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The Free Theme Park Perk That Disney’s Competitors Don’t Offer

Amid rising Park Ticket prices, the removal of free FastPasses, and increased parking costs, Disney Parks have become synonymous lately with expensive vacations and costly extras.

Disney Guests have been divided over new additions like the paid Disney Genie and Lightning Lane reservations, as well as smaller portion sizes at dining locations and the removal of Disney’s Magical Express service.

But there are still free magical benefits that the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida does offer its Guests that its competitors don’t, including a free perk that many don’t even notice – or take for granted.

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Credit: Disney Tips

Across Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme parks, Guests can indulge in numerous paid-for add-ons, including fireworks dining packages, Disney Genie+, preferred parking spots, and Individual Lightning Lane.

But with all these extra costs, Disney fans are starting to notice the “less inclusive” nature of a Disney vacation, noting the abundant amount of things that “used to be free” for Disney Park Guests. We’ve lost the Magical Express airport shuttle service, FastPass, free Magic Bands, and seen the launch of Disney Genie and the Park Pass reservation system.

Well, there is one thing that Guests may not even realize is an additional perk to their Disney ticket entry, one that competitors in Florida like Busch Gardens and Universal Orlando do not offer.

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Credit: Disney Tips

That’s right, free lockers!

Disney offers free ride lockers for Guests wishing to ride its beloved water ride Kali River Rapids at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.

The Kali River Rapids Expedition Storage Lockers are located across from Kali River Rapids and are complimentary for two hours (on a first-come, first-served basis). Guests can reserve a locker at the electronic kiosk and create a PIN number for access. The locker is code protected and sealed tight to keep all your Disney Park valuables safe.

This means that you needn’t worry about your electronics, cellphone, snacks, or purse getting soaked on the thrilling water ride. There used to be a storage compartment within the attraction’s rafts to keep your items from getting wet, but Disney recently removed those storage areas – so be prepared for anything you carry with you to possibly get wet.

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Credit: Disney

At Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa Bay, Guests are required to pay for locker rental, even on all the roller coasters and thrill rides that do not allow bags to be taken on the ride.

Attractions like Montu, Kumba, and the new Iron Gwazi all require Guests to pay $2 per hour for locker rental, or $10 per day for unlimited ride locker storage.

On top of an expensive Park ticket, the costs of theme park parking and lockers for each ride can add up! Disney, of course, allows bags and loose articles on most of its thrill rides, including The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, and Star Tours. Disney provides a small pouch or compartment for Guests to store their bags, hats, and other items, so this saves Guests from having to spend extra for each ride like at Busch Gardens.

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Credit: Disney Tips

Over at Universal Studios Orlando, the free lockers are only offered at rides where loose articles and bags pose a safety risk. Because no loose articles are permitted on these specific rides, Universal provides the lockers for free for the period of time you are on the ride. After the free period expires, Universal imposes a fee if you intend to keep using it.

Single-time use free lockers are available at the entrances of the following attractions: Revenge of the Mummy, Men in Blck Alien Attack, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, and the new Jurassic World VelociCoaster.

Universal Orlando‘s water-based attractions offer single-time use lockers, but at an additional fee. So if you don’t want to get your valuables wet on Jurassic Park River Adventure, Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges, and Dudley Do-Rights Ripsaw Falls, you’re going to have to pay for a locker rental. Unlike at Disney’s Kali River Rapids’ complimentary locker rental.

Universal Orlando Resort

Credit: TravelWeekly

Of course, Walt Disney does offer lockers that Guests can pay to rent for the whole day they are enjoying Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and its water parks.

Each Walt Disney World theme park and water park features keyless locker rentals for the day for a one-time charge, helpful for situations like when Guests have extra snacks in a cooler with no stroller, a change of clothes, a large merchandise purchase, or a coat or jacket for the evening during winter months.

Disney rises above its competitors when it comes to forcing Guests to pay for a ride-locker or for keeping valuables try on its river rapids water ride.

More on Walt Disney World’s Locker Rentals

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Credit: Disney Fanatic

Walt Disney World’s Guest locker rental information and locations can be found on Disney’s website:

Renting a Locker

It’s easy to rent a locker while at the parks! If paying with cash (U.S. currency) or a major credit card, you may proceed directly to the self-service kiosk to rent a locker. If paying with a MagicBand or gift card, please visit the merchandise location nearest to the lockers for assistance. There, a Cast Member can process your rental transaction and give you a code to input into the self-service kiosk—providing you access to a locker.

Note: All lockers are subject to availability on a first-come, first-served basis.

Theme Parks: Lockers and Pricing

The following locker options are offered at the Walt Disney World theme parks:

Small: 12″ x 10″ x 17″, $10 per day

Large: 15.5″ x 13″ x 17″, $12 per day

Jumbo: (Magic Kingdom Park and EPCOT only), 17″ x 22″ x 26″, $15 per day

Water Parks: Lockers and Pricing

The following locker options are offered at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park and Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park:

Standard: 12.5″ x 10″ x 17″, $10 per day

Large: 15.5″ x 13″ x 17″, $15 per day

About Melissa Cannioto

Melissa is an author, adventurer, and chatterbox, who loves to enjoy Disney's theme parks with a Mickey Premium Bar in hand! A British native, she has traveled the world seeking new experiences, and now resides in Florida with her Air Force pilot husband. Find her children's book at @thebearandthehug_book