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  1. #16

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    I totally agree with these posts pointing out the way the old parking lot made DL a magic island in the world, a destination. The sense of anticipation as you approached the gates from a distance was one of the most exhilerating experiences of the whole day.

  2. #17

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    Quote Originally Posted by System Error View Post
    Walking from the farthest point in the old Winnie the Pooh lot to the Winnie the Pooh tram stop was closer than walking from the farthest point of the new parking structure to the new tram stop. Correct?
    Correct (add much much closer) But even from the farthest end of the Winnie the Pooh parking area, it was a only a 5-10 minute walk into the park if you didn't take the tram.

    Now, after you park, it can be a 5-10 minute walk... to the tram line (unless you are lucky enough to get Doris Day parking).

    So coming off the 5 freeway and into Disneyland went from a 15 minute thing into a 30-45 minute thing. And look at that lovely tarp and backstage area as your first glimpse of Disneyland (modeled after the famed "Arts and Crafts movement" .... in California).
    I am grateful... grapefruit! ~ Bjork (upon winning Best International Female Artist at the BRIT Awards)



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  3. #18

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    Quote Originally Posted by Chernabog View Post
    Correct (add much much closer) But even from the farthest end of the Winnie the Pooh parking area, it was a only a 5-10 minute walk into the park if you didn't take the tram.

    Now, after you park, it can be a 5-10 minute walk... to the tram line (unless you are lucky enough to get Doris Day parking).

    So coming off the 5 freeway and into Disneyland went from a 15 minute thing into a 30-45 minute thing. And look at that lovely tarp and backstage area as your first glimpse of Disneyland (modeled after the famed "Arts and Crafts movement" .... in California).
    You're right. Even the farthest point in Winnie the Pooh was closer than the farthest part of the parking structure.

    To be sure, I did a composite layered comparison in Photoshop between a map from Google Earth and the old Disneyland overhead photo from hiddenmickeys.org.

    What do you think?


    Photos courtesy of HiddenMickeys.org and Google Earth.

  4. #19

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    Quote Originally Posted by Athlonacon View Post
    Disneyland used to be a completely unique and special place.
    That's right, because there are no other amusement parks in the world with parking lots right outside their entrances. Oh wait. That's every amusement park in the world. How many theme parks are there without parking right outside the gates? Disney parks. And maybe a few other well-done theme parks.

    Believe me: although a very small minority of people might have lost a sense of nostalgia, for everyone else it is a huge psychological improvement to separate parking and resort.

    This is almost a repeat of my previous post. But, for a second just forget about DCA and just focus on parking somewhere far away and being transported in. Seeing Space Mountain from 5, then arriving at the parking structure, then taking a tram ride in, does so much more to heighten anticipation that pulling into some ghetto, dirty parking lot. (There are very few "nice" parking lots in the world, and they all are small, shady, and try as hard as possible to take the focus off of the cars. Disneyland's parking lot was NOTHING like that.) Also, although the tram ride isn't some beautiful tour de force, it still is much nicer riding through foliage and Downtown Disney than a parking lot.

    You get on the parking tram, and leave the world as you know it behind. Much more immersive for your average guest.

  5. #20

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    Quote Originally Posted by Chernabog View Post
    And for anyone who thinks the parking structure is efficient, you aren't taking into consideration:

    a) the horrific lines most days to get IN (i.e. 20+ minutes many times, JUST to get to the parking ticket booths, especially on weekends)

    b) the fact that they had to switch the ways the cars go in and out from the way the cars were originally meant to be parked, which means ALL cars have to go all the way to one end of the structure just to drive up again, and THEN you have to make that same loop on your way back (you put an extra mile or so on your car every time you park, and when you're entering, much of that time is spent in slow-moving traffic from the parking ticket booth)

    c) the walk time from your car to the tram is oftentimes farther than from Winnie the Pooh to the front of Disneyland in the old lot, and THEN you have to wait for the tram (or walk an additional half-mile).
    I agree and disagree with you. The latter first.

    a) There could still be horrific lines to get in and park with the old parking lot. Typically, it did move faster (based on my memory, anyway), but that's more a matter of staffing than the structure itself. Usually, when there's lines at the current structure, it's not because there aren't enough booths... it's that 2/3 of them are not being staffed. So that's not the structures' fault.

    b) the direction thing was fixed somewhat quickly (okay, somewhat being a relative term). Certainly, it is annoying to go all the way around to exit now. But you could drive just as far to an exit in the old lot too. Look at the map above, and it's pretty clear. Although there may have been multiple exits, in all my times there, they were never open. Only the single on on the far west side.

