Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

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doss
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Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by doss » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:50 am

hey guys,
Maybe someone has some advice here ...

My family and I (spouse and I + a 3yr old) are thinking of attending Disneyland at the end of September 2019. Our plan is to fly from STL to LAX and then visit Disneyland the next day. Perhaps spend another day or two in the area. However, after that, we plan to then drive to Tucson to stay for a couple of days at the El Conquistador Hilton resort and relax. From there, we plan to fly back home to STL.

Is the drive from Anaheim to Tucson a good one? It shows about 7hrs on Google maps. The time doesn't bother me but if it's going to be stop and go traffic the whole way we may end up rethinking this plan.

FeesR-BullNotBullish
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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by FeesR-BullNotBullish » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:59 am

7 hours sounds optimistic. I'd figure 9-10 hours, but I don't drive fast, and I take stops. You might hit traffic getting out of LA and again in Phoenix depending on the time and day. But there's not much in between, so it should be mostly smooth sailing.

mtmingus
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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by mtmingus » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:03 am

Agree with feesR: mostly farm fields in between.
If you have a 3-yr old, why not stop by Sea World in San Diego for a day then back to Tucson or Phoenix?

adamthesmythe
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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:05 am

Once you get out of LA it will be easy. Hot, very hot actually, but an easy drive.

Getting out of LA can take hours, depending.

Glenn
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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by Glenn » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:08 am

I'd figure about 8 hours if you"re making quick stops and avoiding the worst traffic leaving Anaheim and going through Phoenix. Leave just as the morning clog is weakening in southern California (9am + ??) and get to Phoenix before about 4 pm. Mostly desert between Indio and Phoenix.

quantAndHold
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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by quantAndHold » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:12 am

It’s 8+ hours on the freeway through the desert in 100 degree weather. Personally, I would save the 8 hours and find a resort in the LA area, but if you want to see the desert, go to Palm Springs. It’s about 6 hours closer.

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JMacDonald
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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by JMacDonald » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:21 am

You will be traveling East and most the traffic in the morning is traveling West. Having said that, when I leave the LA/Orange county area on a trip, I leave very early in the morning to get out of the area before there is a chance of traffic. Google Map shows the time you would drive without any stops. Allow for more time than seven hours.
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Turbo29
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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by Turbo29 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:42 am

Might consider going to San Diego from Anaheim and then taking I-8, which will bypass Phoenix. It will be a little more distance but might be less time due to avoiding LA traffic and Phoenix traffic.

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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:19 am

Turbo29 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:42 am
Might consider going to San Diego from Anaheim and then taking I-8, which will bypass Phoenix. It will be a little more distance but might be less time due to avoiding LA traffic and Phoenix traffic.
Instead of more northerly routes that are very hot, this is even hotter. But possibly easier.

There are some interesting views in the mountains (hills?) coming out of San Diego. After that...very bleak...

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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by Turbo29 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:24 am

adamthesmythe wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:19 am
Turbo29 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:42 am
Might consider going to San Diego from Anaheim and then taking I-8, which will bypass Phoenix. It will be a little more distance but might be less time due to avoiding LA traffic and Phoenix traffic.
Instead of more northerly routes that are very hot, this is even hotter. But possibly easier.

There are some interesting views in the mountains (hills?) coming out of San Diego. After that...very bleak...
OP said the trip is at the end of Sept. Yes, it can be hot then (~100F) but not like mid-summer (~115F+). Having lived in LA, San Diego, and Phoenix, I prefer I-8.

11cents
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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by 11cents » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:34 am

As you approach Phoenix on I-10, you can take the connector highway 85 due south to I-8. I did this some years ago and avoided the Phoenix traffic.

necrotic
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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by necrotic » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:39 am

I've driven this many times with small children. It's not bad at all as long as the kids are kept happy and entertained. In some stretches of the basin/range/desert the rest-stops/gas stations are spaced far apart but if you are pro-active with potty breaks it's no big deal. The only variable would be if there is a dust storm. I think the desert has a beauty of its own and I like the views. Better than flat midwest for sure where the view doesn't change for miles and miles and miles.

iasw
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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by iasw » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:45 am

Keep an eye on what the new Star Wars land will do to crowds. It is expected to be very busy, but we'll see.

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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by One Ping » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:12 pm

11cents wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:34 am
As you approach Phoenix on I-10, you can take the connector highway 85 due south to I-8. I did this some years ago and avoided the Phoenix traffic.
This! Google says it's virtually the same driving time, but it has less potential for variability because you miss the Phoenix traffic.
"Re-verify our range to target ... one ping only."

