Cars Lightning McQueen
  • On May 7, 2022
    Natalie from TX Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    How early do the parking lots open to the theme parks? I will be driving my own car & would like to get there earlier than rope drop. I saw that AK opens at 7:30am. Thanks!

    Hello and welcome to planDisney, Natalie. Thanks for dropping by to chit-chat about your upcoming Walt Disney World vacation. I see that you are visiting in just a few short days, I bet you are getting so excited. 

    Natalie, I also like to drive myself to the Walt Disney World Theme Parks. I love the flexibility or having my own transportation. The parking lots typically open about 45 minutes prior to the park's scheduled opening time. So if Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park opens at 7:30 a.m. you should expect to be parking around 6:45 a.m. Of course, this varies a little bit day by day depending on who is working and what's going on but that's the typical rule of thumb. I actually try to be at the parking lot entrance around 1 hour prior to the scheduled opening time because I like to be one of the first in line. Once the parking lot opens up you'll stop at the attendant booths and pay or scan your MagicBand/key to the world card if you are an on-property Guest. 

    Once you've parked, do take note of the row and lot that you are in. I like to either take a quick picture or text the information to someone else in my party. After a long day at the theme parks, it can be hard to remember exactly where your car is. I also like to tuck a few bottles of water to leave in a cooler in my car. It's nice to have a refreshing beverage after such a long day. 

    I hope this helps you plan out your itinerary a little bit better, Natalie. If you have any other questions before your trip, please feel free to reach back out to me. I'm happy to help. 

    Have fun!
    Jackie H. 
thumbnail image for Jackie

Meet the Panelist: Jackie, North Carolina

I love all things Walt Disney World.  In fact, since becoming Annual Passholders, my family of 3 is always hopping in the car for a quick trip to visit with Mickey Mouse!  I've been known to make the 8 hour each way drive to Walt Disney World (in one day!) to indulge in a Mickey Waffle or enjoy a sunny day at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park.  I may have a small family, but we are always up for some BIG fun at the Walt Disney World Resort.   Learn More About Jackie

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