The cost of Parking at Orlando Parks.

April 5, 2016, 8:16 AM

We have been going to Orlando annually for the past 11 years. And I have noticed the parking Fees have gone up dramatically during that time at most parks. There are some exceptions such as Typhoon Lagoon where there are no fees to park, which I applaud.

But for Theme Parks in Orlando the parking fees have always gone up and up and up. While planning our trip to Orlando for this May, I like to look at everything regarding fees that we will be paying so I won’t get blindsided too much.
I looked at Universal Orlando and it was listed as $20 to park. (Disney is also $20 per day but we are going to Universal). Then I started to recall how much it was just 10 years ago.

I know what you are thinking, stuff goes up. Yes I agree, but this percent of an increase in incredible when compared to other products that have increased. Our first visit to Orlando I believe I was paying about $12.00 per day. Of course they do not want to give out tons of change so your receipt will look something like this - $18.87 * .06 tax = $20.00. They make it so it is a dollar bills transaction therefore avoiding loose change.

But look at the Percent increase of parking. $12.00 to $20.00 from just 10 years ago. The parking fees have increased by 66.67%. The calculation is like this $20.00 - $12.00 = 8 So 8 divided by 12 * 100 = 66.67%

Anyway a few years ago I wrote a wonderful article about parking fees and ways that Theme Parks could allow you to prepay for parking and giving you a discount. Just like buying more days at a park will decrease the average amount per day you pay. Or even having a fast pass lane for those who prepay or want to EZ Pass like on a highway. I guess it never got any traction.

Here is my question to you: What is the Max price\fee parking can hit before folks say enough?

PS - And Yes I know if at Disney you can take the Tram, boat, Bus if you stay at a Disney hotel which we do not. We enjoy off site resorts like the Sheraton.

Replies (6)

April 5, 2016, 10:59 AM

This sounds much like the argument for the cost of admission tickets.

Facts are that as long as people are readily and willing to pay whatever they are being charged, then the parks can always charge more.

There are strategies for not paying for parking at Downtown Disney (unless that has changed) and taking the bus over. Or taking Uber to the park.

Edited: April 5, 2016, 1:01 PM

If they'd reduce the parking fees, they'd probably just increase the prices somewhere else. It might sound weird to you, but for me 20$ would already be insanely high. I am used to fees like 6$ in Europapark, which is one of the most important themeparks in Europe next to Disneyland Paris. Hotel guests even park for free.
Edit: I just compared with Disneyland Paris, there you a pay about 23$ for parking. That really makes me believe that they just push the prices up because they can, not because they need to. Europapark is just place 2 on visitor numbers in Europe, (and that's probably during it is closed in winter.), so there is no logical argument for Disneyland and other themeparks having such parking fees.

April 5, 2016, 1:23 PM

At least you pay for one car. You don't have to pay per car and per person. That's the least you need to pay for your car. Would you rather walk? A taxi isn't much cheaper and sometimes taxi services are charged for dropping people off like at an airport. There is no free ride anymore.

By staying off site, you don't pay the Disney premium, but I'm sure parking isn't necessarily free everywhere that you're staying. It's just the cost of doing business. They would be less inclined to charge so much if attendance isn't so overwhelming.

April 5, 2016, 11:28 PM

I know you said you like the Sheraton, and other off-site hotels. But as the cost of parking continues to increase, you may find that you're saving money by staying on-site. Not to mention, you'll get Extra Magic Hours. If you prefer to stay off-site, then the decision is yours, as to when it becomes too expensive and you forego your annual trips.

Otherwise, I can only comment that if you split the parking fee amongst the people in the car, it could be pretty cheap, per person. That is, if they're working-age.

Would you consider the cheapest annual pass for one of your party? That might be worth it, depending on how many days you stay.

April 6, 2016, 12:48 PM

Most if not all partner hotels will provide a shuttle or bus ride to and from the parks. When we stay off site our hotel just requires that you reserve seats and a time the day before and they run about every hour.

April 13, 2016, 7:54 AM

I agree the pricing is getting to be a bit much for us as part of our yearly visits. We have begun to look at ways of lowering the impact of those costs. Last year we spent a few days visiting Disney Parks and made the decision to park at Disney Springs for free for a few of those days. Yes, it can be a bit of a pain taking the bus (I still enjoy taking the boats), but in the long run, it is a choice of how you want to spend your money and how valuable you think your time is to spend every minute at a park. As for Universal, you have to bite the bullet and pay or consider looking at benefit of the annual passes if your stay is longer and you intend to spend most of your time visiting the Universal parks.

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