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MK Free Parking (WDW)


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After they tore down the guard shack at the Fort Wilderness entrance last year, I realized why they might have had it there in the first place.

 

You see -- (I guess Disney is getting lazy). but you can now park for free at MK because of there being no guard gate or stop at the Fort Wilderness Entrance.

 

If you take the Epcot exit off the 4 (536) and take the first exit (imagine you are heading to Port Orleans) and head for the golf courses by FW. You can keep on going loop around the end of the parking lot, and just as you pass Hess, they give you an opportunity to turn around and Park and MK AFTER the gates.

 

Free parking at MK everyone!

 

(isn't that awful? -- disney doesn't protect its $9 parking fee!)

 

Jose

mKparking.jpg.d164f34f8155ea47a5ad482338749623.jpg

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Sigh. The average guest probably couldn't / wouldn't go out of their way to go all the way around to do that. Heck - you could also park at any resort and take the transportation for free or come in through the back end of property above the MK. It's good to do the right thing though..

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^ The Right Thing, huh?

 

WDW has no problem raising its admission prices regularly and eternally, at a rate pretty consistently higher than the rate of inflation. So do many other theme parks. And, though most businesses, except those in the middle of a city, provide free parking for their customers, parks slap 8 to 10 dollar surcharges on people who will then spend a lot more money at the parks. I suppose one could make an ecological argument for discouraging people to drive, but the public transit possibilities at most parks are pretty bleak. So parks charge 10 bucks to park (and 3 bucks for a 25-cent bottle of water) because they can. It's not about services - most parking lots are unguarded patches of asphalt. It's about profit.

 

Is it wrong to sneak into a parking lot? Well, yeah, of course.

 

Does it make me feel all warm and cosy to know I'm paying a corporation an arbitrary parking fee? Um...no.

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I'm surprised they tore down the security kiosk completely. It was there the last year and a half I was in FL but there was never anyone inside. Then they took it out completely. I dont think Disney has to worry about much though.. most guests have a hard enough time finding their way to the MK let alone worry about figuring out how to avoid the parking fee. That and you have to be smart enough to drive past the resorts and then cut back in to the lot. If I had to pay for parking I'd just self park at the Grand Floridian and take the monorail over.. more fun than the tram in the TTC.. Shhhh..

 

Eric

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Hmm. We will probably have to agree to disagree on this one but please name any major theme park that does not charge for parking (besides Holiday World)? Parking at WDW is only $8 which is below the national average at theme parks and is below all the other Orlando parks. A bottle of water or soda is now only $2.00 at WDW which is lower than any theme park, sporting event or concert that I have ever been to. It's the nature of the buisness - it does not justify stealing. Plus - don't forget the cost to have the lot maintained (lots of repaving and maintinance), the costs of the trams, the costs of security, the cost of the piece of land the lot is on.

 

 

^ The Right Thing, huh?

 

WDW has no problem raising its admission prices regularly and eternally, at a rate pretty consistently higher than the rate of inflation. So do many other theme parks. And, though most businesses, except those in the middle of a city, provide free parking for their customers, parks slap 8 to 10 dollar surcharges on people who will then spend a lot more money at the parks. I suppose one could make an ecological argument for discouraging people to drive, but the pubic transit possibilities at most parks are pretty bleak. So parks charge 10 bucks to park (and 3 bucks for a 25-cent bottle of water) because they can. It's not about services - most parking lots are unguarded patches of asphalt. It's about profit.

 

Is it wrong to sneak into a parking lot? Well, yeah, of course.

 

Does it make me feel all warm and cosy to know I'm paying a corporation an arbitrary parking fee? Um...no.

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^ Granted, the WDW parking fee is on the low end. Six Flags parks routinely charge a couple of bucks more, and Universal charges $9, though that includes free access to miles and miles of moving sidewalks.

 

However, that's sorta offset by the relative scarcity of discounts on WDW admissions (especially compared to Six Flags, where you'd have to be a fool to pay full price). And WDW has raised prices at will, the other majors following suit, at least once a year. Since 2001, the price of a single day's one-park ticket has risen by a bit over 30%, almost 4 times the inflation rate. Aww, poor Disney.

 

Yes, parking lot upkeep and taxes cost money. Same goes for Costco and your local mall and the multiplex and the bowling alley down the street, as well, and you don't pay 8-10 bucks to park there. When a car goes to a theme park, unless it's full of season passholders it guarantees there's gonna be revenue for the park: at least $30 (one radically discounted SF admission), more often, as in the case of WDW, several hundred dollars, maybe even more. When your mall provides free parking, there's no certainty you're going to spend a dime there.

