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Best Airport for Disneyland – What You Need to Know

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Are you thinking of flying to Disneyland California and wondering which is the best airport to travel to?

There are a number of airports which are close to Disneyland, but which one is the best for you and your family?

Here we take you through the different options of Airports for Disneyland, look at the advantages and disadvantages of each. We will then show you the best way to get from your chosen airport to Disneyland.

This article is fully updated for July 2021 to give you the best prices and airport options for flying to Disneyland for your vacation.

Which Airports are Close to Disneyland?

Fly to Disneyland
Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle

First, let’s consider where Disneyland and California Adventure Park are located. Many people mistakenly think that they are in Los Angeles.

However, Disneyland is located in Anaheim in Orange County. This is around 30 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.

Now for anyone who has ever had the experience of driving around Los Angeles, you will realize that 30 miles seem so much longer of a distance than almost anywhere else in the US! Compare 30 miles at Disney World, with the same distance in Los Angeles and really it is night and day.

The traffic is bad. Not just slightly bad. Just bad. Most of the time. Even at 3 am you are going to wonder where all those other people are going who are on the road with you.

Never underestimate just how long a short distance can take you to drive when you have to encounter traffic around LA.

This is just one reason why you may want to consider alternative airports to Los Angeles International LAX when you are flying to Disneyland.

So let’s look at which airports are close to Disneyland, which is the closest to Anaheim and see the pros and cons of each alternative:

Los Angeles International Airport LAX to Disneyland

best airport for Disneyland trip
Los Angeles Airport

Disneyland is 40 miles from Los Angeles International Airport. You can probably guess what I am going to say at this point.

That’s quite a long way in terms of distance and time from Disneyland.

LAX is the fifth largest airport in the World. And aside from its incredible convenience in terms of the volume of flights which it handles, it really is one of the worst airports I have ever encountered.

Even driving out of the airport can take upwards of 30 minutes at busy times, as shuttle buses and cars compete to barge their way through a road system that has long since been too small for its purpose.

Getting the sense I am not keen on LAX? My personal preference is always to look at options other than Los Angeles International – but many times I still end up booking a flight from LAX simply because the flight prices and options are better than the alternatives

Often no matter where you are going you will usually find the cheapest most flexible flight out of LAX.

That’s why I still fly regularly in and out of LAX. It’s not the greatest user experience, but it usually offers the most cost-effective option.

Also, if you are flying internationally it is highly likely that LAX is your best option. Los Angeles International is likely to have the best value and non-stop flights from overseas.

LAX is most likely to offer you the good deals and best flight times for domestic travel too.

If direct non-stop flights are your priority then LAX will usually win you over as the best option to fly to Disneyland.

The other airport which may also offer some good options for international flights is San Diego, which I will talk about below.

John Wayne Airport SNA to Disneyland

best airport for disneyland
Terminal A of Santa Ana John Wayne Airport SNA in California.

John Wayne Airport is the closest airport to Disneyland California.

Just 13 miles away from the theme parks you could be in your Disneyland Hotel just 20 minutes after leaving the John Wayne airport parking lot.

John Wayne Airport is located in Orange County, so whilst the traffic is not exactly ideal either, it is nothing compared to the nightmare that is Los Angeles.

Your travel time to Disneyland should be under 30 minutes at most times of the day.

John Wayne Airport is often referred to as Orange County Airport.

If you can possibly fly into John Wayne Airport for your Disneyland trip then it really is a great option.

John Wayne SNA is a small airport and that has a lot of appeal. And you could almost say friendly. The exact opposite of LAX!

Here are some of the major airlines which fly out of John Wayne Orange Airport that could be ideal for your Disneyland trip.

  • Air Canada
  • Allegiant
  • Alaska Air
  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Delta
  • Southwest
  • Spirit

You really can be in and out of this airport in a breeze. You will be out of baggage claim before you know it.

If you find the right flight I would highly recommend flying to John Wayne Airport to go to Disneyland.

