Helpful Parking Tips For Disney World Guests
The best time to visit Disney World is usually on weekdays, especially during fall. If possible, avoid weekends and national holidays since they attract a lot of visitors. You should also check the calendar to discover Disney World hours for any theme park and arrive as early as possible.
We discovered a few additional ways to save time or moneygo through our list of top five Disney World parking tips!
Disney Dining Plan And Dining Options
The Walt Disney World Resort has over 350 restaurants and dining options to fit your budget. Currently, there are over 200 Quick-Service and Table-Service restaurants that have dining options under $14.99 like The Backlot Express in Disneys Hollywood Studios and Banana Cabana in Disneys Caribbean Resort.
Disney World Resort dining options can be found at Magic Kingdom, Disneys Hollywood Studios, Disneys Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney Springs, and over 3o Disney Resorts.
Character Dining can be a bit more pricey and currently, many of these have been suspended or modified due to the worldwide pandemic. Currently, there are five that are available and can range from $35 to $60. This is your chance to meet characters such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald, and Disney Princesses without waiting in a long line.
For a family of four, you can save anywhere from $200-$250 per day based on these tips. After reviewing many of the Disney Dining options, one Quick-Service meal, one Table-Service meal, snacks, and drinks included at the Walt Disney Resort will be more than enough to satisfy your entire family.
It is important to note that at this time, the Disney Dining Plan is suspended due to the ongoing pandemic.
Guests are encouraged to budget. Here are some of my favorite affordably priced Disney World places for good eats:
What If Im Just Visiting For The Day
Day guests receive complimentary parking when visiting Disney resorts or hotels throughout Disney World. Guests popping in for a meal, some shopping or to meet friends do not pay for daily parking.
When Disney implemented their overnight parking charges in 2018 it definitely caused some backlash from guests. However, Disney was sure not to change their complimentary parking policy for day guests to ensure that these guests would continue to frequent the resorts to enjoy shopping, dining and entertainment at the resorts and hotels. The patronage of non-overnight guests is an important part of Disneys resort and hotel business that they likely do not want to jeopardize.
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Electric Vehicle Charging Stations At Animal Kingdom
Charge ports for electric vehicles are available on a first-come, first-served basis. At Animal Kingdom, there are four spaces reserved in the Medical Parking Lot.
Disney notes that the cost to charge at these stations is $0.35 per kilowatt hour, with a minimum service amount of $1.50. This fee is payable by credit card or a pre-ordered ChargePoint card.
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.
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Is Parking At Disney World Hotels Free
Disneys Contemporary Resort. Photo by Laurie Sapp
To recap, heres what youre looking at for Standard Overnight Self-Parking at a Disney World hotel:
- Value Resorts: $15/night
- Moderate Resorts: $20/night
- Deluxe Resorts: $25/night
Theres one exception to the rule, but its not exactly a hotel. At Disneys Fort Wilderness, campers get complimentary standard parking.
Find Parking Easily Wherever You Go
Our team works hard to provide drivers across the country with reliable and up-to-date information on parking at countless locations.
Whether youre visiting Orlando or live in the area, we will help you plan your trip to other venues. In addition to parking at Disney World, you can look us up before heading to Disney Springs Parking or SeaWorld Orlando Parking. Check out any guide to learn valuable info about all visitor parking options in the vicinity!
If youre flying out of MCO, check out the guide to Orlando Airport Parking for on-site and off-site parking availability and other essential details. You may also use our safe booking system to make a quick reservation!
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Does Disney World Have A Disability Pass
Disney World has a Disability Access Service card that is available to guests with disabilities. DAS cards help guests who are not able to wait in a queue environment due to a disability. DAS cards are available from Guest Relations offices at the main entrances to the resort. They enable the holder to be given a return time at attractions so they do not need to queue.
Image by on : Disney Worlds Disability Access Service card is available to disabled guests.
