The Logistics of Disneyland

Updated January 11, 2017

***For updated info on the new Security Checkpoints at Downtown Disney effective 12/15/2016, check out this post from my Facebook page.

So, we know lots about the magic of Disneyland and how we can add to the fantastic job Disney already does.

Today, let’s talk about some lesser “magical” parts of the park that can be quite helpful with your Disneyland experience, which in turn, gives you more opportunity for the magic.

Location & Walking Options

First, take a quick look at how Disneyland is laid out. Lots of WDW friends won’t understand the simplicity of our parks. So, hold on tight, WDW vets.

Nearly everything at Disneyland is walkable. Our two parks face each other, with Downtown Disney to the west and the off-site hotels to the east, for the most part. Disneyland Resort Hotels are west just past Downtown Disney.

That yellow line to the right of the map is Harbor Blvd, where you will find most of the off-site good-neighbor and independent hotels that serve Disneyland. There are many advantages to staying off site, including close retail and shopping, dining and more. If you are staying on Harbor Blvd, or one of the side streets that are very close to Harbor, you should be able to walk to the park from your hotel.

And, to the far left side of the map, you’ll find the three Disneyland Resort Hotels. They’re all fabulous.

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For transportation to and from the airport, please review my Getting to Disneyland post, which includes my favorite service, Lansky. They will get you to your hotel in a nice car, with great service and a grocery store stop en route.

Once you get to the Disneyland Resort Area, most people walk to and from most locations, however, you have other options, too:

*Monorail: Take the monorail to Tomorrowland from Downtown Disney to avoid the main gate entry. On crowded days, this is a great option to get into the park quickly and avoid that enormous crowd waiting to go into the park.
*ART (Anaheim Resort Transportation): This service will work with most offsite hotels and goes up and down Harbor and more.
*Taxis & Uber: Take a look at this map for the main taxi pick up for off-site hotels. I recommend Uber over traditional taxis, but both will pick you up at the “Taxi Pick Up” area. You may also catch a taxi or Uber from the Downtown Disney drop off location, located in between Rainforest Cafe and the ESPN Zone. I have had better luck, though, with Uber drivers knowing how to locate the “Taxi Pick Up” on Harbor.
If you use Uber for the first time, please give them my number and I’ll get a free ride! (Then, you can give yours to someone for the same reason.) My Uber number is caseys1267ue.

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Strollers

I write extensively about stroller rentals – both on-site and off – with the advantages to both in my Stroller Post. I also go through how to pack your bags to keep valuables safe and how to stay organized. Review that before visiting.

And, while we’re on the subject of strollers, I recommend you review my post on How to Take Your Baby to Disneyland. There is an abundance of information regarding where the Baby Care Centers are, what they can do for you, where to nap, and more.

Picnics

Disneyland has lockers located just outside both parks and a beautiful picnic area to eat in if you want to avoid the cost of dining inside the park. Take a look at the map to find it:

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Package Check In

Disneyland provides a free package check in for all guests – not just those staying at the Disneyland Hotels. You can buy merchandise from within the park and then have the park store it for you until you leave.

It’s awesome and should be used for a variety of reasons on your trip:

1. You don’t have to carry merchandise bought in the park around all day.
2. No risk of anything being stolen.
3. It’s super convenient and easy to use.

There are seven locations at Disneyland that offer this service:

*Newsstand at the Main Entrance (to the left, as you walk in)
*Star Trader in Tomorrowland
*Pioneer Mercantile in Frontierland
*Small World Toys in Fantasyland
*Once Upon a Time in Fantasyland
*Port Orleans in New Orleans Square
*Mlle Antoinette’s Parfumerie in New Orleans Square

And, one in California Adventure:

*Elias and Company on Buena Vista Street

You may only check in items bought at Disneyland. (No, you can’t sneak in the jackets for after dark.)

Look for signs like this:

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Present your receipt for the items in the bag and fill out this “package check” form. They’ll take some basic information that includes your phone number should you have one too many churros, leave in a sugar coma and forgot you bought 36 Tsum Tsums that day.

(Don’t judge me.)
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You’ll walk away with a carbon copy of the form you filled out and your receipt.

Return at the end of the day (or when you are ready to leave) to retrieve your merchandise.

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A few notes:

*You must retrieve your merchandise from the location you dropped it off.

*This service is available to all park guests and can be used by DLR Hotel guests, too. DLR Hotel package delivery is excellent, also, but the merchandise typically does not get delivered until the next day after you request the delivery.

Lockers

Disneyland lockers are available in several locations and in several sizes. I recommend using these if you have princess dresses or heavy coats or valuables you don’t want left in your stroller while you enjoy attractions.

Fuel Rod Chargers are available at both parks’ locker locations.

Here are the locations for lockers:

  • Disneyland Park on Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Disney California Adventure Park on Buena Vista Street.
  • In the Esplanade between the parks, accessible from the Downtown Disney District, lockers are located outside the Main Entrances to both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park.

