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Pixar Pals Parking Structure has some serious design and implementation flaws

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  • [Review] Pixar Pals Parking Structure has some serious design and implementation flaws

    So over the past few months members of our family and friends have been conducting an informal analysis of Pixar Pals Parking Structure and comparing the same experience to Mickey and Friends.

    Upfront: I was very excited about a new structure and was very hopeful and excited about what the new addition would bring. However, after a few months of anecdotal analysis, I believe that there are problems that need to be addressed. Below is some of the data from our couple month long study.

    Time to parking spot: Typically the far left lanes are directed into the Pixar Pals lot. Initially, it seems faster till you get around the bend. The times listed are from crossing the bridge to getting to parking space. These are timed. Each one is the same day same time with one car going to Mickey and Friends, one going to Pixar Pals.

    Mickey and Friends / Pixar Pals
    Round 1: 8:23 min/12:41 min
    Round 2 6:54 min/10:12 min
    Round 3 19:49min/26:33 min
    Round 4 11:36min/17:24 min
    Round 5 13:03/19:43min

    Pixar Pals was consistently longer and more difficult to get through and park. The loading area is significantly slower, the ramping is one lane as opposed to two. and the convergence zone after the ticket booth is far more narrow.

    Parking Ambient Light.

    We did a number of lux (light level) readings and found that Mickey and Friends had FAR higher lux in both day and night. We found the Pixar structure uncomfortably dark particularly at night and see it as a safety hazard as it is harder to see people, and we believe it poses a particular risk to children. Our observations found there were about 1/2 to 1/3 the number of lights per pillar zone in Pixar compared to Mickey and Friends. This is an unreasonable area to cut costs and we sent Disney our concerns and we urge fellow Mice Chatters to consider communicating to Disney about this issue. To us, this is the biggest problem with the structure and the easiest one to fix.

    Exiting.

    Exiting the Pixar Pals structure can be a significant hassle depending on the time of day one leaves the park. If one leaves the park at the busiest times, say half hour to hour after fireworks, there is often considerable backup. While both parking structures can be a pain, you risk a considerable time penalty at the Pixar structure.

    Ease of use

    While the structure has a number of design/implementation problems, one positive is the higher number of elevators and direct access to both the bridge on the second floor and tram loading area on level one.

    Summary

    Overall, while the additional parking spaces are nice are needed addition to the resort. We found that Pixar Pals parking to be an inferior implementation in comparison to its older brother Mickey and Friends. Some of the problems are more fixable than others, but I do wonder if many of the decisions affecting the parking structure are due to cost constraints imposed by the current Parks and Resorts management philosophy. The most troublesome is the dangerously low light situation. Some members of our family flat out did not feel safe in that structure, both for the kids and some of the mothers. That is one area that we feel should be fixed immediately before someone is hurt by an unacceptably low level of light. With modern LED lighting, the cost and energy use is negligible.

    How they implement the gridlock problems with loading and exit will take traffic engineers and some money to study, that analysis seemed to have been skipped here.

    I advise my friends and family to avoid the structure when possible. I hope our experience and information is helpful to our fellow Mice Chatters.

    Happy Parking!

  • #2
    Also, no bathrooms!
    Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream.
    Mark Twain

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you for taking the time to study this. The lower lighting level is especially concerning to me as I am often returning to my car solo after dark. Not only is this a security concern to me but the lower lighting level would also make it harder for me to actually find my car as I have difficulty seeing in dim light.

      I'll definitely try to get into M&F if I'm driving solo.
      "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.​"

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you for the thorough analysis! Well done!

        Comment


        • #5
          Others have noticed the dangerously dim lighting as well.

          A thread from July: Pixar Pals Garage: Too Dark.
          "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
          it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
          together with every variety of recreation and fun,
          designed to appeal to everyone."

          - Walt Disney

          "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
          - Michael Eisner

          "It's very symbiotic."
          - Bob Chapek

          Comment


          • #6
            Chapek Cheapout..........Guest Safety was not the concern.
            Just another way for Disney to save money ..........Was
            Soaring like an EAGLE !

