It may have been, but there may have been a period of time where it wasn't open yet and the DL parking was closed. Memory is fuzzy here. I just remember that it took 20 minutes one time to get from Ball Road and West (now Disney Way), to the Hotel.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Quite a bit of parking was done in the Simba Parking lot, south of the DL hotel and West of West St (Disneyland Dr). The tram crosssed West street and had to drive around the entire DCA area, through the Timon Parking and the dropped you off on the east entrance of the esplanade.
There was a lot that had to be cooridinated. The new ticket booths had to be built and in running condition before they could remove the old ticket booths. And the old ticket booth "shacks" were stationed fairly close, immediately in front of the entrance gates to DL.
There was also viewing area and a preview center in the esplanade also, during this time.
Of course this was all pre 9-11, and there were no security check areas for Disneyland nor the esplanade.
This is such a great question, and isn't it funny how quickly we all forgot that tortuous time and all the construction!
How true, we visited many times during the construction, but my memory of where we parked is quite fuzzy! Maybe we're just blocking out bad memories! I do remember that it seemed to take forever to get from the parking lot to the front gate. I also do clearly remember watching the construction of the Paradise Pier section of the park, specifically the Orange Stinger.