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Walt Disney World Resort Hotels to charge for overnight parking.

Disney Contemporary Resort

A long troubling trend in travel has been keep base rates low but charge a fee for many of the add-ons that in the past had been considered part of the base price (those undisclosed resort fees are a killer right?). It’s called Incremental Income and there’s no avoiding it in the industry today. Disney has also been experimenting with a version of services for additional fees, but up until now, they’ve all been optional fees like preferred parking or special tours. Now for the first time the resorts are adding a mandatory fee for their guests.

Update 3/16: And now the changes with the parking fees is back on the web. So no reprieve for resort guests.

Update 3/15 6pm et: Note, Disney has now reverted their ‘Guest Services’ page that talks about parking back to the policy where hotel guests would not be charged for parking. We don’t know if this is a temporary change or if Disney has given up the idea of charging overnight guests for parking.

Guests who want to park their vehicles overnight at at Walt Disney World resort hotel will have to pay for the privilege. Overnight parking fees will be assessed on guests who book a reservation made after March 21st and will be charged to the guest’s room upon check-out.

Disney is charging a different fee based on the level of hotel (although there is no special service at the more expensive hotels and valet will still cost more).

  • Disney Value Resorts: $13 per night
  • Disney Moderate Resorts: $19 per night
  • Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts: $24 per night

Guests at Disney’s Fort Wilderness campsites will still get the one complimentary parking spot with each campsite. Disney Vacation Club members who are staying on points will be exempt from the new parking fees.

Disney won’t charge day guests who are enjoying shopping, entertainment, or dining at the resorts. But there is some speculation that parking validation will be required to make sure day guests actually do use the services of the hotel.

Valet Parking is available at select Disney Deluxe Resorts and Disney Deluxe Villas for $33 per night (sales tax included).

Adding a non-optional service fee for parking a vehicle at a hotel is fairly common in Orlando now (including the Swan & Dolphin on Disney property for years). So it’s not a total surprise to see Disney’s resorts try it out. They really don’t have the infrastructure to charge day guests at this point, but who knows if that will be coming one day soon?

What do you think of Disney’s decision to start charging hotel guests this fee?