Does anyone have magical memory about the Mickey and Friends lot they would like to share?
Let's see... It's not the greatest story, but we still get a snort out of it. I was out of college and back in LA, so this was about '94. My sister came home from Boston for Christmas, and we made our annual trip to Disneyland. My mom had given me her '67 Camaro, and we parked way out in Thumper (I think), we had NEVER parked that far out, but we were moving slow that morning. We had a fabulous day in the park (as always), got on Indy for the first time ever, and in about 20 minutes (with a 90 minute wait time posted), saw Fantasmic for the first time, just an all around great day with my sis.
We couldn't find my car. It's a big red '67 Camaro, and we couldn't find it anywhere. I kept clicking my alarm beeper, listening for the chirp, and nothing... We walked all over that section of lot before we finally found it, laughing the whole time like idiots. My car was worth about $2500, and so was her French Horn in my trunk. (I know, don't leave your valuables, but it's a bit big to put in a locker.) Now, never ONCE did it cross our minds that my car might be stolen, not once, because dude, it's DISNEYLAND.
Do I feel the same safety in the parking structure? Not one bit. It feels like the Mall parking, and I just don't think you could possibly monitor each floor all the time. The old lot just felt safer. And I totally agree with the anticipation build you'd get while approaching the gates. I miss that old red "carpet."
I'd just like to ask, what is so special about the parking lot? You say the new structure isn't very Disney, well what was so Disney about the lot? That each section was named after a character? Wow.
I think the columnist is letting his viewpoint be obstructed by nostalgia a little bit too much.
Shiny and New DISNEY TRIPS October 2000 - Walt Disney World Resort
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July 2009 - Disneyland Resort Paris July 2011 - Disneyland Resort California July 2012 - UK Cultural Representative Cast Member at Epcot
There never has been nor will there ever be a parking lot as awesome as the old Disneyland parking lot. It is that simple. Aesthetically and thematically, it was place-appropriate. It was a prep area to psych oneself up before entering The Dream. Today's parking garage, stashed off to the side like a bothersome afterthought, simply cannot compare.
While I miss being able to stroll back to my car and having the trams drop me off not too far from it, what I DON'T miss is the traffic insantiy trying to get out of the old parking lot anytime after the fireworks. It was a sea of red lights, as far as the eye could see. Then you made it back out to Harbor and there were MORE red lights. How long did that used to take? 40 minutes? An hour?
I think it's the "nothing particularly efficient" part that jumped out at me.
Nothing except being able to go from your car to the freeway in just under two minutes. THAT, to me, is worth losing Bambi, Thumper, and where I usually had to park....in Tinkerbell. The new structure ROCKS and is VERY efficient in terms of exiting.
Now...about that hike from the back corner of the top level...
Heck. It just helps me get rid of those churros faster.
I have memories going way back of Disneyland and the parking lot. And while the parking structure might not seem very "Disney" it is very efficient, as has been mentioned in other posts (other than the annoying fact that every time I go to DLR they don't open parking up until just 30 minutes before the park opens). I have found the cast members at the garage very efficient and getting in and out is easy. I remember the old days of waiting a long time to get out of the parking lot.
I do miss the old days of annual passholders having preferred parking and getting to park up close to the entrance. But other than that, I don' t miss the Disneyland parking lot any more than I would miss the EPCOT parking lot if they built a parking garage there and built another theme park. I much prefer DCA and the Grand California Hotel to a parking lot.
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.
Sure, I miss the old giant parking lot, along with the Disneyland sign, since it signaled that Disneyland was around the corner.
However, it is much better to have another theme park (not matter how mediocre it is) than have a surface parking lot.
Sure, I hate walking more just to just to the tram stop, but the tram and the parking structure is still very much Disney. After all, what parking structure in the world has Disney cast members to guide you to the next available spot to park at? In other parking structures, you have to drive around the floor a lot just to find a parking spot. Besides, what parking structure is more driver friendly than Mickey and Friends?
Besides, what other place can you ride a tram to the Happiest Place on Earth? It still has the Disney feeling. Face it, land is short at Disneyland.
During all the times my family has used the structure, we had no problem entering the structure thru the main entrance at Disneyland Drive. It was a very short wait to get in. Entering thru Magic Way was much longer, but it is shorter than when my family tried to park in Timon lot in 1999. Traffic was terrible.
Last edited by jonyyeh; 06-26-2007 at 10:38 PM.
Reason: corrected street
Well, the current parking garage set up does make it feel like you're parking your car and going to some remote location on the trams, sort of. If you're staying on Ball Rd and Disneyland Dr area, you can take the tram to the garage and go out through a CM lot to the old West St.
During all the times my family has used the structure, we had no problem entering the structure thru the main entrance at Disneyland Drive. It was a very short wait to get in.
Getting into the structure is usually godawful (especially in the summers) until at least 12:00 pm. Sometimes you DO get lucky though, but many times it has been an incredibly long line simply because they dont have all lanes open and they have one person working for two lanes.
One of the reasons I didn't renew my AP is because the thought of doing that 30-45 minute rigamarole from the freeway offramp to Main Street (and that's WITHOUT waiting in the ticket line) really turns my stomach.
I am grateful... grapefruit! ~ Bjork (upon winning Best International Female Artist at the BRIT Awards)
New to the Yesterland discussion groups and with my next trip to DL just days away-- I can't believe I just spent an hour reading 5 pages of posts about old parking lot vs. New parking lot. Really? Really??
I grew up in SoCal and would (like others) strain my next for a glimpse of DL when we drove on the 5. Not just when we went to DL, but every time we were on the 5.
I loved the DL sign and I loved the walk into the park.
The first time I visited the park after the structure was built, we thought we were lost. We had no idea where we were until we saw the top of Splash Mt. It was unsettling. But the worst part of the structure was the tram ride in and seeing backstage and CMs SMOKING! The HORROR! I thought right then that Walt would hate this. Where's the suspended belief in that? CMs don't smoke, cuss, drink or breathe. Do they? (of course they DO, but guests aren't supposed to see that!).
Since then--I don't DO parking structure. I live in No. Cal, so I get a hotel right outside the park and we walk in--just like old times.
And for the record-- I like DCA-- I don't LOVE it. but I don't mind running over there for 3 hours and jumping on Tower or catching the Muppets 3D movie. My daughter and I treat it like any other "LAND". Its like ToonTown. It has one or two good rides, I certainly don't want to spend all day there, and it closes early.
My verdict-- ITS A PARKING LOT. Do I get to go to DISNEYLAND--then I'll park where ever they want me to. As long as DISNEYLAND is on the other side. The day I'm more concerned with parking and traffic is the day I stop going to DL.