Waiting is a typical part of any theme park experience. You probably expect to wait in lines for rides, food, or merchandise, but there may be a wait you haven’t thought about.
If you plan to drive to Disney World, you may anticipate simply parking your car and walking into a Disney Park. Easy peasy. But if you want to be inside a Disney Park as quickly as possible, there’s a wait you might not have considered.
On a visit to Magic Kingdom this morning, we waited in line before even entering the Magic Kingdom parking lot. Depending on the time of day you arrive to a Disney Park, you may find a long wait to park. Mornings tend to have a longer wait than other times of day.
It took us 30 minutes JUST to make it to the Magic Kingdom toll plaza. It can feel extra frustrating to sit in traffic with the excitement that you’re SO close to a Disney Park. A wait like this is often impacted by the morning crowds, so you may not experience this if you arrive later in the day. You may also see this kind of traffic on a holiday, but not always! But it is something to be prepared for in advance.
And if you’re driving and have a dining reservation, you probably want to factor in the wait time just for getting into a parking lot of a Disney Park in order to make your reservation on time. Disney will generally give you a 15 minute grace period for dining reservations and you can explain your situation upon arrival. They will do their best to assist you. You may be able to reach out to guest services to see if they can transfer you to the restaurant so you can let them know that. you are running late. But this can be a hassle and you may encounter long hold times.
See a list of useful Disney World phone numbers here.
When you consider parking, walking to the Transportation & Ticket Center (since parking trams are still not operating), getting through security, and then waiting for either the monorail or the ferry boat just to get to the Magic Kingdom entrance gates, the time can add up. Generally speaking, the wait times and crowd levels tend to be higher in the morning.
While this kind of traffic buildup doesn’t always happen, those of you driving into Disney World may want to plan for some wait times for parking lots just in case! Stay tuned to DFB for all your news and tips for all things Disney World!
Read more about Disney World dining reservations here!
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Have you ever had a long wait to get into a Disney World parking lot? Let us know in the comments!
You mention calling the restaurant if you’re running late for a reservation. Have you done this?? How does one call a wdw restaurant? Even a call to the reservation line results in a hour on hold – or more. Was that good advice, or am I missing something?
How are the waits at Epcot around 11 AM? If I have a reservation at the Swan am I better off parking at the hotel and walking to the international gateway?
DFB Sarah says
Rory, we reported on our experience at EPCOT in June. This post might give you a little more insight as to what crowds are like at the Park’s entrances.
DFB Sarah says
Joe, thanks for reaching out. It’s possible to call Guest Services and have them transfer you, but it would likely be a pain. An editor is reworking that information in the post. Thanks, again.
Is this normal and the way it was pre-pandemic? Or, are there more guests arriving but not staying at a Disney resort and utilizing Disney transportation. The numbers from Disney are very confusing when you factor in that attendance is restricted to 30% capacity. I can’t imagine what the lines would be like at 60-70-80-100% levels.