My Secret Parking area for Disneyland
Submitted by iedude on Thu, 01/24/2013 - 4:09pm
Obviously Disneyland and California Adventure aren't in the Inland Empire, but because so many Inland Empire residents go to Disneyland often or are annual passholders, I wanted to share our "secret parking spot" that we use every time we go to the resort.
Technically if you visit Disneyland or California Adventure, you aren't supposed to park in this area. As you approach Disneyland all of the
signs will indicate theme-park parking is in the large west-lot, smaller east parking lot, or the large parking structure. There are even a few mobile electric signs that specifically indicate "No Disneyland parking allowed" in our secret spot. But the way I see it, if I pay for the parking I can walk to wherever I want, be it Downtown Disney, California Adventure or Disneyland proper.
Why not just park in the designated Disneyland parking areas?
On a busy day (i.e.; most days), if you park in the designated Disneyland or California Adventure parking areas, you can expect:
- A long wait just to get in to the parking area - often times as long as 20 minutes
- A long walk to the tram that takes you to Downtown Disney
- A long wait for the tram to arrive (usually at least 5-10 minutes)
- At the end of your stay at the Disney Resort, another wait for the tram back to the parking area, long walk back to the car, and long-line to exit the parking area
When you park your car in this "secret" area of mine, you are right in Downtown Disney (right at the Rainforest Cafe), then it's just a short walk to the Disneyland entrance. If you have an Annual Pass for Disneyland, you can cut that walk in half and skip the long lines to get into the main entrance by taking the Monorail into Tomorrowland. The Monorail entrance is just a few yards beyond the parking area, across from the Lego Store. At the end of your stay, it's a short walk back through Downtown Disney back to your car, then fast, easy access back to the freeways.
Depending on how long you stay, it may cost $3-$5 more to park in this area - well worth it in our opinion! But, if you cut your stay to less than 6 hours, it is actually cheaper than parking in the regular parking lot or parking structure.
Where is this secret parking area?
Our secret parking spot is actually the Downtown Disney parking lot which is across from the Disneyland Hotel. You can get there from Disneyland Drive by turning onto Magic Way, and following the signs for Hotel parking. Turn left on Downtown Drive, go through the gates (stop to get a ticket) and you're there!
See the map for more info. Clicking the map will take you to Google Maps where you can get specific directions from wherever you are coming from.
Enjoy your stay at Disneyland!
*Update: since this was posted in 2013, Disneyland has apparently updated the fees for parking here and it is now just as expensive as parking in the main parking structure (but, still closer!).