Top Ten Things to Keep in Mind When Parking at Walt Disney World

Since Walt Disney World is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world, you might think that parking at the parks would be a nightmare. You’d be wrong. Making sure that cars are properly parked is one thing that Walt Disney World cast members do very well. When there is a problem, it is usually because a driver did not do as instructed. Here are a few things to keep in mind to make your parking hassle free if you’ll be driving to one of the theme parks.


10) Have Your Money Ready

Don’t wait until you arrive at the toll booth to pull out your cash or your credit card. Have your money ready. Parking at the theme parks currently costs $17 for cars and motorcycles, $18 for campers and recreational vehicles, and $21 for tractor trailers and buses. Make sure you save your receipt. If you leave the parking lot and then return, or if you take your car to a different park, you don’t want to pay for parking twice in one day.

9) Have Your Pass and License Ready

If you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort or if you have an Annual or Premium Annual Pass, you receive free parking. (Not all Florida resident passes include this benefit.) Have your card and your license ready when you approach the toll booth. Not all cast members will ask for a photo ID, but you don’t want to be holding up the line and hunting for your license if you find one who does. It’s better to be prepared.

8) Let Other Cars Over

All too often two lanes will merge into one without much notice. A good rule of thumb to follow is for alternates to merge. Everyone is in a hurry, cutting someone off is not going to give you more than a few extra seconds of vacation time. Also, do not be one of those drivers who will speed up to get as close as possible and then expect someone who has been waiting to let you over. You’ll get into the park soon enough.

7) Follow the Speed Limit

The speed limit leading to the parking lots is clearly marked. In most cases, it’s 15 MPH. Stay safe, and keep others safe as well.

6) Don’t Drive Through the Cones

Sometimes when you’re in line to park you will drive by lots that are already full. There are orange cones up to keep drivers from entering those areas. You might see an open spot and decide to leave the line and grab that space. Those cones are there for a reason. Stay in line and park instead where instructed.

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5) Pay Attention to the Cast Members

The parking attendant cast members know what needs to be done to park cars quickly and safely. Pay attention to what they say. If a cast member points left, go that way, even if the car in front of you went right. When someone motions for you to continue moving forward, do it. They will not have you drive over the line or hit the car in front of you.

4) Watch Your Car Doors

Once your car is parked, remember that there will be two cars parked very close to yours. Carefully open your car doors. Instruct your excited children to open the doors slowly, or open the doors for them. There are new scratches and dents daily because people weren’t careful. Remember as well that the people next to you also want to get out of their car. Don’t block their doors by standing next to your car with your doors open.

3) Don’t Stand Behind Your Car

Yes, you have things in your trunk that you need to get out. Do it quickly, but don’t then continue to stand behind your car. The cars in the theme park parking lots are parked one in front of another. If you are in the front and you’re standing behind your car, you’ll be blocking the space behind you. If you’re in the back space there will be cars coming for the next row. Don’t set up the stroller or put on sunscreen behind your car. Go in front of your car to where the cars are already parked. It’s safer for you, and easier for other drivers.

2) Use Caution at All Times

While you’re driving and then after you’re out of your car, be careful. Hold your children’s hands and watch for traffic. Don’t let excited kids run, act like you would in any other parking lot. If you decide to save time and skip the tram, walk in designated areas.

1) Write Down Where You Parked

Don’t think that you’ll remember where you parked. A day in one of the parks is exhausting, and the last thing that you want to do at the end of the night is to wander around, trying to remember which row you parked in. Write down which section you’re in and the row as well. Take a picture of it with your phone and text the picture to someone else in your party. Don’t rely on your memory. If you can’t write it down for some reason, find something to associate the number with, such as a friend’s age. Between show times, FastPass+, and dining reservations you’ll have plenty of numbers floating through your head. Don’t chance that you’ll forget where you parked your car.


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About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.