 

Which leaves the trams. WDW's attendance is about 15 million a year. Generously assuming 4 passengers per car, that means the parking gate rakes in 30 million bucks per annum...which pays for a lot of trams.

 

One thing about me: I'm kinda spoiled. I ride a motorcycle, and the absolute maximum rate I pay for a metered space (free on Sundays) in overpriced downtown San Francisco for a day's parking is $2.50, 1/4 of what I pay at SFMW.

 

btw, I originally wrote "pubic transit" in my last post. Which just goes to show where my mind is....

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When we go to Disneyland Resort, we just park on the street or in a hotel lot somewhere. Hee hee.

 

Used to do the same thing at SFMW, but now the spot where I used to park became a 2-hour zone over the winter; it'll be a pain in the ass to keep going out there to the residential neighborhood 3/4 mile away. Until the city figures that out and changes it back, I'll have to do the Curtola P&R lot and take the Vallejo Transit 91 bus. Which is fine with me, since I love buses.

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When we go to Disneyland Resort, we just park on the street or in a hotel lot somewhere. Hee hee..

 

I had an AP Premium so I loved the structure -- very easy.

 

Now here at WDW -- meh -- I used to cheat the system (even though I don't need to pay for parking) by grabbing a snack at a hotel then hoping on the monorail (to justify parking there).

 

Now though, lately, I'll find some good spots before the park closes and just get on the monorail.

 

Now however that they are installing those automatic gates on the express side, they won't let people board at night to express your way too the MK -- so today I just walked to the Polynesian and used the monorail there, and took the little boat back.

 

Just can't stand crowds so -- I avoid the ferry when there are lots of people.

 

I personally would just like to see more security at WDW -- I think it would be nice for them to have a gate there at Fort Wilderness. Or further up the street.

 

Speaking of gates -- the signs that cross the freeway now have a little addendum about the happiest celebration on earth.

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Hmm. We will probably have to agree to disagree on this one but please name any major theme park that does not charge for parking (besides Holiday World)?

 

Knoebels doesn't either. Just thought I'd throw that in there

 

But my defense on the subject is that Hersheypark charges $6.. reasonable.. Disney $8.. ehhh getting there.. but isnt Six Flags Great Adventure like $12 this year?!? I'd park a mile away and walk..

 

Eric

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but isnt Six Flags Great Adventure like $12 this year?!? I'd park a mile away and walk..

 

Eric

 

Twelve bucks??? That's harsh...and I noticed they (tastefully) haven't posted the parking charge on the Website.

 

SF seems to have this "offer discounted tickets, cheap SPs, then soak 'em with incidentals" policy. Since I'll be using my $55 SFMW pass to get into GAdv, that means the two of us will be spending 6 bucks apiece to get into the park, which seems like a pretty good deal.

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In all fairness those trams (at MK) are like a 700K a piece. Don't forget the 'driveway' to the park: i.e. World Drive. Who pays for that crap? Not the state. That's private property.

 

At least they don't charge for the ferry, or monorail! (except in Japan).

 

do you want that to happen?! Let's be thankful.

 

Heck if I was in charge of WDW, that's where I'd get people -- parking charges, tolls, -- force them to use OUR transportation from OUR hotels ...

 

Muah ah ah!

 

In all seriousness -- I would probably build a huge arse parking structure at the entrance to the whole resort, close down all other lots and have a huge arse maglev connect all major areas and up the frequency of the buses etc. a bit. to those terminals from the hotels. or create little people movers or something

 

Jose 'transportation whore' Eber

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Heck if I was in charge of WDW, that's where I'd get people -- parking charges, tolls, -- force them to use OUR transportation from OUR hotels ...

 

I think your not far from the truth here... A large amount of WDW visitors are tourists from out of town staying in hotels or villa's. Disney must be always thinking of ways of encouraging people to stay in their resorts. I.E early morning entry, purchases back to your resort, free transport... Not paying for parking as a resort guest is just another encouraging thing to get visitors to stay on site.

To be honoust I don't think paying $8 is really a big deal. Most cars have betwen 2-4 people in them.. So at worse its $4 each or perhaps only $2 each. You then get the free tram and transport to the park entrance. You dont go to DisneyWorld not expecting to have an expensive day do you????? After all you pay for quality in this world.... well unless your cheap enough to drive 50 miles around Disney property to save 8 bucks

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Hmm. We will probably have to agree to disagree on this one but please name any major theme park that does not charge for parking (besides Holiday World)?

