While you may want to stay away from having a car when you are at Disney World, you must understand that sometimes your vehicle will come in handy. Therefore, if you arrive at Disney World with your own vehicle, or you rent one for your stay, you must be aware of parking at Disney World. There are many different Disney World parking fees, so you must decide where you are going to park to save some money during your trip.
Disney Resort Guests
Resort guests used to be able to park their car for free, but that has changed as of last year and those charges increased during the middle of this year. At a value resort, you will pay $15 per night, while a moderate resort will set you back $20 per night. A deluxe and DVC resort will have you paying $25 per night for parking.
There is good news for you if you choose to stay at these resorts though, and that is you get free parking at Disney World. That free parking is available at all four of the theme parks.
Non- Disney Resort Guests
If you are not staying on Disney property, you will have a Disney World parking fee when you drive into the parking lots at the theme parks. The only exception to this rule is if you are an annual passholder and have your pass and identification with you.
All four theme parks charge the same amount for parking and that Disney World parking fee is $25 per day. If you want preferred parking, you will pay $45 per day during the regular season and $50 per day during the peak season.
Anyone who has reservations for dining or tours can park for free for up to three hours and parking is always free at the water parks and Disney Springs. While you can park for free in those locations and find a way to the theme park of your choice, it is important to note that the water parks and Disney Springs have different operating hours. Therefore, you may end up stranded very far from your car at the end of the day if you do not plan accordingly.
Arriving at the Parking Lots
When you arrive at any of the four theme parks, you will find yourself approaching a booth at the entrance of the parking lot. There are multiple booths and you can drive up to any of them to pay for your parking for the day. Each booth takes both cash and credit and debit cards, so the process is fairly quick and easy. Obviously, if you are staying at one of the resorts, you only need to have your Magic Band scanned and you will be all set.
Once you have paid for parking, all you need to do is find an empty space or look for an employee to point you in the right direction. It is imperative that you either take a picture of the lot you are parked in or at least remember the theme name, because if you don’t, you will find yourself with a problem at the end of the day.
Getting into the Parks
After you park your vehicle, and take a picture of where it is, you must get to the park. While you can walk, there are times when you may be parked further away from the entrance than you want. In these scenarios, it is often best to hop onto one of the free trams that pass by every five to ten minutes.
Leaving the Parks at the End of the Day
As you are trying to get out of the parks to your car at the end of the day, please remember that there are thousands of other people attempting to do the same thing. If you decide to get onto a tram, take the time to check the picture you took earlier in the day when you are waiting in line. This will be helpful when the driver of the tram starts yelling out parking lot theme names, as well as the row numbers.
The good news is that the parking lots at Disney empty out rather quickly at night, which may be surprising with the massive amount of people. The reason it is easy is because the exits are well labeled, and you can simply head towards the one nearest your parking spot.
Parking Electric Vehicles
If you happen to take an electric vehicle to Disney World, you will be happy to know that you can charge your car when you are having a wonderful time inside the parks. Only three of the four theme parks at Disney World offer electric charging spaces and there is a charge to use them.
Magic Kingdom has five spaces in total, while EPCOT has four and Animal Kingdom has four. Disney Springs also offers electric charging stations and they have the most with six. You must use either a credit card or a ChargePoint card to use these charging stations and don’t worry, everything stops when your battery is full. ChargePoint will even send you a message via your smartphone when your vehicle is fully charged and ready to drive again.
Parking at Disney World can be a little confusing in the beginning, especially if you are trying to find ways to save the most money. It is almost impossible to find free parking at Disney World all the time, but every once in a while, you should get lucky, even if you are not staying in one of the Disney World Resorts.
Just remember, the convenience of having a car will be more beneficial than the Disney World parking fees that you pay!