Disney World Theme Parks are so much fun! Families from around the world descend upon the Disney World Theme parks year round. What all do you know about your upcoming Disney World Theme Park trip? Are you driving or flying? Will you be renting a car when you arrive at Disney World from a flight?
This Pittsburgh travel writer travels to Disney World Theme parks a lot as my daughter is Disney entranced! Decision making for Disney World theme park visits start the minute you decide this is your destination. If you are driving or renting a car, there are tips for parking at Disney World Theme parks you need to know.
Get ready to travel to Disney and lavishly live vacation out loud, where ‘Dreams Do Come True!’
Tips For Parking at Disney World Theme Parks
As a Disney World Theme park enthusiast, I have traveled there multiple times as a child, tween, teen 20 something, 30 something and as a parent. The nostalgic destination is forever immortalized as so little changes, but the experience is always rich. You can’t get these smiles if you are not in that park!
Speaking of rich, many heading to Disney World Theme parks may study up ahead of their trip on ‘best deals’ for ticketing and lodging etc. In fact, there is so much to learn before you go you can overwhelm yourself. So, let’s just focus on how to deal with parking while you are in those famed Disney World Theme parks so it’s as magical of a time as “BBibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” for you!
Disney World Theme Park Parking Rates
Let’s take a look at the parking rates for the theme parks first. Preferred parking: $40 per day, Standard parking $20 per day. (both car or motorcycle). Now, let’s transition to how this all matters to you. Once paid, you can move from park to park and not pay the fee again THAT day. However, when the next day appears, you need to pay the fee again. So, a week of parking in the Disney World Theme Parks is $140, budget that in, unless you are staying at Disney properties, but wait… something has changed!
Staying at Disney Properties
Oh, we loved staying on Disney World properties, the perks are there. Extra Magic Hours are the biggest bonus, IMO. The theme park actually extends their guests staying on their properties (and a few other non-Disney properties) the ability to enter certain parks an hour earlier than all other guests and then stay inside 2 hours later than the regular hours that are offered. Translation: ride the transportation into the parks with fewer crowds, and schedule your Disney bands for rides you want before the chaos sets in! Or, stay later and sleep in, whatever your groove is, this is an advantage.
The Car Thing & Disney Properties
Recently there has been a lot of media attention to Disney World hotels charging for parking. Most if not all Disney hotels used to include parking for your vehicle within the resort cost of your stay. Well, that is all gone. So, the Disney property parking fees range anywhere from $13-$24 a night, which is expensive. And…. leads me to my next point!
Disney World Theme parks offer you ‘free parking’ if you drive to their theme parks, rather than using their free provided transportation. Well, it would seem to me, that you are really paying for parking (unless you at the $13 per night resort, there you are saving $7) because parking at the theme parks is as listed above at $20 a day.?
Vacation Home Rentals & Driving
Perhaps your decision was a vacation rental home. You are not staying at Disney properties so you Disney World Theme Parking is at the least $20 per day. Again, remember you can pay once a day and move your car to any other Disney Theme Parks and not pay again. Parking expires each day and has to be paid for again.
Remember, once you park, you still have to take a tram from the lot to the theme park. All parking, but the Magic Kingdom is nowhere even close to the main entrance. Keep this in mind. Also get a parking app on your phone so you can remember where you parked or snap a picture. (all of this does not good if your phone battery died, so bring a battery pack, lol) The progression and woes of traveling!
Decide what you need from a stay on the Walt Disney World resorts: is it being able to schedule those rides in advance? Is it the free parking during the day at parks (which really is not free if you read above), or the Extra Magic Hours, or the complimentary shuttles from your resort to the parks? You can purchase those Magic Bands outside of Disney. You can schedule dining but not as fast as a guest, so what is your pleasure? Do you want a rental home where you can spread out or do you prefer a room or 2 that you pay way more for over a week? Factor everything together BEFORE you decide if you are driving or staying on Disney Property.