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In the Parks

2/25/08 - Monday in the Parks - News, Photos and Tips

Rating: 6 votes, 3.67 average.
by , 02-24-2008 at 11:45 PM
Not much news this week, so I will be offering a Tip for those who travel from outside Southern California to visit the Theme Parks in the area, and of course, some photos from this weekend.

Let's start with the news.

SOAR changes direction in regards to the June initiative

Last week, I mentioned that the Save Our Anaheim Resort didn't want the City Council to approve the ballot measure during the City Council meeting this week, and therefore removing the need for the measure to be on the ballot, and would save the City about $250,000.

They now want the measure to be approved and let the city save the money. But it doesn't look likely that the City Council will approve the measure this Tuesday night, due to lack of 3 needed votes. Here is their press release, issued last Friday.

Save Our Anaheim Resort Group Urges
City Council to Adopt Resort Preservation Initiative

ANAHEIM, Calif. –The Save Our Anaheim Resort (SOAR) steering committee today called upon Anaheim City Council members to show their overwhelming support for the Resort District this coming Tuesday and move forward with adopting the SOAR initiative.

“At our SOAR steering committee this morning, the overwhelming consensus was that the city council should adopt the initiative now,” said SOAR Co-Chair Todd Ament. “We’re looking for the council to make a strong statement of their unwavering support for the long-term preservation of the Resort District.”

Private polling conducted for SOAR has consistently shown voter support levels above 80 percent for key provisions of the SOAR initiative. When asked whether “voter approval should be required to change Anaheim Resort District Boundaries,” 81 percent agreed. When asked whether “voter approval should be required before the city council can make major changes to the General Plan policies for the Anaheim Resort District,” 84 percent agreed.

“There is overwhelming support for the SOAR initiative in this community,” Ament continued. “Membership in SOAR is just shy of 10,000 Anaheim residents today (9,919) and it is growing daily. And there is a good reason why so many people have joined to support the Resort Preservation effort; every resident of Anaheim benefits from the $100 million in annual revenues the Resort is generating. When less than 5 percent of your city generates more than 50 percent of your tax revenues, you need to protect that area.

“The SOAR steering committee, representing neighborhoods from across Anaheim, believes that the city council should support the protection of the Anaheim Resort and approve the SOAR initiative,” Ament added. “We’ll be at the city council on Tuesday night pushing for a YES vote for adoption and we will be looking for a strong statement of support from this council.”
You can read Council-member Harry Sidhu comments on the matter over at the Orange County Register.

Also, the Orange County Register has the Ballot Arguments for the initiative at this link.

Interesting to note that the "Against" statement was filed on the last day, and that SunCal had nothing to do with it. Instead, it was the head of the Anaheim HOME group, William Denis Fitzgerald that filed the argument, since nobody else submitted one, including the "CDPA" group.

Two more restaurants open at Anaheim GardenWalk

P.F. Chang's China Bistro opened last Monday, and McCormick and Schmick's Grille will open this evening. The Orange County Register Fast Food Maven reported that the "Grille" concept will have an expanded menu to help drawn families and leisure travelers, who might not all like seafood. You can read her report here...

This leaves just Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine left to open of the original 6 Major Restaurants facing Katella Avenue, which is still a few weeks away.

The main Mall is still on schedule for a late May official opening.

Tip of the Week - Which Airport to choose to visit Southern California?

One of things I am well known for is Trip Planning in the Southern California area and visiting Theme Parks.

My preferences of the Los Angeles Basin Airports in order

1. Long Beach (LGB)

2. John Wayne (Santa Ana/Orange County/SNA).

Both of these airports are about 14 miles away from the Disneyland Resort area. Long Beach is the slower of the 2 airports, but the drawback, not too many flights service the airport, Jet Blue has the most flights, Alaska Airlines has service through Seattle/Tacoma, and there are a few commuter flights, including Express Jet. Long Beach is the closest airport to Knott's Berry Farm

John Wayne has a lot more flights, but like Long Beach, has government limits on the amount of flights that can land at the airport (For example, Jet Blue is starting to fly out of LAX in addition to Long Beach, since it can't get the rights for additional landing at LGB). The restriction on flights does limit the "specials" you can find on airfare, Southwest has very little discounted airfares, especially the lower levels. So you might need to look elsewhere.

Transportation choices are good from both Airports, I prefer getting a Rental Car so I can travel to multiple locations easily, but if you don't want to rent a car, a Taxi from either Long Beach or John Wayne to the Disneyland Resort area is about $40 plus tip each way.

The next set of Airports are about 35 miles away from the Disneyland Resort area.

