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Disney World Parking Guide – Cost, Tips & How It Works

If you’re planning a trip to Disney World, you may want to know how parking works and how much it costs.

We’re answering all of your questions in our Disney World parking guide, so you’ll know what to expect on your vacation.

the entrance to Magic Kingdom parking lot at Disney World. An overlay reads, "Ultimate Guide to Parking at Disney World"

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Did you know that guests can enjoy complimentary resort transportation when vacationing at one of Walt Disney World’s fabulous resorts?

And while we are all for utilizing free transportation, sometimes we just really want to take our own car.

If this is you, we’ve got you covered! In our Disney World parking guide, we talk about how parking works at the happiest place on earth and how much it’s going to cost you to park your own vehicle, so you can know what to expect before you arrive.

The cost of a Disney vacation is nothing to sneeze at, so having some idea of what you’ll need to pay is helpful!

How Much Does it Cost to Park at Walt Disney World Theme Parks?

First things first – how much is parking at a place where you can find magic, rides, and Mickey Mouse?

Considering the astronomical price of Disney parking fees that Walt Disney World could get away with charging, you may be surprised at the answer.

Regardless, these fees no doubt make up a significant portion of how much Disney makes in a day!

Standard Parking

The price for parking a standard-sized vehicle at Walt Disney World, with no special privileges or “preferred parking” options, is $25 per day.

This goes for all four main Disney parks – Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios.

Oversized Vehicle Parking

If you have made the trip to Walt Disney World in an oversized vehicle such as an RV, bus, tractor-trailer, or camper trailer, you will be charged an extra $5 per day, for a total of $30.

Preferred Parking

Not into the idea of having to walk any kind of a distance to get into the park? Then you can get preferred Disney World parking – but it will cost you!

Those who opt for preferred parking will pay double the cost of standard parking during peak season, at $50 per day. During the regular season, the price for preferred parking is $45 per day.

Complimentary Resort Theme Park Parking

Are you staying at a Walt Disney World Resort? Not only do you have the option of utilizing their free theme park transportation, but you can park at any of the theme parks for free if you choose to drive there.

Guests of a Walt Disney World resort hotel and select annual pass holders receive standard theme park parking for free. This can be a great way to help you do Disney World on a budget!

If you decide to upgrade your parking to preferred parking status, you simply pay the difference between them!

Free Parking Locations

Interestingly enough, not all Disney locations charge for parking.

Outside of the four main theme parks, guests can enjoy free parking at some locations on Disney property, including Disney Springs, ESPN Wide World of Sports, miniature golf courses, and any Disney water park.

Keep in mind that Disney does not offer overnight parking at any of its Disney World theme park locations, and guests must leave after the gates close.

Those who leave their car overnight risk having their vehicle towed!

Related: Must-Know Disney World Transportation Tips

a street sign within Disney World directs guests to Disney's Animal Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom Lodge

How Does Parking Work at Disney World?

Now that we know how much parking will cost you at the four major Disney theme parks let’s break down how parking actually works at these locations.

Do note that parking for visitors with disabilities is available at each of the theme parks or resort areas, but you do need a valid disability parking permit to utilize them.

Magic Kingdom Parking

Starting with many Disney vacationers’ first stop, Magic Kingdom!

Home to Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom attracts nearly 60,000 visitors daily, with a parking lot that can fit more than 12,000 cars.

When visiting, a cast member will direct you to park your car at the Magic Kingdom parking lot, which is located at the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC). From the TTC, you’ll take a monorail or ferry to the park entrance.

It’s been this way since Disney World opened, which was part of Walt’s initial vision for the location.

In order to better help you locate your vehicle, Magic Kingdom’s parking lot is divided into several lots named after Disney heroes and villains, which is a fun extra touch.

While preferred parking is always an option, Magic Kingdom offers free trams that bring you from your parking location to Magic Kingdom, so paying the extra $25 is unnecessary.

Using the trams is helpful to take care of your Disney feet!

