home > Disneyland Resort Guide > Planning - Parking at the Disneyland Resort
Parking at the Disneyland Resort

History/Future

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.

In November 2017 plans were announced for an expansion of the Mickey and Friends parking structure into the Pinocchio parking lot as well as a new Downtown Disney Parking Structure behind the Paradise Pier Hotel. Construction has begun and a 2019 opening date for the new structure is expected. With this announcement it appears plans for the long delayed Eastern Gateway have been shelved for the time being. For current Disneyland Parking rates and options here is the official page.

Downtown Disney -
Downtown Disney has surface lots that charges an hourly rate for parking and there are validation options. Check the official site for current rates and rules.

Parking at the Disneyland Resort has become a challenge as the resort has grown and the number of parking spots has not kept pace with the changing dynamic and number of visitors. It is not uncommon to spend long time reaching a parking space once you exit the freeway or arrive in the resort area due to lots being full and traffic near gridlock on the roads adjacent to the park . On very busy and even some moderately busy days it had become a time consuming task to find a parking spot. With the ever growing Annual Passholder crowd (who tend to drive alone or small groups compared to tourists and familes and stay for shorter lengths of time) 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

 

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). Parking lots are not located there so when you get off the freeway follow signs to Disneyland parking and not your GPS.

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. When you exit the freeway turn left and follow the signs. Depending on your time of day there may be an overpass on the left open that will take you directly to the parking structure. If not you have to cross Ball Road and then ver left for the structure or go straight for the hotels and Downtown Disney.

  • Harbor Blvd. - This is the original Disneyland exit and is the middle of the three. 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. Once you exit follow the signs to Disney parking.

 

Theme Park Parking

Mickey & Friends Garage: 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 there is a walkway near the tram stop to reach them. 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 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. 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 tram stop. 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 around the tram area and over to 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.

Note: As of 2017 the Mickey and Friends Parking structure started offering preferred parking spots. Namely those closest to the escalator at a premium price. You can save a few steps but it will cost you.

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. 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 no shuttles running to this parking lot, so you have to walk through Downtown Disney to reach the parks.

Pumba Lot: This is an overflow lot used for theme park parking, special events, and occasionally cast member parking. Eventually this will be part of the eastern gateway project and parking structure. 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.

Pincocchio Parking Lot: This parking lot is now gone. It used to be adjacent to the Mickey & Friends Parking structure but has been removed to build a new structure.

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.

Your best bet is to follow signage, cast member & Anaheim Police directions to find parking when you arrive. Note arriving at peak times or on busy days can take a long time to be directed to a parking spot so plan accordingly.

Downtown Disney

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 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. There are plans for expansion but they have been slow going and no completion date has been announced. 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.

 

Related Sections