3. LAX

4. Ontario (ONT)

And while technically Ontario is slightly closer than LAX (less than a mile), I recommend LAX due to the greater number of flights, and the transportation options.

LAX is serviced by the Disneyland Express Airport Bus, and the Shuttle Van fares are a lot cheaper from LAX than from Ontario, due to competition. For example, one person using a Shuttle Van from Ontario is about $40 one way.

Ontario is fairly modern, and has been built for a lot more traffic than it is currently is getting. It is operated by the same airport authority as LAX, and they are trying to push the use of Ontario as a substitute for LAX.

If you use Ontario, your basic option of transportation is a Rental Car (I like using to see the current discounted rates for my planned trip). The drive can be a bit long due to rush hour traffic.

My last option for the Disneyland Resort area is Bob Hope (Burbank/BUR), this is over 40 miles away, and the traffic on the I-5 can be bad any time of the day. But it is the closest choice if you wanted to visit Universal Studios Hollywood or Six Flags Magic Mountain. Bob Hope is fairly slow and easy to get in and out of.

So I would look at Long Beach and John Wayne if you planned to stay in the Anaheim Resort area and then compare the airfares as compared to the other locations. If there is a significant savings, I would then think about using LAX or ONT, but then take into consideration the additional transportation costs (including Hotel Parking fees) that might offset the savings on the air fare.

Many folks choose the expanded Anaheim Resort Area (which does included Buena Park and Garden Grove Hotels), since it seems their room rates are slightly less than other areas, and there are more choices. It is also fairly central to all the Southern California Theme Parks, and other places to visit, including Beaches and Shopping, such as South Coast Plaza.

And to finish up the article, some photos from Saturday, plenty more can be seen at

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Updated 02-25-2008 at 04:35 PM by Dustysage



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  1. Disneyland Tickets's Avatar
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    Great travel Information. I like John Wayne Airport the best. But be warned, the take-offs are really steep, no one told me that and the first time I thought something was wrong. Otherwise it's a great airport, clean and efficient. Looks like a rainy day on the Mark Twain, I hope you kept your camera dry! Thanks for the Monday updates, I look forward to them.
  2. GoBotDotCom's Avatar
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    The steep takeoffs at John Wayne are due to noise abatement laws in Newport Beach...the aircraft climb sharply to achieve altitude, then throttle back until they're about a mile over the ocean before throttling up again. Definitely an "E" ticket!
  3. ttrocc7007's Avatar
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    My first post, but my fave Disneyland source!
    Two items I have learned in the last few weeks. One cast member told me that under no circumstances is The Disney Gallery going to open in the Plaza Pavilion. It had been considered, but was rejected and no new home has been decided on.
    Also I stopped by Toontown on Saturday to see the 'build it yourself' customized mouse ears, and the cast member there told me that the idea had hit some sort of snag, and the idea has been scrubbed.
    See ya' at The Plaza Inn for the 'Kettle Favoriites'!
  4. bigwavedave's Avatar
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    I noticed Burbank was not mentioned. Ive flown in there and it seems nice enough. any reason why it was not mentioned.
  5. xalesa's Avatar
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    Great update; especially about the airports. Last time I was in CA, I flew into John Wayne. Liked it a lot and we rented a car. Great experience and it will be where we fly into again...whenever we make it that way!!
    Thanks, Darkbeer; LOVE your updates!
  6. MollyTrolly's Avatar
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    Wonderful info as always. As far as airports, I prefer Ontario or Burbank (bob Hope) over LAX because its so much easier to get around, especially if you are renting a car. From Burbank, the 5 isnt really that bad except during rush hour commutes.
  7. Darkbeer's Avatar
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    I listed Bob Hope Airport (Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport) and mentioned it is the closest to Universal Studios and SFMM. I have it listed the lowest for the DLR area mainly due to the fact it is the farthest distance away of the main 5 airports, and the fact that the freeway connecting the two areas is the old I-5, which is only 3 lanes wide at points, and seems to always be in rush hour mode.
  8. Darkbeer's Avatar
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    Let me add one reason why I rate LAX higher than ONT and BUR, and that is the carpool lanes on the main route between LAX and DLR. Take the brand new 105, which tends to have lighter traffic than other nearby freeways, and it has carpool lanes the entire length, then a few miles on the 605 south to the 91 east, get back into the carpool lane, use the special carpool exit to access the 5 south Carpool lane, then take the special carpool Disneyland Drive exit. Saves a lot of time and hassle as compared to the drives from BUR or ONT.
  9. themur's Avatar
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    John Wayne is our favorite also because most of the rental car lots are actually on the airport premises which seems to save an awful lot of time.

