Mickey at Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • On Mar 23, 2021
    Stephanie from NY Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Hi, I'm going to be visiting WDW in April and will be self parking. Since the trams are not running I was wondering how early the parking lots open in relation to what time the park opens.

    Hey there, Stephanie! Thanks for stopping by planDisney with your question. 

    I, typically, always drive when I visit Walt Disney World and actually love having a vehicle to get around the resort. Right now, the parking lots are opening up about 45 minutes prior to the park opening. What I like to do is be in line right at an hour prior. Each park has its own way of doing things so I like to have that 15-minute buffer in case things are running ahead of schedule. I'll oftentimes pack a breakfast picnic that we can enjoy while we wait if they do wait until that 45 minute mark. Arriving an hour before the park opening, you will be one of the first few cars in line. You'll be able to pull all the way up to the parking attendant booths and then you'll be asked to wait. Somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour before the park opening, you'll be able to pay for your parking and be allowed to drive toward your parking spot. Sometimes, especially at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, there might be another holding area. Technically, I don't think they aren't supposed to let cars in to park until the first bus from a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel arrives. However, depending on the theme park and how long the line is, sometimes they like to get the line knocked out and will let you in early. Once they get the all-clear you'll be free to park and head up to the theme park. 

    Currently, standard theme park parking is $25.00 a day and preferred parking is between $45.00-$50.00 If you plan on park hopping, save your receipt. You'll be able to park at the next Walt Disney World Theme Park that day for free since you already paid in the morning. If you happen to be staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel or are an Annual Passholder, you'll receive complimentary standard theme park parking. You'll verify this by a quick scan of your MagicBand and then off you'll go. If you are one of these Guests and would like to upgrade to the preferred parking spots, you'll only need to pay the difference. If you have an electric vehicle, you'll also find a few charging stations at each of the Walt Disney World Theme Parks. These spots are on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

    Mid-April can sometimes be pretty warm in sunny Florida. I always like to pack a small cooler to keep in the car and fill it with waters to have once we've returned to the car. Because the trams are not running, like you mentioned, it can be a lot of walking and it's nice to have a cold beverage waiting in the car. 

    Stephanie, I hope this helps answer your question about parking. If you have any other questions or need more information, please feel free to come back and ask me

    Have fun! 
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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