You may be headed to Disneyland but you have no idea where to park (or where to park for less). Maybe there's a better place to park for you that you don't even know about. Whether you are going to the theme parks, Downtown Disney or a hotel for a meal (or a combination of these), there are different places you should park. If it’s been 30 years since you last visited, gone are the days of pulling into the Disneyland lot right in front of the ticket booths. The Disney California Adventure theme park is in the way now as it was built on the former parking lot. The lots are further away, and you'll take a bus or tram (or a long walk) to access the parks. Here are the ins and outs of Disneyland parking, including fees and transportation options from the lots.
There are several Disneyland parking lots, off-site locations and places on property where you should or should not park depending on your plans. Maybe you just want to visit Downtown Disney or do character dining at a hotel. Where should you park (or better yet, not park) and how can you get free parking? We'll go into that too as well as how to save money on parking. Let's hop to it!
If you are looking to park onsite, here are a few things you need to know.
The accepted payment methods at Disneyland parking lots are:
- Cash (bills up to $100 accepted)
- Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, JCB and Diner's Club
- Disney Rewards Visa Card or Disney Rewards Redemption Card
- Disney Gift Cards
- Pre-paid parking vouchers
- Disney Dollars
Only two Magic Keys have parking benefits included, and they are both temporarily sold out. Dream Keys have parking included for the parking structures and Toy Story lot. Believe Keys get 50 percent off parking. Magic Key holders do not need to have a theme park reservation to use their parking benefit, but they do need to be in the car. Magic Key holders do not get parking benefits at Downtown Disney or the on-site hotels.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
A limited number of ChargePoint charging ports can be found in the Mickey & Friends Parking Structure, Pixar Pals Parking Structure and Toy Story Parking Area. To use a port, you’ll need to scan a ChargePoint card. Just ask a cast member for directions to a charging port or for assistance when you pull in. These ports are first-come, first-served.
You'll want to hop over to our general theme park mask post for the latest information on whether you need to wear a face covering on parking transportation. When writing this, we know that face coverings are optional on buses, the monorail and in Mickey Vans. You do not need to wear a face covering on the open-air parking tram either. But things can change quickly so find out before you arrive to prepare accordingly.
Disneyland Parking Structures (Theme Park Parking for $30 per Day)
Disneyland has two massive parking structures for theme park visitors. They are connected to each other and share one security and tram loading area, so it’s really like one big structure. They technically have different names and names for the floors. The OG parking structure is Mickey and Friends at 1313 S. Disneyland Drive. Pixar Pals next door is the newer structure. You’ll access the Mickey and Friends structure off Disneyland Drive, coming from Ball Road. If taking I-5 North, you’ll exit Harbor Boulevard and make a right, then an immediate left on Ball Road and a left at Disneyland Drive. From I-5 South, you’ll exit at Ball Road and head straight onto Disneyland Drive.
You can only enter the newer Pixar Pals structure from the street at limited times, such as from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. To access it, turn from Ball Road onto Disneyland Drive, but instead of following all the signs to Disneyland Theme Park Parking, which leads you to the left to access Mickey and Friends, stay to the right at the fork in the road as if you are following signs to the Disneyland Hotel. Make a right on Magic Way. Then make a right into the Pixar Pals structure.
Pixar Pals is our favorite place to park in the morning for several reasons. We never encounter a line at the booth, and we usually find parking close to the elevators. But don’t try this route later in the day. The entrance will be closed off and you’ll have to drive around the block to access Mickey and Friends.
If you need to leave the structures in your car and want to return that day, you’ll show your parking receipt to gain free re-entry to any Disneyland theme park lot.
In both structures, you’ll take escalators or elevators (or stairs if you like) down to the ground level to access restrooms (at the base of Mickey and Friends), park security and the open-air parking trams. The trams will take you to the Esplanade at the park entrances and the end of Downtown Disney near World of Disney. You have to remove your tadpole and fold strollers to get on the tram. If you use a wheelchair or have assistive devices, you can access certain wider tram cars or take the Mickey Vans.
There is another way if you’d rather walk or avoid folding up your stroller. From the second floor of the Pixar Pals structure, there is a pedestrian ramp that takes you to the Downtown Disney entrance. You can enter security there and then walk through Downtown Disney to get to the Esplanade. It’s about a 15-minute walk. Once inside Downtown Disney, you may instead opt to take the monorail into Disneyland Park instead of walking. (The monorail does close early at night, so don't count on it taking you back later at night). The monorail turnstile counts as a park entrance, so once you scan your ticket, you can use or purchase Genie+ to start making Lightning Lane selections. We like to mobile order breakfast from the monorail and pick it up at Galactic Grill after disembarking.
