Getting to the happiest place on Earth typically requires a few unhappy moments, but Disneyland is finally trying out some new solutions. The amusement park’s parent company recently got the green-light for a giant new transportation center at Clementine Street and Disney Way in Anaheim, which will centralize buses, shuttles, cabs, and Ubers, and cut down on car traffic around Harbor Boulevard, Ball Road, and Katella Avenue.
Called the Eastern Gateway Project, the forthcoming transportation center will include a new seven-story, 6,800-space parking garage, which will offer direct access to the entrances of the Magic Kingdom and California Adventure via a 20-foot high pedestrian bridge over Harbor. Park attendees will go through security at the garage before crossing above Harbor, while disabled patrons will be directed to nearby shuttles that will drop them off near the parks’ entrance. A moving sidewalk is not part of the walkway plan, reports the OC Register.
The layout of the new garage will encourage drivers exiting the northbound 5 freeway to move directly to the parking facility instead of driving on increasingly-congested surface streets (like Harbor, Ball, and Katella). Meanwhile, those reaching the park via bus or shuttle will also be directed to the Eastern Gateway, where they can also reach the park entrance via the elevated walkway.
Construction on the transportation center, set to begin next year, will require the demolition of the Carousel Inn and Suites; expect an opening in 2018.
The Eastern Gateway project addresses not only the increasingly-cramped Disney garages, but the anticipated crush of new visitors to Disney once Star Wars Land opens in two years. While Eastern Gateway won’t make reaching Disney a completely painless experience, it should lighten the load on Disneyland’s three other parking areas. Whether the price of parking—currently $18 per car and motorcycle—will increase is unconfirmed, though expected.