Miles Away: Using an LAX Layover for a Day at Disneyland

Mar 13, 2019

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On this week’s episode of Miles Away, TPG contributor Edward Pizzarello and I set off on a magical adventure to “The Happiest Place on Earth” — Disneyland, in Anaheim, California. We dig into ticket strategies, hotel options and tips for beating the park’s infamous lines, especially on peak days.

You can play this episode of Miles Away above, or listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, including:

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Here Are 3 Key Takeaways:

Zach Honig: What’s the main difference between Disneyland and Disney World and who should choose which park?

Ed Pizzarello: There are some primary differences and one of the big ones is the Disneyland footprint is not only smaller but much more accessible. Both parks are easily walkable back and forth between each other where obviously that’s impossible at Disney World. You’re talking from the Magic Kingdom to Animal Kingdom a 25 minute ride if you’re taking a bus. It’s easier, as you said, you guys rode a ton of rides.

Zach Honig: What resources are out there for someone to figure out how to maximize their day at Disneyland?

Ed Pizzarello: I will say you don’t need quite as much planning at Disneyland as you do at Disney World. We do have a post up on TPG that I think is a great resource for how to cut those lines, skipping the lines at Disneyland, 10 line-busting tips… You sort of have to figure out at minute one I’m getting this FASTPASS and what’s my second most popular one? At minute 91, let’s say, if that’s your wait window you’ve got to be ready with your app to hit the button again.

Zach Honig: Would you recommend that someone rent a car if they’re coming with a family, for example, for a three-to-five-day trip?

Ed Pizzarello: Most times I would say it’s probably going to be the most affordable option only because the Uber lift ride from some of the airports can be pricey because there aren’t any airports that are terribly close to Anaheim, whether you’re going into LAX or Long Beach or potentially even somewhere as far away as Burbank or Ontario.

Full Transcription:

Zach Honig: Welcome to another episode of Miles Away. I actually got my start in podcasting with Ed Pizza who is today’s guest, TPG contributor Ed Pizza. Welcome sir.

Ed Pizzarello: Yes, and I didn’t know that that was your first podcast. You were very smooth.

Zach Honig: Thank you sir. I’ve listened to quite a few but that was my first time actually being on the air so to speak, so thanks for having me.

Ed Pizzarello: Yes, well we need to have you back on for a third appearance. We’ve gotten you up to two so far so we need to have you back on for a third.

Zach Honig: Well now I feel like I’m a Disney expert after my one day at Disneyland in Anaheim, which is the topic of today’s episode. I got to go on almost every ride. I think we went on every ride that was open except for It’s a Small World, which had been closed for the holiday and they just reopened it and the lines were nuts.

Ed Pizzarello: It’s such a popular ride even so many years later. You’re right, the lines can get kind of wacky. It’s another Peter Pan at Disney World that lines there can be hours.

Zach Honig: Yes, so we breezed right through all the lines, we did all the fast tracks, but this was on a 24 hour layover in Los Angeles. It was actually the first time for the two friends that were traveling with me, first time to LA.

Ed Pizzarello: Oh wow.

Zach Honig: I didn’t realize it was their first trip. I probably wouldn’t have suggested Disneyland for their very first visit to Southern California, but they didn’t tell me until we landed. They’re like, “Oh yes, by the way, we’ve never been to Los Angeles.” Well here we are in Anaheim.

Ed Pizzarello: We won’t go see stars, we won’t go jump off the roof decks at the Andaz We Ho, we’ll just go to Disneyland.

Zach Honig: Exactly yes, but what we did is we flew in, we took an evening flight out of Newark. We went right down to Anaheim. I used two expiring nights at the Fairfield Inn and Suites. I don’t want screw to them, Fairfield Inn and Suites, Anaheim Main Gate, which Main Gate to me implied that it was close to the park.

