Parking Lot Trams

jjb1974

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Parking is a gold mine for every event, as upkeep for surface lots is miniscule, property taxes are typically lower because there's nothing "improved" on the property like a building, and few people live within walking distance or where there is transport available (public transit options in lieu of parking at the event). It is truly the "soda at the movie theater" for special events, just so much profit so little recurring cost. It's toughest in an urban market where there is competition (park in this lot for $10, park in this lot for $20, etc), at its best when you're not in the urban market and you control everything (think of sports stadiums and the acres of parking surrounding them, with no other use for the land). Asphalt is cheap and doesn't have to be applied frequently, especially when you've got a lot of cars doing the hard work of sheltering said asphalt from the sun for you.

Disney has it even better than the typical example because a) they own all the lots, so every parking dollar is a dollar to them; b)lower property taxes as the lots aren't in a downtown or otherwise congested area where taxes would be higher; and c) they get to use them 365 days a year (even the most busy downtown parking lot has off days/weekends). Every dime they don't put into parking amenities is just pure profit. And if they can get a few people to pay preferred and not have the cost/upkeep of a tram and those pesky employees, well....just that much closer to paying off the debt on some other item in the portfolio.
 

Marionnette

Children see magic because they look for it
Joined
Sep 26, 2009
How much is preferred parking? My daughter has additional needs and tires easily but not enough to receive a disability badge in the UK. Although I would hope the trams are back operational by the time we are allowed in the country.
Tell the CM that you need "medical" parking and they should direct you to an area that is closer. We did this when my brother-in-law hurt his knee after we arrived in Orlando and ended up on crutches. We had his paperwork from the ER but never needed to show it. The parking spots are closer but they are not HA spaces.

Preferred parking is $20-$25 on top of the regular parking fee, so that would be $45 - $50 per day for preferred theme park parking. :faint:
 

shawthorne44

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 12, 2021
Just checking something. Are on-site people charged for park parking also? I knew off-site were, but that had been that way for a few years.
 
  • Zeebs

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 8, 2007
    Tell the CM that you need "medical" parking and they should direct you to an area that is closer. We did this when my brother-in-law hurt his knee after we arrived in Orlando and ended up on crutches. We had his paperwork from the ER but never needed to show it. The parking spots are closer but they are not HA spaces.

    Preferred parking is $20-$25 on top of the regular parking fee, so that would be $45 - $50 per day for preferred theme park parking. :faint:
    thank you, we valet parked at the contemporary for our breakfast and then, with the valet peoples blessing, toddled off to the Magic Kingdom that was a good day.
     

    MrsPete

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 24, 2002
    I probably walked 75% off the time when trams were available. …as usually it was faster. (Sometimes it would be a race with family for who can get there first)
    You chose to walk ... fair enough. Honestly, I'd probably walk too. But for $25/day I expect the tram to be available for people who want to use it.

    Again, premium price should reflect premium service.
     

    luv2cheer92

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2012
    You chose to walk ... fair enough. Honestly, I'd probably walk too. But for $25/day I expect the tram to be available for people who want to use it.

    Again, premium price should reflect premium service.
    I've just never even thought the price for parking meant I was getting a tram ride with it. Like, other parks charge just as much for parking and never offer it. That's just never even crossed my mind.
     

    shawthorne44

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2021
    Trams are standard at amusement parks. Note, considering the recent changes I think WDW is downgraded to an amusement park. But even if you don't agree, a theme park should be at least as good as an amusement park. The reason it is standard is that a) everyone is going to the same location unlike downtown parking b) people aren't all arriving and leaving at the same time unlike arenas and c) when inside the location people walk-walk-walk and that makes the parking lot walk miserable.
     
