Arrival Day/Parking

How does parking work specifically if we haven’t checked into our Disney World Resort Hotel yet but plan to either go to a meal at a different resort or potentially go directly to a park before checking in? I understand parking is free but wondered if you haven’t checked in yet how that works or if we have to go to our hotel first (even if we can’t check in) and then do the things. Thanks for your help…I feel like this should be an easy one but for some reason it creates confusion for me:)

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You can park for free on check in day. You ressie will show in the system


That was kinda what I was assuming but since the free parking for those staying onsite has just recently returned I didn’t know if we needed any specific tag on our car etc:) Thanks so much!


In February, we went to HS for Early Entry on check in day. The parking lot attendant at HS scanned our Magic Band and waved us in.

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To clarify, parking at the parks has always been free for those staying onsite. Parking at the resort you are staying at is the recently turned-back-to-free.

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yes that what what i was referencing. we don’t know if we are starting at a park or at a resort for dining thus referencing the recent change

They no longer give special tags or papers for your vehicle, at Disney resorts. All resorts have guard entrances, and they scan your MB or your reservation printout, etc. Doing online check-in can help with that first day, to make sure you’re all set to go wherever as if you had stopped at the front desk.

But after the first time entering your resort via the human guard, then you usually go through an automated gate that you swipe with your MB or ticket media.

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And if you don’t have a magic band, or for any other reason, end up having to pay to park at one of the parks, you can visit the front desk when you arrive at your resort and they can refund the parking charge.

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