Ed Pizzarello: A lot of implications for stuff like that, and a lot of very interesting names for hotels in both Disneyland and Disney World, but there are a good cluster hotels right outside of the gates of Disneyland. It’s much more compact with the downtown Anaheim area. I think the best piece of advice we can give our listeners is just to make sure that you do map where your hotel is, because you will find multiples of most of the major brands nearby and given how traffic can be around getting into the parks there is a noticeable difference between a hotel that is reasonably walkable, we’ll call it less than 15 minutes away and something you do have to take a shuttle bus to because parking’s not the greatest over there.

Zach Honig: Yes, we were still able to walk but it was about 30 minutes. We’ll dig into hotels in just a little bit. First I want to talk about Disneyland and who its for. It’s more of an adults park I think than Disney World you were telling me before, and I’ve been to Disney World several times, mostly when I was a child but I haven’t been back in many years. I’ve been to some of the other Disney parks as well, but Disneyland the rides are more adventurous I guess you could say. They’re more thrilling. I didn’t see nearly as many kids when I was there. It also happened to be a Friday during February so it was pretty off peak. Kind of walk me through. What’s the main difference I guess between Disneyland and Disney World and who should choose which park.

Ed Pizzarello: There are some primary differences and one of the big ones is the Disneyland footprint is not only smaller but much more accessible. Both parks are easily walkable back and forth between each other where obviously that’s impossible at Disney World. You’re talking from the Magic Kingdom to Animal Kingdom a 25 minute ride if you’re taking a bus. It’s easier, as you said, you guys rode a ton of rides. It’s easier to accomplish a whole bunch if you’re not bogged down with things like strollers. If you can get from ride to ride, and especially as we get older one of the other things that’s really helpful at Disneyland is there are more single rider lines, and what we mean by that is for a popular ride like Radiator Springs, technically a third line, you’ve got your regular line, your FASTPASS line if you happen to have FASTPASSES, and then a single rider line.

Ed Pizzarello: In some cases when the ride for the Radiator Springs might be an hour, your single rider line could be 10 or 15 minutes. You and a friend are going, or as you said you had a couple friends with you, sure it’d be great if you all rode in the same car, but if you don’t have to wait an hour in line and you split up, you’re saving 45 minutes of line waiting.

Zach Honig: Oh yes, absolutely. We actually went on a quiet day and that’s something you probably don’t find at Disney World either is that it’s popular all throughout the year but Disneyland it definitely seems to ebb and flow when it comes to park occupancy.

Ed Pizzarello: It sure does. Much more so than Disney World, and I think part of that is just there’s so much at Disney World that I think people are planning week long vacations. We just did some research on this for TPG about Universal potentially adding a third park in Orlando to try to become a week long destination. To be clear, to spend a week at Disneyland would probably be overkill unless it really was the only time your kids were going. You’d cover everything and you’d cover a bunch of stuff twice if you spent seven days in the two parks.

Zach Honig: Now it can be appealing to do so because you save a ton of money on the tickets, if you get a multi-day pass. I was looking, the one-day passes are pricey. Even off peak I think it’s something like $104, $104 now for a single park.

Ed Pizzarello: Yes all the tickets are over $100 for a day.

Zach Honig: Single day, quiet day, and then it ranges up to almost $150 I believe for a single day ticket. Then if you add Park Hopper how much is the Park Hopper edition?

Ed Pizzarello: You know the addition, I’m trying to remember if they vary or not, but you’re talking in the range of for Park Hoppers you’re talking about adding $40 or $50 a day.

Zach Honig: Yes I think it was $50, and so if you go on a peak day, get a Park Hopper edition, it’s about $200 for a single day, but if you add a few more on then you end up paying $50 a day if you’re there for almost a week. You can do it and you may need to I guess on peak days. If you go over Christmas or New Years, Halloween maybe, whenever they’re doing any kind of special celebration it might make more sense to spend a few days just because you’re not going to be able to fit as many rides into each day at the park.

