New Policy: Disney Implements No Parking for Guests at Disney Resorts

in Disney Parks, Walt Disney World

Guests walking down Main Street, U.S.A. in Walt Disney World Resort

Credit: Lee (myfrozenlife), Flickr

Disney has just altered their parking policy yet again.

Parking Lot at Disney World Feature Image
Credit: DisneyFanatic

When guests visit Walt Disney World Resort, there are many aspects and things that guests will plan, from their resort, to dining reservations, to theme park days, ride choices, and more. One thing that many guests do not think about having to plan is parking — but they should.

Disney has some strict parking rules that all guests must adhere to. 

As of February 2024, valet parking prices at Walt Disney World have increased to $39, a $6 hike from the previous rate. This price change occurred without a formal announcement from Disney, though it follows other significant updates for the Florida resort.

This increase does not affect theme park parking, which remains steady at $30 per day. Additionally, theme park parking is free for guests staying at Disney resorts and Annual Passholders, similar to the water park benefit coming next year.

These price hikes come amid news that park tickets and the Disney Dining Plan will become more expensive in 2025, per Disney CEO Bob Iger. Ticket prices are set to rise by approximately $5-$10 each. While the individual increases might seem minor, the cumulative cost of a vacation to “The Most Magical Place on Earth” is becoming a concern for many longtime guests and fans, who argue that the parks are becoming prohibitively expensive.

Disney's boardwalk
Credit: Walt Disney World Resort

Despite free parking for resort guests, picking up guests from the resorts is no longer permitted.

Disney recently removed the nightly fee associated with guest parking at their Disney resort, but they have also strengthened their resort guest parking rules. On a recent visit to Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, we were told that we were not allowed to go into the resort to pick up our family who was staying at the hotel.

Turned away at the security gate, cast members alerted us that management is only allowed Uber and Mears through for pickup. While other ride share options like Lyft or traditional taxi services were not mentioned, we would assume they would be allowed to enter as well.

That being said, if you are just waiting to be picked up by a friend or family member who is not listed on the reservation, they will be turned away. This is the case for all Disney resorts moving forward, according to what we were told.

Cast members were instructed to tell guests that they can pick up their friends or family at Disney Springs. That means that guests staying at the resort will be expected to take a bus to Disney Springs, instead of just waiting at their front lobby.

In some cases, this may be doable, but in other instances, such as our experience where the guests who were being picked up had their luggage with them and were heading back to the airport, traveling to Disney Springs is less ideal, and without notice, may end up with a missed flight due to the added travel time.

A bustling parking lot with numerous vehicles, with the iconic EPCOT geodesic sphere visible in the background against a clear blue sky.
Credit: Inside the Magic

Disney also told us that if you are a Disney Vacation Club member, however, that you will be allowed to pick up others, but regular theme park guests or other resort guests cannot.

The only way that a Disney guest who is not listed on a resort reservation can enter the resort property with a car is with a restaurant reservation. This means that the value resorts, such as Disney’s Pop Century Resort or Disney’s Art of Animation is a big no-no when it comes to any vehicle entering the property, as the value hotels do not have table service dining, so no reservations are allowed to be made.

It is interesting to see the BoardWalk add this new rule as there are multiple dining and drink locations like Jellyrolls, Abracadabar, and Atlantic Dance Hall do not have reservations, and guests must park at the BoardWalk to enter.

What do you think of this new parking policy at Disney?

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