Is getting a cab from LAX to Anaheim going to be a hassle?
July 21, 2013 11:05 AM   Subscribe

I'm landing at LAX tomorrow (Monday) at around 4 p.m. I'm heading to a hotel very close to Disneyland in Anaheim. My plan (to save time and discomfort) is to take a cab, but I sort of realized today that Anaheim is way the hell on the other side of town from the airport. Given that the cab ride is likely to cost $100 or so, am I going to have any trouble finding a cabbie to take me all the way to Anaheim? What about the return trip, when I leave my hotel around lunchtime on Thursday? Bonus question: Will I be able to pay with a credit card? (In case you're curious, I get reimbursed for the cab ride, so comfort and speed of service is more important to me than saving some $$$ getting crammed into a shuttle bus.)
posted by Mothlight to Travel & Transportation around Anaheim, CA (15 answers total)
Do you have an iPhone? This sounds like a job for Uber Cab. Super nice rides, pre-determined fares, pay with credit card, no tip, etc.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 11:09 AM on July 21, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Super Shuttle offers private cars in addition to shuttle buses. You can also reserve an entire bus to yourself. I suggest scheduling a ride rather than trying to find one on the spot, just because LAX to Anaheim is pretty far.
posted by blnkfrnk at 11:19 AM on July 21, 2013

Just a heads-up on speed: you'll be in the thick of rush hour when you hit the road, so even in a cab you're not going to get to Anaheim particularly quickly. In good traffic, that trip takes 45 mins. to an hour, so in heavy traffic you should plan on doubling that at a minimum (though there's a whole chunk of that trip that can be made in carpool lanes, I believe, so that will help).
posted by scody at 11:22 AM on July 21, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Nthing a private shuttle. You're probably talking a 2-3 hour ride in bad traffic.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:23 AM on July 21, 2013

Seconding the Super Shuttle, Prime Time Shuttle, or some other door-to-door rideshare service. It'll take you about 60-90 mins in normal traffic, because of the distance, but it'll be substantially cheaper than $100 (more like $40-50, if I recall).

You can book a Super Shuttle or Prime Time Shuttle early on their website with your credit card, or you can show up the day of and wait for a van in your direction to show up. Both companies run fairly large operations, so they shouldn't give you much trouble. There are also some ATMs inside the airport, so you can get cash out if you need to.
posted by the_wintry_mizzenmast at 11:24 AM on July 21, 2013

Best answer: I'll go against the crowd, and say I think shared ride shuttles from LAX are awful, and even worse if you're going a long distance. But I'm kind of a travel snob, so perhaps take it with a grain of salt... If I were in your shoes (and I have been in similar shoes many times over the past couple of years), I'd book a towncar service to pick me up. It costs a bit more than a cab, but it's more comfortable, and you're guaranteed to not have to deal with convincing a cabbie to drive you all the way down to Orange County (which is not just "the other side of town," but an entirely different county and city). My towncar rides between LAX and South OC (which is further than you're going) run around $150.
posted by primethyme at 11:31 AM on July 21, 2013 [8 favorites]

Agree with the above advice. But might add: at the prices you are about to pay, it may be worth at least contemplating car rental. You may come out cheaper depending on how long you will be in town for and the cost of parking at your hotel. I know it may be on someone else's tab, but having your own car may also wind up more convenient. While being driven may be more pleasant than driving around an area with which you are unfamiliar, it may be outweighed by the convenience of having a car on hand and not having to pre-arrange or wait for a taxi for everything you might want to do. Again, not sure how much venturing is in store for your trip but in Southern California, you gotta drive to most anywhere you go.
posted by drpynchon at 11:34 AM on July 21, 2013

Best answer: I've taken the ExecuCar service from SuperShuttle.
It is a a comfortable private sedan service, so you are not sharing the ride nor waiting for the shuttle to fill with riders.
A quick check of fares shows about $113 from LAX to Anaheim Conv. Center.
posted by calgirl at 11:38 AM on July 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I think booking a car in advance is the way I'm going to go. I've taken cabs all around L.A. without too much trouble but have never been to Anaheim and didn't realize quite how far out of the way it is.
posted by Mothlight at 11:44 AM on July 21, 2013

Best answer: No to shared shuttle, no to rental car. Both will be major time hits.

The rental car agencies are offsite from LAX, so you have to wait for their shuttle, shlepp through LAX traffic to the agency, fill out the paperwork, and then fight your way on the 405 at the worst possible time of day. You'll be a quivering mess by the time you reach Anaheim.

Shared shuttle will circle the airport pickup zone until full, and then make who knows how many stops en route to your drop-off. Horrible time-sink.

Book a private sedan in advance. Spend up, get reimbursed, no biggie.

Make sure to hit the restroom before you get in the sedan. Even with carpool lanes, you'll be in for a long ride.
posted by nacho fries at 11:46 AM on July 21, 2013

at the prices you are about to pay, it may be worth at least contemplating car rental.

Nthing this. I've had to rent cars in LA for a week here and there, and it's never been more than $150, weekly rate. If you're going to pay $100 each way for cabs to Anaheim, you might as well just rent something, assuming that you drive at all. Even if you never drive the car while you're at Disneyland, it'll still be cheaper, easier, and more comfortable. Also, if you discover that you WANT to drive somewhere else while you're at Disneyland, you'll have a car available.
posted by Sara C. at 11:56 AM on July 21, 2013

Response by poster: Nacho Fries has it right — I won't feel like driving on the 405 at rush hour. Also, transportation is taken care of for any activities I'm involved in all week, so a rental car would just sit in the hotel parking lot. I booked a SuperShuttle online and will do my best to look forward to the long ride in traffic. I wish it were less expensive, but then I'll do my best to book a flight into John Wayne should I have to do this again. I downloaded the Uber Cab app, but was unable to log in successfully or to get a password reset sent to my email, which is weird. (Let me amend that -- the password emails arrived after about an hour.)
posted by Mothlight at 1:35 PM on July 21, 2013

Best answer: Just chiming in to say that SuperShuttle is as horrible as everyone else says it is.

It takes forever to get you to your destination. The first time I used it was also my last time.

I am on team Town Car. That's what I do whenever I need to go to LAX for a flight. It isn't that much more expensive than a cab and sometimes ends up being cheaper than a cab.
posted by dottiechang at 9:35 PM on July 21, 2013

Might not be feasable, but:
Shuttle from LAX to Union Station
Amtrak or Metrolink to Anaheim
Cab to final destination.
posted by luckynerd at 12:37 PM on July 23, 2013

Response by poster: If anyone's curious, I ended up paying up to reserve an ExecuCar through the SuperShuttle website. It was about $113, flat rate, each way (plus tip), which feels like a lot but was roughly on par with a cab from what I can tell, especially in bad traffic. (Even LAX to downtown can run more than $50 as I recall.) However, the trip was super-smooth both ways, even at rush hour, and ended up taking about 45 minutes.

Only downside was the guy on the trip back to the airport drove like a jerk. Whenever he wanted to change lanes, he'd jam his foot on the gas and accelerate quickly, then jerk the steering wheel to cut off whoever he had just zipped ever-so-slightly ahead of. I might have abbreviated his tip somewhat if 20% hadn't been agreed on in advance!
posted by Mothlight at 1:56 PM on July 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

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