 

 

Its far from Major, but Cliff's has free parking, as many parks do, I think charging for parking is a cheap and horrible way to extract just that small amout more from your guests. My next major trip, next year will include Holiday World, that place sounds awesome

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. You dont go to DisneyWorld not expecting to have an expensive day do you????? After all you pay for quality in this world....

 

Yes, but...

 

In 2004, the USA experienced inflation of less than 3%. Since March of last year, the price of a one-day WDW ticket is up by around 15%.

 

To quote an Orlando Sentinel article from over a year ago, "Since 1989, the average price of goods and services purchased by Americans has increased 48 percent, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. In that same period, Disney tickets have gone up 96 percent, a Sentinel analysis shows. If Disney's ticket increases had matched inflation since 1989, a one-day admission would cost $42.05 today." Today, subsequent to two price hikes, that disparity would be even more striking, i.e., an inflation-adjusted ticket would cost about $43.25, not 60 bucks. Multiply 17 dollars by 15 million visitors a year, and you run into some serious money, surely enough to buy a parking-lot tram or two.

 

Hey, is WDW run by some pharmaceutical company?

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Heck if I was in charge of WDW, that's where I'd get people -- parking charges, tolls, -- force them to use OUR transportation from OUR hotels ...

 

Of course. That's how WDW already works. They don't want the tourists stepping off of their property. They want them staying on property for the entire time they are in the area, as if WDW is the only thing here. And they want them using all their high priced services to boot.

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Well you know what.... It costs X amount of money to park at Disney.. It costs Y amount of money to get into the parks and it costs Z amount of money to buy stuff while in the parks. I think all are of the highest quality and that is why it has so many millions of fans. If you dont want to pay for quality then go elsewhere. While there are people happy to pay the prices then it will continue. Don't forget Disney's themeparks are making money unlike a lot of the rest of the company, they have to make all the money they can from the parks. Im a share holder at Disney (only a little one) and the annual report was interesting reading.....

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^ Hey, no reason to get in a snit.

 

As far as going elsewhere, the Orlando drill goes like this: WDW announces a price hike and, hey presto, Uni and Busch promptly follow suit, almost to the penny. In the old days, that would be known as "price fixing," I b'lieve.

 

Sure, supply and demand is at work here. WDW will charge whatever it can get away with. That (and, apparently, waging war under false pretexts) is What America Is All About. Still, during the post-9/11 attendance slump, did WDW slash its prices? Ummm... No, they raised them, no doubt to compensate for dropping attendance.

 

And it's no secret that WDW runs its property as a private fiefdom, and curries local favor with a variety of price breaks for Floridians

 

Yes, the parks have bailed Disney out of many a movie misstep. But when a park raises its price at twice (or, in the last year FIVE TIMES) the rate of inflation, and when that inflation rate is itself skewed by drug-price robbery, one is, in fact, entitled to wonder just when The Happiest Place on Earth became One of the Greediest...

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As far as going elsewhere, the Orlando drill goes like this: WDW announces a price hike and, hey presto, Uni and Busch promptly follow suit, almost to the penny. In the old days, that would be known as "price fixing," I b'lieve.

 

Actually the last 3 times Sea World was the first to raise their prices with universal next and Disney last (with the exception of the price raises in January). It's not price fixing as it is not restricting competition (as is how price fixing is generally defined) - it's playing a well balanced game of judging supply and demand. A normal price ticket to a six flags park is just under $50 bucks for attractions which are not nearly as themed, service which is not nearly as good and food and merch which is usually more expensive. A broadway show (which lasts at the most 3 hours) costs more than an all day Disney theme park experience - all broadway shows cost about the same - is that price fixing as well? Ugh.

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If Disney is overpricing they will reap the consequences -- people going elsewhere -- if its all one 'conspiracy' florida wise -- the state will loose tourism. There are always consequences.

 

One thing people don't realize is that 7 day tickets are now DIRT cheap. $200 for 7 days? That's crazy cheap! $28 fitty per day. The reality is -- for a lot of visitors they spend that sort of time there at the resort.

 

Also, hotels are also super cheap -- 20 years ago they didn't offer cheap hotels on property etc. Well, they did have campsites.

 

In regards to your argument about inflation: the reality is, new attractions cost money -- and since the new attractions are paid with inflated money -- well you can see the problem.

 

Epcot alone in 23 years its been open has added hundreds of millions of dollars of attractions -- had the parks not changed at all your argument would hold more water.

 

Criticizing the company won't change it.

 

Jose

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