Ed Pizzarello: For sure, and I think there are a couple of other options for folks to consider as well that we’ll go over a little bit. If you’re either A, not a Disney expert or B, if you’re used to Disney World the free line cutting service called FASTPASS is very different at Disneyland. As you said, you want to talk a little bit more about hotels in a bit, but it’s almost a requirement that if you want to make your trip efficient that you need to buy the digital version of FASTPASS for Disneyland. It makes things much more efficient and it’s pretty affordable. I think it’s $10 a day.

Zach Honig: We paid $15, which is still-

Ed Pizzarello: There are some $15 days, you’re right either $10 or $15. It’s still very reasonable.

Zach Honig: Absolutely, I mean it made a ton of sense. We were able to fit so much more into the day, and I mean we easily cut hours off of the day just waiting in the standby lines. We only waited in the standby lines when they were at most 15 minutes long. Otherwise we did the MaxPass. There’s FASTPASS and then there’s MaxPass, and MaxPass is the app based version of FASTPASS, is that right?

Ed Pizzarello: It is, so they still have the paper based FASTPASS system at Disneyland. I can’t talk well today. There was a time when this existed at Disney World too, and what happens is you have these kiosks and intuitively the kiosks aren’t always near the rides. In the example of we’re talking about Radiator Springs at Disneyland, my recollection from the last time we were there was that the kiosks were quite a bit away from the ride itself. A lot of folks will head to the ride thinking that’s where they’re going to get their pass, and they have to double back to a different land to pick up their access to the pass. In the time that they do that somebody else with an iPhone has already grabbed their FASTPASSES. You’re on a return time cycle so-

Zach Honig: Yes, I think it was 90 minutes or so when I was there.

Ed Pizzarello: They do sometimes meter that depending on how busy things are in the parks. That compares very differently with Disney World in that you’re doing all of your FASTPASS selecting ahead of time. It’s a very democratized level playing field when you hit the front gates of Disneyland everybody’s sort of fighting for the same real estate, so your big advantage in having your phone is not having to go stand in line at a kiosk and find the kiosk to get your FASTPASS. Your clock starts a lot sooner than everybody else.

Zach Honig: At least my guess was that some of the guests had a better idea of what they were doing, which rides they should do their MaxPasses for right away because you’d mentioned Radiator Springs a couple times and I only got to do Radiator Springs because I had booked a MaxPass for another ride that had broken, and so I got this magical universal MaxPass that let me go on any ride and cut the line to Radiator Springs even though those MaxPasses had run out way earlier in the day. What resources are out there for someone to figure out how to maximize their day at Disneyland?

Ed Pizzarello: For sure and I will say you don’t need quite as much planning at Disneyland as you do at Disney World. We do have a post up on TPG that I think is a great resource for how to cut those lines, skipping the lines at Disneyland, 10 line busting tips. I think ahead of time it really depends on the age of your children. As you mentioned, there are some thrill rides at-

Zach Honig: That was California Adventure I think.

Ed Pizzarello: Yes, so some of those rides at Disneyland you just don’t have in Disney World. For example, there’s also no Matterhorn at Disney World. Once you understand what age your kids are you can divide up into categories which rides you want to hit, and ultimately because you’ve got the two parks I think the right strategy is if you’re on MaxPass we’ll talk about the hotel option that helps as well, but it’s grabbing that first key ride that you know that your kids want to hit and then making sure that from a timing standpoint you’re hitting your window as soon as humanly possible. Because if you’re not lucky like you Zach and getting to go on a quiet Friday and you’re going on anything of sort of a higher peak day, 90 minutes can be enough to sell out rides like Radiator Springs. You sort of have to figure out at minute one I’m getting this FASTPASS and what’s my second most popular one? At minute 91, let’s say, if that’s your wait window you’ve got to be ready with your app to hit the button again.

Zach Honig: Now this is a tip, this is something that I would never have been able to do as a kid, but as an adult I actually have quite a few friends that work for the Disney corporation. At ABC and some of the other Disney owned companies they get passes each year and they expire, and so if you happen to know someone, with friends and relatives that did, all three of us separately did. We each reached out to our friends and said, “Hey do you have any passes expiring?” Not only did they get us into Disneyland but it ended up being a Park Hopper pass so we could jump over to the other park as well. It saved about $150.

