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Thread: Is the Disneyland Express Shuttle as bad as Yelp says it is?

  1. #1

    Is the Disneyland Express Shuttle as bad as Yelp says it is?

    Hi all,

    I'd love some input on the Disneyland Express Shuttle. We booked our package through Alaska Airlines with this shuttle, and when I looked them up today, I saw their page on Yelp and it scared the crap out of me. Lots of the reviews are talking about waiting for an hour on the curb to be picked up, almost missing flights on the way home because they were late and then made so many stops and transfers, etc.

    We are staying at the Hojo. I understand that it first takes you to the DL Hotel for a transfer bus. How long would you say it would take to get from there to the Hojo? The reviews are scaring me, saying the shuttle passed their hotel 5 times and took an hour, etc. I am wondering if it would be faster to get out at the DL Hotel and walk to the Hojo.

    Anything you can tell me would be appreciated. Thanks!


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  3. #2
    Was mommyTo2Boys
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    We took this 15+ years ago from LAX to Hojo, we flew in from Phoenix, and we (I was traveling with 2 friends) were laughing so hard because it honestly took us longer to get to the hotel from the airport than our flight was from Phoenix. I hope it has improved, but from other reports I have read, I don't think it has. We always take Super Shuttle.

    Formerly MommyTo2Boys1Girl
    Lori, Mommy to 4 Disney kids, Disneyland fanatic, annual pass holder and Magic Maker with Off to Neverland Travel. My services are free! Message me so I can make your Disney destination dreams comes true!

  4. #3
    Registered User
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    I will be anxious to hear responses. We're booked on the DL Express for our October trip. We've always used Super Shuttle before and never had a problem...

    John

  5. #4
    Registered User LauraTD's Avatar
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    El Cerrito, CA

    If you are talking about the Grayline Disneyland Express (there are a couple companies that use the words Disney and Express in their names which makes it confusing. I have had good experiences with them. It does take awhile to get from LAX to the hotel and back but that is because it is a long drive. Staying on South Harbor (which is in the C schedule on their website) I haven't had a problem with them at all. I took the Super Shuttle once to the hotel when I arrived too late for Grayline and I was mushed into a seat with 3 other big ladies on a seat not designed for 4 big ladies. On Grayline I get my own seat which is large enough for my size 16 seat and only once had anyone on the seat next to me.

    Being dropped off on Harbor has taken me very little time after the drop off at DHL It will vary depending on how many people need to be dropped off at how many different hotels, but the route taken has always made sense to me. I think the people further out have a longer wait to be dropped off and have to get picked up earlier and drive around more, but Because of the reviews I was nervous about pick up so walked to DLH but this time I had a bigger bag and decided to get over my trust issues and wait at my assigned spot. If your hotel is listed as a pick up spot on their website they will pick you up. I can't speak to people who have to call in and arrange a pick up. I'm sure that at least once in the many years they have been operating someone on staff made a mistake and someone didn't get picked up. I was picked up with in minutes of the posted pick up time (which as someone who takes buses a lot at home I can tell you is not always the case with busses. I now feel silly about all the times I lugged my bag through security and Downtown Disney to wait at DLH. The walk took longer than the bus ride in my experience (especially the time I got a cast member who really wanted to dig through my dirty laundry-literally. HoJos is on the C Schedule so it shouldn't be too bad.

    I am sure that due to traffic, staff errors, customer errors (one guy getting dropped off when I was didn't know which Best Western he was going to and the bus driver was super patient and helpful talking him through figuring it out and you have to know where to wait to be picked up- it may be in front of the hotel next door because they combine stops- I am guessing some of the people who didn't get picked up stood in the wrong place or called in the wrong hotel name) people have been delayed or had a bad experience. Ask me about my bart ride home from the airport last night- my facebook friends got a running commentary on how there was no Pixie Dust on bart last night- if that was my first or second bart ride I would never ever ever ride bart again. But I ride it to work almost every day and usually it is just fine.

