The most Magical place in the world undoubtedly lost its glitter for us when we discovered one huge bug-bear, parking charges!
We have since wised up and found ways to avoid the outrageous cost of parking at Walt Disney World in Orlando. However, for the uninitiated, we’re sharing here what you can expect parking to cost per day, plus alternatives for parking at Disney.
Some groups are eligible to receive free parking, and even some places in Disney World offer FREE parking! We explain where below – but be warned, free may not mean convenient!
You can find our complete guide to Orlando theme parks for beginners here
You can find our complete guide to the best Disney tips and hacks to save you time and money over here.
How Much Does it Cost to Park at Disney World?
It’s important that we distinguish between the Walt Disney World Theme Parks and Disney Resorts.
Disney Theme Parks Parking Fee
Each of the four theme parks within Disney has its own parking lot. At each car park entrance, you will pay a cast member:
- $25 per day for cars and motorcycles standard parking (transferable if you park hop to another park)
- $50 for preferred parking that sees you close to the entrance
- $30 for oversized vehicles – Camper Trailer, RV, shuttle, Limo, Bus
- Valet parking is also available ($50 for the first hour, $10 per hour thereafter to a maximum $120 per day )
Cash and card can be used to pay for your parking fee, and prices are inclusive of tax.
Parking is complimentary at the water parks and for those with disabilities (displaying a valid disability parking permit).
Disney Resort Parking Fees
Don’t think the parking headache is just for day visitors to the theme parks; they will even ping you for staying at your Disney Resort, too.
That’s right; every Disney World Resort comes with a car parking fee! A strong incentive to complete your Disney adventures in one hit, then only hire a car if you’ll be heading beyond Orlando.
Now the plus, the resort parking is often cheaper than the theme park parking at Disney World. And it’s per day, so you can come and go to other attractions in town, and you pay the same daily fee at your Disney Resort.
In fact, if you’re staying on-site and paying your resort parking fee, there’s no double dipping, so you can drive instead of taking internal transport to the theme park car parks, and you won’t pay an extra fee (though just a tip – by the time you do this and take the monorail or tram to the park entrance – you could well have caught the free park transport faster).
- Value Resorts $15 per night
- Moderate Resorts $20 per night
- Deluxe Resorts $25 per night
As per the theme parks, an exception is made for those with disabilities requiring a handicapped parking space. These are provided on a complimentary basis.
As of 2022, these are the Walt Disney World Resort hotel parking fees, as per Disney’s own website:
Value Resorts $15 per night:
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Moderate Resorts $20 per night:
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
- The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort*
*Campsites at Fort Wilderness Lodge allow one free parking spot for overnight guests.
Deluxe Resorts $25 per night:
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
- Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Parking at Disney Springs & ESPN
Standard self-parking is available complimentary in the surface parking lot and three parking garages at Disney Springs, as well as at ESPN Wide World of Sports.
You cannot, however, catch a bus from Disney Springs directly to the four theme parks. We’ll share below how you CAN make free parking at Disney Springs work for you.
Can you relate?
How to Avoid Parking Fees at Disney World – 8 Ways to Save
Depending on your travel circumstances and budget, let’s see if any of these methods can help you reduce your parking bill for Disney.
1. Park For Free At Disney Springs
As we first mentioned, you can’t park at Disney Springs and go directly to the theme parks.
However, there are means and ways that you CAN use Disney Springs as your free car parking base for the day. You need to get creative and plan your journey out.
- The trick is to take a bus from Disney Springs to the closest Dinsey Resort and then connect to the theme park you want. It’s not the quickest method, but it is the cheapest.
- For example, you can park at Disney Springs (from opening time – check daily but normally 10:00 AM), then take a bus to a monorail resort, then monorail to Magic Kingdom. The closest resorts are Contemporary or Grand Floridian – on a nice day, you can even walk it!
- For Hollywood Studios, you want a bus from Disney Springs to a Boardwalk Resort – the closest are Swan Hotel and Dolphin Resort. From here, you can expect a 10 to 15-minute walk to Hollywood Studios entrance.