Ed Pizzarello: Yes I mean with the prices of where park tickets are that’s a huge dent in your bill. The other thing I’d say too, folks don’t necessarily think about this but if you’re on the West Coast, not necessarily in California but you’ve got kids that are sort of in that Disney age, for Disneyland specifically because of the price of those shorter tickets and because you’re likely going to be doing shorter trips, you don’t get some of the benefit that you do at Disney World where tacking on a six or a seven day at Disney World is $10 if you will and you’re still getting to do something very different because there’s a bunch of stuff. If you’re focusing on shorter trips, the cheapest annual passes at Disneyland are in the $800 range, and that sounds like a lot at first, but if you think about it in terms of if you went … Once you buy the annual pass it starts the day you walk in the park the first time.

Ed Pizzarello: If you think about it like a 52 week clock, I’m not saying you should go to Disneyland every month or even every quarter, but if you went in week one of your annual pass and you went in week 52, the week 52 trip is probably free essentially. You’re paying the same thing you might pay for a three or four day with Park Hoppers and now you’ve paid for what you were going to pay for and your second trip, again the following year is free. For folks that have kids they can look at the family travel schedules to see where spring breaks line up, but more importantly if you don’t have that sort of flexibility it’s not hard to say well we went the first week of April in 2019, lets just go sometime in March and that trip will be essentially free for the tickets.

Zach Honig: Yes, that makes sense. To be honest I got to see so much in one day with this Park Hopper pass that even a two day pass would have been overkill. You’ve recently completed a challenge I think at Disney World where you attempted to complete?

Ed Pizzarello: Attempted to complete. We didn’t get all the way there. We were certainly proud of our effort. Summer Hull of Mommy Points who runs the TPG family vertical and I came up with idea to support a charity called Give Kids the World, and they essentially provide all the backbone behind the scene stuff for the Make a Wish kids that come down to Disney World. They get a villa at the Give Kids the World Village, they get all their meals, the Disney characters come to greet them. It’s pretty awesome. Summer and I raised a bunch of money with the help of both TPG and their parent adventures by riding 41 rides in one day across four parks at Disney World.

Zach Honig: Oh wow, you have me so far beat.

Ed Pizzarello: It was pretty crazy.

Zach Honig: Is that 41 separate rides or 41 times?

Ed Pizzarello: 41 separate, individual rides. That day there were 48 rides open. We got 41 of the 48 in.

Zach Honig: Do you eat? Do you drink? Do you have time for the bathroom?

Ed Pizzarello: Definitely have time for the bathroom, that’s pretty much a necessity. We went a little bit hardcore in that I wore a vest and we had Lindsay, who’s in charge of social for TPG as well, and the vest had granola bars, Uncrustables, and stuff like that. The reason why we went with the vest was if you have a backpack you have to clear security every time. If you had the vest you could go through the [crosstalk 00:13:36].

Zach Honig: Oh my gosh, okay.

Ed Pizzarello: We had calculated down to the minute of how many times we had to change parks and how much time could we save if we didn’t have to have the backpack checked.

Zach Honig: That is the ultimate Disney hack I have to say. Walk me through just a little bit the differences between Disneyland and California Adventure, and should you see both, if you’re only going to one which would you pick, who is each park better for?

Ed Pizzarello: Yes, I mean that’s a good question. I personally think that you want to see both only because it’s not a week-long trip, if you will, to do both. For me I would probably do both parks and if you had to pick one I mean I’d probably pick California Adventure. There’s such a good cross section of rides between the two of them. I don’t think there’s any one. Ignoring one versus the other you miss some of the very key rides. I’d hate to say somebody went to Disneyland and didn’t get to ride Radiator Springs or didn’t get to ride Matterhorn. Those are sort of you got the iconic old school roller coaster, if you will, with Matterhorn and you’ve got Radiator Springs, which is just such an awesome, fantastic new ride.