    I plan to keep on using Grayline for future trips. I find it a much more comfortable ride than Super Shuttle because I enjoy my personal space and from reading reviews both have their shares of complaints about problems. People are more likely to post about something going wrong than a boring ride home with no problems. Super Shuttle does offer door to door service rather than a bus stop type pick up, but for me, walking one or two doors down is better than sharing a crowded van seat with strangers. If I was with a family and sharing a van seat with them, I might prefer the Super Shuttle to avoid walking with small kids.

    "Hesitating to act because the whole vision might not be achieved, or because others do not yet share it, is an attitude that only hinders progress." -Gandhi

  6. #5

    Thanks so much for these responses. We are flying into Orange County. I think I will take my chances. I will report back.


  7. #6

    Please do report back! We are booked on it for our September vacation!

    Happy boy and Mama~


  8. #7
    Ready for MA World Explorers!
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    Drince88's Avatar
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    Flying into Orange County (SNA) does give you some semi-reasonable options if things don't go well. The cab ride to the HoJos most times of the day isn't too awefully expensive (under/around 50), and so if there's a snafu with them leaving you for your return to the airport, you should be able to make up some time and just get a cab.

    Cathy

  9. #8

    I use them if I fly into LAX and am staying in one of the resort hotels. I have had zero problems. Now that I refuse to use SS again, I will most likely consider DLE for transport to my area hotel, as well.


  10. #9

    I am happy/sad/mad to report that I have had trouble with Super Shuttle, The Red Shuttle Van AND DisneylandExpress but I can not agree with LAURA more about the DLE... YOU HAVE YOUR OWN SEAT....the trick is IF you don't miss the bus....all is well.....it can take a verrrrrry long time to pick you up. I have much more success leaving DLR on the Express bus as they pick up at the hotel. Also if you are at one of the NON Disney Hotels and get up early you can walk over to the GRAND or DLH and jump on it there. It is much more pleasant to be walking around on property....of course I pack very light so don't have a problem....I am amazed at the luggage some people bring......hope that helps.


  11. #10
    Registered User mickey4ever's Avatar
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    Last October we flew in to LAX and had reserved the Disneyland Express....we arrived at 8:30 am. We were left standing there for an hour and a half! We had reservations and they knew our flight information. We stood and waited and waited. I even called 3 times asking where they were. They said they picked up every half hour....they did not! As we watched super shuttle and Prime Time stop and ask us if we wanted/needed a ride. Plus we were thinking it was a "Disney" shuttle-NOT! We finally arrived at our Hotel -Stovals Inn at 11:30 am. They did drop us off right in front of the hotel. When they picked us up, it was across the street..not in front of the hotel, like they said...and they were late! The hotel staff kept calling for us. I will NEVER use them again.

    My husband and I went this last March and used Prime Time....they were fantastic! On time and got us to our hotel in record time...I guess it is luck of the draw :0).

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  12. #11
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    I hate Super Shuttle. HATE IT. The last time I used them, to get to an airport for a business trip (which will be, the LAST time *I* will use them for a business trip,) they picked up someone else, 20 miles away from me, about 10 minutes before they were supposed to pick ME up, and they had to drive through RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC to get here. I couldn't believe anyone would've created that route for a person. The driver even tried to tell dispatch he was a few minutes away when they were on the phone with me. And then when he did arrive, it was Mr. Toad's Wild Ride through stop and go traffic.

    Now. That said, I have ONE caveat: If I have enough people to justify reserving my own, private Super Shuttle van - THEN I will use them again. When we went to WDW, we reserved our own van because it was less expensive than a town car. They got here on time and everything was fine. When we returned, our shuttle was waiting for us at the curb - and the guy had to tell people who asked for a ride - no! No looping around for more passengers, no being the last one dropped off, etc etc.

    THAT part was lovely.

