Is it difficult to park at the parks compared to using Disney transportation?

Each time we have been to WDW we have only used Disney transportation. This time we are going to have a rental car. Is it difficult to park at the parks? Will we spend much time getting from the parking lots into the park itself?

We prefer to use a car over WDW transportation. The one park where there is a potential issue is MK, as the resort busses take you to the park entrance whereas the parking lot is at the TTC and you have to take the monorail or ferry to the main entrance.


We MUCH prefer driving ourselves. Even at MK. Yes you’ll have to take the ferry or monorail to your car but it’s still so much better for us. Mostly because you’re guaranteed a seat and you can blast the AC, and you don’t have to hear other people complaining or their overly tired kids screaming. The bus stops are not as close as they appear especially after a long park day when your feet are screaming at you.


I like using my car. Offers the greatest flexibility. You know exactly how long it will take to get on your way (however long it takes for you to walk to your car) instead of waiting on a bus to show up. You know there won’t be any stops along the way. If you’re trying to follow a touring plan and/or be there for rope drop, drive your car to the parks. If you’re being leisurely about your day, use the bus. If you didn’t know - If you are staying at a Disney resort, parking your car at the Parks is free!


I always drive to WDW, so I always have a car available. When I go solo I almost always us DisTrans, unless my plans include going from resort to resort after hours. For me, part of being on vacation is NOT having to drive anywhere. However, when DW comes with me, she prefers that we drive everywhere. Seeing as how I drop her off and then circle around to find a parking space and then meet her at the gate, it’s no wonder she prefers to drive :slight_smile: MK is the one exception; if staying on site (which I/we do 95% of the time), I ALWAYS use DisTrans.


What about Disney Springs? I’ve heard parking is very difficult so would it be better to take the bus?

The construction can still make it a little painful but with the parking garage now parking isn’t too bad at DS.

Don’t park at Disney Springs at any cost right now. The construction will make it frustrating and time consuming, plus there is a pretty healthy walk to the bus.

No, I’ve done all forms, and I have to say I like having my own transportation best. We like to leave the park in the middle of the day when it’s hot and crowded and go off site for lunch. Our lunch break takes two hours from the time we leave our current ride to the we get back inside the gates, but we feel refreshed and have missed the afternoon insanity.

I am an anxious driver and even I can navigate the roads and parking lots. Just keep yourself very focused on the signs and cast member directions.

Food for thought.,… My sisters always take the Magic Express and we, also coming from out of state as they are, decided we wanted to go to the beach and NASA, so we, on our three trips here rented a car.

Well, a few years down the road my husband got an amazing job offer that he couldn’t refuse that he didn’t apply for in the Orlando metro. Having already explored Orlando on vacations, we knew we could take the offer and feel at home. Now, we know that having our own transportation was a huge blessing in disguise.

Because we had rented a car in all of our trips down here and did things off site we…

  1. Knew how to navigate all around the area before we moved here which made our transition a piece of cake
  2. Knew how to navigate all of the roads in Disney, so now I have been able to take my kids whenever I get the hankering without being nervous about it and we have only lived here two months.

Had we not rented a car, we never would have been aware of the world around us outside Disney, and we wouldn’t have known of so many great things to do like the beach, Kennedy Space Center, at Wekiva Springs, etc.

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We had no issues at Disney springs, I was actually surprised at how convenient and easy the parking was. I have to say I’m still very confused by the complaints. However I’m used to Boston driving and traffic, so maybe that’s why I thought it was a breeze. And driving to the parks was super easy, and much better than waiting for a bus in my opinion.

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alwayscleaning, I vaguely remember some sort of documentary I read or saw years ago that explained that Disney gives guests all the transportation they want, from airport to resort to parks to DD (now DS), for the purpose of confining them within the Disney revenue stream.

I’m not understanding why the advice to park at Disney Springs. Unless it’s to save money on the parking. We were there on Christmas day and we got the last parking spot in the parking structure and the construction was a headache. We won’t even go that direction on Epcot Center Drive to avoid the construction and traffic.

However, if it’s to save money on parking, I could see the benefit. The parking does cost a lot of money in the parks. This year we have an annual pass, so my perspective is that driving your own car and parking in the desired park’s parking lot is the best option unless the $22 for parking is too cost prohibitive which I totally understand if it is.

This year I also took the Sunrail from my home in Lake Mary, FL to the Lynx to Disney transportation. Even the Lynx had to go up about a mile and turn around after picking up at the Disney Springs bus stop to avoid the construction. Disney does their construction big scale and the dynamics of the construction, traffic patterns change week to week. I have seen an auto accident near Disney Springs three times out of the last three times since January 4th.

The parking structure at DS is a few hundred feet southeast of the bus pick up, unless you are going to the Saratoga Springs pick up.

It is my understanding you can’t take a Disney bus from Disney Springs directly to a park. As far as I was told at the Saratoga Springs by a cast member you have to take a hotel resort bus to the hotel and then get a bus to the parks from there.

I was going to take the Lynx 303 commuter bus from the Sunrail to Disney Springs then take a bus to Epcot, but decided against it because the busses don’t go directly to the parks so I’m told and they don’t start picking up until 8:30. As one who wants to be at the parks by 8:30 this is not an option.

I’m not an expert in Disney Transportation but this is all what I gathered from all of the forums that I had read and what I was told by the boat employees at Saratoga Springs. By the way, you can’t take a bus from MK transportation center to Disney Springs, and from Epcot to Disney Springs, but not from Disney Springs to those two locations. This would kind of show what Prestoncaldwell is saying that the transportation has a purpose that serves Disney in keeping the guests in the revenue stream by rewarding the hotel residents but not making it easier for those not staying on the resort.

Additionally, Disney Transportation has done little to accommodate the outside transportation entities, I.E. Sunrail or Lynx. The rumor around town is they don’t, like prestoncaldwell said, want to make it easier for guests to go off site away from the revenue stream.

We’ve always just paid the parking and parked at the parks, and economized on other things like not buying souvenirs. We’ve saved parking money by eating off site to save money for the convenience of parking in the desired parks parking lots.

If you are coming into Disney from outside not using the Magic Express or other airport transportation to the parks, I think this is the most efficient.

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We love taking the ferry. It’s another attraction for us, but it sure adds time to your morning.

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@Nicghal the value of a rental car also depends on which resort you are in. While at the Polynesian resort we find the proximity to the monorail and the TTC to be a major plus for transportation. We barely used our rental car while there. Same for our stay at The Beach Club Villas. We only drove to get groceries and to the water parks. Since we are travelling over spring break this trip, the cost of a rental car is awful. We compared the cost of the rental car vs taking 4 Uber rides a day and Uber came out as half the cost and we wouldn’t even use them half the time.

Great point, thanks for mentioning that! We won’t be close to the monorail this trip. We are hitting our favorite resort restaurants for dinners as well as a couple of days at the water parks. I found a great deal on a car rental for our ten days in early May and that has me tempted to rent a car, even though we usually would use the busses and Uber.