Theme Park Parking Price Increase and a Preferred Parking Question

Is Preferred Parking worth paying twice the cost? 

There have been some price increases at Walt Disney World over the past few weeks. I’m not going to try to explain the new ticket structure, instead, I’ll refer you to my good friends over at Disney Lists. Keep in mind that the article was written before the new price structure went into effect.

Instead of tickets, I’d like to tell you about the changes that have been made for theme park parking. The increase does not come as a surprise. The new theme park parking rates are $25 per day for a standard sized car or motorcycle, and $30 a day for an oversized vehicle. That includes limos and shuttles, as well as campers, RVs, and other large vehicles.

You only need to pay for parking once each day. If you leave the lot, just show your receipt to the Cast Member and you’ll be allowed to park. If you are staying at a Walt Disney World owned hotel, you do not need to pay to park. Parking is also included with Annual Passes, including all levels of Florida Resident Passes.

The Preferred Parking fee has gone up to $50 a day for a car or a motorcycle. (Preferred is not available for large vehicles.) That begs the question, do you really need preferred? My thought is that Preferred Parking is a luxury that most people do not need. The attraction to buying preferred is that you will not need to take the tram, but the tram isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It will drop you off closer to the front entrance than where you will end up if you spend the extra $25 to upgrade to preferred. So if it’s walking that you’re trying to cut back on, preferred is not going to save you any steps.

Honestly, I hardly ever take the tram anyway. I’ll almost always walk to the front of the park from the parking lot. It’s faster, and it’s not really that far. Parking at the Transportation & Ticket Center can be a little bit tricky if you don’t know your way around, but otherwise walking is not a bad option. The only benefit that I can see to preferred is at the end of the night, when the trams are full. It’s a shorter walk then, and you won’t have to wait. Whether or not that’s worth an extra $25 is totally up to you. Me…I’ll keep walking to the regular lot.