What is Disney Preferred Parking?

Disney World entrance

There are many advantages to having a car at Disney World – you won’t need to go to a gazillion different resorts before being dropped off at your resort when you’re coming from the airport, you won’t have to rely on Disney buses, you won’t have to pay for taxis, and you will be able to access cheaper and more varied dining and entertainment options in Orlando. But when you have your car at Disney World, the one thing you do need to figure out is parking. How difficult is it to get parking at the theme parks, resort hotels, and entertainment areas like Disney Springs? How much does it cost? And, what is Disney Preferred Parking?

Disney Preferred Parking is an extra fee over and above the standard parking fee that allows you to park closer to the theme park entrances. The Preferred Parking fee at Disney World varies depending on the time of year. On regular days, you’ll pay $45 per day per vehicle. At peak times of the year, the Disney Preferred Parking rate is $50 per day per vehicle. This is double the standard Disney parking fee of $25 per day per vehicle.

Continue reading to find out everything there is to know about parking at Disney World, including parking at the four theme parks – Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Epcot, the two water parks, and Disney Springs.

What are the parking fees at Disney World?

Standard parking for a car or motorcycle is $25 per day per vehicle. This parking fee allows you to come and go as many times as you want. It is also valid for all 4 Disney theme parks. So, you can spend the morning at Magic Kingdom, head over to Hollywood Studios in the afternoon, and then park at Animal Kingdom later that day, all for a one-time fee of $25 per day. In other words, $25 gets you a daily parking pass that’s good for all 4 theme parks. Prices include sales tax.

The Disney parking fee for larger vehicles such as a limo, camper, RV, or trailer is $30 per day per vehicle. Again, this is valid all day and is good for all the theme parks.

Keep your parking receipt/permit safely – this is your proof of payment and you’ll need it when moving in and out of the parking lots or going to a different theme park that day.

Can I park for free at Disney World?

Standard parking is complimentary for all guests in the Disney Springs area as well as at the two Disney water parks – Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach – and the ESPN Wide World of Sports.

Notably, Disney recommends you allow at least 60 minutes if you have a reservation at Disney Springs for a festive event or show. Valet parking at Disney Springs is available for $20 including tax, gratuity extra.

Complimentary standard parking is available for day guests who visit Disney Resort hotels for dining, shopping, or entertainment.

What is the parking fee at Disney theme parks for annual passholders? What about guests staying at Disney World Resort hotels?

Annual passholders and guests staying on-site at Disney Resort hotels receive complimentary parking at the 4 Disney theme parks – Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot. However, the complimentary parking is only standard theme park parking. If annual passholders or resort guests want to enjoy Disney’s Preferred Parking, they can do so by paying the difference between the standard and preferred parking rates.

How much is Disney’s Preferred Parking? Is it worth it?

As noted above, Preferred Parking gets you a parking spot closer to the theme park entrances. The pricing for Preferred Parking is seasonal. You will pay $45 or $50 depending on the day of your visit.

As far as being worth it – it depends on the operating capacity of the parks when you visit. In low season, getting a parking spot close to the entrance may not be difficult even with a standard parking fee. On the other hand, at busy times of the year, the extra $20 to $25 may be worth it, considering it can save you a lot of time and energy.

Are there charging points for electric vehicles in Disney World parking lots?

There are several ChargePoint stations available in the parking lots at Magic Kingdom (5 spots), Animal Kingdom (4 spots), Hollywood Studios (4 spots), and Epcot (4 spots) as well as Disney Springs (9 spots). The Wilderness Lodge and Coronado Springs parking lots also have charging points for electric vehicles. Cast members can direct you to these points. They are available to guests on a first-come-first-served basis.

The cost to charge your vehicle is $0.35 per kilowatt hour. The minimum charge is $1.50. You can pay with a credit card or a pre-ordered (pre-loaded) ChargePoint card. The ChargePoint pings owners to alert them when their vehicle is fully charged.

Overnight parking at Disney Resort hotels

Registered guests can self-park their vehicles overnight at Disney Resort hotels. Standard overnight parking fee is charged to the hotel folio, payable at checkout. The parking fee is $15 per night at Disney value resorts, $20 per night at moderate resorts, and $25 per night at deluxe resorts. Standard parking is complimentary for one vehicle at the campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Valet parking is available at deluxe Disney Resort hotels for a fee of $33 per night.

Parking at Magic Kingdom

The standard parking lots at Magic Kingdom are located approximately 1 mile from the ticketing and transportation center. You can either walk or take a tram. After security, you will need to take the monorail, bus, or ferry boat to the entrance gates of the Magic Kingdom theme park. Make a note of which parking lot and space you left your car – it’s easy to forget and very difficult to find if you can’t remember.

Parking at Epcot

There are parking lots adjacent to Epcot. You can walk or take a tram to the park entrance.

Parking at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Again, the parking lots at Hollywood Studios are adjacent to the park entrance. You can walk or take the free tram service to get from the parking lots to the entrance.

Parking at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

You can walk or take the tram from the parking lots at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to the park entrance.

Parking tips at Walt Disney World

  • Take a photo of your parking lot number or note it down somewhere. It’s easy to forget after a day of fun.
  • Remember, it may be faster to walk to a park entrance than take the tram – it depends on how far out you’re parked.
  • Parking trams do not accept children seated in strollers – you’ll need to take your child out and fold the stroller.
  • Stay aware when you’re getting out of your car in a parking lot. Keep kids, especially young ones, within sight. Cars will be parking behind and beside you.
  • You can leave your electric car to be charged while you’re away. You’ll get a notification when it’s fully charged.

In conclusion, Disney Preferred Parking may well be worth the extra $20-$25 if you’re a family with young kids and are visiting at a busy time of the year. On the other hand, older kids and adults can easily walk or take the tram from the standard parking lot to the theme park entrance. And if you’re visiting in a slow season when park attendance is low, you may well be able to get parking close to the entrance by paying the standard parking fee, thus saving on the Disney Preferred Parking fee.

Dustin Baier

Hey, I'm Dustin a Dad of 4 and married to Sweet Pea Chef for over 15 years now :) We got engaged at the Disneyland Hotel way back when and love a vacation at Disney World, Universal Studios, really anywhere with theme parks!

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