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Top Tips to Make the Most of your Downtown Disney Visit at Walt Disney World Resort

Darcy Clark

by , Disney Springs Marketing Manager

Earlier this year, we announced Disney Springs, the exciting, multi-year transformation of Downtown Disney. If you’ve visited recently, you know that our expansion has officially begun. While we’ve been getting a lot of questions, one of the most popular topics seems to be parking: Will we have more spots? Where will they be located? And where should guests park in the meantime? Read on, because I’ve got answers …

Yes, more parking is coming! The best part: parking will continue to be complimentary. Work recently started on the first of two multi-level parking garages; it is expected to be complete in late 2014 near AMC Theatres and Splitsville Luxury Lanes. A second garage, closer to World of Disney, is set to open in 2016. Additionally, we’ll continue to offer surface parking.

Visiting Soon? (I hope so – because right now, you can enjoy over 70 venues filled with ways to delight you day and night!). I’ve got a few tips to help you make the most of your experience:

  • If you’re staying at a Disney Resort, leave the driving to us! When I’m a Disney Resort hotel guest, I love that someone else does the driving for me.
  • If you have tickets or reservations, arrive early – 60 minutes prior to your show time or reservation, just to be safe.
  • If you’re driving, here are a few ‘must-knows’:
    1. We’ve added additional parking options that will come in handy most Fridays, Saturdays and holidays – you can follow the signs to plentiful parking in the SunTrust and Casting Building lots across the street from Downtown Disney (see our helpful map below).
    2. When in doubt, ask a Cast Member – they’re there to help!

Downtown Disney Parking Map

Want a few more of my favorite secrets? Arrive before 5 p.m.; look for parking at Entrance 5, behind Cirque du Soleil in lots O, P & Q (it’s a lot closer than you think!); and lastly, don’t forget you can always take the complimentary Boat Transportation between the West Side and Pleasure Island, weather permitting.

I know I’ve just shared a lot of information – check out the map above for more.

Now that you know the latest, I hope you’re as excited as I am. I look forward to seeing you out and about at Downtown Disney soon!


  • Can you give us more details on the coming nightlife? I want to see Mannequins Dance Palace brought back. Thanks.

  • Yes I’ve seen La Nouba! It was truly amazing and great for all ages. Thank you!

  • Yay!!! So excited to hear there will be more parking! Especially during the peak seasons & holidays, it is extremely hard to find parking. We were there this past December and one time it took us a good 30 mins to find parking! We can’t wait to go back! 😀

  • I personally will be happy to see a parking structure at Downtown Disney. When we went to Disneyland it was great to have the structure saving your car from all the heat and the convenience of not worrying where to park your car. For years to park at Downtown Disney {WDW} has been an nightmare especially if you have reservations or running in to shop quickly its just not a happy event. So for us it will be great, we’ll have mickey and friends to remind us where we are parked so I am happy for the addition.

  • Thank you for sharing your parking tips! I’m sending my parents to “La Nouba” in January! While spending a week at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort this past March, I enjoyed many afternoons and evenings in Downtown Disney, exploring the shops and restaurants. The boats (and Captains) are great! Looking forward to Disney Springs.

    • Sarah, you’ll win the ‘daughter of the year’ award for sure! (Have you seen La Nouba – amazing, right?) So glad you’ve enjoyed your time at Downtown Disney. Hope to see you back here soon 🙂

  • For those of us who don’t live there, a parking structure might seem like a bad idea, but I feel bad for all those Floridians returning to their boiling hot cars that have been sitting in the sun. My brother had to park on the roof of the Mickey structure at Disneyland and it was almost too hot to get in after a day at the parks.

    I’m excited to learn that there is complimentary boat transportation from area to area within Downtown Disney! I’ve been walking like a chump, but will be looking for boats from now on. Thank you!

    • George, hope you’ll get to visit soon — I love the boat transportation! It’s a nice, breezy ride that’s especially enjoyable on a hot day (like the one your brother experienced at Disneyland!).

  • Can you please give more details on the Animal Kingdom test bus services? I would think that is also a good option.

  • I agree that a Parking Structure juist won’t “fit” there. The great thing about WDW (or one of as there are MANY) is the vast amount of space they are able to work with, eliminating the feel of urban living, ie parking structures. However, I know that with this decision, Disney is, ALS ALWAYS, keeping guests and their interests in mind. Excited to see this renovation!!!

    • Kaitlin, I hope you’ll be pleased with the parking structures once they’re completed. And you’re right … we heard loud and clear from our guests they wanted more parking — this addition to our property will definitely address that request!

  • Happy 2 year anniversary of the Avatar announcement Disney Parks Blog! I hope you are all thrilled to ride the new rides and experience the magical world of Pandora… some day… I think…

  • Parking garages!! Please don’t do that. A cold multi-level parking structure would really take away from the Disney feel. Make it look too urban.

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