We love to fly in to John Wayne Airport (SNA). It is a smaller airport. Lines for security are rather short. The longest it ever took us to get through security was about 5 minutes. There are no restaurants except beyond security. So if you think that you will eat once you get to the airport while you wait for ground transportation to pick you up make sure that you get food before you go through security to get your luggage. Ground transportation is about 30 minutes from this airport to the Disneyland Anaheim Resort in average traffic conditions.
Los Angeles Airport is our least favorite (LAX). There is nothing wrong with this airport. They have earlier arrivals and later departures than SNA. While that may be important to some, it makes no difference to us. It is a larger airport and wait times for security are much longer. Ground transportation from here to the Disneyland Resort will take you about an hour as long as you are not traveling during rush hour.
Longbeach Airport is the most recent airport we have flown into. It is a very tiny airport that needs some updating. The bathrooms are small and the only food available is similar to what you would find at an airport coffee shop (i.e. simple pastries and fruit). The waiting room here is crowded. The fun part about this airport is that to disembark the plane or to board the plane you must walk outside onto the tarmac. That was a fun experience for our daughter. Transportation from this airport is limited. You either need to hire a cab or find a shuttle service licensed for this airport. Ground transportation from this airport will take you about 30 minutes as long as you are not traveling during rush hour. On our way home it took us about an hour to get to the airport. Had I known that we would have left earlier than we did.
|The view out our window just after take-off.|
As for ground transportation...we have taken the Disneyland Express Bus twice. Once you depart the airport you are taken directly to the Disneyland Hotel. Here you will be required to either present a pre-paid ticket, voucher or pay for your travel. Once everyone on board has done this they will allow you to disembark the bus if you are staying at the Disneyland Hotel. If you are not, they stop at the Disney's Grand Californian and Paradise Pier Hotels, if there are passengers on board. Once those passengers have disembarked, they travel to all of the remaining hotels on their route. We have also rented our own car when we stayed off of the resort property and drove back and forth to the park everyday. That was my least favorite experience. The traffic stressed me out, because we are from a small community and don't normally drive around that much traffic. Make sure you check California State Laws regarding safety seat requirements for your child.
The end result: As I am currently planning our trip for fall 2011 here is what I prefer for transportation:
Airport: John Wayne (SNA)
Ground Transportation: Disneyland Express Shuttle
These are my preferences. You may like another airline or prefer a different airport. Whatever you choose, remember that if you do not take a direct flight you will be required to pay airport fees for each airport you land in. In those cases it may seem that your flight is cheaper, but could end up costing you more. There are many times when I almost booked on Southwest Airlines. After carefully looking at the airport fees I was able to book on JetBlue or Alaska for the same price. Southwest and JetBlue do give you one checked bag for free (at the time of this posting), but I am willing to pay for my luggage if necessary.
Until Next time,