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  1. #1

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    June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    This week, I updated the Yesterland entry about the old Disneyland parking lot. I added new and larger images, additional text, and a scan of a parking ticket from 1963.

    Link to Parking Lot at Yesterland.

    Please discuss the pictures and the article here.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  2. #2

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    The memories I have of the parking lot are special to my wife and I, my family. The long walk back to the bus on Grad nite at 5 O'clock in the morning. Thanks Werner.
    1st Amendment-Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    Awww, Grad Night! I *miss* the parking lot. What I wouldn't give for DCA
    to just disappear and give back the original lot. Thanks for trip down memory
    lane guys!
    !Vamos Rafa!

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    I love your articles, but come on... how can you say that a dirty parking lot is better than a dirty parking structure?

    As I just recently posted in another thread (ironic, kind of):

    "This is honestly a horrible reason to not like DCA. It is GREAT that there isn't a parking lot right in front of the park! Having to park in a different area and being transported in helps to create "magic" and separate the park from the outside world. This is the reason why there are no buses to the Magic Kingdom at WDW (at least until a year ago when I was there). Buses are gross. Buses are normal. So, in order to get there, you have to take a bus to the TTA and ride the monorail or a ferry over. Monorails and ferries are much more exciting.

    Disney does and should separate the parks from a plain old, dirty, asphalt parking lot full of everyday cars. I think it's great that one isn't sitting right outside of the best theme park on the planet.

    Not to mention the environmental effect of such a large heat sink created by that huge of a parking lot. A parking garage has a lot less surface area for the same amount of cars since they're stacked."

    Okay, maybe it's nostalgic for some people, and that's great. But honestly it is a disgusting lot (especially with those electric lines) that has no Disney magic and I'm glad it's gone! Just think: children of today might be sad if they knocked down the current parking garage and replaced it with something else because that's THEIR nostalgia. But still, it doesn't make sense to me.

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    Ahhh... the memories.... having worked in that lot, this was a great article. Thank you, Werner. Man... hotel tram shifts late at night, being back in Winnie-the-Pooh and being surrounded by those shrub bushes; the lot had to be really full to get back there, that big dip in the pavement in Owl, afternoon shifts in the non-peak seasons where you'd just be in the middle of the lot waiting for another car to come in (that was pretty boring), parking a whole row of white cars.... mmm mmm, good times.

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    Let's face it, the real reason they tore out the parking lot and put in a new theme park was money, pure and simple. Of course, every American corporation doesn't do anything without money in mind, but Disney is different and DCA was nothing but a cheap way to cash in on the Disney name. Having 100 acres of available land in the middle of Orange County must have been too tempting to pass up, but it completely changed the tone of Disneyland forever.

    It used to be that you entered the parking lot then walked up to the front gate with increasing anticipation. You could see some of the rides and inside the park almost from the moment you stepped out of your car. It just *felt* like Disneyland once you got into that parking lot. There were no distractions, no other parks and nothing to take your mind off Disneyland and its equally stunningly themed Disneyland Hotel.

    Fastforward to 2001-present, now you park in an industrial parking structure, wait in line for 10 minutes, take a very bland and boring drive for a few minutes, and are dropped off in what could easily be mistaken for a bus depot. There is no anticipation, no feeling of Disney whatsoever. Not to mention there is now a totally separate park and shopping area competing for your attention.

    Disney definitely got the "resort" feel they were going for...but at what price. Disneyland used to be a completely unique and special place. It still is in most regards, but it has become only an element in a much bigger puzzle now. It's simply a cog in the Disney machine at Anaheim and although it still has the distinction of being Walt's park, you can't help but think now how it's only a small piece of a bigger resort.

    I miss the old Disneyland, and I *definitely* miss the old parking lot.

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    It's funny to think out of the many, many times I went to Disneyland and parked in the lot, which attractions I must have parked on. I know I must've parked in that big lagoon, and maybe even on the Tower of Terror. It's interesting that I very well could've parked in the exact location of some of my favorite rides.

    Maybe DCA should've kept one parking spot, like Walt kept one orange tree from the original 1954 groves. They could've kept the asphalt for the Hollywood Backlot road, that would've been a proper Disney send off to a classic attraction.

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    Quote Originally Posted by Athlonacon View Post
    Having 100 acres of available land in the middle of Orange County must have been too tempting to pass up, but it completely changed the tone of Disneyland forever.

    It used to be that you entered the parking lot then walked up to the front gate with increasing anticipation. You could see some of the rides and inside the park almost from the moment you stepped out of your car. It just *felt* like Disneyland once you got into that parking lot. There were no distractions, no other parks and nothing to take your mind off Disneyland and its equally stunningly themed Disneyland Hotel.

    Fastforward to 2001-present, now you park in an industrial parking structure, wait in line for 10 minutes, take a very bland and boring drive for a few minutes, and are dropped off in what could easily be mistaken for a bus depot. There is no anticipation, no feeling of Disney whatsoever. Not to mention there is now a totally separate park and shopping area competing for your attention.

    Disney definitely got the "resort" feel they were going for...but at what price. Disneyland used to be a completely unique and special place. It still is in most regards, but it has become only an element in a much bigger puzzle now. It's simply a cog in the Disney machine at Anaheim and although it still has the distinction of being Walt's park, you can't help but think now how it's only a small piece of a bigger resort.

    I miss the old Disneyland, and I *definitely* miss the old parking lot.
    You've encapsulated the sentiment of many people, includng myself, perfectly.

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    While do miss the memories of the parking lot, I do have to disagree with one item in Werner's update--that the parking structure is not efficient. Yeah, it may be unattractive, and sometimes you can have a long walk to the trams. But when all is said and done, I think the parking structure is an improvement for two huge reasons: (1) keeping your car in the shade for hot and/or rainy days (unless you got stuck on the top level), and (2) I've never had a major traffic jam on the way out of the park.

