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Thread: Central CA to Disneyland... Use Amtrak?

  1. #1

    Central CA to Disneyland... Use Amtrak?

    I live in the Central Ca area and I am two hours from any airport which goes to the Los Angeles Area. I am,however, near a Amtrak station. Has anyone used Amtrak to get to Disneyland. I have no idea how far the station in LA is from Disneyland so this may not be feasible at all. I plugged in info on the Amtrak website for fares and it was not too bad. $148 for myself and two kids roundtrip. I have a six hour drive and while I did it this last time, it was difficult with two young children. The way back home was particularly gruelling for me since when I was at Disneyland I was so excited that I was getting maybe 4 hours a sleep a night. It would have been nice to ride a quiet train back. Air flight is sort of silly for me since I have to drive two hours north(the wrong way from Disneyland) or two hours west(the wrong way from Disneyland) to get to a airport. By the time you drive two hours, check your baggage and wait for your flight....I save maybe 1-1/2-2 hours compared to just driving it. This time savings just does not justify the extra cost and I still have a 2 hour drive home. I also have no idea if Amtrak is a nice way to travel.


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    I live in Central CA too. Just a bit south of Sacramento. The last time we checked out Amtrak, you only traveled by train until Bakersfield and then boarded a bus to LA. Not sure if that is still the case though. I have ridden Amtrak to San Francisco and found it enjoyable.

     

  4. #3

    I've travelled by Amtrack, and it was very nice. Of course, I was on the Coast Starlight, which is their luxury line. But even if you are travelling non-luxury, I think that a train will compare favorably to an airplane for a short trip. One advantage is that you can actually entertain and play with the kids, instead of having them fend for themselves as passengers while you drive. Also, the scenery can be really lovely from the train, and I find being on a train very relaxing. I have considered taking a train to Disneyland (I live northeast of Sacramento), but my husband loves to drive, so I doubt we will do it soon. Here are some links you might find interesting.

    http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/rail/depots/stops/dland.htm
    http://www.mousesavers.com/train.html#dl

    Quote Originally Posted by ktrm
    I also have no idea if Amtrak is a nice way to travel.

  5. #4
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    Amtrak is a good choice.

    First, be careful which train you choose, some trains (San Joaquin) require you to transfer at Bakersfield to a bus that takes you to Union Station.

    The Coast Starlight is completely by train, you take it to Union Station and then transfer to the Pacific Starlight.

    If you are taking Amtrak, you want to go into Fullerton. From Union Station, it is less fare than Anaheim.

    But the more important reason is transportation to the DLR. Fullerton is a transportation hub for the OCTA bus system, and it is just a few yards walk to the bus stop (Route 43 south) that takes you to the DLR Pedestrian entrance.

    If you go into Anaheim, you have a long and weird walk to the nearest bus stop on Katella Ave. (If you take a Metrolink, there is a special OCTA bus waiting at the station to take you to the DLR).

    By the way, here is a discount code if you pre-purchase your tickets online at amtrak.com

    H570 - 25% off rail fare

    Valid for sale and travel between February 1, 2006 and April 30, 2006. Blackout dates apply: Feb. 17-20, 2006; Apr. 13-17, 2006. Discount is good for 25% off best available regular adult, senior or disabled discount rail fare in coach or business class seating only. Excludes sleeper accommodations, Auto Train and 7000-8999 series Thruway services.

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  6. #5
    Registered User spectromen's Avatar
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    No need to worry about transport from LA. If your train does not connect with the Pacific Surfliner and you are traveling during the week, you can connect to the Metrolink at Union Station and get a ride all the way to Anaheim and use a cab or city bus from there, which is only 1-2 miles


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    FYI, if you tke the Coast Starlight and it arrives late, after the last Pacific Surfliner for the night, Amtrak will provide bus service to the Fullerton and Anaheim stations. If this happens, go to FULLERTON! Anaheim is in the middle of the Angel Stadium parking lot, and far from anything. You will be sitting out in the dark.

    Fullerton is the third busiest Train Station in the state (after Union Station and San Diego), and has a 24 hour Transportation center, where route 43 buses run to Disneyland 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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  8. #7

    I live in the Modesto Ca area which is serviced by the San Joaquin Amtrak. You have to transfer to a bus in Bakersfield? You can't transfer to a train? The closest place I think I can pick up the Coast Starlight is in Sacramento which really isn't all that close.


