My Secret Parking area for Disneyland


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.
Best parking spot for Disneyland 
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!).


Xrich, it's one thing to scroll on by and not stick it in people's faces that you know a secret they don't. I doubt that feels good to be 'nah, nah, nah' about it.

Would you mind emailing me or texting me some of your secrets or ideas please? I'll keep them a secret, and only one vehicle. We're in Cali for schooling and will be moving out of Cali within a year but can't afford parking every time.

my granddaughter & her family will be staying here in April. I have another granddaughter who lives nearby Disneyland & I was planning on taking her to visit her cousins but not go to the park,,,been there many times. Any suggestions as to where I should plan to park ?

I parked in Downtown Disney with a motorcycle and there's enough room for motorcycles to slide across the corner. Plus motorcycles can't even get tickets to park because the vehicle isn't heavy enough to dispense another ticket.

I rode past the gate and they didn't stop me.

This used to be our go to parking spot but Disney just increased their rates (not surprisingly). You can only park for 2 hours now in that lot. 4 with validation from a sit down restaurant. After that is $6 every 30 mins.

It's people like this that caused Disney to raise the prices for downtown Disney parking. We used to go on family walks around downtown Disney and not have to pay much for parking. Now it's not worth it anymore. Too much to park. Thanks a lot to these selfish idiots who think of no one but themselves and don't follow the rules.

Selfish cheap when you're the one who doesn't pay to go into the actual park?? LOL

the secret which was previously kept was the neighborhood just behind the mickey and friends parking structure on ball road. where cast member enter from, and park but they use to let anyone have access to the parking structure because of the 5 non disney hotels back their. but as of early this yr, no longer pay royalties so its closed off and its cast member only. they make you walk all away around. cast member use to park inside but now park in that neighborhood because of the star wars land construction crew.

Downtown Disney has changed its parking policy. They now charge $12/hr unless you purchase something for $20 or more and get the parking ticket validated.

Thanks for the if i get my ticket validated do i still get charged for extra hrs after purchase?