Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Disneyland parking lot



When legendary Disney designer/engineer John Hench first saw Disney's California Adventure, he reportedly said, "I liked it better as a parking lot." As it turns out, he wasn't the only one. In fact, the old Disneyland parking lot had a lot to recommend it. The first half of the lot was designed in 1954, and it was quite innovative for its time. Never before had there been such a concerted, well-choreographed system for parking such a massive sea of vehicles.
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The lot featured trained teams of attendants guiding each car into place, named parking zones, ("I think we're parked in Dumbo,") continuously-operating parking trams, ample lighting, and every other element needed to make everything run like clockwork. Like Robert Schuller's Drive-In Church, (just a few miles away,) it was an innovative product of California's burgeoning car culture.
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Historian Jim Sleeper has long joked about doing a book called "Historic Parking Lots of Orange County," but this lot might actually qualify.
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Once again, today's photos come from the Tucker family, via Mike Tucker.

11 comments:

walterworld said...

Those shots bring back a lot of memories. And I love that quote from John Hench...

Viewliner Ltd. said...

Hench was not wrong to often. Great shots. Appreciate the post.

itsnotaplace said...

I recall that the recorded dialog of the Monorail used to comment about the parking lot as the monorail took it's long trip across the lot to the hotel. I don't remember exactly what it said -- mostly statistics about the size and capacity of the lot I think. As I recall that, it makes me wonder at the fact that Disney could make even their parking lot a tourist attraction of interest worth mentioning as visitors rode the monorail!

Carguy said...

Love the pix BUT they are not from the 1960's. First one has 1971 VW bug. Second one has early 1980's GM products, third one has a Nissan (not Datsun).

Nevertheless, I MISS the parking lot too!

Chris Jepsen said...

itsnotaplace: All I can find at the moment is the circa 1976 version of the Monorail speil. Here's all it says about the parking lot. "I'll be increasing our ground speed as we cross Disneyland's one-hundred-fifteen-acre parking area, our 'freeway retreat,' as many of you have called it."

carguy: Thanks. I meant to remove the 1960s reference earlier but forgot. I appreciate your help in pinning closer dates to some of the images. I need to get better at identifying cars myself.

colony rabble said...

Glad to hear Mike Tucker REMEMBERS a place called Anaheim.....where on earth did you find the spiel for the monorail? Too cool. I think we can all close our eyes and hear that guy's voice. And I'll bet you know the name of the voice over guy too.

Chris Jepsen said...

colony rabble: Jack Wagner

Chris Jepsen said...

URLs don't post well here, so you'll have to paste these two lines together...

http://sorcerersworkshop.org/sounds/mp3/
72mono-speedramp2lines.mp3

This, like the snippet of monorail dialog quoted earlier, comes from the Sorcerer's Workshop -- which is chock-full of cool old Disneyland audio. Go and enjoy:

http://sorcerersworkshop.org/
maingate.shtml

Anonymous said...

Boy, you said it! I hadn't been to Disneyland in over 14 years. I was so dissapointed with the parking structure that replaced the big parking lot, and the plethora of restaurants. and stores. I really enjoyed entering Disneyland in the past, now I dread it!
They should have put California Adventure somewhere else. I don't think CA Adventure fits into Walt Disney's Dream!

kale stone said...

Disneyland is an entertaining resort in California. Parking for visitors available there and it is free for the first 3 hours.


Parking at the port of Tampa

Gary Friedman said...

I miss the parking lot! We even had fun times there!