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Old 09-03-2013, 04:31 PM   #1
maplesuga
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Question Parking for Downtown Disney

My sister and I are going to Orlando for a quickie weekend in about 2 weeks, and I have a question about parking for Downtown Disney.

I understand the parking is free, however with all the renos, they've closed three of the lots. As we'll be there no earlier than 5 on a Saturday, I expect the lots to be pretty busy, and parking to be particularly bad.

The last time I went (last year) we stayed at Port Orleans, and took the ferry over. I spoke with someone at the resort, and she said they can give us a 3-hour parking pass, but if we take the ferry, we may not get back in time.

We'll be staying off property, and renting a car this time, but I'm afraid of the parking situation at Downtown Disney. If I park at Port Orleans, and miss the 3-hour return window, am I likely to be towed? I recall from last year that the lots were basically empty (we went down there the same time last year), so it's not like resort guests will be upset at a lost spot.

If it makes a difference, we'll be going to the Magic Kingdom the following day and paying for parking - in fact, if it's easier I would be completely happy to pay for parking at one of the parks and take a bus or some other Disney transportation if that was an option, but I understand that there are no direct buses between Downtown Disney and the parks. We could take a cab, but we're Canadian and won't have a cell phone down there, so we can't really call a cab to come and get us at the end of the night either. Additionally, the cab is $20+ both ways (figured it out on an online fare calculator).

Any insight would be helpful. I want to be clear: I'm not trying to get "free" parking, and would even be happy to pay for parking at another park, or the resort. What I'm trying to do is avoid the massive anxiety of a full Downtown Disney lot at prime dinner time, in a city I hardly know (ie - can't take the bus, don't know of any "close by" options, etc.,).
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Old 09-03-2013, 05:01 PM   #2
DeborahA
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I will testify to the fact that parking can be difficult at certain times of the day. We try not to park there if we can help it. Taking a bus from a resort is the best option for us. If we can get there early enough---before 5--we will drive over and park, otherwise no. We were there a few weeks ago and the only parking available was at the very end--near Cirque. That is a long walk if you want to be at the Marketplace. This may be the only option if you are staying off property. Another idea may be to pay to park at one of the non-Disney resorts and walk over.
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Old 09-03-2013, 05:16 PM   #3
dholmes1950
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Saratoga Springs Resort is walking distance to Downtown Disney. From the section called Congress Park you just walk around the end of the waterway, turn right at the road and follow the sidewalk directly to DD Marketplace.

You can enter the resort by telling them you are having dinner there or possibly make arrangements ahead of time with the resort.

Just an idea.
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Old 09-03-2013, 05:43 PM   #4
Babooagain
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Hello fellow Canadian! When we were there last week they had alternate parking available. We parked at the Disney Team Headquarters and there were shuttle buses waiting to take us over to the west side. We walked over to the Marketplace but you can take the boat from one end to the other. The shuttle ran until 3 am so you don't have to be worried about being stranded.
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Old 09-03-2013, 05:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dholmes1950 View Post
Saratoga Springs Resort is walking distance to Downtown Disney. From the section called Congress Park you just walk around the end of the waterway, turn right at the road and follow the sidewalk directly to DD Marketplace.

You can enter the resort by telling them you are having dinner there or possibly make arrangements ahead of time with the resort.

Just an idea.
The CP walkway may be closed due to construction; check first.

SSR also has a boat to DTD. It's a short ride
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dholmes1950 View Post
Saratoga Springs Resort is walking distance to Downtown Disney. From the section called Congress Park you just walk around the end of the waterway, turn right at the road and follow the sidewalk directly to DD Marketplace.

You can enter the resort by telling them you are having dinner there or possibly make arrangements ahead of time with the resort.

Just an idea.
No, that won't work either. OP, just park at the end of the Westside lot.
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:19 AM   #7
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If the parking lots are full there are signs directing you to park across the street where the casting building is located. You need to cross the street to get to Downtown Disney, but this will be a lot more convenient and faster for you than trying to park at a hotel and then make your way to Downtown Disney.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:01 AM   #8
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I've been at Disney for the past two weekends and driving through DTD on Saturday nights is a miserable mess. I was stuck in traffic there for 40 minutes last Saturday. There is parking across the street but people don't follow the signs and think they will find a way in to the few remaining lots so they just stay in the lanes and don't move. It is HORRID!!!!!!!

Ok, we all know there are people here who will tell you that parking someplace else and taking up a spot in that resort's lot will inconvenience paying guests. I say do what you are comfortable with. I know that there are many places to park at DTD resorts that never get filled with guests cars.

If you are going to spend all of your time worrying about your car being towed then don't park it in a resort lot. 99% of the time nothing will happen. Do you want to take a chance?

Maybe you could go to citiwalk after 6 instead and have free parking in the garage?
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:16 PM   #9
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we all know there are people here who will tell you that parking someplace else and taking up a spot in that resort's lot will inconvenience paying guests. I say do what you are comfortable with.
a big problem there is that if one person is allowed, why shouldn't the thousands of other visitors be? at most WDW resorts (where resort guests are paying for the lot maintenance, guards/shack, etc in their room rate), non-resort guests are simply not permitted parking to visit a park/DTD (hence, the 3-hour parking permit - & yes, they do tow cars).

OP: if you need a cab while at any of the parks or DTD, go to guest relations - they will be able to call/help you.

have fun
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:42 PM   #10
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Parking during the day at DTD?

Can anyone give me their thoughts on parking during the daytime...say between noon and two midweek at the DTD lots?

We are driving into Orlando the two days before our Fantasy cruise and I need to activate an annual pass so that everything on our Magic Bands is in place for our stay after the cruise. Disney is not in the plans precruise other than maybe a meal at DTD when I activate these passes.

Do you think that parking will be an issue?

Thanks,

Deb
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Old 09-04-2013, 02:23 PM   #11
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Your best option would be to park by Cirque and use the guest relations window at Disney Quest. That way you wouldn't have to worry so much about time. I stood in the line at the other Guest relations a few weeks ago for 45 minutes. I've never seen a line by DQ. But during weekdays the parking hasn't been too bad.
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Old 09-04-2013, 02:42 PM   #12
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You can park at Port Orleans and take the ferry to DTD and take as long as you need. I do it every trip because parking at DTD is impossible. They don't actually give you any kind of 3 hour pass. Nobody is going to tow you. They don't know how long those cars have been sitting there. The parking lot at POR is never full when we go there. We will be doing this twice next trip.
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Old 09-04-2013, 03:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debandbill View Post
Can anyone give me their thoughts on parking during the daytime...say between noon and two midweek at the DTD lots?

We are driving into Orlando the two days before our Fantasy cruise and I need to activate an annual pass so that everything on our Magic Bands is in place for our stay after the cruise. Disney is not in the plans precruise other than maybe a meal at DTD when I activate these passes.

Do you think that parking will be an issue?

Thanks,

Deb
No problem on any day other than Saturday evening. We were there the last 2 weeks and went on a Wednesday and a Friday and there was plenty of parking in Entrance 2 at lunchtime until 2pm (near the original Pleasure Island entrance, T-Rex, etc.)
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:22 PM   #14
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Do they have valet parking available at anytime during the day at DTD?
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:46 AM   #15
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So, which lot(s) are actually closed for the construction?

I have family traveling to Disney next month for the very first time.Half of them checking in on a Sunday at ASMo, the other half staying off site for one night and checking in on Monday.

They are all planning on going to DTD on that Sunday. Would like to be able to advise them if it would be better to take the bus or drive over.

I think they are planning on DQ and then dinner at Planet Hollywood that evening.
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