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Watty
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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by Watty » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:35 pm

Be sure to price the rental car in both directions. One way rental cars can be very expensive if they don't want the cars moved and dirt cheap when they do. It might be a lot less expensive to go to Tuscan first and then LA.
doss wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:50 am
My family and I (spouse and I + a 3yr old)....
Three years old is pretty young for Disneyland and the kids routine will likely be disrupted from the prior days flight and the time zone changes. That is a lot of effort and money when you consider that the kid will likely be tired and cranky if you try to spend a lot of time in the park.

I would consider saving the Disneyland trip until the kid is older.

From St. Louis going to Disneyworld in Florida would likely make more sense if that is the main purpose of the trip.

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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by MJS » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:01 pm

One Ping wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:12 pm
11cents wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:34 am
As you approach Phoenix on I-10, you can take the connector highway 85 due south to I-8. I did this some years ago and avoided the Phoenix traffic.
This! Google says it's virtually the same driving time, but it has less potential for variability because you miss the Phoenix traffic.
+2. Also, it's a prettier drive.

Finridge
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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by Finridge » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:57 pm

Make sure your AC is in good working order.

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CAsage
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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by CAsage » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:21 pm

One short day at Disneyland, possibly a day at Legoland in Carlsbad (north suburb of San Diego) which is great for young kids, skip the busier rides as their throughput is dreadful, then leave at 4am for the drive to Tucson. You really need to be out of the city (LA or SD) well before 6am, and it takes at least an hour with zero traffic to clear the developed areas with traffic.... The good news, you might be going against traffic. But leaving really early means the kids will sleep through part of the drive.
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IMO
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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by IMO » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:08 am

Biggest issue on going east on 1-10 is to avoid traffic. That's not so simple nowadays in that area because there are not the definitive clear cut with/against traffic patterns of years past. But with that said, east bound traffic is definitively worse on the afternoon rush hour, so don't make it an afternoon starting drive east. It does let up past Riverside area.

Did a recent one way drive from PHX to LA area and was getting into Palm Springs area about 3 pm. Grew up in SoCal but was still awestruck on the sheer volume/crawling aspect of traffic heading east. Not sure who thinks more people in LA is a good thing?

Sept is still pretty warm so heading to San Diego with kid and doing things in San Diego including beaches is a great idea. Be advised, going from Orange County to San Diego at the wrong time can also be a nightmare either taking I-5 or the backway via I-15.

Your timeframe might be a bit early on dirt cheap one-ways into AZ as rental car companies try to move cars back for the PHX/Tuscon winter/spring.

otinkyad
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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by otinkyad » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:37 am

Flights from LAX to Tucson in September start at $49 one way.

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doss
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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by doss » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:27 pm

HI all, thank you.

On second thought, we may end up not doing this drive to Tucson because I see that the average temps for late September are still around mid 90s there. Our 3yr old does not enjoy those temps (neither do we).

So...that means we will probably stay in the LA area. Not sure this is a good idea. We can do Disneyland for a day , but is it worth hitting San Diego/LegoLand and beach for a couple of days before returning back to LA? Any relaxing ideas for the week around that general area before heading back to LAX?

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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by Starfish » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:30 pm

Why would you even drag a 3y old in these places?

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doss
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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by doss » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:45 pm

Starfish wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:30 pm
Why would you even drag a 3y old in these places?
Maybe I'm crazy and don't know it yet? :D Are you saying it's not worth it?

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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by Starfish » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:47 pm

doss wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:45 pm
Starfish wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:30 pm
Why would you even drag a 3y old in these places?
Maybe I'm crazy and don't know it yet? :D Are you saying it's not worth it?
It's torture for all of you...
At least if the kid is 8 it's torture only for the parents.

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doss
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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by doss » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:56 pm

Is that why dad was always in a bad mood when we went as kids? 8-)

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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by BBBob » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:57 pm

I live in LA. Unless you are adamant about LA, I'd spend the time in San Diego...much more pleasant. The beaches in San Diego and Orange County are much nicer too. I'd suggest San Clemente as the northernmost target.

San Diego has the zoo, and a wild animal park that's incredible: See https://www.sdzsafaripark.org/ Also Balboa Park is really neat, and has a neat auto museum (although a 1 yr old and a 3 year old might be bored, they can play outside while your wife lets you do the museum :) )

If you decide not to go into Los Angeles, try to fly into John Wayne Airport in Orange County from STL; its a great airport, Disneyland is in Orange County, and you'll avoid a ton of traffic trying to get there from LAX (although Orange County has traffic too).

Just few thoughts. Whatever you do, have a great time!!

