Imagineering Awesome: Fantasia Parking Garage

This post is part of the Imagineering Awesome series

Welcome to the 2015 Imagineering Awesome series on Mouse on the Mind! You can access all of the posts by clicking on the link at right.

Today’s post is from the McElroy Brothers of Disney podcasting, Mickey Mutineers. They’ve provided us with an excellent solution for all of our Magic Kingdom parking needs … 


The Magic Kingdom was built in a way that as you get closer to it, the magic gets closer and the anticipation builds. Whether you take the ferry or the monorail, the Magic Kingdom is your horizon and you get to watch it get closer and closer with every passing second! What magic! What an experience! What a joke.

You know why it seems so awesome that you’re heading towards the Magic Kingdom? Because you just left the swamp-trimmed Asphalt Kingdom. That’s right, the starting point of any day at Disney is acres of scorching hot, burning, drab parking lot. What a garbage way to start your day!

But with the recent news of the Nascar Oval of Sadness being taken out to expand the Magic Kingdom parking lot (and also rumors swirling in Disneyland about a new parking garage being considered), we here at Mickey Mutineers Incorporated decided to jump on this situation and take advantage of it! (In a totally non-threatening and non-creepy way.) Behold! The Fantasia Parking Garage of Happiness and Joy and Joyness! (We’ll work on that name later.)


Imagine, if you will, pulling up to a large parking garage, because from the outside, that’s what it’s going to look like. One massive cube of concrete. But when you approach the entrance, you will notice something different: A Sorcerer Mickey animatronic standing on his rock, directing traffic! And for authenticity, he will even be holding those bright orange or yellow airport wands in each hand! Now you know you’re in the happiest place on earth!

Sorceror Mickey WandWhen you pull into the parking garage, you’ll think “Wait. This just looks like a regular parking gara-” and then a flurry of projection mapping images will grace the interior of the structure! Why should the theme parks themselves get to bask in the glory of all the recent leaps in projection mapping technology? Share the booty, Parks!

Anyway, along the back wall, massive whales from The Pines of Rome segment of Fantasia 2000 will swim along through the night sky. Along the concrete wall. The dancing hippos, ostriches and alligators will prance along, leading you to available spaces if you come later in the day. Because we all know if you arrive at opening, you’re following a solid stream of cars being directed to the correct parking spots.

If you’re lucky enough to park in the farthest, darkest, most desolate corners of the parking garage, you’ll be in good company! There to keep you and your car company will be Chernabog and his army of evil minions. Because let’s face it, parking that far away always feels like Hell.

Even better than being parked in the Night on Bald Mountain section is being parked on the open-air top level of the garage! Up here you will see the lot scattered with real props of dinosaur bones and corpses, dead trees, and dried up ponds, just like the end of the Rite of Spring segment! Hooray! Because let’s face it, whether this garage is in Florida or Anaheim, it’s going to be hot on that top level.

On busy days, the real magic of the garage peaks through the curtain.  As you are slowly trudging up the ramps to other levels, those guests on the passenger side (don’t need the driver crashing. You know what? None of this seems conducive to passenger safety…) of the car can roll down the window and control the interactive elements of our garage.  Want to move around Mickey’s magic brooms?  Hey, go nuts man. Just don’t flood the lower levels. Want to throw virtual yo-yos at flamingos? Have at it! Feel like throwing a hippo around?  Let’s do this! Have an urge to lasso up a sexy topless centaur? Settle down. This is a family park.

pasted image 0 (1)And at the end of the day, when you’re completely exhausted and trudging back to your car, if you look up, you will see the Spring Sprite from the Firebird Suite spreading her tapestry of rebirth and happiness! To add to the effect, let’s take a cue from the 4D movie attractions and turn on the fire sprinklers to simulate the rain as she flies across the garage! That will make everyone happy!

So there you have it, a magical way to start and end your Disney day. And parking will only be a mere $68.21 per day! A small price to pay for memories that will last forever! Or, at least until the robot uprising and the singularity…

Oh! Don’t forget to buy your exit ramp photo before you leave.

The photo won’t be on my MagicBand?! What a rip … but save me a spot anyway! Do you want one, too??