The New Disney World Resort Parking Fee + How To Avoid It!

on March 14, 2018

Disney recently announced that they will begin charging a parking fee of up to $24 per night at all of their Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

But don’t fear! There are several ways around paying the new Disney World resort parking fee so it might not ever affect you. Read on to learn all of my suggested ways to avoid the new fee!

Disney World Resort Parking Fee Details

Parking fees have long been standard practice at many Orlando resorts, including the Swan and Dolphin and Universal resorts. While I am sad that the trend continues at Disney, I’ll show you a few ways you can avoid the fee below.

If you book a Disney World resort reservation after March 21st, 2018, you will have to pay a nightly fee if you are parking a car at the resort.

The fee depends on the category of the resort at which you stay. Here are the fees:

  • Value Resorts: $13/night
  • Moderate Resorts: $19/night
  • Deluxe Resorts: $24/night

Parking fees include tax and are charged to your room at checkout.

There is no fee to park a vehicle at a campsite at Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. And if you are staying at a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) property on points, there is no parking fee.

How To Avoid The Resort Parking Fee

All about the NEW resort parking fee at Walt Disney World + 3 ideas for avoiding it altogether! #disneyworld #familytravel

Disney’s Magical Express

Here are three ways you can avoid paying the nightly parking fee (I’ll describe each in more detail below):

  • Rent DVC points and stay at a Deluxe Resort for up to 70% off
  • Fly to Orlando and take advantage of Disney’s free transportation
  • Stay at a campsite at Fort Wilderness

Renting DVC Points

All about the NEW resort parking fee at Walt Disney World + 3 ideas for avoiding it altogether! #disneyworld #familytravel

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

First, one of my top suggestions for saving money on a Disney World vacation is to rent DVC points for stays at Disney’s amazing Deluxe Resorts.

Read all about the process of renting DVC points from a broker in this post. I’ve stayed at Disney World on rented points more times than I can count so trust me, it isn’t too good to be true!

At the time I write this the official line from Disney is that “DVC members will not be charged parking fees”. Based on the fact that anyone using points does NOT pay parking fees for stays at the Grand Californian and Aulani (other DVC resorts that charge for parking) I believe it is very safe to assume the same will apply to DVC resorts at Walt Disney World.

Also, part of DVC annual dues are allocated to parking lot maintenance, so it seems unreasonable that Disney would charge a parking fee on top of annual dues (regardless of who is using the points).

For both of these reasons, I think it’s a very safe assumption that folks who rent DVC points won’t be charged parking, but I will update this post when there is any confirmation!

Fly To MCO and Take Disney Transportation

All about the NEW resort parking fee at Walt Disney World + 3 ideas for avoiding it altogether! #disneyworld #familytravel

My second recommendation is to fly to Orlando International Airport (MCO) and take advantage of free Disney transportation to get around. You might be surprised at how affordable it is to fly your family to MCO, especially if you use points and miles to help pay for the trip!

I regularly fly to Disney World for almost free thanks to the Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card. I’ve earned huge signup bonuses that have taken my whole family to Florida and back many times. Learn all about flying to Disney World for practically free on Southwest in this post. 

If flying Southwest isn’t practical for you, you can earn free points and miles with lots of other airlines. Or you can find a cheap fare with one of the many low-budget airlines that now fly into MCO.

Once you arrive, you can take Disney’s Magical Express to your resort from the airport and use Disney transportation to get around. We never rent a car when we are staying on Disney property because of the excellent complimentary transportation. And now no car = no parking fee!

Camp at Fort Wilderness

All about the NEW resort parking fee at Walt Disney World + 3 ideas for avoiding it altogether! #disneyworld #familytravel

My campsite at Disney’s Fort Wilderness

I tried out camping at Fort Wilderness last month and I had a blast! I’m working on a lengthy post about my experience and will share all of the details soon.

There is now an added perk to camping at Fort Wilderness – no parking fee! You can have up to 10 guests stay at one campsite and sites start at $60 per night.

Fort Wilderness is the nicest campground I’ve ever seen, but it is still camping. So if you don’t mind roughing it a bit you can stay on Disney property for as low as $6 per person per night!

 

I hope this post gave you some insight into how the new Disney World resort parking fees work and some ideas for avoiding them.

Any questions? Leave a comment below or send me a message over at The Frugal South’s Facebook page.

All about the NEW resort parking fee at Walt Disney World + 3 ideas for avoiding it altogether! #disneyworld #familytravel

4 Comments

  • Lynne

    What if I fly and take Disney magic express to resort. Then I need to rent a car for a day or two (visit friends in Tampa, Melbourne ) while family stays on property. Will I have to pay for parking then? Does Disney tow my rental car? Thx.

    April 3, 2018 at 9:09 am Reply
    • Leah

      Great question, Lynne. This is how it should work: When you check in you will be asked if you are parking a car at the resort for any nights during your stay. If so, you will be issued a pass to place on your windshield good for those nights. You will be charged for parking for those nights at checkout. So you should only have to pay for the nights you actually have a car parked AT the resort. Hope that makes sense!

      April 3, 2018 at 9:17 am Reply
  • Puffin

    I believe you are wrong on your first point.

    WDW website states DVC MEMBERS park for free whether staying on points or paying cash, when staying at a Deluxe Villa. Not that anyone who rents points is eligible.

    March 20, 2018 at 6:07 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hey Puffin! I based this on the fact that when folks rent points for stays at the Grand Californian and Aulani (both of which charge parking fees for guests paying cash) they are NOT charged the parking fee. Also, part of DVC annual dues are allocated to parking lot maintenance, so it seems unreasonable that Disney would charge a parking fee on top of annual dues (regardless of who is using the points). There has been no official line from Disney but I think it’s a very safe assumption that folks who rent DVC points won’t be charged parking. I will add this to the main post. Thanks!

      March 21, 2018 at 6:35 am Reply

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