Parking at Disneyland - does this idea make sense?

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by MommytoaSweetie, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. MommytoaSweetie

    MommytoaSweetie DIS Veteran

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    I've tried to read through lots of threads on similar topics, but I'm not 100% sure I have it all correct and wanted to check. Our family (me, DH, and DD who will be 14 months old) are staying at the Anaheim Marriott Suites for our visit. We know it's not in walking distance, but it met our requirements better than hotels within walking distance. We also do not plan on using the ART, as we'd prefer to put our DD in a carseat, which isn't really possible on a shuttle, so we'll be driving to Disneyland on our days there. (we'll have a rental car anyway)

    Anyway, I've learned that the parking deck will open 30 minutes before the opening of the park, but also that the whole parking system will take some time. Would it work for DH to drop DD and me off at the main entrance (or wherever shuttles drop off or something) so that we could go wait at the gate to get in (I'm assuming there's a line to get in?), and then he could join us after going through parking? How long will parking really take?

    On MM/EE days, does the parking deck open 30 minutes before them or just 30 minutes before the park officially opens (and therefore 30 minutes after MM/EE starts)?

    If we wanted to leave during the day and come back later, would parking still take just as long? I'm not really sure we'll do this, but wanted to see anyway.

    Thanks so much for your help!! :)
     
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  3. B9erSteve

    B9erSteve Disney Dad

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    Yes, he can drop you off, there are convienent loading spaces off harbor. As to whether you want to or not...

    You have to understand that parking will take a substantial amount of time. He will need to drive to the garage from the drop off point 3-5 minutes, then park (depending on the traffic for the time of the day, between 5 minutes and 15 minutes, then down to the shuttles, waiting for a shuttle, then riding it to DTD. I would guess that it could take up to 15 minutes (he'll be moving slightly faster because he won't have the entire family in tow otherwise I would have given it 20-30 minutes.) then about a 5 minute walk through DTD and the security stop (if it's not too busy) So at a minimum you would have 30 minutes to wait for him to rejoin you.

    As far as leaving during the day. The shuttle times should not be very harsh.
     
  4. MommytoaSweetie

    MommytoaSweetie DIS Veteran

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    Actually, 15 minutes doesn't sound all that bad. We're used to staying way off site at WDW, driving to it, and long waits with parking, so I was expecting worse. Dropping us off sounds a lot easier than trying to get all of us and our stuff on a tram. :)

    Is there a wait at the front gate to get into the park at the opening? If so, would it work for DD and I to wait there and DH to join us after getting the car parked?

    Any idea what time the parking deck opens on days with MM?
     
  5. WannaBeAPrincess

    WannaBeAPrincess <font color=teal>I love me a Dole Whip....Mmmmmm<b

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    We stayed at Emabassy Suites a couple of weeks ago that was too far to walk to too and used ART, but then we drove ourselves on the last day. Boy, we will never do that again! Just be prepared for a long wait! We arrived at the parking structure before park opening, but actually walked into the park about 45 minutes after they opened. The crowds are horrendous first thing in the morning especially.
    We have four young children and the ART was really convenient and easy to use and dropped us off right at the gate. Couldn't have been simpler. If you are sure you want to drive though, just be prepared.
    Have fun!
     
  6. MommytoaSweetie

    MommytoaSweetie DIS Veteran

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    Uh oh, that doesn't sound great, WannaBeAPrincess! Maybe we'll look around first (we're doing a half-day first before an early morning day) to get an idea of which would be best.
     
  7. Tink208

    Tink208 Mouseketeer

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    It has been so long since we drove to visit Disneyland (I think it was when the parking lot was where CA is now), that I don't really have any advice specific to the times, et cetera. But, just based on my experience with being dropped off places and waiting for the driver to meet back up with me, I would recommend that your husband be sure to keep his own ticket to the park so that if he gets hung up, you and the kid(s) can move on into the park instead of just standing waiting on the plaza.
     
  8. Vala

    Vala DIS Veteran

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    We drove in November from our hotel to the park. We did ART the year before and didn't really like it.

    It wasn't that bad. We arrived at the parking structure about 10 minutes before scheduled opening of the parking lot. We were second in line, caught the first tram of the day and made it to the park in less than 15 minutes.
     
  9. MommytoaSweetie

    MommytoaSweetie DIS Veteran

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    Oh that's good to know, Vala! We're thinking we'll try out driving/parking the first day (really a half-day) and then figure out what'll be best the next day. What didn't you like about the ART?

    Tink, good idea about the ticket, thanks!
     
  10. Vala

    Vala DIS Veteran

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    I edited my first post. My sister pointed out that we were there 10 minutes before the parking lot opened, and that apparently opens an hour before the park opens. I guess I was too excited to remember exactly. :lmao:

    We had only problems with ART. We were staying at the Red Roof Inn, so it was quite a distance to DLR. I know it was a mistake chosing that hotel in the first place, but all of my friends had told me how great ART was, so I thought it wouldn't matter.

    First there was no ART coming in in the morning. We gave up after 45 minutes and walked in the end. We made it to the DLR without ever seeing a bus in that area and it was quite a walk. ;)

    We immediately left after the parade in the evening because the ART was only running until 30 minutes after park closing, and I didn't want to get stuck.
    We arrived at the hub 20 minutes prior to the scheduled "last bus" time and we were told by an off-duty driver: "sorry, you missed the last bus."