Walt Disney World Parking In A Nutshell
Visitor parking at Walt Disney World includes multiple surface parking lots located near all theme parks. Some are huge, such as the Discover, Wonder, or Micky Lot, while smaller parking areas are also available near various points of interest. Based on your vehicle, preferences, or budget, you can choose one of the following services and options:
- Standard Parkingavailable in all Disney World visitor lots
- Preferred Parkingclose to the theme park entrances
- Oversized Vehicle Parkingsuitable for shuttles, limos, buses, trailers, and RVs
- Electric Vehicle Parkingavailable in parking areas at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs, and a couple of resorts: Coronado Springs and Wilderness Lodge
- Disney World Resort Parkingall guests staying at Disney hotel resorts are eligible for free or paid parking.
The photo below is taken in the Discover lot by EPCOT. Keep reading to find out the daily parking fees!
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When Is The Best Time To Visit Disney World
Our Disney Crowd Calendar is the best tool to help you get the most out of your time in the parks. We break down park crowds, park hours of operation, ticket prices, and average temperature. We also break down the best time to visit Disney World based on specific times of the year and special events.
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.
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Tip #: Stay At A Nearby Hotel With Parking
If you plan to stick around for a few days, opt for one of the resorts with lower parking rates or the one site with no charges: The Campsites at Disneys Fort Wilderness Resort. In addition to complimentary parking, the resort provides a full camping experience and a lot of fun! Its 5 miles away from Disney World, and you can take a free shuttle to the parks.
Are There Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Available At The Disney Theme Parks
A number of ChargePoint charging stations are available in parking lots at all four theme parks.
- Magic Kingdom: Five spaces one space at the front of the Medical Parking Lot and four spaces at the front of the Zurg Parking Lot
- Epcot: Four stations in the Journey Parking Lot
- Disneys Hollywood Studios: four spaces at the front of the Mickey Parking Lot
- Animal Kingdom: Four stations in the Medical Parking Lot
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Is Breakfast Included At Walt Disney World Swan And Dolphin Hotels
Unfortunately, complimentary breakfast isnt included for guests staying at the Swan & Dolphin or the nearby Swan Reserve. There are, however, several dining options available in the mornings for either a quick, grab-and-go pastry on your way to the theme parks or a more leisurely meal, including:
Driving Around Disney World
Disney is an expert at wayfinding signs.
Even people that get lost going to their local grocery store should have no problem navigating Walt Disney World.
Major directional signs are bright purple, which makes them easy to recognize.
As you approach the Walt Disney World Resort, the signs for the resort hotels will start off more general.
And the hotels will all be grouped by areas such as Epcot Resort Area, Magic Kingdom Resort Area, Animal Kingdom Resort Area, etc.
As you get closer to your destination you will begin to see specific signs for your resort.
To make it easier to get where you are going, make sure to know within which area your resort is located. This is especially true if you are planning to visit another resort hotel for a meal, etc.
The signs for the 4 main parks, 2 water parks, and Disney Springs are self-explanatory and plentiful.
You cant miss them!
There are usually multiple ways to get to and from different locations. If you miss a turn or an exit, dont panic just keep following the signs.
Map apps works well on Disney property so be sure to have one ready to use for your trip.
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Become An Annual Passholder
Annual Passholders are always afraid that their free parking at the Disney theme parks will be taken away, but for now, it remains.
If youre coming to Disney World for multiple trips in a year or doing a long trip of 2 weeks or more, check out the Annual Passholder prices as it may be that you can become an Annual Passholder for less than buying tickets for the number of days you need OR that you could get the annual pass for less than it would cost to buy the tickets + pay the theme park parking fees.
See how crazy Disney parking fees are becoming?!
Theyre making me suggest paying lots of money to become an annual passholder as a viable money saving solution!
DONT SHOOT THE MESSENGER.
Parking At Disney World Theme Parks
Staying on Disney property? You can get free transportation from your resort to your park of choice.
Staying off property? Visiting for the day? You have to pay to park at any of the parks on Disney property.
Park hopping? You only need to pay for parking once.
When youre parking at Walt Disney World, your parking pass is good all day at all four theme parks.
Parking prices are determined by type:
- Preferred Parking: $45 to $50 per day*
- Standard Parking: $25 per day
- Oversized Vehicle Parking: $30 per day
*Pricing is seasonal and will vary based on date of visit.
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Parking Prices At Walt Disney World
Its an annoying additional cost that can add up. Parking at all four Walt Disney World theme parks is charged per day. You can park hop if you have park hopping privileges on your ticket, and you do not pay for parking again that same day.
