Construction on the garage is still going on, but enough of the parking structure was ready for guests that Disney decided to open it to help alleviate some of the holiday shopping crush.
Like the Mickey and Friends garage at Disneyland, the ground floor is extra tall to accommodate over-sized vehicles. You can also see the light system that will be used to help indicate whether a space is available. They’re not-operational yet, but the ones blinking blue and red, are for disabled parking, the ones flashing green and red are for general parking.
Over 4000 spaces will eventually be available, but during this partial opening there are around 1700 spaces. You can enter the garage from either side off Buena Vista Drive. Eventually there will be ramps off I4 directly into the upper levels of the garage.
Right now the themeing is pretty generic. No levels named after Disney characters and no other Disney charm. I’m hoping that changes before it is finished. When it is finished, there will be two elevated walk-ways that will drop guests right into Disney Springs from the 2nd floor. For now, you have a little bit of a detour, so allow some extra time when arriving at Downtown Disney.
Presumably, once the holiday season is over, work will begin in earnest on the second parking garage, which will be closer to the marketplace side of Downtown Disney.
I am handicapped in that I can walk but not for long distances. Can you (or someone) tell me how far a walk it will be to get to Ghirardelli’s from the parking garage? Will the lots next to Ghirardelli’s be permanently closed?
It’s about as far as from Planet Hollywood to Ghiradelli’s when you park in the garage. If you’re going to Ghirardelli after 5pm or on the weekend, consider parking across the street at Team Disney. It’s a shorter distance to walk. When the second garage is built, it will be much closer to the Marketplace side.