Deciding how to get from LAX to Disneyland for your Disney vacation can be a challenge. Do you really need a car if you're going to spend several days at the resort? What if I'm traveling alone or with a larger group? What's the fastest or the cheapest way to get from LAX to Disneyland? Here are your choices.
Renting a Car and Driving
If you're only staying at Disneyland one night and then moving on, you might want to go ahead and rent a car, but if you plan on spending multiple days at the park, you would just be paying to rent and park a car you're not using, so it may not be the best option.
Driving without traffic could take as little as 35-40 minutes. There's usually traffic, so plan on an hour or up to two during afternoon rush hour. Use the car pool (HOV) lane if there's more than one person in the car, to speed things up.
The most direct route is to take the 105 Freeway East from the airport just a short way to the 405 South, to the 22 East. You can exit Harbor Blvd SOUTH and turn Left at the light, which is shorter, but if you miss it or get confused because you know you need to go NORTH, you can take the next exit, Harbor Blvd NORTH and turn right at the light. If this route is totally bogged down, consult any GPS map or app or the WAZE app (which is better at getting you off backed-up freeways and moving) for alternatives to get you around traffic.
Current taxi rates (Sept 2016) price a taxi ride to Disneyland from LAX is minimum $88 plus tip. It can be significantly higher if there's a lot of traffic and time rates kick in, or if you're at one of the hotels farther from Disneyland. Check current taxi fares.
Hiring a Limo, Car Service or Driver
You can schedule ahead to have a driver meet you at the airport and escort you and your family to Disneyland to kick off your trip with a bit of luxury. Read more about Hiring a Limo or Driver in LA.
Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft can now pick up at LAX in a specially designated area. The Uberestimate for UberX usually gives the fare as $35-$48. Lyft is usually less. Read more about using Rideshare Apps in LA.
Shared Ride Shuttles
Shared Ride vans like Supershuttle.com, Primetimeshuttle.com or Shuttle2LAX.com are a relatively economical way to travel between Disneyland and LAX or other area airports. Fares start as low as $15 per person in a 9 passenger van from LAX, and they will pick you up or drop you off right at your Disneyland hotel.
You may have to wait while the van cruises the airport for more passengers and stops at multiple hotels, but with a shared-ride van to or from Disneyland, chances are you won't have more than 4 total hotel stops (probably less), since most resort guests are not traveling alone.
Note that if you enter Disneyland, instead of a Disneyland area hotel into the shuttle search engine, it will calculate the rate differently, for example, to the Disneyland gate, instead of the hotel, Supershuttle is listing $42 for the first person and $9 for each additional person, which comes out to about the same $17 for 4 people, and is a better deal if you have more, but it brings it up to $25.50 per person if there are only two of you. Also note: Using "Disneyland" instead of the hotel as the drop off point gives you the same $42 rate for one-way or round trip (I don't know if this is an error, but it's what I'm getting).
So for larger groups, using the airport to Disneyland gate (not hotel) calculation on SuperShuttle is way less expensive for one-way and round trip. For example, a group of 7 would pay round trip: SuperShuttle $42 x 1 + $9 x 6 = 96/7 = $13 per person round trip if you book your return at the time of your reservation, which is better than the one-way route for hotel drop off with the same company.
Other shuttles operate differently, so always compare one-way versus round-trip and hotel drop-off versus attraction drop-off rates.
You'll need a reservation with any of the shared-ride companies to get picked up at your hotel. In the other direction, you may be able to walk out of LAX and catch the next shuttle headed to Disneyland. However, prices may be lower for advance online reservations. If you're not going to or from a hotel or attraction (like if you are staying at a friend's house), Shuttle2LAX has better prices, but for hotel stops the other two are cheaper. There are many more out there.
Including multiple stops to pick up and drop off other people, and depending on traffic, the trip could take up to an hour and a half.
Disneyland Resort Express by Gray Line
There's a so-called Disneyland Resort Express from LAX and Orange County airports, operated by Gray Line, but it's double the price of airport shuttles and will stop at 8 hotels, even if there are no other passengers to pick up, so I don't recommend it, and neither do a lot of Yelpers who have ridden recently.
The Metro Green Line doesn't go all the way to LAX, but stops just outside the airport. A free shuttle, Bus G, will take you from the lower level arrival area at LAX terminals to the Aviation/LAX Station, where you can catch the Green Line to Norwalk Station. From there, you'll take Metro Bus 460, the Disneyland Express, which will drop you off at the gate. It takes 2 hours. Total cost: $1.75 per person.
Assuming you have luggage and really want to get to your hotel, the Anaheim Resort Transportation (ART) Shuttles run from Disneyland to all the area hotels. Make sure you find out which bus or buses go to your hotel. You can buy a 1-, 3- or 5-day pass, starting at $5, depending on how long you'll be in the neighborhood. You can buy the passes online in advance, or at the Kiosk at the Disneyland Main Transportation Area as well as at select hotels.