With the first of its two parking garages set to open later this month, Cast Member informational flyers indicate that Disney has no plans to being charging guests to park at the Downtown Disney shopping district.
As part of its Downtown Disney / Disney Springs revitalization effort, Disney is constructing two multi-level parking garages at the far ends of the retail complex. The first garage--located adjacent to the current West Side--is scheduled to open to guests in late November 2014.
Disney is already allowing Cast Members to park in the new garage, in advance of its opening to the general public. Additionally website TheDisneyBlog.com is reporting that information circulated to Cast Members states that parking will remain complimentary.
Disney has come under fire from some Disney Vacation Club members due to its refusal to charge for parking at Downtown Disney and/or offer shuttle bus service between the shopping district and its four theme parks. Day guests looking to save a few dollars have been known to park for free at Downtown Disney, then walk to nearby Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa for access to theme park bus transportation. This practice allegedly leads to overcrowding of Saratoga Springs buses and increased foot traffic from non-guests.
No word on if Disney has any plans to revive direct bus service between Downtown Disney and the theme parks.
The full Disney Springs expansion project is expected to run into 2016 with the addition of a second parking garage near the current Marketplace section and dozens of new shopping and dining venues.