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by sailor310 View Post
              Also, no bathrooms!
              (No bathrooms) + (No need for bathroom janitorial staff and supplies) + (Few parking attendants) + (Small number of dim lighting fixtures) + (6,500 parking spaces) + ($25/day parking fee) = Profit$
              "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
              it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
              together with every variety of recreation and fun,
              designed to appeal to everyone."

              - Walt Disney

              "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
              - Michael Eisner

              "It's very symbiotic."
              - Bob Chapek

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post

                (No bathrooms) + (No need for bathroom janitorial staff and supplies) + (Few parking attendants) + (Small number of dim lighting fixtures) + (6,500 parking spaces) + ($25/day parking fee) = Profit$
                In another words=
                shortchanged the customers !
                Soaring like an EAGLE !

                Comment


                • #9
                  I am enjoying the pixar pals garage immensely for arriving midday. The secret, seemingly rarely known , side entrance is empty and drive through. And come midday there are no parking attendants, look for a green light by the escalators. WIN WIN. As opposed to Mickey and friends, you get directed and that is a gamble of where you will be parked. As someone who routinely naps in the middle of my day in my vehicle.... a covered level and ideal parking is key

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I’ve parked in the Pixar Pals lot only once and found it much as was posted. Exiting was not bad though. It may have been one of those moments where there was not much exiting traffic. Just lucky, maybe...
                    I am old. But still love Disneyland.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If you do the mickey and friends left lane to pixar and pals at OPEN.... you are in for a serious problem. Two windows were open. with four to five lanes of traffic merging with no traffic cones or attendants. Its was baaaaaad, free for all , and hard to judge even one car per car when there were multiple lanes merged at once. It was horrible until they opened a few more windows lanes (only to have the billing attendant work both lanes. ) soooo opening... can be NUTS

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have a question about the Pixar Pals calculus and how it might change your analysis. I haven't been since it opened, but plan on going soon. I drive an electric car. Sometimes the spots in Mickey and Friends are taken, but I need a charger to be able to make it back home. How accessible are the new ones in Pixar Pals?

                        That said, the safety issue of the lighting sounds like a budget cut. Any good lawyer will tell you that is a liability issue waiting to happen. Perhaps they made the decision that they could pay off any guest who ends up injured at a cheaper price than paying for and maintaining better lighting?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I park in Pixar Pals almost every day. It is darker than it should be but not alarmingly so. I'm not sure if the lighting is to blame but the park assist system seems to be a loss less accurate in PP compared to M&F. I will say though that if you're walking to the parks PP is a lot better because of the proximity to the bridge.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have been extremely disappointed in Pixar Pals Parking Lot. I found it strange that they added 5,000 spaces (number I usually read) AND parking in both structures still involves going around and around and around looking for a spot. I have seen that there are a few more farther away places in M and F some days, but people won’t take them, so it’s just as crowded as the years before the new lot opened. I’m usually getting there at 4 or 5, so I’m not talking about any other time. They also close the entrance to PP around then—but as far as I know there isn’t a hard or fast time, so it’s a crapshoot if you drive around to that entrance if it will even be open. How is anybody supposed to figure these thongs out? I mean, I can’t get a plastic straw for the sake of the environment, but I can drive around those extra miles and waste that gas, but they can’t put up signs or be consistent with policies so I can plan better? I’m not kidding about the miles—it routinely takes me 45 minutes to find handicap parking.

                            I am also disappointed in the handicap situation. They have so far not restored the same amount of spaces that Chip and Dale used to have. They have not added to the M and F floors. Then they’ve added a really inconvenient handicap area to PP. It’s hard to get to, and I have even run into employees who don’t know where it is. I really couldn’t even tell you where it is because I have had to ask every time—it’s complicated to get to and there are no signs. You have to be directed to the first floor and you don’t choose what floor you’re going to at M and F—and like I said PP closed their entrance early. I’ve asked employees who have not let me through to the first floor and just told me I had to take my luck with M and F handicapped—which is long gone by 3 or 4.

                            The PP handicap, when you can find it, does not go floor by floor. It’s a large area off on the right side of the elevators on the first floor. A large area is NOT ADEQUATE for handicap. If you are in the back of the large area, you are so far from the way to go it’s not funny. Even if you are in the front, you have to go down a loooong hallway with no seating, no signs, no artwork and poor lighting. It really seems like you’re in an unauthorized back area. Then you have to cross in front of the trams—walking slowly with your cane, walker or wheelchair. Hopefully no one gets run over because they’re too slow!!! I have asked and looked for other solutions and there are none. I was told I could park in preferred with my Handicap Pass, but so far it’s never been available—and that’s just something employees told me—not on a sign that would make me think it was really ok.

