Disneyland details its new parking garage and entryway plans

August 11, 2016, 8:57 AM · In two years, visitors coming to the Disneyland Resort from the south will be parking in new garage — the sibling to the Mickey and Friends structure that serves visitors driving in from the north.

The Disneyland Resort has filed its detailed plans for the Eastern Gateway Project, which will transform the eastern entrance to the resort over the next two years. The centerpiece will be a seven-story, 6,800-space parking garage that will be directly accessible to northbound traffic on Interstate 5, in much the same way that southbound traffic can easily drive into Mickey and Friends.

In addition to the new garage, Disneyland will relocate its transportation hub for shuttle pickup and drop-offs across Harbor Boulevard to a site just north of the new garage. Disneyland's eastern security check will be relocated to that point as well, meaning that visitors will get their bag checked and go through whatever metal detectors Disney might be using then before walking across the pedestrian pathway that will take the place of the soon-to-be-demolished Carousel Inn and Suites and the to-be-constructed pedestrian bridge over Harbor.

If you're thinking "what about people staying in the hotels on Harbor?", give yourself a gold star. From the plans Disney has filed with the City of Anaheim, it appears that the current, street-level entrance to the Disneyland Resort will be going away. Pedestrian traffic from the east side of the resort instead will enter from a pathway on Disney Way. Then they will walk north, past the west side of the parking garage to the new security check.

That would mean a huge increase in walking — or a longer shuttle ride — for people staying on Harbor. It also would make the restaurants on that street far less convenient for Disneyland visitors. The difference won't be as much for people staying south of Katella, especially for ones on the east side of that street. But the changes appear to mean the end of certain Harbor Blvd. hotels being within closer walking distance to Disneyland's front gate that Disney's own Disneyland and Paradise Pier hotels.

But if you live in south Orange or San Diego counties, as do hundreds of thousands of Disneyland visitors and passholders, the new garage will mean easier access to the resort, more parking spaces and less hassle dealing with Anaheim streets, either in your car or on your feet. And for those reasons, the majority of Disneyland fans likely will see the new resort gateway as an improvement.

After all, with the new Star Wars land at Disneyland and a Marvel land coming to Disney California Adventure, Disneyland likely will be seeing an attendance surge in the next few years... and all of those extra visitors will need places to park, given the severe lack of public transportation options serving Orange County.

Speaking of that Marvel land, the relocation of the transportation hub frees up quite a bit of space north of the current Hollywood Land in DCA. That gives Disney's Imagineers a lot more space to work with as they develop this project. The Eastern Gateway Project is scheduled to be complete n 2018.

Replies (19)

August 11, 2016 at 9:46 AM · This is a huge change for Harbor Blvd. Traffic was already redirected decades ago when Mickey and Friends Parking Structure was created. I wonder if they will block off the South 5 freeway on-ramp when exiting the parking structure. There's a messy traffic situation there.

Even though the transportation hub is moving, Disney is retaining it's own shuttle AND employee drop off locations. The hotels along Harbor must create rear entrances so guests can access the security and bridge checkpoints. I wonder if Disney will work with these hotels to create rear entrances or it will be blocked off. Guests will walk longer if they want to visit McDonald's and other restaurants located in the hotels.

It's just too bad there's no moving walkways or trams, which makes me wonder why can't Disney discard the trams and just have a west Disneyland entrance.

I heard the monorail will be re-routed. This will definitely create space for California Adventure.

August 11, 2016 at 10:11 AM · This is a good move for disneyland, however I presume that the walkway west of the parking structure will get quite busy though, if everyone has to walk this way from the harbor blvd. hotels and south of the resort. However it will help disneyland to control their crowd flow.
August 11, 2016 at 10:30 AM · This seem like a business move for Disney as well. If the Harbor Blvd. hotel guests do not have easy access to the resort, they may decide to stay at a Disney hotel instead or at next visit. Likewise for the the Harbor Blvd. restaurants. People may decide to eat in the parks or in DT Disney as it will be inconvenient to eat offsite.
August 11, 2016 at 10:47 AM · Almost a half mile walk from the new entrance to the old security check points.
August 12, 2016 at 1:41 PM · Disneyland is hurting the Harbor Blvd hotels by making their customers walk so much farther, I doubt that they will allow back side access. The hotels are called Good Neighbor Hotels, but Disneyland itself is proving to be not so good a neighbor.

