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Complete Guide to Parking at Disney World (cost, how it works, tips)

HomeComplete Guide to Parking at Disney World (cost, how it works, tips)
Complete Guide to Parking at Disney World (cost, how it works, tips)

Although we love using Disney’s free transportation when we visit Walt Disney World, we have also joined the group of people that also really, really like having a car when we stay on-property.

If you plan on driving or are even thinking about driving on your next Disney World vacation, we have everything you need to know about parking at Disney World including cost, how it works at the resorts and parks, and when we do & don’t recommend you drive.

Let’s get started…

In this article

Disney World Parking Lot and Transportation Maps

Looking for maps?

Disney World parking lot and transportation maps

We have handy maps that show you exactly where all the transportation dropoff and pickup locations (including standard, preferred, and handicap parking) can be found at each park.

You can jump down and save them to your phone for use when on vacation.

How much is parking at Disney World?

Parking fees for the 4 main parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, & Hollywood Studios)

  • Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests: free
  • Offsite guests: $25/day
  • Annual Passholders: Free with Passholder card and photo ID
  • Preferred Parking: $50/day (peak season) & $45/day (regular season) Note: Passholders and onsite guests pay the difference between the cost included with either their Annual Pass or their resort stay and the current price for Preferred Parking. That difference is $20-$25 per day.
  • Oversized Vehicle Parking (things like RVs, buses, etc.): $30/day

Parking fees are good for the entire day, even if you park hop or leave and return. You just need to save your receipt.

Parking fees for Disney World Resorts (including for guests visiting for dining reservations/tours, etc.)

  • If you are visiting for dining reservations or to tour, etc., you can park up to 3 hours for free
  • Valet $33/day (free for guests with a handicap placard)
  • Guests of a Disney World resort pay based on their resort level:
    • Value resorts – $15
    • Moderate resorts – $20
    • Deluxe and Deluxe Villa (DVC) resorts – $25 (free for DVC owners)

Parking fees for Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, & Disney Springs

  • Free for self-parking
  • Valet parking for $20/day plus tip is available at Disney Springs (free for guests with a handicap placard)
Resort parking lot

How much does parking at a Disney World resort cost?

Although parking at Disney World resort hotels used to be free, Disney started charging for it with bookings made March 21, 2018, and beyond. 

Walt Disney World Resort Hotel parking fees:

Value resorts: $15/night

Moderate resorts: $20/night

Note: complimentary standard parking for 1 vehicle is available to Guests staying at the Campsites at Fort Wilderness. Guests staying at the Cabins at Fort Wilderness do pay parking fees.

Deluxe resorts: $25/night

Deluxe Villa Resorts (DVC resorts): $25/night (free for DVC owners)

Parking Lot at Disney World

Do I have to pay to park at the Galactic Starcruiser?

No. Valet parking is included in the price of your voyage. Your car will be parked prior to boarding the ship.

Paper Parking Passes

If you are used to receiving a paper parking pass that you displayed in your car, don’t be surprised if you don’t now. 

Now, instead of issuing the old paper passes, guests use their MagicBands or phones to scan into the parking lots.

Be prepared to have those ready at both your resort and the parks.

How will they know I have a car?

With online check-in being the primary system for guests arriving to the resorts, you may be wondering how Disney will know if you have a car or not. That information comes from the security guard at the front gate.

Tip: If you are being dropped off at the resort, make sure to double check your bill during your stay to ensure you aren’t being charged for parking as some guests have reported being mistakenly identified as having a car when in reality they arrived via a private town car service.

Do guests staying onsite at Disney World have to pay for parking at the theme parks?

No, they do not.

Even though you have to pay to park at your resort, onsite Walt Disney World guests do not have to pay to park at any of the theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom) or at the 2 water parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon). 

Do offsite guests have to pay to park when visiting a resort for a dining reservation?

No, they do not.

Up to 3 hours of complimentary parking is available to offsite guests visiting a resort for dining (or even just to explore).