                            This all just seems like such a weird way to run a parking structure. Are more signs coming? Are employees waiting for training, or does Disney think they’ll just eventually figure it out so they can factually answer questions. How they put in the handicap really has affected my ability to even go there—and I don’t even think that’s a money issue. They could have done it floor by floor—by the elevators like it is in M and F without extra cost. I can’t imagine why they didn’t. They certainly have enough spots again, but they aren’t practical for the people they’re meant to help. As far as I can tell, the ones in PP sit empty many days, and I’m positive they’d be full if people knew where they were and were allowed to go there directly. Also if they were closer to the tram.

                            And of course, I echo the need for a bathroom on that side, and better lighting!

                            Comment


                            • #15
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                              “Not the least hard thing to bear when they go from us, these quiet friends, is that they carry away with them
                              so many years of our own lives.”


                              DL Trips: '58, '59, '61, '65, '66, '67, '68x2, '69x2, '70x2, '71x2, '73x2, '74x2, '75x2, '76x2, '77, '78,x2, '79x2, '80x2, '81, '82, '83, '88, '89x3, '90x2, '91, '93, '94, '95x2, '96, '97, '98x4, '99, '00, '01, '02, '03, '04, '05, '06, '07x2, '08, '09x2, '10, '11, '13
                              WDW Trips: '81
                              EPCOT Trips: '93
                              Tokyo DL Trips: '86

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by stovk View Post
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                                Hey, there's my car!!!! (not really)

                                I remember those days and that HUGE parking lot. You know, the one with frequent and speedy trams right to the front gate. It was always the 'first ride of the day'.
                                "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.​"

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by WaltDisney'sAlec View Post
                                  I have a question about the Pixar Pals calculus and how it might change your analysis. I haven't been since it opened, but plan on going soon. I drive an electric car. Sometimes the spots in Mickey and Friends are taken, but I need a charger to be able to make it back home. How accessible are the new ones in Pixar Pals?

                                  That said, the safety issue of the lighting sounds like a budget cut. Any good lawyer will tell you that is a liability issue waiting to happen. Perhaps they made the decision that they could pay off any guest who ends up injured at a cheaper price than paying for and maintaining better lighting?
                                  It's a good question, I'm not sure where they are in PP. It appears that the time to get to a parking spot is longer in PP by a considerable factor for conventional vehicles.

                                  To your point on safety, I agree, when you get there, especially at night look at the night and day difference with PP and M&F. Mickey is so much brighter and safer. A few members of our family just won't go into that lot unaccompanied or with little kids. They feel it is creepily dark, certainly not something you'd want in a Disney experience. It's just unsettling and uninviting.

                                  In this day and age of LED lighting, a budget cut is unconscionable. Any power saving or money saved would be negligible. That's a big shame on Disney for that. There's no excuse for dark places unless it's deliberate in an LED world.


                                  I would love to hear your experience for EV if you are able to note it.

                                  Good luck!
                                  Last edited by Golden Zephyr; 11-03-2019, 10:13 AM.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I think
                                    safety should come first......I find it it sad
                                    How Disney thinks of there Guest's and money comes first
                                    Soaring like an EAGLE !

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Eagleman View Post
                                      I think
                                      safety should come first......I find it it sad
                                      How Disney thinks of there Guest's and money comes first
                                      Agreed Eagleman, I just can't understand the darkness factor. I mean Mickey and Friends is literally a day and night difference. It was built over 20 years ago and it is objectively better in most respects, with the exception of elevators, which is finally being rectified.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Golden Zephyr View Post

                                        Agreed Eagleman, I just can't understand the darkness factor. I mean Mickey and Friends is literally a day and night difference. It was built over 20 years ago and it is objectively better in most respects, with the exception of elevators, which is finally being rectified.
                                        Also Disney can not add RESTROOM's ?
                                        Guest make long trips to there parks !.........I feel that is really low, of Disney and cheap
                                        Soaring like an EAGLE !

                                        Comment

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