Universal 2-Day Park-to-Park Ticket with Volcano Bay Water Theme Park + 3 Extra Days Save $124
Ticket expires in full on December 20, 2019. No blackout dates apply.

Taking Public Transportation to Disneyland and Universal Studios

by Leap on May 4, 2019 42 San Diego

The people of Southern California have a love affair with their cars. They love the freedom and control that driving gives them, but with a dense local population, all of those cars on the roads can lead to terrible traffic. When you are on vacation, you want to relax like you’re chilling on a lily pad, floating downstream and watching the scenery pass by. Doesn’t that sound better than feeling like Frogger while dodging brake lights on unfamiliar freeways? If traffic and parking stresses you out, then taking public transportation to Disneyland and Universal Studios might put you in a hoppier state of mind.

Public Transportation to Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood - Disney California Adventure Street Entertainers

We frogs have been getting a lot of questions from our customers on alternative ways to get to Disneyland or Universal Studios, so we hopped on the trains and did the research for you. It turns out it’s easier and less stressful than we thought! Some of these methods will save you some green compared to paying for gas and parking. We love saving money, and we bet you do, too! Here’s how to hop on public transportation to Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Taking Public Transportation to and from Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood

All Aboard! Taking the Train to Disneyland

Public Transportation to Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood - Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center

Whether you are coming from Los Angeles, South Orange County, North San Diego or Riverside/San Bernardino, you can jump on the train to the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC). This giant dome of a building is located within walking distance of both Angels Stadium and The Honda Center (where the Ducks play). Kids love trains, so the ride to Disneyland just might be equally exciting as visiting Disneyland itself!

The Amtrak Pacific Surfliner offers daily service between San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. Both Pacific Surfliner and Metrolink train tickets will get you a free shuttle from ARTIC on Route 15. To take the shuttle after exiting the train, use the elevator or stairs to cross the bridge from the platform to the station. Exit on the right side of the station, which is the same side as the Amtrak ticket window. Head to Bus Bay 12 to hop on the Anaheim Resort Transit to Disneyland. Route 15 operates every 20 minutes, and the bus trip takes about 10-15 minutes. The bus will drop you off just outside of the security checkpoint off of Harbor Boulevard. Route 14 also takes guests to the Disneyland Resort.

Shuttles follow Disneyland hours, so they start usually an hour before park opening, and the last shuttles leave about 20 minutes after park closing. Keep in mind that in comparison, it can easily take much longer than the shuttle ride to park at Disneyland Resort and wait for a resort shuttle, so you might be able to maximize your time if you don’t drive to the resort. To head back to the station, walk back to the transportation area and wait at #15 to take Route 15 back to the station. Be sure to show your train ticket.

How much does this cost? An adult weekday roundtrip Metrolink or Amtrak ticket varies based on day and distance. The bus fare is $5 per adult and $2 per child for all-day passes. Prices of all tickets are subject to change. There is free parking at ARTIC, so you can also park there and take the shuttle. In comparison with driving yourself, parking at Disneyland costs $25 per day.

Public Transportation to Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood - Train at North Beach

There are many great day trips you can make using the trains. You can travel up to Union Station in LA, which is located near Olvera Street Historic District. You can also take the train for day trips down to south Orange County to historic San Juan Capistrano (home of the Mission and petting zoo) or San Clemente (one of the best beach towns with great walking trails, dining, shopping and a pier).

Hopping on the Bus to Disneyland

Taking Public Transportation to Disneyland - Public Bus

Keep in mind that if you are staying in Anaheim, you can use the buses to get around. Some offsite hotels offer free shuttles to Disneyland, and some offer transportation for a fee. There are bus stops outside many Anaheim hotels, so you can simply hop on buses from your hotel to Disneyland to avoid the hassle of parking. Tell the tadpoles it's their first ride of the day!

If you are coming from further inland, such as Riverside and San Bernardino, you can take the Commuterlink Express Bus 200 for just $3 each way ($2 for seniors/disabled/veterans) and get dropped off just outside of security. The bus starts at 3:42 a.m. weekdays and 6:00 a.m. weekends. (The early frogs get the flies, we always say. And at Disneyland the “flies” happen to be arriving for Magic Morning or rope drop.)

