Plan for Parking!
Ok so if you’re off property and PARKING then that means you are in a car, either rented or your own (thank you Captain OBVIOUS). It also means you need to plan for parking and for the tram which will be another post this week. IF you’re not sure what time you need to leave your resort by in order to make a dining reservation then you can read my post HERE.
1) When you arrive you will have to pay for parking (unless you have annual passes). At the time this was published (7/2011) You will pay $14.00 – Car/Taxi/Shuttle/Limousine/Motorcycle, $15.00 – Camper/Trailer, $18.00 – Bus/Tractor Trailer. I cant imagine you’d have a camper or bus, but I’ve been wrong before. (Take this into consideration when you’re looking at the cost of a value resort on property vs off property as you’re actually adding $14.00 EVERY DAY to park to the cost).
2) You will then be directed where to park by the parking attendants (who seriously have to have the worst job at WDW! Oh good gracious!). Follow them and don’t be one of those jerks who doesn’t drive alllll the way down the way they are directing you too. Its luck of the draw people.
3) You want to make sure you vent your car some-way, as it gets SMOKIN’ HOT out there! So crack a window a little bit. Make sure you get EVERYTHING you’re going to need out of your car (especially your children and animals) or anything that will melt (we still have melted crayons in ours from a Disney Trip). You do NOT want to have to come back out to the car to get something.
4) Then I would suggest tying SOMETHING on your car to “mark it”. We use a florescent pink ribbon and tie it around the antenna. There are thousands of cars out there and so having something that makes your grey mini-van look different than the other 700 in the parking lot can save you some time (lets be honest, this IS Disney World after all!). This is especially important if you are renting a car as its sometimes easy to forget what the car looks like when its not your own.
5) After that grab you and yours and walk to the FRONT of your car on the path that leads you to the trams (or the walkway to the park if you’re close enough). The parking attendants will go crazy on you if you walk behind the cars because they’re trying to park people and it’s a safety issue.
6. BEFORE you get on the tram get out your camera , or cell phone camera, and TAKE A PICTURE OF YOUR PARKING LOT SPACE (example: See picture at top of post) so you can find your way back at the end of the day. You’ve never been more frustrated in your life then not remembering where the heck you were parked. The good news is if you just do not remember at all then you can tell a parking attendant the approximate time that you arrived and they can check and find out which lot you’re most likely to be in. However, taking a picture of the spot could save you A LOT of time and anxiety. You can also send a text to someone as a back-up in case your cell phone or camera batteries go dead.
Be sure you plan all of this into your travel time, as its much longer than you think it will be. Good luck!