|Parking at the Disneyland Resort|
History / Background
Parking at Disneyland for the first 43 years of the park was in a 100-acre lot adjacent to the park. In many cases your car was several hundred feet from the park entrance. In January 1998 this lot closed to make way for Disney California Adventure Park. Parking was moved to the perimeter of the resort with a majority of the spots being in the massive Mickey and Friends Parking Structure, which is approximately 10,000 spots and was one of of the largest in the world when it opened. Additional parking was provided behind Disney California Adventure in the Timon Lot for several years as well as behind the Paradise Pier Hotel in other Lion King Lots. The Timon lot was shuttered to make way for DCA expansion. Additional surface lots were added off of Disney Way (Pumba) and off of Harbor Blvd, the Toy Story Lot. On very busy days additional parking in the Convention Center and Garden Walk lots is available.
On June 30, 2019 the Pixar Pals Parking Structure opened. This 5,000 spot facility is located adjacent to the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure and the tram stop and security areas were reconfigured and moved as part of this addition. The parking structure also offers a pedestrian bridge over Magic Way to walk to Downtown Disney and the parks. Also In 2019 the Toy Story lot added an additional 2,000 spaces too.
For the most up to date information check out the Disneyland Parking rates and options here on the official page.
|Theme Park Parking|
Mickey & Friends & Piaxar Pals Garages: The original Mickey and Friends 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. The adjacent Pixar Pals Garage is another 5,000 spaces with ramps connecting it to the original structure. Here the colors are same for each level but are labeld as Pixar Films instead of characters. Incredibles, Coco, Cars, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo and Inside Out.
There is no longer a surface parking lot adjacent to the garage for oversized vehicles, you will be directed to the Toy Story lot instead. The garages also features charging stations for electric cars. The structures are located off of Disneyland Drive and has three entrance driveways. 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. This entrance is closed during some periods of the day or when the garage is full. You will then be directed over to the Toy Story Parking Lot or some other overflow lot. 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 security screening and tram stop area on the first floor of the Pixar Pals structure. Before reaching the trams you will have to go through security. From there you can take a tram to the entrance. If you opt to walk you will be directed to use the pedestrian bridge over Magic Way and go through Downtown Disney. Note the old pedestrian entrance on Disneyland Drive is now closed and all walking guests must go through security at Downtown Disney. It is a good 10-15 minute walk to the parks depending on your pace and the light.
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 again approx. 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. Once you reach the Esplanade area of Disneyland you will go through security.
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. This lot is primarily used for Downtown Disney parking.
Retired Parking Lots:
Parking at Downtown Disney consists of two surface lots. The cost to park is hourly and you can get some validation for a couple hours with minimum purchases. Be sure to read the sign before entering for current pricing and validation policies. They changed in mid 2017. If you are going to be there longer it is 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 on 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 arriving for a reservation.
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 can be a major headache depending the day of your visit, when you arrive/leave and which route you arrive. With the additional parking that opened in 2019 the odds of being directed to an overflow area has decreased but the amount of time it takes from the freeway to your parking spot (or the reverse) can vary dramatically. I have exited the freeway and been in a spot in about 5 minutes or 50 minutes. So bring your patience and hope for some good luck.