In the last few days it has been observed that Disney World is now offering preferred parking at Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, much like it has been doing at several of the theme parks. General parking at the water parks is free, compared to $20 at the theme parks, but the new preferred option at the water parks is costing guests $15 for the day. Payment can be made in cash only. It remains to be seen if this is a permanent offering or just a trial period.
If 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
You have made it to Orlando and have arrived at Disney World or your resort and are hit with the question…do we have to pay to park? This is a topic that many people fail to think about when budgeting funds for a Disney trip, but we are here to help you know everything there is to know about parking at Disney World.
Parking at the Theme Parks
- At Magic Kingdom the parking lot is located at the Ticket and Transportation Center. Once you park you will ride a ferry boat or the monorail to the entrance to the theme park. At all of the other parks the parking lot is located immediately outside the entrance to the park.
- When parking at the four main theme you can expect to pay the following rates:
- $20.00 – Car or Motorcycle
- $22.00 – Camper, Trailer, Shuttle, Limo, or RV
- $25.00 – Bus or Tractor Trailer
- Keep in mind if you are a Disney resort guest or an annual pass holder you DO NOT have to pay for parking at the theme parks. Just show the parking pass you get when you arrive at your resort (or your annual pass) and you will get to park for free.
- Another thing to remember is keep your receipt. What you pay for parking is good for the entire day and at any other park. So if you park hop you will not have to pay to park at the next theme park.
- A final (and very important and overlooked) tip is to know where you leave your car. These parking lots are MASSIVE and it is easy to lose a car. Disney has good signage and a row numbering system, but you’ve got to know where your car is for that to be of use. Log it in your phone, on your receipt, or take a picture of the location so you don’t forget after a long hard day in the parks.
Parking at the Water Parks and Disney Springs
- Not many things are free at Disney World, but parking at the Water Parks, ESPN Wide World of Sports and Disney springs are exceptions to this rule. Anyone and everyone can park for free in these locations.
- Disney Springs will have two large parking garage structures once all of the construction of this area is complete, although right now only one of these is open.
Parking at the Resort Hotels
- Parking at the Disney resort hotels is free, although to get into each hotel property you will have to go by the guard shack to be let in. If you are a guest of that resort you will have no problem. If you are not a guest of that resort they will have a list of dining reservations at the resort and you will be let in for that reason. You may can get in if you say you are shopping or dining at the quick service at that property, but there are no guarantees. You are better off taking Disney transportation from a park or your hotel if you want to go to a hotel that you are not a guest of.
- Valet Parking is also available at all of the Disney deluxe resorts and the cost is $25 to use the service for the entire day. Just like theme park parking, if you valet at one resort, keep your receipt, and travel to another resort you can use the receipt to valet park there during the same day.
- If you are a Tables in Wonderland member you can valet park for free at any deluxe resort when you are dining. Show the valet your TiW card when you check in your car and then after your meal show your card again, along with the receipt from your meal and you will get your car back with no charge.
Well, that’s about all you need to know about parking. Ask any questions you may have below and a “MouseDreamer” will answer them as quickly as we can.