Disney Testing Paid Parking at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

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Disney is now testing the concept of paid parking for non-resort guests at Walt Disney World. The concept was recently tested at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and will be tested again soon at Disney’s Boardwalk. The test is the latest attempt by Disney to control parking at the resorts, possibly preventing guests from lying that they are visiting the resorts when they are actually using it as a place to park before visiting one of the Walt Disney World theme parks. Under the possible new policy, guests without reservations or who are not resort guests would have to pay the parking fee in order to park at the resort.

Late morning on the Boardwalk

Paid parking would still not apply to those with dining reservations, Tables in Wonderland members (who get free valet when dining at a resort restaurant only), and obviously resort hotel guests.

What do you think? Is this a good idea?

About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

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Jenn
Guest
Jenn

I’m down for it. Parking can get kinda crazy at some of the deluxe resorts. As long as dining reservations continue to give complementary parking, which I think is fair, it’s a decent change.

bwentwor
Guest
bwentwor

I agree with this change. However, for some resorts, where parking is limited, how do they ensure that there is enough parking for guests of that resort? For example, the Contemporary parking is limited. I have been a guest of another Disney resort and had to call security to ask if I can drive over and park there so I can shop at their stores.

linda
Guest
linda

I do not agree. My cousin lives near WDW and didn’t have money to visit the parks this year, but she did spend a day touring the resorts to see all the Christmas decorations and gingerbread. Something she wouldn’t have done if there was a parking charge.

Nana Lou
Guest
Nana Lou

You can always go to Disney Spring/Downtown Disney and park for free. Take a Disney bus to the resort you want to go to.

Brad W
Guest
Brad W

Parking shouldn’t break the bank. It should be as much or less than parking at the TTC, Epcot, or DHS parking lots. Right now parking is $20 at one of those places. That’s a reasonable price in order to discourage people from using it as a means to avoid paying for parking if they’re going to the parks.

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salatac
Guest
salatac

All for it! I think it will help the guest experience at the resorts.

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

I understand that some are not honest, but as someone who is honest this would be disappointing. We visited for a week from Kansas in early Dec 2014, including two adults and 3 children. We thoroughly enjoyed a self guided tour of the resorts to look at the holiday decorations one day, in lieu of the expense of another day of park tickets for 5 people. We didn’t have dining reservations but did eat appetizers at a couple of restaurants and also shopped in stores. Perhaps parking could also be validated for shoppers?

Ann
Guest
Ann

I am lucky to live close to Disney. I got caught by this new policy while trying to purchase Christmas gifts at the Contemporary. I hope they add an option for those of us who go to the resort to make purchases in the gift shop.

M Lepow
Guest
M Lepow

Ann, what did you do? If you paid the fee how much was it?

Gary
Guest
Gary

We love to visit the resorts at Christmas to see the decorations. We retired to Florida this year to be close to the parks. This year we were turned away from several resortsand not allowed in. I understand the situation but there should be allowances during the holidays. I am an AP holder and spend a lot of money in the parks as well as the resorts and was very disappointed to miss the decorations this year.

Kat
Guest
Kat

I have to agree with Gary. What does this mean for annual pass holders. I go to the hotels to make use of amenities such as the renting the boats or bikes or see Piano Bob. I would hate to have to pay for parking.

audrey7703
Guest
audrey7703

It’s for resorts with direct access to the parks.

Al Wyllie
Guest
Al Wyllie

That’s a fair concept, parking can get a bit crazy during the busy months and that should control it.

Julie
Guest
Julie

What about DVC members AP’s??? Since parking is included, would we have to pay to park at resorts?

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

If they are going to charge for parking like they would if you were going to a park, my assumption would be that if you are DVC or AP, then the rules stay the same for free parking. When I visit the parks, whether staying at a house or another resort, I still go by the BCV, my home resort, just to check it out. Also, that’s what I tell the guard. It’s no secret. I say, I’m here to check on things, shop the boardwalk, and visit Epcot for food. They understand and let me in. It’s my home… Read more »

Christine
Guest
Christine

I am all for it, but as other have suggested hope they can develop a mechanism to validate for those who are truly there to tour the resort, visit a bar or restaurant without reservations or shop (i.e. spend $) – especially at the holidays.