Long Beach International Airport LGB

Long Beach International Airport is probably not even on your radar as a great option for flying to Disneyland, but it really should be.

LGB is an excellent choice if you are going to be going to Disneyland or the Anaheim Convention Center. Long Beach International is just 12 miles away.

  • American Airlines
  • Delta
  • Hawaiian
  • Southwest Airlines

List of Shuttles authorized to pick up and drop off at Long Beach International Airport.

Hollywood Burbank Airport BUR

Hollywood Burbank may be a possibility for your flying into Disneyland. This is another airport in the region which was named after an actor – it used to be known as the Bob Hope Airport.

However, at 42 miles away BUR is rarely the most convenient of options for flying into Disneyland. It is much more convenient for visiting Universal Studios Hollywood.

Only really consider Hollywood Burbank Airport if you see a great deal for a flight to Disneyland. The location really isn’t great, although the airport is small and very easy to navigate.

Ontario International Airport ONT

Here is another one you might not have thought of – Ontario International Airport.

Whilst this airport is around 35 miles from Disneyland, due to its location, it tends to take a ridiculous amount of time to travel to the park from here.

San Diego International Airport for Disneyland SAN

A terminal of San Diego airport (SAN)

You may not immediately think of choosing San Diego Airport for your trip to Disneyland, but it can in certain circumstances be a good choice.

The San Diego International Airport is just shy of 100 miles from Disneyland and California Adventure Park.

SAN is served by most of the major airlines including:

  • Air Canada
  • Allegiant
  • Alaska Air
  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Delta
  • Frontier
  • JetBlue
  • Southwest
  • Spirit

The journey by car from San Diego Airport to Disneyland can take anywhere between 1 hour 45 minutes to over 2 hours depending upon the time of day.

This means that this is not the best choice of airport for flying into Disneyland unless you are planning a longer stay in the area or perhaps combining the park with a Disney Cruise from San Diego Port.

You do have another option other than driving from San Diego to Anaheim – the train.

Amtrak offers convenient service from San Diego downtown to Anaheim.

The Amtrak station is located a short distance from the airport. It is not really walkable, but you can take a taxi, an Uber, or a bus to the Amtrak station.

Trains run pretty regularly from San Diego to Anaheim. Once you reach Anaheim you will once again need to get either a taxi, Uber, or bus from the Station. Disneyland is around 3 miles away.

Amtrak Coaster Information

San Diego Airport Official Site

Should I Get a Rental Car to Drive from the Airport to Disneyland?

One decision you are going to have to make is whether or not it is worth it or even necessary to rent a car for your trip to Disneyland.

This really depends upon where you will be traveling on your Disneyland trip.

Driving around the Los Angeles area is difficult. As I know I keep saying, traffic is a nightmare and your fellow road dwellers are not necessarily the most courteous out there either.

My basic advice is that do not think about rental cars unless you really have to.

However, there is a significant chance that you may really need to!

Public transportation does exist, as do taxis, uber, and shuttles, but you need to consider carefully whether or not a car is the best option for your Disneyland vacation. Your other transportation options may be limited so you really do need to rent a car.

If you are just visiting Disneyland and then flying home, you really should consider not renting a car at all.

Remember that not only will you have the cost of renting the vehicle, but most Disneyland hotels also charge for parking. It is rare to find a hotel close to Disneyland which does not charge for parking these days.

The hotels of the Disneyland resort, so Paradise Pier, Disneyland Hotel, and all charge $25 per night for self-parking. And if you opt for Valet parking that will be $35 per night plus a tip!

Even non-Disney resort hotels often have charges of $20 for overnight parking.

Remember to take these parking charges into consideration when working out whether you want to rent a vehicle or not.

However, if you are going to explore the area around Disneyland and visit some other places, you will probably decide that your only option is to rent a car.

Although you could visit some places using shuttles, ride services, and even the train, this may be unduly restricting and difficult to plan. It can also be expensive.

