The holidays are a busy time at Walt Disney World. In fact, the weeks between Christmas and New Year’s are the most crowded time of the year at Disney. It’s no surprise then that the hotels are bustling with guests. Because of this, Disney has imposed certain limitations on the resorts. Particularly parking which is always a challenge, even at the best of times. If you’re headed to the Parks soon, you’ll want to keep this guideline in mind.
Under normal conditions, Disney doesn’t mind if you park at one of their resort hotels to visit, even if you don’t have a reservation. I myself have parked at resorts in the past simply to look around. Beginning today, however, Disney will impose strict restrictions on who is allowed to park at their resort hotels. Only registered hotel guests, registered day pass guests, or guests with an existing table service reservation will be allowed to park at Disney’s resort hotels. Quick service, even with a pending mobile order, will not be included and will be turned away.
Depending on your outlook, this is either a welcome change or a massive inconvenience. Parking at the resorts is at a premium, and it is often difficult to find a spot. That makes for grumpy guests at the end of a long day in the Parks. Registered guests will find this a welcome change. After all, there is nothing worse than tired aching feet after a Disney day only to have to park in the farthest corners of the lot and hike back to your room.
Many, however, will find this to be an annoyance because they use resort parking lots to skirt the rules. If you’ve spent any time in Disney fan groups on social media, you’ll notice that every other day or so, someone thinks they’ve come up with a clever scheme to avoid the high parking prices at the theme parks by parking at a resort for free and taking Disney transportation over the Parks. This, of course, is not allowed, and you risk being towed if you do it. We do not advise this plan. Nevertheless, it’s a popular course of action for many, and those people will find the new rules inconvenient.
Disney has stated that the parking restrictions are in effect until “at least January 1, 2023,” with the implication that it could be extended or even a permanent rule. They also said guests are still welcome to visit any resort they like by taking Disney transportation, either from a theme park or Disney Springs.