a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Missing Disney Parks and the Parking Lot In Particular

Thursday, August 06, 2020

Missing Disney Parks and the Parking Lot In Particular

SUMMARY: I'm an addict... sort of...

Disneyland is my happy place.

Not my only happy place, but pretty much guaranteed to be my happy place when I'm there. Which I try to be, roughly every couple of years.  Except, haven't been since November of 2017, and then I did very little in the parks because we were there for races (5Ks, etc.) and friends.

Looking across the dustpile that would become Disney California Adventure towards the Anaheim Convention Center.

We did Walt Disney World nearly a year ago, but it's not the same: Disneyland is home. The addition of California Adventure in 2001 at first was a disappointment but has gradually improved after the huge Disney Corp filled with some of the most creative people in the planet recognized their design flaw, which probably most of us saw while they were still building it:

Let's build an amusement park about doing fun and famous things in California, and put it in... California! 

Now it's better. With some cool attractions that we always make time to do. 
Clearly *something* will be built in here; hoping it will be cool.

However, to add Disney California Adventure (and Downtown Disney, which is between the parks -- a long pedestrian-only street of shops and restaurants, all of which are pretty good and we have a couple of favorites), they built it atop where the dearly beloved parking lot used to be. The one that was right next to the entrance. Convenient. And shoved all the parking into distant huge and pricey parking garages. I've never parked in one, but friends who drive up to join us sometimes don't get to us for as much as half an hour.

Used to be parking lot.

Today, someone posted in the Facebook Group MiceChat, 

"Does anyone remember [the] old parking lot for Disneyland where Disney’s California Adventure is now!"

I said:

Ooooh yeah I remember--for an extra fee you could park in the spaces closest to the entry if there were any left. So we'd get there early. Miss that for sure.

When we were kids and parents took us to Dland, we had a camper, so the camper would be available if someone needed a nap or for meals--Miss that for sure, too.

Discovered that my Dland-going partner seester had already said:

loved preferred parking. We could leave a cooler and coats in the car, and walk out for lunch and stuff, without having to pay for a locker.

And THEN... I just couldn't resist. Pulled up my photos from 1998, when it was all about bulldozers, not much of a hint about what was to come (views from the monorail),  and this came out:

DCA was the old parking lot
Now it's DCA, not the old parking lot
Been a long time gone, Oh the old parking lot!
Now it's walking afar nowhere near your car--

So, Take me back to the old parking lot
No, you can't go back to the old parking lot
Been a long time gone, Oh that old parking lot
Why did the old parking lot get replaced?
That's for all those new attractions we've embraced!

(Here's the original gold-selling version of Istanbul by The Four Lads, 1954.)

The Turks aren't the only ones who rename things--
Looking across the DCA construction to the hotel originally owned by Tokyu that opened in 1984 as the Emerald of Anaheim.
It was renamed Pan Pacific Hotel, Anaheim in 1989 when Tokyu merged its Emerald and Pan Pacific hotel divisions.
Disney purchased the hotel from Tokyu in 1995 and renamed it Disneyland Pacific Hotel.
The hotel was rebranded as Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel on December 15, 2000,
named after the formerly Paradise Pier (now renamed Pixar Pier) area in Disney California Adventure Park that the hotel tower overlooks.

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