  9. #8

    Yes, the San Joaquin train requires a transfer to/from a bus for the Bakersfield-L.A. segment. The plus side of this is that this train runs over BNSF owned trackage, and BNSF has a much better on-time record than does Union Pacific (which dispatches the Coast Starlight).

    http://www.railforum.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi -- for more about Amtrak than you ever wanted to know.

    ----Eric -- who is taking eleven family members to Disneyland via the Sunset Limited (the train with the single worst on-time record on Amtrak) in May.

    --------Eric H. Bowen
    Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an earth-shattering KABOOM?

    Disneyland Resort and Hollywood (via Amtrak) - 5/06

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktrm
    I live in the Central Ca area and I am two hours from any airport which goes to the Los Angeles Area. I am,however, near a Amtrak station. Has anyone used Amtrak to get to Disneyland. I have no idea how far the station in LA is from Disneyland so this may not be feasible at all. I plugged in info on the Amtrak website for fares and it was not too bad. $148 for myself and two kids roundtrip. I have a six hour drive and while I did it this last time, it was difficult with two young children. The way back home was particularly gruelling for me since when I was at Disneyland I was so excited that I was getting maybe 4 hours a sleep a night. It would have been nice to ride a quiet train back. Air flight is sort of silly for me since I have to drive two hours north(the wrong way from Disneyland) or two hours west(the wrong way from Disneyland) to get to a airport. By the time you drive two hours, check your baggage and wait for your flight....I save maybe 1-1/2-2 hours compared to just driving it. This time savings just does not justify the extra cost and I still have a 2 hour drive home. I also have no idea if Amtrak is a nice way to travel.
    We use it to come down from Modesto. (Sounds like we are close since it is 2 hours to Sac airport and 90 min to Oakland...) We take the first San Joaquin down to Bakersfield, catch the bus to LA Union Station, then the Pacific Surfliner to the Anaheim Station (next time we may use Fullerton instead.) *I* like it because its a 5.5 hour drive (but 8 by Amtrak) and I get there rested ready to go to the park. The kids and I bring our computers, plug in, and play movies/video games, or just read. They have a dining car which isn't too bad with prices, but easier to bring your own. You don't save time, but you arrive rested and ready to go. I just wish they had an earlier train.
    Planning 3 trips at once...

  11. #10
    hangin with Tony Mark Mywords's Avatar
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    One of my co-workers just did the Sacramento to Anaheim via the train gig. She hated it. The transfer at Bakersfield to bus was a hassle.

    We manage to keep our 6 and 4 year old from going stir crazy on the 6.5 hour drive from Sacramento by letting them watch a portable DVD player. I was reluctant to buy one, but have to admit it makes all the difference in keeping the kids content on the long drive.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ktrm
    I live in the Modesto Ca area which is serviced by the San Joaquin Amtrak. You have to transfer to a bus in Bakersfield? You can't transfer to a train? The closest place I think I can pick up the Coast Starlight is in Sacramento which really isn't all that close.
    You, me and Potter!!!! Actually, it really isn't bad. The busses are comfortable. You get off the train and the busses are right there. They load and over the mountain you go. And there generally are no stops you just go to the Union Station to catch the Surfliner to Anaheim. It arrives at the Pond and it is a $5 cab to the DLR area.
    Planning 3 trips at once...

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t
    You, me and Potter!!!! Actually, it really isn't bad. The busses are comfortable. You get off the train and the busses are right there. They load and over the mountain you go. And there generally are no stops you just go to the Union Station to catch the Surfliner to Anaheim. It arrives at the Pond and it is a $5 cab to the DLR area.

    This does not sound too bad to me. I can handle busses as long as they are clean, nice, and there aren't any transient types on it. I take Storer bus tours from the Modesto area all the time and they are very nice and relaxing. When I go on the Amtrak website it seems as though the only wait is from the bus to the Surfliner(going to Anaheim or Fullerton) It is a hour and 1/2 wait. The wait from the San Joaquin to the bus is only a matter of about 10 minutes. No big deal. Do you take a cab from Anaheim or Fullerton Station directly to your hotel? I guess the Super Shuttle is only a airport service? This seemed like a nice shuttle when my mom took it last week. Very nice, friendly drivers.

