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Thread: Overnight parking fees at WDW resorts starting 3/21

  1. #26
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    I'm having a hard time imagining how they are going to implement this policy. On our recent stay, we did online check in and never went to the desk. There was nothing that assigned our vehicle to our room.

    Will charges be tied to band scans into the parking areas? What happens if a friend drops me off and I scan my band to get through an unmanned gate? Will I be charged for parking even though I don't have a vehicle?


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  3. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by stan4d_steph View Post
    I'm having a hard time imagining how they are going to implement this policy. On our recent stay, we did online check in and never went to the desk. There was nothing that assigned our vehicle to our room.

    Will charges be tied to band scans into the parking areas? What happens if a friend drops me off and I scan my band to get through an unmanned gate? Will I be charged for parking even though I don't have a vehicle?
    I have to imagine it's exactly linking it to the band scans for entry into the lots. It's not a stretch to say it only makes sense to scan your band for resort entry if you have a car that is yours and staying with you.

    A lot of the resorts used to require a parking "pass" be posted in the windshield of any car parked over night as well, though on one or two visits I was told they didn't do that anymore. It might have been some sort of testing over time, so I don't know if it's more universal now in terms of what each resort does. Even if you skip the desk, if you were to need to declare if you need parking when you reserve your room (currently not the case, but could easily become a check box), a parking pass could be in the room waiting for you when you get there.

    If the intent is truly an effort by Disney to lower the number of personal vehicles running around the property (I'm sure not an official reason, but suggested a few times), one could argue that even if a friend drops you off, you should be subject to bringing a car onto property, as you could have taken a Disney bus/monorail/boat. (I don't believe that, but it seems a possible extension of the argument) Maybe even subject Uber and Lyft drop offs - that is probably a large contribution to more cars over the last few years. But don't worry... Minnie Vans to the rescue! (tongue firmly in cheek).

    I'm sure the "how" has well been though out by Disney... The "how much it will tick off visitors", maybe not so much (or they just don't care - I am sure they have attempted to model the impact and "projected" this will have little to no effect on visits to the parks).
    Last edited by Dave1313; 03-17-2018 at 01:01 PM.
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  4. #28

    I cant get behind the but Disney is different mentality. Disneyland hotels have charged a nightly fee for parking for as long as I can remember, and theres no driving to parks there.


  5. #29

    This is true, but at Disneyland parking is minimal and extremely limited. At WDW there must be at least 4 spaces per hotel room at each resort (at least it feels like it). Theres no sense putting a premium price on something that is in no way scarce.


  6. #30
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    This is, in my opinion, utterly disgraceful. It smacks of money-grabbing and having just read that Bob Iger is in line for over $400m worth of cash over the next 3 years, is this where his pay rise is coming from? (I know that's not how it works, but I'm just a bit cross about this!) This will easily add ANOTHER large sum of money (in excess of 300 GBP) to our already-expensive holiday costs and it led to a serious conversation yesterday with DH as to whether we continue to visit WDW in the future. He was devastated and said he couldn't imagine us not ever going again, so I think we've reached a compromise of either staying offsite for the whole of the holiday, or doing a week offsite and visiting other Florida attractions and having a hire car, followed by ditching the car and moving onsite, but just using Disney buses. Once we are onsite, we only tend to go offsite for supermarket shopping, so we could do this in the first week (or just get a cab to Walmart if we needed another supermarket shop - water, etc.).

    The reasoning behind it? "To bring us into line with other resorts around the area" - oh yeah Disney, way to go on staying a bit different to other resorts.

    Grrrrr.

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  7. #31

    Yeah that "to bring us in line with other resorts" line is quite infuriating. As jrsharp21 mentioned reading comments on various on line sources, it's now time for 1) points programs that lead to free stays, 2) free continental breakfasts (or better at higher end resorts, after all, that's how many regular hotels work).

    They can add regular alarm clocks back to the rooms as well if they want to be "in line with other resorts". The only hotels/motels I have EVER stayed at where they removed the alarm clocks are at WDW. Yes, they have provided me with one when I ask, but I shouldn't have to ask. That to me is like getting a room with no towels, and having to ask for some. (and not just by accident(which may happen once in a while), but with full intent!) As I politely mention to the CMs when either checking in or out, I can stay at a Days Inn or Super 8 off-site for probably less than $65 a night, and they include an alarm clock as standard equipment with the room. I expect as much from Disney when even a stay at a value resort being around double that cost.