I remember the Anaheim businesses supported the original resort plan, until they realized that the Mickey and Friends parking structure would sweep cars in and out, bypassing local streets and businesses.

I hope that this parking structure doesn't have the same problem as Mickey and Friends, it was micro managed by Michael Eisner, who designed the parking spaces so that people walking to the trams had to go against incoming traffic, so all the spaces had to be re-striped.

A major miss about this new plan is not having a moving walkway from the parking structure to Disneyland. Think about those people who have to walk from the far corner of the parking structure all the way to Disneyland. I hope they come to their senses and allot money for a moving walkway.

August 11, 2016 at 12:46 PM · If I owned one of the hotels on Harbor Blvd. with a back adjacent to the new walkway, I would expect to have direct access to it. If not, I would find some savvy lawyers and sue Disney and the City of Anaheim. I think there's a serious case to be made that the city and Disneyland Resort were conspiring to harm these hotel operators. Choose the method: environmental review, quid-pro-quo tax exemptions, etc.

With backside access, it's actually safer for the resort--no crossing the street, further removed security, etc.

It also makes me think that the west side security perimeter will move to the parking area as well, enveloping both Downtown Disney, Mickey & Friends, and likely the Disney hotels, especially as the new hotel will be in the DtD parking lot.

August 11, 2016 at 6:04 PM · It looks like a solid plan to me. Less surface parking the better. Also I'm really glad they are going to move the bus/shuttle plaza because it has always seem to me a little unsafe traversing the area on foot.

I'm not at all concerned with hotels and fast food chains along Harbor Blvd. They could sue, but on what grounds? How in attempting to improve their infrastructure is Disney conspiring to harm the hotel operators? They exist because of Disneyland in the first place. Sure it will make it less convenient for those staying at their hotel but I'm not sure they will be able to prove in advance that it will be deleterious to their business.

Since Downtown Disney is open to the general public I don't think a security check is all that feasible at the Mickey & Friends Parking Structure.

I would love it if Disney replaced the Monorail with an elevated People mover (like those at many airports) that linked the two parking structures with the Entry Plaza and West Downtown Disney. That would provide the resort with functioning transportation system and it would also free up a huge amount of the land within the park (s) for future expansion. The monorail doesn't really do much for the resort (especially since it no longer connects directly to the Disneyland Hotel) and because of its location within the park it doesn't really provide much kinetic energy to Tomorrowland either. At least not it the way the PeopleMover and elevated Rocket Jets did. All it really does is for Disneyland is to take up a lot space and break the theming for Fantasyland.

August 11, 2016 at 6:14 PM · I'm curious if a side benefit to Disney in this whole deal is harming the hotels along Harbor Boulevard. What I mean, is that if less people book rooms, those hotels may see a decrease in revenue, and even if this is a long play, eventually some of those hotels may be in such bad shape that they are forced to sell...to Disney.

If they can get a couple of those at a big discount and buy out the others, wouldn't they have a lot more potential land available to work with?

Is it possible that Disney could intentionally be hurting surrounding businesses so as to buy them out and essentially expand their footprint? They don't exactly have the acreage that they have in Orlando, so they need to be creative.

