Disney World has great transportation options to get guests from their hotels to the theme parks, but the system is far from perfect. There is no match for the convenience of having your own car if you want to come and go as you please. Disney Resort hotels and theme parks have massive parking lots to accommodate guests who’re driving, and having a car makes it so much easier if you’re park hopping. But, can you leave Disney World parking and come back?
Yes, you absolutely can. When you pay for parking at a Disney World theme park, the parking fee covers unlimited entries and exits all day at ALL FOUR parking lots, i.e., Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot.
That’s the good news. But you do need to keep some things in mind if you’re park hopping with your car. If you don’t, your car could get towed. Keep reading to learn more about Disney World parking and what you should keep in mind if you’re leaving and coming back.
Disney World theme park parking fees
First things first, if you’re a guest at a Disney World Resort hotel or an annual pass holder, then standard parking at the theme parks is complimentary. Guests who are staying offsite (in non-Disney hotels) have to pay to park at the theme parks.
- Standard parking is $25 per day.
- Oversized vehicles like RVs and limos are $30 per day.
- Preferred parking rates vary from $45-$50 per day depending on the location and season (preferred parking slots are located close to the park entrance).
As noted, if you’re a Disney World Resort hotel guest or annual pass holder, standard theme park parking is already included, and you can park in preferred locations by paying the difference. All prices include taxes. You can pay by credit card or cash.
Disney World Resort hotels parking fees
Guests staying at Disney World Resort hotels have to pay an overnight parking fee that is applied to the hotel bill and payable upon check-out. The prices, including tax, are:
- $15 per night at value resorts
- $20 per night at moderate resorts
- $25 per night at deluxe resorts
Standard parking is complimentary for guests staying at the Fort Wilderness Resort campsites. Each campsite has a parking space for one vehicle.
Some Disney properties have valet parking available at $33 per night including tax.
If you’re driving around Disney World and go to a resort hotel where you’re not a guest, say for dinner or shopping, you’ll be permitted to park for 2-3 hours for free if there are parking slots available.
Parking hopping at Disney World with a car
When you park your car at a Walt Disney World theme park, you only pay one time per day. You can exit the park and return later without paying any additional charges. You can also park at another Disney World theme park on the same day at no additional charge.
If you’re park hopping with a car, keep this in mind. Take your car wherever you’re going. It may seem like a good idea to leave your car parked at Epcot and nip over to Hollywood Studios on the Disney Skyliner, but you don’t want to get to the end of the day and not have enough time to retrieve your car. The parking lots at a theme park close shortly after the last guests leave. If you’re at Hollywood Studios and your car is at Epcot and Epcot closes, then your car will get towed.
Advantages of having a car at Disney World
It’s a huge advantage to have a car at Disney World, especially if you’re staying off-site or at Disney properties that don’t have good transportation options. For example, while hotels on the monorail such as Contemporary Resort, Polynesian Village, and Grand Floridian are well connected, others are not so great. Keep in mind that a bus to Magic Kingdom may not take the shortest route and may stop up to10 times on the way. Not so much fun when you just want to GO. Also, many Disney World resorts like Caribbean Beach Resort, Saratoga Springs Resort, Old Key West Resort, and others have internal bus stops with as many as five stops in some resorts. So, you can expect delays on the Disney buses, and if you’re staying at one of these properties, a car may be well worth renting.
The other advantage of having a car in Orlando is that you can stay off-site and save on accommodation costs. Disney properties, while they’re great, are not for the faint of heart in terms of prices. Orlando has some great hotel and resort options and having a car means you can get around easily.
If you’ve got park hopper tickets and are planning to visit more than one theme park in a day, then a car can save you tons of time. As we said, Disney transportation is good but slow. And since you only pay one flat rate parking fee per day for all four theme parks, it works out to be economical as well.
If you’ve made dining reservations, then a car will make it easy to get to the restaurants in the evenings. Disney transportation winds down after the parks close, so this might be something worth considering.
Tips for driving around Disney World
Driving around Disney World is fairly easy as everything is well marked. If you’re staying on a Disney property, it may help to know the closest theme park. For example, the Polynesian Village Resort is close to Magic Kingdom, so if you’re seeing signs only for the theme parks, then you should head towards MK.
Google Maps is good but not perfect. Some areas in Disney World are only accessible for cast members, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for signs. If you follow the overhead signs in purple, you’ll stay within the Walt Disney World Resort. Keep in mind though, these signs might not show you the shortest route to your destination.
The I-4 is the main highway in Central Florida and runs east-west from Tampa and the Gulf Coast to Daytona Beach and the Atlantic Coast. However, the I-4 is north-south in the Orlando area, so signs that read East are actually heading north and signs that read West head south.
- Take Exit 68 and head north on route 535 for Publix and Walgreens.
- Take Exit 67 for Disney Springs, Disney’s BoardWalk, Epcot, Typhoon Lagoon water park, and resorts such as the Yacht Club, Beach Club, Caribbean Beach Resort, Port Orleans Resort, and the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course.
- Take Exit 65 for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach water park, Wide World of Sports Complex, Pop Century Resort, Art of Animation Resort, All-Star Movies Resort, Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Coronado Springs Resort.
- Take Exit 64 for Magic Kingdom, Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Polynesian Village Resort, Contemporary Resort, and Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.
Disney World theme park parking is priced per day for all four parks, so you can leave the parking and come back with a valid ticket at no additional cost. That’s good to know if you’re an active family that does a lot in one day. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that the parking costs won’t add up when you come and go or visit multiple parks in a day.