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Darkbeer
    FYI, if you tke the Coast Starlight and it arrives late, after the last Pacific Surfliner for the night, Amtrak will provide bus service to the Fullerton and Anaheim stations. If this happens, go to FULLERTON! Anaheim is in the middle of the Angel Stadium parking lot, and far from anything. You will be sitting out in the dark.

    Fullerton is the third busiest Train Station in the state (after Union Station and San Diego), and has a 24 hour Transportation center, where route 43 buses run to Disneyland 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    Thanks for this advice. I definitely do not want to be at a dark station at night. Spooky. Where does the route 43 bus take you in Disneyland? To the main Entrance? How much does it cost? I will need to somehow get from the route 43 bus stop to my hotel. I guess by cab? Maybe its just better to get a cab directly from the Fullerton stop. Thanks for all this great advice. The trip home last week was rough because of the kids, although I have a DVD player in the van, but more because of how fatigued I was from the whole vacation. We had tons and tons of fun but all the walking and staying up late caught up with me. It was rough to drive 6 hours all the way home. I drank lots of coffee. It would be nice to doze on a comfy train. It is worth it to me to take 8 hours to get home versus 6 just so I can rest and the prices really don't seem too bad. You don't really seem to save too much money by driving instead of taking this train.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ktrm
    This does not sound too bad to me. I can handle busses as long as they are clean, nice, and there aren't any transient types on it. I take Storer bus tours from the Modesto area all the time and they are very nice and relaxing. When I go on the Amtrak website it seems as though the only wait is from the bus to the Surfliner(going to Anaheim or Fullerton) It is a hour and 1/2 wait. The wait from the San Joaquin to the bus is only a matter of about 10 minutes. No big deal. Do you take a cab from Anaheim or Fullerton Station directly to your hotel? I guess the Super Shuttle is only a airport service? This seemed like a nice shuttle when my mom took it last week. Very nice, friendly drivers.
    Actually..... We hate the wait, so we usually go into Union, and get a limo to Anaheim. We are usually at our hotel by 3:30. We do take the train back from Anaheim. The busses are nice, no dvds, but I have my computer. Super Shuttle will come to Union, but they are more expensive than a taxi.
    Planning 3 trips at once...

  16. #15
    Disney-fan:then, now & forever
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    I used Amtrak in October to get from San Francisco to Sacramento and then from Sacramento to LA. We stayed a coupld of days in LA before we went to Disney, but I had also looked up an itinary in case we would first go to Disney, and apparantly, Amtrak has a stop in Anaheim!

    You take the train until LA Union Station, there you switch train to Anaheim and then... no idea, ART, taxi, shuttle?

    Edited to add: We went over Bakersfield. My mom and I found it no hassle at all. We checked in our luggage at Sacramento, had a nice trip on the train, took our backpack and purse from the train to the bus, and only had to worry about our luggage at Union Station. The bus ride was also very pleasant, and provided nice views. The other nice thing was that we could sleep

    Edited a second time to add: If you have a long wait at Union Station, cross the street and take a look at Olveira Street. There is a nice old house to visit; it shows you how the original settlers at LA lived, and it had an exposition about water in LA, and how it influenced the growth of the city. We thought it was very interesting.

    And the wait isn't that bad, after all, you'll be waiting for hours and hours for rides and Fantasmic! at DL anyways, lol!

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  17. #16

    The coast starlight is often late. Very late. Like five hours late.


  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinksmom
    The coast starlight is often late. Very late. Like five hours late.
    Right, which has to do with the tracks it runs on. So, while it is due to get into Anaheim at 11pm, it rarely does... There are built in time delays, so even though our train once left over 45 minutes late, we still arrived in Union Station on time.
    Planning 3 trips at once...

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SandraVB79
    You take the train until LA Union Station, there you switch train to Anaheim and then... no idea, ART, taxi, shuttle?
    Take the Pacific Surfliner and get off at the Fullerton Station, which is the stop before Anaheim (going south from Union Station), you have a couple of choices.