The last bus leaves Anaheim at 9:29 p.m. weekdays and 9:09 p.m. weekends. (Times subject to change.) The route pick-up and drop-off locations include:

  • San Bernardino Downtown Transit Center
  • Downtown Riverside at Lemon & University
  • Downtown Riverside Metrolink Station
  • Riverside Galleria at Tyler
  • La Sierra Metrolink Station
  • The Village at Orange
  • Disneyland (Harbor Blvd. near East Shuttle Way)

The Commuterlink busses have Wi-Fi, charging ports and comfortable seating. Ribbit, ribbit!

Hopping on the Disneyland Express to Disneyland

If you fly in and your one and only stop is Disneyland, there’s no need to rent a car. Hop on the Disneyland Express from LAX or Orange County airports to your hotel, whether it is on or off Disney property. Buses depart about every hour from each airport. Did you know you can save money by booking your Disneyland Resort Express trip through Undercover Tourist? Hop aboard for savings and smooth travels!

Getting to Universal Studios Hollywood

Public Transportation to Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood - Union Station

It may not be the Hogwarts Express, but you CAN take a train to Universal Studios from Union Station In LA. From Union Station (which has trains coming to it from all directions in the surrounding areas via Amtrak and Metrolink), you can use your Metrolink ticket to transfer to the Red Line Metro Rail subway. Travel on the Red Line Westbound the direction of North Hollywood, and exit at Universal City/Studio City. There you will find a free shuttle that will take you right to the front gate of Universal Studios Hollywood. The shuttle runs every 10-15 minutes, seven days a week from 7:00 a.m. until two hours after park closing.

Note that if you are already in the LA area, you can probably buy the Metro Rail tickets for much less if you do not need to use Metrolink to get to Union Station. You can find the Metro train schedule here. Be sure to check your dates before your trip just to be sure there aren’t any closures or changes.

Public Transportation to Universal Studios Hollywood - Hogwarts Express

We recommend buying your Universal Studios Hollywood tickets in advance since they are much more expensive at the gate. Our tickets can save you up to $26 from the Front Gate ticket window prices (depending on when you want to visit). If you are taking Harry Potter fans to the Wizarding World, you can pretend that the train really is the Hogwarts Express. That’s the best we can offer since you can’t arrive by broomstick, Floo powder, portkey or by disapparating. But if we figure out how to arrive by magic, we’ll let you know!

Here are some Metro tips worth noting: The Metrolink tickets are also good for Metro buses. Also, there is a new Metro rail line that takes riders to Santa Monica! Santa Monica is home to the iconic pier and beautiful beach.

Using Bus Tours

There are a number of companies that offer transportation and tours between LA and Orange County. Some of them take you from your hotel in Anaheim to Universal Studios Hollywood and include a bus tour of Hollywood. You will have to shop around for the best deal, but a family of four can expect to pay about $120 to $200 for this service, and much more if it includes theme park tickets. You might have to weigh the cost of taking the train or simply renting a car and parking. Parking at Universal costs $25 per car (more if you choose closer parking).

If you are flying in and need transportation, you might consider the nonstop LAX FlyAway buses. They can get you from the airport to Union Station and locations throughout the city, including Hollywood, inexpensively. From those locations, you can hop on the Red Line to Universal City.

You have to weigh in your family’s ages, time schedule, interests and budget to find the right form of transportation for you. For some people, being able to relax on a train or bus rather than navigating traffic and unfamiliar freeways (which can stretch up to seven lanes wide in some spots yet shrink down to one lane in others) is priceless. For others, they want to come and go on their own without adhering to a schedule.

We are hoppy to present the various options in travel planning so you can find the plan that works best for you and your family. Have a question about public transportation to Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood? Share it in comments below.

Related: Transportation To and Around Los Angeles

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
View Comments
<<  Newer Posts | Older Posts  >>
Mar 27, 2019 at 4:42 a.m. Bubbles Says...

Is there a place to park my car if I decide to use the free shuttle? For example, can I park at the metro station or somewhere close by?

Reply
Apr 9, 2019 at 7:43 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Bubbles!

