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Is Magic Kingdom Preferred Parking Worth It?

The parking lot at Magic Kingdom is far from the park, so it’s legitimate to wonder if upgrading to preferred parking is worth it.

Parking in preferred parking brings you closer to the entrance, reducing the time and distance to get to the gates.

Magic Kingdom preferred parking isn’t usually worth the extra $20-$25, except perhaps during peak season when the parking lots fill up quickly. Regardless, most of the time, upgrading doesn’t get you as close as you’d expect, and unless you’re in a real hurry, you’re better off spending the money on something else.

If you choose to pay for preferred parking, know that pricing varies depending on the season, so confirm the rates before visiting the park.

How Do I Pay for Preferred Parking at Magic Kingdom?

Payment for preferred parking (or any other parking) is made at the attendant booths at every parking lot entrance.

You can pay by cash, credit, or Disney Gift Card, and you cannot prepay online.

If you plan on park hopping, you won’t have to pay for parking more than once, as your parking pass is good all day at every park – just make sure to keep your receipt!

I’m a Guest at a Disney World Resort Hotel. Do I Get Free Preferred Parking?

Guests at Disney World Resort Hotels get complimentary standard parking and need to pay the difference if they want to upgrade to preferred parking.

The current rate for a car or motorcycle in standard parking is $25/day and $45-$50/day for preferred parking.

If you want to upgrade, scan your Magic Band or show your standard parking pass to the Cast Member at the booth.

They will charge you the extra $20-$25 and give you a new pass you can use for the day.

What Other Parking Options Does Disney World Offer?

Disney World offers valet parking at some resort hotels and villas.

Valet Parking is $33/day and if you’re interested, inform the security host when you arrive.

They’ll ask you to leave your car running (keys in the ignition), and the valets will park it and retrieve it when you’re ready to go.

It’s also customary to tip your valet $3-$5 for their assistance.

Disney World offers complimentary valet parking for disabled guests with a valid handicap tag, but they need a dining or room reservation at the hotel or resort.

Disney World parks and hotels also have specific parking areas for guests with disabilities.

The standard pricing is the same, and guests are required to have a valid permit to use these spots.

Disney World also offers oversized vehicle parking, where vehicles like RVs or buses pay $30 to park for the day.

If you can’t walk long distances, Disney World offers courtesy trams to help get you from the parking lot to the park’s main entrance.

Initially discontinued, the service will be back at all theme parks before the end of 2022 and is currently operational at Magic Kingdom.

Does Magic Kingdom Have Electric Vehicle Charging Stations?

Yes, Magic Kingdom offers five electric vehicle charging stations, the most at any park.

EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom have four spaces each.

The ChargePoint spots operate on a first-come, first-served basis, and you’ll need a credit card or a ChargePoint card to pay.

Charging costs $0.35 per kWh with a minimum service charge of $1.50 and stops when your battery is full.

What’s the Best Way to Get to Magic Kingdom?

Because Magic Kingdom’s parking lots are so far away from the park, you’ll need secondary transportation to get to the entrance.

You can use the Disney monorail system, which is quicker than the ferry system. The ferry, however, is the better experience of the two. 

Nonetheless, neither is as good as Disney World’s bus service, which is free of charge and the fastest option.

I suggest parking your car at a different theme park and then catching a Disney bus right up to the gates at Magic Kingdom.

If you like having your own car, plan ahead before going to Magic Kingdom.

If you leave 30 minutes to an hour earlier, you will arrive at the same time (or before) someone who took the bus.

How Can I Save Money on Parking at Disney World?

The best way to save on parking at Disney World is not to bring a car.

Disney offers several free transportation options for guests staying at the resorts or visiting the parks.

The bus and shuttle system at Disney World is the most extensive, and it services all major destinations on the Disney property, including Disney Springs.

Depending on where you’re headed, you can use the monorail, the second most accessible transport option after the buses.

There’s also the Disney Skyliner, a system of aerial gondolas that pass through select Disney Resort Hotels and theme parks.

The final transportation method provided by Disney World is the watercraft system, which includes ferries, Friendship Boats, and water taxis, and all provide a unique experience.

If none of the above appeals to you, using Uber or Lyft, or calling a taxi, are other ways to get around the parks.

While these aren’t really money-saving options, they are an alternative to bringing your car.

Conclusion

Parking at Disney World can be a bit of a drag, which is why many guests choose to attend the park without a personal vehicle.

Though Disney offers preferred parking for those who want to be closer to the gates, it’s hard to see its value unless you visit during the busiest periods.

You can get on just fine with the complimentary transport systems, but an Uber/Lyft or a good old-fashioned taxi can always save the day if you’re not in the mood for public transportation.

If you decide to drive yourself to the park, make sure to budget for parking during your stay.

Check the prices a week or two before your visit to avoid any surprises when you arrive.

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