Theme Park Insider

Just Published: Theme Park Insider: 2016 Year in Review

Disney World Adds Preferred Parking Option at Magic Kingdom, Epcot

March 15, 2016, 1:50 PM · The Walt Disney World Resort is testing a preferred parking option, bringing Disney inline with competitors who have been offering this upcharge for years.

Parking currently costs $20 per vehicle per day for the four theme parks of the Walt Disney World Resort. The new preferred parking upcharge is an additional $15 per vehicle and allows drivers to park in the up-close Jafar section of the Magic Kingdom lot or the Amaze section at Epcot. Preferred parking is not available at either Disney's Hollywood Studios or Disney's Animal Kingdom at this time.

If you already have free parking in the theme park lots, as part your annual pass or hotel package, you can get preferred parking for just the $15 upcharge instead of the full $35 that people without a parking privilege would pay for the day.

At the Magic Kingdom, parking in Jafar might allow some visitors to walk straight to the Transportation and Ticket Center, but they would still need to take the monorail or ferry from there to get to the Magic Kingdom. At Epcot, the preferred parking section would allow easier access straight into the park, with using additional Disney transportation. And, of course, if the preferred lots don't fill up early in the day, late arrivals can use them to avoid a long tram ride to and from their cars.

Disney's calling this option a test, but competitors Universal and SeaWorld offer well-established preferred parking options, so it's not like this is a new concept for theme park fans who travel beyond Disney. Universal Orlando offers a $10 upcharge for preferred parking and SeaWorld's upcharge is $5 above its regular parking price. Universal also offers a valet parking option, with varying prices.

In California, Disneyland does not offer preferred parking, but Universal Studios Hollywood offers three upcharge options over its regular $18 daily rate: a preferred parking lot for $25, a front-gate parking lot for $35 and valet parking at varying rates.

Replies (9)

March 15, 2016 at 3:31 PM · The upcharge is bigger than the competition. I suppose we should be glad it is only $15. Get it now before in another short year, it will be a $20 upcharge. "In the good old days, my kids, parking closer to the Magic Kingdom was $15. Now, it is $100. Shame Shame." Hollywood accounting.
March 15, 2016 at 4:16 PM · Anon is right. However, I'm not paying the $15 extra. I'll get a drink at a hotel bar and park for free. Either take the hotel monorail from the Magic Kingdom hotels or walk in through the back entrance at the Epcot area hotels.

Valet at any of the Disney parks may change my mind. The valet at Universal is excellent and having the highest tiered pass makes it free.

March 15, 2016 at 6:30 PM · Question to ask: if you buy preferred at the MK, do you get it at Epcot too, if you move your car over there? (And vice versa)
March 16, 2016 at 11:02 AM · I'll just continue to park at the Contemp and walk the 400ft to the main entrance of MK
March 16, 2016 at 5:19 PM · Just another way WDC is trying to squeeze another few bucks out of visitors. But hey, if people want to pay almost double for parking, I'm all for it. When I go to WDW, I almost always leave my car at the hotel (if I rent a car) and just use resort transportation to get to the parks. There's no way I'd pay $20 per day to park at WDW. The trip is already expensive as it is.
March 16, 2016 at 7:51 PM · I'd pay for the preferred parking...
March 17, 2016 at 8:25 AM · Those of you (Jeffrey Siegal) who keep voicing the fact that you can park for no charge at a resort are going to ruin it. Some things are better left unsaid and should not be posted on the Internet!

And guess what... the resort fees Disney is surveying guests about cover parking in addition to other things, so the days of free parking at the resorts is nearing the end.

March 17, 2016 at 12:05 PM · Ridiculous. Pretty soon only the rich will be able to visit Disney Parks.
March 20, 2016 at 9:21 AM · "Ridiculous. Pretty soon only the rich will be able to visit Disney Parks."

I reply: You are past that point. Disney is counting on the rich staying rich.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

© Theme Park Insider®   About · Rules · Privacy · Contact
YouTube Facebook Twitter Instagram Theme Park Insider T-shirts and Hoodies Email Newsletter