Parking Structure Tips:
- Enter Pixar Pals before 11 a.m. off Magic Way.
- Hold onto the parking receipt if you leave in your car and wish to re-enter a Disneyland lot the same day without paying again.
- The lights on the ceiling indicate green for empty parking spaces and red for full spaces. You can look down the row when self-parking to see if there are empty spaces in that row.
- Take a photo of where you parked. Each floor has a number, a color and a character to help you remember. The number and letter of your row can help you locate your car. The colors of Pixar Pier match the floor colors of Mickey and Friends, but the characters are different.
- The escalators and elevators are on the southeast corners of the structures.
- Take the pedestrian ramp from Floor 2 of Pixar Pals to Downtown Disney (and the monorail).
- The front seat of each tram car is wider if you need extra space for your folded stroller.
- Strollers used as wheelchairs can be tagged and do not have to be folded.
- Know the stroller rules before visiting. Visit our Disneyland stroller post.
- You can watch fireworks from the roof of the structures at night.
- Preferred parking is $45.
- Structures open one hour before the earliest park opening.
- If you return to a dead battery or flat tire, you get free AAA roadside service in the Disneyland parking lots.
- No oversized vehicles — see Toy Story Lot.
- For all Disneyland Resort transportation options, wheelchairs and ECVs must fit without being forced on lifts, ramps and in designated wheelchair spaces. Once in the vehicle, wheelchairs and ECVs must be able to be securely fastened via restraints. Oversized wheelchairs, ECVs and scooters may be too large for some transportation. Hop over to our Disneyland wheelchair post for more tips.
- The first row of the first and last tram car is wide enough for a wheelchair.
- Mickey Vans at the structure also transport people with disabilities to the park.
- Arrive before park opening to beat the lines.
Toy Story Lot (Theme Park Parking for $30 per Day)
The Toy Story Lot is an outdoor Disneyland parking lot located off Harbor Boulevard just south of Katella at 1854 S. Harbor Boulevard. In fact, in the morning hours until 11 a.m. there is a secret entrance open at Katella and Clementine. We never encounter a line here, and the Bullseye lot you enter is located right next to the restroom and water-bottle fill station, plus it is close to the bus loading area. When you leave at the end of your Disney day, this lot is closer to the freeway with less pedestrian traffic, so it also makes for a quick escape.
There is one bus area for all Toy Story lot entrances and parking areas. To access the theme parks, you will take a bus to the Esplanade (masks are now optional on this bus). If you arrive before 11 a.m., you will go through security before boarding the bus. But if you arrive later, you will go through security just outside the Esplanade. If you need to leave and re-enter the lot, you’ll need to show your parking receipt to get back in without paying again.
Parking Lot Tips:
- The lots open one hour before the earliest park opening.
- Bullseye lot is open until 11 a.m. After that, park off the Harbor Boulevard entrance.
- Enter security at the lot before 11 a.m. After that, you will go through security at the Harbor security area.
- Watch out for long bus lines after fireworks. Plan your exit well.
- Take a picture of your parking number and letter. It's easy to froget to pay attention when you're excited in the morning.
- Find restrooms at the Bullseye lot.
- Oversized vehicles allowed: motor homes and tractors without a trailer are $35. Buses or tractors with a trailer are $40.
- Buses are ADA compliant. Wheelchairs and ECVs must fit without being forced on lifts, ramps and in designated wheelchair spaces. Once in the vehicle, wheelchairs and ECVs must be able to be securely fastened via restraints. Oversized wheelchairs, ECVs and scooters may be too large for some transportation.
- Arrive before park opening to beat the lines.
Downtown Disney Parking (Minimum of $10, Maximum of $66)
If you are visiting Downtown Disney for shopping or dining, you can use the Downtown Disney Simba parking lot located off Disneyland Drive, just south of Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel at 1580 S. Disneyland Drive. The first hour costs $10 and then it’s $14 an hour for each hour after that (charged in 30-minute increments with a minimum of $7) for a maximum of $66. Hold onto your ticket because if you lose it, you'll pay the maximum. Beyond the initial parking fee and validations, the hourly rate kicks in.
Validation? Tell me more! You can get your parking ticket validated, which will apply after the first hour of paid ($10) parking. If you spend $20 or more at any shop, quick-service dining location or kiosk, you can get three hours of free parking. For table-service dining, you get five hours of free parking. Do not park here to dine at hotels as they do not validate parking for this lot. We will get into that under Hotel Parking. Do you want a hack for getting three hours of parking? Buy a $20 Disney gift card, get the validation and then use the gift card for dining or purchases at valid locations while you are there or save for a future visit so at least that $20 is spent on something you enjoy instead of just parking.
