Disneyland Resort


For a time, Disneyland had what was inarguably the most entertaining parking lot in existence. This huge, open-air area, decorated with massive power-line towers, was presided over by a veritable army of attendants, each an expert in a specific area (directing traffic, setting up orange cones, collecting orange cones, driving a tram around orange cones, manhunting, etc.). Cars entered the lot and were directed to a space with the precision of a Rockettes dance routine. At the end of the day, if you could tell a parking attendant what time you arrived at the park, a quick radio call would reveal the location of your vehicle within 20 feet.

The parking lot was broken into a number of sections, each assigned a Disney character name to assist guests in finding their cars. The sections were labeled in alphabetical order, beginning with Alice and ending with Winnie the Pooh (because nobody could think of good characters for X, Y, and Z).

On January 22, 1998, amidst many cries of anguish and protest from Disney fans with nothing more important on their minds, the Disneyland parking lot was closed to make way for Disney California Adventure. The theory at the time was that California Adventure would bring in more money than the parking lot had, but at the time of this writing, that has not yet proven to be the case.

Parking lotToday, most resort guests park in the Mickey and Friends parking lot, a behemoth large enough to have its own weather. Parking staff is still well trained, but the artificial environment gives them little chance to show off their skills. The Mickey and Friends lot takes its name from the fact that Mickey and all of his cartoon friends park their cars in the structure. A fun way to pass an afternoon is to stroll slowly up and down the aisles, trying to identify each character's car. (Hint: the "owner" of each car can easily be identified by the registration in the glove compartment.)

Trivia: Because engineers did not include the weight of parked cars when designing the Mickey and Friends parking structure's foundation, the structure is sinking into the ground at a such a high rate that a new story will have to be built every ten years unless Disney wants to end up with a completely underground parking structure!

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