There are a number of different car rental offices close to Disneyland. One of the closest is for Hertz which is within walking distance from Disneyland.

So that you can double-check that you are getting the best deal check on a trusted website such as Expedia for the best prices and deals for a car near Disneyland.

Expedia.com – Check Current Car Rental Prices

Using Uber and Lyft to Get around Disneyland

Uber to Disneyland California

Over recent years ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, have transformed the way people travel.

It may be that simply using Uber or lift when you fly to Disneyland will be the most sensible and economical option for you. It is quite often that using a ride-sharing service offers the cheapest way of getting to Disneyland from the airport.

This is most likely if you are only visiting Disneyland and a few other areas close by.

All prices are approximate and were checked in July 2021.

After some years of confusion when ride services were not always permitted to pick up at all the local airports or LAX, this has now been resolved. Whichever southern Californian airport you now fly into you can request a pickup or drop-off from a ride-sharing service.

It is very easy to take a ride-sharing service from John Wayne and Long Beach Airport. They are both small airports and you will be on your way in no time.

The cost for 4 people for a Lyft or Uber to Disneyland will start around $20 from John Wayne Airport and around $35 from Long Beach.

A Lyft or Uber from LAX to Disneyland will cost around $70 each way for 4 people. This makes it a very cost-effective option.

I wouldn’t recommend taking an Uber from San Diego Airport to Disneyland as this is likely to be ridiculously expensive.

This journey is likely to cost you at least $400 in an Uber – so very few people will find that cost-effective! A car rental has to be a better deal for that journey unless you are going to take the train.

One issue that you will have if you have young children is how are you going to make sure that they have a car seat.

California Law requires that all children under the age of 8 or under four feet nine inches tall are restrained in an appropriate car seat or have a booster.

None of the ride-sharing services provide car seats. You probably would not want to trust a third party to provide one anyway!

So you are stuck with bringing your own. Usually, an airline won’t cost a car seat as a piece of checked luggage.

If you have children aged 4 and up this Booster Seat is very convenient for travel.

The problem with a lot of car seats is that they are heavy and bulky – and a pain to carry on to a plane. This very portable booster folds in a very clever way – making it a breeze to just put in a bag and carry on to the plane or have it check-in.

Taxis from the Airport to Disneyland

All of the Disneyland airports have taxis which are easily found once you have gone through baggage claim.

Taxis do tend to be more expensive than ride-sharing services, so many people just prefer to go with those and bypass the taxi rank.

Airport Shuttle Services to Disneyland

disneylandrollercoasters
Disney California Adventure Park

The shuttle services were hit hard by the 2020 shutdown. Many have gone out of business but some major players have survived and are still offering shuttle services from the airports to Disneyland.

Remember that you will also have the car seat issue to resolve if you are traveling with children under the age of 8.

Here we show selected shuttle services with prices from Los Angeles International Aiport to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel.

  • Karmel Shuttles are well known in the area for their reiability and decent pricing. The cost of a shuttle for up to 5 guests is $135 or for up to 8 passengers $165.
  • Super Shuttle is another service which transports passengers from local airports to Disneyalnd. With up to 3 passengers the price is $101. A van for up to 5 is $160. You can see more details at SuperShuttle

Luxury Ride Services to Disneyland from Southern California Airports

Another option is to book a luxury ride service to pick you up at the airport and take you to Disneyland.

Lansky is a well-known operator in this area which gets good reviews.

It is a more expensive option than a taxi or ride-sharing service, but you will be traveling in a superior vehicle. This is a meet and greet service so your driver will meet you after baggage claim and accompany you to the car and help with your luggage.

They will also take you to a grocery store on the way so that you can stock up on supplies for your Disneyland stay.

You may also want to seriously consider this service if you need a car seat. They do provide them for you so it can save you having to think about bringing your own with you.

A one-way trip to Disneyland Hotel from LAX for up to 6 passengers is $165. From Long Beach airport the rate is $105 and from John Wayne $95. An additional gratuity of between 15 to 20% is also suggested.

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