The Metro parking lots say "No Universal Parking.” We have not located any free parking in the area. If you find any, please let us know!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 26, 2019 at 7:46 a.m. Dawn Says...

Hi! I'm hoping to meet up with friends from elsewhere in the country at Universal Studios in CA. I was looking at taking a train from Chico, CA but I'm not sure what to use for the nearest train station to Universal Studios. Help!

Reply
Feb 27, 2019 at 9:05 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Dawn!

The largest station is Union Station in Los Angeles. From there, the Red Line Metro rail subway to North Hollywood will take you to the Universal City station just down the hill from Universal Studios, but the Red Line doesn’t run all hours to that station, so be sure to check the hours for the day you visit. If it is down, you can catch a taxi or Uber to Union Station from Universal.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 6, 2019 at 5:35 a.m. Kristy Says...

We will be staying at the Fairfield by Disneyland but would like to spend one day at Universal studios. We are a family of 4, 2 adults and 2 children. What would be the best way to travel from Disneyland to Universal sontjat we can get there before it opens. Thank you!!!

Reply
Feb 8, 2019 at 1:50 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kristy!

Driving is going to be the best way, even with traffic. Look at when the park opens and plan to leave your hotel about an hour and half before that. If you want to shave 10-15 minutes off your walk from parking to security at the front gate, choose preferred parking over regular parking.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 20, 2018 at 5:50 p.m. Geraldine Says...

Staying in Hollywood. What would be the most convenient way if any for public transportation to get to Disneyland for 1 day?

Reply
Nov 28, 2018 at 10:02 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Geraldine!

You can take the Red Line subway from Hollywood to Union Station in LA and then take either Metro Link or Amtrak train to Anaheim and then a bus to Disneyland. There are some shuttle busses you could take you directly from Hollywood to Anaheim. There are tour busses that get you to Disneyland about 8:30 am and leave about 8:15 pm that run about $45 per person, but that does not offer any flexibility if you want to stay for nighttime entertainment. A cab may cost you over $100 each way. Sometimes renting a car and braving the traffic offers the most flexibility and may be the cheapest and fastest option, especially since you should be traveling against the flow of traffic.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Aug 3, 2018 at 6:10 a.m. melinda Says...

Hi, we are a family of 5, what transportation should we take to go to universal studios from comfort inn cockatoo hotel? thanks

Reply
Aug 8, 2018 at 10:08 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Melinda,

We suggest renting a car and driving or taking a bus tour that covers Universal Studios Hollywood and maybe Hollywood. You could also look into a private shuttle company for door to door service. From where you are staying, public transportation would be complicated and time consuming, and maybe not really cost effective for 5 people!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 17, 2018 at 4:45 p.m. Simone Meyerowitz Says...

Hi,

Arriving in LA on the 8th December. What do you recommend we should do first Universal or Disneyland?

And do you agree to spend 3 days in Hollywood/Universal Studio and then 3 days in Anaheim?

Last question, where to look for the best ticket deals?

Thank you

Reply
Jul 17, 2018 at 4:27 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Simone!

Look no further! The best ticket deals can be found right here on our site.

You've picked a great time to visit. Our Crowd Calendar predicts that it won't be too busy for any part of your trip! We recommend saving the best for last ... whatever that means for your family! If you are most excited for Universal, then do Disneyland first -- and vice versa.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 23, 2018 at 4:10 a.m. Brooks Says...

It appears that there is a park & ride lot at the Universal City metro stop that only charges $3 to park for the day. Would there be any issue with parking at the park & ride and getting on the shuttle to Universal Studios? How long would it take on the shuttle and how often does it come?

Reply
May 24, 2018 at 1:45 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Brooks,

There is a paid park and ride lot on Lankershim and a new Metro pedestrian bridge at the corner of Lankershim and Universal Hollywood Drive, to provide safe and easy access from the Universal City Red Line and Bus Stations to the free Universal Studios shuttle stop. The shuttles run every 10 to 15 minutes.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 21, 2018 at 11:16 p.m. Jamie Stickney Says...

