My boyfriend and I are heading to DL on a Saturday this month (have yet to decide which.) The last time we went, in November, we arrived at the resort around 10 am, only to find Mickey & Friends parking totally full (or, at the very least, they weren't allowing any more cars) and signs telling us to park at (I believe) a Lion King-themed off-site parking area (which I had never heard of.) Realizing that the park was already getting crowded, and having already paid for a day pass to DCA, we wanted to get there ASAP, and a CM we asked told us that it would be about 30 min from Lion King to DCA drop off, and similar if we drove all the way back to the Toy Story lot. We ended up parking at Downtown Disney (note: I'm aware that you're not supposed to do this, but we panicked) and paid the extra $15 just for ease of mind. Prior to that trip in November, we had gone once in July and parked in Mickey & Friends with no issue, and the November before that had parked in Toy Story with no lines.
Knowing that the parks will be busy as its the summer months, and we're going on a Saturday, can anyone recommend what time to arrive to park at Mickey & Friends, or whether we should just suck it up and automatically park at Toy Story? I'm sure its a more of a preference thing, but the worrier in me is always concerned that the park will hit capacity before we get inside. (This comes from a friend who had a Deluxe AP, went on a random Thurs. afternoon, and was turned away - I originally thought if I bought the tickets ahead of time this would save us that grief, but that one story has scarred me for life.) Is there a way to find out if Mickey & Friends is totally at capacity before we get to the structure and realize it, and have to drive 4 blocks to another parking structure? (Parking at DL is also one of the only times I wish it was more like DW!)
Thanks in advance for any tips you may have!