In most instances, that 3 hour limit is on the honor system.

What to expect when parking

Arrival

The 4 main parks will have booths at the entrance to the lots where you stop to pay (if you are staying offsite) or show/scan your MagicBand, Annual Passholder card, or phone (if staying onsite).

epcot parking

Nearly all the booths will be open on both sides so you can pick whichever lane is the shortest.

The booths take both cash and credit/debit cards.

animal Kingdom Parking Plaza

If you plan to use your Annual Pass for free parking, you may be asked to show your drivers license, too.

Try this:

If using an Annual Pass, we’ve always found it fastest to show the Cast Member the back of our Annual Pass card (where your name is located) and drivers license at the same time. Doing it that way makes it easy for them to match up both names quickly so we can be on our way!

What time do the parking lots open?

If your goal is to be there for park opening, for the smoothest morning we recommend you try to be one of the first people into the parking lot.

In our recent experience, the parking lots at all 4 parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom) are opening about 1 hour before Early Theme Park Entry is scheduled to start.

Try to time your arrival to the parking lots to match that opening time. If you are too early, they’ll likely hold you for a bit before they start letting people into the parking lots.

Parking lot

Once you have paid, parking at all 4 parks is self-explanatory, and there are tons of Cast Members working in the parking lots to help you find your way. 

Parking lot at Magic kIngdom

Parking Tip:

Use your phone to help you find your car. You can do this in several different ways:

  1. On Apple devices, you can ask Siri to remember where you parked. Android phones have a similar feature.
  2. You can take a picture of your parking space and the nearest lot sign to reference later. This makes finding your car at the end of a long day much easier. 
  3. Use the Car Locator feature in the My Disney Experience app. This is a new feature that utilizes your phone’s built in location services to track your parking across Walt Disney World, including all 4 Walt Disney world theme parks, Disney Springs, Disney Water Parks, and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

    Learn how to use the Car Locator feature in My Disney Experience
car locator - my disney experience app - magic kingdom

All parking lots are well labeled with cute, themed names to help you remember where you parked.

Yeti

Parking Tip:

If you arrive later in the day (after 3 or 4 pm), there is a good chance that the parking lot attendants have stopped filling row-by-row and are instead just allowing guests to snag any available space and you’ll have a good chance to find something close to the front OR at the end of a row closest to the entrance.

Handicapped parking

The road leading into the lot will have color-coded stripes to help direct guests to special parking spaces.

If you need special parking (such as handicapped parking) be sure to ask at the booth where to go and the Cast Members will tell you which color you should follow.

Parking for electric vehicles

Disney has charging stations for electric vehicles available on a first-come, first-served basis. To use the charging stations you’ll need a ChargePoint card and you’ll pay $0.35 per kilowatt hour (minimum service amount of $1.50).

You can find charging stations in these locations:

Resorts:

  • Coronado Springs Resort: 6 stations in general parking near ADA spaces
  • Wilderness Lodge: 2 stations in general parking near ADA spaces
  • Riviera Resort: 2 spaces in general parking near ADA spaces

Parks & Disney Springs:

  • Magic Kingdom: 5 total spots – 1 station at the front of the Medical Parking Lot and 4 stations at the front of the Zurg Parking Lot
  • Epcot: 4 stations at the front of the Journey Parking Lot
  • Animal Kingdom: 4 stations in the Medical Parking Lot
  • Hollywood Studios: 4 stations at the front of the Mickey Parking Lot
  • Disney Springs: 9 total – 3 stations on the 5th floor of the Orange Garage, 3 of the 5th floor of the Grapefruit Garage, and 3 stations on the 5th floor of the Lime Garage
Epcot charging station

Parking lot trams

When Disney World first reopened, they did so without the parking lot trams. And, in fact, they did so for over a year.

Parking lot tram not available

But, the busier the parks got, the longer the walks became from the parking lots.

