As of this spring, Disneyland has changed their security checkpoints, particularly on the west side of the resort. Some may have already noticed the changes if you've visited recently, but for the rest it's important to know what's different. For some visitors, these changes mean a little more inconvenience, but overall the changes are allowing visitors to get through security faster and on to the parks.
The biggest difference for security is on the west side of the resort. The security checkpoint has been moved from the boundary of Downtown Disney and the Esplanade and broken up across several entrances. Guests staying at the Grand Californian Hotel will find security checkpoints at the DCA and Downtown Disney entrances inside the hotel itself.
Those staying at either the Paradise Pier or Disneyland Hotels will pass through security at the entrance to Downtown Disney between the AMC Theaters and the ESPN Zone just across the street from the Disneyland Hotel. Guests of the Disneyland Hotel will not really be effected in any way, but guests at the Paradise Pier Hotel are no longer permitted to cut through the Grand Californian Hotel from the main entrance to get to the parks, which is the faster path. As far as we can see, however, guests may not be able to enter the parks this way but you can return to the hotels using that path as security guards do not tend to check hotel keys into the Grand Californian from Downtown Disney or California Adventure.
If you are parking at the Mickey & Friends parking structure, you will now pass through security outside the parking structure before you board the tram for Downtown Disney. Also, any guests parking in the standard Downtown Disney parking lot will also be required to go through security just to enter the shopping district.
Besides all this, Downtown Disney now also feels less crowded simply because there are no longer large hordes backed up in front of the La Brea Bakery Cafe and the tram unloading area. Having the parks and Downtown Disney connected in this way makes the Disneyland Resort feel less partitioned and more unified.
For those who still enter the parks through the east gates, check out some of our suggestions on streamlining the security process to shorten your wait time as much as possible since those lines continue to be very long.