disney property. Mind you, you will still have to pay those Disney Resort Parking Fees, though you can read our post on how to avoid Disney resort parking fees as well.
Also Check: Disney World Florida Resort Hotels
Abandoned And Misreported Concepts
In the 1960s, Disney initiated a plan for a ski resort at Mineral King in California. Opposition from environmental groups led by the Sierra Club led to a temporary court injunction in 1969 and legal battles through the 1970s. The project’s planning and scale changed multiple times, and in 1978, Mineral King was annexed into Sequoia National Park, ending any possibility of developing a resort there.
Disney had plans to build a park named Disney’s America in Haymarket, Virginia, but abandoned the idea in 1994. On September 28, 1994, Michael Eisner announced Disney was canceling its plans after a bruising national media fight with Protect Historic America, and aggressive local opposition in Virginia from Protect Prince William and other citizen groups.
Disney had plans to build a smaller Disneyland-style theme park in Sydney, Australia, between 2007 and 2008, with the proposed name “Disney Wharf at Sydney Harbour”, but the concept was abandoned due to mixed responses in the New South Wales Government.
Do I Need A Car At My Disney Hotel
Hopefully the above gives you a good idea of whether you need a car, but Ill give one last factor. Lets talk specifically about some hotels and whether youll want a car at them.
Port Orleans Riverside and Coronado Springs are huge and the buses take forever, but you can park close to your room. A car is a good idea if youre staying at one of these hotels. Old Key West and Saratoga Springs are similar. Caribbean Beach is also huge, but the Skyliner stations are pretty convenient for midday travel. Fort Wilderness is an entirely different beast, and in most cases youll want a car there.
The All Star Resorts rely on bus transportation and often share buses, which can cause problems. Depending on your room location, you might be significantly closer to a parking space then to the bus stop. A car can help with the problems here.
Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Contemporary, and Wilderness Lodge have good transportation to Magic Kingdom but less great to the other parks. Animal Kingdom Lodge and Port Orleans French Quarter relies on bus transportation to all four parks, but its pretty reliable. A car can help with the difficulties from these hotels.
Pop Century and Art of Animation usually dont share buses and have Skyliner access to two parks. A car is not needed at these hotels.
Also Check: Do You Pay For Parking At Disney World
Who Parks For Free At The Disney Theme Parks
As of May 2020:
Platinum Plus, Platinum, Gold, and Silver Annual Passholders park at the theme parks during regular park hours free of charge.
Guests with Florida Resident Silver Pass, Florida Resident Weekday Select Pass, and Epcot After 4PM Pass get free theme park parking. Have your pass or MagicBand and your photo ID ready when you approach the toll plaza.
All other guests pay to park at the theme parks.
Park Hopping With A Car At Disney World
Can you park at Magic Kingdom and go to Epcot? Or park at Epcot and go to Magic Kingdom? Yes. For all the combinations of parks, the answer is yes .
As we noted above, your parking fee covers all four parking lots if your park hop, so youre free to drive from one park to another without paying another fee.
Bringing your car with you as you park hop is the easiest thing to do because you dont want to reach the end of the day, forget about your car, and get it towed. The parking lots will close shortly after the last guest leaves the park, and if youre at Magic Kingdom at midnight when Hollywood Studios closes at 9PM, your car at Hollywood Studios will be towed.
Bringing your car while park hopping is also usually going to be the fastest way to get between two parks. But this point bears a little more discussion on a park-by-park basis.
Getting To/From Magic Kingdom. As well discuss more next, when you park at Magic Kingdom you use a lot far from the park that requires some transit to get you to the park. For this reason, it could make sense to just take a bus to Magic Kingdom. In most cases, though, Magic Kingdom is open later than the other parks and you probably dont want to have to go back to your car early at another park.
Getting To/From Animal Kingdom. Animal Kingdom is only connected to the other parks by bus. With the exception of Magic Kingdom , its always going to make sense to drive to another park instead of waiting on the bus.
Recommended Reading: Disney World Florida Park Hours
Use A Disney Travel Agent
Planning a trip to Disney World can be complicated and stressful when trying to compare the best prices for everything. Thats why we recommend using an authorized Disney Vacation Planner for your trip.
It doesnt cost you any extra money, and they will actually end up SAVING you money in the long-term because they know the best offers and promotions and if a new one comes out after you book your trip, they will switch you to the most cost-effective package.
Contact René at Show You the World Travel for all your trip planning needs, including a FREE quote. We use them multiple times per year and they give you the best service and savings combination out there!
Getting Around Disney World
Once you get to Walt Disney World, you need to know how to get around. Disney has their own complimentary transportation system guests can use and if you have your own car, you can park it at the hotel, or drive it to the parks.
Transportation costs are sneaky at Disney World, and all the fees and parking can really add up quickly. Here are your options
Read Also: Where Is California Grill In Disney World
What To Expect On The Toll Roads
Venturing off Disney property with a car?
Florida is full of toll roads. Many of the direct routes to Walt Disney World require you to pay a small fee.
The toll roads around Disney World use the SunPass system.
Unless you have your own SunPass transponder , you will want to be prepared with change to pay your tolls .
If you are driving your own car and you have a transponder for the turnpike system in your area, make sure you check to see if your local toll system works with SunPass.
Toll booths may be unmanned. Having exact change is absolutely necessary if you will be going down any toll roads.
Rely On Disney Transportation Including Buses And Minnie Vans
The ultimate way of avoiding Disney parking fees altogether isdont bring a car!
You can reach all of the theme parks and Disney Springs by bus, as well as the airport using Disneys Magical Express. And of course, youve got the Skyliner from resorts like Caribbean Beach and Art of Animation to take you to Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
Some families find that not having to worry about a car and driving places makes for a more relaxed vacation, and for the times when you need to go directly from resort to resort , you can just use Uber or a Minnie Van.
Uber is allowed on Disney property, though is of course a third party company, while Minnie Vans are actual Disney cast members available to drive you around like a taxi in a Minnie Mouse themed van .
On the other hand, if youre doing an Orlando vacation and not just Disney, you might find that having a car and paying the parking fees is worth it to you in order to have more freedom and be able to reach other attractions more easily
Don’t Miss: Do You Need Dining Reservations At Disney World
Tip : Buy Tickets From Disney Or Certified Partners
Only buy from Walt Disney World or its certified partners, like your hotel concierge, a professional travel agent or Visit Orlando. You might be tempted by promises and deals from third parties, but if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. If you think something might be a Disney ticket scam, report it immediately to the Better Business Bureau. I was once at Epcot and watched an entire party of 15 people get turned away because they had bought their tickets off property and didn’t read the fine print. Devastating.
Where Should Guests With Disabilities Park
Designated parking areas are available throughout Walt Disney World Resort for guests with disabilities. A valid disability parking permit is required.
Theme Park Parking
Guests with the ability to walk short distances and step onto courtesy trams should park in the main parking lots of Magic Kingdom park, EPCOT, Disneys Hollywood Studios, and Disneys Animal Kingdom. Courtesy trams transport guests to each theme parks main entrance.
Disability Parking Lots
Guests with mobility disabilities, including those traveling with personal wheelchairs, electric scooters, ECVs, or other mobility devices, should park in the Disability Parking Lots, located a short distance from the main entrance of each of the four theme parks. Note: Courtesy trams do not stop at these locations. You will need to drive or be pushed to the entrances from your parking space.
For further directions on parking options, inquire at the Auto Plaza located at the entrance of each of the Walt Disney World Theme Park Parking lots, or call guest services at 824-2222.
Recommended Reading: Walt Disney World Reservations 800 Number