Traveling to Disneyland Resort this year for the 60th Anniversary? We will be posting a series of helpful travel tips to make your vacation more magical.

Planes, trains and cars.

Now that you have decided on a trip to Disneyland, how will you get there? Sometimes the distance between you and the Happiest Place on Earth determines this for you and sometimes you have to make the choice for what is the most reasonable. Some people care about time, some cost, some comfort. Here are a few options to consider.

Planes

No matter where you live, a flight is generally an easy quick transportation option. Hop on-line book a flight, and boom ticket hits the printer and you’re done. Seems simple, but wait there are three airports in Southern California that you can choose from. Does it really make a difference you ask? Honestly, no. Each airline flies into specific airports, and flight prices can vary from airport to airport even within the same airline. If you aren’t in love with one location specifically check out the pricing and flight schedules for all three to make sure you are getting the best deal.

  1. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • It is about an hour drive in LA traffic from the airport to the Disneyland Resort area.

2.  John Wayne Airport (JWA)

  • Located in Santa Ana, it is only a 30 minute drive to the parks.

3.  Long Beach (LGB)

  • Nestled in between 4 major freeways in LA County this location is also a short 30 minutes away.

If you need information on how to get to and from the airport, check out our next post on transportation at Disneyland Resort.

Trains

Maybe you fancy a little bit more leg room. Amtrak offers some amazing views while you travel. But be prepared for the trip to take longer than driving as the stops take up some time. With larger seats, a dining car, a viewing car, and a whole train length to get up and walk it makes it a bit more manageable. These trains are even equipped with sleeping cars for those on longer journeys. Don’t worry about your luggage, the train offers larger luggage options, and odd size baggage storage as well.

Amtrak has 2 major stations they service in the Disneyland area that make them an ideal transportation option for some families:

  1. Located next to Angels Stadium this station is serviced by Amtrak, MetroLink and ART. (The closest to Disneyland Resort)
  2. Union Station, located in downtown Los Angeles, a major transportation hub for rail, bus and car services.

With a variety of itineraries from all over the continental United States, Amtrak is accessible to most US travelers. Here are a few to note:

  • Coast Starlight – This route starts in Seattle and ends in Los Angeles. There are five stops in between where you can hop on and off depending on your location. I have personally taken this train before and thought that the views were spectacular as you follow HWY 1 down the California coast line.
  • Southwest Chief – Starting in Chicago this line travels through eight states and passes by the Grand Canyon. Fun idea for a longer vacation with room to explore on the journey to and from Anaheim.
  • Sunset Limited – Dipping along the southern states this itinerary begins in Louisiana and has views of the Gulf of Mexico.

These are just a few of the many great offerings from Amtrak, check out their site for more details (http://www.amtrak.com/home).

Cars

So you’d rather drive yourself, bring your own snacks and bond over a family road trip. I understand, many of us have fond memories of family and friends piling into the car chanting “Disney or bust!”. Whether you have a cross-country drive or a 2 hour drive there are some tips to make your Disney road trip a winner.

  • Mapping out your route – Planning your route ahead of time leaves room for advance hotel reservations, planned bathroom stops and some great roadside food.
  • Hotels/Motels – If you trip is longer than a day drive consider stopping to rest along the way. These extra reservations might seem like a budget eater, but a little rest and a good nights sleep can do wonders come the first day in the parks.
  • Tourist attractions – Many tourist attractions, or road side attractions are easily accessible from the main freeways and highways. Take a look for some sites along your route and stop to grab a family photo-op!
  • Rental Cars – Maybe you don’t have a car, or you don’t want to put the miles on your vehicle. Renting a car for your road trip can make it almost worry free. You know the car is mechanically sound and that you have support in case something does go awry. There is even an Alamo rental car location in Downtown Disney for easy pick up and drop off if you just want the car to get around while you are visiting.

However you travel, be safe and do it well.

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