- For EPCOT, take the bus to The Beach Club, where you’ll get back gate entry in the World Showcase part of the park.
- For Animal Kingdon, bus from Disney Springs to Animal Kingdom Lodge (why not stop and check out the view over the park from the resort too!)
- Another lesser-known trick is to park at Dinsey Springs and walk to Saratoga Springs. From Saratoga Springs, you can catch a bus at Congress Park Bus Stop and hop on the theme park bus of your choice – easy!
What we love about the Disney Springs parking option is that we frequently want to end our day at Disney Springs.
After 4:00 PM there is a direct bus from the theme parks to Disney Springs. This way, we can end our day in a leisurely fashion, and our cars there ready to return home when staying off-site. It can make for a long day but saves you $25.
Where we think it does help the most is for Magic Kingdom. As there’s no parking at Magic Kingdom itself, and you need to take the monorail anyway from the car park, you can almost get there just as fast from Disney Springs!
2. Use DVC Points
Disney Vacation Club members – or those renting DVC points – do not pay resort parking fees when points are used to pay.
If DVC members are staying at a Deluxe Villa, regardless of whether they’re using points, the overnight resort parking fee is waived.
This is worth considering if you’re staying Deluxe, as you can save on the room and resort parking fees (just make sure if you’re renting DVC points, you use a reputable agent and understand what you’re doing – DVC points is not a topic for Disney beginners!)
As a standalone method though, your Deluxe Resort is going to cost you substantially more than the $25 you might save on parking!
3. Use an annual pass
If you’re a local or think you’ll be at Disney for more than a couple of weeks of the year, it could be well worth looking into annual passes for Disney World. Annual passholders get free Disney theme park parking.
Do a bit of math – look at daily ticket prices plus parking fees for your family group over the number of days you intend to be at a Dinsey theme park.
Do note, though, that Annual passholders only get free parking at the theme parks; staying at one of the Disney Resorts, you’re still going to pay your nightly resort fee for parking.
4. Tables in Wonderland Dining Reservation
You can park for free at any Disney theme park after 5:00 pm if you have a Tables in Wonderland card.
Alternatively, you can park for free before 5:00 pm if you have a dining reservation at a participating Tables in Wonderland restaurant and finish within 3 hours. Using this method, you still need to pay for parking, then get your parking refunded at guest relations upon providing a receipt.
- Tables in Wonderland is only available to Annual Pass Holders, Florida Residents, and DVC Members (many of whom have other ways to access free parking).
5. Use resort-free parking during the day
A slight loophole one, and only works if you do a bit of pre-planning and don’t intend to be long at the theme parks.
You can park for free at a resort for day use – you’ll want a dining or recreation reservation. As you’re not checking in, you are not declaring your vehicle at reception.
After you’ve finished your meal or day reservation activity at the resort, you can use the free internal transfer services to get to your Disney theme park.
6. Stay off-site and use a hotel shuttle
Staying off-site and taking a shuttle to Disney World is one of the most cost-effective and convenient methods of saving on parking fees at Disney World – depending on your group size.
- Whilst some shuttles are free, others are $5- $7 per person – if you have more than five people in your vehicle, the $25 parking could start to look more attractive.
Now, this might seem like the perfect solution, but again, you need to do a bit of daily activity math.
- Will your off-site hotel charge you parking fees if you still have your vehicle with you? Are you guaranteed to get a shuttle spot, or could you still end up needing to drive or use a ride-share service (that can quickly add to more than $25)?
Disney “Good Neighbour” hotels offer perks, including complimentary shuttles and extra Magic Hours – but may still charge for parking in a similar range to Disney resorts. You can avoid these parking charges sometimes by being a member of the hotel chain’s reward program – free to sign up! You’ll get points for your stay, too, so there are definitely perks for good neighbor hotels that are almost equivalent to staying “on-site”.