- Preferred parking $45-$50 per day depending on seasonality
- Standard parking: car or motorcycle $25 per day
- Oversized Vehicle Parking: Shuttle, Limo, Camper Trailer, RV, Bus or Tractor Trailer $30 per day
Sales tax is included in the above parking prices. Annual passholders received complimentary standard parking. Passholders receive a discount on preferred parking. They can pay the difference between standard parking and preferred parking.
Guests of Walt Disney World Resort hotels receive complimentary parking at the theme parks. They do, however, have to pay for parking at their hotel. Parking prices vary by hotel class:
- Disney Value Resorts $15 per night
- Disney Moderate Resorts $20 per night
- Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts $25 per night
Disney Vacation Club Members are not charged for resort parking when staying at a Disney Vacation Club Deluxe Villa or Resort Hotel using their Vacation Points.
Parking is free at both of Walt Disney Worlds water parks. Standard parking is free at Disney Springs, with valet parking available for $20 gratuity is not included in the price. There are three valet parking locations for Disney Springs:
Parking At Disney Resorts
One great way to save money when flying into MCO Orlando International Airport is to take Disneys Magical Express or ride-share services to your Walt Disney World Resort Hotel. Youll avoid the hefty tiered fees counted nightly with overnight self-parking or the valet services available at select Resort Hotels.
Standard overnight self-parking is available to registered Guests for a fee that will be applied to your hotel folio at check-out. Parking fees DO include tax, which is nice, but at the cheapest value hotels, overnight parking is $15 per night. Disney Moderate Resorts have a disney resort parking fee of $20 per night, which each Disney Deluxe Resort and Villa has a $25 per night charge.
Complimentary standard parking is available to overnight Guests staying at the Campsites at Disneys Fort Wilderness Resort. Staying here allows for one vehicle per campsite at no charge, so this is a great way to save on Resort Parking if you prefer this type of stay. Note that the cabins will have a $20 per night charge for parking.
You will also NOT pay for parking if you are a DVC member staying at a DVC property or Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, regardless of whether you are using vacation points or another form of payment! If you are a DVC Member who is not using points for your vacation, you will be charged for standard overnight parking. Try to use your points wisely and avoid those parking fees!
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Other Information About Parking At Walt Disney World
Currently, cast members are parking cars at every other spot, then backfill the empty spaces later. This enables social distancing and many guests have expressed their wish that Disney would keep this practice moving forward. It makes things easier when unloading the car, especially with kids, strollers, and bags.
At this time, parking trams are not running at any of the Disney theme parks. All guests will need to walk from their parking spot to the park entrance.
Guests with disabilities can utilize designated parking areas near the front of each parking lot. Disney does require a valid disability parking permit.
Electric vehicle charging stations are available at each theme park, Disney Springs, and select Disney hotels. Overall, the amount of spaces for charging electric vehicles is fairly limited.
The parking gates usually open about one hour before the published park opening time. For example, if Magic Kingdom is scheduled to open at 9 a.m., then parking is usually open by 8 a.m.
If you are entitled to free parking, youll need to present your MagicBand or other media that contains your credentials, such as your Annual Pass or your Disney Resort hotel information. The cast member will scan this media and will need to see photo identification.
If you need to depart the parking area before fully entering the parking lot, each theme park has a lane all the way to the left that will enable you to turn around or turn out of the parking area.
Parking At The Resorts
If youre driving yourself around Disney World and you decide to stop in at a resort that you are not a guest at for some dinner or a bit of shopping, youll be allowed to park for free for a short window of time IF there is parking space available. If not you will be directed to park somewhere else and use Disney transportation to visit. This isnt usually a problem if you have an Advanced Dining Rerservation and a confirmation number.
If you are staying at a WDW resort and need to park your car overnight, youll be charged accordingly at check in when you get your parking permit. Parking for guests used to be free, but sadly not anymore. At Value resorts youll pay $13/night, at Moderates youll pay $19/night, and at Deluxe and DVC resorts a whopping $24/night.
Once you get through the traffic, the parking lots are pretty easy to use. Photo by Laurie Sapp
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