Disneyland California has reopened its operations with updates to provide a safer experience for its guests. Disney’s latest updates to attendance include requiring park reservations, wearing face coverings, and encouraging the use of their official Disneyland App.
With all of the things going on in the world, parking is the last thing you should have to worry about on a Disney adventure. The good news is that we have assembled everything you need to know about Disneyland parking in California.
- Before You Take Off
- Theme Park Parking
- Parking Lot Operating Hours
- Resort Tram Not Available
- Theme Park Parking Locations
- Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
- Theme Park Parking Rates
- Hotel Guest Parking
- Downtown Disney District Parking
- Valet Parking
- Parking at a Discounted Rate
- Payment Types Accepted for Parking
- Guests Needing Accessible Parking Spots
- Avoid Parking Completely and Use Designated Guest Pickup or Drop-off Locations
Before You Take Off
Download the recommended Disneyland App to get the latest information on the park’s status and offerings. If the last few years have taught us anything, it is that even our favorite places may have to close at the last minute. Disney has to implement frequent changes to keep with the times, including reservations.
Theme Park Reservations Required
As a risk management technique, Disneyland now requires reservations to attend their theme parks, stay at their hotels, and eat at their restaurants in some situations. Reservations are limited and hold a spot for entry on that day.
There is no reservation required for parking. However, a standard parking voucher can be purchased ahead of time and is valid for 24 months from the date of purchase. Other types of parking, like preferred parking or oversized vehicles, will require upgrading on-site at the toll booth.
Even though the parking is open, not all parts of Disneyland Resort are available or at total capacity. What is open to guests and to what degree depends on current guidelines and standards designed to mitigate risk but remains open.
License Plate Recognition Technology
Disneyland Resort and Downtown Disney District have deployed automatic license plate readers (ALPRs) in their parking lots. Disney may use this technology to:
- Locate a lost vehicle
- Prevent unauthorized or illegal behaviors
- Monitor use of the facilities
For more information on their use of APLRs, review the latest news from Disneyland directly.
How to Decide Where to Park
There are different factors to consider when choosing where to park at Disneyland.
- What direction you are coming from
- What part of the Disneyland Resort you are planning to visit
- How long you are planning to visit
- The type and size of your vehicle
- Whether or not you have a Magic Key Pass that includes free parking with restrictions.
Theme Park Parking
Guests of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park not staying in the hotels can access the parking options best suited to their situation.
Parking Lot Operating Hours
Parking for theme parks at Disneyland California opens 60 minutes before the earliest park opening time. To maximize your time in the theme park, Disney advises you plan to arrive at the park opening time.
Resort Tram Not Available
Due to the change in operational protocols, the resort tram is currently unavailable, and guests must access the parks through a specific walkway from Mickey & Friends and Pixar Pals Parking Structures.
Theme Park Parking Locations
Parking structures may be easiest to access depending on the type of vehicle you have or the direction you are traveling. Not all parking lots accommodate all kinds of motor vehicles, so be prepared and plot for the appropriate lot.
Most theme park parking has a restroom conveniently located in the lot. The bathroom is usually found near the tram pickup, even if the tram is not currently running.
Mickey & Friends Parking Structure
The types of parking spots in the Mickey & Friends Parking Structure include standard, electric, and preferred parking. This Disneyland parking is easiest to access from:
- South on I-5
- East on CA-91
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Long Beach Airport (LGB)
- Bob Hope Airport (BUR)
Pixar Pals Parking Structure
Adjacent to the Mickey & Friends Parking is the Pixar Pals Parking Structure. Standard and preferred parking is available, as well as electric charging spots. This parking is easiest to access from:
- South on I-5
- East on CA-91
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Long Beach Airport (LGB)
- Bob Hope Airport (BUR)
Note: This parking structure does not have a restroom, but the adjacent Mickey & Friends structure does.
Toy Story Parking Area
The most expansive offering of parking comes with the Toy Story Parking Lot. This area offers parking for standard, oversized, electric vehicle charging, motor home, RV, bus, tractors, and vehicles extended trailers. This Disneyland parking is easiest to access from:
- North on I-5
- West on CA-91
- John Wayne Airport (SNA)
- Ontario International Airport (ONT)
Bus transportation is available from the Toy Story lot to an area close to the main entrance. If walking is an option, the Boulevard has walkways.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
There are a limited number of electric vehicle charging stations available for use. Disneyland Cast Members will not ask for a reservation for the electric charging spots. However, they are first-come, first-serve, and the guest must scan a ChargePoint card to activate the station.
Theme Park Parking Rates
Parking rates are the same regardless of the lot in which you park. The only differences in rates are due to the size of your vehicle and if you would like to park in preferred parking.
Standard Parking Rates
Standard parking rates are for the next available spot in the lot, not for a particular use.
- $30.00 per car or motorcycle
- $35.00 per oversized vehicle, motor home, RV, or tractor (without trailer) (Toy Story Parking Lot only)
- $40.00 per bus or tractor (with extended trailer)
Preferred Parking Rates
Preferred Disneyland parking spots are subject to availability and require upgrades at the toll booth to get granted a preferred location. The benefit of select sites is closer proximity to elevators and escalators.
The lots with preferred spots are Mickey & Friends Parking Structure and Pixar Pals Parking Structure. Costs for preferred parking are:
- $45.00 per vehicle
- $15.00 per vehicle to upgrade from pre-purchased parking
Oversized and Recreational Vehicle Parking
The only parking for oversized and recreational vehicles is the Toy Story Parking Area. Cars classified as “oversized” or recreational are not permitted to park in any other location designated for the theme parks, hotels, or Downtown Disney District.
