Disney World’s Latest Fees and How to Avoid Them

It was a mere few weeks ago that I offered my tips for saving money at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Then, this week, the latter resort went and made things even more expensive by announcing that they’ll be charging for overnight parking at their hotels for the first time. This new policy will go into effect for bookings made after March 21st and prices will vary by the level of resort you’re staying at. For example, the fee at one of Disney’s “value” resorts like Pop Century or Art of Animation will run you $13 a night while “deluxe” hotels like the Contemporary or famed Grand Floridian will charge $24 a night to park.

Given these new policies, you have a couple of different options. The first is to stay off property. This is actually something I advocated strongly before but now it makes even more sense. Granted, most hotels in Central Florida will probably also charge you for parking, but their room rates are also likely far lower. Additionally several hotels in the area offer free transportation to Disney, although you may need to make pick-up reservations and they might have a limited schedule.

If you still insist on staying at one of the Disney hotels and were planning on renting a car, you may now want to nix that plan. One of the main reasons guests enjoy having a rental car on their trips to Orlando is so they might spend a day or two at some of the areas many other attractions. However, if it’s going to cost you up to $24 a day to park your rental car, you may be better off trying ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft for the few times you need to travel off-property. While on property, Disney offers several complimentary modes of transportation to get you to the parks, back to your hotel, and over the Disney Springs shopping and dining district. They even have their Magical Express service to get you to and from the airport, so there’s hardly a reason to rent a car.

While it’s certainly frustrating that Walt Disney World has decided to start charging for overnight parking at their hotels, there are ways around these fees. Namely, it may be time to consider skipping the rental car on your next trip or even electing to stay off property instead. Finally, I should note there is an exception for Disney Vacation Club members using points and few other situations where the new parking fees are waived, so be sure to check out Disney’s full policy on their website.


Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com.

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