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  13. #12

    Is the Disneyland Express Shuttle as bad as Yelp says it is?

    I refuse to use Supper Shuttle out if LAX. They drive like complete but jobs. We use DLE when we fly in and much prefer it. They do have set times for pick up and delivery, it is not based off anyone's flights.
    From Orange County airport, it will be fast. LAX is just a hassle all the way around (especially when wanting to rest for vacation!)
    I suggest looking at the schedule online and know when you need to be where. It makes your expectations pretty close to reality.

    Have a great time!!


  14. #13

    Thanks everyone. We had a Super Shuttle experience similar to Adriennek's last time we went. We almost missed our flight because they drove SO far out of the way to pick up another passenger- like a half an hour out of the way- on our way to the airport, and then the lady they were picking up wasn't ready, and we sat outside her house for another 10 minutes. It was so irritating.


  15. #14
    Registered User Tinker44's Avatar
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    I have had 2 very positive experiences w/ DLE (via LAX) and have recommended them many times to many friends and all have been very satisfied. Coming from Canada, it would never occur to me to WANT to attempt the drive, so I am much happier to let a professional handle the traffic. Not only that, but because the DLE is a full-sized coach, the drivers tend to be less maniacal on the freeways. Having a seat to yourself is a welcome relief and the buses are not usually crowded, so a nice change after a crowded flight in. Did I mention the air conditioning? For myself, it made the whole process much more relaxing! The first experience, I think we only waited about 15 minutes or so and our driver was so calm and welcoming... his name was Hank and he made the vacation begin right there on the curb. The second experience, I could see the bus at the curb as we arrived at the baggage carousel, but it left before we could get to it. That was ok because I knew we were in the right place and that another one would be along soonish. Returning to LAX seems to take longer so I allowed an extra 30 minutes when I called to confirm pickup. We arrived at LAX later than I had been quoted, but still in plenty of time to check in and get through security.

    Our one and ONLY bad experience was with SuperShuttle and it will never be repeated because we will NEVER use them again. EVER! Like Laura above, we were crammed into an overfull van, very late at night and one of the other passengers was drowning in perfume and talked in a very loud voice the entire drive from LAX to the HoJo! That and the driver was zipping in and out of traffic like a bat outta hell... probably trying to get us all dropped off so he too could get away from that woman!! It was a horrid start to our 2nd honeymoon... even all these years later, I still cringe when I think of that trip.

    We are inbound again in early December, and will definitely be booking a trip on DLE from Anaheim to LAX. We're starting in San Diego this time and working our way north.

    Faith Trust and Pixie Dust!


  16. #15
    Registered User missm's Avatar
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    Add us to the never using Super Shuttle again group. We went the opposite way of the airport last year to pick someone else up. We made it to the airport about 45 minutes before our flight if I recall correctly. On the way to the hotel we waited for 30 minutes for one more person to join the van. Well you can imagine what happened. The driver found a group of 3 and made us squeeze together to fit. It was almost 90 degrees with just the windows down. We will either go private or rent a car from now on.


  17. #16

    Used DLE on return trip to LAX from Disneyland Hotel on Saturday, August 3rd (we had an Alamo rental car for first half or non-Disney portion of our trip, which we conveniently dropped off at Downtown Disney location right next to Disneyland Hotel). Had booked in advance directly with shuttle operator prior to arrival. We had a 2:25 flight back to NY, so wanting to be at airport about 2 hours prior (with time to eat) figured 11am shuttle would be safest best. The company had a person at the hotel coordinating (and taking payments for those booking on the spot), as they had a constant flow of two separate routes to both airports coming and going. Bus was there by 11:05 at the latest, and the next stop was the airport. Driver did a good job of stowing the luggage based on drop off points at airport. They basically make a full loop of the LAX terminals, and as we were flying United out of Terminal 7, we were the last stop. Overall, I'd say hotel to terminal was +/- 1 hour, but it was a Saturday.


