We are considering a June trip to San Diego and then on to DL. We will likely rent a car in San Diego. We will have a 5 yr old and 2yr old with us. Should we drive or take train that goes along the coast line to Anaheim? I doubt we will keep the rental car in Disneyland as our hotel will be in walking distance. Is the train fun for kids? What would you recommend?
It is almost four years old but here is a thread I posted in 2014 where everyone explained why the rental was the best choice :
Thanks. I was also wondering if an Amtrak ride along the coast would be a fun experience in itself because of the view and we aren’t in a hurry? Our kids have never ridden a “real” train.
When I looked at it the train I wanted to take only allowed carryons. There was no checked luggage. Are there some runs that allow luggage? Will you have any?
As a former Railroad Engineer, and yes, I even ran Amtrak a few times, but mostly freight trains. The route is beautiful along the coast but be prepared for delays as all trains have them these days. Amtrak has come a long ways from what the old passenger trains once were. They have observation cars plus dinning cars where the food is wonderful and reasonably priced. If this trip is going to be a long one on the train you might want to consider a Sleeper. This is your own little compartment and though expensive, it is the only way to go on Amtrak if you plan on getting any rest. Coach is just to active and noisy all night long. Amtrak usually has some good sales so ask about your options. Remember, trains of ALL types have delays because they have to meet each other on the line and one has to make way for the other. The weather is also a big factor though I don’t imagine California has as much as where I worked in ND. Passenger trains can be a fun and wonderful experience if you NOT in a hurry. Enjoy.
Some of the itineraries did allow for luggage. We would have all our luggage because we would starting our trip in San Diego and finishing in Anaheim (or at least that is the rough plan now).
Drive. I lived in San Diego for 6 years and have been there many additional times since. Downtown San Diego to DLR is about a 2 hour drive - as long as you leave very early in the AM (hit the traffic wrong and it could take 3 - or more - hours). But it’s as easy a drive as you could want; get on the I-5 in San Diego and get off at the DLR exit. If you take the train, you’ll still have to get transportation from the train station to DLR - and you will be at the mercy of the train schedule.
Can’t speak to the train. We rented a car in San Diego from Alamo at the airport for the drive up to DisneyLand and then dropped it off at the nearest Alamo to our hotel. I dropped off our luggage, then drove down to Alamo to drop the car off and walked back - it was a pretty easy walk. Note there are 2 Alamo options around DisneyLand so pick the one closest to your hotel for an easier walk. It was an easy drive and was preferable to not have a car at DisneyLand proper - avoiding the parking charges at the hotel, didn’t need it for DL proper and the couple times we ventured out we used Uber.
When we drove from SD to Anaheim, it took less than 2 hours. If it were my family I’d just stick to the rental since its such a short trip.