Nothing ruins your Orlando vacation faster, or makes you more embarrassed, than pulling into a parking garage at the Orlando airport, downtown or the one in Universal Studios and hearing your new car top luggage carrier getting ripped apart because it’s too high! I’ve seen that happen; I’ve been right behind someone who was having that type of bad day.
So let me tell you where you will run into these parking garages and the height requirements. Luckily there are only 3 places you might park inside a parking garage in Orlando. One is right at the airport. They have two main sections, part A and part B on each side of the main terminal. The rental cars are in these also.
The next place you might decide to park inside a parking garage is downtown Orlando. They have several right in the heart of downtown. It’s hard to find a parking spot downtown, so you might very well have to use one if your going to see what the main city is like. It can be very confusing for visitors trying to find the damn things however!
The last place you might park inside a parking garage is Universal Studios. Unlike the other major theme parks and attractions, Universal uses a huge 3 or 4 level parking garage, I forget just how many levels there are. That is where I saw the poor guy get his luggage carrier hung up on the ceiling.
At the entrance to all of them there will be a swinging sign with the height limit on it you have to drive under. It is at the same level as the minimum height of the cement ceiling. If you drive under it and don’t feel it scrape the top of your luggage carrier, your safe! It’s amazing how low those ceilings look, with a van or SUV you swear your going to hit the beams as they come up. But if you make it under the sign your good to go.
HOWEVER, if you feel that sign scrapping and bumping your top as you go under it, DO NOT GO FURTHER! Those steel and cement beams that make up the low part of the ceiling are not very flexible, hehe. Now, how the heck you turn around is something they don’t seem to have planned. Your in a one way lane, likely with a line of cars behind you. Good luck!
So the best way to avoid getting in that bind is to check before you try to enter one of course. I know the ones in downtown Orlando are 7 ft. high. I THINK the ones at the airport and Universal Studios is 6 ft. 8 inches. So, take a tape measure and find out how high your car is with your luggage carrier, roof rack or bicycles are.
All normal cars, SUV’s and vans without a high conversion top can go into the parking garages no problem. Cars with most any type of luggage rack or soft and hard shell carriers on top can also fit in without a problem. The trouble is when you have a tall SUV or van with a luggage rack or carrier on top. If it’s a low profile, sleek one it might be ok.
However any tall, bulky type of luggage carrier on top of a van or SUV is NOT going to fit in these parking garages. See the picture above? That SUV with the tall carrier on top cannot fit in any of these parking garages. Universal Studios is the only theme park and attraction that you will have to worry about a parking garage. All the others have ground level parking.
So, if your traveling with a SUV or van on your Orlando vacation and have a roof rack or luggage carrier on top, remember these 3 places. Take your carrier off the top and put it in your hotel room. Then you’ll have one less thing to worry about as you take in the sights of Orlando!