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Brian Emery

Should theme parks offer advance-purchase, multi-day discounts on parking?

Published: December 16, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Recently I read a thread on the discussion board about theme park changes and suggestions, and I began to get into deep thought — almost a Zen-like state of mind. And then it hit me, alas an idea worthy enough of Theme Park Insider, award-winning site. (Nice plug, right?) Anyway, I came up with an idea about parking.

Animal Kingdom parking lot

Each year we go to Orlando for eight glorious days, usually in April or May. What we have noticed each and every year is that the parking fees go up about a buck. We do like the fact that the fee and taxes are always included giving you a nice round number - $14 or $15. Imaging if they did not do this and how much longer the entry lines would be for each parking lot, if you had to wait for loose change.

Anyway, my simple idea is to have a lower daily parking fee for folks who pre-pay for parking. Also, the more parking days you buy, the cheaper it gets. Just like if you buy more Disney park entry days, the lower the average cost per day.

We can take it one step further — how about a Fastpass-style lane for those using an Easy-pass system, plus give them a small discount.

What do you think?

With the end of the year approaching I would like to wish you all great health in the future and happy holidays!

Replies (11)

Anon Mouse

Published: December 16, 2013 at 5:56 PM

Don't Disney resort guests get free parking? That would solve your problem.
Ashleigh Noad

Published: December 16, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Regarding the above comment, it is true that free parking is a competitive perk of staying on-site. The only way to know if your proposed changes would work, is to have access to the data which shows the proportion of people who use a car to get around Disney World and the Orlando area. I know we can see how many drive to Orlando, but I'm sure many hotel guests park their car and use Disney transportation - just how many, is what I would be interested in.

The advance purchase for a multi-day discount on parking sounds like a great idea to me, as a predominantly off-site guest. Again, one would have to have access to data to work out how many days a typical off-site guest will spend on Disney property - then add extra days at a lesser or free price to encourage a further day they may not have visited the property before.

A good idea for sure - but Disney have the data. If the data worked in its favour, I am sure it is something they may have considered... On a personal level, I would definitely want to see this implemented.

Jorge Arnoldson

Published: December 16, 2013 at 7:20 PM

The only theme park I know of that does this is Legoland Florida. I think it's a good idea to offer discounts on prepaid parking, even if it's just $2 off (LLF charges $14 for regular parking, the discounted rate is $12).

Also, I'm not so sure about the idea of utilizing a state-funded prepaid toll system to pay for parking. For out-of-state visitors, it can prove to be a disappointment, as their home state's prepaid toll tag won't be accepted outside of that state.

As mentioned before, some parks offer free parking as part of your hotel rate or a vacation package. When I visited Legoland a few weeks ago, I noticed that one hotel (Park View Winter Haven) promised "refund on Lego parking" on their billboard. The billboard didn't specify if it was either part of the regular hotel rate, or part of a vacation package.

Tony Duda

Published: December 16, 2013 at 8:16 PM

I think I heard that the Seaworld parks in Orlando has a length of stay multipark parking pass that is only about $30. Just what I heard, never personally inquired.
109.158.229.203

Published: December 16, 2013 at 8:22 PM

I think there should be a free transport option. either a free bus, or free parking.

Otherwise, its just a hidden price in the cost of your ticket.

Stephen Oradesky

Published: December 16, 2013 at 9:34 PM

As much as I would love for Disney to do this, I seriously doubt it will ever happen. Parking fees are basically an opportunity for a business to print free money for themselves. People are either going to visit Disney or not visit Disney, and you can be sure the cost of parking will not factor into that decision. When a trip is already thousands of dollars, $15 a day for parking just feels like a drop in the bucket. I think it stinks that parks charge so much just to park, but again it's free money. I seriously doubt that lowering the price of parking would lead to an increase in guests. Disney knows people will pay it no matter what it is, and therefore from a business standpoint there's no reason for them to reduce the price. Though I really wish to god they would.
Wok Creative

Published: December 17, 2013 at 12:29 AM

Yes. Parking prices are way out of control for theme parks and for hotels. Any discount on that would help. Hope they are seeing these discussions.
(Disney has priced us out of going at all anymore, even with the payment plan. We were pass-holders for years.)
194.80.20.240

Published: December 17, 2013 at 4:47 AM

I am coming over from Rip Off Britain in January and to be honest the parking fees are pretty stepep even by British standards, still at least you have the weather :-)

I think it was $6 the first time I came over, I see it's now $14 or $15 dollars, that's expensive!.

Jeffrey Britton

Published: December 17, 2013 at 6:02 AM

Great Idea! Finally a program that might benefit locals and families staying offsite. Oh wait it will benefit people staying offsite. Its doomed. I really like the Fastpass parking lane idea.
Tracy Bates

Published: December 17, 2013 at 8:08 AM

Look at the bright side. They aren't charging you to park at the hotels like Universal does. That always has annoyed me about Universal.
Brent Moody

Published: December 17, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Don't kid yourself, you are paying for parking at Disney Hotels. It is just figured into the price from the beginning. At least at Universal you do not have to pay for parking if you did not drive a car to the resort. Most of the nice Disney resorts are at least $350 to $500 per night and some room are over a $1,000 per night. Universals are not even close to that per night. On peak season they may be a little over $300 or so per night. So lets not pretend like Disney is giving some grand deal by not charging you an extra $15 a night for parking. But if it makes some people who can not do math very well feel better maybe Universal should just raise the prices of their rooms $15 per night and make everyone pay it. Universal will make more money and everyone else will feel like they got "free" parking and everyone is happy!

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