When you’re paying for park tickets, meals, and resort rooms, the prices can definitely add up. Additionally, parking can be expensive as well. But, what if you can actually get fit for free? Yep, there are ways. Here’s how to get free parking at Disney World including one tip you’ve probably never heard of.
- Parking at Disney World: The Basics
- Free Parking at Disney Springs
- Free Disney World Theme Park Parking
- Disney Resort Free Parking
- Disney World Waterpark/Theme Park/ESPN Parking
- And the One Tip You May Not Know…
1. Walt Disney World Parking: The Basics
As long as I’ve been visiting Walt Disney World (WDW), there’s been a charge for parking at the theme parks. Recently, WDW increased the per-day charge to the following:
- Preferred parking: car or motorcycle – $45-$50 per day
- Standard parking: car or motorcycle – $25 per day
- Oversized Vehicle Parking – Think shuttles, limousines, camper trailers, RVs, buses and tractor trailers – $30 per day
And, up until a couple of years ago, WDW Resort parking was free. Sadly, that’s no longer. Here’s the nightly charge lowdown:
- Value Resorts: $15 per night
- Moderate Resorts: $20 per night
- Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts: $25 per night
Better I just rip off that Band Aid now, right? So, now that you know where parking fees are charged, here’s how and where you can get free parking.
2. Free Parking at Disney Springs
Parking during open hours at Disney Springs (plus before and after) is always free. So, if you want to do some shopping or dining, you’re good to go in any of the lots.
Having written that, you can park your vehicle in a Disney Springs lot and walk to the WDW Resort Bus Stop. You’ll need to hop on a Resort bus and then transfer to a theme park bus (or monorail or boat) once you get there.
I’m not going to lie, it will take plenty of time. Like, 60-90 minutes of additional time. Sometimes, the buses make an additional stop at the waterparks, adding on even more time.
But, on the way back, theme park buses run straight to Disney Springs after 4pm.
Do I recommend this method? At WDW, for me, time is money. Would I do it? To save $25 to add on up to three hours in travel time? Nope, but it is an option. If you’re going to do it, my advice is to park in the Lime Garage as it’s the closest to The Gateway (bus stop area).
What I definitely wouldn’t do: leave your car in a Disney Springs parking lot overnight. The rules state it’s subject to towing, so I’d rather paying a nightly resort fee than a tow fee.
Want to save even more money at Disney Springs? Here are the best Disney Springs freebies.
3. Free Disney World Theme Park Parking
There are a couple of ways to get free parking at the Walt Disney World theme parks:
- Annual Passholders
- Staying On-Property at a WDW Resort
You’ll need to show proof at the theme park turnstiles, so be prepared to show your resort room key or have your MagicBand scanned.
Want to save some money in the WDW theme parks? Here’s my list of the best SECRET free things at Walt Disney World.
4. Disney World Resort Free Parking
There are several ways to get free parking at WDW Resorts:
- Attend a Convention
- DVC Members using points for their vacation
- Guests with Advanced Dining Reservations
- Guests with a Reservation at Campsites at Fort Wilderness.
Also, if you’re paying for resort parking, you’ll only have to pay one time per day. For example, if you have a dining reservation at another resort, make sure to let security know that you’re an on-property guest.
For dining reservations, you’ll need to show proof that you have one to security, especially when not staying on property. In general, the rule is you’ll have three free hours to park, eat, and shop.
5. Disney Waterpark/Mini Golf/ESPN Parking
Parking at Disney Waterparks is always free, as is parking for its two miniature golf courses.
6. And One Tip You Definitely Need to Know About Free Disney Resort Parking…
If you have a disabled parking permit, placard, or license plate, Disney Resorts will waive the nightly fee for on-property guests.
Also, disabled guests are able to receive free valet parking at Deluxe Resorts and Villas. If you’re unable to use this tip, but know someone that can, please pass it on.
But, here’s the rub: you need to make sure you mention it at check-in when asked if you have a vehicle. You’ll also need to provide proof, like a copy of the placard or license plate number.