As Walt Disney World braces itself for the upcoming Holiday chaos, one particular area looks set for a very frantic experience behind the wheel over Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Downtown Disney has lost a huge chunk of its main parking lot as the first of a new multi level parking lot goes up on the land behind the AMC Cinema area of the West Side.
Somehow, it’s hard to imagine just how this is all going to work before and after the Disney Springs development is complete, but let us hope that Disney have done their homework on traffic management and parking.

While precise details of the new Disney Springs development are still under wraps, the artists renderings suggest that the final development could easily have two, if not three times the shops and restaurants of the existing Downtown Disney area.
Bearing in mind peak periods are bad enough now, it seems impossible to imagine that the new development won’t ‘buckle’ those roads and parking lots under the strain of the Holiday seasons in 2016.

Some executive somewhere will have performed a marvellous job of convincing his or her peers that they have this under control, but already the signs are appearing that they could be in for a rough time in the January board meetings.  Our prediction is that the whole DTD area and adjoining Vineland Rd will gridlock the I-4 as visitors battle along Buena Vista Drive trying to find their way around new parking arrangements.

Disney appear to be putting $15 Valet Parking (4pm through 2am) in place in an attempt to steer drivers to the new temporary parking lots over my the Casting Building and Suntrust offices over the street.
There’s a huge flaw in the plan though.  Few guests will no anything about the fact that an entire ‘playing field’ of parking spaces have vanished, nor will they know that further spaces have been taken for valet parking and nor will they be in the correct lane to head into those new ‘temporary’ parking lots on the wrong side of the street!

For once, I would NOT like to be in the Disney Board room in January!

We are a little lost as to what advice to give right now, so please accept our apologies.  The bus system will get as snarled up as the cars, so parking elsewhere and bussing in isn’t of any benefit.

The only thing that we can suggest is to head into DTD as early as you possibly can, and definitely leave a good hour travelling and parking time once you enter WDW on the busiest days if you have table reservations or show tickets.


Downtown Disney Valet Parking Details

  • At the Cirque Du Soleil Parking Lot (Entrance 5)
  • $15 plus tip
  • Free to Tables in Wonderland Members (show the meal receipt)
  • 4pm until 2am hours of operation
  • Begins October 21st 2013
  • Collect by Text or arrive at the Stand