We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

theme park transportation

Level Contributor
768 posts
12 reviews
Save Topic
theme park transportation

Is there an easy way to get from santa monica to disney or knotts berry farm? Any public transport I have looked up seems to take hours! And the tours are so expensive. Or am I just going to have to get up really early and get public transport? What is it like by the way? Are the buses in any way nice?

TNT Tours & Limo Services
Sightseeing Tours, Taxis & Shuttles, City Tours
VIP Private Street Rod Limo Tour
Taxis & Shuttles, Private Tours
San Clemente...
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
12,133 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: theme park transportation


Have a look at the website www.mta.net. The journey planner will plan your bus trip for you which requires one bus change and the trip will take approx 2.5 hours and the fare for $3.00.

The buses are nice and airconditioned.

The other choices for Disneyland are to go to the LAX airport and take one of the shuttle buses to the park. approx $18-20.

If you have more than one person then the price pp goes down.


West Hollywood...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
Level Contributor
32,481 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: theme park transportation

Hiring a car for the day is your best option! You don't say if you are traveling alone or not. If you are a party of 2 persons, then the rental car will cost about the same as the faster, more comfortable public transit described below, and of course, you will be at DL in less than an hour.

Unfortunately, your public transit options from Santa Monica to DL are not that great. The prior poster had the best idea when he suggested returning to LAX. From there, take the DISNEYLAND EXPRESS bus which leaves every 30 minutes from in front of every terminal. These coaches are nicer than the "city buses" and a lot quicker since they go directly to the Disneyland Resort. (They actually go to the Hotels at Disneyland as they serve the tourists arriving at LAX that are heading to their hotels. But you can certainly use this service to go to Disneyland Amusement Park which is adjacent to the hotels.

Info at: airportbus.com

(Be sure to print out the $3 discount coupon from the site. Look carefully, below the photo of the two people eating on the site. There is a link to the "coupon page"). The ride is about 40 minutes (but, with traffic, it could stretch to an hour). And, of course, you'll have to wait for the bus which departs every 30 minutes on the hour and the 1/2 hour. (The bus arrives at TERMINAL #1 at these times and then circles the airport to the other terminals). Keep in mind, that there are 8 terminals in the airport (all next to one another) and the bus stops at each of these. So, it could take 20-30 minutes for the bus to circle the airport since passengers will need assistance loading their luggage onto the onboard luggage area under the bus).

You'll pay $25 round trip (return) if you use the coupon plus you'll have to get from Santa Monica to the airport. By city bus, it will cost 75 cents each way (from Santa Monica to LAX) if you take the Santa Monica Rapid Bus #3 (sometimes called the Big Blue Bus #3 since the buses in Santa Monica are painted blue). This bus will drop you at the LAX Transit Center which is a fancy name for the Bus Depot outside of LAX. Get off the bus and walk west on the sidewalk to parking area C (which is adjacent to the Bus depot). Enter the parking lot and get on the next free bus into the airport. Get off at the first terminal (Terminal #1) and wait for the Disneyland Express bus there. (This portion of the trip will take 40 minutes).

Note: In front of the terminal are several COLOR-CODED waiting areas for buses, coaches and shuttles. The Disneyland Express pulls up in the 'green area' ("flyaway buses and long-distance vans") so be sure to be standing in the right area. The Disneyland Express bus is painted with pictures of Mickey Mouse and friends on the side of it, so it's pretty easy to spot.

All in all, it should take about 2 hours to go this way and most of the ride will be very comfortable since the Disneyland Express Bus is a very nice bus.

The other option is to take a bus from Santa Monica to Union (rail) station in downtown Los Angeles, then take a train to Fullerton and then a taxi or bus (10-20 minutes) to Disneyland.

Here are the details:

1. Take the SANTA MONICA BUS (Big Blue Bus) #10 from 2nd Street & Colorado Av (outside of the car park for the SANTA MONICA PLACE shopping complex). The fare is 75 cents and takes an hour to the UNION STATION area.

2. Get off at the corner of Alameda St and Los Angeles St which is directly in front of Union Station.

3. Enter the station and take the next train to either Fullerton or Anaheim (detailed instructions about these trains are in our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section. Go here: (After linking, look for 'Disneyland' and then for the instructions for using public transit):


4. Take either a taxi or a bus to DL.

The total time travel time is as follows:

a. Bus from Santa Monica to Union Staition (about an hour)

b. Train to Fullerton (37 minutes)

c. Bus to DL ($1.25 per person; 20 minutes); cab to DL ($10; 10 minutes)

Total time: about 2-1/2 hours (including the waiting time for each of the rides) at a cost of about $11.50- $20 (depending on which train line you take and whether you go by taxi or bus to DL).

So, it takes a little bit longer than the LAX option for about the same price. The advantage to the train is that it is punctual (not affected by traffic) and has a nicer view than the Disneyland Bus (which, basically, travels on the freeways (motorways). You can also walk around on the train and have a snack.

Hope this is helpful.

Have a great Holiday!

Mentioned in this post
Santa Monica Place
Santa Monica Place
260 Reviews
Santa Monica, CA
Union Station
Union Station
1,529 Reviews
Los Angeles, CA
Santa Monica
Santa Monica
United States
Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Orange County, CA
3. Re: theme park transportation

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 20 August 2009, 07:19