The bottom red square is the lot most employees use -- the top red box is reserved for cast members who work in Critter Country and New Orleans Square. Regular cast members can park at TDA after 5:00 p.m. on weekdays, and any time on weekends (at least this is how it was when I was working there a year ago).
I wonder why they are buying new property to house employee parking when they already have plenty of surface parking lots that are begging to be converted into multi-level parking structures. The Mickey and Friends parking structure has surface parking on the north and south. The Downtown Disney parking lots on the north and south.
Of course, maybe they are holding out in case they expand Downtown Disney and/or decide to add a third resort on the space, but if this happens, they must add at least one multi-level parking structure in that general location.
Any chance they'll build the structure there? Or perhaps the idea is to use this new space to offset the spots that will be lost during the construction of a multi-level structure at an existing lot?
One can only hope that there will be an efficient, convenient structure that can both handle the additional traffic at the Harbor/Ball intersection. As a former Dland Cast Member, I recall the headaches of parking/bussing to the resort before the emergency clusterf***s of remote parking at Angel Stadium.
Disney will at some point build a guest parking structure on the site of Pumba surface lot.
Planning and early construction of Disney California Adventure was already underway when Disney acquired the option to buy this property in 1998. All of the city (resort area) improvements were related to construction Downtown Disney, Grand Californian and California Adventure, not a third theme park.
Shortly before the opening of California Adventure Disney jumped the gun (eagerly anticipating over demand for DCA) and posted a web site sharing the possibility of developing a third theme park on this property, but that proposal died quickly after the park opening.
Disney then waited until 2009 before it approached the city with a plan to build a temporary parking lot on the property because they were losing the parking in the Lion King lots due to the Cars Land expansion.
The plan was approved by the Anaheim Planning Commission granting Disney a conditional use permit for six years and if the public transit (Anaheim Fixed Guideway) wasn't built by then the permit would be extended for 4 more years for total of 10.
It's true that the city has stated that they would like to see this property developed, but Disney is not required to do anything with this property. The company will develop it as the need arises, which I would argue is near. However, Disney would have no problem getting approval to extend the use of the surface parking if they so desired.
When Disney ultimately decides what they'd like to develop then they may approach the city to discuss certain concessions, but only then will those talks take place. You don't create agreements like that when you're still uncertain about what you're planning to do and when you'll build anything, if anything at all.
Locals might see it as some motel, but the Candy Cane Inn has been consistently rated by tourists as the best place to stay in Anaheim. In a city with a dearth of affordable, quality hotels, that matters.