Here’s a map showing the locations:

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Here’s how they work:

*Don’t leave stuff overnight.

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*You have three size options and as you’ll see on the order screen, the park estimates what will fit in each.

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 Here is 8 year old Jack next to a medium size. We fit 2 bags easily in it.

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 Here is the same locker empty.

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To order, follow the prompts on the screen. It’s quite easy and will guide you through everything and then assign you a locker. You will create a code that unlocks and locks it throughout the day. The code works all day and there is no limit to opening and closing your locker.

You can pay with credit card or cash.

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Smart Phone Charging

Instead of leaving your phone, I recommend the Fuel Rod Chargers mentioned above.

If you prefer to use the machines, you can charge your smart phone in the same building where you find the lockers. The fees are minimal and it seems like a secure system. Check out this video for more info:

Parking

If you’re staying off-site and need to drive into the park area each day, my favorite place to park is Mickey’s Parking Garage. From it, you get to ride the tram in, which feels like old school Disneyland to me. En route, take a look in the grassy areas for the famed Disneyland cats who often sunbathe during the day there.

Here are your other options:

*Toy Story Parking Area (#1 on the map) – way south on Harbor Blvd – you’ll ride a Disney bus to the park

*Pumbaa Parking Area (#3 on the map) – on Disney Way and is closer to the park – you’ll ride a Disney bus to the park

With each of your parking options, strollers must be broken down on the buses you take from the remote parking areas. Your stroller may remain in tact if you ride the tram from the Mickey and Friends Parking Garage, but children may not sit in the strollers at any time.

A map of the parking options:

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Here is pricing:

  • 18.00 for cars and motorcycles—Purchase theme park parking online.
  • $22.00 for oversized vehicles, motor homes and tractors without trailers
  • $27.00 for buses and tractors with extended trailers

Other Stuff:

  • First AidFirst Aid locations can be found in both parks and they’ll administer simple treatments like bandaids and such. A parent must accompany a child for treatment. Once, I sent my 13 year old with my 6 year old to grab a bandaid and they called for permission first.
  • ATMs – There are several ATMs located within the parks and surrounding areas. Review your options should you need to locate one on site. They’re Chase machines, so if you’re annoyed by banking fees (like me), withdraw cash prior to arrival.
  • ECV & Wheelchair rentals – Both options can be rented on-site. Check pricing and rules (no reservations allowed) prior to visiting.
  • On-site Kennel – The on-site kennel opens 30 minutes prior to park opening and closes 30 minutes after. Find more details before you arrive.
  • Lost & Found – There is one location for Lost and Found, just outside the entrance to Disneyland.
  • Picnic Areas – There is a lovely picnic area just outside of Disneyland to accommodate your meal if you decided to pack one. It’s discouraged to eat food brought into the park at tables reserved for restaurant guests.

I think that covers the basics, friends! Please let me know if you have any questions.

Tickets I recommend (read why)
Enter code DLRPS at checkout to save an additional $2 on each ticket.

21 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Casey, do you know if the bike racks are still available at downtown Disney? It’s been over a year since the last update so I wanted to check with you. Also, I read that there are bike racks near the Harbor Blvd entrance. Can you confirm that? Thank you!

  2. Your insight has been super helpful in making our Disney trips more magical! Parking has gone up a $1 from prices above and is $18 now for a regular vehicle. Thanks again, you’ve been a massive help!

  3. Thank you for taking so much time to get all of this information to us. I am pretty familiar with the park, but haven’t gone as often the last few years and you had a lot of great info. Thanks again.

  4. Casey I was told that there are lockers over by Grizzly ride that you can use for 2 hours, these are to hold the stuff you don’t want to get wet, but I don’t see them on the map. Are these still available?

  5. Hi Casey! I’m just wondering if the locker rental includes an unlimited number of opens and closes? At the pool you pay for a single use.

    • Good question, Heather! I’ll be adding this to this post. The opens/closes are unlimited. You’ll be given a code to use to enter the locker and it’s good for the entire day.

  6. I’ve never rode the monorail as an adult. My dad always insisted riding it while we still had valuable time left for rides so I never felt the need! We are staying at Disneyland Hotel in exactly two weeks (!!!) and I’m interested in riding the monorail from DTD to reduce some of the walking. How does it work exactly? Can we still get into the park before rope drop or do we have to walk to the main gate for that? Where does it let you off in tomorrow land? What about strollers in transit? Any other tips would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • Strollers can be broken down. No problem there. It takes you into Tomorrowland, so it won’t allow you in prior to that and you’ll miss Rope Drop if you take the monorail at that time. I recommend riding it later in the day because Rope Drop is a lot of fun. Also, ask to ride “in the front”. You might be the only ones there – and it is a fun experience.

  7. If you use the parking garage and you want to leave to go back to your home and then come back later in the day do you have to pay again or is the voucher good for one day and allows for you to come and go?

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