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