Tour Guide Tuesday: Save Time when parking at Universal and Magic Kingdom

in Disney, Islands of Adventure, Magic Kingdom, Park Secrets, Theme Parks, Uncategorized, Universal CityWalk, Universal Orlando, Universal Studios Florida, Walt Disney World


I have written many articles on saving time when inside the Disney and Universal parks. However, today I wanted to write a quick one about how drivers can shave off a few minutes before even getting to a parking space.


The auto plazas at the Central Florida parks can be quite large, with as many as twelve lanes across. At the busy times of day, there can be dozens of cars in each lane, which can delay you by an extra ten minutes or more. When you are trying to make it to the park entrance before rope drop, ten minutes can make a big difference. Arriving even a few minutes after park opening could result in an hour long line for attractions like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Minion Mayhem.

Universal Auto Plaza
Universal Auto Plaza

Just like inside the parks, the key to avoiding the longest auto plaza lines is to go as far left as possible. Since we drive on the right side of the road, our natural tendency is to stay to the right when approaching the booths. This is most pronounced at Universal Studios. When you are coming into the main entrance, you are coming around a slight right hand curve. This makes it tough to see that there are usually several empty lanes to the left. So, as soon as you can get over, head as far left as possible.

Magic Kingdom Auto Plaza
Magic Kingdom Auto Plaza

To a lesser extent, you will see similar results when approaching the Magic Kingdom. All of the Disney busses, as well as Magic Kingdom resort guests, head through the far right lanes. So, it just makes sense to stay to the left. However, you can see the MK auto plaza from a far greater distance than the one at Universal, so smart drivers start moving to the left a little earlier. Again, when every minute counts, being a few car lengths ahead can make a big difference.

I hope you enjoy “Tour Guide Tuesday.” If you want additional tips while you’re in the parks, WDW Guided Tours is happy to help!

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