Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Annual Passes and Parking

At the end of the day you can turn your Disneyland ticket (park hopper, 2fer or any other type) into an Annual Pass. Go to an open ticket booth on the West side of the entrance and they will credit you at face value, but you have to upgrade to the next highest Annual Pass level (you can't get a $139 pass in exchange for a $149 ticket). They have started monthly payment plans which makes it easy. Make sure you add parking for $59 to at least one Annual Pass. If you go 5 times in a year it will pay for it's self. Remember parking also has the same blackout dates as your Annual Pass.

Now here's a tip
Once you have your receipt they tell you to go through the Main gate on your next visit to get your Picture taken for your Annual Pass card. Look at the blackout dates for your plan. You should be able to get in with your receipt on a blackout date to get your picture taken, at least that's how it worked for me, twice. This may allow you to get on a Saturday if you get the California resident pass.

If you don't want to pay for parking you can park at the Anaheim Garden Walk one block east of the park. The first 2 hours are free, $3 an hour after that. That should give you enough time to get in a couple rides. You can always try to get your parking ticket validated there too.

There is a 15 minute parking lot for drop-off and pick-ups on the east side of the park just off of Harbor Blvd and a block north of Disney Way. After a certain hour (9 pm I believe) they do not monitor the lot, so you can park longer than 15 minutes.

Plan an extra 30 minutes to get to the gate if you are parking in the Mickey and Friends parking structure. The cost of parking cars has gone up $14, but they do accept Visa. Remember the the lines can be long. If your arriving in the late morning enter the parking structure from Ball Ave. rather than via Disney Way, this will prevent you from waiting in two lines, the first one being the entrance and the second the parking structure. Use the elevators on the south side if you have a stroller. If you wait in the lines at the front and back of the tram you don't have to collapse your stroller as you will be in the wheel chair section if it's available. You can walk the two blocks to the park entrance see the following image of the parking map (also ask for directions when your there).