  18. #17
    Registered User ogold72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drince88 View Post
    Flying into Orange County (SNA) does give you some semi-reasonable options if things don't go well. The cab ride to the HoJos most times of the day isn't too awefully expensive (under/around 50), and so if there's a snafu with them leaving you for your return to the airport, you should be able to make up some time and just get a cab.
    Are there always Cabbies at SNA? Are some cab vehicles larger than others (I wonder if there will be enough room for all the gear to include stroller and car seat)?
    Heading to DLR for Halloween 23 Sept - 29 Sept 13!

  19. #18
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    Is the Disneyland Express Shuttle as bad as Yelp says it is?

    Yes and yes. You just tell the guy managing the lineup what you want and where you are going.

    Dude, you may actually be my nemesis.

    "...since I donít do drugs, I spend the money that I save on good dried beans." David Lebovitz

  20. #19
    Registered User ogold72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bennette View Post
    Yes and yes. You just tell the guy managing the lineup what you want and where you are going.
    Hey thanks for the great info!
    Heading to DLR for Halloween 23 Sept - 29 Sept 13!

  21. #20

    I have always taken DLE when I fly into LAX and stay at Grand California. I go 1-2 times a year from New York. I just went 5/2013 and mistakenly took Super Shuttle because I was coming and leaving at times DLE did not run. They were horrible. I was having to give the driver directions for his next pick up because he couldn't find it. DLE has always been reliable and good. You can get a $5 off per person on a one way or round trip transfer on DLE on Anaheim/Orange County visitors website. I use them every time and always print extras out to give to other riders as a good will gesture. Going to DL again in December and I will definitely be riding the DLE. I have extra coupons already printed out! Enjoy your trip.


  22. #21
    Registered User Tinker44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjrsparks View Post
    You can get a $5 off per person on a one way or round trip transfer on DLE on Anaheim/Orange County visitors website. I use them every time and always print extras out to give to other riders as a good will gesture.
    Thanks for the tip... printing out as I type!! And awesome with the paying-it-forward. What a wonderful idea!
    Faith Trust and Pixie Dust!


  23. #22
    At home in the hills candles71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ogold72 View Post
    Hey thanks for the great info!
    Cabs are located at the same location as the shuttles. You would be placed in a minivan.

  24. #23

    Was wondering if anyone had taxi'd recently from SNA to PPH? I'm wondering what the procedure is~ do I just ask if they offer a flat rate? Where are the taxi stands at SNA? Or should I order a town car? seems almost the same price as a taxi? I don't want to shuttle- I'd rather pay more and know I'm getting directly there. Too impatient to wait. TIA~
    __________________

    Happy boy and Mama~


  25. #24
    Registered User
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    San Jose, CA

    From SNA, we've taken a lot of shuttles to/from the Fairfield Inn. In all cases, we were directed to non-Super Shuttle minivans, and we've had no problems. For the smaller competitors to Super-Shuttle, the driver usually gives us a card to call for the return trip. On those, our family has been the only one on the trip back to SNA. So we would definitely recommend that. I can certainly related some bad experiences using these shuttles like Super-Shuttle from SFO back to our house in San Jose though. Ugh!


  26. #25
    We Want More Musicals! Merm8fan's Avatar
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    If you are booked on the Grayline Disneyland Express (the legit one), I would recommend sticking with them. I haven't used it in several years, but was never disappointed and do not find the time from stop to stop in Anaheim to be an issue. Very comfy, tour coach bus.

    Ditto on the warning about other companies using 'Disneyland' and 'Express' in their advertising. You want the Grayline one.

    I also recommend avoiding SuperShuttle. I was four hours from LAX to Disneyland on them. Yes, FOUR HOURS. And this was not during rush hour - we left the airport after midnight. I think I saw a dozen different cities in my surprise moonlight tour of the greater Los Angeles area.

    This is where I come up with something, right? Something really clever...

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