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7 day car hire Anaheim-Hollywood-LAX or shuttles

Surfers Paradise...
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7 day car hire Anaheim-Hollywood-LAX or shuttles

Hi all,

I'm yes & no about hiring a car September.

Total cost for shuttle transportation (2A+12yoC) would cost more than car hire & fuel.

Car has some additional parking costs. Should be easy with GPS and my back seat drivers.

Opinions on itinery/alternatives or suggestions please.

Day 1 Tues. Pick up car SNA airport 10am, drive to Knotts BF (leaving bags in trunk in car park - safe?), drive to Anaheim hotel for late check-in approx 7pm.

Day 2, 3, 4. Drive or walk to Disneyland (chosen hotel 1 block from DL includes parking)

Day 5 Sat, Drive to Hollywood - Universal Studios, (time for anything else ?), drive back to Anaheim

Day 6 Sun, Drive to Hollywood - Warner Bros, Walk of Fame, Rodeo Drive, Mulholland drive, Planetarium, drive back to Anaheim.

Day 7 Mon, EARLY check-out Anaheim Hotel, drive to LAX for 10:30am domestic flight. (AM rush hour traffic concerns me - advice please)

My logic:

Driving to/from Hollywood at weekend (driving back in evenings after dinner) = low traffic ?

Or Day 5, 6, 7 better to relocate to Hollywood area hotel ?

Walking 3 days to DL (10 mins) saves $16/day DL parking fee. Seems like dead money for car hire unless night time use*.

Or we could stay further out for nicer/cheaper hotel, and drive to DL.

Questions:

Approx $ figure for total fuel budget based on above ?

Any road tolls Anaheim<->Hollywood ?

Better to drive TO LAX from Hollywood or Anaheim ?

Suggestions:

for short night time drives Days 2,3,4 ?

Hilltops, lookouts etc or just cruising nearby areas, late night shopping megamalls.

or if we have the energy:

Night 2 - Huntington Beach for beachside/pier dinner. Is HB alive at night midweek/Wednesday ?

Night 3 - Knotts Scary Farm (7pm-1am) $38 tix + $20 parking - (Maybe too much for 12yo)

Night 4 - Mickeys Halloween Party (7pm-midnight) $59 tix + Free parking. (Night time coasters.)

Los Angeles
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1. Re: 7 day car hire Anaheim-Hollywood-LAX or shuttles

I would probably do something like this, which includes not renting a car at the start of the trip since you won't really need it then

Day 1: Take shuttle (Disneyland Express Shuttle, Prime Time Shuttle, Supershuttle) from SNA to your hotel. Then head to Knott's, either via taxi or Metro Bus 460 (www.metro.net) Without a car and its trunk to leave your luggage in, you'll need to go to your hotel first to drop your luggage so you aren't carrying it around Knotts.

Day 2-4: Visit Disney - there's plenty to do without a car in the area, including downtown Disney

Day 5-7: Rent a car for the remainder of the trip. I would get a hotel in Hollywood or nearby to avoid too much back and forth driving (Anaheim is an hour south of Hollywood) but not strictly necessary. It will be easier to drive to LAX from Hollywood rather than Anaheim on a Monday morning.

The usual route from Disney to Hollywood is Interstate 5 north to the 101 freeway which you take into Hollywood. These are not toll roads.

Fuel costs will depend on what sort of car you might rent (i.e. what sort of fuel economy the car has), what grade of gasoline it uses (the lowest, "regular" 87 octane, is about $0.10-0.15 cheaper per gallon than 89 octane, which is in turn about $0.10-0.15 cheaper per gallon than premium 91 octane), and of course what gasoline prices are at the time you're here. Gas prices fluctuate from day to day and tend to be more expensive in some parts of the LA / Anaheim area than others, but I would anticipate anywhere from $4.00-$4.35 per gallon for regular 87 octane gasoline. Depending on the car you rent and how much you drive it, you're probably looking at $75 or so for fuel, but that's a guestimate, at best.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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2. Re: 7 day car hire Anaheim-Hollywood-LAX or shuttles

I think you do need to decide what it is you want to do.

If you dont want to drive, you may just want to factor in the costs of your transport into your vacation so it feels like one to you, if that is going to make you too uncomfortable.

Some people will choose to stay in Anaheim and visit the LA area from there as they dont want to change Hotel, or Hotel are much more expensive in that area, and they are willing to drive.