    There was more than a dozen people besides us for that direction (including a disabled person in a wheelchair), and of course we all were :scared1:

    In the end the off duty driver contacted someone and apparently was told to take us to the hotels. She was rather grouchy and let us get in, but made sure to tell us "that this was an exception and to make sure we didn't miss the bus again or we'd be stranded".

    I'm certainly not planning to get stranded ever again. No more ART for yours truly.

    Plus going by car means we can enjoy DTD in the evening and don't have to worry about missing the last bus.
     
  11. Albort

    Albort ODV Crew

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    You should call the hotel and see if they have a shuttling service. Parking at time to time(If there is a convention going on) will sometimes take a lot longer.
     
  12. brenda1966

    brenda1966 DIS Veteran

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    We drove and parked at DL one morning -- what a mistake that was! It was our last day and we should have just left our car at the hotel. I didn't realize how big of a hassle parking in the morning would be. We left in plenty of time but were not at the gates for opening. Lots of cars waiting to get into the structure, pay, park, then walk and wait for a tram. I recommend against it if the ART transportation is good from your hotel.
     
  13. Zoemakes5

    Zoemakes5 <font color=deeppink>Support me in my Disney mania

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    And, I don't know for sure, but I thought that if you leave the parking lot during the day, you must pay to get back in? I don't think they let you come and go.
    What you experience mid-day or in the afternoon isn't going to come close to comparing to what you'll experience in the morning.
    One possibility you could have is for all of you to get in first thing in the morning, park at the DtD parking area, and walk to the parks. Then have your DH go back and move the car before the 3 hour time limit is up. By that point, it should be more quiet in the parking structures and the trams. If you wanted, you could go back to your hotel or other places at that time, or just have him move the car into one of the parking structures.
    Personally, I'd give ART a try if you wanted to get there first thing and then leave mid-day.
     
  14. roxydotty

    roxydotty Mouseketeer

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    You only pay for parking once a day. Keep the receipt and show it to the parking attendant when you return.

    I'm not sure but I though the DTD parking was only free for 3 hours IF you had your ticket validated at one of the DTD stores. Someone else may chime in and say for sure. I wouldn't hassle with all this parking stuff. Just take ART. I have heard nothing but positive things about it. So much easier to just be dropped off then picked up. Enjoy your trip and make it hassle free.
     
  15. MommytoaSweetie

    MommytoaSweetie DIS Veteran

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    Looking more into ART, it may be a good option. I still don't like the idea of driving with DD not in a carseat (even if it's on a big bus), but it's ridiculous paranoia, I know. We can decide if we're using Art when we get there, right? We don't have to buy tickets ahead?
     
  16. nutshell

    nutshell Oh, Disney!

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    You don't have to pay ahead for ART.

    BUT, I'm a supporter of the parking method over ART. I found ART to be crowded and the wait was longer than I wanted. Is there a wait with parking? Yes. But the tram system is much better than ART. Who would you trust with your transportation? Disney or the City of Anaheim???
     
  17. MomofM&M

    MomofM&M Mouseketeer

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    The last time we went in November, the Timon and Pumbaa lots were open. I think we parked in the Pumbaa lot. I believe DL opens them on busier days but what's nice is the Pumbaa lot is a regular parking lot. There is a bit of a walk, but it was easier to load my kids and start my day pushing the stroller a little earlier than wait for an elevator, wait for a tram, unfold the stroller, corral two kids, board tram and then get in the park. We were able to just walk straight to the gate. I can't be sure but I think the lot is behind the ?Anaheim hotel. So, depending on when you go, it might be an option.
     
  18. liz2d2

    liz2d2 Mouseketeer

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    We've parked many many times at DL (for exactly the carseat reason, too!) and had no issues. We've never made it in time for park opening so maybe we beat the crowds by doing that. By the time we get in, shuttle crowds are light and we just sail on into the parks on the first shuttle.
     
  19. 4inPink

    4inPink Earning My Ears

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    We went yesterday, during Google's big thing and we drove. We didn't get there by opening, but the wait to park was not that bad. From the parking toll booth to the gate, it was about 15-20 minutes, but that is because my mom (60-something) was a slow walker. There were plenty of shuttles and no real lines to get into the park at all.

    We are going tomorrow and want to get there for rope drop, so I'll time it and see if I can remember to let you know. In all, I was really impressed with how fast things moved to get you to the park. They are really organized in the Parking structure and get you to your parking space fast. I didn't mind it.
     
  20. MommytoaSweetie

    MommytoaSweetie DIS Veteran

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    liz2d2, I'm glad I'm not the only one concerned about the carseat issue. :) What time have you gotten to the parks (I mean how long after opening)?

    4inPink, I would LOVE to know how it is when you go for the rope drop!! It's good to know you had a good experience - 15-20 minutes isn't bad for us at all, and even if we're there earlier, DH is a pretty quick walker (esp. without me and DD!) it HOPEFULLY wouldn't be too bad.?:confused3
     
  21. foleyfun

    foleyfun Earning My Ears

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    We went last June for 3 days and we stayed way off site at the Double Tree. We had the same concern as you ... we didn't like the idea of our DD not in a car seat. So we decided to drive in. We got to the Garage just when it opened (30 minutes before park opening) and we were at the enterance plaza before the gates opened. It was really easy for us. I would not have wanted to drag DD, stroller, and diaper bag on ART, what a pain. The other great thing about driving is that we left in the middle of the day to go back to the hotel and put DD down for a nap, she fell asleep in the car on the way back to the hotel so we were able to put her straight into bed. Driving worked out really well for us.

    Have Fun!
     

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