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Old 03-24-2009, 09:34 AM   #1
~ButterflyKisses~
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Wanting to go to Disneyland, LA & San Diego. Where should we base ourselves?

We are planning a trip to Disneyland in September and while we are in the area we would also like to see Universal studios in LA and Seaworld & the zoo in San Diego.

Do you think it's better to base ourselves in one place i.e Anaheim and then just make day trips out to LA and San Diego. Or should we stay at hotels in each of these places?

We were going to spend 7 nights in Anaheim and do 4 days at Disneyland and then take 2 days to do day trips to LA to see universal studios and then have a tour of LA. Then we were going to head down to San Diego for 3 nights and do Sea world, the zoo and maybe spend one day looking around San Diego.

If we did just stay in Anaheim, how long would it take for us to get to San Diego and LA? We would book a day trip with a bus company. Would we mis out on too much of the day by travelling? Has anyone done day trips to San Diego on a tour bus? What time did the bus pick you up and what time did you arrive there? How many hours did you get at seaworld etc before you got picked up again? What time did they come back to get you?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:56 AM   #2
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IMO seeing that you plan to do both the zoo and Sea World in San Diego I would allow 2 days to do both. You really need a full day to do the zoo, there are alot of hills and canyons (so lots of walking) and there's the Balboa park to explore (if you are so inclined). Sea World is awesome with all of the shows throughout the day and evening.
You mentioned staying in San Diego for 3 nights, awesome, get a hotel there then. The drive from DL to SD is about 1 1/2-2hours (of course I am not taking traffic into consideration). I have never done a tour bus but from what I understand there are tons of options, talk with a travel agent maybe.
Day trips from DL to Universal Studios is doable.
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:20 AM   #3
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We are doing a similar trip in May. We are staying 3 nights in San Diego, then 5 nights in Anaheim. While in San Diego we're staying on the beach so I think we'll get a great variety while there. We are also renting a car in San Diego, then turning it in and taking the train to Anaheim.
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:36 AM   #4
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I'd recommend splitting your stay between San Diego and Anaheim.

If you just stayed in Anaheim...with minimal traffic it's about 1.5 hours between Anaheim and San Diego. But, especially if you're returning from San Diego to Anaheim in the evening, that can easily turn into a trip of over 2 hours because of rush hour traffic.
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Old 03-24-2009, 12:31 PM   #5
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We are doing a simular trip in september and plan to stay 6 nights in Anaheim (for Disney & I also want to visit a couple of OC beaches) 3 nights in San Diego (Zoo, Seaworld and seeing a bit of SD) and 3 nights in Hollywood so we can visit Universal, do a hollywood tour bus & see the usual touristy things & some shopping.
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:24 PM   #6
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We did a similar trip 2 yrs ago... three nights in Manhatten Beach, 2 nights in Anaheim and then 3 nights in San Diego. We wished for more time in Anaheim, which is why we heading back again in April!
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmama View Post
We are doing a similar trip in May. We are staying 3 nights in San Diego, then 5 nights in Anaheim. While in San Diego we're staying on the beach so I think we'll get a great variety while there. We are also renting a car in San Diego, then turning it in and taking the train to Anaheim.
Pmama:

We are doing the exact same thing (train included) but in reverse. Flying into L.A., then doing the Amtrak to San Diego.
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmama View Post
We are doing a similar trip in May. We are staying 3 nights in San Diego, then 5 nights in Anaheim. While in San Diego we're staying on the beach so I think we'll get a great variety while there. We are also renting a car in San Diego, then turning it in and taking the train to Anaheim.
Agree with this!! We did 3 nights anaheim and 3 nights san diego. If it were me I would do San Diego first and save the best for last Disney! Although I know everyone is different in their preferences. We did it opposite and I was just missing Disney TOO much while we were in San Diego and wished I was back there the whole time! I wish we would have had 4-5 days at disney.
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:11 PM   #9
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We are doing 8 full days SO. Cal, with 2 travel days. We are spending the first 3 nights in San Diego doing Sea World and San Diego Zoo, Lego Land. Then we'll be in Anaheim for Disney. The last day we will check out of Anaheim and do Universal Studios and then check into an hotel by LAX airport. Our plane leaves early so we figured it would be easier to stay close by the airport rather than drive from Anaheim. We got a great price on a flight/car package from priceline so we'll be driving the whole time. The San Diego and Anaheim hotels we chose have free parking (hard to find in San Diego!).

eta; We bought the City Pass from Costco. It was a great deal for everything!
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:41 PM   #10
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I agree with PPs that you should split your stay between SD and Anaheim. If you were just doing one thing down in SD then I could see maybe just making it a day trip but I think the commute would get old fast driving down that many times. And you'll be tired from spending all day at various parks/zoos so I think driving to a hotel close by would be nicer.
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Old 03-27-2009, 03:59 PM   #11
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Newport, its small enough to walk everywhere. Typical beach town. Lots to do and look at.
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:59 AM   #12
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This thread has been very informative.

DH, 2 kids (8, 12) and I will be arriving at LAX late on 15 Nov (after being at WDW for 2 weeks). We fly home to Australia on 30 Nov.

We planned on travelling to SD from LA on Mon 16 with a visit to Legland on the 17th, SD Zoo on 18th and then heading to Anaheim on the 19th.

Have just discovered that LL is closed on the 17th and 18th. So now we'll have to maybe do a Tijuana tour on the 17th, zoo 18th and LL on 19th. Head to Anaheim on the 20th.

Any suggestions for what to do on the Monday, probably from about lunchtime onwards?

Also, would we be better off hiring a car or using Greyhound (I've found some really cheap rates) or Amtrack to get between LAX/SD/Anaheim? Is it easy to get to the zoo and LL via public transport in SD?

Apologies to the OP for the hijack.
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:09 AM   #13
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We are doing a similar trip soon. We are flying into LAX, driving to San Diego with a stop at Pacific Beach. Spending 2 nights at the Best Western Island Palms Hotel in San Diego. We will be going to the zoo and sightseeing at Coronado. We then will be driving up to Anaheim for 6 nights at the Candy Cane Inn.
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:05 AM   #14
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We are flying into LGB airport and staying in Anaheim for 5 days and then we are driving to San Diego and spending 5 days there and flying home out of SD airport.

We are doing Disneyland first because we are from NY and will have a 3 hour time change and we figure this will benefit us while in Disneyland since we have to get up very early each day.
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:26 PM   #15
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Staying in SD sounds like a reasonable plan; it's a hike back and forth to Anaheim. I also wanted to plug the Wild Animal Park -- we had a lot of fun there and did a safari-type thing where you get to feed rhinos and giraffes. My son loved that. Also, in SD is a part called Old Town that has lots of cool little artisan shops - founds some nice things to take home from there.

dollarmite, you mentioned doing a Tiajuana tour. I've haven't been to Tiajuana myself in a long time, but it isn't really a place I would take kids. And I hear it's gotten worse. Word-of-mouth from people I know that used to go down there quite a bit is that it can be pretty dangerous these days. Sounds like there's lots of drug cartel activity in the border towns.
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