Related Magic Kingdom Resources:

cars line up to enter the Magic Kingdom parking lot at Disney World

Epcot Parking

Those who wish to visit Epcot also need not worry about finding a parking spot, with over 11,000 spots to choose from and an average of approximately 35,000 visitors per day.

While Epcot used to have trams, they are currently not in service as of the date of this article. However, Disney anticipates they will return in the near future.

Until they return, I suggest investing in preferred parking if you do not wish to add walking to the front gate to your park day. Epcot boasts one of the largest parking lots in the country!

More Epcot Resources:

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Parking

While Animal Kingdom sees an estimated 38,000 visitors daily, they only have 6,000 parking spots – yikes!

Even though Animal Kingdom has the smallest parking lot of all four parks, parking is rarely an issue.

Animal Kingdom is another theme park where purchasing preferred parking is entirely unnecessary.

With plenty of standard parking areas within walking distance of the main entrance, trams are running to transport those who park farther away.

More Animal Kingdom Resources:

the main entrance of Animal Kingdom, which is not very far from the parking lot.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Parking

Disney’s Hollywood Studios sees about 31,000 visitors daily and has roughly 6,500 parking spots.

Located at Osceola Parkway and Victory Way, southwest of the park, Hollywood Studios has the most confusing Disney World parking lot.

Luckily, all you have to do is look for the many signs around the area that Disney has helpfully installed to help get you where you need to go.

Like Epcot, the Hollywood Studios Trams are currently unavailable, so those who do not wish to purchase preferred parking will do some walking! Be sure to wear comfortable shoes for Disney!

More Hollywood Studios Resources:

the main entrance to Disney's Hollywood Studios

Disney Springs, Typhoon Lagoon, and Blizzard Beach Parking

If you want to dine at one of the 150 restaurants that Disney Springs offers, you’re in luck! Whether you use one of the three parking garages or surface parking, Disney Springs has zero parking fees.

If you’d prefer to take advantage of the valet parking, you can pay $20 for this convenient service.

Disney water parks Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach have free parking but no valet service.

Related Disney Springs Resources:

the welcome sign at Disney Springs

Disney Boardwalk Parking

Want to check out Disney Boardwalk after a full day exploring at Epcot? It might be a little tricky.

Day guests who have a dining reservation at the Boardwalk Inn will enjoy free self parking, but you may be turned away by security if you don’t have a reservation.

You can also park at the Walt Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort. While you don’t have to be a guest here to park at the hotel, you do have to pay $35 plus tax.

Pro Tips For Parking at Disney World

Now that you have the lowdown on what everything costs and where everything is, we have some additional pro tips for you that will make parking at Disney World even easier!

Don’t Arrive Too Early

While you may think arriving early will guarantee you’ll be one of the first visitors in the park, odds are you will not even be allowed in the parking lot.

In order to make sure that your morning goes as smoothly as possible, try to arrive no more than half an hour to 45 minutes before your theme park of choice’s gates open (parking lots generally open 30-60 minutes prior to the park).

Use Your Phone to Help You Park Your Car

The world of technology sure is handy! Several options are available if you want to use your smartphone to help you find your car. Here are your options:

  1. First, you have the My Disney Experience Car Locator, which works with your phone’s GPS to remember the location of your parked car.
  2. You can utilize Siri to help you find your parked car if you have an iPhone. Simply ask Siri to remember where you parked, and she will work her magic for you.
  3. Lastly, use your phone to take a picture of your parking space or jot down the number and location on the notepad on your phone. Easy!

Stay at Disney Resort Hotels to Avoid Parking Fees

As mentioned, staying at a Disney resort can save you a ton of money when it comes to Disney World parking fees for more than one reason.

If you drive to Disney or rent a car, you will still need to pay the resort’s daily fee to park your vehicle.

However, you will not be required to pay again when visiting your favorite theme parks, as resort guests get complimentary standard parking!

Staying at a Disney resort also makes getting around without a car more than possible, as you can take advantage of their free theme park transportation.

Overall, you’re getting a great deal on parking, not to mention staying at a magical Disney resort. What’s not to love?