    Sorry... unrelated pet peeve of mine from the last 2-3 years (I forget exactly when it started, but it still bugs me every time).

    And I agree that Disneyland is a far different case since it's in the middle of a major suburb of Los Angeles. Granted DL being built there 60+ years ago is what contributed to that major metropolitan area to exist where it does(OK, LA sprawl would have spread out to here eventually, but DL certainly accelerated it), but it's not in the middle of no where where there is no place to go aside from the hotel you are staying at unless you have a car or take a bus to a singular vacation destination linked to the hotel.

    Last edited by Dave1313; 03-19-2018 at 04:47 AM.
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  8. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by stan4d_steph View Post
    Will charges be tied to band scans into the parking areas? What happens if a friend drops me off and I scan my band to get through an unmanned gate? Will I be charged for parking even though I don't have a vehicle?
    Im thinking that in a case like drop offs dont use a gate reader just to make sure that security does not think that its your car.

    I would think that if you are driving in with a car on that first day of your trip, that is when there will be a flag "tripped" on the account stating that you have your car and should be charged.

    Hopefully this wont be problematic once charges first start coming in... but time will tell as those who have ressies now wont have to deal with it.... yet.
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  9. #33

    Assuming this is a traffic issue and they want to get more cars off the road, then they should have just removed the free theme park parking instead. This would be more in line with rewarding those who take WDW transportation and not their own car. And wouldn't penalize guests who drive to the resorts and leave their cars parked for the duration.


  10. #34
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    We already have scaled way back. And this new charge relates to one of our biggest pet peeves about WDW. With all the data they have and the years of experience, why do they keep making the same stupid mistakes with the bus service? It seems like they would be able to send extra buses for busy resorts or busy theme park pick up points but I kept seeing multiple useless empty buses drive by very busy pick up points. It has happened for years and years. It is like these people have no idea of the reality of their customers. I believe no one should have to wait more than 10 minutes to get a bus. I am sure they have the resources to make that happen.


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    The fact that they didnt just raise the price of staying at the resorts makes me feel like they are directly trying to change behavior here rather than just making more money. Whether its tryingtk get cars off the road, tryingtk get people to rely on the Minnie Vans more, or to what I really suspect, as an earlier post mentioned, they dont want want you to have a Car on property because they want to make it harder for you to lend a day at Universal.

    I think this is about way more than money. It would have been interesting to have been in on these discussions and what studies and info were presented.

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  12. #36

    Since I don't feel like retyping a lengthy post here is the one that I posted on other Disney forums.
    Well.......
    I just got off the phone with Luke, a WDW Guest Experience Services Rep.
    He thanked me for my three e mails and assured me that George was concerned by the large number of similar complaints that he's received. We discussed the current atmosphere on boards such as this one and he said that they do monitor them closely and have been concerned by the large up swelling of unhappy Disney customers who are commenting on the situation. He said they are particularly concerned by the sheer number of people who have taken the time to write Disney and express their displeasure. (The number of e mails seems to be a trigger for them so if anyone out there hasn't written one yet, do so.)
    I explained our family situation insofar as we aren't in the "upper class" income bracket and a trip to WDW is a major financial commitment for us. The conversation went into the background of Boomers like myself who grew up having Walt in our homes every week on his TV programs and having the MM Club on the TV every school day evening. I told him that it has been the long time Disney devotees who have sustained the Disney Company for over fifty years and that I, and I presumed many others like me, were disappointed in the money grubbing attitude put forth by the Company in recent years. I mentioned Mr Igers astronomical income figure and noted that he was likely a valuable asset to them but those of us attending the parks feel like we're giving him large amounts of money and he's milking us dry to maintain that income level.
    He assured me that the upper Management are paying close attention to the situation and have been discussing the unusually large response to the new fees. I explained that it wasn't the parking fees themselves that brought this situation on but an overall attitude of the Disney Company that we should just shut up and pay up. I went on to give him my Wife's take on the whole situation and told him that whether we return to WDW in future years or not will likely hinge on if she decides to go one more time, and how she feels about the experience. She, like many others, wants a fair return on our investment and if we have to keep shelling out more, and more, money for an experience that gives us less, and less, enjoyment we will stop visiting.
    In closing he told me to keep an eye on the Fan sites, like this one, and the Disney Blogs and to not lose faith in Disney just yet.
    I mentioned to him that I'd seen where Catherine Powell, Head of Disney Paris, had been named as the head of Disney Western Region, which includes WDW, and judging by her reputation as a customer oriented leader I was hoping that she could convince George to return to the old policy of "Customer First". He said he hadn't seen the news about Ms Powell but he would share our discussion with George personally.
    I've spent a considerable number of years questioning/interrogating people and have developed a very acute BS meter.
    This conversation was, IMO, a fishing expedition, and not a "canned response" call, for WDW Management to feel out whether we are serious about our angst over the new fees or if we are just venting for the moment. He was contrite and repeated that Disney valued those of us who spend our hard earned dollars at their venues. My feeling is that they had no idea that this issue would balloon to the proportions that it has and expected it to dry up and blow away in a couple of days.
    Perhaps if people continue to make this a talking point the Management will accede to their unhappy customers and take some measures to sooth over our damaged faith in their judgment.
    BTW; He never once mentioned the ridiculous "Industry Standard" stance.

