Imagine for a minute if you will. You and your spouse/significant other/pet hamster decide to throw a dinner party. You plan the meal, you make a great Spotify playlist, maybe bought some new programmable lamps to finally use that whole “smart home” thing you bought a few years back. Your friends begin to RSVP. Everyone is stoked for the party and can’t wait. They ask what to bring and as a good host you tell them, “nothing, just yourselves.” The big night arrives and the first guest arrives and before you wave them in and take their coat, you tell them that there is a $20 cover charge. Who the hell does that?
Well—Disney does…kind of.
Last week Disney sent out the following message:
Effective for reservations made March 21, 2018 and thereafter, standard overnight self-parking is available to registered Guests for a fee that will be applied to their hotel folio upon check-out. All parking fees include applicable tax.
- Standard Overnight Parking charges per Resort Category:
- Disney Value Resorts: $13 per night
- Disney Moderate Resorts: $19 per night
- Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts: $24 per night
- Complimentary standard parking is available to Guests staying at Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Each campsite provides parking space for one (1) motorized vehicle.
- Valet Parking: Valet Parking is available at select Disney Deluxe Resorts and Disney Deluxe Villas for $33 per night (sales tax included).
Face it, Disney is not cheap. But this amounts to about a 5% increase in the room rate, for those that drive to the resort.
I understand that the bulk of Disney guests arrive by air and likely do not have a vehicle to park, but for the millions per year who do drive and stay at a Disney resort, this is significant.
Valet parking—I get it. There is a cost involved there with the valet, parking management, etc. I also understand that many hotels in major cities will charge for parking (because parking spaces are scarce and at a premium). Keep in mind, DisneyWorld is built on 47 square MILES of land. They can spare it.
While I guess nothing should surprise me in the travel industry anymore, this one did. Maybe Disney is losing money on the discount they offer Florida residents and need to make it up in other ways. But why take it out on the folks that are supporting your hotels and not just day-tripping?
A 4-night stay without airfare (park hopper pass, lodging, food, etc.) runs about $5000 for a family of four, now Disney is adding $52 to $96 simply to park the car.
My guess is that this may be a short-lived fee on their lengthy list of extras. Time will tell.