Best place to park, and mode of transport for fast entry to MK?

Hi all,

First timer to WDW, and having a family with 3 children, staying off site, I’m trying to figure out the best method / place to park to ensure a smooth entry and exit from the park.

Should I use ferry, or monorail? Any hacks on where to park for least walking? Any sneaky tips to miss the crowds?

Thanks so much for any help!



Arrive early - plan on about 30 minutes from car to taps (may be less but just in case). If you get there before the express monorail starts, you’ll take the resort monorail.

If is very crowded when you arrive, they will make you collapse strollers on the monorail, but you don’t have to on the ferry. If it isn’t crowded yet, monorail won’t make you collapse.

There is premium parking, but we arrived at about 7:30 for a 9 opening and had very good regular parking.

May be an obvious question - but when parking do the route you to certain areas? Or can you drive and choose a location in the car park?

You park exactly where they tell you. Trams will pick you up and take you to the monorail/boat area. So it doesn’t really matter where you park. It is all somewhat the same in the end.


So at first thing in the morning, they basically directed us to the parking spot closest to the front - so heat available. Not sure how it works if you add arriving later in the day and want to try for something closer that may have opened up.

Remember that for a normal park opening at 9am, everyone is allowed into Main Street and down to the Hub at 8am.

So you should use the 8am as the target if you want to rope drop.

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They claim it doesn’t really matter. I prefer monorail just from an iconic standpoint…feels more “Disney-ish” to take the monorail. But I’m not sure one is faster or slower than the other in any predictable fashion.

One other thing about driving to Park’s in general: If you are not arriving well before opening to be there to do rope drop just keep in mind that many people will be trying to get in at the “opening time”. So if MK opens at 9, getting into parking at 8:30/8:45 will be slow. If you are going to have to pay for parking, you may do an estimate on Uber or a lyft and see what the price would be to just take a rideshare there and back, particularly if you and your family can fit in one car and if you do not have to worry about a car seat.


Me too! Something about monorail in and ferry out feels right to me. Timing wise I haven’t noticed a difference unless it is a difference in waiting for one to arrive.

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Awesome - thanks!

Is parking at the Contempo (or to a lesser extent, Poly or GF) for MK a viable strategy? I would think this is hard to do without a verifiable ADR at the resort and for only a couple hours or else a lot of people would be trying it, right? Sorry if this has been previously discussed somewhere.

Resort parking is only for resort guests, which would include the time you are actually at an ADR. Not for the rest of the day.

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Make an ADR for meal of choice at The Wave which is reasonably priced and excellent food.

Pay for the VALET parking which allows you to park there ALL DAY.

Walk to MK.

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This: pay for valet parking. It’s a handful of dollars more than parking in the MK lot.

On our last off property trip we were rope dropping MK and directed to park in a Villain lot. Several hours later we’re trammed along the Heroes lots. ? CM insists we were not directed to Ursula. Finally called someone to find out yes, Ursula had been used briefly.

So much walking later we’re at our vehicle. The 80 yr old in our group managed it but he was a tired pup for awhile.

Since then we’ve utilized valet parking more. Disney’s website publishes and a Disney supervisor confirmed that valet parking at resorts is ok.

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I’m going to use this technique. Have you used the valet parking for rope drop? If so, is Contempory the Hotel you’d use - I know it’s close, any other recommendations welcome.

One more thing - What do you folks think about valet parking at AK Resort for Rope Drop?

You’d have to wait for a bus to AK. No advantage over parking at the park.

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I would definitely use the Contemporary. We’ve valet parked at Grand Floridian and Poly but the easiest access to the park is definitely from the CR.

If I was going to use this technique for rope drop, I’d make a lunch or dinner reservation at The Wave. It’s good food, reasonably priced, and nice break from the park.

You can make a very early breakfast reservation there, as well, but I get squirrely about timing with an ADR in the morning.

If I was going to do this, I would definitely do Contemporary because you can walk to MK. It is currently the only hotel that has that advantage (at least until they build the bridge from GF)

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Contemporary is the closest and quickest because you can walk. The only wait is to cross that street.

If they’re building any bridge it should be across this busy blvd. :wink:

And we’ve eaten lunch at the Contemporary after an MK morning. Nice and quiet.

If I were valet parking I’d probably not make a meal reservation.