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  13. #37
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    That was interesting to read UncleMike - thanks for posting it here.

    I'm conflicted about this - we don't usually drive, rather we fly. And we usually stay on rented DVC points (my understanding is that would exempt us from the parking fee, someone correct me if I have the wrong), so if we did drive it would not affect us. I think we've driven down from Maryland twice in the past 15 years, majority of the time we fly. And we are stay on site and in the bubble Disney travelers, however it just so happens that our next planned trip has us driving down, with the intention of taking the auto train home, and traveling with family that frequents Universal, but is new to WDW. They'd be driving as well. It's hard to sell them on staying on property when they are on a limited budget.
    We don't much care for the buses either, which is why we have gravitated towards the EPCOT resorts to stay at over the years. We like to ability to walk to at least two parks. We don't care to drive ourselves over the property because - to be frank, we are on vacation, and we enjoy being able to have a few drinks and let someone else do the driving and/or being able to walk back to our resort.

    In any event, I imagine there are a great many folks who live on the east coast for whom the ability to drive to WDW is one of the factors that allows for the trip to be financially feasible, and perhaps drives more than a few AP purchases for people who intend on several long weekends per year. Add in the cost of parking and it starts to lose it's do-able factor. I wonder if this will have an affect on AP purchases?

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  14. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockDoc07 View Post
    The fact that they didnt just raise the price of staying at the resorts makes me feel like they are directly trying to change behavior here rather than just making more money. Whether its tryingtk get cars off the road, tryingtk get people to rely on the Minnie Vans more, or to what I really suspect, as an earlier post mentioned, they dont want want you to have a Car on property because they want to make it harder for you to lend a day at Universal.

    I think this is about way more than money. It would have been interesting to have been in on these discussions and what studies and info were presented.

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    Doc
    Remember, if they just raise the room cost, every time they offer room discounts, that amount goes down. If they add on a "parking" fee, they can offer room discounts, but the other fee stays the same. It's a subtle difference, but over time would add up to big $$. Same for the rumored "Resort Fee" etc ....
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  15. #39
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    It seems like I'm in the minority here that will never be affected by this. I have no interest in driving while I'm down there. I love Magical Express. I love the Disney Transportation system. It's part of the whole deal for my family and I. I've heard all the driving arguments before and to each his own. For us, renting a car is out of the question. I'm more than happy to let Disney drive me everywhere on my vacations. My overall experience has been good. A few waits here and there, but never anything to be incensed about. Same with Magical Express. Yes. Pick me and my luggage up and bring me to my resort. No problem. Thanks very much. I got luggage delivered late only once out of 15 trips, so I'm doing well. So, I'm all for no car, no parking fee and all for Disney Transportation. But that's just me. I see why it would annoy others. But accepting Disney transportation has eliminated that annoyance for me.

    As someone who never parks and probably never will park a car on property, I'd be a little annoyed if my room rate was raised to include parking. Just a view from the opposite side here.

