Disney Parks vacations are magical. What’s not magical are the Walt Disney World hidden fees that guests experience on their family vacation. Some of these are in the fine print when booking your room, others can be avoided and then there are some that incur while you’re on vacation. I’m breaking down the most common hidden fees, how to avoid them and ways to protest the charges if they’ve already occurred.
Some of these hidden fees are on the Disney World website, but they aren’t obvious. Or some of them are charges that you forget about, like missing a dining reservation, and it hits your card when you least expect it. Of course Disney Parks would argue that nothing is hidden, but these are surprising charges that can add up in a hurry.
Knowing about these hidden fees ahead of your vacation and prevent some unwanted stress and help you budget. I always recommend having some mad money for vacation – that’s NOT used for souvenirs, dining or tips. A few hundred can be extra padding and peace of mind – that hopefully you won’t need.
Looking for more helpful Disney Vacation Planning Tips? Check out my Disney Parking Secrets guide for driving into the parks. Plus, use my “We’re Going To Disney World” guide with fun ways to surprise your kids with a trip.
5 Shocking Walt Disney World Hidden Fees
Don’t go into your Disney World vacation without knowing about these fees. Some of them you’ll find out before the vacation and some might surprise you when you’re on vacation. Being prepared will help prevent any surprises AND this information can help you fight any unexpected charges.
Hidden Room Rate Fees At Disney World
Did you know that there’s a fee when you add more than two adults to a room? The fee varies depending on the resort that you’re staying in. The standard room rate includes two adults over 18-years of age and any minors under 18-years-old.
Since 2019, the fee is $15 per additional adult at Value Resorts, $25 per additional adult at Moderate Resorts, and $35 per additional adult at Deluxe Resorts. Prices are always subject to change and these fees do not apply to Disney villas.
Many people book rooms, using the standard room rate and want to add another guest later on. This is common when your family vacation becomes an unplanned multi-generational trip. We ran into this issue when we added a grandparent. Call the Disney Resort Hotel Reservations phone number to add a guest.
Resort Parking Lot Fees
There are several parking lot fees that can be unexpected if you don’t know about them. Everyone expects a fee is you pick valet parking (which is $33 per night), but forget about standard overnight self-parking fees. You’re charged parking fees upon check-out and it’s placed on your hotel folio – so the card attached to your room will be charged.
Standard Overnight Parking Fees:
- Disney Value Resorts: $15 per night
- Disney Moderate Resorts: $20 per night
- Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts: $25 per night
Some Disney Springs resort areas do not charge parking fees and they’re located near Disney Springs. The only segment of Walt Disney World guests that don’t have to pay parking fees are Disney Vacation Club members.
Theme Park Parking Lot Fees
Standard parking is free to all guests staying on property and some Annual Passholder levels. However, if you’re visiting the theme parks and not staying on property, you’ll have to pay for your parking. There are standard spots and premium parking (which is closer to the park gates for $45-$50 per day).
There’s a secret that some people don’t know about – or just something that Disney doesn’t advertise too well: You pay for parking once per day, even if you visit multiple parks throughout the day. Save your receipt and don’t pay twice!
Another kicker about parking fees – the pricing can vary upon season! So if you’re visiting during their busiest times, you may be paying higher fees. Always check before you travel.
Standard Theme Park Parking Fees:
- Preferred parking: car or motorcycle – $45-$50 per day
- Standard parking: car or motorcycle – $25 per day
- Oversized Vehicle Parking: Shuttle, Limo, Camper Trailer, RV, Bus or Tractor Trailer – $30 per day
Automatic Gratuity Added At Disney Dining Restaurant Locations
Gratuities are not included when you’re paying your dining bill at a Walt Disney World restaurant. Even if you’re using the Disney Dining Plan, you’ll have to add gratuity. Personally, I wish gratuity was included with the Disney Plans so that you’re not having to budget it in advance.
If your party is over 6 people, 18% gratuity is already added to your Disney restaurant bill. Plus, special photography at restaurants (like Cinderella’s Royal Table and Be Our Guest) isn’t included in your bill. You’ll have to pay the extra Disney World hidden fees for those.
Automatic Disney Dining Cancelation Fee
Guests can make Advance Dining Reservations for all restaurants on property. You’ll attach your credit card number to the reservation and emailed a confirmation number. You can cancel any reservation using your My Disney Experience account. Inside that confirmation email you’ll find the cancelation policy.
If your advance dining reservations aren’t canceled at least 24-hours ahead of the reserved time, and you don’t show up, there is a $10 per person fee that you’re charged. Usually the restaurants give guests a 15 minute grace period for running late.
How Do I Dispute Disney Restaurant Cancellation Fee?
You CAN dispute the charges if you feel that you were unfairly charged. Some scenarios might be Disney’s fault – like transportation delays in getting across property. You can call guest services, even from home, to dispute the charges. If you see them on your hotel folio, upon check out, and you were unfairly charged, then you can speak to a resort manger before leaving. Usually, Disney is VERY understanding if they were at fault.
Knowing what charges might hit your cards will help you be fully prepared for your Walt Disney World vacation. Everyone deserves to relax on vacation and not stress about Disney World hidden fees. Arm yourself with this information and then feel better that you know what charges you could run into.