Is Free Parking for Overnight Hotel Guests Going Extinct?

Is Free Parking for Overnight Hotel Guests Going Extinct?

Paying to park when staying overnight at a hotel has long been commonplace in heavily populated areas like downtown Chicago, New York City, or San Francisco. Travelers, though, were able to park their vehicles for free at most other locations, though, adding to the savings of driving to their destination. For my family, it also made the decision to rent a car fairly simple as we preferred the convenience of having our own transportation. It appears, however, free parking for overnight hotel guests is disappearing.

Walt Disney World Begins Charging Overnight Guests for Resort ParkingThe latest major announcement when it comes to paid parking was made last week when Walt Disney World announced that most overnight guests at its resorts would now pay a parking fee. The new fees, which will be added to guests’ folios for reservations made on or after March 21, will be:

  • $13 per day at value resorts
  • $19 per day at moderate resorts
  • $24 per day at deluxe resorts
  • $33 per day for valet parking

Parking will still be complimentary for Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members who book a reservation using points or who are staying in a DVC Deluxe Villa as well as those guests staying at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Day guests, those who are simply visiting a resort for a dining reservation or activity, will still be able to park for free for a limited number of hours.

Parking fees are not new to Disney resorts. The hotels at Disneyland Resort in California have been charging parking fees for some time now. As of this writing, guests pay $20 per day to self-park, $25 per day for an oversized vehicle, or $30 for valet parking.

In addition, many hotels in the Orlando area have also been charging for parking for some time. The resorts at Universal Studios Orlando charge anywhere from $12 to $27 per day for overnight guest parking. Guests of the Walt Disney World Swan or Walt Disney World Dolphin hotels, which are not owned by Disney, pay $20 per day to self-park or $30 per day for valet. The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress charges $22 per day to self-park and $31 per day for valet.

Free Parking for Overnight Hotel Guests Becoming a Thing of the Past

This isn’t just happening in Orlando. On a recent visit to Las Vegas, a place where travelers could self-park or valet their cars for free, I discovered that hotels are now charging for parking. MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Mirage, Monte Carlo and New York-New York now charge $15 per day to self-park or $24 for valet parking. Parking at Excalibur and Luxor is now $10 per day for self-park or $16 per day for valet. Most Caesar’s Entertainment properties are now charging $12 per day to self-park or $20 for valet while Caesar’s Palace is now $15 per day to self-park or $23 for valet.

Unfortunately, I see this trend continuing, so if you’re going to have a car on your next vacation, be sure to check to see if your hotel or resort is charging to park and budget accordingly.

 

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