You may also want to read up on hotels with shuttles to Universal; staying at a resort that offers both can be a good solution for theme park fans looking to minimize costs but maximize theme park fun!
7. Camp at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campgrounds
The only on-site accommodation with free parking is the campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort (NB not applicable to cabins)
Just be aware – you’re camping! Ok, for our avid camping families who know what they’re doing. If you’re new to camping, however, we wouldn’t be wanting to compromise your surroundings to save you $25!
8. Skip the Car and stay on site
It should go without saying, the easiest way to avoid parking fees is to have no private vehicle with you.
If you are ONLY “doing Disney” in Orlando, this is definitely the most viable option.
Yes, you’ll need to pay for airport transfers. With the discontinuation of free shuttles from the airport offered by WDW, you will need to factor in this cost per person to catch alternative transport.
We could almost be certain a taxi or ride share in each direction for a family will be cheaper than renting a car that does nothing but park at resorts and theme parks.
If you do want to make day trips in and around Orlando during your trip, again use rideshare/taxi services for short trips around town, or you can rent a car from within Disney for a day trip.
We personally find not having to worry about a car for the days we’re theme parking the most effective method or saving on parking fees when we head onwards (we normally find a beach close to Disney for a few days), then we rent a car to complete our Florida trip, such as Orlando to Clearwater.
Renting a Car at Disney World
As we’ve eluded to, the easiest way to avoid parking fees at Disney is not to have a car – easier said than done if you’ve driven to Orlando!
But for fly-in visitors to Florida, take note this is your most significant cost saving! Whether you’re staying on-site at a Disney World Hotel or you’d prefer to stay at Universal Studios on-site, the same thing applies – only get a rental car if you’re heading beyond the city for a day or more.
The good news is you can rent a car from right within Disney! The Walt Disney World Car Care Centre is where you want to go. But research, research, research!
We use multiple search engines, including discovercars.com and rentalcars.com, to explore hire car costs. We have done this twice now, and both times it was cheaper for one of us to Uber back to the airport and pick up the hire car, then come back and collect the rest of the family.
Yes, there are convenient pick-up points with Alamo and National available within Disney, plus Avis at Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista and Budget at Doubletree Suites.
Still, the cost of hiring a car from these locations always seems to come out more per day than the airport rentals (assumably, as there’s simply a more comprehensive range at the airport).
More Dinsey Parking FAQs
No, whether you’re in the door at 9:00 am or arriving after 5:00 pm, you’ll pay the same for your daily theme park parking. The only exception is the Table in Wonderland booking method we mentioned above.
No, you only pay once per day, allowing you to park hop if you desire with one daily parking fee.
Ditto, you don’t pay for resort parking AND theme park standard parking (only if you want preferred parking, you’ll need to upgrade).
The fee is daily though; you cannot get multi-day parking passes for Disney, you need a new
Yes and no. It is free in that you don’t pay for resort parking AND theme park parking, but overnight guests with a car are still changed for by their resort.
Sadly, there is no longer free transportation from the airport to Dinsey resorts. Whilst yes, you can go car-free inside the resort and rely on the park’s free transportation, you will now need to pay to get from MCO to Disney World
Yes, there are electric vehicle charging points in each theme park parking lot, but you still pay a standard parking fee. Not every Disney resort has EV charging stations.
More About Disney & Orlando Vacations
We hope this Disney World Parking guide helps you plan your Florida family vacation a little better and puts a few more pennies back in your spending piggy bank.
Planning a trip to Florida, you may also be interested in these posts from our family travel blog:
- Orlando Activities that aren’t Theme Parks
- Activities to Pass the Time When You Line at Disney
- Where to Stay at Disney World With a Larger Family
- What to wear to Disney for All Day Comfort
- The Best Beaches near Disney World
- Florida’s Most Beautiful Islands and Keys
- Top Family Beaches in Florida
- Enjoy a Weekend Getaway In Sarasota With Kids
- Our Unexpected Florida Family Highlights