• On Dec 18, 2019
    Amy from MO 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.

    I’m thinking of renting a 15 passenger van for our large group. Will I park with regular cars or in the oversized lot at each theme park? I’m trying to make it easy to get around with three generations! Our other option is to drive two minivans. Advice??

    Welcome to the Disney Parks Moms Panel, Amy!

    Over Thanksgiving, I visited the Walt Disney World Resort to celebrate my brother’s milestone birthday with a big family group. There were 12 of us, and we traveled in a combination of 12-passenger vans, 2 minivans, and Disney Resort transportation throughout the week. I definitely have some thoughts for you!

    Firstly, you should be able to park a 15-passenger van in the standard or preferred parking lots at the theme parks. Disney considers limos, shuttles, buses, campers, RVs, and trailers to be “oversized,” and your passenger van doesn’t fit in these classifications. We were able to park our large van in a standard parking lot with ease (and only a little bit of squishing when exiting). Note, though, that during the busy holiday season, parking is at the discretion of Cast Members, and they may direct you to oversize parking.

    Amy, while I love the idea of a “party bus” atmosphere with all three generations singing along to holiday tunes, sharing stories, and enjoying the time together, I have a few things to consider based on my experience. One is that some members of your group may want to head back to the hotel for a rest or swim mid-day, or head home earlier in the evening than others. We were happy to have two vehicles for those situations; often, we were split into several smaller groups, and we were staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, so we could use bus transportation as needed. Having two cars was great for that situation.

    The other thing to consider is the logistics of climbing in and out of the larger passenger vans. There were a few members of our party with mobility concerns, and we had to be strategic so those individuals weren’t climbing into “the way back” and twisting and bending too much. 

    Remember, though, that if you’re staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you’ll need to pay overnight self-parking for each night of your stay for two vehicles if you go with two minivans. Theme park parking is complimentary for resort Guests, which is a nice perk, but one vehicle may be more economical. All the parking costs are on the Parking web page if you’d like to do that math.

    Amy, have so much fun with your large family group! I highly recommend purchasing Memory Maker – we have some fantastic family photos from our week together, including a priceless one of all of us taking up an entire time rover vehicle on DINOSAUR. Every single one of us has a different expression on our face, and looking at it brings me such joy! With Memory Maker, you’ll get your PhotoPass photos (make sure to ask for Magic Shots), plus attraction photos. It’s a great way to capture your together time. Enjoy every minute!

    Wishing you a magical vacation,
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Meet the Panelist: Robyn, Virginia

Hi there! I'm Robyn, and I am so excited to share my love of all things Disney with you! My proud military family loves going on Disney adventures that include enchanting moments, laughter and happy tears, and all the pineapple and Mickey-shaped snacks we can find. It's my pleasure to help you plan the most magical and unforgettable vacation in the Disney Parks. Learn More About Robyn

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