Disney World's switch to date-based pricing on multi-day theme park tickets.The Universal Orlando Resort has raised its parking rates to match the Walt Disney World Resort. As of now, however, that's the only pricing change coming from Universal, which has yet to match
The price to park a car at Universal Orlando is now $25, up from $22. "Prime" parking goes up five bucks from $35 to $40. Universal continues to offer free parking after 6pm, except on special event evenings such as Halloween Horror Nights, when regular parking rates apply and free valet parking is not available to otherwise eligible annual passholders.
At $25 a day to park at the Disney and Universal theme parks now, at what point does bringing a car to the resorts become an inconvenience?
Having a car can be useful in park hopping at Disney, but that's irrelevant at Universal, where cars park in the same garage for all the parks. With Lyft and Uber rates between Disney and Universal around $20 at non-peak periods, parking remains cheaper than a round trip between the resorts. But using the ride apps to get around becomes cheaper than driving once you factor the daily cost of a rental car, if you are not bringing your own to the Orlando area. If you are staying off site and limiting yourself to one resort, you might be able to get there and back for less than $25 on Lyft or Uber, depending upon where you stay and if your hotel doesn't already provide transportation to the parks.
If you must park, at what point does the daily parking fee tip the overall expense of a Disney or Universal visit beyond what you are willing to pay? Has that already happened for your family? Does the increase to $25 get it close? Or will the resorts continue to be able to raise their parking fees before a significant number of fans push back?
Frankly, if increased parking fees force visitors to ditch bringing a car and just to stay on site for their entire vacation, both Disney and Universal would consider that a huge win. To that end, parking fees are meant to be a bit punitive, as the resorts prefer their visitors to stay put and keep spending, rather than hop in the car to visit other stores, restaurants, and attractions in the Orlando area.
For me, I almost always either stay on site and/or use ride sharing to get around when I am visiting the two resorts these days. How do you handle the parking issue when you are visiting Disney and Universal?Tweet
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.
Walt Disney World