August 11, 2016 at 7:17 PM · I do not think Disney is intentionally trying to hurt the businesses around it's eastern entrance in order to get their property. They are doing this because makes sense for expansion and improvement of the resort and because right now it's the worst entrance to a Disney park in the entire world. Besides how could Disney possibly predict what impact this will have on those properties and if they would ever sell them? That's a long game that Disney just doesn't play.
August 11, 2016 at 8:12 PM · If the hotels make paths or have direct exits in the back it isn't much different for walking. I think Disney may want to move the security point on the west side back to the parking ramp and hotel exits as well. It would be much easier to secure the whole resort area if there were two entry points far away from the main gates. It would be cool if the current transportation hub north of Hollywood land gets incorporated into DCA.
August 12, 2016 at 5:00 AM · After looking at the plans, I would be furious if I were a business owner or frequent visitor of Harbor Blvd. It assists that Disney has in fact created a 'pedestrian portal' that is in no way convenient for ANY pedestrian, let alone the hotels across from the park. Disney if playing dirty here, but then again that is nothing new for them.
August 12, 2016 at 6:38 AM · HoJo's Facebook says that people will still be able to enter by foot along Harbor.
August 12, 2016 at 6:49 AM · I visited Disneyland last May for the first time and wanted to stay on property but the prices were ridiculous. Over $350 night for even their lowest value hotel, off season. I wound up staying across Harbor Blvd and had a 10 minute walk to the front entrance. If Disney makes it this difficult to get through security and the front entrance, I will just spend my vacation dollars somewhere else.
August 12, 2016 at 8:15 AM · I wonder if there will be pedestrian access from the north as well. That could help with Courtyard, HI Express, HoJo, etc. If the only pedestrian access is via south, that's an issue.
August 12, 2016 at 8:50 AM · How is Disney "playing dirty"? My understanding is that there will still be a street level entrance for those staying in the hotels in the area. Should TDA plan their improvements around what is most advantageous for the few businesses immediately across the street? What other alternative do they have? They did to add more parking and provide a safe and convenient pathway to the parks. This is not something that they are springing on people at the last minute. It's long been their plan. They have no interest in the narrow strip of densely packed hotels and fast food chains other than to connect to the parking. A couple of years ago Disney tried to get the proposed streetcar rerouted so that the city would have declare eminent domain on a few properties and then they could incorporate their connecting walkway into the streetcar station. That failed when the owners of the IHOP got all very publicly outraged. Now the streetcar plan itself seems dead. Now that could be considered a little dirty but I don't see how this is. Disney paid what I'm sure was an inflated price for the Carrousel Inn in order to make this happen.
August 12, 2016 at 11:11 AM · The local hotels and businesses on Harbor will still have the crosswalk to walk across Harbor Blvd. The pedestrian bridge will mostly apply to people using the parking structure. Found this at Howard Johnson Anaheim Facebook page.

This makes me wonder why Disney doesn't pull it's security checkpoint closer to the street and allow anyone on Harbor to use the same security checkpoints at the Carousel Hotel location. The diagram shows a long corridor that I assume is closed off and is inclined to avoid running an elevator. Why it doesn't have a Harbor entrance running parallel toward the security checkpoint seems like a missed opportunity.

Now, it needs a separate security detail at the Esplanade for the businesses on Harbor and anyone else walking around the neighborhood. I originally assumed the sidewalk on west side of Harbor is cut-off and people are directed toward Disney Way when coming from Katella. People are now relieved from walking a round about way that may add an extra 0.5 mile commute.

August 12, 2016 at 1:22 PM · shhh...

Don't tell anyone...

Universal Hollywood's new parking structure requires A LONG WALK and patrons/AP holders walk it without complaining. Even senior citizens don't complain.

About the only thing you hear... small children asking, "Are we there?"

The same will be true at Disneyland.

Regarding local businesses...
ahh... their not so local. Several have SOLD OUT to hotel holding companies and will be demolished/replaced by chain hotels. The days of locally owned restaurants is also long gone. Corporate restraurants are now in control.

August 12, 2016 at 2:10 PM · The provided artwork shows a Disney Shuttle Drop Off Area on the west side of Harbor. One would likely conclude that a smaller security checkpoint will be maintained to access the resort from the street. Also, I know the OCTA lines are not going to use the new transit plaza.
August 15, 2016 at 7:53 PM · if you guys complain about the long walk too much that will just give Disney more reason to bring over the $35 preferred parking from Magic Kingdom. $35 bucks and you still have to take a boat or a monorail to get there just like Walt intended. $35 to not ride a parking lot tram capatilism at its finest

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