Disney Springs Parking Garage

UPDATE: 2015
Disney will not be charging for parking at Disney Springs!  Great decision!

UPDATE: July 2014
In a recent post about new renderings of the first multi level parking garage, the Disney Parks Blog subtly ignored a question about Disney parking charges.
Normally keen to dispel any bad rumours, Disney’s silence indicates that they are undecided about whether they are going to charge for parking when the new Disney Springs parking lot opens later in 2014.
As our original post below suggests, we think drivers are going to have to pay!

Over the last weekend in March of 2014, another stealthy price increase emerged from the various unofficial Disney blogs and sites.
In a change of strategy, Disney appear now to raise their prices overnight and face the music another day it seems.
The latest increase to hit us is parking.  As of Sunday 30th March, it instantly costs us an extra $2 to park in the theme park parking lots at WDW.

This follows a $4 overnight hike in admission prices from just 5 weeks earlier.  Again, no warning or announcement prior to the raise.

As guests look for explanation, and vent their disappointment via forums and social media, others quietly research ways of saving.
While $2 itself isn’t the end of the world for most Disney guests, parking is becoming a feature of a vacation that must be budgeted for.  It’s a long time since it has been an incidental cost!
This latest 13%+ rise, is way above inflation and wage rises of recent years, meaning of course that we are going to have less to spend on other things every time we go to Disney.

Right now, the alternatives aren’t exactly leaping out for motorists.
Public transportation from non Disney property is truly appalling, and Disney like it that way as they hope to retain guests on their own resort hotels.
The alternatives are simple;

  • Stay in a Disney Resort Hotel and enjoy free parking
  • Buy an annual pass with free parking privileges
  • Try and find ways to beat the system (not advisable)
  • Look for alternative ways to cut budgets
  • Park and Downtown Disney’s free parking lots

That last one is the concern for us as we suspect more and more guests will look to park their cars at Downtown Disney and chug their way around WDW in the complimentary busses.
In time to come, two huge parking garages will possibly be able to cater for this, but right now, we are a long way off seeing those additional 6,000 spaces, and we are a few more holiday seasons away from the first new garage going into service.

With all of this in mind, we simply can’t help think that Disney will be looking to charge for parking at the new Disney Springs area in some shape or form.
Perhaps a ‘free for less than 4 hours’ concept or ‘free with a purchase at DTD’.

This is of course, pure speculation on our part, but right now, we in the totalorlando team office are puzzling how Disney are going to deal with the problem of a guest’s 7 day parking bill of $119, versus encouraging people into one of their boldest upgrades, versus not overcrowding their 2 costly new multi level parking garages, versus not choking up the already burdened roadways around Vineland Rd and Buena Vista Rd.

They must be smarter than us, as right now, we are totally bewildered by this rather odd move!