Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Jenni's Path To Disneyland! Part 3

This is the third in a series of blog posts by Jenni Weightman detailing the planning process of her trip to Disneyland.

Getting to the Magic!
As much as I like airports I don’t want to spend my holiday in one so it was time to find transport to the park. LAX is located about 40 minutes away from Disneyland depending on traffic and both Matt and I are way too chicken to rent a car and drive on the other side of the road. I have problems enough knowing which way is left and right without it all being back to front! So that means we need someone else to drive us and as you would expect for a major tourist destination there are loads of choices, some more expensive than others!

An overview of the options and general costs.

 $20 each way or $30 for a return trip per person. Tip $1 per bag each way.
*Grayline (Disneyland express) 
*Super shuttle
*Prime time shuttle

Town Car
For meet and greet with a 4 person Sedan it would be from $175 to $240 return plus 18% tip 
*DK Livery

Flat rate from LAX to Disney $46 plus tip, Return is $122 including tip.
Taxi's will be waiting at the airport then for the return you would need to ring for one as it's actually against the city code for taxis to stop if you try and hail them.
Making the decision 
Trip advisor may be the bane of my life. Everytime I go and search for something or somewhere I think looks good a barrage of scary negative reviews come up. Pretty much every option for traveling from the airport has lots of reports of drivers not arriving, buses going the wrong way or missing the hotel and rude taxi drivers. I know that the majority of people that have positive experiences never bother to review stuff (I know I never have!) but it's hard to ignore all the negativity. But after ignoring negative reviews about a café in Oxford the other week and ending up with the most disgusting egg mayonnaise sandwich I have ever seen or eaten in my life I'm even more wary!!

After much deliberation over a nice lunch we decided to go with the Disneyland Express shuttle. So off I went and booked the $30 dollar return journey each for us and then got cold feet and decided to look again at town cars!!!

Hmm, so in an attempt to save money that’s £40 down the drain (no refunds unfortunately) and I was back to square one.

The big problem with the shuttles is the time they take. What should be a 45 minutes journey can take up to 3 hours with waiting for buses, travelling around the airport to the different terminals then visiting all the different hotels before finally arriving at the place you want to be! This would be fine if we were arriving in the morning or afternoon but our flight comes in at 8pm then we have to get through customs (please let it be quicker than the 2 hour queue at MCO last November) and either get the 21.30 or 22.30 shuttle. This means that if we did end up on the last shuttle and it took 3 hours we wouldn't get to the Desert Inn and Suites until 1:30!! Ok I know this is worse case scenario and we are equally likely to get the earlier bus and it only take 1 and a half hours but, arghhh I can't get the horrible version out of my head. 

I've reached the conclusion that when you are spending lots of money on an amazing trip it is not worth saving a tiny amount (in the grand scheme of things) and causing myself big worry and stress in the process.

So it was back to the reviews and price comparison and I have decided to go with DK Livery and book a meet and greet. They do a pretty great deal of $175 flat rate return including a grocery store visit of 20 mins if required. This comes to about £115 and although it is £70 more than the shuttle I think it is worth it for the peace of mind.  And really who doesn't have a dream of seeing their name on one of those boards in the arrivals lounge :).

Next time- Food glorious food!

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