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How to Park at Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida for Free

Going to Disney World can get pretty expensive. Aside from the admission, food, drinks, souvenirs, hotel stay and car rental, you must also pay for parking if you are not staying at a Disney Resort. Although there are a few other places that offer free parking, like Downtown Disney for example, the simplest and most effective secret is to go to Disney's Boardwalk.

It is easy to follow the directional signs leading to the Boardwalk when entering onto Walt Disney World's property. Once you arrive at the Boardwalk, you will have to go through a security guard. All they want, is to see your ID or Driver's License. If they do ask where you are heading, just state you are going to grab a bite to eat or are checking in to the hotel (the Swan and Dolphin Hotel). Don't park at any other hotels at Disney (unless you are actually staying there of course). Other Disney Hotels validate your parking, which is only good for a short period, about an hour to be exact. The Boardwalk is the best place to park because they do not validate -- at least not during the holidays.

Once you have passed through the gate there is a parking lot to the left and the right. It does not matter which one you park in, but if the lot to the right is open park there. You will have less of a walk.

Disney's Hollywood Studios
After you park, walk over the small bridge then follow the roadway leading to the East of the Swan and Dolphin Hotel, heading towards the Disney Shuttle Bus Stop. All you need is some patience. Just wait for a shuttle that is going to the park of your choice and hop on -- free of charge. If you are heading to Hollywood Studios (formally MGM Studios) walk through the Swan and Dolphin Hotel, on the opposite side is the Boardwalk. There, they have a dock where you can wait for a Ferry that takes you directly to Hollywood Studios.

Disney Bus
These buses come every 7 minutes and commute all around the Disney property. Speed up your wait by talking to the driver of the first bus you see, even if your chosen destination is not displayed on the LED screen above the windshield on the front of the bus. The bus drivers have many stops, and most likely, the theme park you are going to is on their route. Sometimes the park may not be in their first couple of stops, but, if it's hot, at least the buses are air-conditioned.

Disney's Blizzard Beach
You may also park for free at either of the water parks (Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach), which have open parking and no gate or guard. Again, once you have parked, walk to the bus stop near the water park's entrance and wait for a shuttle. One drawback though: The water parks are only open until about 5 PM. Closing times fluctuate during the season, so be sure to check the Disney's Calendar for park hours on their website (see resources for the link). If you plan to stay for half the day or so, this is a great alternative.

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