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  16. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by cbarry View Post
    ..................

    As someone who never parks and probably never will park a car on property, I'd be a little annoyed if my room rate was raised to include parking. Just a view from the opposite side here.

    CB
    But you would never known that was the cause, had this announcement not monetized the parking. Room rates go up all the time, right?

    For those who are comfortable with the buses, they are obviously great. To me they offer more restrictions than value for my habits. I don't dislike driving, so to me that is not an issue. I will admit that I am trading one line for another by driving if you consider the mass exodus when a park closes. But to me, sitting in my car for a little bit to wait some of it out and then making my way out of the parking lot is not any worse than waiting in a line for a (or many?) bus and then being crammed in like sardines for the last run back to the resort. Same reason I generally don't wait in the tram line at the end of the night.

    The only Disney bus I've ever been on was when they offered Express Transportation between parks. I gladly paid that for a week when it was offered, because it added good value for me (not needing to go through security or the front gate when hopping). I don't expect to NOT have to pay for the "free" buses with my resort payments though, I just accept that is included in the costs.

    Now that the parking has been monetized, of course people who don't ever drive are going to say they don't mind and wouldn't want to pay for parking (not just you, lots of comments here and elsewhere).

    If they were to all of a sudden monetize the buses by charging lets say $40 for ME each way (for some party number - probably broken down by # of rooms reserved) and maybe $50 a week (per room, not per person) for transportation between parks, the I would of course suggest I would rather have people who use those services pay for them rather than absorb them into a room cost. Other side of the coin.

    Of course my fictional scenario above is never going to happen, as it's well understood Disney benefits greatly by a more captive resort stay.

    I have considered trying the bubble/no car thing some day, but it has never worked out where I didn't see a limitation come of it. Many times I may start with off site, and that obviously kills the deal. Or I will get my last night at the airport so I don't have to get up as early to allow transport (myself or bus) from WDW to MCO.
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  17. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1313 View Post
    But you would never known that was the cause, had this announcement not monetized the parking. Room rates go up all the time, right?
    I suppose that's true.

    We've had some classic Disney magical moments with other guests traveling back and forth to the parks on the Disney busses. We also never leave when the park closes. We're always one of the last to leave. We enjoy a nearly quiet park and then walk out to empty bus lines. So, I think there's a way to do the bus thing and a way not to.

    I love driving. We're big skiers so driving from 4-6 hours from New York to Vermont has been a lifelong thing for my family. Also a big Deadhead and have spent many hours on the road traveling to shows in other states. But Disney is my escape. No driving. No pumping gas. No supermarket. No nightly news. I even refuse the free USA Today! Who wants to read headlines when I'm down there?!

    There's a psychological thing about getting the Transportation and Magical Express included and not itemized that makes me feel like I'm getting more for my money at a Disney resort. I know I'm paying more on property, but I'm paying that for a reason - impeccable service, transportation, location, location, location, the Disney difference. I think if it were itemized I would feel like it wasn't special. I know I'm paying more to have transportation and Magical Express included but it seems worth it to me.

    But once again, to each his own. Your thing and my thing don't have to synch up. Perhaps the parking fee will reverse itself if Disney hears enough complaints. I'm not sure if that kind of thing has ever happened. I'm quite sure people will be paying for it and once they see people pay for it, it will never go away.

  18. #42

    Cbarry, I just want to thank you for posting your different point of view. I've been reading on several different boards and I haven't read too many posts like yours. I've been to DL several times and when I fly there I too have no car and am not impacted by the locals who pay for parking. But I also know that space is a premium there.
    When I visit WDW I'm driving from home so I have to use my car. But on property I often use Disney transportation because I enjoy it. I'm like you and try to use it "against the flow" so there aren't too many people all once trying to go somewhere.

    But I'm having trouble with this new policy over some very specific points:
    ..The parking fee is different between resorts. There's just absolutely no reason for this. It's the same pavement, the same curbs.
    ..Some people must use a car to GET there.
    ..If they want to reduce traffic, (And I'm thinking that's the real reason behind this) then make everyone pay for parking at the parks. If you drive to your hotel you are rewarded for leaving your car there and using WDW transportation. Right now all hotel guests, pass holders and I think after a certain time (after 7pm?) get free theme park parking. Take all that back and people will be leaving their cars at the hotels and Disney Springs.
    If traffic IS the true problem then speak up and SAY something. Then implement and reinstate the parking fees and justify it that way. With all the new road work, the new gondolas being put in and extra parking garages they could easily justify the expense.

