2/25/08 - Monday in the Parks - News, Photos and Tips
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.
You can read Council-member Harry Sidhu comments on the matter over at the Orange County Register.
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.”
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.
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 Hotwire.com 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 http://darkbeer.smugmug.com.
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