Parking at World Showcase

We have a dinner reservation at Monsieur Paul, and will be coming there from elsewhere that afternoon. In the Unofficial Guide, it recommends parking Yacht or Beach club, which sounds great, but when I called, they said that their parking lots are for guests, and they prefer us to park at the main Epcot lot.
Has anyone parked at the hotels near the international gateway? Will there be cast members telling us to move our car? How much time will I be saving parking at the hotels? We are staying at a different Disney resort, does that matter? Our reservation is at 8:15, so most of the throngs for Illuminations should be gone by the time we finish with dinner.

This is always a “dicy” question that frequently brings about “lively” discussion. The “correct” answer is no, you are not supposed to park in the BW/BC/YC lots unless you are either staying there or are eating at one of the restaurants. That being said, a number of people have done it and said that they had no issues. It might just be who’s on duty at any given time. It is reported regularly that during F&W those resort are very strict about non-guests parking there.

During certain times of year, I have had to show them reservation number for the hotel or ADR confirmation number to be able to get in the lot.

If you are trying to avoid a lot of walking, you can park at the Studios, take the Friendship to Epcot (about 25 min) and walk right in International Gateway.

You can say you are eating at beaches n cream

Yep. You can pretty much bank on that during Food and Wine time. Saying you want to go to the EPSN Club, one of the lounges, or walk-up to one of the restaurants doesn’t cut it.

Now of course valet parking at one of the hotels is always a possibility. I don’t think there is a guests/ADRs only policy, and you can stay there for as long as you want (probably NOT overnight without an additional charge).Costs a bit more than the main EP parking lot, but it may be worth it to you for the convenience.

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Something that would be neat to check… I don’t have my TIW paperwork in front of me, but you get free valet parking if you use TIW. So if you were using TIW in France but had valet parked the car at, say, the Boardwalk, would they still honor it?

Anyone ever tried that?

In that situation, I would probably just use Disney transportation to get TO EP, and then use either Disney transportation or a cab to get back to your own resort. I’ll be eating at MP on my next trip, but I planned it for a day when I was going to be in EP for the whole day…

I called, and they said that valet is also only for the resort. I didn’t want to ask if they will actually check when we pull up. We are going next week (week of Aug 18), so it’s not a peak season, but still not exactly the week after labor day. I really don’t know what to do, because we don’t want to waste time driving to the resort and then having to go all the way around to the main entrance.

I have been turned away from the EPCOT (2011 F&W) and monorail resorts (New Years Eve 2011, Memorial Day weekend 2013) during peak times, even when I made it clear I wanted to pay to valet park. Not having a room key or a reservation number meant I couldn’t get in the gate. Some of the Twitter-grumps I follow have reported similar hard-closings intermittently all summer long.

If you’re talking about next week, though, I think you’d have better than even odds valet parking at the Boardwalk. Outside of F&W time or Christmas week, I’ve never been asked to show a dining reservation number. Pro-tips: have your cover story straight say up front exactly what you’re going to do, i.e. “I’m going for dinner at the Flying Fish” or “I’m going to the ESPN Club” and make it clear you want to valet park. Be courteous to the guard and act like you own the place. I’m history’s greatest parking monster and these tips have always served me well.

For Tables users, I doubt using the card outside of the hotel where you’re parking is going to cut it. However, order a club soda or something from a bar where you are parking, making sure you tip the bartender an extra $1 or so for his or her trouble in running your card, and that will be more than enough.

I called the Boardwalk, and they said that as long as we are staying at a Disney Resort, we can park there with no trouble. So we might just do that, since it appears to be closer to the World showcase than the main Epcot lot.

I’ve parked at the Boardwalk times when I was and was not dining there and walked into Epcot from there. However, I’ve also been turned away from that parking lot when it was full, even though I was staying at another Disney resort. This happened in March, 2013 during a busy time, but not not the busiest time of year, so just be aware that it’s possible that you’ll end up having to park somewhere else.

Another thing to consider is that the Boardwalk parking lot is a ways from the entrance to the resort and then you still have to walk the rest of the way to the park entrance. It’s still a little closer than parking in the main lot if you’re headed to the France pavilion, but not a tremendous time saver.

I think by the time you park at BWI and walk to France, you honestly wont have saved yourself much time versus parking in the epcot parking lot and walking to france… and the BW option is potentially a hassle. If it were me, I’d just park at Epcot.

Take a look at the park on google maps. The epcot parking lot is not that much farther at all when you look at the walking paths and everything.

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Having the same issue, finishing a day at Epcot with dinner at Kouzzina. Not trying to avoid the main lot, just know I won’t be able to get back to my car. The TiW valet thing only works up to 3 hours right?

Another contentious thing, that I think really isn’t.

In something like 15 years of having Tables in Wonderland and whatever it used to be named, having used it many dozen times for free parking, I’ve never once had an attendant give me static for staying more than three hours. Being history’s greatest parking monster, if I start the day at the Grand Floridian Cafe or the Wave, I’ll valet park and leave my car there all day in most cases. I wouldn’t worry at all.

I’ve never parked in the Epcot lot. Mostly because Epcot is a night time park for me and I spend all my time in WS. I have no desire to try to get out after Illuminations with the masses. Therefore, BWV is my go-to parking lot. I would do BC since it is closer, but I enjoy meandering around the BW after EP closes.
(Edit) this is when I drive, which I rarely do in WDW. Mostly if I’m just in EP for a day trip

The other day my husband and I were talking, and we realized that Epcot is the only parking lot that we enjoy parking in for the parks because it is the only one where it doesn’t seem to be a pain to walk in and then isn’t a pain to drive out from. The Studios is a pain to drive in and out of, Animal Kingdom just seems like even the closest parking spots are far enough that a tram ride is a must, and parking at Magic Kingdom…well, you know.

In the main, I’d agree, except during peak times when one is exiled to the far eastern end. During summer, it can also be kind of ugly to hike down to the end of a row as there’s no shade or even any grass to break up the pavement.

Animal Kingdom parking appears to have been laid out by Joe Rohde when he was a)at the height of his infatuation with M.C. Escher and b)on a serious acid trip to that each parking spot is at minimum 2.5 miles from the front gate. I found this out when I was trying to walk stagger back to my car +5 after the Expedition Everest Challenge (my second 5K of the day). I believe I was shouting invented vulgarities by then.

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We have done it before. But it can be hard to make it back in your 3 hours. We ate at Le Cellier once and didn’t make it back in the 3 hours, had to pay. At at Chefs once and did make it back, did not have to pay. IMO its not worth the rushing back to the car to save the $20

I don’t think it really matters about the time thing because I have parked at CR for 8 or more hours and gone to get my car at the end of the night and not paid for parking with my receipt.