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car hire, hotels and transport

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Cardiff, United...
posts: 175
reviews: 12
car hire, hotels and transport

I will be visiting Anaheim with 3 friends next September for 2/3 nights, mainly to visit the Disney parks. We will be staying the LA most likely West Hollywood or Hollywood first for 4/5 nights and then plan to come to Anaheim. We are thinking of hiring a car after checking out of our hotel in LA to drive to our hotel in Anaheim. After finishing up in Anaheim we will be moving on to San Francisco and plan to fly, although not sure which airport we would fly from as I understand there are closer airports to Anaheim than LAX?

My question is we plan to stay close to Disney hopefully walking distance so would having a car be a waste of money?

After finishing up in Anaheim we will be moving on to San Francisco and plan to fly, although not sure which airport we would fly from as I understand there are closer airports to Anaheim than LAX? How is transport for the airport without a car or is it best to drive to the airport and drop off the car there?

Also can anyone suggest hotels close to Disney please? Budget is round $125 per night. Is that do able? Not waiting luxury just clean, close by and maybe with free parking if we keep the car.

I still very much in my research stages of planning a 16/17 night trip to the west coast and Vegas so trying to figure out costs and itinerary ect. I realise I have asked a lot.

Thanks in advance

14 replies to this topic
LA
Destination Expert
for Kohala Coast, Island of Hawaii
posts: 7,975
reviews: 1
1. Re: car hire, hotels and transport

John Wayne airport (aka: Orange County, SNA) is the most convenient.

Look for Southwest Airlines flights direct from SNA to SFO.

www.iflyswa.com

Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Anaheim, St. George
posts: 13,984
reviews: 80
2. Re: car hire, hotels and transport

No reason to rent a car just to drive from LA to Anaheim. You wont need a car for Disneyland or San Francisco. So you may not need a car at all if you are just planning on visiting San Francisco and not driving back down the Coast ect. If your planning on going down the coast from San Francisco, you can just pick up the car after you visit San Francisco, or start your trip in San Francisco to begin with.

Something such as Lux Bus should get you from LA to Anaheim or taking the train or there are Shuttle services such as Zippy Shuttle which offer private transport along with their regular shuttle service if you contact them directly.

SNA ( Orange County) Airport is close to Anaheim and would be where you would want to fly out of if possible. There are inexpensive flights through Southwest.com Airlines with 2 bags flying for free, most of the time you will have to book them on thier own website.

When in Sept is this visit for? You would want to avoid a few busy times such as Labor day Weekend which for 2014 is August 29th- Sept 1 so that may not impact your visit really. And the starting weekend of Halloweentime which is usually the second Fri in Sept so very likely Sept 12th for 2014 as that weekend would be busy.

Heres a Map of Hotels in the Disneyland area so you can see where things are located. Most of the places to stay closest to the entrance are standard Motels just across the street with a few Hotels in a little farther walking distance. The Disneyland Main Entrance is off of Harbor Blvd near where it says "East Shuttle Area" on the Map.

printfreemaps.com/maps/freedisneylandareamap…

As far as Hotels go, you should be able to get something around $125 a nite, but keep in mind that Anaheim charges an 18% tax which is pretty high, so are you talking about that amount total with taxes or before?

Keep in mind if you want to book this far out, you will likely have to contact places direct as most wont show availablility this far out, and will just show "not available".

Something like the Anaheim Desert Inn....Best Western Park Place Inn... Best Western Anaheim Inn... Camelot Inn.... are all standard Motels close to the entrance and should be within that price range.

Cardiff, United...
posts: 175
reviews: 12
3. Re: car hire, hotels and transport

Thank you.

I have looked at South western they seem reasonable. We won't be hiring a car anywhere else apart from LA/Anaheim and will be flying between all the cities we're visiting.

The rough dates are 11/12 September to spend 2 days in Disney, is this enough?