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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by shariq1989 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:08 am

BBBob wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:57 pm
I live in LA. Unless you are adamant about LA, I'd spend the time in San Diego...much more pleasant. The beaches in San Diego and Orange County are much nicer too. I'd suggest San Clemente as the northernmost target.

San Diego has the zoo, and a wild animal park that's incredible: See https://www.sdzsafaripark.org/ Also Balboa Park is really neat, and has a neat auto museum (although a 1 yr old and a 3 year old might be bored, they can play outside while your wife lets you do the museum :) )

If you decide not to go into Los Angeles, try to fly into John Wayne Airport in Orange County from STL; its a great airport, Disneyland is in Orange County, and you'll avoid a ton of traffic trying to get there from LAX (although Orange County has traffic too).

Just few thoughts. Whatever you do, have a great time!!
I agree! Not worth it to drive to Tuscon for a resort. You can do plenty of stuff or just stay at a hotel and walk the harbor in beautiful San Diego.

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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:45 am

doss wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:45 pm
Starfish wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:30 pm
Why would you even drag a 3y old in these places?
Maybe I'm crazy and don't know it yet? :D Are you saying it's not worth it?
If your kid isn't clamoring to go...maybe take him somewhere cheaper, easier, and more in tune with his attention span.

Even if an older kid WANTS to go to Disneyland...there is no guarantee that he will actually enjoy most of the experience.

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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by Turbo29 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:02 am

doss wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:27 pm
HI all, thank you.

On second thought, we may end up not doing this drive to Tucson because I see that the average temps for late September are still around mid 90s there. Our 3yr old does not enjoy those temps (neither do we).

So...that means we will probably stay in the LA area. Not sure this is a good idea. We can do Disneyland for a day , but is it worth hitting San Diego/LegoLand and beach for a couple of days before returning back to LA? Any relaxing ideas for the week around that general area before heading back to LAX?
It can get in the 90's in Los Angeles in late September too (Google "Santa Ana winds").

I laugh, it's going to be 108F today here in Phoenix. It's great, all the snowbirds left at the first sign of the 90s ("Heeeeelp me I'm meeeeeeelting"), all the idiots are off the roads now. Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, Canadian plates very rare now. They left their money, now go home. The best time of year.

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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by researcher » Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:08 am

Starfish wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:47 pm
doss wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:45 pm
Starfish wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:30 pm
Why would you even drag a 3y old in these places?
Maybe I'm crazy and don't know it yet? :D Are you saying it's not worth it?
It's torture for all of you...
At least if the kid is 8 it's torture only for the parents.
This hasn't been my experience at all.

I'm no Disney/theme park fanatic.
However, I have family in FL, and we've taken our young kids to Disneyworld, SeaWorld and Animal Kingdom.
Both parents and kids have had an enjoyable time at all of these places.

I like lots of variety and different experiences in my life, and we have exposed our kids to the same at a young age.
They have fun doing all sorts of things...theme parks, beaches, lakes, mountains, museums, historical stuff, ect.

People make a big deal about this topic. Just use common sense. This isn't rocket science.
Don't go at a peak time, arrive early to avoid crowds, stay close to the park, leave when you/your kids get tired, bring your own breakfast/lunch to minimize cost & wait times.

Glenn
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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by Glenn » Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:38 pm

I laugh, it's going to be 108F today here in Phoenix. It's great, all the snowbirds left at the first sign of the 90s ("Heeeeelp me I'm meeeeeeelting"), all the idiots are off the roads now.
I'm in Arizona and have to disagree. Not all the idiot are off the roads; we have plenty that live here year round!

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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by Turbo29 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:41 pm

Glenn wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:38 pm
I laugh, it's going to be 108F today here in Phoenix. It's great, all the snowbirds left at the first sign of the 90s ("Heeeeelp me I'm meeeeeeelting"), all the idiots are off the roads now.
I'm in Arizona and have to disagree. Not all the idiot are off the roads; we have plenty that live here year round!
Actually you're right.

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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by NoVa Lurker » Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:02 pm

researcher wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:08 am
Starfish wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:47 pm
doss wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:45 pm
Starfish wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:30 pm
Why would you even drag a 3y old in these places?
Maybe I'm crazy and don't know it yet? :D Are you saying it's not worth it?
It's torture for all of you...
At least if the kid is 8 it's torture only for the parents.
This hasn't been my experience at all.

I'm no Disney/theme park fanatic.
However, I have family in FL, and we've taken our young kids to Disneyworld, SeaWorld and Animal Kingdom.
Both parents and kids have had an enjoyable time at all of these places.

I like lots of variety and different experiences in my life, and we have exposed our kids to the same at a young age.
They have fun doing all sorts of things...theme parks, beaches, lakes, mountains, museums, historical stuff, ect.

