Tips for Driving Around Walt Disney World

Main Entrance SignIf you are driving to Disney World there are some tips you will want to be aware of it you plan on navigating the area by car. Driving around Disney World can be a daunting task at times, but the tips below can help make the Disney roads a little easier to navigate.

  1. Follow the Road Signs – This is the best tip we can give when it comes to driving a car around Walt Disney World. The roads can be busy and go in several different directions, but if you pay attention to the signs you should get to where you want to go with no problem. The main reason people get in trouble is when they think, “Oh Hollywood Studios is this way”, instead of following the signs that may say to go a different way. Disney has things set up to help traffic to continue to flow into and out of the parks, so sometimes the direction the signs tell you may not appear to be geographically correct, but they will get you where you need to go. If you go your own way you will almost always end up having to turn around or end up stuck in a line of traffic that Disney was trying to keep you out of in the first place. Again, follow the hundreds of road signs Disney has provided, and driving is an easy way to get around.
  2. Know the Rules of Parking – There are several rules that are important to know when it comes to parking. First of all, if you are a Disney resort guests parking at the theme parks is free, which is a great benefit if you plan on driving around Disney World. Saving $20 per day can really add up! Next, don’t always expect to be able to park in resort parking lots. Disney has a guard shack at the entrance to all resort hotels so don’t expect to just drive up and park at the Contemporary or any other resort. If you do have a dining reservation at the hotel you can usually get in, but don’t count on them letting you in unless you are staying there. If staying off-site you will have to pay $20 per day to park, but always remember you only have to pay once per day. You can then go into and out of any of the theme parks parking lots as long as you keep that receipt. Finally, parking at Downtown Disney is free, but can be a hassle to get to the parks as there is no direct transportation, so we recommend avoiding this strategy.
  3. Always Take a Picture of Your Parking Area – Everyone is excited when they get to the parks in the morning, but that excitement often leads to them parking and hurrying into the parks as quick as they can, which means they don’t remember where they parked when it comes time to leave. The easiest way to remember is to just take a picture of the parking area you are in. Disney has themed signs and row numbers posted all over the parking lot that you can take a picture of so you know the area you are in. Trust me, you will be thankful you did when you leave the park for the day!
  4. Sometimes You Need To Drive – There are several reasons as to why you would want to drive your own car to the parks instead of riding the transportation system. A lot of these things are personal preference, but are things to consider nonetheless. First, if you just do not like riding busses or can’t stand the multiple stops that are made when going from resorts to the parks you may want to drive your own car. Another reason you may want to drive is if you dislike being on a crowded bus, boat or monorail as happens many times of year at Disney World. Sometimes it’s just nice to get in your car and not have to deal with a crowd. A final good reason is the ability to store things in your car. Instead of lugging the stroller or other larger things into the room after getting off of a bus or boat, you can just leave them stored in the car which saves time and effort when you are tired.
  5. Sometimes You Don’t Need to Drive – Always remember the transportation system is available if you don’t want to have to drive, but we also know sometimes jumping in your car is a more convenient way to get somewhere if you need quick transportation. With that in mind we do almost always recommend taking the Disney transportation system to the Magic Kingdom as you have to park at the Ticket and Transportation Center and then ride the monorail or ferry boat to the Magic Kingdom. If taking busses, monorail or water transport from your resort you get dropped off right near the dates and don’t have to navigate that extra transportation step. Also, if you are resort hopping there is always a chance you won’t be allowed into a resort you aren’t staying or don’t have a reservation at, so taking Disney transportation is often a better way to get there. On the other hand if you are in a hurry, or just don’t like the busses, driving may very well be a great option for you.

Let us know below if you have other transportation question and we would love to help you.