    Where I do agree... your last point, the walk is pretty far. And there is no debating you main point... it does take away from the anticipation. You hit the nail on the head there. It's a great point.
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  6. #21

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    I love this article! It makes me sad that the old parking lot is gone. I too, used to get that "feeling" just walking through it in anticipation of what was ahead.

    And for those of you that worked the old parking lot, you always looked like you were having a blast, you were the first CM's that everyone saw, if you weren't Disney, that would have been so disappointing. You were always laughing talking to everyone walking through, my friend and I always said that if we worked Disneyland that the parking lot would be fun although I am sure it had its days.....

  7. #22

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    I loved parking in Bambi in that one closest space to the Main Gate. I think I got that space about 5 different times over the years, asking the CM "I just left, can I see if my space is still there".

    Then when I got a job there, it was always easy to park in Bambi (during visits) by simply entering through the employee entrance.

    And I absolutely loved on the weekends when they'd open up the old admin parking lot next to Harbor House. For a long time my shifts just happened to work out so that I'd arrive right when they opened it, so again I'd be able to park in the closest space to Harbor House.

    The only thing that would have been better would be to park inside the berm (which I never got a chance to).

    Yeah, the old lot had its problems, but I prefer it to the new structure. Then again, I'd choose DCA over a parking lot (even though I'm not a big DCA fan).

  8. #23

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    Someone explain to me, why the first are worse? I took the family to DL Park on Monday and arrived at the Mickey and Friends lot at 7:40am and besides getting a spot on the bottom of the structure, why do they fill the furthest sections first? We were one of the first and had to walk the furthest. I guess thatís just one more thing wrong with the Resort itself.

    Itís been 10 plus years since an E ticket ride went in to DL (I donít count the Sub as a new ride, and hardly an E ticket at that (poor in my opinion)) but the park was stale, predictable (even the Pirates Lare), and can no longer occupy a full day without adding in CAdv into the day.

  9. #24

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    Cool Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Jack View Post
    Someone explain to me, why the first are worse? I took the family to DL Park on Monday and arrived at the Mickey and Friends lot at 7:40am and besides getting a spot on the bottom of the structure, why do they fill the furthest sections first? We were one of the first and had to walk the furthest. I guess thatís just one more thing wrong with the Resort itself.
    Now this is just a guess because I never worked the new parking structure but as for the old lot, the only time we started parking far away first thing in the morning was when there was a Grad Nite that night. This was done because Grad Nite buses needed to park as close to the entrance as we could get them when they came in after hours (for security reasons). But not all cars that came during the day would be gone and cleared out by the time we needed to park the big honkin' buses in those isles close to the entrance.

    So the normal solution was to NOT park Guests in the close spaces during the day. Hence, morning visitors parked in the far places first. None of the Guests were happy with it, and it wasn't easy to explain either...but it really helped create an efficient night-time operation.

    Comprende?

  10. #25

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    Quote Originally Posted by System Error View Post

    Comprende?
    Only thing is that doesn't work for the new structure since the buses dont park inside it, but rather, in the outside Pinocchio parking lot. I assume this includes Grad Nite buses also (though perhaps they park them on the Timon side of the resort).
    I am grateful... grapefruit! ~ Bjork (upon winning Best International Female Artist at the BRIT Awards)



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  11. #26

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    Quote Originally Posted by jett View Post
    That's right, because there are no other amusement parks in the world with parking lots right outside their entrances. Oh wait. That's every amusement park in the world. How many theme parks are there without parking right outside the gates? Disney parks. And maybe a few other well-done theme parks.
    Well, you never been to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, have you... It is on a hill across a lake... So you get the ABOVE picturesque view... And th e entrance is almost all the way at the other side of the park in the center of a giant kidney bean layout... Smooshed between to coasters in what used to be the old parkinglot...

    By the time you get there, it's like, woe... Did I really want to come here?
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  12. #27

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    Quote Originally Posted by Chernabog View Post
    Only thing is that doesn't work for the new structure since the buses dont park inside it, but rather, in the outside Pinocchio parking lot. I assume this includes Grad Nite buses also (though perhaps they park them on the Timon side of the resort).
    You got me on this one. I worked the old parking lot. Not the new. So I don't know the reason.