Hi my 2 friends and I are going to Universal around November 3 or 4 and then to Disneyland and were wondering what would you recommend getting back and forth to them?How much would the price be and location of your recommendation in California?:)

Reply
May 1, 2018 at 2:54 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jamie,

You can look into taking the Metrolink train and the ART shuttle. You can also consider taking an Amtrak. Or if you don't want to rely on buses and trains, then we recommend renting a car!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 23, 2018 at 5:26 p.m. Sue Hughes Says...

We're a family party of 10 staying in the Art of Animation resort Florida but would like to l go to Universal studios and Seaworld. What would you suggest as the most cost effective and convenient way??

Reply
Feb 25, 2018 at 12:59 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sue!

We would recommend grabbing an Uber to the other parks. They aren't too far away, and this is a cost effective option. By the way - great choice with Art of Animation! This is one of our favorites.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 16, 2017 at 3:06 p.m. Chris Says...

Can you discuss transportation from the airport to universal? Is uber an optio/ There are 5 of us. Thanks

Reply
Oct 16, 2017 at 10:41 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Chris,

Ridesharing such as Uber or Lyft is always an option. You may also take LA Metro. Use the LAX FlyAway to Union Station and transfer to the Red Line. Your stop will be Universal City Station.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 2, 2017 at 4:07 a.m. Susan Says...

Hi. We are wanting to get to Universal Studios from Orchid Avenue Hollywood. Is there a shuttle we could use? Or do you have any suggestions for using public bus? Thank you!!

Reply
Oct 2, 2017 at 9:42 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Susan,

Visit the LA Metro web site and use their trip planner to plan your route!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 17, 2017 at 5:31 p.m. Melissa Says...

Can I take Amtrak to universal studios from San Diego how close will it take me?

Reply
Aug 17, 2017 at 2:34 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi,

Your Amtrack train would take you to Union Station. From there, you'd take a bus, taxi or rideshare. The Metro RedLine also runs to Universal Studios.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 31, 2017 at 8:04 a.m. Amy Says...

Hi, is there any shuttle go from Disneyland to Universal Studio?

Reply
Jan 31, 2017 at 7:58 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amy,

There are some bus companies that provide pay transportation from Anaheim to Universal. Look for Gray Line and Prime Time Shuttle!

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 10, 2016 at 7:07 p.m. Terry Says...

We would like to take public transportation to Universal Studios from the Lagunna Beach, California area. We will have a rental car. Your advice on a public transportation route would be greatly appreciated since we will only be visiting and aren't from that area.

Reply
Dec 27, 2016 at 11:26 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Terry,

--Using your rental car will give you the most flexibility in terms of time--and the fastest route, even with traffic. If you want to take the train, you can take a train from either Laguna Niguel or Irvine up to Union Station n LA. Then take the red line subway (included in Metrolink train ticket) to Universal. A shuttle can take you to the park entrance or you can walk to escalators near the Universal parking structure. You do need to check the time schedule for subway trains back to Union Station and then train times from Union station back to your stop in Orange County in advance to make sure that they work for you. The subway pauses in the afternoon for a few hours, making a late afternoon or evening departure more challenging. You could Uber to Union Station if you can't catch a subway. If you want to stay late you may be better off driving your rental car. Be aware that Universal just increased parking to $20.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 10, 2016 at 9:29 a.m. Kylie Says...

Hi,

Am thinking about your public transport option from Disneyland to universal. But also wondering if it would be realistic to plan to go from universal studio after it closes then onto the Hollywood boulevard for the walk of fame and perhaps dinner- we have 3 kids youngest is 11. If we did this and decided it was too late to try catching public transport home, do you have an idea of costs to return to Anaheim via taxi?

Thanks for all you info.

Reply
Oct 12, 2016 at 10:13 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kylie,

Be sure to check Amtrak for the trip home because its trains leave later than Metrolink ... around 10 p.m. Cab fare can vary based on company and time of day. We suggest you get a quote for a flat fee if you can. Expect to pay somewhere between $50 and $120.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 25, 2016 at 10:05 p.m. Lisa Says...

