Driving a Car - Logistics for Arrival and Departure days

OK Wise Liners. Can I do the things below that I want to do?

We are driving to WDW, staying a night with my husband’s family, found an inexpensive hotel near the parks for our second night, and then on our check-in-day plan to hit the ground running early on a Sunday morning with a PPO at BOG.

Logistically what do we do that morning to get to MK? Drive to CSR, park our car, catch a bus to MK? Is it OK to leave car loaded in the parking lot (thinking to save time) or should we drop it all with bell services first, even given the early morning nature of our plan? We plan to spend until 3 at MK that day, head back to the hotel, get into our rooms, freshen up, and head to EP for Akershus dinner at 6:30. Reasonable?

Departure day we have breakfast at Ohana, after which we plan to take the Monorail to MK until mid-afternoon. Can we drive to Poly, parking and leaving the car there - loaded and ready to go?


Yes and yes. Leave car in CSR parking lot and head to MK, no problem. Last day, drive to Poly do the meal and whatever else there or at MK and then head out from Poly. Both good plans!

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We’re planning something similar for our stay at Pop Century in March. Stay at a cheaper hotel outside WDW the night before, drive to Pop early to pick up our magic bands (can’t have them shipped since we’re Canadian), leave the car in the parking lot with our stuff and catch a bus to MK. On departure day we’ll load up the car and take a bus to MK again and return at the end of the day to start heading home.

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Will you have anything in your luggage that you don’t want to get hot? Like the chocolate bar I forgot in the glove compartment?

You might have an aerosol hair spray, for instance. Just make sure it’s placed somewhere where the heat won’t affect it.

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It’s already occurred to me that anything that might be totally shot by the heat needs to go in the ice chest. May do a trial run leaving the cooler in the car one day when I’m at work (8-3) to make sure it keeps all cold in a blazing hot car.

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I believe the resorts only give a courtesy 3 hour parking for dining reservations. But you could easily valet park ($30) and park all day. This is what we did at the contemporary in January, we had a 7 am breakfast and then rode the monorail to mk for the day.

Hmm. Will they tell me this or check?

I think it will really depend on the time of the year. If the resort is full and they are short on parking they will probably be more strict on the 3hour free parking. I have read others say they were even turned away from some resorts if they didnt’ have dining reservations and just wanted to eat at the quick service restaurant.

We paid the extra just for the ease of using the monorail and not having to move our car, totally worth it for us

But, in theory, as I enter the Poly parking lot there will be someone directing me to a special dining reservation parking lot or area? I guess I’m wondering ultimately how they know I’m violating the three hour limit. Do they tow cars at Disney? Boots? What happens when you park where you shouldn’t?

We originally didn’t plan to go to the park our last day, but it was only $80ish bucks for 7 people so I’m trying to NOT tack on al the extra costs that I know Disney wants me to. :joy:

I have parked at the Poly for an ADR and then gone to MK multiple times and have never had issues. I have heard that people have been towed at Disney, but I don’t know the circumstances. A couple months ago we had breakfast at 'Ohana and when the guard scanned my magic band she said something like oh, I see you are going to MK this afternoon if you want just park to the right and leave your car there for the day. It was always my plan to do that.


Thanks! Happy to hear that this was your experience.

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I know people might think it’s a risk, but I actually don’t know how they would know if you are eating there or staying there at the hotel once you have parked.