I was hoping the $125 would be the total cost for a hotel as we will be paying in advance. Does this mean we have to pay the 18% tax direct to the hotel? Sorry to seem dim but I've never been to the US before only Europe booking through a travel agent where everything is paid for in advance.

Finally is something like LUX bus or the train going to be easy to navigate with 2 cases each plus hand luggage?

Thanks again

Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Anaheim, St. George
posts: 13,984
reviews: 80
4. Re: car hire, hotels and transport

The 18% is just the general tax for Hotels in Anaheim, so no its not on top of any regular tax

I would not suggest paying in advance that far out, things can change and there is no reason to do that its better Imo to get a cancelable reservation with some of these smaller Motels, they are not going to offer much of a discount for prepaying, and some dont offer any.

The Anaheim desert Inn should still be within your budget with tax included if you book far enough in advance, they are one of the least expensive options. Keep in mind though they do raise their prices the closer it gets, so you are not too early to book with a cancelable reservation if you know your dates. They should be about $86 a nite total with taxes which is a great rate. Camelot Inn.. should be about $139 a nite total with taxes. BW Park Place Inn is likely though to be out of your budget for the mini suite which would be the larger room you would need with 4. I cant see prices for BW Anaheim Inn.. but it may be within your budget.

How many days you spend at Disneyland is up to you. But since there are 2 Parks you could easily take up at least 3 days just at Disneyland. A 2 or 3 day Parkhopper ticket is usually suggested for a visit since there is so much to see and do at both Parks.

Keep in mind that you may or may not want to alter your dates a little when you would be in Anaheim. Sept 12 is extremely likely to be the starting weekend of Halloweentime at Disneyland and that weekend is usually busy at Disneyland. This year they had a Party on that Friday that went to 1am and had almost sell out crowds which is alot of people for Disneyland Park!

Keep in mind that its also quite hot usually during Sept with a Hot wind that blows during that time. And hours during weekends M-Thurs would be shortened something like 10am till 8pm and longer hours of around 8am till 12pm Fri,Sat,Sun. The Fireworks show and Fantasmic Show are only on weekends during that time, Fri,Sat, Sun. But there is usually a nightly World of Color show.

Lux Bus is a Hotel to Hotel service, you can look on the website to see what Hotels it picks up from in LA/Hollywood area. It drops off at most of the area Hotels around Disneyland so there wouldnt be issues with your luggage they are for people who want to transport with thier luggage. A private Shuttle that was also mentioned though may work out to be about the same for the 4 of your and would offer a Door to door service. Usually thats around $100 one way.

Cardiff, United...
posts: 175
reviews: 12
5. Re: car hire, hotels and transport

Very helpful thanks.

We're not looking to book any hotels until the new year.

Do most hotels offer breakfast as part of the room rate or do you normally have to pay extra?

LA
Destination Expert
for Kohala Coast, Island of Hawaii
posts: 7,975
reviews: 1
6. Re: car hire, hotels and transport

I would NOT pay a hotel in advance.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Anaheim, St. George
posts: 13,984
reviews: 80
7. Re: car hire, hotels and transport

Most of the standard places to stay close to the Disneyland entrance offer free standard Continental Breakfast. All of the ones I mentioned as far as Im aware offer free breakfast. Hardly any will offer free full breakfast, and those would be out of your price range unless you wanted to stay farther from Disneyland down Harbor Blvd.

You are not too soon to book something with a cancelable reservation only once you know your dates. No compelling reason to need to prepay a reservation. Since you would want to stay at the better rated places that would be inexpensive, they are popular. You would want to book about 6 months in advance if possible especially with the Anaheim Desert Inn since they raise thier prices the closer it gets to a date.

Edited: 3:46 pm, September 26, 2013
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
posts: 22,233
reviews: 52
8. Re: car hire, hotels and transport

With four of you, the economics of the intercity transfer come into play.

1. A private shuttle will run about $100

2. The Lux Bus is PER PERSON and, at present, is $116 for the 4 of you.

Between these 2 options, the private transfer is preferred since it's less expensive and direct (you don't need to wait for others to be picked up or dropped off along the way). Add to that, the Lux Bus departs at 7:30 a.m. which might be earlier than you want to leave.