Hi my family of 3 will be going from Anaheim to universal studios then to the airport. We don't know what to do with our luggage. Any suggestions

Reply
Oct 12, 2016 at 10:37 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lisa,

There are lockers at CityWalk that are 50 x 18 x 23 inches. Lockers in the park are 16 ½ x 20 x 35 inches.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 28, 2016 at 7:08 a.m. Renee Says...

Hi, with regards to the lockers at Citywalk have you an idea of the cost and if it's first in first serve or are there plenty? Like Lisa I'll have luggage that I'm not wanting to drag around Universal. Thanks :)

Reply
Nov 3, 2016 at 1:55 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Renee,

Many hotels will store your luggage even if your room is not available. The largest lockers at Universal are 21 1/2 x 11 x 16. They are first come, first serve.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 10, 2016 at 11:22 p.m. Michelle Shaw Says...

Is their a tour company you can recommend to get to Universal Studios. Taking the trains seem to take longer than perhaps a bus would.

Reply
Jul 18, 2016 at 10:21 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Michelle,

We have not used any tour companies, but they can take a similar amount of time as trains due to traffic. But a tour might be easier to navigate and be more relaxing.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 27, 2016 at 2:47 p.m. maryanne ulrich Says...

How about when you leave Universal , whats the best way to get to back to Anaheim ?

Reply
Jul 18, 2016 at 10:18 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Maryanne,

If you are taking public transportation, you'll have to look at the metro and train schedules to make sure that you leave in time to catch the trains. There are some gaps in the Metro schedule going back to Union Station, so be sure to look those up in advance.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 2, 2016 at 8:05 p.m. Ogbnne Says...

Hi , I plan to visit ca in August. Can this ARTIC train take me to south coast plaza and the fashion island ?

Reply
Jul 18, 2016 at 10:10 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

The train does not go to these locations. You can take the ART busses from ARTIC to South Coast Plaza and Main Place Mall but they do not have a line to Fashion Island.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 4, 2016 at 6:52 p.m. Amy Johns Says...

Hi, this is excellent information. I am going to Disneyland in October and we are staying across the street. However and we are throwing in a day at universal, how does the metrolink option work if we want to go that route.

Reply
May 9, 2016 at 2:34 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amy,

You can take a bus to the Metrolink Station in Anaheim, and take the Orange County Line to Union Station in LA (about 54 minutes). There, you can use your Metrolink ticket to transfer to the Metro red line (it's easy—we just did it—and it will take another 20 to 30 minutes). Exit at Universal City. Across the street from the station you can find a free Universal Studios shuttle. The shuttle runs every 10 to 15 minutes from 7 AM until 2 hours after the park closes. Be sure to check train schedules online to plan out your journey there and back!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Leave a comment
Name is required. Email is required. Please input a comment.
About Us
About Undercover Tourist

Undercover Tourist is the leading supplier of online discount tickets to Orlando, Florida-area attractions, including Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Orlando ResortTM, SeaWorld® Orlando Resort, LEGOLAND® Florida Resort and more.

Sign up for our newsletter!
Please enter your Name
Please enter your Email address
Now Offering
donaldduck

disneyland® resort california

Theme Park Tickets!
footer grass

Contact:  1 (800) 846-1302 (USA)  |  1 (386) 239-8624 (Worldwide)

Sign up for Our Newsletter Let's Plan a Better Family Vacation

monthly news, planning tips and special deals

Please enter your Name
Please enter your Email address

Contact Us

Send Feedback

Or call 1 (800) 846-1302 (USA)

1 (386) 239-8624 (Worldwide)


©2000–2019 Undercover Tourist. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions
As to Disney photos, logos, properties: ©Disney
lilypad
Newsletter logo

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

monthly news, planning tips and special deals from the Frog Family

Please enter your Name Please enter your Email address
×

Thank you for joining our email list!

Joined email list logo

You should be receiving your first email soon!
Thanks for being a part of the family.

×

Create An Account

In order to save your favorite items, you'll need to create an account.
Already have one? Sign in.

An Undercover Tourist account allows you to:

Join The Frog Family
No thanks ×
Planning an upcoming vacation?

Sign up to receive our newsletter with free printable park plans, FastPass+ recommendations and more!

Error. Please try again.


Nope, I'm not going on a trip.