Zach Honig: Yes it was so much fun.

Ed Pizzarello: Yes, and I wouldn’t want to tell you to not do one-

Zach Honig: I like Soarin too. I know it’s been there a while but that one’s fun.

Ed Pizzarello: Yes Soarin’s a lot of fun, and you haven’t been to Disney World since Pandora opened have you?

Zach Honig: No, no, it’s been a long time.

Ed Pizzarello: Soarin’s a great ride, and for those that haven’t been it’s a hang gliding ride and you’re sitting in a chair. If you’re afraid of heights or things like that it’s a very comforting ride. Even though you get the sense that you’re hang gliding, you’re sitting down in a chair so you don’t feel like your feet are dangling, you’re going to fall off the edge.

Zach Honig: And you can easily just close your eyes if you need to.

Ed Pizzarello: Yes, but it’s very lifelike in what you see with the screen and they even have the smells blown in. It’s very graphic, and so they use that technology for the Pandora rides except that you’re sitting on a banshee and you can feel the banshee breathing between your legs.

Zach Honig: Oh that’s cool.

Ed Pizzarello: As you go up and down over hills. It’s the next generation of the Soarin technology. If you’re a Soarin fan I’d say get to Pandora at some point because it’s sort of the next generation of Soarin.

Zach Honig: Oh that’s a really good tip. Like at Disney World the hotels really play a key role in your experience here and we’ll take a quick break, but when we come back we’ll talk about hotels and some of the flight options to get to Anaheim as well.

Zach Honig: We’re back on Miles Away with Ed Pizza. Welcome back Ed.

Ed Pizzarello: Thanks.

Zach Honig: All right and we were talking about Disneyland and Anaheim. Unlike some other destinations the hotels really, really play into your experience, specifically at Disneyland here. Disney World that’s the case as well, but you really have to pick carefully when it comes time to choose a hotel.

Ed Pizzarello: You do, and you have significantly fewer options at Disneyland. There are exactly three hotels and from top to bottom, if you will, The Grand Californian is probably going to be the priciest most days that people are looking. Just a notch below that is going to be the Disneyland Hotel, which was the original property, and then Disney’s Paradise Pier is the third choice. This property, specifically the big key is if you remember we talked earlier about the fact that it’s very much a democracy when it comes to FastPasses. Once you’re in the park everybody’s sort of fighting over the same real estate at that point.

Ed Pizzarello: If you’re staying in hotels you get into the parks earlier, on each day there’s a park that opens earlier. My general recollection is I think it’s three days for Disney’s Californian and then four days for the main Disneyland Park. On those days that you’re in early, if you’re on MaxPass again we talked about the digital version of FastPass. As soon as you’re in the parks you’re sort of “on the clock”. If it’s you versus me and I’m staying on site and I have MaxPass, I’m probably a solid hour ahead of you.

Zach Honig: So you can be in your hotel room?

Ed Pizzarello: No, you have to be physically in the park.

Zach Honig: Okay, so there’s a geofence right around the boundary of the park.

Ed Pizzarello: There is and because I get in an hour early as a hotel guest you can’t get a FastPass yet because you stayed at the Fairfield, beautiful [crosstalk 00:17:42].

Zach Honig: It was free, which counts for something.

Ed Pizzarello: Yes, so but that is a big difference too in that typically speaking you’re going to see rates at the Grand California that are probably going to be in the $500 range a night. They’re not cheap and in fact I just recorded a segment for my podcast with our TPG contributor Leslie, about the pricing there and how you’re going to pay for the access. It’s a question of what’s your goal for the trip, how much money do you have to spend because there are a ton of off site options. You’ll find even when you drop down a bit to Disneyland Hotel and then Paradise Pier is probably what you call a moderate tier property, you’re still probably talking $250 to $300 a night for the cheapest Disney property. You had the example of finding a free property, but there’s also because there’s so many branded properties outside the gates, you can typically find prices much cheaper than $300, $400 a night if you’re willing to take a shuttle, be 20 minutes away sort of thing.