    Any current parking lot CMs out there to help us on this? Can I get a West2 on this? (West2 is the lead responsible for traffic flow within the lot. Unless my info is outdated.)

  13. #28

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Jack View Post
    Someone explain to me, why the first are worse? I took the family to DL Park on Monday and arrived at the Mickey and Friends lot at 7:40am and besides getting a spot on the bottom of the structure, why do they fill the furthest sections first? We were one of the first and had to walk the furthest. I guess thatís just one more thing wrong with the Resort itself.

    Itís been 10 plus years since an E ticket ride went in to DL (I donít count the Sub as a new ride, and hardly an E ticket at that (poor in my opinion)) but the park was stale, predictable (even the Pirates Lare), and can no longer occupy a full day without adding in CAdv into the day.
    Isn't the bottom where they have the handicap spaces?

    Besides, they probably do that to improve the flow of cars coming in. Cars have to slow down to make turns and pull into the spaces. So if they prolong that, the cars should be able to flow into the garage at a better rate. The only way to prolong the slowdown of cars is to have them drive further. Think of how snacks and drinks are distributed on airlines. The passenger cabin is divided into sections for each attendant or set of attendants. The galley is near the front. The attendants with the baskets or carts move all the way to the rear of the passenger cabin until each attendant is at the last row of their own respective sections and then begin to move foward. The passengers in the back would never get their drinks on an hour long flight if the attendants who serve the front of the cabin started with their section first. So with a garage like Disneyland's, it could take longer to park the cars if they start with the closest spaces first.

  14. #29

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    Yes, SystemError, I was thinking about DFGH while reading the article as well.

    Your picture of the rainbow reminded me of one night I was driving a tram, and looked in my left mirror and saw Space Mountain. I looked in my right mirror and saw the Matterhorn. It was just a realization for me that I was working at a special place, and reminded me of how great an experience it was. I also remember walking home from the park one after noon when the sun was setting and the monorail ran overhead, and there was a palm tree reflected in the color band of the monorail... a great image summing up my first summer in California.

    One thing I think is lost with the parking lot not being in front of the park... is the red carpet idea of DL. The idea DL is setup like a movie theater/premiere. First the red carpet pavement is/was set up in that promenade to walk you up to the park. And then there's the lobby and the movie/attraction posters, and the tunnels to open up into the show. What makes me think about this is, we weren't supposed drive our carts on the red carpet.

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  15. #30

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    I just had my first experience with 'Mickey & Friends' during a recent west coast trip. Previously, I had stayed where a trolley would pick us up, or at a hotel across Harbor where it was an easy walk. I also have many memories of visiting Disneyland in the '60s, so some comparisons could be made.

    First, I am glad Warner includes this part of Disney history in Yesterland. As a child, we would strain as we rode down the 5 to be the first to see the Matterhorn, and then the Harbor exit and the Disneyland sign! If your timing was right, a Monorail may even zoom by to your right as you approached the lot entrance. In our minds, we were already there! The parking lot was not a problem because you could see the Train Station, and the Matterhorn, and you knew you were just seconds away from walking amongst them. If the park is set as a production and walking under the station is par with the rising curtain, then the parking lot was the trailers before the show, just raising your excitement level!

    Second, I understand Disney's business decision to do what they did. They wanted to build a second venue, and resort type hotels. Land is at a premium. So the parking structure was a necessity. My fault comes with fact that the approved design does little to provide that pre-park expectation I felt as a child. As has been noted, except for some signage with Disney characters you might as well be parking at the Irvine Spectrum Center. It could have been special. More friendly, more accessible. The way a parking structure should be built, rather than what is needed to serve the purpose.

    So on my latest trip, when did I feel I was at Disneyland. That emotion did not hit until after we walked through the security kiosk into the Esplanade. Seeing the Train Station was the catalyst. Younger guests will never know the feelings they will miss, and the joy of expectations fulfilled, that a walk through the old Disneyland park had created like magic.

    Quote Originally Posted by System Error View Post
    <Image snip>

    The Disneyland Parking Lot. My old workplace ... 1993-2000.
    <snip>
    SE - Is this your picture? Can I have permission to copy it for personal use (in an education powerpoint on weather)?

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