New toll booths at EPCOT doesn't change this Disney World "parking" rank

The long walk to the EPCOT entrance is getting faster! Photo credit Brian Miller
The long walk to the EPCOT entrance is getting faster! Photo credit Brian Miller /

Last year, Disney World upgraded the parking toll booths at Hollywood Studios, and this year, EPCOT gest the upgrade.

What those booths don't do is not change who has the best parking.

Parking at any Disney World park can be a big pain. Guests often complain about the job cast members do getting cars into spots. One of the biggest complaints is why are they leaving so many empty spots.

One of my biggest gripes is why if I arrive before the 30th car behind me, are they getting the first spot in the row and closer to the park entrance? It would seem to me that starting in the first spot and working their way to the furthest would make more sense and reward the guests that arrive earlier than the others.

That is an argument that we can have all the time, like why do I have to park so far out later in the day when there are rows of empty spots up front where guests have left? I digress.

The better question to ask is what parks have the best parking?

Magic Kingdom - Sorry but M.K. ranks very high on almost every Disney World guest list. The park is of course, iconic to say the least. Walt Disney's desire to make the park more special by not having a parking lot in front of it, also makes it the worst parking lot.

If you pay for preferred parking, you at least get to walk to the security gates and through the ticket booths to the monorail or ferry boat. If you do not, you will park way out beyond the tree line and will have to take the tram to the security gate. That isn't a big deal in the morning but after a long day, it can be tiresome as you cram in with other guests.

Animal Kingdom - A.K. has a very big parking lot and even preferred parking doesn't get you right up front. Part of this is because the front area of the parking lot is for busses and that eats up a lot of space. Then you have the handicapped parking, then preferred.

Regular parking at A.K. can put you a long ways from the entry which isn't exactly close either. Security sits back a little further and your entry point is quite big. Parking can put guests a long way from the entry and it is worse at the end of the day when you have to walk all the way back.

The good news is you can get a good view of the parking as you head toward the toll booths and that makes it easier to decide on preferred parking.

EPCOT - The fact that Disney brought back the trams is incredibly helpful but EPCOT doesn't have an absolutely horrible parking lot unless it is extremely busy. For the most part, as you face Spaceship Earth outside the park, the preferred parking is between the tree line and the entry on the right.

Beyond the tree line, the lot can be quite deep but it's still an almost straight shot into the park and while you may be on the very left end back on a busy day, the tram is there to make it a quick stop. Leaving at park close can be torturous but overall, the parking isn't bad here.

Hollywood Studios - For me, nothing is better than the parking at H.S. Preferred parking in the past has changed from being right of the main roadway to the front left. On the right, it seems more handicapped parking is available than before but even general parking isn't horrible.

Hollywood's entry point with security is not a long walk once you get through the parking lot, unlike M.K. and Animal Kingdom. Another benefit is the Skyliner is literally to the right of the parking lot and the bus lots are off to the far right. That takes the bus traffic through the lot out of the picture, unlike at Animal Kingdom.