Zach Honig: Do any of the official Disneyland hotels participate in chain programs at all or [crosstalk 00:18:45]?

Ed Pizzarello: Unfortunately no, yes.

Zach Honig: Okay, so you’re paying cash for those. Offsetting with your [inaudible 00:18:50] arrival points, something like that.

Ed Pizzarello: Yes, you absolutely could use fixed points like that to help offset some of the costs, but because in Disney World you got this huge amount of acreage that they own, because Disneyland drops right into Anaheim there are properties that are easy five minute walks from the front. You mentioned your Fairfield Inn, you said you were a 15 minute walk?

Zach Honig: I think it was 25 or so. We walked past a Holiday Inn Express that I know was much closer. Each time so I’m like, “Well if I had stayed at a Holiday Inn Express tonight I’d already be there.”

Ed Pizzarello: Couldn’t see that one coming. I’m a bit of a Hyatt nerd as you well know, and there are two Hyatt properties that are fairly close by and they’re all category four or under, and in fact I think they’re all category three.

Zach Honig: Which is very important.

Ed Pizzarello: It is because that means that if you do have the free nights and there’s multiple pass to earn free night certificates with Hyatt nowadays. If you think about all of those resources where between the credit card and certain status levels and their new milestone rewards, there’s a lot of these category one to four free nights out there. You’ve got a Hyatt House, which is very much limited service, close by, easy walk and then if you want a little bit more there’s a Hyatt Regency property that we actually walked it but it was more like your property, it was probably a solid 30 minute walk. Not sure I would do it frequently with kids unless they were in a stroller, but they do have a shuttle that goes back and forth. That hotel has a lounge, it has pools, it has a restaurant, so if you want more stuff all very accessible, free to use with your either free credit card nights or free nights that you might receive from your status and still easily accessible to the parks.

Zach Honig: I mean if we’re being realistic, if you’re going to Disneyland and you want to maximize your visit there you’re going to be doing a lot of walking no matter what.

Ed Pizzarello: Sure.

Zach Honig: What’s another 30 or so minutes to and from the hotel?

Ed Pizzarello: Yes certainly as long as you’re not doing a two-day thing only. I think staying off site makes a lot of sense for a lot of people because that extra money that you’re saving buys you an extra two days in the park, let’s say, or it buys you your Park Hopper. Sure you don’t get that extra magic hour in the morning, no question, but you’re going to pay a hefty fee to get that extra hour and is it really worth it? For most people it probably isn’t.

Zach Honig: That makes sense. I want to talk about flights in just a moment, but before we get to that is there anything specific that you recommend doing in Anaheim outside of the parks? I know that Disneyland has downtown Disney but are there any other attractions? I’ve gotten some amazing Mexican food, I will say that, there are a lot of really good Mexican restaurants there.

Ed Pizzarello: Yes there is plenty of good Mexican food there. We didn’t do anything else in Anaheim the couple times that we’ve been. We did bolt on other trips like Legoland is down the road and stuff like that, but in terms of other stuff in Anaheim we haven’t done anything that I would say is a must add on. Located south, southeast of LA there’s certainly plenty of stuff in driving range depending on what it is your goal is. If you’re not a family person there’s plenty of stuff to do in the surrounding area, but for most of it I think you’re going to want to get out of the outer city limits of Anaheim.

Zach Honig: That makes sense. I was there for about 24 hours. I had two nights at a hotel but we just had the one full day. We were fine without a car. We just spent the full day at the Disney parks. Would you recommend that someone rent a car if they’re coming with a family, for example, for a three to five day trip?

