Possible or crazy? Disneyland one day trip from San Diego?

I have never been to California, never mind Disneyland. As a "Disney Freak" ( I think that is in fact a direct quote from my sister, and she did not mean it as a compliment), when I discovered I was going on a 3 day trip from the East coast to San Diego, I started looking at the possibility of a visit to Disneyland. I will land about 10:30am and then the group I am traveling with ( business trip but nothing booked the first day) will take a shuttle to the hotel. I have been Googling transportation from San Diego to Disneyland. I am overwhelmed by shuttles, car services and buses. Any help? Is this just too crazy to even consider? I think this may the only chance I will ever have to go to Disneyland but if it is just a foolish idea, please let me know. I am trying to avoid renting a car since I am booked the next two days. Thanks!

5 Likes

I have no advice @PrincipalTinker as I've never been to California either but it sounds like a wonderful plan - I hope you can make it happen! smile

4 Likes

I have to travel with the group. We are arriving December 2nd but are booked December 3rd and 4th on business and flying back home on the 5th. Work is paying and has booked the flights and hotel so although I can only squeeze 6 or 7 hours on a Tuesday, I figure it is 6 or 7 hours I never thought I would experience. I figure, no PH and I may only do a couple of attractions, but I will be there?

4 Likes

Oh! If I can figure out how I will get there I will! I keep on telling the people I am traveling with that they really should not be encouraging my obsession, but three of them have said they will join me! They do not have anything holiday related at HM so that would be a must do!

3 Likes

Depending on where you are in SD, it could be just a little less than 2 hours to Disneyland with no traffic. So be sure to factor that into your plan. I get why you want to do it and would probably do it myself, but it will be a lot of expense for a short amount of time in the park.

2 Likes

Oh! I will check that out! Thanks!

1 Like

Yes, I figured at least 2 hours. I am landing at 10:30,and the hotel is a mile from the airport. I could rent a car, but I am trying to avoid that. I figure if I leave by noon it will be light traffic and then it would give me about 6 hours. If I should be talked out of this, please tell me! It will break my heart but I will give this up.

2 Likes

I would really appreciate that! Thank you!

2 Likes

Do it! Get your group together and share the cost of a rental (split 4 ways will be super cheap). One day at DLR is better than any day at work!! Smart @JackOfAll recommended carrentalsavers.com & saved me a ton of $$$. Biggest decision with only 1 day---which park?

4 Likes

I would rent a car and I would go. If you think it's going to be your only chance, you'd be crazy NOT to do it. You have plenty of time to study the parks and decide which one, and then make a touring plan. If you and your co-workers can decide ahead of time what to do, you won't waste valuable time standing around with maps in hand saying, "Where should we go next?" I'd also eat on the run (CS while walking). Who needs food when there are rides to ride. Rent a car at the airport and GO! Get there as fast as you can and stay until they close. I don't think you'll regret it at all, no matter how tired you are the next day smile

5 Likes

@PrincipalTinker I Was just going to say if anyone knows it would be our good friend @errobin! What is up my friend?! I would say totally go!! Even if I had only an hour I would go. HM is a must see.. So awesome.. Love the gingerbread house they do every year. And Amtrak is so cool. Our other good friend Nyle used to take it a lot. Keep us up to date and ask any questions you might have.. We will find the answer here or on chat. Remember you have to go.. Fake your sick then maybe stay an extra day or so.. LOL wink

3 Likes

I live in SoCal, between San Diego and DLR. I would also suggest renting a car, especially if others are traveling with you. The train is about $28 each way per person (without discounts like AAA). Plus, you're on a fixed time with the train. If your plane gets in late, you're stuck taking a later train. Using carrentalsavers or Costco should get you a pretty good deal on a car. Yes, you'd have to pay for parking, but I still think you'd come out ahead. If you could leave directly from the airport without checking into the hotel first, you could gain an extra hour or so.
And, as others already said - lots of fun things to see and do during the holidays! And not nearly as much planning required as WDW smile

4 Likes

Thank you all so much! Thank you @Nana2011 for putting out the call on DL chat! I am sure I will have a ton of questions as I plan! Now you all have me very excited! Thanks!