Some will choose to split there stay, and stay part of the time in Anaheim and part in the LA area. Depending on where you stay in say Hollywood, there would likely be pretty easy transport to Universal Studios from there as well as Griffith Observatory (which is well worth the visit). And there is a good Hop on Hop off Bus to get you around to the various tourist areas. If you decide you want to stay in the LA area, its a good idea to post in that forum so they can help you position yourself in a good area.

As far as Knotts goes, I remember you said you were set on visiting there first before going to your Hotel in Anaheim. Its never totally safe to leave luggage in the trunk of the car, especially if you have items that are worth alot of money. But, your as safe as anywhere else you may be leaving your luggage, likely nothing will happen, but it could, so you would just have to decide if you are ok with that or not.

You would not need a Car for your stay while at Disneyland, so as said you can consider picking up the car in Anaheim when you are ready to do your LA portion of your trip. That may or may not save you some money, as sometime weekly rates can be less than just renting for a few days. You would have to check to see.

You may be assuming that you will be done with Disneyland by a certain time each day. While some people do that, most will want to stay late to watch the nightime entertainment which is not to be missed, although that will be on weekends Fri,Sat,Sun only in Sept. And I do understand that for alot of Sept the

Park is closing quite early, you are likely to need as much of your 3 days as possible inside the Park just to see all of the things you want since there is so much to see and do in each Park. I would not count on wanting to go somewhere else in the evenings. Its also likely that most shopping mall areas will close around the time that Disneyland does ( maybe a little after though on some days) Unless you are talking about something to do after the Park closes. And keep in mind, that even after Disneyland closes, the shopping areas stay open at least 30 min after closing time, Downtown Disney also usually does.

I would not really consider staying further out to visit Disneyland. Having to drive in each day is frankley a pain, and does cost $16 per day. Plus its likely to take about 30 min out of your day each time you want to park, walk to the free tram, wait for it, take it into Disneyland, and walk to the Turnsiltes.

Edited: 07 August 2013, 16:12
Yucaipa, California
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3. Re: 7 day car hire Anaheim-Hollywood-LAX or shuttles

I don't know what you meant by a nicer/cheaper hotel further out from Disneyland. Hotels just over the border in Garden Grove may be nicer, but probably not cheaper. In any case, the shuttles from there would be nicer than driving, in my ooinion. If you are looking completely out of the Anaheim, Garden Grove area don't.

Parking in the DLR theme park lots is fine for daytrippers, but not for multi-day visits. Don't consider that.

What hotel have you booked in Anaheim?

I kind of like the idea of splitting your stay and moving to a hotel in Hollywood after staying in Anaheim. But I think you should look at what is going on at the parks first, check their hours, entertainment schedule, closures, party dates. You might want to stay in Anaheim for the duration and spread out your days in Disneyland Resort Parks so that they are not all bunched together. Then work other things in between. But it does depend on what is going on at the parks and what you want to do. I just don't like the idea of back to back drives into the LA, Hollywood, Burbank area.

I think you will be fine heading right over to Knott's after SNA. And you can get a nice lunch at Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant when you get there! A few years ago Knott's worked with the Buena Park police to catch some thiefs who were targeting SUVs in the parking lot. I have not heard of any problems since then. I see security going around the Beach Blvd lot in cars and once I saw this poor unfortunate get ticketed for parking up on the grassy mound at the edge, under a tree. There must have been a sign in that spot, because it is actually pretty common to see cars parked up on the grassy mound at the front edge when the front spaces are full.

You should have no problem parking at Knott's in September. In fact, you may be directed to the Grand Lot, which is a bit closer to the Market Place and entrance. If you prefer to see the duck pond and Independence Hall first, you can actually drive past the lot on Grand, turn left at the light on Cresent, make another left at the light on Beach, stay to the right lane and enter the Beach Blvd lot from there. (Much easier and shorter than it sounds.) Or you can just park in the Grand lot and walk over there using the pedistrian tunnel. Having a car parked at Knott's is convenient for storing light jackets or a change of shoes, much more convenient than at DLR. No need for a locker at Knott's. Just leave everything else in the truck and put any paperwork for the car in the glove compartment so as not to advertise it is a rental. The car is also handy for storing left over chicken or anything from the bakery.

