Flying to Disneyland? Some Los Angeles officials would like you to switch airports
By Robert NilesA consultant hired by the Los Angeles-area airport authority is floating a plan to encourage more Disneyland visitors to fly into the LA area using the Ontario, California airport, instead of LAX.
Published: October 22, 2009 at 7:40 AM
On Monday Peggy Ducey pitched a suggestion to offer discounted theme park tickets and/or hotel and airfare rebates to visitors who flew through Ontario, which is located about 40 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, on the I-10 freeway.
LAX is waaay overcrowded at times, and in desperate need of an overhaul. At the same time, passenger volume is dropping in Ontario, which is a relatively new and efficiently designed airport. (Both airports are controlled by the same authority.)
Ducey's plan isn't anywhere near happening, though. A Disneyland spokesperson acknowledged the suggestion, but reacted cooly to the pitch.
"We were pleased to listen to Los Angeles World Airports’ regional plan and we are always interested opportunities that might benefit our Guests," Disneyland spokesperson Suzi Brown replied to me in an e-mail. "However, we have made no commitments and it would be extremely premature to discuss any details."
The majority of Disneyland visitors these days are locals, with an estimated 800,000 annual passholders in the Southern California area. Disneyland does not release attendance data, but airline visitors are thought to make up only a small percentage of Disneyland visitors. And most of those visit a variety of other attractions in the Los Angeles area, many of which are on the city's west side, far away from Ontario.
How far is Ontario? This week, the Los Angeles Lakers played an exhibition game in the new arena there, located across the freeway from the airport. It took the Lakers two and a half hours to get there by bus from their practice facility on the west side.
If air travelers are looking for a more convenient option for visiting Disneyland, Orange County's John Wayne airport would seem the more logical choice, being only 14 miles from the "Happiest Place on Earth."
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