• On Apr 8, 2018
    Janet from PA Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    What is the difference between standard and preferred parking at the theme parks, and is the added expense worth it in your opinion?

    Hi Janet!

    My husband and I often drive to the parks during our Walt Disney World Resort vacations, so we have become very familiar with parking at each of the theme parks!  Since the preferred parking lots are closer to the theme park entrances, if you plan to visit your car often throughout the day, you have little ones and strollers that would be difficult to load and unload from the courtesy trams, or you have guests in your party who may not be able to walk longer distances, preferred parking may be worth the extra cost for you!  Also, if you plan on park-hopping often, the time you can save by parking closer could be very valuable, especially if you are trying to fit a lot into one day!

    My husband and I usually park in standard parking, but because it is just the two of us, we have no problem either walking from our car or taking the courtesy tram to the park entrance.  Generally, there is very little wait for the courtesy tram, and it is the fastest way for us to get to and from our car.  Plus, I would rather use that money for snacks and souvenirs!  That being said, at the end of an exciting and magical day in the parks, I always find myself feeling jealous of the people who chose to take advantage of the preferred parking option because it can be significantly closer.  Plus, you don't have to worry about waiting for (or squeezing onto) a potentially crowded tram!

    Also, if your party includes a guest with mobility disabilities who has a valid disability parking permit, you can park in the Disability Parking Lots, which are very close to the main entrance of each of the theme parks.  Remember, because they are so close, courtesy trams do not stop at these parking lots.

    Have a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow!
    -Lindsey N.  
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Meet the Panelist: Lindsey, Georgia

Hi y’all!  I am an Army wife, a college instructor, a dog-mom, and a lover of all things Disney!  Planning a Disney vacation is my favorite pastime—other than actually going on a Disney vacation, of course—and I love helping others make the most of their magical trip!  If I am not at the Walt Disney World Resort, I am putting the pixie-dusted touches on my next trip!  

Learn More About Lindsey

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