Disney World vets will be happy to know that there are all kinds of ways to get to the Disneyland Resort.
But although you'll find many of the same (or similar) transportation options out in Anaheim, one thing you won't find is Magical Express.
But don't despair!
Whether you're driving yourself, flying, taking public transportation, or using a rideshare service, there are a variety of options when getting to the happiest place on earth.
To help you out, we've compiled a list of the different ways you can get to the Anaheim-based resort.
So check out all of the details below and study up before your next visit!
Flying in for your Disneyland trip? Here's some info you'll need to know:
John Wayne Airport (Orange County)
John Wayne Airport (SNA) is 15 miles from Disneyland and definitely the easiest and closest airport to Disneyland.
Whenever possible, John Wayne is the airport we personally choose. It is simple to get in and out of and much smaller (and easier to navigate) than LAX.
The one downside is that because of its size, it doesn't have as many flight options as the larger LAX.
Los Angeles International
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is a much bigger airport with many more flight options that is a good second choice.
The downsides here are distance and traffic (especially the traffic around the airport itself).
Depending on traffic, the drive from LAX to the Disneyland Resort area will usually take at least 45-60 minutes.
Other airport options
Other nearby airports include:
- Long Beach Airport (LGB) - 18 miles away
- Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) - 40 miles away
- Ontario International Airport (ONT) - 35 miles away
- San Diego International Airport (SAN) - 94 miles away
Some of these may make sense, especially if you are pairing your Disneyland visit with other nearby attractions.
Click image to view interactive map.
Getting to and from the airport
Before we get into the many options of transportation from the previously mentioned airports to hotels in Disneyland and vice versa, we're sorry to report that the Disneyland Resort Express service (similar to Walt Disney World's Magical Express) ceased operation on Jan. 8, 2020.
But, even though it is no longer available, you still have other options for transportation to and from the airport:
A variety of buses and shuttle services are available from several of the airports to the Disneyland Resort area.
If you want to use a bus, it's probably best to arrange transportation from the airport to your hotel or the Disneyland Resort area prior to your arrival.
Attached are links for all of buses and shuttles available:
- From Los Angeles International Airport (LAX):
- From John Wayne Airport (SNA)
- From Long Beach Airport (LGB)
- Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR)
- From Ontario International Airport (ONT)
- San Diego International Airport (SAN):
You can request a quote for many of the shuttles online or by telephone.
Pros: Taking a shuttle to and from the airport means you don't have to worry about driving yourself, which is much less stressful, especially if you don't know the area.
Cons: Usually you have to go by the shuttle service's schedule and pick-up times, meaning some prefer to drive themselves or use a rideshare service.
There are a variety of taxi services available at each of these airports.
However, price is, of course, something to take into account.
Depending on the airport location and taxi service, rates vary. If you're traveling from an airport that's 30 plus miles from Disneyland Resort area, your best bet is probably to utilize a rideshare option (like Lyft or Uber), a shuttle service, public transportation, or rent a car.
Pros: Typically taxis are waiting at the airport for travelers, meaning you don't have to go to a stand to rent a car or wait for a shuttle/Uber to arrive.
Cons: Taxis can be a bit more expensive compared to a rideshare service, depending on the number of people in your party and the distance traveled.
Rideshare options are available from all airports to the Disneyland Resort area.
We are fans of Lyft (and they are the official rideshare partner of Disneyland and Disney World), but Uber and Wingz are other rideshare options that are available at all of the Disneyland-area airports.
Here are some typical Lyft fares from area airports to the Disneyland Resort, but prices are subject to change. Prices are based on the lowest Lyft level, but bigger car options are also available.
- Los Angeles International (LAX) - $42-49
- John Wayne Airport (SNA) - $25-30
- Long Beach Airport (LGB) - $35-42
- Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) - $60-70
- Ontario International Airport (ONT) - $50-60
Pros: Rideshare services are easy and accessible via an app. They are also usually more affordable than a taxi, depending on how big your group is and your travel distance.
Cons: Depending on your travels, it might serve you better money, time, and travel-wise to rent car.
There is also the option of renting a private car, like a town car or a limousine. Some options for car services include:
Pros: Private cars are the way to go if you want a more upscale car service compared to renting a car, using a taxi, or calling up a Lyft or an Uber.
Cons: Using private transportation is always going to be more expensive compared to other options.
The Los Angeles Metro and the Orange County Transit Authority are 2 public transportation options in the area that you might consider.
The easiest way to figure out the route is to put your origin and destination in your maps app, change the transportation option to public transit, and see what's suggested.
Keep in mind that this will likely take you 2-6 times as long as any of the direct options, but it is available.
For info on public transportation from Los Angeles International Airport, Long Beach Airport, and Hollywood Burbank Airport, get more info on the LA Metro.
For info on public transportation from John Wayne Airport, get more info on Orange County Transit Authority.
The Anaheim Resort Transit (ART) is an affordable and convenient option. The buses shuttle guests to both area hotels and the Disneyland Resort.
Service usually begins around 7 a.m. and lasts through midnight, seven days a week (typically one hour before Disneyland opens and continues until 30 minutes after close). You can purchase daily or multi-day passes either online or in various locations throughout Anaheim, including select area hotels.
