Parking tips at IOA / Universal?!

Discussion in 'Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure Forums' started by krismom, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. krismom

    krismom <font color=blue>New Rule:<br><marquee><font color

    Mar 12, 2004
    C'mon everyone- help me out here... I'm going to both parks (1 day each) with my four kids, two strollers and a reluctant husband. I am worried about the huge trek I've heard about from the parking areas to the parks. Is there any inside info I haven't uncovered. I won't tell the Theme Parks Board people if you have a scam um, I mean tip for me!
    Since we're friends now... do you have any other tips for us first timers?

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  3. Snoopymom

    Snoopymom DIS Veteran

    Oct 27, 2003
    No tip, but I think for about $4 or $5 more you can take an immediate left after you go through the ticket booth and it's closer, but not sure how much closer.

    With that many, I'd get there as early as possible and stop at the cinnamon bun place to eat, regroup, apply sunscreen, etc. Good luck!

    (Compared to MK with the huge parking lot, tram and monorail to get there, I thought parking and walking to the Univ parks was a breeze, plus it's covered with moving sidewalks and happy music. There's an elevator right by the escalator if you happen to be on the lower deck.)
  4. coastergirls

    coastergirls Mouseketeer

    Jan 30, 2006
    I didn't think that the prefered parking took you any nearer to the parks. The only differenece I felt was that you were on the same floor as the walkways you didn't have to go down escalators or lifts. In fact sometimes felt we were further along that floor than if we had done non prefered and been a floor or 2 up.
    There is another car park that brings you out onto the central area where the toilets are and it appeared nearer but still haven't figured out how you get into them.
    You could always to Valet parking!!
  5. Sylvester McBean

    Sylvester McBean Foo Fighter

    Jan 21, 2006
    preferred parking isn't worth it. but like Snoopymom said, it's not bad at all. in the center court there's restrooms and a place to buy snacks or drinks on your way in or out.
  6. phamton

    phamton The Other Orlando Themepark Moderator

    Jul 20, 2002
    Valet parking gets you the closest.
  7. Motherfletcher

    Motherfletcher <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=peach

    Sep 18, 2003
    DH may be reluctant to this tip too. The earlier you get there the closer you you will be to the the walkway corridors (spokes) that lead to the hub, i.e. if you are the 4th car in line when they open the parking garage you will be parked 4 spaces away from the elevator. The parking garages contain over a million square feet of parking and the far corner of the parking garage can be very far from the elevator. I say elevator because you will be pushing strollers, there is also escalators and moving sidewalks. Phamton is right that valet is approximately a quarter mile closer. Syl McBean is right that preferred parking has no advantages.
  8. Tandyc

    Tandyc Disney brings out the kid in me!

    Jan 17, 2003
    How much is it? How do you access it? What is the charge for regualr parking? Thanks for the info.

  9. Sylvester McBean

    Sylvester McBean Foo Fighter

    Jan 21, 2006
    regular parking is $9.00 per day before 6pm. valet parking is $16.00 plus tip. just follow the signs.
  10. MO Disney cruiser

    MO Disney cruiser DIS Veteran

    Aug 2, 2002
    I know this probably won't help, but the handicap parking is wonderful.
  11. robvia

    robvia <font color=red>DIS Veteran<br><font color=indigo>

    May 7, 2001
    I have a few insider tips, these are legal. New people won't understand, but those who know the parking garage will.

    The parking garage is like those found at airports. When you drive in, a person will direct you where to park. They start at the spot closest to the elevators, and then the cars fill a row before they start another. If you end up at the very end of a row, it's a far walk. If that happens, just wait 10 minutes for everyone else to park and walk past your car. Now pretend you forgot something like your wallet at the hotel room. Pull your car out, and head towards the exit. But wait, you just found it, ok, get back in line and park, this time much closer to the elevators in the new row.

    If you leave the park, go back to your hotel, then come back later in the day, you'll end up at the very end of the parking garage. Ooops, you left your wallet in the hotel room again. Drive towards the exit, but wait, there's your wallet on the floor. Ok, just before the ramp leading down, there is a return to parking row. Take it, and there will be a bunch of empty spaces from people who have left for the day. Park, and you'll be right in front of the elevator near the atrium.
  12. Mpet

    Mpet Mouseketeer

    Feb 28, 2002
    Valet Parking sounds good. I've used preferred before, but it can still be quite a trek - even longer on the way back!

    How does Valet Parking work? Is theremuch of a wait when you exit the parks to get your car back?

    mpet :thumbsup2
  13. challada

    challada <font color=teal>I believe in <font color=deeppink

    May 30, 2001
    I don't remember valet parking...I do remember the preferred being a rip-off. Based on how the parking garage sits, it makes me think that the valet service must be offered in a different area all together than the parking structure....can someone spell out the valet parking for me? it at the hotels? do I pull up to the standard parking hut and say "hey, will you valet park my car?"? is the $16 for the whole day?

  14. lindalinda

    lindalinda <font color=red>Pull off the mattress and throw it

    Nov 16, 2005
    there are separate signs that lead you to valet parking, you just follow them, its very easy. They put you at an escalator that takes you up to citywalk area, and its a very short walk in from there. After the park closes you may have a short wait ( It never bothered me) for your turn to get your car. I have done this several times, and as I get nervous when I dont know where I am going , trust me when I say its very simple to do. If I wasnt staying on-site I would do it every time.
  15. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead

    Apr 21, 2003
    if you have the handicap placard, show it to the attendant as you are directed to enter into the garage on the left.

    or that how it was for me and less of a walk when i drove that one time.
  16. A Mickeyfan

    A Mickeyfan DIS Veteran

    May 31, 2000
    :thumbsup2 I have done this.. not the one in the morning, but the one later in the day.
  17. Rubbertops

    Rubbertops Mouseketeer

    Oct 13, 2005
    what do you tip the valet?
  18. bazzanoid

    bazzanoid where'sthespacebar?

    Jan 11, 2006
    I'd also like to know - i'm considering valet parking next time we go :goodvibes:
  19. Metro West

    Metro West <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=blue> Moderator

    Apr 12, 2005
    I went with a friend last fall and I think he tipped the valet $4.00 but I'm not sure. I don't know what the "standard" rate is but I don't think $4.00 or $5.00 is unreasonable...but that's just me. ;)
  20. horseshowmom

    horseshowmom DIS Veteran

    Jul 21, 2000
    We used the valet parking when we were there last November and went into City Walk. I had always seen the valet parking but couldn't figure out how to get there. In November, we found it by accident. Now I'm trying to remember again how we got to it.

    We thought it was well worth it. We did the preferred parking in June '06, and it can really be a long walk at the end of a long day.

    I think DH tipped $3 or $4. We did have to wait a little while, but it was because it was a weekend, and they had a hugh City Walk crowd at closing.
  21. Dismom+two

    Dismom+two <font color=purple>Dh and I always refer to it as

    Nov 21, 2005
    I have a parking question. Is there a one time parking fee for the day?? For example, if we head back to the hotel for a break and then come back again, are we all set for parking or do we have to pay AGAIN?? :confused3

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