Disneyland for Grown Ups and Adults
5
Jul
2018
Disneyland for Grown Ups and Adults - Parking

Park Like a Pro – Parking Lot Tips and Time Savers

The good news about Disneyland Parking – you will always be able to find a space.  The bad news – the space can be far away and/or hard to find later.  Some tips:

General Parking Information

All lots are open air – except Mickey and Friends, which is a parking structure. Parking is all-day with “in and out” privileges.  Parking lots open one hour prior to Disneyland Parks opening and close one hour after Disneyland Parks closing. ON BUSY DAYS, PLAN AT LEAST 60″ TO GET FROM THE LOT TO THE PARKS AND AN ADDITIONAL 15-30″ TO GET THROUGH SECURITY.

TAKE A PICTURE OF THE PARKING LOT MARKER BEFORE YOU LEAVE YOUR CAR.  (your Disney character, lot name and number.)  It is easy to lose your car after a full day when it’s dark and you are tired.

Pay attention to where the shuttle or tram drops you off.  That’s where you need to catch the tram/shuttle when you are ready to leave.

Pre-purchased parking is not necessary.  Everyone waits in the same line and there’s no cost advantage.

At Mickey and Friends Parking Structure: Preferred parking is available for those who want to be closer to escalators.  ChargePoint electric vehicle charging stations are also available.  Ask the parking attendant for more details.

Parking Lots and Locations

Downtown Disney Lot:

  • DO NOT USE if you are visiting the Disneyland Parks. For guests visiting Downtown Disney only.
  • Up to 5 hours for free with validation. Validate your ticket at a Downtown Disney sit-down restaurant for 5 hours. Validate at a Downtown Disney store or take out restaurant when you spend $20 or more for 3 hours.
  • Parking lot can fill up by late afternoon. Prepare to drive in circles waiting for a space to open.
  • If you are not validated or you exceed your validated time, costs are charged by the 1/2 hour and add up quickly – beware.
  • Due to the construction of the new Disneyland hotel, some sections of the parking lot have been closed off.

Pumbaa Lot (the jackpot...):

  • The shuttle bus is close and “walk on”.  No bus lines – to or from the lot.
  • The lot is small and fills very quickly. Get there at park opening or earlier.
  • Sometimes, this lot is closed – particularly off season.
  • If you get a parking spot in Pumbaa, you just hit the Disneyland parking lot jackpot!

Toy Story Lots:

  • The later in the day you park, the farther you will be from the shuttle bus loading zone. 
  • Shuttle buses take guests from the lots to Disneyland.  On busy days, there can be a line to get on the bus.
  • You can walk to Disneyland, but it’s a long way with many busy street crossings. It’s almost always quicker to wait for a bus.
  • Getting back to the lots, there is typically a wait – particularly just after a night event (World of Color, Night Parade, Fireworks).  However, the lines move fairly quickly. For every bus you miss, there are several waiting just behind.

Mickey and Friends Lot:

NOTE: A new parking structure is under construction next to Mickey and Friends where the Pinocchio lot used to be. Try using the center stairwell (garage south side) instead of the escalators. You can still walk to/from the parks to Mickey and Friends.

  • The trams can take a while to load – and then additional waiting before they are cleared to leave.  The payoff is the tram trip – you get to see some beautiful landscaping and decorations – particularly during the holidays.
  • The tram drops you off at Downtown Disney Starbucks.  Follow the crowds to the left to enter the parks.
IF YOU ARE A COFFEE DRINKER: get your coffee now!!  The Downtown Disney Starbucks line moves quickly with multiple baristas.  Once inside the parks, you can wait over 15 minutes at Starbucks just to place an order.
  • Waiting for a tram end of the night can be long – particularly after a night event (World of Color, Night Parade, Fireworks).  Think about leaving a little earlier or waiting until later for the crowds to thin.
  • You take a sidewalk from the parks to the lot – but it’s a 15 minute hike…a bit tedious after a long day of being on your feet.
  • All cars merge onto one exit ramp – so expect a back up.  But it usually moves quickly.

Security Checks

Disneyland_Security_Check

Downtown Disney Lot:  between parking lot and Downtown Disney entrance

Pumbaa and Toy Story Lots:  between shuttle bus drop off and Disneyland Parks entrance

Mickey and Friends Lot: bottom level of parking lot

Security agents will check all carry-ons, backpacks, bags and purses:
  • Open all zippers, pockets and storage areas for the inspection agent
A secondary security check at a walk-through metal detector may be required:
  • Place all metal objects in the bins before entering the scanning machine