There are select kiosks (credit card only: American Express, VISA, and MasterCard) located throughout the Anaheim Resort Area, including:
- Disneyland Resort Main Transportation Center
- Anaheim Resort RV Park
- Clarion Hotel
- Hilton Anaheim
- Holiday Inn Anaheim Resort
- Peacock Suites
- WorldMark Anaheim
- Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC)
Rates (prices vary for adults ages 10+ and children ages 3-9; reduced fare is for seniors 65 and older, persons with disabilities, and Medicare Card holders):
- 1-Day Pass: $2.50/child and reduced fare; $6/adult
- 3-Day Pass: $3.50/child; $5.50/reduced fare; $16/adult
- 5-Day Pass: $5.50/child; $8.50/reduced fare; $25/adult
- 15-Day Pass (only available at kiosks): $15/child; $50/adult
- 30-Day Pass (only available at kiosks): $25/child; $69/adult
You can board a public bus at the East Shuttle Area, located between the theme parks, near Harbor Boulevard.
There is a Greyhound bus station at 100 W. Winston Road in Anaheim, less than a half mile from Disneyland.
Once at this bus station, you'll have to transfer to ART Route 10, which will transport you to Disneyland via S. Anaheim Blvd. and Ball Road.
Los Angeles Metro and Orange County Transit Authority
Another option is the Los Angeles County Metro and the Orange County Transit Authority (OCTA).
The Metro Express Line 460 but shuttles people directly to the Disneyland Resort. For schedules, maps, locations, and more, you can visit the Los Angeles Metro website.
The Los Angeles County Metro and the Orange County Transit Authority (OCTA) operate a network of linked bus routes in L.A. and Orange County.
As for the OCTA, there are multiple bust routes that will take you straight to Disneyland Resort. The routes include:
- Route 50
- Route 43
- Route 46
- Route 83
- Route 430
Visit the OCTA website for more information regarding the routes.
If you're already in California and looking for a way to get to Disneyland, taking a train might be your best bet.
There are two train options, including:
Amtrak Pacific Surfliner
The Amtrak Pacific Surfliner runs between San Luis Obispo and San Diego with a few stops along the way.
Those wanting access to Disneyland simply head to the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) stop and then transfer to the Anaheim Resort Transit Route 14 or 15 bus. Both buses go directly to Disneyland.
Another option is to transfer to the OCTA Bus Route 50 and exit at the Katella-Harbor Blvd. stop. Following this, a short walk of about three block is involved.
When transferring to either bus service, present your valid Amtrak ticket (paper or e-Ticket) to the driver and your trip will be free.
You can get more information about the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner on the website.
Metrolink is the other train option. It's a rapid commuter rail system for Southern California.
There are seven different lines, but there are only select lines (Orange County Line, 91 Line, and the Inland Empire-Orange County Line) with direct service to ARTIC. The other four Metrolink lines requires a transfer to the Orange County Line at Los Angeles' Union Station.
As previously mentioned, once you arrive at ARTIC, you can either transfer to the Anaheim Resort Transit Route 14 or bus with direct service to Disneyland or hop on the OCTA Bus Route 50 and exit at the Katella-Harbor Blvd. stop. Following this, a short walk of about three block is involved.
When transferring, don't forget to present your valid Amtrak ticket (paper or e-Ticket) to the driver for complimentary transportation.
For more information on the lines, fares, and schedules, visit Metrolink's website.
Pros: Public transportation can be more affordable than other options.
Cons: It might not be as quick getting to and from the airport. Plus, you have to go by the set schedule and times, which may interfere with when you actually want to leave for the airport or arrive at Disneyland.
Another transportation option is renting a car. There are different rental car companies available at each airport, meaning rates will vary.
Many people prefer renting a car, because sometime it's quicker and easier than relying on someone else to take you back and forth between Disneyland and the airport.
Keep in mind that many hotels and resorts near Disneyland will charge a parking fee, so be sure to include that in your budget when weighing the pros and cons of different transportation options.
Pros: You don't have to rely on another form of transportation or schedule. This also allows you more opportunities to travel to other places besides Disneyland without having to worry about spending more money on a taxi, rideshare service, or riding the bus.
Cons: This is another expense and sometimes you might have to deal with Disney traffic, not to mention parking and fees.
For more on Disneyland transportation, check out our parking guide and how to get around the resort [LINK].
Disneyland Transportation FAQs
What if I need a car seat?
At this time, Uber and Lyft do not offer any service levels that provide car seats.
Typically, you have to bring your own car seat with you or rent one through a shuttle service or a car rental place.
Whatever transportation option you choose, it's best to ask about car seat rentals.
Do I need reservations?
This depends on the service. For example, taxis and rideshare services don't require an advanced reservation.
However, most shuttles, rental car places, private car services, and booking tickets for train travel usually require reservations (and we highly recommend it).
Are there any free options for getting from the airport?
Unlike Disney's Magical Express at Walt Disney World, there aren't any free transportation options from getting to and from the airport, unless you have a family member or friend willing to drive you.
Can I take my luggage on a train?
Both Metrolink and Amtrak Pacific Surfliner allow luggage on the train. Amtrak has more specific rules. You can bring up to six items on board without being charged, including:
- 2 personal items: like large purses, briefcases, or computer backpacks
- 2 carry-on bags: can measure up to 28" x 22" x 11" each, and weigh up to 50 pounds each
- 2 checked bags (not available at all stations, please check in advance): can measure up to 75 linear inches (L+W+H). Baggage service is offered at select Amtrak stations.
Note: Strollers, diaper bags, and car seats do not count toward the previously mentioned limit and you will not be charged extra.
Which is the best option?
This question is hard to answer because it depends upon so many different factors - where you're coming from, where you're going, budget, the ages of people traveling, etc.
Our personal preference (for ease and convenience) is typically using a private car service (if you need transportation that provides a car seat) or Lyft (if you don't).