Picking up Preferred Annual Pass - First Day Parking Question

DVCinderella

I'll send you a postcard from Paradise Falls!
Joined
Jan 18, 2002
Hi all...

I have purchased a Preferred Annual Pass, which includes free self-parking, but it states "after first visit". We are staying off US property, so we will be utilizing the self-parking garages. Is there any way to avoid the parking fee on the first day? I know we could find alternate transportation, but probably would not negate the savings. I also see that parking is free after 6pm. I wouldn't mind going on day of arrival in Orlando (after 6pm), just to pick up the passes at Guest Services, so we are ready to hit the ground running the next day. However, is free parking not activated until after your first trip through the park gate? Has anyone picked up their AP on a day they don't intend to go into the parks?

Thanks so much!
 

macraven

Proud Redhead
Moderator
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
For the preferred AP, free parking is a perk after first visit

yes you can go after 6 and activate the ap without parking charges
You could bring another driver with you and have them drop you off and activate your AP in city walk UO guest services

Have the one that drops you off drive down the street and park in the small shopping lot which is near PB
It’s a few minutes away ..

Call them once you activate your AP and come pick you up
 
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holyrita

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
If you are staying on property, can you pick up your annual pass there before you head to the park?
 

DVCinderella

I'll send you a postcard from Paradise Falls!
Joined
Jan 18, 2002
For the preferred AP, free parking is a perk after first visit

yes you can go after 6 and activate the ap without parking charges
You could bring another driver with you and have them drop you off and activate your AP in city walk UO guest services

Have the one that drops you off drive down the street and park in the small shopping lot which is near PB
It’s a few minutes away ..

Call them once you activate your AP and come pick you up
Thank you! I didn't know there was an area in City Walk to pick up the APs. That's great news. I thought I'd have to go all the way to either gate.

So by "activating" the AP after 6pm on Day 1, when we arrive early by car Day 2, will self-parking be free? Or does that still not kick-in until we've been inside US or IOA?
 

gmdubois

Earning My Ears
Joined
May 2, 2021
We had to walk all the way past City Walk and to Islands of Adventure gate to pick up our AP's for the first visit. We thought about dropping someone off and having them pick up the passes and walking back out, then parking in the garage and everyone walking back in but that would have taken at least an extra hour and we wanted to maximize our time the first day since we flew in that day with kids. We just bit the bullet and paid for the first day of parking.

Other option is to take a hotel shuttle (if your hotel offers it) to the park on first day but we had not checked into the hotel yet and just wanted to get into the park on our schedule.
 

ClapYourHands

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 2, 2018
For the preferred AP, free parking is a perk after first visit

yes you can go after 6 and activate the ap without parking charges
You could bring another driver with you and have them drop you off and activate your AP in city walk UO guest services

Have the one that drops you off drive down the street and park in the small shopping lot which is near PB
It’s a few minutes away ..

Call them once you activate your AP and come pick you up
What if you have an active lower level pass, and then upgrade? Is it considered active from the you get the new card because you’ve already used your AP? I am contemplating upgrading from seasonal to preferred at the hotel-based guest services desk (seriously this was so fast when we upgraded from dated tickets to seasonal AP), and I’d like to avoid having to go through the turnstiles before getting free parking.
 
  • PrincessPiperMommy

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 24, 2009
    What if you have an active lower level pass, and then upgrade? Is it considered active from the you get the new card because you’ve already used your AP? I am contemplating upgrading from seasonal to preferred at the hotel-based guest services desk (seriously this was so fast when we upgraded from dated tickets to seasonal AP), and I’d like to avoid having to go through the turnstiles before getting free parking.
    I would love to know this as well.
     

    ClapYourHands

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 2, 2018
    I would love to know this as well.
    So I did this last week, and I was told I had to activate at the park before free parking would kick in.
    We took the bus to the park, and as we were going through City Walk, my son realized he forgot his pass and we had to go back to the hotel for it. Since we were there, I activated the pass before we left, but the TM was VERY confused when I scanned my passs and fingerprint and then turned around and walked away. When we returned in the car, I had no trouble with free parking.
     

    MarcIsMe

    Not the Grand Poobah
    Joined
    Nov 30, 2017
    Two options/opinions, when I activated my annual pass we we’re staying at Disney so I had my wife drive me over and drop me off in the Uber/Lyft line and she waited there until I walked to IOA and activated it. A possible quicker solution would be to have someone drive you to one of the hotels and activate it at the customer service desk. If traffic is light, they can probably idle in the traffic circle or make a lap. There is always the show up after six option and use the park ticket window or CityWalk’s (seems to be slow in the evenings).
     


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