The biggest news to come from Disney this year is that guests of Walt Disney World resorts will now have overnight parking fees to pay. These fees are now in effect for all future resort bookings.
The fees differ depending on the resort you stay in. The self-parking fee is $13 USD per night at a Value resort, $19 USD per night at Moderate resorts, and $24 USD per night at Deluxe and Deluxe Villa resorts. Valet parking has always had a fee, but it is now $33 USD, which is only available at select Deluxe and Deluxe Villa resorts – There will still be complimentary parking for one vehicle for guests staying at the Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort.
Disney Vacation Members will not have to pay a parking fee when staying at a Deluxe or Deluxe Villa, whether they are using points or paying with cash, however if DVC members are staying at a Value or Moderate resort and paying with cash, the fees will apply, unless they have booked that reservation with points.
If we’re to speak honestly about the introduction of these parking fees, we are a little disappointed and sad about the new charges. Travelling from Southern Ontario, we will fly more often than not and we don’t rent a car. So even though the parking fees are not something we typically have to budget for when planning our trips, we know that many, many guests (including many Canadian guests), will be affect by these fees – and it does mean quite an added expense. For a 7-day/6-night stay at a moderate resort guests will be paying an extra $114 USD to park a car, which is a significant amount to add to the cost of a Disney vacation.
Although there are many Canadians who fly into Orlando and these fees may not affect them, we also know many guests who fly in, but prefer the convenience of having a rental car at their disposal. The new parking fees makes that convenience an even larger expense, and something guests will have to take into consideration. This is on top of the Canadians that do make the drive to Disney for their trips. It all adds up to a higher cost for staying on Disney property.
Overall, our feeling of disappointment and sadness comes from the fact that it feels like Disney has been increasing costs on resorts, tickets and adding a number of fees and up-charges to the services they offer. What is supposed to be an immersive and relaxing experience is now losing what makes it special because Disney feels that if other non-Disney resorts do it, they should too. It just feels like a lot, all at once. We suspect, as does the rest of the Disney community, that all these added costs and increased fees are to prepare for Star Wars: Galaxy Edge and the 50th anniversary in 2021, and the increase in attendance that we’ve already seen at the parks and resorts.
What we are trying to focus on are the trips we already have in the works, and how much we’re looking forward to what we have planned, and remain positive about the place we love to go. We know more fees like this and extra ticket events will continue to happen in the next couple years with all the enhancements coming to Disney, but at some point it will have to level out again for a while.
We hope that the parking fee will mean less of an increase in resort costs in the future and that Disney won’t price everyone out; that they’ll adhere to Walt’s idea that Disney parks should be a place for all families to go and enjoy the magic together.