Metal detectors and bag checks are a vital part to guests safety. The security at the Disneyland Resort has been located at the box office entry areas on both the east and west sides for years. Now that's changed and you'll want to be prepared for it.
Starting a month or so ago the security lines were moved from the box office area to the outer perimeter of any entry point into Downtown Disney. The only security entry point that didn't change is the east side where the buses drop off guests.
With the security check-points at the perimeters now that means you have to be checked prior to coming into Downtown Disney. For guests visiting only Downtown Disney you'll come through a security check-point located just before ESPN Zone and Rain Forest Cafe. The lines on the weekends here can get long so be sure to come early!
Guests of the Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier Hotel will enter at the security check-point located between ESPN Zone and Earl of Sandwich. This check-point has a few hotel guests only entrances but in the mornings the lines can get a bit long. Again, try and show up early.
One of the biggest changes with these new security check-points is how guests of the Paradise Pier enter into Downtown Disney and the parks. Most guests at the Paradise Pier would cross the street and enter into California Adventure Park through the Grand Californian Hotel. This is no longer an option. Disney has put security guards at the corner of the Grand Californian Hotel and you must show your Grand Hotel Key Card to enter. To ensure that you're a Grand Hotel guest they have changed the color of the room key cards to brown while the Paradise Pier Hotel room keys are blue. If you don't have a Grand Hotel key card they will turn you away.
So what does that mean? We'll, Disneyland Hotel guests and Paradise Pier Hotel guests can no longer use the Grand Californian's private entrance in DCA Park. It also means that Paradise Pier guests have a much longer walk to enter the parks as outlined below.
For guests at the Grand Californian Hotel the private entrance into DCA Park still has security there. If you use the entrance north of the lobby to enter into Downtown Disney there is now a security check-point there.
These new security check-points were made to make the entire Downtown Disney area safe as well as the parks. It is nice to walk between Downtown Disney and the parks without having to be checked.
Remember to not bring selfie poles to the parks. They will turn you away and make you return it to your car or hotel.