However, it appears as if we are going to slowly start to see those popular Walt Disney World parking lot trams return!

First to come back online was the trams for Magic Kingdom (which are at the Transportation and Ticket Center). That happened in December 2021.

As for the trams at Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and Epcot, these will come back throughout 2022. No exact date is known yet.

When the trams are operating, if you park too far away to walk to the front gates, the parking lots have trams that run all day on a very regular schedule (5-10 minutes apart).

These trams are generally quick, efficient, and can significantly cut down on your walk if you find yourself parking further back than you’d like.

Parking Lot Tram

Can I bring my stroller on a tram?

Traveling with a stroller at Disney World?

As with the buses, you will have to fold your stroller before boarding the tram, so keep that in mind as you unload your car.

It might be easier to fully unpack/prepare your stroller for the day after you exit the tram at the park gate. 

How busy are the parking lots at the end of the day?

At the close of business, thousands of people will be heading out of the park.

What does that mean for you?

If the trams are running, lines will form for them just like those for the buses.

However, the tram lines move very fast and it shouldn’t take too long before you are being dropped off near the end of the aisle where you parked. 

At the end of a long day, everything can start to blur. When heading out to the lots the tram drivers will tell you both the lot name (for example, “YETI”) and the row numbers (i.e. “rows 50-59”).

While you wait to board the tram is an excellent time to double check the picture you took that morning of your parking space. That way you won’t be scrambling and you’ll know exactly when to hop off the tram.

Parking Tip:

Since many people rent a car at Disney World and since many rental cars are the same color, consider tying a brightly colored ribbon to an antenna to make it easier to spot your car. If you don’t have an antenna, as long as you are close enough to make it work, you can use your car’s key fob to blink the lights or honk the horn.

If you are leaving at park closing (along with thousands of other people), don’t be surprised at how quickly and efficiently the parking lots empty.

If you’ve ever attended a large sporting event or concert where there are thousands of people all trying to leave at once, you may have experienced long lines of cars with nobody moving, people getting angry, and general chaos.

Not so in the Disney parking lots.

You’ll be happy to find things to be amazingly easy and simple when leaving. No non-moving bumper to bumper lines of cars or chaos to be found.

The exit signs in the parking lots are well labeled. It is as easy to find your way out of the lot as it is to find your way in.

Parking at each Disney World park

Epcot

Parking for Epcot is located straight out in front of the park.

epcot transportation map

Guests that are parking roughly 45-60 minutes before the park opens can expect to have an easy walk to the gates. In many instances, guests parking that early will not even need to use the tram.

Epcot has 7 parking lots:

  • Discover
  • Create
  • Explore
  • Wonder
  • Journey (Preferred Parking is located here, as well as the dropoff and pickup for Ride Share services like Uber and Lyft)
  • Amaze (Handicap Parking is located here)
  • Imagine
epcot parking lots

Note: Epcot will be under massive amounts of construction for the next several years. Use this map as a guide but double check locations when you arrive as they may be temporarily shifting things as work progresses.

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios was under a bunch of construction over the past few years, but now that most of that is done now, parking is relatively straightforward.

hollywood studios transportation map

Because this park is so popular, we highly recommend you arrive as early as possible to get a good parking spot.

Hollywood Studios has 5 parking lots:

  • Olaf
  • Buzz
  • Jessie
  • Minnie (Preferred Parking and Handicap Parking are both located here)
  • Mickey
hollywood studios parking lots

Animal Kingdom

The Animal Kingdom parking booths are notorious for not always opening as early as the other parks. In the past, guests might find the booths closed when arriving before 8:00 am. and this would make it difficult to get to 8 a.m. breakfast reservations without having to really hustle.

animal kingdom transportation map

But with Early Theme Park Entry and Pandora drawing larger crowds, that seems not to be as common of an occurrence anymore.

The Animal Kingdom lot also frequently has early morning guests parking further back than you might find at other parks.

