Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How to Turn DCA Into a Parking Lot

Simple: reverse the arrow of time! But if you want something a bit easier...

I was scanning more of my film-based photos this weekend (from 1996-1998) and noticed that I had taken a few of the pick-up area, just beyond the Monorail Beam from the Disneyland Main Entrance. As I didn't get my driver license until 1998 (at which time I also got a cell phone), I spent quite a bit of time at this area. I realized that it couldn't be too far off from the present location of the Information Station in Disney California Adventure--a location I later worked while in Guest Relations. This got me thinking about how the Resort expansion was laid out over the old Parking Lot. I don't recall ever seeing a graphic showing what ended up where, so I created one myself.

I used the Parking Lot map from a Vintage Disneyland Tickets post as my guide for the names.

I then turned to aerial photographs taken by the United States Geological Survey and the United States Department of Agriculture for my base images. This is a 1995 aerial of the Disneyland Parking Lot:

Sure is a lot of space, isn't it? I then tried to map out the various sections of the Parking Lot:

Some of the boundaries were clear, with the interior roads dividing the sections. Others, particularly the Alice/Bambi divide and the north/south divide of the interior sections, I had to guess at based on pavement shadings. The map from Vintage Disneyland Tickets also includes a Chip section right at the Main Entrance, but from the aerial photo I couldn't figure out where that was located. Any help is welcome.

I then placed a 2009 image from the National Agricultural Imagery Program underneath my graphic, to yield the following composite:

So, now you can amaze your friends with your knowledge of which entities were in which Parking Lot sections. Tower of Terror? Mickey. Cars Land? Sleepy and Tinker Bell. Disney Animation? Happy and Goofy. Silly Symphony Swings? Exit road.

My real reason for wanting to do this is that I have dozens of Parking Lot photos I'd like to match up with current views (when possible, realizing that often there would be no point of reference), but I don't know that I have the enthusiasm to complete this for too many. Still, it was an interesting exercise to trace the evolution of the former Parking Lot sections to the current Second Gate.


TokyoMagic! said...

Excellent post! Thank you for sharing this. I have a few parking lot pics and have also been wondering what sits in those specific areas today.

Major Pepperidge said...

This is really interesting! Although I could have sworn there was a "Baloo" section. All my childhood memories are shattered...

Melinda said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome. I've been meaning to do this myself and now you've saved me all manner of work. Very cool.

walterworld said...

Fantastic! Please update after CarsLand is done.

Dang I sure liked that old parking lot.


Maria said...

It'd be great to see an updated version, with Bugs land and Cars land and the new Buena Vista Street. See how those chances look.