Though Walt Disney World has always charged a flat fee for guests parking at its theme parks, the resort made waves today by announcing a new policy that will bring parking fees to resort guests, beginning March 21st. Guests with bookings made from this day forward will have to pay a daily fee to park their car at the resort, with a sliding fee scale depending on what resort the guest is staying at. Here’s the fee breakdown:
- Deluxe Resorts: $24 per night
- Moderate Resorts: $19 per night
- Value Resorts: $13 per night
These fees are only for overnight guests staying at the resorts, and guests visiting other resorts for dining, shopping, etc. will not be charged for parking temporarily at the resort.
Interestingly, it was announced that while this change will add quite the cost to most Walt Disney World resort guests, Disney Vacation Club Members will be exempt from this fee only when staying at Deluxe Villa Resorts.
In addition to the daily parking fee, guests who use the Valet Parking amenity at Disney resorts will also see an increase in the fee to use this service, with the price going up from $25 to $33, also effective next week.
Though the addition of a nightly parking fee certainly comes as a bit of a shock to many, it may not be surprising when put into context, as Disney recently hiked ticket prices, have confirmed that they will be raising admission costs again later this year, and have been adding upcharge after upcharge to the Walt Disney World experience, even rolling out a special paid-for FastPass+ tier that can only be purchased by Walt Disney World’s highest paying guests.
And while no one like the idea of paying an average of $20 a night to leave a car at a resort, with attendance at an all time high in spite of rising costs, it is doubtful that Disney will see much of an effect on guest levels because of this change, especially with Star Wars Land on the way next year. It also may be worth noting that while Walt Disney World has historically had free parking at its resorts, there are plenty of hotels that do charge an overnight parking fee, including all of the hotels on property at next-door neighbor Universal Orlando Resort, which charges between $12-$20 nightly for parking at connected hotels.
What do you think about Walt Disney World’s newest fee?