    Oops, sorry cbarry, I kinda got on my soapbox again. Thank you so much for sharing a different perspective.
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  19. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goodnplenty View Post
    The parking fee is different between resorts. There's just absolutely no reason for this. It's the same pavement, the same curbs........
    If traffic IS the true problem then speak up and SAY something. Then implement and reinstate the parking fees and justify it that way.
    Excellent points.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goodnplenty View Post
    ..If they want to reduce traffic, (And I'm thinking that's the real reason behind this) then make everyone pay for parking at the parks.
    I would think that making everyone pay for parking would elicit a similar outcry as making people pay for parking at the hotels.
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  21. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1313 View Post
    For those who are comfortable with the buses, they are obviously great. To me they offer more restrictions than value for my habits. I don't dislike driving, so to me that is not an issue. I will admit that I am trading one line for another by driving if you consider the mass exodus when a park closes. But to me, sitting in my car for a little bit to wait some of it out and then making my way out of the parking lot is not any worse than waiting in a line for a (or many?) bus and then being crammed in like sardines for the last run back to the resort.
    Dave, you and I are in perfect sync. But on the other hand, Chris, I totally defend your right to feel the way you do. As long as you don't force me to take buses, I won't force you to drive.
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  22. #46

    I agree that the whole concept of parking fees at WDW seems like a big money grab. I've noticed over the last several years that our vacations have become more and more expensive at WDW. We used to go when there was free dining to save some money, but that looks like it's largely a thing of the past. Now the moderate resorts, where we usually stay, have increased their pricing dramatically. They did away with passes that don't expire, so you can't save money any longer by buying a 10 day pass and using it over two trips.

    We decided to try something different this year. We bought annual passes and first used them in February. We will likely go at least 2 more times this year, but we will be staying offsite. We were able to get beautiful accommodations in February just outside of Disney property off Osceola Parkway. The townhouse we stayed at had 4 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths. We had 8 people stay there for around $100 per night. Let me know where you can get accommodations on Disney property for $12.50 per person per night - I'll wait........

    We used Uber and Lyft to get to around, and we were at our destinations faster than we usually are when we take Disney transportation. Our trip cost a LOT less than when we went in December and stayed at Old Key West. I think going forward, that stays at Disney's hotels will be much less frequent for us because it just doesn't make financial sense. With that said, we are fortunate to be able to afford it if we want to, but staying in the Disney bubble has lost much of its appeal due to the huge price increases. I can literally do the same trip for 1/3 the price by staying in a nearby vacation home that is far nicer than almost any Disney hotel room.

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  23. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung View Post
    Dave, you and I are in perfect sync. But on the other hand, Chris, I totally defend your right to feel the way you do. As long as you don't force me to take buses, I won't force you to drive.
    That's a deal Dan! I drove once while in Disney. My cousin lives in Orlando but was spending a few nights at Animal Kingdom Lodge. He lent me his car so I could drive back to our hotel, Port Orleans, so I could grab bathing suits and we could poach in the AKL pool!! It felt weird driving around the property, but I imagine it would have been quite a pain to make that run otherwise.

  24. #48

    I know it's not really an absolute, but the calculator on ourlaughingplace.com compares that route (I used AKL to POFQ) as 18 mins each way for driving vs. 44 or 48 minutes each way via buses with transfer at DHS (think it was 3 minutes less for POR for one of the 2 trips). So almost an extra hour - 36 mins vs. 1 hour and 32mins for the round trip.(not that a round trip between two resorts is probably a common occurrence for most people)

    I'll admit I'm not always doing hotel to hotel trips, but it does happen sometimes, like an occasional late dinner at a resort other than the one I'm staying at. I wouldn't consider a bus trip with transfer a good way to cap off the evening after a good meal.

    And I apologize if any of my previous posts seemed too confrontational, I'm obviously OK with everyone having their own ideas on the situation. As you said we each have our own habits that have developed into what works best for us.

    -Dave

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