Do not use this lot for theme park parking or hotel parking. The hotel restaurant and lounge validation does not work for this lot. If you want to visit both Downtown Disney and a theme park, just park in the theme park parking. The buses, shuttles or pedestrian ramps will take you to Downtown Disney without costing you extra.
Hotel Parking (Price varies by Service)
Hotel parking prices vary for hotel guests, day guests and people coming to dine at restaurants. If you are staying at one of the Disneyland Resort hotels, you will walk to the parks. There is no need to leave the hotel and park elsewhere.
If you are an overnight guest, you will pay:
- $35 per vehicle, per night for self-parking
- $40 per night for oversized parking
- $50 per vehicle, per night for valet parking
Note that self-parking at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel is across the street near Paradise Pier.
Hotel Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
ChargePoint charging ports are located in the Fantasy self-parking lot of the Disneyland Hotel and on the ground floor of Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel's self-parking structure. To use a port, you’ll need to scan a ChargePoint card.
At Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Guests with electric vehicles may ask a valet attendant about charging port availability. Valet charges apply. If you choose to self-park, you may use the charging ports at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel's self-parking structure, based on availability.
If you are dining at a table-service restaurant, the parking benefits vary. Generally, you receive three hours of free parking at the hotel where the restaurant is located for most table-service or character dining. That includes valet parking at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. Here is a look at some of the restaurants that validate at the hotels (not a complete list):
- Storytellers Cafe offers three hours of complimentary valet (or self) parking with restaurant validation (tip money not included).
- Napa Rose offers five hours of complimentary valet (or self) parking with restaurant validation (tip money not included).
- Goofy's Kitchen offers three hours of complimentary self-parking with validation at the Disneyland Hotel self-parking lot.
If you finish dining and still have time left before your free parking expires, then feel free to enjoy the hotel or Downtown Disney for a bit.
After the initial complimentary period, guests will be charged daily standard rates (also applies to non-overnight guests without dining validation):
- Self-parking: $35 per vehicle for the first hour plus $10 for each additional hour, with a maximum rate of $75.
- Valet parking: $50 per vehicle for the first hour plus $10 for each additional hour, with a maximum rate of $120.
- Oversized vehicle parking: $40 per vehicle for the first hour plus $10 for each additional hour, with a maximum rate of $80.
Spa Guests (Non-Overnight)
If you are not an overnight guest at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, you get five hours of complimentary self-parking included when you spend $125 or more at Tenaya Stone Spa. Receipts cannot be combined to meet the minimum requirement.
Off-Site Disneyland Parking Options
Some hotels in the area (such as the Anaheim Hotel) allow Disneyland guests to park for a fee as long as they have extra space. You may not save money, but you might save some time compared to parking in the larger Disneyland parking lots, especially when transportation lines are long or the lots are not open. For example, we parked at the Anaheim Hotel the day we arrived before parking lots opened so we could be first in line to get a hand-made candy cane at Holiday Time. It's a short walk of only a few minutes to the Harbor security area and theme park entrances.
You can park at Anaheim GardenWalk to save a few dollars. It’s located off Disney Way and is about a 10- to 15-minute walk to the Harbor security. At Garden Walk, right after you park, you will text 949-532-8293 to get an Anaheim attractions flat rate of half-price parking for $12.50 per day. Text your parking ticket number and "AA" to get the rate. Payment is completed upon exit. Within 30 minutes of parking, they should send you a code to pay $12.50 to park all day. If you do not text the code, you’ll pay $3 an hour.
The cheaper price tag comes with a warning though. This lot is not as secure as the Disneyland lots. We have heard some stories of people’s catalytic converters being stolen when parked at Garden Walk. Your froggy friends just want you and your cars to be safe.
Park and Ride
Another way to avoid paying to park at Disneyland is to park and take a bus. Some Disney fans suggest parking at the Fullerton Park and Ride, where it's free to park. Hop on the LA Metro 460, which runs every 20 minutes. It's a 10-minute ride and costs about $1.75 (subject to change).
You can also park at ARTIC (train station) for free and use the on-demand bus or just get an Uber for about $6 each way.
Hopfully, we have taken the mystery out of Disneyland Parking for you. Let us know if you have any further questions in the comments section below. If you stay at a Disneyland Resort hotel or nearby off-site hotel within walking distance, you can avoid the hassle and cost of parking.