2 Likes

I also say "go for it!" - I am combining a super quick visit to WDW with a work trip in November. I also agree with the car rental option. Maybe go with Enterprise so that they will meet you at your hotel and then pick the car up when it's time to return it? Split four ways I think this will cheaper than public transit and far more convenient. I love public transit, but you lose a lot of time that way and you need to conserve time as much as possible.

1 Like

Do it. Rent a car. I know you'd like to avoid that, but it's only for a day, and this way you're not beholden to train or bus schedules. You can stay till closing! DL is straight up the 5, and based on your times, there shouldn't be too much heavy traffic.

1 Like

How much Is parking? How do you get from the parking to the park? Are there toll roads (never been to CA!)? You all have me so excited ! smiley

San Diego was my primary home for 6 years and a "secondary home" (my parents lived there) for most of 20. in that time I made 30 or 40 day/overnight trips to DL from San Diego. I recommend getting a rental car from the airport and driving directly to DL; check into your hotel after you get back. The airport is only a mile or two from the I-5 North, and it's a straight shot to the exit that drops you off virtually AT DLR. Without traffic issues, the drive from the airport to DLR is about 2 hours (or maybe a bit less, depending on your driving technique). The tough decision is which park to go to once your're there. Personally, especially if this is a "once in a lifetime" chance, I would splurge and get the one day hopper; expensive, yes, but there are really things in both parks you should see. And the nice thing is the entrances to the two parks are less than a hundred yards from each other across a plaza, so going back and forth is as easy as going from FW to WS in EP (the two parks, together, are about the same size as EP). DL has the awesome iasw and HM holiday overlays (not done at WDW) and the Indiana Jones ride (quite possibly the best that Disney has ever built), but DCA has Carsland and the World of Color - which is hands down the most spectacular night time show I have ever seen (to mention just a couple of unique things). Even though the MK is "similar to" DL, there is a certain "magic" about DL that just seems to be missing from the MK. I would do whatever it takes to get there - even if it is only for 6 hours or so. The downside is that it will make you want to plan a 3-4 day trip in the future (which is how much time it takes to REALLY see everything DLR has to offer)... Do it!!! smile

3 Likes

Been awhile since I parked there, but it's comparable to WDW; in the $15-20 range. They have a huge parking structure, and there is a tram that takes you from the structure to the DTD area. After a short walk through DTD, you get to the entry plaza. DL will be on your left, DCA will be on your right. No toll roads, I-5 from the airport to the exit which is almost right at the entrance of the parking area. Once you get off the highway, very good signage to get you to the parking structure.

The train would be a bad idea. You'd have to get a shuttle to the train station in SD, probably have to waut for the next train, then get a taxi or shuttle to DLR from the station. I'm gussing you'd be adding easily over an hour to your travel time. And personally, I wouldn't really want to be hanging around in the station in LA waiting for the train back to SD at 9 or 10 PM (or being in the SD train station at midnight trying to get a cab back to the hotel). CA highways might seem daunting to someone who has never been on one, but actually the CA drivers are MUCH better than the FL drivers (speaking as a current FL resident).

2 Likes

http://bswan26dl.blogspot.com/2013/02/post-1-introduction-to-disneyland.html?view=sidebar#!/2013/02/post-1-introduction-to-disneyland.html38 This is my 12-part blog detailing my September 2012 DLR trip. It is written specifically for WDW vets who are planning a DLR trip, but there is lots of info for anyone interested in DLR. There are also over 900 pictures. Best viewed on a PC. Select the "Sidebar" view, and all 12 parts will show up on the left side of the screen. Best if you start with Part 1 and read in order.

2 Likes

This is happy/sad timing. I was SUPPOSED to be on a business trip to SD this week (it got cancelled), and if it had gone through, I would be at DLR RIGHT NOW vice sitting at my desk at work in FL... frowning