You can also park at any Disney hotel for free when you stay at a Disney hotel or resort, making visiting several Disney-themed locations more convenient.

Not only that, but if you stay at the deluxe resorts on the monorail, you’ll have even easier access.

The Disney Monorail, which can take you between some of the deluxe resort hotels, Magic Kingdom, and Epcot

Taking a Tram is Not Always Faster Than Walking

While taking a parking tram might save your feet from some wear and tear before even entering a Disney park, it will not necessarily save you time.

While you may get lucky and be able to board your tram right as it is leaving, you will likely be waiting 10-15 minutes for your ride to get going.

If the entrance to the Disney World park is within sight and your primary concern is time, then put on your walking shoes!

Purchase an Annual Pass to Score Free Parking

Let me just stress that purchasing an annual pass is only worth it if you plan on going to Disney World roughly a dozen times a year.

Having said that, if you are a frequent Disney go-er, then the Annual Pass, the Premium Pass, and the Disney Premier Pass will all score you free standard parking at the four major Disney World theme parks, among other perks for annual passholders.

Likewise, Disney Vacation Club members do not have to pay for parking at DVC Deluxe Villas or Disney resort hotels.

Disney Hopping Doesn’t Just Apply to Your Ticket

One of the best hacks on this list is that you only have to pay a parking fee once if you’re planning on purchasing a Park Hopper pass – you can hop with your theme park ticket too!

When you purchase a parking pass, that pass applies to all four theme parks, so enjoy your day of free parking at the other three parks!

Related: Disney World Park Hopping Tips You Need to Know

Electric Car Parking is Available – But It’s Hard to Get

Did you drive to Disney World in your electric car? While electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular, charging stations at Disney are incredibly few and far between.

You can find five electric vehicle charging stations at Magic Kingdom, four at Epcot, four at Animal Kingdom, four at Hollywood Studios, and six at Disney Springs.

A handful of Disney resorts have charging stations, including Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Disney’s Riviera Resort, and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

Keep Your Car Cool While You Have Fun

If you’re not from the sunshine state, then you probably don’t know just how hot your car can get in the Florida sun.

Investing in a windshield sun shade is a great way to protect your car from the sweltering heat while you’re having the time of your life in a Disney theme park.

Not only will a windshield sun shade reduce the temperature of your car, but it will also help prevent the fading and cracking of your car’s interior from UV ray damage.

The best part is that these handy accessories are cheap and can be purchased in one piece.

Check out the rest of our tips for staying cool at Disney World!

There’s No Need to Try and Beat the Crowds

It’s a common misconception that you must leave Disney World early to try and beat those who want to stay until close.

Disney cast members swiftly handle navigation in and out of the parks, so leaving early to avoid a traffic jam out of the parking lot is unnecessary. 

Having said that, if you intend to take the monorail, you are sure to encounter a long line at the end of the night. If this concerns you, leaving half an hour early isn’t a bad idea.

monorail sign at the transportation and ticket center in disney world

Final Thoughts on Parking at Disney World

Parking at Disney World is not only less expensive than most people think, but it is much more straightforward.

By entering a Walt Disney World parking lot equipped with some basic information, you will have no trouble finding a place to park at the happiest place on earth.

You can always look for the most up-to-date information on Disney’s website for any changes that have occurred.

And if you really want to make your day magical (not to mention impress your friends and family!), keep our pro tips in mind to make your Disney World parking experience as smooth as possible!

Keep in mind that if you don’t feel like having to navigate Disney World’s parking and are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort, you can take advantage of free Disney transportation.

Whichever option you choose to get to the park, you’re sure to have the most memorable experience!

More Helpful Disney Planning Resources:

Be sure to save this article for later by pinning it to your Disney vacation board on Pinterest!

collage image featuring a road sign in Disney World, the entrance to Magic Kingdom's parking lot, as well as the Monorail at the Transportation and Ticket Center. An overlay reads, "Complete Guide to Parking at Disney World"