Some days arriving 45 minutes early might get you within an easy walk to the front and other days you might need to hop on a tram.

Animal Kingdom has 6 parking lots:

  • Peacock
  • Giraffe
  • Unicorn
  • Dinosaur
  • Butterfly
  • Yeti
animal kingdom parking lots

Magic Kingdom

Driving and parking at Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios is usually just as fast (if not faster) than using Disney bus transportation. With these 3 parks you park your car in lots directly outside of the gates.

Because the parking lot for Magic Kingdom is actually about a mile away at the Transportation and Ticket Center, it is usually faster to use Disney’s transportation. 

magic kingdom transportation map

Guests that drive and park must first hop on the monorail or ferry in order to get to the front gates of Magic Kingdom.

However, if you utilize Disney bus transportation, you are dropped off right outside the gates – no monorail or ferry needed. The other Disney transportation options (boat & monorail) from applicable resorts are also usually faster than driving. 

If you decide to drive to Magic Kingdom, we recommend you add on an additional 30 minutes to your transportation time.

That additional time allows you time to park, walk or take the tram to the Transportation and Ticket Center, and then time to ride the monorail or ferry over to the front gates.

magic kingdom parking lots

Magic Kingdom has 12 parking lots, divided into 2 groups – Heroes and Villains.

Heroes:

  • Rapunzel
  • Mulan
  • Peter Pan
  • Simba
  • Aladdin (Part of Preferred Parking is located here)
  • Woody

Villains:

  • Ursula
  • Scar
  • Cruella
  • Hook
  • Jafar (Part of Preferred Parking is located here, and Handicap parking is located between this lot and the walkway to the Transportation and Ticket Center)
  • Zurg

Parking at Disney Springs, Blizzard Beach, and Typhoon Lagoon

Disney Springs

Disney Springs is a popular destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Unlike the theme parks, parking at Disney Springs is free.

Disney springs transportation map

Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon

Like Disney Springs, parking at both Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon is free.

The lots for both of the water parks are directly outside the front gates and easy to navigate.

Parking FAQs

When should you drive, and when should you use Disney transportation?

Here are a few of the times when we think driving makes sense:

  • When you need to go from resort to resort. For example, when you have dining reservations at a resort other than yours.
  • When you are planning to rope drop Epcot, Hollywood Studios, or Animal Kingdom

And here is when we recommend you use Disney transportation:

  • When you go to Magic Kingdom.
  • If you plan to park hop.
  • If you will be arriving after rope drop but before about 3-4 pm (when up-close parking spots open up) at Epcot, Hollywood Studios, or Animal Kingdom.
  • If you intend to drink.

What is Car Locator in My Disney Experience?

Worried that you won’t be able to find your car after a long day at Walt Disney World?

Disney is looking to make it easier to find you with their new Car Locator.

Car Locator is a new, complimentary service that is being rolled out to the My Disney Experience app in Summer 2022.

It taps into your phone’s location services to help record where you’re parked.

For the best service possible, you’ll want to make sure to enable Location Services, Bluetooth, and Notifications.

The feature will be available at all 4 Walt Disney world theme parks, Disney Springs, Disney Water Parks, and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

All you have to do is open your My Disney Experience app and tap the car locator card on your Home Screen — or you can use the Feature menu (☰) for access.

After that, simply follow the prompts to enter your parking info. If you choose to enable location permissions on your device, car locator can help fill in the details for you.

When you’re ready to leave, return to car locator for your parking information.

Can I park at the Contemporary and walk over to Magic Kingdom?

The parking lots at the Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower are very tightly monitored, and you won’t be allowed to park there unless you have a dining reservation. The same is true for the Polynesian and Grand Floridian.

Can I get a discount for parking?

Annual Passholders can park for free but there aren’t any discounts for parking.

What about Tables in Wonderland card holders? Can they park for free? (Tables in Wonderland not currently available)

Yes! If you are dining in the parks and you have a Tables in Wonderland card you can park for free.

