***UPDATE: Port Canaveral no longer offers pre-paid parking***
Earlier this year (January 15, 2013 to be exact), Port Canaveral began offering passengers driving to the port the option to reserve and pay for parking online. The online form, which is available at PortCanaveral.com, is fairly straight forward. Simply select your departure terminal (for Disney it is Terminal 8) as well as your arrival and departure dates.
Following the submission, you will be taken to a printer-friendly confirmation page and you will also be sent a confirmation email. This print out will be required upon arrival to Port Canaveral, as it is your proof of payment. Additionally, the print out includes directions to Port Canaveral and more specifically the parking location for your particular cruise line.
There is a check box for a rewards program, but at this time it is just in the planning stages. If you would like to be part of a future loyalty program if and when one is rolled out, make sure to check that box. (no longer an option as of 10/18/2013)
According to Rosalind Harvey, Sr Director of Communications & Public Relations for Canaveral Port Authority, the reservation system was created to allow guests to budget for their upcoming cruise vacations and by paying in advance guests will have one less expense to worry about during their week of travel. One additional advantage to reserving a place to park at Port Canaveral is that you lock in a price in the event there is price increase. Rates at Port Canaveral are as follows (as of September 2013):
For an additional $20, regardless of cruise length, guests with standard size vehicles may park in the preferred parking lot directly next to Disney Cruise Line’s terminal. Personally, it does not offer that much more of a convenience over standard parking, but it is an option none the less.
The convenience of parking at Port Canaveral does make things easier on embarkation day, and on the dreaded last morning, but it comes with a price. That being said, the ability to pre-pay for parking at Port Canaveral is a welcome addition (or return if you remember being able to pay embarkation day as it used to be in the past).
Last year, we discussed a few of the alternative parking options available when driving to Port Canaveral for your Disney Cruise. This past March, we provided a overview of what you would encounter during your arrival at the port.
If you prepaid for parking at Port Canaveral, please leave a comment and let us know if it enhanced your vacation.