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How Disney Charges For Parking Based On Your Hotel Choice

A Disney vacation is full of fun attractions, delicious dining, magical meet and greets, and, unfortunately, lots of spending.

Disney Guests have seen a lot of changes come to their theme park experience at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts, all while becoming more expensive. The new Disney Genie system, Mears Connect, and Individual Lightning Lane reservations have caused much debate with Guests about how Disney Parks are charging more for the same things. And, of course, “cost-cutter” Disney CEO Bob Chapek has come under fire for his approach to leadership of The Walt Disney Company.

One Walt Disney World spending tidbit that many Guests might not be aware of before their trip is the Disney Resort Hotel parking pricing structure, which many Disney fans have called “greedy” and “baffling.” So, let’s dive into these tiered Disney World Resort parking charges.

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Credit: Disney Tips

When Disney changes a small detail, not many Guests appear to notice. But when Disney starts to change multiple things – multiple, larger things – many more Guests tend to be aware. 

In Walt Disney World, free services such as Disney’s Magical Express, parking trams, Magic Bands, and FastPass have all disappeared, leaving Guests more perceptive and frustrated with how much a Disney vacation currently costs. With Park tickets increasing in price and portion sizes decreasing, many Guests are comparing the current Disney Park situation to the “all-inclusive” Disney difference experienced in the past.

A big point of contention when it comes to pricing and all-inclusivity has been Disney’s recent change to its Disney Resort Hotel parking policy. Disney did not previously charge for parking at its hotels at the Lake Buena Vista Resort. Before 2018, parking at any of the Walt Disney World Resorts was free for all Guests. Disney opted to change this, and hotel parking now ranges from $15 to $25 a day.

contemporary resort

Credit – Disney

And yes, we said ranges from $15 to $25. When taking away the previously free overnight hotel parking, Disney decided to introduce a tiered system based on Resort Category. Those staying at Value Resorts like All-Star Sports Resort pay $15 a night, Guests at Moderate Resorts such as Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort pay $20 a night, and those at Deluxe Resorts like Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge pay $25 per night.

The standard overnight self-parking fee is applied to Guests’ Disney Resort Hotel folio upon check-out and all parking fees include tax. Complimentary parking is available to Guests staying at the Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort (each campsite provides parking space for one vehicle). Valet service continues to be available for Guests with disabilities who require parking assistance, with a valid disability parking permit required. Valet service is a whopping $33 per night (sales tax included).

Disney’s parking pricing change has implemented yet another cost to an already expensive Disney vacation, which adds up after paying for Disney Genie+, Lightning Lanes, Magic Bands, Park tickets, Mobile Orders, merchandise, and more. The complete breakdown of parking prices at the Walt Disney World Resort is below:

$15 per night:

  • Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
    Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
    Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
    Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
    Disney’s Pop Century Resort

$20 per night:

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Credit: Disney

$25 per night:

  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort
  • The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Disney Vacation Club Members will not be charged for overnight hotel parking when staying at a DVC Deluxe Villa, regardless of whether or not they use vacation points. Members also will not be charged to park when using vacation points to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. A Member who chooses not to use vacation points for their stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel in accommodation other than a DVC Deluxe Villa will be charged for overnight self-parking.

This stark range in pricing has Guests questioning how a parking space at a Deluxe Resort Hotel can possibly cost $10 more a night than one at a Value Resort. Many Guests have called the system “greedy” and “money-grabbing”, commenting that Disney knows it can charge Guests at its more luxury Resorts a higher parking price as they “have more money”. When asked why Guests are now charged for Disney Hotel parking, Disney writes:

Charging for parking is consistent with full-service hotels within the industry and aligns with our other Resort practices in the U.S. at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim and Aulani Resort in Hawaii. 

It appears Disney’s reasoning is just “because everyone is doing it”, which is an interesting answer. What’s clear is that Guest frustration is at an all-time high, especially as Disney trying to align with its competitors does not give Disney its ‘USP’ or the famed “Disney Difference” any longer.

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Credit: Disney

Remember, theme park parking is included for registered Guests of Disney Resort hotels and select Annual Passholders. You can also enjoy preferred parking by paying the difference in cost between your included standard parking and preferred parking. For Disney World’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — parking is currently $25 for a car or motorcycle and $45 to $50 for preferred parking.

Guests pay one fee for a parking pass good all day at all four Disney theme parks—Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Parking garages at the Disney Springs shopping and dining district continue to be free.

With the beloved parking tram service revealed to be returning later in 2022 and normal character meet-and-greets coming back to Disney Parks, there does seem to be some progress in bringing back old favorites for Guests. But with free airport transfers disappearing, some entertainment still missing, and baffling parking structures like this one, Guests will continue to wonder if Disney’s price hikes are justified.

 

 

 

 

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