If you are wondering about booking a hotel near the Mickey and Friends parking structure and using the tram for transportation between the park and hotel, then read this!
On our last trip to Disneyland (May 2017), we stayed at the Travelodge and planned to walk to the parking structure. I thought that it would be easier to walk to the parking structure and take the tram, than walking to the park entrance from another hotel. I looked on Google Maps satellite view and saw a trail that had been created with foot traffic along Disneyland Drive. It seemed possible and I had read other threads on here about walking, so I figured it wouldn’t be a problem. Just to make sure, I called Disneyland and spoke with the parking services. They had no problem with it. I also asked the staff at the Travelodge.
On our first night, we tried taking the tram to Downtown Disney. We crossed south on Ball Road and saw the no pedestrians sign on the south-west corner, so we crossed east on Disneyland Drive. We walked down the sidewalk on the east side and then tried to cross west on Disneyland Drive near the narrowest stretch of road by the parking structure entrance. We had crossed half of the lanes and were standing in the median, but before we could fully cross Disneyland Drive a security officer pulled over and told us to turn around. They made us walk down the median and return to Ball Road. There were multiple officers patrolling the road during our attempt.
After the first try, we decided to avoid trouble and just use Uber in the mornings. It seamed to be more challenging to enter than exit the parking structure. We figured we would try taking the tram and walking to our hotel in the evenings, since there would be less officers patrolling the road due to decreased traffic. We had no trouble walking back to our hotel in the evenings. We used this method over the course of our three days at Disneyland and California Adventure. It is definitely doable if you take the correct route!
We did not take a safe route on our first or second try, but thankfully now we know the best and safest route! It is less confusing to walk to the parking structure entrance from Ball Road, so I’ll explain that route first.
Leaving the Hotel
Walk south down Disneyland Drive on the far west side. There is a no pedestrians sign here (see below), but we chose to walk past it. Walk south along the dirt path until you reach the chainmail fence (also below). Walk south through the grass alongside the chainmail fence to the corner. The area becomes sloped, but just stay close to the fence. Walk west at the corner to the parking structure. Carefully cross over all of the entrance and exit lanes and enter the parking structure. The tram is just inside the structure to the south.
Leaving the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure
Walk north and east to the exit of the parking structure from the tram. Carefully cross over all of the entrance and exit lanes heading north. Walk east and follow the chainmail fence to the corner. There is a dirt path near this area from all the foot traffic (see below), but I wouldn’t recommend following it. It leads you onto the main road. Keep left and walk north at the corner through the grass alongside the chainmail fence. The area is sloped, but just stay close to the fence. The fence will disappear as you approach the intersection (as seen below). Follow the dirt path north and keep walking until you reach the no pedestrian sign on the corner of Ball Road and Disneyland Drive.
I would not recommend this path for families with children. It is not stroller or wheelchair friendly. The terrain was often wet from the sprinklers and slippery near the slope. It is relatively easy to walk this route as an adult, but just remember that the closer you stay to the fence, the safer you are. Hopefully this helped you have a magical visit!
Walking along the fence is the key to safety!