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Restrictions Return as Disney Resorts Prepare for Crowds This Holiday Weekend

The Walt Disney World Resort is preparing for massive crowds over the holiday weekend, and with more Guests from around the world celebrating at the theme parks and hotels, additional restrictions will soon be enforced.

While some restrictions have remained in place year-round since Disney Parks and Resorts reopened following the COVID-19 pandemic (like theme park reservations), others are only enforced during the busiest weeks of the year. One of the latest restrictions to return for the holiday weekend could impact your trip if you were planning on parking at select Disney Resorts.

Disney's BoardWalk

Credit: Disney

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Typically Guests are able to park at Disney Resorts if they are just visiting to dine at a restaurant, do some shopping, or simply check out the hotel. During the holiday weekend, however, Disney Dining notes that parking at Disney Resorts will be limited to Guests who are registered at each Resort.

“Registered Guests” are thankfully not limited to Guests who are actually staying at the Resorts, but if you do plan to drive to a Disney Resort hotel other than your own, you will need to have a dining reservation made (with a confirmation you can show to security Cast Members as you enter the property) or a day-pass for select circumstances (think Disney Vacation Club access to certain areas.)

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort Christmas

Credit: Disney

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During the holiday season more Guests than usual do plan to Resort hop, especially at Disney’s deluxe Resorts that are often decorated with breathtaking Christmas trees and full-sized gingerbread displays. If you plan to stop by just to check out the decorations, we recommend taking advantage of Disney’s complimentary transportation rather than driving yourself so you do not run into any issues.

Similar policies are in place for other times of the year, like the Fourth of July, when fireworks-viewing areas are limited to Guests staying at select Resorts, like Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.


Credit: Travel + Leisure

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Regular parking fees are still in place during the holiday season as well, with self-parking at Resorts ranging from $15-25 per night of your stay depending on the Resort level (value, moderate, or deluxe). Parking at Disney theme parks runs $25 per day for standard parking or $45-50 per day for preferred parking. Standard parking at each Disney Park is actually free parking for registered Guests of a Disney Resort hotel and select annual passholders.

If you have any questions about how to get to a different Disney Resort during your next visit, it never hurts to confirm what the policy will be like ahead of your stay with Disney directly using the chat function or additional contact information on Disney’s official website.

Pack your patience to deal with crowds at Walt Disney World this week, and have a magical time!

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."