    The Train Station is on Harbor Blvd, so you can take the local OCTA route 43 south to the DLR pedestrian entrance, or any hotel on Harbor.

    Or get a taxi that will take you down Harbor to your hotel.

    Gettting off at Fullerton usually saves you a few dollars on the train fare, plus a few less minutes on your trip.

    ART does not go near either Train Station.

    FYI, basically a triangle is formed when you look at the Fullerton Station, the Anaheim Station, and the DLR.
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  20. #19
    TinkerbellsTwin
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    He. He. I'm live in Modesto too! Small World *ha, no pun intended*
    The only sucky part is the Grapevine. It seems like it takes forever. The buses are okay, the train is okay *small bathroom though* they are impossible to get into if you are a bit bigger. Just make sure you bring something for the kiddies to do. It's a LONG ride.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkbeer
    Gettting off at Fullerton usually saves you a few dollars on the train fare, plus a few less minutes on your trip.
    I'm probably going to go back via Fullerton because it will be later (by about 10 mins <g>) but from Central CA, it doesn't save us anything. Same fare for either station, $46 for an adult one way. Hmmm, just saw this, the return I like leaves Anaheim at 1:58pm for $42, and leaves Fullerton at 2:08 at $46 for the return to the valley.... $4 more for a shorter distance!
    Planning 3 trips at once...

  22. #21

    Baggage Check

    Do you have to go through a baggage check like you do at an airport? The station I live near is scant more than two benches and an overhead covering. It notes on the website that there is no baggage check there and no way to buy tickets there(no problem...I'll just buy online). I am wondering, though, if I have to go to Modesto for baggage check.


  23. #22
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    Baggage Check

    WOW! All of these people from Modesto! Well my mom just took Amtrack in November and she left from the Denair station. She said that there are shelves when you walk onto the train and she just left her luggage there. When she got off the train to board the bus she had to grab bags and then the bus driver loaded them onto the bus for her. Once she got to the Anaheim station she took a taxi to her hotel. She loved the train ride and didn't have any trouble at all. One thing I have heard though is that it might not be safe to leave your car at the Denair station due to vandals. I dropped my mom and her friends off at the station so they didn't have to leave their car there.


  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikenTra
    WOW! All of these people from Modesto! Well my mom just took Amtrack in November and she left from the Denair station. She said that there are shelves when you walk onto the train and she just left her luggage there. When she got off the train to board the bus she had to grab bags and then the bus driver loaded them onto the bus for her. Once she got to the Anaheim station she took a taxi to her hotel. She loved the train ride and didn't have any trouble at all. One thing I have heard though is that it might not be safe to leave your car at the Denair station due to vandals. I dropped my mom and her friends off at the station so they didn't have to leave their car there.
    I wouldnt leave my car at the Denair station either, but I do at the Modesto Station. Also, at the Modesto station, you can check your baggage, they load it on the train, move it to the bus for you and you just grab it from the other end.
    Planning 3 trips at once...

  25. #24

    Too funny that you guys all knew exactly which station I was talking about from the description. Anyway....I guess there is no metal detector, no checking of shoes etc when you take Amtrak. You just hop on. I kindof like the idea of having a rack to put the luggage on...seems less likely to be lost. Anyone ever lost luggage going this route by the way? Your going from a train, to a bus, to another train, to a taxi, to the hotel.


  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktrm
    Too funny that you guys all knew exactly which station I was talking about from the description. Anyway....I guess there is no metal detector, no checking of shoes etc when you take Amtrak. You just hop on. I kindof like the idea of having a rack to put the luggage on...seems less likely to be lost. Anyone ever lost luggage going this route by the way? Your going from a train, to a bus, to another train, to a taxi, to the hotel.
    We checked our luggage from Anaheim to Modesto. Now, I must give them credit, there were 6 of us plus the dog and we all had 2-3 bags pus the kennel. After we got off in Modesto and they unloaded all the bags, we were missing one, mine. As soon as I told them, they radioed the train, who sent a guy down into the cargo area, and radioed back, yep it was on the train. So the next morning at 8, the bag was at the Modesto station waiting for us.
    Planning 3 trips at once...

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