I think Haunt is a bit much for a 12 year old. It is mostly older teens and adults going. Just my opinion. You all will have a great time at the Mickey's Halloween Party if that is available. A few days ago I saw video of the Halloween fireworks as viewed from the Rivers of America and thought that was great. I liked the looks of it better than video of views from the castle. The water screens that are used in Fantasmic are used for the projections that are a part of the Halloween fireworks. The images seem to just melt away as they disappear, which is a different look than on the castle.

As for your car rental, airport locations are generally cheaper than off airport locations, so it might work out about the same whether you have it for the full length if your visit or not. You might have a drop off fee for dropping it at another location. I think your plan is convenient, though. Look for specials.

Edited: 07 August 2013, 17:32
Surfers Paradise...
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4. Re: 7 day car hire Anaheim-Hollywood-LAX or shuttles

Thank you all for your lengthy and detailed replies. Much appreciated.

Driving SNA-Knotts is going to give us more hour/s there (for chicken).

I'm OK with luggage in trunk knowing security is driving around.

$70- $100 for fuel. Put into budget.

3 days vs 7 days car hire almost same. Included parking at Portofino hotel.

Changing hotels uses up too much time, check-out /in, luggage storage etc. so may as well drive back as in no hurry, and its weekend. By the 2nd time I should be OK with the journey there and back.

Understand not wanting to do it regularly as a local.

Anaheim to LAX (Mon am) - how difficult is it ? My main concern

Huntington Beach - worth the trip Wed night ? or elsewhere - Queen Mary too far ?

DL park closes early Wed, Thur. Fri too (unless Mickeys Party tix purchased also.) So what to do, sleep ?

Knotts too scary - we'll wait and see.

Anaheim, California
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5. Re: 7 day car hire Anaheim-Hollywood-LAX or shuttles

OK, the main route if you have 2 or more in a vehicle from LAX to the Disneyland area, the 10r freeway to the 605 freeway to the 91 freeway to the I-5. Usually pretty easy going east bound in the morning, so plan about an hour, but if you are heading to Knott's, you get off the 91 at Beach Blvd.

The drive back to LAX is the same route, if you are talking about leaving before 9 AM, I would plan 2 hours for the drive and checking in your rental car. (I would drop off everyone at the airport first, and then just take the car to the rental car lot by yourself.)

Knott's in the daytime is not scary at all (Knott's Halloween Haunt is in the evening and a separate ticket), so a day in the park, and then grab dinner at the Chicken Dinner Restaurant when the park closes.

Huntington Bach and Long Beach are a short drive from Anaheim.

www.surfcityusa.com

www.visitlongbeach.com

Things to do in the area in the evening include the new Titanic and Bodies Exhibits in Buena Park, and across the street are two popular family dinner theater shows, Medieval Times and the Pirate's Dinner Adventure.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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6. Re: 7 day car hire Anaheim-Hollywood-LAX or shuttles

I wish you had asked before where to stay... the Portofino would not be my first option its never been well rated. There are many other standard places to stay much better rated in that price range, and that are closer walking distance. I would suggest switching places to stay in your case if at all possible. We can help you with that as well.

So you can see where things are located, Here is a Map of Hotels in the Disneyland area, the Disneyland Main Entrance is off of Harbor blvd near where it says "East shuttle Area" on the Map.

printfreemaps.com/maps/freedisneylandareamap…

You might want to consider another option of just taking something such as the Disneyland resort Express from and to LAX and just pick up and drop off your car in Anaheim. There are plenty of options near to Disneyland to do that. That way you dont have to worry about trying to drive right when you arrive, and dont have to worry about driving through busier traffic back to the Airport.

Huntington Beach is fun to visit, and is a short 30 min drive or so all on regular streets( no freeways) so an easy drive. There is some shopping, restaurants, and a nice Pier. Out at the end of it is Rubys Diner which is a fun place to eat ( but just expect average food). Or you could also visit Newport Beach which is about a 40 min drive. Im not familiar with visiting at night though, And in Sept its dark by 7pm, so Im not aware of how late things may be open. You may want to ask questions in that forum for more help.

I might consider just purchasing a MIckey's Halloween Party ticket and a 2 day Parkhopper which is going to cost the same as a 3 day Parkhopper and will give you something to do on one of your nights. That would also allow you to visit Huntington Beach in the daytime... just some ideas for you to think about.

What you may also want to consider is that Griffith Observatory is amazing at night with the stunning views of the valley, and the best time to visit Imo, they are open till 10pm so if you arrive around 3 or 4 pm, you should have enough time for a visit there at night and see the stars through one of the telescopes as well as see the show "Centered in the Universe" there is really good.

