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Would you check baggage on Amtrak from Anaheim to San Diego?

Casey
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Would you check baggage on Amtrak from Anaheim to San Diego?

Plan on using Amtrak to transfer between Anaheim and SD. Actually I have a few questions.

1. It's a week long trip- I hope to pack efficiently, but we'll have some luggage. Should I definitely plan on checking baggage? That means we'll have to get to the station 45 min-1 hour in advance.

2. I haven't decided on which departure time I want, but I understand it is probably going to be cheaper to buy online in advance. Is that correct?

3. Will the train be very busy mid-day Wednesday June 5?

4. Of course we want to sit on the right, and I read here that it's important to be some of the first on the train. How long is the train at the station?

5. We'll probably take the 11:53 am or the 1:08 pm train- is there anywhere we can eat there, between the time we check our baggage and the time the train arrives? We may just eat on the train, but it would be something to do while we waited, too.

Can't decide if we want to leave earlier in the day and have more time in SD, or if we want to squeeze in a 4th morning at DL and catch a later train! It costs $100 to add a day to our DL tickets. We will already have 3 day PH with our CityPass. Then we have our travel to SD day and 2 full days in SD- one for Sea World and one for Mission Beach area. Our arrival afternoon probably hanging out at the Mission Bay Park or The Dana pool area. So we could leave early and have most of Wednesday at SD. Or sleep in a little, leave mid-day and have mid-afternoon/evening at SD. Or go to DL for the morning, leave later and just have the evening in SD. So hard to decide now whether we will want more time in DL or in SD.

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1. Re: Would you check baggage on Amtrak from Anaheim to San Diego?

Have not taken Amtrak that route but if you have to arrive 45 mins to an hour you might as well drive from Anaheim to SD. We have done it in just over 90 minutes to 2 hours with no traffic. Just rent a car one way if you are from outside the US.

As far as should you stay longer , diehard roller coaster fans will say yes, kids may say yes, others may say no. It is for you to decide. Hard to compare a theme park with spending time at the pool. You are giving zero time to see SD by the way if you are relaxing and doing another park the next day but it is your vacation and there is more to SD than theme parks

Edited: 1:15 pm, April 10, 2013
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2. Re: Would you check baggage on Amtrak from Anaheim to San Diego?

Sorry, I know very little about the questions you have about the Train. But there are those who post who are more familiar that can answer your questions about that.

As far as whether to stay an extra partial day at Disneyland or not just really depends on what you want to do. But...San Diego is a wonderful City to visit, I would consider adding the time there since you will be there for a short time anyway.

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3. Re: Would you check baggage on Amtrak from Anaheim to San Diego?

Look at www.amtrak.com. Note that some of the trains are marked "no checked baggage." Most are not, however. Just choose your train carefully. Prices seem the same on all. We did once upgrade to business class seats, on a different train, and rather liked them. More room, fewer people, quieter, free snacks.

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4. Re: Would you check baggage on Amtrak from Anaheim to San Diego?

I would check the luggage in, to make the trip less stressful. Just make sure you leave your internet friendly device out, as Amtrak offers free WiFi.

As for getting the tickets cheaper, yes, here is a link to the current promotions being offered (FYI, you are taking the Pacific Surfliner).

http://www.railserve.com/amtrak_coupons.html

The train shouldn't be busy n a mid day weekday.

The train is only at the station a couple of minutes, just long enough to load/unload passengers and luggage. But you are free to move around the train when it moves, so get to the upper level, and start looking around for the west facing seats. (Another good reason to check in your luggage).

Nothing to eat close to the Train Station, it is in the middle of the Angels Stadium parking lot. You can bring on your own food/drink, so maybe get something to go somewhere and eat at the station and/or on the train.

Hope that helps...

I would take the early train, as the Angels play at the stadium at 4 PM, so it will start to get busier later in the day.

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5. Re: Would you check baggage on Amtrak from Anaheim to San Diego?

I think 3 days at DL/DCA is enough and I would get on to San Diego so you will have some time to explore there. If you want to have a meal while at the Amtrak station it may be a bit easier to leave from Fullerton. There are several restaurants right by the train station including Old Spaghetti Factory and Knowlwood, they are in the same parking lot.

The Anaheim Amtrak station is on the edge of the Angels parking lot. There are several restaurants within about a 5 to 10 minute walk from the station. Everything from quick serve to sit down. I doubt there will be much if any impact from the game if you are leaving on either the 11:53 or 1:08 train as the parking lot will open 1:30 for a 4 PM game.

Try to get on as soon as you can. The train does not originate in Anaheim or Fullerton so people will be on the train so no knowing how much space will be on the right.

Edited: 3:20 am, April 11, 2013
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6. Re: Would you check baggage on Amtrak from Anaheim to San Diego?

I do not think Anameim is a baggage stop, Santa Ana is the closest. Just bring it on, trains are not that full, plenty of room. Be sure to sit on the ocean side for great views after San Juan

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7. Re: Would you check baggage on Amtrak from Anaheim to San Diego?

The Anaheim Station does offer Baggage check for most Amtrak Pacific Surfliner trains, as mentioned above, check the schedule for the exact ones. What you want to see is a small luggage bag icon next to both the departing time and arrival time to verify that they are allowing check-in luggage.

http://www.amtrak.com/pacific-surfliner-train

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8. Re: Would you check baggage on Amtrak from Anaheim to San Diego?

Hello bjscheel, and welcome to the Anaheim forum.

Coming from overseas, I'd think the checked luggage route is what you should anticipate doing. If it turns out you can carry everything onboard the train, then you're in that category! Plan for the worst, hope for the best. . . that way you don't mess up and become dissapointed.

The reason why the midday allows luggage from the Anaheim Amtrak station (and Santa Ana as well nearby) is because passenger volumes are expected to be lower at that time versus commuter rush hour time (5-9 AM and 3-7 PM). That *should* be an indication on how full the Pacific Surfliner train will be, but it can vary. The scenic view from San Juan Capistrano southward on the right side is one people anticipate and look forward to. . . and in the unassigned first come, first serve seating I understand you are looking for, there's no way to know how much of that is taken before you board. You can hope for it, but don't expect it.

Actually, I like JenniferRealtor's suggestion on using Fullerton as your Amtrak station boarding location. For only a few dollars more, you get a much wider choice in departure times (from 7:54 AM to 10:39 PM) for checked luggage. Better choice of seat availability (right hand side) most likely too, as Fullerton is a transfer point between regional Metrolink and Amtrak. Keep in mind the restaurant factor. Sit down restaurants are there right at trackside in Fullerton (I have a friend who loves the Old Spaghetti Factory and will actually ride the train to Fullerton for it). In Anaheim, by contrast, you have fast food chains nearby.

Amtrak uses a "bucket" system of tiering their prices. The earlier you make your reservations, the less expensive the seats will be. Amtrak does have email capability and chat as well, which would be very helpful in getting the tickets purchased NOW while the price is much better than a week or two before your travel date. Here's the link: http://www.amtrak.com/contact-us

Hope all of this helps summarize your situation for you, as well as your choices. Enjoy your travels with us.

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Casey
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9. Re: Would you check baggage on Amtrak from Anaheim to San Diego?

Thanks, this is all very helpful! I will go over it again and figure out what we want to do. Will have to look at Fullerton as an option.

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10. Re: Would you check baggage on Amtrak from Anaheim to San Diego?

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