Charging an EV at Disney World Is a Major Pain

Some places across the country offer few charging options for EV owners. But you’d think highly populated areas such as New York City would provide many opportunities. The wildly popular Disney World has EV-charging stations at its theme parks, hotels, and entertainment venues. However, charging your electric vehicle at the Most Magical Place on Earth can be miserable. 

What does EV parking look like at Disney World theme parks?

Walt Disney World sign, where charging EVs at Disney world are difficult. are
Walt Disney World sign | Getty Images

Four theme parks are part of Disney World’s organization and other areas for shopping and hotel accommodations. Most of them use the ChargePoint charging system, which you can find in many big cities. Its app will show you where to find the parking areas to charge your car if there are any available spots, and how much the charging is likely to cost you. 

In Hollywood Studios, you can find four spaces for charging at the front of the theme park’s Mickey parking lot. If you’re in the Magic Kingdom area, you will need to go to the front of the Zurg parking lot, where you’ll find four spaces with ChargePoint cables. There’s another one located in the front of the Medical parking lot as well. 

For Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you can find all four of their charging spots in the Medical parking lot. There are four spaces dedicated to charging your vehicle in the EPCOT Center. You can find them located at the front of the Journey parking lot. 

According to the Disney Food Blog, one of the problems you might face is the availability of charging spots. Some users of the ChargePoint electric stations will leave their vehicle sitting there all day while they enjoy several hours in the park. This doesn’t help much when there are a limited number of charging areas. 

Then there’s the price. It could get costly if you’re not paying attention. For example, Disney says you pay $0.35 per kWh and a minimum $1.50 service fee. At Animal Kingdom, the app will tell you that it estimates you could pay $4.62 (prices vary over time) for two hours of use. Any other business, though, and you pay a $10 fee if the place doesn’t eat up the charging costs. 

EV charging at Disney Springs

If you’re in the shopping and entertainment area of Disney Springs, you’ll find some more charging spaces to plug your vehicle into. However, these don’t use the ChargePoint system. They use the ChargeUp one, which will require you to download a second app on your phone to use them. 

The charging stations are located in the parking garages of Disney Springs. Three are in the Orange Garage, located on the fifth floor. There are three more in the Lime, one on the fifth floor. Lastly, the Grapefruit Garage has the remaining three spaces installed on the third floor. 

This can be frustrating since you not only will have to get another app on your smartphone, but you will also have to set it up with all your information a second time, in case you want to go to the shopping district the day after you charge the car up at one of the theme parks. 

The ChargeUp system breaks the costs of charging down into a few different areas. Charging up your vehicle currently costs $0.35 per kWh. You get a 30-minute grace period, where you aren’t charged any parking fees, but once that’s done, you will end up paying another $3. There’s also a $0.50 and a 5% transaction cost. 

What about EV charging at Disney World hotels?

While there are some electric charging spaces at the Disney Hotel areas, not all do. Like Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, some don’t have the chargers, but they do implement a handful of outlets for the guests that arrive at the hotel. You will have to bring any adapters necessary to charge up your car. 

Some of the places that use ChargePoint stations aren’t exactly affiliated with the Disney theme parks. The Walt Disney World Swan Reserve Hotel and the Wyndham’s Bonnet Creek Resort are two that are nearby.  

You can also find Tesla charging stations, which are one of the most popular stations out there. The Four Seasons Resort Orlando and the Shades of Green on Walt Disney Resort both have them. The Four Seasons one holds eight spaces, while the Shades of Green has connectors available to their customers. 

Visiting Disney World theme parks doesn’t have to be a pain when you own an EV. You should do your research beforehand and have the apps downloaded and set up before leaving. This way, you won’t spend too much time trying to get parked and charged and have little time left over for fun at the parks. 

RELATED: How Many EV Charging Stations Are There in the U.S?