Skyliner; Art of Animation
  • On Jun 26, 2024
    Patti from FL Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    What hotels/resorts can you park at for free to look around and shop without staying there? Currently an annual passholder and i often like to go and look around and eat at the food court.

    Hiya, Patti!

    From one Florida resident to another, welcome to planDisney. Being a Walt Disney World Annual Passholder feels like we have our own keys to the kingdom. Sometimes it’s fun to explore what’s outside of the theme park gates. I am more than happy to give you ideas about how to visit the Disney Resorts Collection hotels. 

    First things first, standard parking at the on-site hotels is free for both hotel Guests and visitors. The plot twist is that as a Guest, your time to park is limited (so, no overnights and oftentimes, nothing over a few hours). At times, the Cast Member at the security gate will give you a paper to place on your vehicle’s dash with a time limit like two or three hours. 

    Another caveat to this free parking as a Guest: As a visitor, it is not guaranteed that you will be given access to the hotel parking lots. It is totally at the discretion of the Cast Members who asks for your identification at the gate. To be on the safer side, I highly recommend that you make an advance dining reservation, Mobile Order, or a reservation for an experience for the hotel that you plan to visit. I’ve been allowed to park at hotels for reasons to shop at the stores as well (in the slower seasons). 

    AN EXTRA GEM: I’ve found that there are hotels that are a bit more difficult to park at than others, but by no means could this be the case for you. The “Monorail hotels” like Disney’s Contemporary Resort and the “BoardWalk hotels” like Disney’s Beach Club Resort are definitely among them.  

    If you get turned away at the security gate, you do have other options. You could park at Disney Springs and then take a complimentary Disney bus to a Disney Resorts Collection hotel. Or, because you get free theme park parking, you could take a bus, boat, monorail, or Disney Skyliner gondola to the hotel of your choice.

    Patti, give us a holler here at planDisney if you have any other Disney vacation planning questions. Any of the panelists here would love to share their special tips and tricks with you. 

    Magic always, 
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Meet the Panelist: LeAndra, Florida

Hey, Mouseketeer! I'm LeAndra, a wife, mom of two, and content creator from beautiful Central Florida. I've lived near The Most Magical Place on Earth for my entire life; so, I like to say that I'm a Guardian of this galaxy! My love of all-things-Disney has also taken me on multiple cross-country road trips to Disneyland Resort and on a few flights over to Disneyland Paris. I am oh-so-grateful to be a part of your world by helping you plan your magical vacations.  Learn More About LeAndra

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