Disney World tests preferred parking -- for a price

Closer parking slots can now be purchased at Magic Kingdom, Epcot

Walt Disney World is testing a program where visitors can pay more for parking to get a spot closer to theme-park entrances, a Disney spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday. For $15 atop the regular parking fee, guests heading to Magic Kingdom and Epcot will be allowed to pull into designed areas of their current parking lots.

For instance, the current parking fees for autos is $20; the preferred-parking total is $35.

Magic Kingdom preferred parking is in the Jafar section of the lot, while Epcot preferred parkers go to the Amaze area.  Visitors to Magic Kingdom who go for the optional fee, will still have to maneuver to the Ticket & Transportation Center via foot or tram, and then take the monorail or boat to the entrance of the theme park.

The preferred-parking test is not available at Disney's Animal Kingdom or Disney's Hollywood Studios. Parking is free at Disney Springs, Disney World water parks or the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.

Visitors who are staying in Disney resort hotels or have parking included with an annual pass can pay $15 for the closer spots as well. 

The test is not affecting handicapped parking slots at Magic Kingdom and Epcot, the spokeswoman said.

Regular parking hit the $20 level at Disney World in November.

Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando already offer upgraded-parking options. Regular parking for cars in Universal's garage is $20; preferred parking is $30. It has valet parking that ranges between $20 and $50. SeaWorld parking is $18; its preferred parking is $23.

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