Disney World has begun charging a parking fee of up to $25 per night at all of their Walt Disney World Resort hotels.
But don’t fear! There are five ways around paying the new Disney resort parking fee so it might not ever affect you. Read on to learn all of my suggested ways to avoid parking fees at Disney World.
Click here if you want information about parking at the Disney World theme parks and Disney Springs.
Disney Resort Parking Fee Details
Parking fees have long been standard practice at many Orlando resorts, including the Swan and Dolphin and Universal resorts. While I am sad that the trend continues at Disney, I’ll show you a few ways you can avoid the fee below.
The fee depends on the category of your resort. Here is the Disney Resort Parking fee for 2020 based on where you stay:
- Value Resorts: $15/night
- Moderate Resorts: $20/night
- Deluxe Resorts: $25/night
Parking fees include tax and are charged to your room at checkout.
If you arrive via Magical Express you won’t be charged any parking fees at your resort. But if you haven’t made a Magical Express reservation, then Disney assumes you are driving a car and parking it at the resort.
If take private transport such as Uber to get to/from your Disney resort, be sure to stop by or call the front desk so you aren’t charged for parking.
How To Avoid The Disney Resort Parking Fee
There are five ways you can avoid paying the nightly resort parking fee (I’ll describe each in more detail below):
- Rent DVC points for a stay at a Disney Deluxe resort
- Fly to Orlando and take advantage of Disney’s free transportation
- Use Uber or Lyft to venture off-property (thereby avoiding the need for a rental car)
- Stay at a campsite at Fort Wilderness
- Have valid disability parking
Rent DVC Points
First, one of my top suggestions for saving money on a Disney World vacation is to rent DVC points for stays at Disney’s amazing Deluxe Resorts. I regularly rent DVC points and save up to 70% compared to Disney’s prices.
Read all about how to rent DVC points in this post.
As an added bonus, guests who are staying at Disney Vacation Club resorts on rented points are NOT charged a nightly parking fee.
This is because part of DVC annual dues are already allocated to parking lot maintenance. Not having to pay for parking will save you $25 per night which is just icing on the cake.
Fly To MCO and Take Disney Transportation
My second recommendation is to fly to Orlando International Airport (MCO) and take advantage of free Disney transportation to get around.
You might be surprised at how affordable it is to fly your family to MCO, especially if you use points and miles to help pay for the trip!
I regularly fly to Disney World for almost free thanks to the Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card. I’ve earned huge signup bonuses that have taken my whole family to Florida and back many times. Learn all about flying to Disney World for practically free on Southwest in this post.
If flying Southwest isn’t practical for you, you can earn free points and miles with lots of other airlines. Or you can find a cheap fare with one of the many low-budget airlines that now fly into MCO.
Once you arrive, you can take Disney Magical Express to your resort from the airport and use Disney transportation to get around. We never rent a car when we are staying on Disney property because of the excellent complimentary transportation. And now no car = no parking fee!
Use Uber & Lyft To Get Around
You might think you need a rental car to go off-property (such as to visit those other theme parks down the road) but that’s not necessarily true.
Rideshares Uber and Lyft make it easy and cheap to venture off of Disney property for a few days. If you use them instead of renting a car you’ll avoid the nightly parking fee and save money on a rental car. Get the lowdown on using Uber and Lyft in Orlando in this post.
Avoid the Disney Resort Parking Fee: Camp at Fort Wilderness
I tried out camping at Fort Wilderness last month and I had a blast! You can get all of the details about Disney camping in this post.
There is now an added perk to camping at Fort Wilderness – no parking fee! You can have up to 10 guests stay at one campsite and sites start at $70 per night.
Fort Wilderness is the nicest campground I’ve ever seen, but it is still camping. So if you don’t mind roughing it a bit you can stay on Disney property for as low as $7 per person per night.
Have a Valid Disability Parking Pass
If you have a current and valid disability parking pass, you won’t be charged parking fees at your Disney resort.
You will have to bring your pass to the front desk and show it to a cast member to avoid being charged for parking.
I hope this post gave you some insight into how Disney resort parking fees work and some ideas for avoiding them.
Any questions? Leave a comment below or join the conversation in my private Facebook group for The Budget Mouse!
Check out these related posts:
- How To Make Your Own Disney Magical Express Reservation
- Current Disney World Discounts
- Cheapest Time of Year To Go To Disney World
Monday 30th of January 2023
Since parking is free once again for resort guests. Can you park for Free with a. Handicap sticker just to come visit a resort like grand Floridian To Walk around if you are not staying there ?
Friday 17th of February 2023
Hi Keri! Yes, you can park for free for 3 hours at another resort however they might not let you park at GF without a dining reservation, even with a handicap sticker. It varies by day so if you really want to go, I suggest making a dining reservation and just grabbing a snack or changing the reservation after you arrive.
Monday 3rd of August 2020
On Disney's site it says disability/handicap spaces are available at resorts but regular fees apply. Where did you get the information on free parking?
Wednesday 26th of February 2020
We were told that if we refused housekeeping that we wouldn't have to pay for parking.
Monday 2nd of March 2020
Well, not exactly. When you refuse "Mousekeeping" (called service your way) you get a gift card via email that's equal to $10 per night of your stay minus one night. So $50 for a 6 night stay. This could help cover parking costs but no, you don't actually get free parking.