    One thing I certainly do not miss is the "Electrical Parking Lot Parade" that occurred at the end of every night at park closing when every single car had to exit out of the park through the lone, two lane exit. That easily took a 1/2 hour or more just to get out of that lot. It was aggravating, and bad enough that it was a standard spiel joke in the Jungle Cruise. Now, I've never had a delay more than 5-10 minutes at the light at Ball! I also don't miss forgetting where I've parked my car.
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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    omg
    IT'S a PARKING LOT.

    Get over it.

    Next thing there is going to be an article over an ODV cart.
    Something so mundane as a parking lot is not as important as an attraction...having this in the update is beyond me.

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    Cool Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot



    The Disneyland Parking Lot. My old workplace ... 1993-2000.

    Ah yes, those were the days. Something that the article only touches on was the P-Lot Cast Member team. Oh, we were really good at what we did. And everyone had to be on top of their game to "survive." Especially during those sizzling hot 'n' busy summer days. Any vet p-lot CMs remember cutting traffic to Unoco at just about the same time Code 90 was called?

    To this day, old-timer parking lot CMs who now work in the parking structure (or even those who transferred to another department) will tell you of the decline of CM quality beginning shortly before the close of the old parking lot. So there was a loose "old lot" / "new lot" quality classification. Like "old school" / "new school."

    I liked the old parking lot because when you arrived at Disneyland back then, seeing Main Street station and Matterhorn Mountain across a sea of cars looked like a wonderful beckoning mirage. I appreciated my arrival to Disneyland more back then. Even if you were parked in a distant lot, half the fun of getting in the main gate was the journey, not just the destination.

    Which brings me to the tram spieling CMs...the ones who were actually good. (The position is called RT. You know, the Cast Member that stands on the back of the tram. RT stands for Rear Tram, even to this day). Most good tram spielers went through Narrations Training. Compare the Narrations-trained CMs to non-trained, and through no fault of their own, most of the non-trained CMs were often bland and utilitarian. Sound like today's CMs? Hmm. Declining by degrees, anyone?

    Finally, getting back to your car at 1:30am? Well, not as much fun. ;-)


    ...One last thing. I wish there had been pictures of the old toll plazas in this article. Harbor and Katella. In all their incarnations.

    I have an old timer parking lot friend who has boxes full of old lot pictures...toll plazas, too.

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    Cool Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    Quote Originally Posted by JesterMn View Post
    One thing I certainly do not miss is the "Electrical Parking Lot Parade" that occurred at the end of every night at park closing when every single car had to exit out of the park through the lone, two lane exit. That easily took a 1/2 hour or more just to get out of that lot. It was aggravating, and bad enough that it was a standard spiel joke in the Jungle Cruise. Now, I've never had a delay more than 5-10 minutes at the light at Ball! I also don't miss forgetting where I've parked my car.
    There were six exits, not just one. We did our best to route cars away from the exit you're speaking of. The very problem was that everyone thought there was only one exit. We would re-route and re-route to help people out.

    Any old lot CMs remember DFGH or UVYW?

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    Quote Originally Posted by TheManator View Post
    Something so mundane as a parking lot is not as important as an attraction...having this in the update is beyond me.
    How old are you?

    The really odd thing is that I *do* have fond memories of stuff that happened in that parking lot (It closed when I was 18) -- but the first thrill of the morning, when I was a kid, was to park in that lot. You turned the corner and WOW there was DISNEYLAND, just across the way. You got out of your car and bolted to the front entrance of the park. You could see the trees and some of the structures inside the Park. (You still get this thrill when you park at some of the WDW resorts that have their lots in front of the Park)

    Now there isn't any anticipation. You see the backstage of Disneyland before anything else. Getting to and from the front entrance of Disneyland is this half-hour schlep even after you exit the freeway.

    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).
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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    Quote Originally Posted by Chernabog View Post
    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 think I understand what you are saying here but I want to sure...

    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?

    If this is what you mean, I think I would agree. I've always been curious about this so I'm going to check using some new versus old maps.

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    Re: June 22, 2007: Parking Lot

    Quote Originally Posted by Chernabog View Post
    The really odd thing is that I *do* have fond memories of stuff that happened in that parking lot (It closed when I was 18) -- but the first thrill of the morning, when I was a kid, was to park in that lot. You turned the corner and WOW there was DISNEYLAND, just across the way. You got out of your car and bolted to the front entrance of the park. You could see the trees and some of the structures inside the Park. (You still get this thrill when you park at some of the WDW resorts that have their lots in front of the Park)

    Now there isn't any anticipation. You see the backstage of Disneyland before anything else. Getting to and from the front entrance of Disneyland is this half-hour schlep even after you exit the freeway.
    I agree Chern on this one...

    It is anti-climatic now, that sublime anticipation - the expectation of travling from a mundain world to one of amazement is gone... That rush from getting from your car door to the front gate is gone...

    The location of the new parking structure is horrendous... It overlooks vertualy all the industrial aspects of the park... From the Anaheim Fire/Police station to the show buildings of POTC... The wearhouse for WDI... Having to pass TDA entrance from Ball Road to get to the entrance... Your first impression of the park is this huge megothic parking structure as big as the Hanging Garden of Babalon... This is compared to the front gate...

    What exactly is the "Wonderment" as you approach Disneyland today? Is it the park itself or the huge parking structure? First impressions are important.

    Everything now has this "campus" feel to it... Going to Disneyland is a lot like going to college now... Sigh... And it is almost as expensive too...
    Last edited by cellarhound; 06-22-2007 at 08:29 AM.
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