People make a big deal about this topic. Just use common sense. This isn't rocket science.
Don't go at a peak time, arrive early to avoid crowds, stay close to the park, leave when you/your kids get tired, bring your own breakfast/lunch to minimize cost & wait times.
Agree 100%! We have taken all kinds of vacations with our kids at different ages, and some of the amusement park trips when they were younger were our favorite. With pre-school kids, there really is not much easier than a well-planned Disney trip. At the toddler stage, East Coast beaches were a real challenge, lugging all the stuff to and from the beach and trying to keep the kids out of the sun / sunscreened and safe with the wave breaks.

Both San Diego and Disneyland/California Adventure are absolutely wonderful places to go with young kids, and September is a great time to do both. Absolutely worth it for the memories, and they can be very affordable. With Disneyland, there are tons of nice, cheap hotels on Harbor Blvd, and in SD you can stay anywhere (the many hotels in Mission Valley / Hotel Circle are not exciting but they provide a good central location) and just drive where you want to go.

I wouldn't drive across Arizona in September, with or without kids, unless I had a good reason.

tesuzuki2002
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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by tesuzuki2002 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:19 pm

Once you clear out of LA you will be fine... which isn't a big deal! the Drive is great! I just spent last week down along the 8 in Jacumba, Octillo, El Centro.. and interesting part of the desert!!!

The El Cajon Mountains are neat!

Not sure how much fun a 3 year old will have out there..

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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by Carefreeap » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:34 am

Turbo29 wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:41 pm
Glenn wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:38 pm
I laugh, it's going to be 108F today here in Phoenix. It's great, all the snowbirds left at the first sign of the 90s ("Heeeeelp me I'm meeeeeeelting"), all the idiots are off the roads now.
I'm in Arizona and have to disagree. Not all the idiot are off the roads; we have plenty that live here year round!
Actually you're right.
Lol, you guys crack me up! And you sound just like my husband. We lived in Carefree for six years and enjoyed most of our time there (still have the house). My husband loved the summers "when he could get his town back". :wink:

quantAndHold
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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by quantAndHold » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:03 am

For what looks like a 5 day trip, I would pick either LA or San Diego. There’s enough to do either place that there’s no need to do a lot of gratuitous driving around in traffic.

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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by jlawrence01 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:37 am

doss wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:50 am
My family and I (spouse and I + a 3yr old) are thinking of attending Disneyland at the end of September 2019. Our plan is to fly from STL to LAX and then visit Disneyland the next day. Perhaps spend another day or two in the area. However, after that, we plan to then drive to Tucson to stay for a couple of days at the El Conquistador Hilton resort and relax. From there, we plan to fly back home to STL.

Is the drive from Anaheim to Tucson a good one? It shows about 7hrs on Google maps. The time doesn't bother me but if it's going to be stop and go traffic the whole way we may end up rethinking this plan.

Two things.

First, the drive between Orange County and Tucson is approximately 8-9 hours depending on the number of stops and the level of traffic in the Los Angeles area. Once you get into San Bernadino County, it is generally smooth sailing. Over the years, I have never found it a good idea to predict how long it will take to get out of Orange County, however.

What is the deal with Tucson? There is nothing in Tucson that you cannot get at Palm Springs in the summer at similar prices. Also, flights from Tucson - St. Louis are often much higher than flying out of LAX or SAN.

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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by adamthesmythe » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:42 pm

Glenn wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:38 pm
I laugh, it's going to be 108F today here in Phoenix. It's great, all the snowbirds left at the first sign of the 90s ("Heeeeelp me I'm meeeeeeelting"), all the idiots are off the roads now.
I'm in Arizona and have to disagree. Not all the idiot are off the roads; we have plenty that live here year round!
They are just different idiots in the summer. Usually they drive pickups.

> There is nothing in Tucson that you cannot get at Palm Springs

There is the Desert Museum, which is unique and fantastic. But not an ideal summer destination.

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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by jlawrence01 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:47 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:42 pm

> There is nothing in Tucson that you cannot get at Palm Springs

There is the Desert Museum, which is unique and fantastic. But not an ideal summer destination.

I will agree with you that it is a great attraction. HOWEVER, want to guess how many animals you are going to see? Maybe a few birds and a couple of otters. Most of the animals are hibernating and staying out of the heat.

Unfortunately, we have out of town guests coming in July and they'll want to head there.

I would still say to stay in coastal areas like Laguna Beach or Newport Beach and hit Tucson when the weather is more pleasant.

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Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Post by adamthesmythe » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:01 pm

> But not an ideal summer destination.

Not a regular smilie user- is there one for ironic understatement?

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