Surfers Paradise...
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7. Re: 7 day car hire Anaheim-Hollywood-LAX or shuttles

Excellent info & map - thanks. I think the car is going to win.

Portofino has free cancellation - so not set in stone and still looking (sub $100 p/n).

That's why I was thinking staying out of DLA - perhaps near Knotts for a better deal/hotel, and driving to DL - but probably not.

Arrival airport is Santa Ana (SNA).

Departure airport is LAX (Anaheim->LAX = 2 hours - wow)

Could take shuttle back to LAX - but seeing I have the rental saves $$

Keen on Huntington just for a more local experience, rather than touristy and easy by car. Will look into Newport Beach.

Day 4 at DL could get busy in the last 3 hours with all the (first for 2013) MM Party Night guests turning up early.

Anaheim, California
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8. Re: 7 day car hire Anaheim-Hollywood-LAX or shuttles

John Wayne (SNA) is great for picking up cars, the rental lots are right next to the terminal (no shuttle needed).

The drive to LAX is about 1 hour, maybe a bit less in light traffic, but not on a Monday morning. So about 90 minutes for the drive, then about 30 minutes to deal with the Rental Car drop-off (LAX has every rental car company off property, so you will need to catch the free shuttle the company provides).

Las Vegas, Nevada
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9. Re: 7 day car hire Anaheim-Hollywood-LAX or shuttles

Thats true, on MIckey's Halloween Party nites, since they allow them into Disneyland about 3 hour before the regular Party hour starts, you would see an increase during that time period. However, they do open Disneyland a little early on that day to sort of compensate usually for the earlier closure to regular guest.

And keep in mind if you get a MHP ticket, that on Party nites, crowds are usually quite low compared to other times. But... keep in mind if you decide to go to the first Party nite, it usually sells out in advance, so you would want to purchase tickets soon.

As far as a place to stay goes....Are you set on a Hotel with interior corridors? as most of the places closest to the Disneyland Main Entrance are going to be standard Motels, but some are well rated and close to Disneylands entrance.

Thats a pretty low budget for the last week in Sept as prices rise during that week for the Mickey's Halloween parties starting ect. Im sure the Portofino is trying to entice people to stay there by offering it so low. Around $120 a night is more standard for that time of year.

If you are set on a hotel only.....The Red Lion..... is a nice well rated Hotel, its about a 15 min walk though, but does offer an Art shuttle service stop. The Art Shuttle is a small fee per person and goes from Disneyland to alot of area Hotels multple times per day. The Residence Inn Maingate is also a well rated Hotel with free full breakfast and some weeknight light meals, its about $25 per night over your budget, but may make up for that with free parking and the free meals. Its also about a 15 min walk with Art Shuttle service. Peacock Suites..... would also be a little over your budget, but is a well rated Hotel, but a little farther about a 20 min walk with Art Shuttle service.

Some standard places to stay that are standard but very well rated Motels....

The Alpine Inn... a family run Motel is about a 13 min walk with Art Shuttle service stop at the Desert Palms Hotel next door. But it should be a great deal for you at around $77 a night with free breakfast and parking. If there family suite is available you can usually get that for around $100 a night which would give you 2 rooms.

If you can get into the Anaheim Desert Inn.... thats about a 7 min walk to the turnstiles that go into either Park, and would be around $120 with parking and resort fee. A very basic place to stay, but well rated would also be the Anaheim Plaza Inn... it should be around $75 a night and about a 9 min walk. The Best western Anaheim Inn ( around $120 a night)

That should give you some ideas of where to look somewhat within your price range. I would not wait to book something you might be interested in with a cancelable reservation, and then keep looking around if you want to....late Sept is likely to be already full in some of the better rated places to stay.

Edited: 08 August 2013, 04:26
Surfers Paradise...
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10. Re: 7 day car hire Anaheim-Hollywood-LAX or shuttles

@ Darkbeer: Have changed the departure airport to SNA. Eliminates the early check out, rush hour, LAX rental drop off/shuttle etc.

Flight change cost minimal thanks to SWAirlines,

and looking forward to the freedom the car (midsize SUV) will give us, particularly Hollywood, Burbank.

Alamo Rentals 6 days approx US$280 via Alamo UK site (without a coupon code) - free cancelation.

(Tip I found: Take bumper stickers to place over the rental company stickers)

@ HappyToTrip: Yet to finalise 6 nights Anaheim on our budget