Jim
Guest
Jim

Boardwalk has been doing this for months now. I used to visit Boardwalk 6-8 times a year to walk around the lake and enjoy the entertainment while supporting the local food establishments. The last 2 times I tried to enter over the last 6-8 months I was told the only available parking was valet unless you were a resort guest or had a dinner reservation. I’m sure there are a few who try to park at a resort to avoid the parking fee at the parks but I believe there are more of us that aren’t trying to take advantage… Read more »

Danielle
Guest
Danielle

Agreed. We like to go to Jellyrolls (which doesn’t have any sort of reservation system as it is a bar) and so where are we supposed to park? HS and then take the boat over? That seems silly. Can’t park in front of Epcot and then cut through as the park closes early, so getting back to our car would be difficult.

Roxsan Dorough
Guest
Roxsan Dorough

I think it messes up going to bored walk also just as you have said i love to do this it would stop me from doing so if i had to pay and i would be sad they have the best Disney candy shop

Jordan K
Guest
Jordan K

what about if I am, staying at POR but want to go to another resort for any OTHER reason, look around, even park and goto MK via Contemporary….is that allowed?

Sue Graham
Guest
Sue Graham

Yes, as a resort guest you have free parking all over WDW. (you can’t use the pools at other resorts though).

Sue
Guest
Sue

Not true. I think it was late October when I was staying at Beach Club or Boardwalk and wanted to park at Contemporary – I was refused because I didn’t have a dining reservation they could verify. I’m also a dvc member – that doesn’t give us free parking, or the right to park anywhere except the resort we’re staying at.

Sharon Gibb Sejda
Guest
Sharon Gibb Sejda

All for that, as well as proof of being a resort guest when using the pools. I’ve had to troll for parking too many times with people using excuses not to pay at the parks. And I personally overheard someone at the Wilderness Lodge during the summer speaking on her cell phone. Telling the other person, they just park Downtown and take the bus to the Wilderness Lodge and use the pool for the day.

Jordan K
Guest
Jordan K

you cant stop any of that…unless you require proof of “residency of resort” at each bus, monorail etc….

Sue Graham
Guest
Sue Graham

Most of the resorts now scan magic bands to access the pool area – especially Y&BC, they are very strict.

Kathryn
Guest
Kathryn

DVC members can use pools at all of the resorts except for the gated ones (unless staying there) which are AK, BLT, Poly and Beach Club.

Norma
Guest
Norma

DVC members cannot use the pools at all of these resorts. You have never been able to pool hop to Yacht & Beach Club unless you are staying there and I think most all of the pools now have fences that you have to scan your band to get into.

Sue Graham
Guest
Sue Graham

I think its a good idea, as long as those with an ADR still get free parking. Sometimes at Y&BC resort guests have a problem parking!

CM Jones
Guest
CM Jones

I just love when Disney implements changes like this and don’t tell the Cast Members. I work for the main switchboard and had no idea.

Ed
Guest
Ed

I can see where this can be a problem but Disney/travel groups advertise numerous things to do at Disney for free e.g. walk the board walk, view the fire fire works at Disney other then in side the parks, carriage ride at Port Orleans or at Wilderness Campground or how about just checking out the different resorts. A suggestion I would make is get a ticket when you enter the parking lot time stamped and if you are offer a specific time say 4 hours you are then charged for a full days parking.

Ed
Guest
Ed

sorry should be over not offer

Jen
Guest
Jen

As an AP holder and FL resident we use the resorts for other things especially Boardwalk, walking around just getting ice cream, visiting friends in town who ARE staying at the resorts because they don’t have their cars, etc. We may not have reservations but enjoy going there and are always spending money at Disney!

Betsy
Guest
Betsy

I think it’s a great plan, especially for those who are spending hundreds of dollars a night to stay there, I think they should add a parking pass for special events, if people are paying to attend the event.

M Lepow
Guest
M Lepow

Does anyone know how much the parking fee is? Is it the same as the parks? One work around fir people wanting to shop or done, the parking fee is still in affect, however it is now a credit towards your purchase/bill. But it is only good for a max 3hrs or so. Dining for 2hrs and you would still have to shop.