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Amtrak train from San Diego to Anaheim

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Manchester, United...
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Amtrak train from San Diego to Anaheim

Our itinerary is:

Fly in to LA from London, stay overnight near the airport just for overnight sleeping.

Next morning fly to San Diego to spend 7-10 days at the coronado marriott.

At the end of our San Diego visit, we are going to Disneyland, and as we're non-drivers in the US (from the UK) and my husband isn't a keen flyer but is a bit of a train anorak, lol, I wondered about us taking the Amtrak to Anaheim, but need some advice please if anyone could help I have a few questions:

We would have our luggage with us, 1 large suitcase and a backpack each (there are 4 of us in the party). Would there be room on the train to store it?

Do we need to pre-book tickets ahead, and would these seats be guaranteed? Not sure how busy the trains get, this would be for July next year, and don't fancy standing the whole time.

When we get to Anaheim, how far is it to Disneyland, would we just get a taxi or is there public transportation available - we are hoping to stay at the Disneyland Hotel.

Finally, I haven't checked prices out yet, but are there deals available ie book early, book late etc to keep costs down? My daughter is a student, age 20, son will be 16, not sure if there are student fares available?

Sorry for so many questions, appreciate any help you can give. :D

San Diego
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1. Re: Amtrak train from San Diego to Anaheim

San Diego is the first stop on the train going north so there will be no difficulty finding seats.

The train web site is:

…ca.gov/rail/…index.cfm

Here you can find all the relevant prices.

I don't know exactly how far Disney is from the station but you can either look on Google maps or perhaps someone else on here will know.

Just to add to the mix.

It is also possible to take a train from LA to San Diego.

There is a bus from the airport that goes to the train station(strangely enough the train station is CALLED LAX but is NOT at the airport)

The trip takes about 3 hrs. and leaves you in downtown San Diego where you could take the passenger ferry or water taxi across to the Marriott OR of course a regular taxi would work too.

San Diego...
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2. Re: Amtrak train from San Diego to Anaheim

from the Amtrak Station in Anaheim (which is right outside of Angels Stadium) to Disneyland is about 2-3 miles. I do not know if there is a shuttle to Disneyland, but if you are staying at the Disneyland Hotel maybe they have a shuttle? If not a cab will run you maybe $10.

Manchester, United...
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3. Re: Amtrak train from San Diego to Anaheim

Thanks so much both of you, that's great info. :D

I didn't realise the train went from LA, and I've just been on the website, thanks for the link, and for the return trip (LA to San Diego, then San Diego to Anaheim), business class, for a bit more room and reserved seats, it's $78 each which is fantastic. I think we will go for that option, and save my husband the flight from LA, lol, I'm sure he'll appreciate it! I think what we will most likely do now, is find a hotel nearish to the train station in LA and stay there overnight, so we don't have too far to go to the station in the morning, as I'd hate to get stuck in the LA traffic. Sounds like a plan - off to look at hotels now! :D

Thanks so much for your help, very much appreciated! :D

San Diego...
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4. Re: Amtrak train from San Diego to Anaheim

You should have no problem with luggage, you could carry it on board or check it. Ask when you buy tickets at the station in San Diego what they advise. In Anaheim there is a shuttle system called ART, see www.rideart.org but with your concern on luggage, a taxi would make more sense.

Berkeley, California
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5. Re: Amtrak train from San Diego to Anaheim

The only time of year when Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner train (the name of the line that runs from San Diego to LA and further north/west to the Central Coast) gets full is over Thanksgiving weekend, and reservations are required at that time to prevent standing loads.

All 360 other days of the year, you can buy your ticket as far in advance as you like, but unless you have a AAA card or a Student Advantage card, there is no discount for advanced booking. (As you are not from the US, I do not believe either the AAA or Student Advantage discounts are available to you.) In other words, feel free to buy your ticket the day you arrive at the station to ride the train.

Just be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to buy the ticket. For example, if your train departs at 10:00, you'll want to get to the station around 9:15 to give yourself time to purchase a ticket and then board without having to rush anywhere. You could arrive as late as 9:40, really, but why stress?

Pacific Business Class is nice, but Coach is quite nice in its own right and the upgrade isn't really necessary unless you want to drink a gallon of liquid on your train adventure. Besides the freebies and even-more-generous-than-the-already-generous legroom, the primary difference is having a reserved seat. This doesn't really make a difference! With unreserved coach travel, you have the added flexibility of taking a different train should your schedule change. (Trains generally run every 1-2 hours.)

I used to take the Pacific Surfliner quite a bit, and I actually miss it... I've also flown on one of those puddle-jumpers between LAX and SAN, and while the flight is incredibly short, it's not really very pleasant. Yes the train takes a while longer, but it's a scenic journey once you get out of LA...

Berkeley, California
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6. Re: Amtrak train from San Diego to Anaheim

Oh yes, regarding baggage: Amtrak has very generous baggage allowances. Do not bother checking your luggage! There are cavernous overhead bins in both the coach and business cars, plus there are additional luggage storage racks at the end of each car. Just try to follow the baggage guidelines listed on the Amtrak site. I've seen God-knows-what taken aboard as luggage, and Amtrak only makes a deal out of something if your suitcase is the size of a Trojan horse! :)

Manchester, United...
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7. Re: Amtrak train from San Diego to Anaheim

Wow, thanks so much for such detailed information, I really appreciated it. :D

If the flights from LA to San Diego are that bad, it's a good job we are now taking the train, as my husband would be holding on for dear life and sweating buckets!

Great to hear that we are fine with our luggage, though we will try to keep it light anyway, as it will make it so much easier.

Just one question about booking business class, if you don't mind, when you book do you get to choose where you sit, as we would want to be on the correct side to see the coastline, or do they allocate the seats to you automatically when you pick up the tickets at the station using the machine?

thanks again for such great info, I've been looking at a few films on You Tube and the trains are unlike anything we have over here in the UK, and I must say I'm quite excited myself at the thought of riding on them now, never mind my husband, lol!

Berkeley, California
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8. Re: Amtrak train from San Diego to Anaheim

Glad to help! :)

As far as I know, the reservation is for a guaranteed seat, but no seats are assigned. Business class is rarely full, so you have flexibility to sit wherever you like. (I do suggest confirming with Amtrak in case things have changed, or ask on the Train Forum here at TA.)

When you are at Union Station, you'll want to do this to sit on the "correct" side: From the main waiting area, you'll want to walk through the tunnel to the correct platform, then turn left and go up the ramp/stairs. The direction you are walking will be the direction the train goes. Once you get to the train, stay on the right-hand side. This is the side the ocean will be on.

sydney Australia
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9. Re: Amtrak train from San Diego to Anaheim

For AAA discounts. we come from Australia and here we have NRMA or other automobile associations. Apparantly, as long as you are members and ask at your association , you can get the correct type of card and then AAA discounts are available to you in USA as well. this is new to me, but people have confirmed this on the knotts berry farm threads as that is one of the place that give the discount. You may also get accommodation discounts as well, so worth looking into.

Manchester, United...
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10. Re: Amtrak train from San Diego to Anaheim

davdavan - thanks so much for the detailed info on how to board the train, much appreciated. I never knew there was a train forum on TA, I will go and have a look! :D

springqueen - well we do use our UK AA auto club membership over in the US, we've booked the AAA Rate at many hotels and it's always been fine, not sure if it applies to the train though, will have to check that out. I think it's something that not too many people know about, I only found out about in on a Disney forum website, but it's certainly saved us a lot of money in the last 4 years or so. :D