  • MainMom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2011
    I wonder how many people have never ridden a tram at WDW? I've been going since 1982 and in all that time have never ridden a tram from a parking lot to a park. I say from parking lot to park because I did ride the ones in MGM when they had the back lot tours. To be fair, I stay on property and use Disney transportation but I did stay off property once and I have driven to parks twice while staying on property.
    I’ve never ridden one. Always stayed in property and used wdw transportation. We stayed offsite in January and rented a car, but 1. Teams weren’t running & 2. We got there early enough that we were usually front row parking.
     

    goofyernmost

    Aged to Perfection
    Joined
    Oct 8, 2002
    I've just never even thought the price for parking meant I was getting a tram ride with it. Like, other parks charge just as much for parking and never offer it. That's just never even crossed my mind.
    How often do you park in parking lots as big as the one at TTC. I cannot walk that far but don't qualify for a Handicapped card. It never even crossed my mind that they would be so inconsiderate to not offer a ride to the Transportation center. I am still hoping that it is only temporary and will start up again. It might be a tad harder to find qualified drivers.
     

    shalom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 7, 2010
    Like, other parks charge just as much for parking and never offer it.
    The price isn't the point. I've gotten a tram ride with free parking. I don't think I've ever been anywhere with lots the size of Disney's that don't offer tram rides -- Dollywood does, for example. SeaWorld and Universal in Orlando likely don't offer trams because SeaWorld's parking lot is smaller than the lots at WDW, while Universal uses parking garages so people don't have to walk as far.

    Plus WDW is an unusual park because it attracts more entire families, including grandparents, and more retired people. Universal's broadened their appeal somewhat, but it's still not the family park you take grandma to, and not somewhere most people would haul their toddlers and littles to either. I'm guessing trams are more common in places catering to the older and slower, and to families of littles.
     

    bsmcneil

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 22, 2006
    The price isn't the point. I've gotten a tram ride with free parking. I don't think I've ever been anywhere with lots the size of Disney's that don't offer tram rides -- Dollywood does, for example. SeaWorld and Universal in Orlando likely don't offer trams because SeaWorld's parking lot is smaller than the lots at WDW, while Universal uses parking garages so people don't have to walk as far.

    Plus WDW is an unusual park because it attracts more entire families, including grandparents, and more retired people. Universal's broadened their appeal somewhat, but it's still not the family park you take grandma to, and not somewhere most people would haul their toddlers and littles to either. I'm guessing trams are more common in places catering to the older and slower, and to families of littles.
    I would nudge you a little bit about language and perception and maybe it's not a big deal. But - part of my interest and affinity for WDW has been because it has often exceeded expectations around accessibility. There are many people who benefit from greater accessibility but often companies feel they're too small to bear the costs - but (from my limited experience over the past couple of decades) Disney was able to bear the costs (likely because they're a larger company) and also chose to do more than the minimum, which is how it received strong customer loyalty from many people - but definitely from many families where there were different accessibility needs (so, beyond the "older grandparents/retired people" which I realize is a small quibble with what you said). It's not just that they made things accessible at a minimum - but that people with disabilities (myself included) felt welcomed. Seemingly small things to some people - like a tram - mean a lot to other people and I'm glad you and others recognize that!
     

    luv2cheer92

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2012
    The price isn't the point. I've gotten a tram ride with free parking. I don't think I've ever been anywhere with lots the size of Disney's that don't offer tram rides -- Dollywood does, for example. SeaWorld and Universal in Orlando likely don't offer trams because SeaWorld's parking lot is smaller than the lots at WDW, while Universal uses parking garages so people don't have to walk as far.

    Plus WDW is an unusual park because it attracts more entire families, including grandparents, and more retired people. Universal's broadened their appeal somewhat, but it's still not the family park you take grandma to, and not somewhere most people would haul their toddlers and littles to either. I'm guessing trams are more common in places catering to the older and slower, and to families of littles.
    The cost sure seemed to be a factor in the person I specifically quoted.
    Not sure how else to interpret, "For $25 I expect a tram"
     

    Marionnette

    Children see magic because they look for it
    Joined
    Sep 26, 2009
    The MK parking lot (by a quick google search) is 125 acres. I’m not sure why the importance of trams is even debatable for a 125 acre, concrete, non shaded place, in central Florida.
    Because some people think that nothing Disney does (or neglects) is a negative.

    Expecting guests to traverse an asphalt desert in the heat of a Florida summer was unconscionable. I don't understand how anyone can justify it or dismiss concerns that people have.
     


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