  • If you park before 5 p.m. you will need to pay to park and then take your receipts to Guest Relations to be reimbursed.
  • If you arrive after 5 p.m. you will just need to show your Tables in Wonderland card at the parking booth.

Is Disney parking free after 6 p.m. (or 7 p.m. or 5 p.m., etc.)?

No, unfortunately. We will say that if you are heading into the lots near closing you will often find the booths closed up or Cast Members will just wave you in, but there is no specific time when parking is “free” so you should always plan to pay.

If I leave and come back do I have to pay again?

Nope! Just save your receipt!

What if I Park Hop? Will I need to pay at both parks?

Nope! Save your receipt from the first park and show it when you park at the 2nd park.

Is Preferred Parking a good deal?

Maybe. If you are an Annual Passholder or an onsite guest, the total cost for Preferred Parking will be reduced to $20-$25 bucks.

Depending on your situation, that $25 might seem worth it to you. We do it sometimes, in fact. When we are tired or arriving a bit later than we wanted, we will oftentimes go ahead and splurge for Preferred Parking to make our day start off (and end!) a little bit easier.

preferred parking pass disney world

But, if you are staying offsite, the $50 price tag feels like a LOT more money than $20 or $25. If it fits in your budget, it will definitely make things easier. But, it isn’t necessary.

Is there valet parking?

Yes, but it is only at the Deluxe Resorts, some DVC resorts (like Riviera), Coronado Springs, and at the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. Valet parking is also available at Disney Springs.

Valet parking costs $33/day at every resort except for the Star Wars hotel. Valet parking is included in the cost of the stay at the Galactic Starcruiser.

Valet Parking at Disney Springs is $20.

And, as a reminder, guests with a Tables in Wonderland card or ones that qualify for handicapped parking can valet park for free.

Renting a car at Disney World

Want to drive during your trip but won’t have your own car? Check out our guide to Disney World car rental for info on how that works.

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If you have been thinking about driving but were worried it would be too confusing – don’t. Like many other things Disney does, they made navigating the Walt Disney Resort simple enough that even the most directionally challenged could do it.

If you aren’t sure that driving is for you and you’d like to see what Disney has to offer for transportation, you can read about how to navigate using Disney World transportation.

Have you tried parking at Disney World before or still have questions? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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Heather Thomas

Scott Greenwood

Tuesday 17th of August 2021

How easy is it to take ride sharing transport around Disney world properties and resorts. Is the drop off and pick up locations at resorts close to entrances? Thx!!

Michael Ann Effron

Sunday 15th of August 2021

Hello! I've heard horrible things about driving to the parks during a race weekend. After we scheduled our trip (offsite) Disney announced races were coming back! They will have a race (Wine and Dine) EVERY day we are there. Any idea how this will impact trying to drive to each park!? I'm so afraid!!! Thank you :)

LaRae

Wednesday 2nd of June 2021

Hello! I miss the monthly Q&A sessions. My question is from your observations, do those taking Disney transportation like a bus typically get in the parks earlier than people that drive and get held at parking lot gate?

Shannon Albert

Thursday 3rd of June 2021

Our experience is that people driving often get in earliest or about the same time as Disney transportation at 3 of the 4 parks - Magic Kingdom being the exception since there's the extra step of taking monorail or ferry from the parking lot over to Magic Kingdom. Buses and people walking from nearby resorts are almost always first at Magic Kingdom.

Glenn G

Thursday 11th of March 2021

Is it cheaper and more convient to UBER from your hotel instead of driving? Looks like the parking for UBER is closer as well.

Amanda

Tuesday 10th of September 2019

If I’m staying at a moderate, but headed to MK before checking in, and pay to park at MK, will I then have to pay for parking that same day at the hotel? I know if I pay for parking at the hotel I don’t have to pay at MK, will I have to stop at the hotel first?

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