    For the Gumball Rally, we flew into Burbank on Friday night but flew out of John Wayne. We wanted round trip to John Wayne but the good Southwest discounts weren't available for Friday. The drop off fee for a rental car taken at Burbank but left at John Wayne was very small (particularly compared to a rental originating at LAX) so we were able to keep our costs down and maximize our time at the park on Sunday before having to leave.
  10. Darkbeer's Avatar
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    You need to check out Long Beach Airport then, the walk is a lot less from the baggage claim area (Outdoors), and the Rental Car Companies are right next to them.

    And here is a photo album showing Long Beach Airport and how small it is.
  11. Rixter's Avatar
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    Thanks for the airport info. As locals, we sometimes get into a rut and forget about all of the options available to us. You have definitely opened my eyes to some new things to consider when we book our next trip.
  12. Dustysage's Avatar
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    I love the John Wayne Airport in Orange County. It reminds me a lot of the San Diego airport. Very easy to get in and out of. Easy parking.
  13. Wb6uce's Avatar
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    I was sitting just behind Darkbeer as he snapped the lead Billy pixs. Nice job with the S9000. I can't get the good results he can with mine!?? Here is the picture:
    Scroll down to the bottom you can see DB's silhouette.
    Use link above. No Picture here. This page loads slowly enough as it is....
  14. ojeilatan's Avatar
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    I'm glad to see John Wayne near the top of your list - next will be my first time flying to Disneyland instead of driving and we'll be using John Wayne. Makes me more comfortable to see it recommended by commenters on here too!
  15. Peoplemover Priit's Avatar
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  16. zimm1111's Avatar
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    I was at Disneyland & Disney's California Adventure on Sunday morning and then went to Knott's Berry Farm later for dinner. When I arrived at KBF, I noticed the park was closed. I asked the lady at the counter of Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant about the park being closed. She said that they close the park whenever it rains, because the coasters don't like the water too much.

    So, I guess you go to Knott's Berry Farm on rainy days.

    My favorite thing to do on rainy days is to go to DL & DCA.

    Anyways....I had fun.

  17. TikiRoomLiz's Avatar
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    Yummy! P.F. Chang's opening at Gardenwalk!!
  18. Disneyland Daddy's Avatar
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    Noticed the PF Chang's at Gardenwalk! Very exciting - my wife and I love this place....and Grant love's rice, so it's a win win situation for us, dining-wise, all around the board.

    Great news!
  19. whamo's Avatar
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    I look forward to each photo update. By the way, I'm thinking of Disney World trip this spring. I'd fly from Ontario, CA. Where to stay? What to see? What deals are available to So Cal passholders? This would be my first trip, obviously, to Disney World. I'm thinking about the 5 day promotion they have going if you sign up by March 21st.
  20. Big D's Avatar
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    By the way, there is a reason to choose LAX over other airports, and that is you're more likely to find a nonstop flight. I'm a travel agent, and we've been telling all of our clients that right now finding a nonstop flight is by far the most important thing in planning your trip. Airline delays and lost luggage are the worst that they have ever been in history, and every layover you make is another chance that you'll miss your connecting flight because of a delay or that your luggage will be lost. And of course if you're flying later in the day and you miss your connecting flight, and that's the last flight of the day, most domestic airlines will not pay for your hotel that night, so you're on your own. Unless you're flying from a major hub airport like Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Houston, or Honolulu, you're almost definatley going to have a layover on you're way to any other airport in Southern California, and the hassles that result are far worse then the hassles of dealing with the crowds and traffic at LAX. Also, the Disneyland shuttle minimizes a lot of the hassle, you don't even need to rent a car until you arrive in Anaheim, and it's considerably cheaper to rent a car locally near Disneyland then at LAX, so it saves you money as well.

    P.S. If you're flying business or first class, United has the best airport lounge at LAX in Terminal 7 (plus they have a Wolfgang Puck's, and a Karl Strauss Brewery), and if you're coming from an international destination, then the OneWorld Alliance (American Airlines, British Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Iberia, JAL, etc.) has one of the nicest airport lounges in the US. It's in the Tom Bradly terminal which is the name for the International Terminal at LAX. One thing to be careful of, if you're flying on American Airlines and stopping over somewhere in the USA first before arriving at LAX chances are you won't be going out of Tom Bradly, so fly foreign if you can (which is always good advice, domestic airlines suck anyway)!!!
    Updated 03-02-2008 at 12:27 AM by Big D
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