Everyone visiting Walt Disney World Resort wants to save money! Parking fees can add up easily with a multi-day stay, so avoiding those costs is a great way to keep your wallet full and splurge on a fun drink instead. When driving around Disney World, here’s how to best avoid paying for parking (by knowing where and how they charge) while keeping the fun in your day… we’re rule followers, after all!
How to Avoid Parking Fees at Disney World
Depending on your destination at Disney World, you’ll encounter different types of parking fees. Resorts, theme parks, water parks, and shopping districts all have different parking amenities, so we’ll break them down for you and tell you how to best avoid those parking fees at Disney by knowing which methods are either free or the cheapest option for you.
Parking at Disney Resorts
One great way to save money when flying into MCO Orlando International Airport is to take Disney’s Magical Express (ending in 2022) or ride-share services to your Walt Disney World Resort Hotel. You’ll avoid the hefty tiered fees counted nightly with overnight self-parking or the valet services ($33/night) available at select Resort Hotels.
Standard overnight self-parking is available to registered Guests for a fee that will be applied to your hotel folio at check-out. Parking fees DO include tax, which is nice, but at the cheapest value hotels, overnight parking is $15 per night. Disney Moderate Resorts have a Disney Resort parking fee of $20 per night, which each Disney Deluxe Resort and Villa has a $25 per night charge.
Complimentary standard parking is available to overnight Guests staying at the Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Staying here allows for one vehicle per campsite at no charge, so this is a great way to save on Resort Parking if you prefer this type of stay. Note that the cabins will have a $20 per night charge for parking.
You will also NOT pay for parking if you are a DVC member staying at a DVC property or Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, regardless of whether you are using vacation points or another form of payment! If you are a DVC Member who is not using points for your vacation, you will be charged for standard overnight parking. Try to use your points wisely and avoid those parking fees!
Lastly, if you are Resort hopping for a meal, shopping, or other entertainment (such as the Luau at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort), you will have 3 hours of complimentary standard self-parking. Pay attention to your watch as the parking guards may flag your car for parking fees.
Parking at Disney Theme Parks
There are a few really lovely loopholes for not paying for parking at the main Disney theme parks. If you are “caught” without these options, you’ll pay for the day’s parking. Prices can fluctuate seasonally, so be prepared. Standard Parking is approximately $25 per day, while preferred parking is $45 to $50 per day. Oversized Vehicles will pay up to $30 per day.
Disney Resort Hotel Guests
Stay at a Disney World Resort Hotel? Your standard theme park parking is included in your Resort Hotel price (though you’re paying for parking at the hotel, so it’s sort of a wash. Keep in mind that preferred parking is an added cost, but you’ll only pay the difference in price.
If you are a Walt Disney World Resort Annual Passholder, you’ll avoid the Parking Fees at Disney Parks (select passes only). Simply show your little yellow card or scan your MagicBand (or Mobile Magic option) at the parking gate and you’ll sail on through to standard parking. Keep in mind that preferred parking is an added cost, but you’ll only pay the difference in price.
When Park Hopping at Disney World, you’ll only pay for parking ONCE each day. Keep your receipt (place it in your dashboard for easy storage) and show it at each parking gate when you enter. The parking pass is good all day at all 4 major theme parks—Magic Kingdom park, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.
Disney’s Water Park Parking
Headed to Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach? If you’re taking your car with you, you’ll have complimentary standard parking at both of these watery destinations.
Parking at Disney Springs & ESPN Wide World of Sports
Standard self-parking is complimentary at the Disney Springs shopping district, in both Lime and Orange Garage parking structure, etc. There are also surface parking lots and more for Disney Springs parking, so please follow signs to available areas; the district can easily become crowded for events or holidays.
Valet parking is available at a charge of $20 per day, and payment will be collected at the time of car pickup. If you are using Disney World Resort Hotel transportation, you can arrive at Disney Springs or ESPN by Disney Transportation Bus, which is complimentary.
Standard parking is complimentary for all Guests at ESPN Wide World of Sports.
Do you ever pay for parking at Disney World Park or Resort? What are your tips for parking for free? Leave us a comment below!