I would like to see if it’s best to rent a car, fly over then rent a car, what cheap motels to stay in, offers, anything would help, thanks in advance.
If you are just planning to do Disneyland and Universal and not planning to sightsee elsewhere, you probably don’t need a car. You can stay in a hotel close enough to Disneyland to have a free shuttle from the hotel and then just Uber to a hotel close to Universal. It would probably be cheaper than renting a car. If, however, you want to venture beyond just the amusement parks and do other things, you probably just want a car. You can get some pretty cheap flights from SLC to LAX right now. I was just looking up flights on Southwest for as little as $59 each way. If you get a good deal on a flight, just rent a car. If you have plenty of time and your own car, just drive your car to CA. If there are more than a couple people going, it would be cheaper to just make the 10 hr drive, with maybe a stop in Las Vegas to break up the drive.
Be careful with cheap motels farther away from the amusement parks if time is an issue. In traffic, being as close as 10 miles from Disneyland could mean a 45 minute drive during commuting hours, but typically about half hour, which isn’t too bad if you plan for it. Definitely get to Disneyland before it opens. They will let you into the front of the park early and you will get more done in that first 2 hours, esp on a busy day, than you might for the next 4 hours. But, that doesn’t necessarily apply if the park is doing Magic Mornings, so check that schedule, too. You can bring food into Disneyland and there are a ton of inexpensive fast food type places walking distance across the street from Disneyland. If money is an issue, don’t buy food in the park. If time is more important, the food isn’t horrifically expensive. Just don’t buy lots of snacks. Take advantage of fastpasses. Go to Universal on a weekday and don’t bother paying for their fastpasses. Think about doing Knotts Berry Farm, which I think is way better than Universal and right down the street from Disneyland.
Laguna Beach is the best beach in Orange County (and Dland is in OC, not LA).
Your gonna have to ignore Captain Obvious he’s just sick of these same old questions and the people that ask them. Now down to business you have a plan thats workable, however you wanna do it is an experience, but I recommend this site could help you. Trivago.com
Disneyland is awsum place.
laguna beach wouldn’t be the best to stay because you’s be about 25min from disneyland and over an hour from universal studios
Let me just add a few points to the other answers.
As for Driving, the travel time between Anaheim and Salt Lake City is going to be about 12-14 hours after you include the stops and other road conditions. Yes, Google tells you about 10 hours but that is in ideal conditions traveling at full freeway speeds with no stops. What this means is that unless you have someone with you who you can take shifts on driving you need to stop overnight. You need to add the cost of this hotel (both ways) into your budget. You will also need to account for the extra 2 days of traveling.
If you end up flying, LAX is generally cheaper than SNA(Orange County), but you have the extra travel time. A good alternative to try is Long Beach (LGB) their main airline is JetBlue but they have a couple other airlines as well. They are also a very small airport and getting in/out is about equivalent with SNA.
Also, for Disney you can book dining at their table service restaurants in the park and many in Downtown Disney or the Hotels by going online to the link below. Just remember that all dining locations require a credit card to hold the reservation, and any ":No-Shows": that are not cancelled 24 hour in advance are charged a $10 per person fee. Bookings open up 60 days in advance and the popular restaurants book up within a few weeks. However, quite often I can even get reservations at these restaurants a couple days before due to cancellations(so keep checking back). You just can’t be as picky about the time as you may want.
Don’t leave the park to try and find a cheaper place to eat. Even the McDonalds across the street is going to be higher than the standard McDonalds and it will take you about an hour(remember the ":cost": of leaving the park) to go there, eat, and return.
I would also have to echo the Knott’s comment. Knott’s is NOT up to ":Disney": Standards but they are trying and have made several strides to that. If you have the time and want to do a 3rd park they would be a good choice, but I would still take Universal over Knott’s if you did end up only going to two.
Don’t you have a car? SoCal is car-based. If not, then drive down. But watch the mileage clause on your rental. It’s 700 miles each way, and you’ll drive at least 200 miles while you are here. You’ll have to do the math to see if it’s cheaper.
It looks as if you’re trying to go on the cheap. I’ve seen too many people be penny wise and pound foolish. They’ll scrape to save a few pennies, but waste hundreds of dollars in the process. CADisneyGirl gave a perfect example. You could rent a cheap motel 10, 15, 20 miles away, thinking you’re going to save money. But if it takes an hour or two to get to Disneyland from your ":cheap": motel, you’ve wasted a precious hour of time. If you’re spending $150 for a 1-day ticket, and you want to spend 10 hours in the park, that’s $15 per hour. Per person. Then add the $20 parking. OR, you could stay within walking distance. I recommend the HoJo (Howard Johnson) or the Candy Cane Inn for good value hotels within walking distance.
I would have to disagree with her about renting a car. It’s really necessary here in SoCal. Once again, it’s a matter of time, and the adage ":time is money": is still true. If you happen to be going along a route that has heavy commuter traffic (Anaheim to Universal City, for example), you can take public transit in a decent amount of time. Take an OCTA or ARTS bus to the Anaheim Regional Transit Center (ARTIC), then take Amtrak or Metrolink to Union Station. Then take the Red Line subway to Universal City. I actually work for NBCUniversal, and I commute from Orange County every day. Along that route, you can visit Universal Studios, the heart of Hollywood (Chinese Theater, Dolby Theater, Walk of Fame, etc). You can also see Overa Street while at Union Station. But be aware that the last Metrolink train leaves south at 6:50 PM.
Since I’ve disclosed that I work for Universal, I should also tell you that Knott’s is not that great IMHO. I used to be a pass holder for Knott’s, and I’m a current pass holder for Disneyland. Knott’s doesn’t really have the high standards of Disney. It seems a lot dirtier and more run down. Disney costs a lot more, but they spend a ton on keeping the park fresh, safe, and clean, as well as ride maintenance. Back in December, people got stuck on the Sky Cabin ride at Knott’s for 8 hours. Deplorable. Sure, rides get stuck at Disneyland all the time. But you’re evacuated in minutes, not hours. If I was stuck in the Sky Cabin for that long, I’d be peeing out the window. Just saying.
Universal is really good if you’re into movies/cinema. It’s a working movie studio as well as a theme park. If you’re not into TV or movies, feel free to skip it. But when you take the back lot tour, you’ll get an amazing feeling of deja vu, as if you’ve seen it before. In fact, you have. Hundreds of times. I’d say that I see about 7 commercials, TV shows, and/or movies that have been shot on the lot at Universal. It’s amazing. And I even know the exact spot and camera angle, too. I encourage it if you’re visiting. If you go on a weekday, you don’t need the FOTL pass. But arrive early, and take the first tram tour of the day. That line gets long.
For Disneyland, arrive early as well. Plan on getting here by 7AM. You can ride 4 rides in the first hour alone. Call 714-781-DINE to make reservations to sit down and eat at Cafe Orleans or Carnation Cafe, where the prices are still OK. That will save you a lot of time. Plaza Inn is great for Chicken Dinner. Stay for the parade and fireworks.