Driving to WDW Parks? Buy Preferred Parking!

Our family of 9 (3 adult couples and 3 children under 10) recently returned from a week-long family trip to WDW. We rented a house in a lovely resort that was no more than a 20 minute drive (and often less) from any of the parks. But, of course, that required parking our two rental cars. Regular parking was $20/day at all the parks we visited; “Preferred” was $40/day. We learned early on that the additional expense for “Preferred” was well worth the money. In fact, we all agreed deciding to go that route was one of our best decisions for the entire trip. Believe me, in the scheme of things, the extra $280 (total) it cost us for this option was just a drop in the bucket but saved us a ton of time, energy, and aggravation. It made getting into and out of the parks almost a breeze.

At the Magic Kingdom, Preferred Parking puts you a short walk from the Monorail or Ferry, saving you hassle of waiting for and riding the tram to the transportation center. (We rented strollers at the parks, but if you’re bringing your own, this option also allows you to avoid having to muscle your stroller onto the tram.) And at the other parks, the option gets you much closer to the park entrances.

Even if you opt to use Preferred Parking only for the Magic Kingdom, you’ll be glad you did.

Give our regards to Mickey and friends when you see them!


Thank you for posting this. Our trip is coming up and I wondered if it would be worth the extra cost. :slight_smile: Totally going to put up the money at each park now after reading this!

I just need to add that we did not pay for preferred parking and were also easily able to walk to the TTC at MK and never took a parking tram for our whole trip. If you are making rope drop, the extra cost is unlikely to be needed.


I have to add this thought. If you have an annual pass you get free parking and Photopass. Also discounts on souvenirs and some food. Only one person needs the ap to get these benefits.

If the preferred parking is something you really eant then its an extra $20 i would believe.


I am very surprised that the benefits of Preferred Parking were so great for you (very happy for you, just surprised!). Did you arrive late in the day when the car parks were already very full? Or do you have toddlers who couldn’t walk which meant you had to wait for trams?
We drive and have never needed to wait for a tram even on the busiest days in August - the walk has never taken more than a few minutes - but maybe this is because we arrive around park opening.

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Personally I wouldn’t; I’ve never had a problem parking close at RD. When I go with, I can take advantage of handicapped parking.

AAA used to offer the same benefit

Preferred parking is amazing for getting out after the fireworks. That’s how my husband sold me on it. And it’s true - the trams are so packed afterwards, just being able to roll is a huge time saver at the end of the night.

It is the old AAA parking.