With the release of 2020 vacation packages, Walt Disney World has rolled out several price increases today. In addition to the Annual Pass and Dining Plan Price Increases we reported earlier, now parking fees at resort hotels are going up. In this post, we’ll take a look at old versus new pricing, and offer some thoughts.
Standard overnight self-parking is available to registered Walt Disney World on-site resort guests for a fee that will be applied to their hotel folio upon check-out. All parking fees listed below include applicable tax.
Note that the Walt Disney World resort parking fee is different from the parking fee at the four theme parks. Additionally, this fee only applies to overnight guests. Those parking at a resort for Advance Dining Reservations will not be assessed a parking fee.
Here are the Standard Overnight Parking charges per Resort Category:
For reservations made before June 18, 2019 for arrivals in 2019 or 2020:
Disney Value Resorts: $13 per night
Disney Moderate Resorts: $19 per night
Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts: $24 per night
For reservations made June 18, 2019 and thereafter for arrivals in 2020:
Disney Value Resorts: $15 per night
Disney Moderate Resorts: $20 per night
Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts: $25 per night
Complimentary standard parking is available to Guests staying at the Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Each campsite provides parking space for one (1) motorized vehicle.
First, a couple of things to note here. This does not apply to guests staying on Disney Vacation Club points (and that includes non-members renting DVC points). That’s not due to generosity on Walt Disney World’s part–your maintenance fees cover the cost of those parking lots, so you’ve been paying for parking since the beginning.
Second, if you are not parking a car at a Walt Disney World resort but are using a Lyft or Uber, we recommend not using your MagicBand to gain entry at your resort’s security gate. I’m not sure if this always triggers the parking fee, but in our (extensive) experience, it very often does.
We’ve had to go down to the front desk to have the parking fee removed more times than I can count. It’s always a painless process, but it’s a hassle. Calling the “front desk” from your room won’t resolve the problem, as you’ll be routed to a remote call center ill-equipped to handle issues like this.
In terms of commentary, I actually have to admit I’m surprised by this. The Annual Pass and Disney Dining Plan price increases could be seen coming a mile away. (Ditto the inevitable increases to parking fees at the theme parks, rack rates at hotels, and snack prices.)
We’ve documented a lot of price increases at Walt Disney World over the years. Unsurprisingly, there has never been an overall positive reaction to any of them, but that’s sort of the nature of the beast. Few people will happily pay more for the same product they previously purchased. Sure, there are the ardent Disney brand evangelists who perform mental gymnastics to justify the increases to themselves (and others). By and large, there’s always at least some degree of grumbling about price increases.
Usually, what happens is that once people get the complaining out of their systems, they go about their vacation habits as normal. Some people are unfortunately priced out, but in our (admittedly anecdotal) observations, they represent a minority of guests. And if attendance trends are any indication, those who are priced out are replaced by (more) new guests.
The reaction to the resort parking fee felt different. It was more emotional than normal. My overarching assessment (again, anecdotal) of the feedback is that Walt Disney World fans are generally comfortable paying more for a premium experience, but are fed up with being nickel and dimed.
It struck me as a tipping point for many long-time fans, and I think the grassroots ‘campaigns’ on social media and crowd-sourced review sites reflected this. Walt Disney World was inundated with a barrage of 1-star reviews on Facebook, TripAdvisor, and elsewhere, with many pointing to this fee. It seemed like a bridge too far for a lot of fans, and I wondered whether the revenue was truly worth all of the outrage and damage to the brand’s reputation.
Yet, here we are again, just over a year later…and for price increases of only $1-2. What’s the point? Why reignite a controversial issue that has finally (for the most part) been put to bed? Perhaps someone in Walt Disney World management didn’t consider the fallout from last year’s parking fee rollout. Perhaps they did, but view the added revenue as being worth the controversy. Perhaps my anecdotal observations are entirely off, and guests who swore they’d never stay on-site again booked hotel stays anyway. Whatever the case, I’m surprised to see Walt Disney World bring attention to its resort parking fees, and am myself curious as to what the reaction will be here.
What do you think about the overnight resort parking fees at Walt Disney World? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments! Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!