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  1. #1

    • Functional & Decorative
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    Parking Lot/Structure memories

    Exiting the parking garage yesterday to visit the park, I was suddenly reminisce about the old parking lot (where DCA is now), and the times before the parking garage. Yes, Virginia, there was a time before the parking garage.

    Not only was it all flat space with power lines going through it, but if you waited until parking closing to leave, you were usually faced with about a 30-60 minute traffic jam since all the cars in the entire lot had to leave through a two lane-wide exit off what was then West Street. It was such an embraced "tradition", the Jungle Cruise Skippers used to have a joke about the "Electrical Brake Light Parade" as you left the park for the night! How did we put up with that for so many years?

    As best as I can research, the Mickey & Friends structure is about 10 years old now! Yeah, it's pretty ugly & barren, and far off. But a few big pluses: 5 out of 6 levels are covered from sun and rain (that old parking lot in the rain was not fun), and I have never had any serious traffic jams getting out of the structure. Also, I do find it much easier to remember where I parked now... losing your car in the old lot was pretty easy, even for the initiated, and you would always see families being driven around in carts by security looking for their car.

    I pitifully even remember when the structure was still being built, taking a tram ride just to go through it and see what it looked like so far. Was anyone else an equal loser?

    Anyone else have any comments/memories about either parking lot/structure?
    Does anyone even bother with signatures anymore?

  2. #2

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    Re: Parking Lot/Structure memories

    All I have to say is this: I HATE the structure!!!

  3. #3

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    Re: Parking Lot/Structure memories

    That old Parking Lot... Lots of memories. Not that I wish it would come back though.

    I remember if you were one of the first people in the lot in the morning you had the opportunity to drive through the bed of Seagulls that would nest in the middle of the asphalt every night.

    I remember the long promenade down the middle of the lot that would have various props or prizes from whatever promotion Disneyland was doing that season.

    I remember being lucky if you got to park in Bambi because you would literally take a few steps and be at the ticket booths.

    I remember that if you were smart you would exit the lot at the furthest to the south entrance at I think Whinnie the Pooh to avoid the aformentioned traffic jam.

    I remember getting pissed if you had to park in Whinnie the Pooh 'cause it was a LOOOOONG walk up to the gate over flat asphalt and thousands upon thousands of cars, but it was better than having to park in the Disneyland Hotel, Pan Pacific Hotel or Convention Center lots which you would have to do any day that it was extremely busy and you were getting to the park after noon.

    I remember the rag-tag crew that drove the trams in the old parking lot. They were shorter and would whip around turns much quicker! Oh, and there was no designated route. The driver would go over the PA and say "Raise your hand if you're parked in Robin Hood..... OK, no Robin Hood. How about Whinnie the Pooh? OK, we've got some Whinnie the Poohs. Driver, head to Whinnie the Pooh." and BAM you'd take a hard U-Turn and drive diagonally down empty parking areas, weaving in and out of cones to get across to Whinnie the Pooh.

    It wasn't the most ideal parking situation. I'm much happier with the Theme Park that is there now, though I know some people who like darker beers seem to think that Disney would make more money parking a leaky old Dodge in King Louie rather than selling churros at the churros stand that's parked there now.

  4. #4

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    Re: Parking Lot/Structure memories

    DisneyIPresume Wrote:

    All I have to say is this: I HATE the structure!!!
    What David is trying to say is that he prefers the old parking structure than DCA.

  5. #5

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    Re: Parking Lot/Structure memories

    My dad would never take the tram, he thought the drivers were crazy so we always had to walk. Man I hated that walk. Until we got the motor home then we got to park right in front next to the ticket booths. I don't mind the parking structure, we always ask if we can park in Chip & Dale. Sometimes they let us, sometimes they don't.

    Mike
    parked here in Lakeside

  6. #6

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    Re: Parking Lot/Structure memories

    Ok, here is a parking structure memory. When the structure first opened. the parking spaces faced the other direction. It was a nightmare because people were walking into traffic. it wasn't long before they changed the direction you entered the structure and the direction the cars parked.

  7. #7

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    Re: Parking Lot/Structure memories

    I don't understand the ill feelings the parking structure gets, I personally like the current structure quite a bit. It is convenient being so close to the freeway, you can go on a tram or walk, I have never encountered traffic or been stalled in the structure, and I do like the fact that you don't get a lot of rain or sun exposure to your car if you are parked there (except for Minnie). The walk isn't really that bad, even at the farthest point, compared to how much you walk in the day. Even the walk from the structure to the park is enjoyable.

    I just don't get the complaining, you're not there to fall in love with the structure. You park your car and head over to the park.


  8. #8

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    Re: Parking Lot/Structure memories

    I agree w/Liz.

    No memories of the old one, it was gone before my first trip to DL.
    Good morning, son
    In twenty years from now
    Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
    And I can tell you 'bout today
    And how I picked you up and everything changed
    It was pain
    Sunny days and rain
    I knew you'd feel the same things...





  9. #9

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    Re: Parking Lot/Structure memories

    Quote Originally Posted by TikiRoomLiz View Post
    I don't understand the ill feelings the parking structure gets, I personally like the current structure quite a bit. It is convenient being so close to the freeway, you can go on a tram or walk, I have never encountered traffic or been stalled in the structure, and I do like the fact that you don't get a lot of rain or sun exposure to your car if you are parked there (except for Minnie). The walk isn't really that bad, even at the farthest point, compared to how much you walk in the day. Even the walk from the structure to the park is enjoyable.

    I just don't get the complaining, you're not there to fall in love with the structure. You park your car and head over to the park.
    A lot of people here have pointed out the flaws of the old parking lot.

    The thing I liked best about it was that as soon as you paid at the toll booth and made your way through, you knew you were at Disneyland. You could see it and hear it and feel it. You'd hear the train chugging into the station, the whistle from the Mark Twain, etc.

