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Parking at the Disneyland Resort

Parking at the Disneyland Resort has become a challenge as the resort has grown. Originally Disneyland had its own surface parking lot located right next to the park. In the late 90s this was blocked off to begin construction of Disney California Adventure and a new parking structure opened where you have to take a tram or walk to reach the parks. The original resort plan called for two massive garages but only one was constructed. More surface lots were added over the years as the number of cars seeking parking grew. On very busy days it had become a time consuming task to find a parking spot. With the ever growing Annual Passholder crowd (who tend to have less people per car than tourists) the demand for the number of spots continues to go up even on non-holiday time periods. The best advice is to follow the signs and directions from Anaheim Police as well as Disneyland Cast Members when looking for parking.

For the most up to date information on rates and policies check out Disneyland.com's parking page at: https://disneyland.disney.go.com/guest-services/parking/

 

Getting to the Resort

The most common way to reach the Disneyland Resort is from the I-5 Freeway (assuming your favorite mapping site or GPS will get you onto the I-5 and near Disneyland without a challenge, if you are looking for an address to enter to get you in the general area you can use 1313 Harbor Blvd., Anaheim, CA that is the street address for the park itself).

There are three primary freeway exits.

  • Disneyland Drive - This is the furthest North and only accessible when arriving on the I-5 South. There is a carpool exit ramp as well as a ramp for regular traffic. Use this exit to reach the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure, Downtown Disney, or the three Disney Hotels.

  • Harbor Blvd. - This is the center exit. If you are arriving from the South (on the I-5 North) this is where you would exit to reach the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure, Downtown Disney, or the three Disney Hotels. If you are arriving from the North you can use this exit to reach the guest drop off or to go to the Toy Story or other overflow parking lots.

  • Disney Way - This is the south most exit and when coming from the south on the I-5 North has a carpool lane exit. You can use this to reach the Toy Story lot as well as other overflow lots easily.

 

Theme Park Parking


Mickey & Friends Garage
& Pinocchio Parking Lot: The parking garage is one of the largest in the world. It can hold over 10,000 cars. The structure has six floors. Chip & Dale, Minnie, Mickey, Goofy, Donald, and Daisy. Each is color coded and there are escalators and elevators to reach floors 2-5. For the first floor you have to walk through the Pinocchio lot to reach it. There is also a surface parking lot (Pinocchio) adjacent to the garage for oversized vehicles and additional spaces for cars. The garage also features charging stations for electric cars. The structure is located off of Disneyland Drive and has three entrances. If you are arriving off the I-5 South there is a bypass ramp that takes you over Ball Road and directly into the structure. This is open most mornings but closes by early afternoon as it is used for exit traffic then. There is an entrance off Disneyland Drive, after crossing Ball Road stay on the left and you head directly into the garage. There is also a side entrance located off of Magic Way (across from the Disneyland Hotel). This entrance has reduced hours and tends to be open in the morning and then sometimes in the evening for overflow traffic from Downtown Disney. Once you park your car follow the signage to the tram stop. From there you can either take a tram to the entrance or its a 5-10 minute walk to the parks depending on your pace.

Toy Story Lot: The Toy Story parking lot is located off of Harbor Blvd. just past Katella on the East side of the street (freeway side). This surface parking lot has continuous bus service to the parks and back. If you opt to walk to the parks it is a longer walk probably in the 10-15 minute range. To reach the lot from the South exit the I-5 North at Disney Way. At Harbor Blvd. take a left then travel south to the entrance (which will be on your left), past Katella.

Simba Lot: This lot is located off of Disneyland Drive to the West, adjacent to the Paradise Pier Hotel and across the street from Disney California Adventure. The lot is used for theme park overflow parking as well as Downtown Disney parking and is not open all the time. Signs will direct you there if it is open. Note there are not shuttles running to this parking lot, so you have to walk through Downtown Disney or the Grand Californian to reach the parks.

Pumba Lot: This is an overflow lot used for theme park parking, special events, and occasionally cast member parking. It is located on the North side of Disney Way across the street from the Garden Walk. This lot does not have any shuttle service and you need to walk to the theme parks from it. If the lot is open signage or someone will guide you into it.

Timon Lot: This parking lot is now gone. It used to be where Cars Land now stands.

Overflow: On busy days Disney presses additional lots into service. This includes the Anaheim Convention Center, Garden Walk, the Cast Member Lots near Toy Story (Pongo & Bambi), the Cast Member lot between the Mickey and Friends Structure and Ball Road and any other additional spaces they can find. Follow signage, cast member & Anaheim Police directions to find parking on these days and in these lots.

Downtown Disney

Parking at Downtown Disney consists of two surface lots. The cost to park is hourly, with the first 3 hours being free (if you get your ticket validated at one of the restaurants you can get an additional 2 hours for free for a total of 5 hours). Valet is extra. If you are going to be there longer than 5 hours then its probably going to be cheaper to park in the theme park lots for the entire day. The lots are to be used for Downtown Disney and not theme park parking. Note for special events they sometimes switch to pre-paid parking with no grace period. Also one weekend nights the lot fills up early.

The primary parking for Downtown Disney is off of Magic Way to the South. To reach it you use Disneyland Drive from the I-5 South (when arriving from the North) or when arriving from the South on the I-5 North you can exit on Harbor Blvd. turn right, then left on Ball and left on Disneyland Drive. The Downtown Disney lot can fill up rather quickly and cars will be directed to other lots as needed so follow the signage. Also be warned on Friday and Saturday evenings it is not uncommon to experience traffic wall into the night so plan accordingly if you are going for a concert or dining reservation.




Disney Hotels

Each hotel has its own self parking lot and valet services. The hotel parking is located off of Disneyland Drive. Parking at the hotels is not included in the room rates, it is an additional charge as is parking there for events or dining.

Disneyland Hotel: To reach the hotel take Disneyland Drive to Magic Way. Drive past the Downtown Disney entrance and you will see the signage for the Disneyland hotel on the left (South) side of the street. At the security booth they will direct you to the check in parking, self parking, or valet as needed. There is a large surface lot and a parking garage for the hotel and adjacent convention center.

Paradise Pier Hotel: Has its own, small surface lot and parking structure located directly behind the hotel. This is accessible from the entrance on Disneyland Drive.

Grand Californian Hotel: For check in and valet parking the entrance for the Grand Californian is directly off of Disneyland Drive on the East side of the street (the theme park side of the street). Self parking is across Disneyland drive in a small surface lot adjacent to Downtown Disney. Cast Members will direct you there.

 

The Geek's Observations

Parking at the Disneyland Resort continues to be a headache. After the expansion of the Resort in 2001 this was only a problem on extremely busy/holidays, but over the years with the growth of the Annual Passholder program and the increased attendance at the parks it continues to get worse even causing traffic backups and headaches even during non holiday periods. The Disneyland Resort has expanded parking options with additional surface lots scattered around but none are convenient and all take additional time and hurdles to use. Hopefully the resort will built the once planned second parking structure and add more spaces to alleviate this issue, but as of June 2014 nothing has been announced and everything is operating status quo. So that means bring patience and follow the signage and instructions from the Anaheim Police and Disneyland Cast Members who are directing traffic. Another tip is to arrive early in the day. Traffic seems to come in waves with late morning and evening being among the worse times. Also if Disney is anticipating a large crowd they will direct cars to overflow lots early in the day to try and avoid gridlock later in the day. So this means delays for those arriving early too.