Overnight Parking is not permitted in the Toy Story Parking area. Vehicles that qualify as recreational and oversized include:
- Recreational Vehicles (RVs)
- RV Campers
- Motor Homes
- Passenger Vehicles with a Trailer
- Dually Trucks
Hotel Guest Parking
Disneyland Resort Hotels make parking available to their guests for an additional fee. There are two types of parking; self-serve and valet.
Valet parking is not available at all of the hotels at Disneyland. Only the Grand Californian Hotel and Spa offers Valet parking to their guests.
Guests for the Disneyland Park, California Adventure Park, and the Downtown Disney District are not allowed to park in the hotel parking lots.
Rates for hotel guests looking to stay overnight are:
- $35 per night per vehicle – Self-parking
- $50 per night per vehicle – Valet Parking (only available at the Grand Californian Hotel and Spa)
- $40 per night per vehicle – Oversized vehicle parking
Short-Term and Restaurant Guests
Not all guests of the Disneyland hotels are there to stay overnight. Rates for guests visiting restaurants and the spa are:
- Self-parking: $35 per vehicle for the first hour, plus $10 for each additional hour with a maximum charge of $75
- Valet parking: $50 per vehicle for the first hour, plus $10 for each extra hour with a maximum amount of $120 a day
- Oversized vehicles: $40 per vehicle for the first hour, plus $10 for each additional hour with a maximum amount of $80
Rates for Guests of Select Restaurants at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Several restaurants and cafes offer complimentary parking with the purchase of food or services.
- Storytellers Cafe: three hours of complimentary parking – valet or self-parking – with restaurant validation.
- Napa Rose: five hours of complimentary parking – valet or self-parking – with restaurant validation.
Electric Vehicle Charging in the Hotel Parking
Electric charging stations are available at the Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. Hotel guests can use these stations, but they cannot be reserved. Electric charging is available through valet services.
Downtown Disney District Parking
Downtown Disney District has a dedicated parking structure called the Simba Lot. The lot gets accessed off of Disneyland Drive.
Downtown Disney Parking Price
Parking vouchers for theme parks do not allow you to park in the Downtown Disney District Parking.
The first hour of parking for the Downtown Disney lot is $10, regardless of whether or not you get your parking ticket validated. Validations apply after the first hour of parking.
Downtown Disney Parking Validation
Only designated Downtown Disney shops and restaurants can validate parking for the Simba Lot. Restaurants and lounges within the Disneyland Resort hotels cannot validate parking for Downtown Disney.
Proof of a $20-minimum purchase from any Downtown Disney location will allow the vehicle three hours of additional same-day parking. Validation from Downtown Disney table-service restaurants will allow an extra five hours of same-day parking.
After Grace Period and Without Validation
After the initial hour and any added hours for valid purchases, each additional hour of parking costs $14 per vehicle. Charges get billed in half-hour increments with a minimum amount of $7.
Lost Parking Ticket
Should you lose your parking ticket, the maximum allowable amount for the daily parking rate of Downtown Disney will be applied totaling $66. Parking for these areas is subject to capacity, and vehicles are not permitted to re-enter the parking lot without a ticket.
Valet parking for standard vehicles is available at the Disneyland Hotel and the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. Use of any hotel parking is for guests of the hotel and not intended for theme park parking.
Parking at a Discounted Rate
Both valet and self-parking are eligible for a free three or five-hour period with validation from authorized vendors and, depending on your situation, after the mandatory charge for the initial hour of parking. Hotel restaurants that provide a discounted parking rate with a verified purchase are:
- The Storyteller’s Cafe at the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa offers three hours of complimentary parking and sit-down table service.
- The Napa Rose at the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa – five hours of complimentary parking get granted with restaurant validation from sit-down table service.
Other ways to get discounted Disneyland parking rates:
- Purchase your vacation package through a booking site that includes parking in addition to hotel or theme park access.
- Validate your Downtown Disney parking with authorized vendors.
- Have or purchase a Disneyland Annual Pass that includes discounted or free parking (sold out)
Payment Types Accepted for Parking
If you are looking to purchase Disneyland parking on-site or upgrade from a standard voucher, Disneyland still accepts payments in person. Payment method options include:
- Pre-paid parking vouchers purchased online.
- Cash up to a $100 bill
- Credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, JCB, and Diner’s Club
- Disney Rewards Redemption Card or Disney Rewards Visa Card
- Disney Gift Cards
- Disney Dollars
Guests Needing Accessible Parking Spots
Disability Access Service (DAS) is available for any guests who need assistance with needs like accessible parking spots. The only requirement to utilize these spots is their availability and a valid accessible parking placard or license plate.
Since the tram is currently not operational, guests can rent wheelchairs, strollers, and electronic chairs or assistance. The dedicated walkway does allow for wheelchair access while the tram is unavailable.
Avoid Parking Completely and Use Designated Guest Pickup or Drop-off Locations
Disneyland has designated specific areas for guests getting picked up or dropped off by a driver to access Downtown Disney and the Disneyland Resort theme parks. The two access points are:
- Harbor Boulevard – Use the right southbound lane of South Harbor Boulevard between South Manchester Avenue and Disney Way to enter the drop-off area.
- Downtown Disney District – From Magic Way, take Disneyland Drive, turn left at Downtown Drive, and follow the signs for the drop-off zone.
Standard parking rates will apply after a 15 minute grace period. Waiting is permitted, but parking or leaving a vehicle unattended in this area is not.
More about our TFVG Author
A seasoned traveller, Dad, and avid sports tourist, James foundered The Family Vacation Guide to share his expert vacation experiences- especially when it comes to being a travelling family man.
Featured in Travel articles such as Travel + Leisure, TripSavvy and SFGate, you know you're reading some of the best vacation tips online.