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Thread: Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at Disneyland Resort

  1. #1

    Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at Disneyland Resort

    At the end of January, Disney posted that they had added 20 public use charging stations at the Mickey & Friends parking structure. Always eager to try new things, I finally convinced my husband to take our Volt and try out the stations. For those considering it in the future, a few thoughts:

    * Disney is using Chargepoint chargers. It is helpful to have a physical card in advance. I had to call Chargepoint about a different issue and the person I spoke with indicated while it is possible to activate a charger from their cellphone app, it is harder when there are multiple chargers nearby. Disneyland has numbered the chargers 1-20 but the main Chargepoint website labels them alphabetically based on geography (so what is labeled "A" changes when you scroll around). I didn't see what they are like on the cellphone version, but if they generally know having multiple Chargepoints nearby can cause issues, I would recommend using the physical cards.

    * At the ticket booth after swiping our AP and getting our receipt we told the attendant that we wanted electric vehicle charging and got a yellow strip of paper for our car. My husband doesn't read internet blogs and later told me it hadn't occurred to him to ask or he might have asked earlier. As we did ask before driving off it was no big deal.

    * Only after we were directed to Chip & Dale did we see signage for the electric vehicle parking. I don't know when or where I expected to see signs, but I was a bit surprised that there weren't more, since most people who are not handicapped do not go into that area.

    * Unlike many of the charging stations I've seen which charge fairly high rates per hour (or fraction thereof), Disney is charging $0.35/Kwh (min. $1.50). This is more than most electric vehicle owners would pay to charge at home, but still a bit less than the current price of gas. We paid about $3.50 for 35-40 miles worth of range. Once our battery was full, there were no additional charges. The potential downside to this type of charging is that there is no incentive to move your car once your charge is complete. Disney posted on their blog that these spaces are first come/first served. Chargepoint's website does provide the ability to see if any of the charges are available so if you didn't get a space in the morning it might be possible to move your car later in the day (but as those who know that structure are aware, moving ones car typically involves leaving the structure and reentering). Until more electric vehicle owners realize there is now paid charging, this may not be an issue.

    * We left Disney around 2:30 on a Sunday, right when they were switching the bridge to facilitate cars exiting, so likely about as crowded as it would be for the day. At that time, about 3/4 of the parking spots were full. Of those, there was a Tesla that was not plugged in and a non-electric vehicle. I understand that the Tesla may have had issues charging or been directed to the electric vehicle area by an overzealous cast member without being asked if they wanted to charge. I don't understand why in a parking structure as big as Mickey and Friends a non-electric car felt entitled to park in an electric vehicle parking spot.

    Having now done this, I'm not sure that we will routinely be taking our Volt to Disneyland, but it is certainly a more enticing option than it was before the installation of the Chargepoint chargers.


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  3. #2
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    Thanks for the review on something that I have been wondering about. Its good to hear of a first hand experience.

    How does the charging rate compare to other pay charging ports from Chargepoint? (Or other carriers.)

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  4. #3

    I just looked at Chargepoint's website and it looks like many of their chargers have now converted to Kwh charging. Walgreens has the most and is charging $.49/Kwh with a $1.00 minimum. Keep in mind though, for my car, it would take about 40 min to get to the $1 minimum. I don't tend to shop at Walgreens type stores for that long, so my actual rate could be higher if I had to pay the minimum. Those that haven't converted to Kwh billing still charge by the hour, the most common being $1.00 per hour or fraction thereof. I know a lot of people on the electric vehicle boards I frequent were upset because they would come back just a shade later than planned and have to pay for a full extra hour for just a few minutes of electricity. The second most popular charging stations in So Cal are by Blink, who went through a bankruptcy and now charges $1.00 per hour for members and $2.00 per hour for non-members, with a 15 minute grace period.

    By comparison, our home charging rates range from $0.09/Kwh to $0.47/Kwh depending on time of day & time of year, with most of our charging being in the $.09 to $.10 range (overnight) and some being in the $.11 to $.31 range (off peak)


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