3. Rail service -- Metrolinktrains.com and Antrak.com both offer this service. One might be less expensive than the other based upon the day of travel and Metrolink offers more transfers during 'rush hours' whereas Amtrak offers more trains throughout the day (and week). For example, for a weekday transfer, Metrolink offers a fare of $9 (less, if you're pensioners). So, that's $36 for the lot of you. You could use public transit to transfer between the rail stations and the respective hotels but I would take a taxi as that will afford you with assistance with your luggage.

From Hollywood to Union (rail) Station will cost about $25; with tip, it's closer to $30. In Anaheim, the taxi ride from the Anaheim rail station would be shorter (about $12 plus tip; let's call it $15). So, that comes to $36 for the rail and $45 for the taxis or $81 in total -- a deal, imo, if you don't mind traveling by rail.

As far as where to stay whilst visiting Los Angeles, Hollywood is the best option if you'll be relying upon public transit. I live in West Hollywood and if you plan to stay on the "Sunset Strip", public transit is limited in that area -- just one bus, the #2 (and it's occasional cousin, the #302) which is a slow-going route that would require a second bus to get to most places.

The BEST way to pick a neighborhood in which to stay in L.A., is to plan your itinerary first as our city is extremely spread out and our Metrorail system (unlike London's) covers only a small portion of our metro area.

I'm a big fan of public transit but with 4 people, it gets more and more affordable to hire a car since the cost of the car is split amongst the 4 of you. Meanwhile parking at hotels in L.A. can be expensive: $30 to $40 per night is not unheard of in some areas. (Hollywood's hotels tend to have inexpensive parking or in rare cases, free parking).

Other factors which will help you decide which neighborhood in which to stay are budget and 'ambiance'. West Hollywood is a little more expensive than Hollywood and the ambiance of the two neighborhoods is different. West Hollywood is more upmarket.

Another neighborhood that I like is just south of West Hollywood. Known on Tripadvisor (in their 'hotels section') as "Central L.A." and as "Beverly Grove" by some locals, this area is bordered on the west by the Beverly Center (upmarket) Mall and the Beverly Connection (outlet/discount) Mall and on the east by the Grove (mid-range) Mall. In between is about a mile (1.6 km) of shops and restaurants of all kinds and price ranges. This is a very walkable area that isn't terribly touristy.

Transportation in the area is good: frequent northbound buses to West Hollywood and Hollywood; frequent westbound buses to Beverly Hills and (by transferring to an onward bus in Beverly Hills) beyond to the beach communities; frequent eastbound buses to downtown L.A.

Here's a cartoon map of L.A. neighborhoods that you might find helpful:

…flickr.com/2695/4304287666_3f60e03695_o.jpg

Cardiff, United...
posts: 175
reviews: 12
9. Re: car hire, hotels and transport

Great advise on areas to stay at in LA, thanks for this. I will post more in the LA forum with regards to my LA questions, I'm sure there will be lots.

A general question with hotels in the states are rooms for 4 adults easy to reserve? Reason I'm asking is I posted in the Vegas forum and was told unless you specifically book a room for 4, for example in Vegas the Venetian then you may not get a room with 2 queen beds and instead get a king room. In other words hotels will not guarantee a room for 4 even though at time of booking the guest thinks they are getting this.

I hope this makes sense.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Anaheim, St. George
posts: 13,984
reviews: 80
10. Re: car hire, hotels and transport

It does vary from Hotel to Hotel as far as how many people are allowed in a room. Unless there are 2 beds, then its usually only for 2 people. Some will also charge more per person after 2 people as well.

Its not as usual though for Hotels to not guarantee a room type. There are some that will do that, so you do have to be cautious. For Anaheim most Hotels in the area are more family oriented and will have specific room types available.

I would suggest that you pick Hotels that will be able to guarantee a room type, there should be plenty of those as well.

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