    Well, I might still not be thrilled with what I used to call the "Mickey and Fiends" structure but I have made my peace with it. It's there and that's not gonna change. But still, it's just a slab of cement. I could be entering an office complex, or a downtown area, maybe a bank building. It's just a parking structure, with none of that feeling or experience I described above.

    And to me the walk, especially at the end of a long day, makes me pine for the old days when the trams used to stop within just a few feet of my car.

    -- Barry
    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.

  10. #10

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    Re: Parking Lot/Structure memories

    I have a bad memory about the old parking lot. I was about 5 or 6 years old and we were leaving early, so there were a ton of cars parked and my mom couldn't remember where we parked. We searched the entire lot for 45 minutes, and then we had to get security to help us. It was bad.

    I personally like the structure. Don't really have a reason, I just do. The Timon lot is still my favorite place to park, even though they don't open it during the week anymore, it's half the size it used to be and it will soon be gone.


  11. #11

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    Re: Parking Lot/Structure memories

    I remember the old parking lot when it was so new your shoes sunk in the soft black asphalt. There was an orange grove across the street. Last summer I stayed at the Sheraton for an overnight trip to Disneyland with my wife. In the lobby, I saw an old black-and-white photograph of the parking lot. In it was the old two-tone Buick dad drove to Disneyland on opening day. I remember waiting for them to open a gate separating the parking lot from the Entrance, and the gate swinging open.

  12. #12

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    Re: Parking Lot/Structure memories

    Quote Originally Posted by MonstersGoBoo! View Post
    I personally like the structure. Don't really have a reason, I just do.
    To each, their own.

    I'll bet that the seemingly few CM's who have been with the park more than 10 years, miss the old parking lot. In my days, I'd get off the 5 South at Harbor, and a minute or two later I'd be parking my car in the old "A" or "B" lot - clock in at Harbor House time shack, get dressed and then out to my location.

    I feel sorry for today's CM's for several reasons, their current parking setup being one of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by whamo View Post
    I remember the old parking lot when it was so new your shoes sunk in the soft black asphalt. There was an orange grove across the street. Last summer I stayed at the Sheraton for an overnight trip to Disneyland with my wife. In the lobby, I saw an old black-and-white photograph of the parking lot. In it was the old two-tone Buick dad drove to Disneyland on opening day. I remember waiting for them to open a gate separating the parking lot from the Entrance, and the gate swinging open.
    What a great memory! Thanks for sharing it!

    -- Barry
    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.

  13. #13

    • Tom Chaney R.I. P.
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    Re: Parking Lot/Structure memories

    Quote Originally Posted by JesterMn View Post
    0
    Anyone else have any comments/memories about either parking lot/structure?
    Way back in 1985 I remember pulling into the parking lot , a few minuts later when another car pulled in just a three spots down. as soon as the car stooped before anyone even got out of that car there were at least 4 security cars behind said car. I did not stop and watch what happened next, but it would my guess they did not see Mickey Mouse that day!
    THIS SPACE FOR SALE OR LEASE





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  14. #14

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    Re: Parking Lot/Structure memories

    Memories from a Parking Lot Crew member (86-88):

    The one summer it got so hot the asphalt was registered to be 150 degrees. We had PL CMs fainting (me being one of them) and one had to be taken to the hospital.

    Driving or Rear Trams - Going around and around and around. After a while you saw the same cars on the ends and would memorize the license plates. If you were RTing you were happy to have people to talk to late nights because it would be so cold and boring.

    Driving- Just to clarify, there was a specific route that you took through out the day. Each stop was strategic and choreographed. Sometimes you had to be very skilled driver because people would park their car in spots not assigned or have overly large cars. You basically ran an obstical course. Plus avoid running people over because guest seem to completely ignore large automobiles with long strands of cars being dragged behind it. I was constantly honking and yelling "GET OUT OF THE WAY!!!!". And yes, after several months of driving you become nuts. It makes you nuts!

    Tollgates:Hi welcome to Disneyland. Parking is $. Please stop looking at me like your surprised to find out, no I don't know where Mickey is today, yes it sure is busy, and I'm sorry you had to wait to get into the Park today for at least *insert time here* (also thinking "Get used to it"). Have a great day!

    Parking: Stand and Point, Walk and Point, Move Cones/Place Cones, and lots of shouting and trying to get peoples attention and avoiding cars where people are not paying attention and seem to think its ok to run over the person in the ugly orange polyster outfit. Slow days were a misery, you'd stand at the end of an isle and wait wait wait with nothing to do. We'd do things like park all the same color or same type of car in a row to fill the time. Cones were a constant source of entertainment and sometimes used to toss under cars who's driver was being difficult. Busy nights, like July 4th, were a nightmare. Then there's the one idiot who got hopped up and drugs and ran his car into a line of cars.

    Best Question:
    Where's the boat that takes you to the entrance?
    -I never went to Walt Disney World so I was stumped. When I told them there wasn't one they didn't believe me.

  15. #15

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    Re: Parking Lot/Structure memories

    When the park was open til 1 am every night during the summer,I would often show up at about after the fireworks about 10pm. There would be no one to charge you of course but the best thing was that you could park about 25 yards from the main gate and just walk right up and into the park. Back then only there was only one turnstile that you could use, that being the one and the far left if you were looking at the park. When the parking got farther and farther away as they built DCA, I got less and less interested having an AP.
    My other memories of the parking was in the late 60"s early 70"s when my brother was one of the "rag tag crew" that drove the trams. Back then cast members got a lot more sign ins then they do now, so we would take the bus to the park. Wait till my brother drove up on the tram, he'd sign us in and then take us home when the park closed. Good times.

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