ORLANDO, Fla. - Free parking will no longer make the cut for the list of free amenities available to guests during their stay at Walt Disney World Resort hotels, according to the company's official website.
Disney officials announced Wednesday that, as of March 21, standard overnight parking will be available to guests with reservations for a small fee that will be tacked on to their bill when they check out at the end of their stay.
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[VOTE BELOW: Will the new parking fees affect how frequently you visit Disney theme parks?]
Prices of parking will vary for guests based on the category of the resort in which they stay. Below is a list of prices Disney officials provided on their website.
- Disney Value Resorts: $13 per night
- Disney Moderate Resorts: $19 per night
- Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts: $24 per night
One complimentary standard parking spot will be available to guests staying at the campsites at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort, the website said.
Resort guests will still be able to park for free at Walt Disney World's four theme parks.
Tourists, such as Andrew Porter and his family, were shocked to learn of the new parking fees.
"Wow, that's quite a lot. You think about families saving up to go to Disney, it's a big expense," Porter said. "That addition of money might make people think twice or spend less in the park."
Porter's family is visiting from the U.K. and spending two weeks at the Pop Century Resort. They don't have a car, but if they did under the new parking fees, it would cost them an additional $182.
Porter said that is money that could be spent elsewhere.
"Instead of paying for a parking lot, that money could be spent on buying some merchandise you can take home," Porter said.
According to tourism experts, it is common for resorts to require parking fees.
The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association released the following statement:
"In the tourism industry, it's fairly common for resort hotels in major destinations like Orlando or Miami to charge for parking. In fact, most resorts in the Orlando market already charge for parking and have been doing so, well before Disney. We believe that guests have come to accept it as the new normal and since travelers have become own accustomed to this type of fee we don't anticipate it having an impact on travel to Florida or Orlando," Erin Power, spokesperson for the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association said.
But some tourists worry the new parking fees could impact their Disney experience.
"If you just keep seeing the dollar signs ramping up, it puts a bitter taste in your mouth," tourist Sally Cotterill said.
Disney also listed the following parking options and prices for guests with other parking needs:
Valet parking is available at select Disney Deluxe Resorts and Disney Deluxe Villas for $33 per night (sales tax included). Previously, valet parking cost $25 per night.
Guests with Disabilities
Designated parking areas are available throughout Walt Disney World Resort for guests with disabilities. A valid disability parking permit is required. Click here to learn more about parking services available to guests with disabilities.
Disney Vacation Club Members
Members will not be charged for standard overnight self-parking when staying at a DVC Deluxe Villa, regardless of whether they use vacation points, or another form of payment. Members also will not be charged to park when using vacation points to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel.
Complimentary standard self-parking is available while enjoying select dining, shopping, entertainment and recreation experiences at Disney Resort hotels.
Information about parking while visiting theme parks, water parks, Disney Springs or other Disney properties is available here.
Disney is following the model of Universal Orlando, whose resorts have charged for parking since the opening of the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel in 1999.
Below are the current parking prices Universal charges its guests during their stays.
Overnight resort guest parking is $22 per vehicle, per night, except the more moderate Cabana Bay Beach Resort, which charges $12 plus tax per night, per vehicle.
The three Disney-owned resorts at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., have also long charged for parking. Current fees there are $20 per night, per vehicle for resort guests.
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