Despite Rumors To The Contrary, Disney Is Probably Not Trying To Restrict Your Parking. Probably

Mickey Mouse at magic Kingdom
(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Walt Disney World has the gift of size, which is great because it’s a big massive place full of all sorts of awesome things to do. However, it’s no secret that because it’s so big getting around Disney World isn’t always the easiest thing to do. There are buses that travel basically everywhere but sometimes it takes more than one to get to where you really want to go and sometimes you have to wait a long time for them. If you have a car you can always drive yourself, but this week the word was that even that was becoming more complicated as the resort reportedly had a new rule preventing non-guests from parking at hotels. That's not exactly true.

What’s Been Happening With Disney World Hotel Parking

It was reported in a few places earlier this week that Disney World had instituted a new rule preventing anybody from parking in the lot of a Walt Disney World hotel unless they had a room reservation or a dining reservation at a restaurant inside the hotel. Anybody else, including people making mobile food orders or those looking to visit a spot close by, would be turned away.

It’s been reported that many hotels with easy access to the theme parks, like the Contemporary Resort on the Magic Kingdom Monorail line, have had rules like this in place for some time. However, it was now being claimed that every hotel on property was handling things the same way.  It turns out that the truth is actually a bit more complicated.

What Disney World’s Hotel Parking Policy Actually Is 

I asked a Walt Disney World representative about this supposed new rule and was told that there is not now, nor has there ever actually been, any sort of Disney World policy or rule preventing certain guests from parking in hotel parking lots. Rather, each resort reviews its parking situation, sometimes on a daily basis, and makes a decision as to how it wants to handle it. 

So a hotel like the recently remodeled Contemporary Hotel that could see a lot of traffic from theme park guests that want to try and avoid the busy Ticket and Transportation Center, might decide to limit parking to those with reservations, but there’s no requirement that they or any other hotel do so.

While on the one hand this is good news, as it means that you’re not necessarily prevented from driving over to the Polynesian for a rum soaked Dole Whip, it does also add a bit of a complication. The fact is that from one day to the next you won’t necessarily know what the situation is, so you might not have a problem hitting your favorite hotel counter service spot one day, but then you might the next. 

It’s entirely possible that every hotel on Disney World property is limiting its parking to guests with reservations right now for the simple reason that the holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year. But things will slow down, however slightly, and when they do things should relax. 

While there are certainly going to be people looking to use some hotels as theme park parking,  or otherwise abuse things, there are just as many people, if not more, who are visiting a hotel because it has great food or a particularly nice bar. It seems unlikely Disney World actually wants to turn these people, and their money away, but there does need to be enough room for them.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.