Ed Pizzarello: Most times I would say it’s probably going to be the most affordable option only because the Uber lift ride from some of the airports can be pricey because there aren’t any airports that are terribly close to Anaheim, whether you’re going into LAX or Long Beach or potentially even somewhere as far away as Burbank or Ontario. We were talking about John Wayne Airport earlier. All of them are going to have a pretty decent hike and in some cases you can get a rental car pretty darn cheaply. You’ll want to check and make sure because as you move further away from Disneyland the parking tends to get a little bit cheaper, but hotels do charge for parking so you just want to run the math on that. For a family of four that’s going to be a pretty expensive Uber ride from the airport.

Zach Honig: Oh yes. We spent about $100 round trip, which is not crazy. We took Uber one way and then the entry level Lyft the other direction, but we came in really late at night coming from the East Coast. I think we landed around 10pm so there’s no traffic, about a 40 minute drive. LA’s pretty accessible I would say, 40 minutes to get to our destination is not bad in Southern California.

Ed Pizzarello: Yes with no traffic that’s great. The only thing I’d be cautious of with a family of four is when you start to get into the total amount of luggage you’ve got for a trip you might not fit into most UberX.

Zach Honig: You have to think of so many things that don’t even come to mind.

Ed Pizzarello: You do, so for three people or under absolutely I think UberX is a great option. As you move into UberXL or Black now you’re moving up in magnitude and price to have enough space for the four people and the suitcases and potentially car seats and all the other stuff that kids come with.

Zach Honig: That makes sense. My Disneyland visit was part of that Hawaii trip, like I mentioned, and I thought it was a great fit for a quick en route trip to Los Angeles. Obviously people consider Disneyland to be their ultimate destination as well, but regardless of what your purpose of going there, which airport would you recommend flying into? I had a great experience with LAX to be honest.

Ed Pizzarello: Yes, LAX would be my first choice just because there’s so many options, and I do think as you mentioned from Hawaii, it can make a great way to break up the trip on the way back from the East Coast. Because going from Hawaii to the East Coast is as long and a lot of those flights from the islands to LA are red eyes. Trying to do all that in one day can be tough.

Zach Honig: Yes, it’s something to look forward to too really. Disneyland on the way back.

Ed Pizzarello: Right exactly. Take a break. I would say LAX would be my first choice. Even though it seems like it’s a hike I wouldn’t completely rule out an airport like Ontario or Long Beach. Ontario’s definitely a hike but some of the prices out there can be dramatically lower and fourth multiplier for having three or four people to buy tickets for can add up pretty quickly.

Zach Honig: Oh yes absolutely.

Ed Pizzarello: LA would absolutely be my first choice. I just would be very cautious of what time I landed.

Zach Honig: It depends on where you’re coming from but I’ve found excellent availability to Los Angeles from throughout the US, but the fares can be very reasonable as well.

Ed Pizzarello: For sure, yes that’s the great thing about having all that capacity is thankfully almost somebody is dumping capacity at LAX most of the year at certain times.

Zach Honig: Yes definitely, so I would say begin your search at Google Flights. Don’t just jump to miles unless you’re certain that you want to use them, you want to cut back on costs as much as possible and spend some money in the park instead. If you go to Google Flights you’ll find that trans continental flights are in the $300 range often if you’re non-stop to Los Angeles as well.

Ed Pizzarello: Yes I would agree. As of the last few years I don’t think I’ve used miles very often to get to or from LAX.

Zach Honig: All right, so we’re just about out of time unfortunately but Ed if someone wants to follow along with your Disney adventures where can they find you on social media?

Ed Pizzarello: Yes there’s a lot to follow on, but the easiest way to find me is @pizzainmotion across all the different platforms where you can find me doing crazy things and if I can be a nerd and mention my podcast.

Zach Honig: Yes please.

Ed Pizzarello: I am also @milestogo, so we got Miles Away and we got Miles to Go.

Zach Honig: All right, well I hope you’re having me back on Miles to Go pretty soon.

Ed Pizzarello: I’m ready.

Zach Honig: All right. Thanks for joining us Ed.

Ed Pizzarello: Thanks for having me.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

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