How would you do both Yosemite and Disneyland?

Lucky'sMom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 7, 1999
I am in the VERY early stages of hopefully planning a late June/early July trip to California. DL would be the main attraction, but I also want to do the Warner Bros. tour, an LA tour and spend a day at a beach (Huntington?). DH mentioned visiting the Grand Canyon, but that's at least an 8 hour drive. I was looking into Yosemite, but I guess that's at least 6-7 hours away. If you were going to do both the Anaheim area and Yosemite, how would plan it? Would you fly into somewhere more northern, like San Francisco and then fly out of Orange County airport? Or would you fly into and out of the LA area and drive up to Yosemite for a couple of nights? I'm not sure if hitting both is really doable, but we'd like the kids to see a National Park, if possible. Thanks for any thoughts. :)
 

KCmike

Never have fallen asleep on any
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
How long do you have for the trip?

We did this a few summer's ago. We did the complete circle road trip. We flew into LAX and then drove up the coast (hwy 1, PCH) and hit Monterey, SF, Yosemite, and then down to Disneyland. A lot of driving and a lot of fun.

We are headed back this year and are thinking of driving long distance this time. We usually fly so this is a big deal for us.

Yosemite needs 2-3 days to fully enjoy. Also this late in the season the waterfalls will be pretty dried up.

Yosemite is Heaven on Earth.

Feel free to ask any questions.
 
  • bcla

    On our rugged Eastern foothills.....
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2012
    I'm kind of short on logistical recommendations since I live in California and wouldn't normally think of such things since logistics are dictated by where I live. However, Yosemite is my favorite place in the world, and I think I could be of some help with locations to visit within Yosemite once your traveling plans are solid.
     

    sheetz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 13, 2012
    I guess it depends on how much you are willing to spend. Cheapest is probably flying into LAX and driving to Yosemite with a rental car. Easiest (and most expensive) would be doing an open jaw PA to LAX to Fresno.
     

    Lucky'sMom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 7, 1999
    I'll be using Southwest points for 4 of the 6 people's flights. Thanks for the replies so far!
     

    usnuzuloose

    Loosing Boo Boo
    Joined
    Sep 20, 2009
    Even flying into san fransico or sacramento it is still a drive to Yosemite. It is a very windy road. But it is a little easier than driving from southern california
     
  • bcla

    On our rugged Eastern foothills.....
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2012
    Even flying into san fransico or sacramento it is still a drive to Yosemite. It is a very windy road. But it is a little easier than driving from southern california
    Fresno is the closest large airport. However, Fresno is apparently the most populous city in the US that isn't served by Southwest.
     

    czmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 26, 2011
    We are doing this in August!

    Flying into Oakland (SWA) for 2 nights in SF
    Drive to Yosemite for 3 nights
    Drive to Anaheim for 5 nights at VGC
    Fly out of LAX or SNA

    My issue now is finding a one way car rental. I know it's still 7 months away, but prices are at $1000!!! That's insane.
     

    czmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 26, 2011
    Also- I was told it would be 4 hrs roughly from SF to Yosemite and then 6 hrs from Yosemite to DL.
     

    junmatno

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 26, 2012
    We are doing this in August! Flying into Oakland (SWA) for 2 nights in SF Drive to Yosemite for 3 nights Drive to Anaheim for 5 nights at VGC Fly out of LAX or SNA My issue now is finding a one way car rental. I know it's still 7 months away, but prices are at $1000!!! That's insane.
    Are you Costco Members? If so go to Costcotravel.com.

    You can find a cheap price then reserve. No payment required.
    Check back once a week to see if price has gone down and rebook, then just cancel original reservation.
    They have ALL the companies.
     
  • czmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 26, 2011
    We are. That's where I got my quote last week. Maybe I need to look again.

    Still at $1000. Crazy!
     

    WebmasterMaryJo

    Techarita
    Staff member
    Administrator
    Joined
    Dec 15, 1998
    It's 6 hours from DL to the entrance of Yosemite. Then you have another 45 minutes to get to the valley, which is where most of the tourists go. I would use 7 hours for driving time from the LA area to Yosemite, and consider anything less to be a bonus. If you leave LA during rush hour you will need to add to your driving time.
     

    czmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 26, 2011
    It's 6 hours from DL to the entrance of Yosemite. Then you have another 45 minutes to get to the valley, which is where most of the tourists go. I would use 7 hours for driving time from the LA area to Yosemite, and consider anything less to be a bonus. If you leave LA during rush hour you will need to add to your driving time.
    We will be leaving from Mariposa Grove on a Sunday morning, which is why I was thinking 5/6 hours to DL. Does that sound reslistic? No traffic on Sundays and we will be on the South end of the park already.
     

    bcla

    On our rugged Eastern foothills.....
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2012
    We will be leaving from Mariposa Grove on a Sunday morning, which is why I was thinking 5/6 hours to DL. Does that sound reslistic? No traffic on Sundays and we will be on the South end of the park already.
    Google Maps is estimating almost 6 hours with no traffic. Strangely I'm getting 5-1/2 hours with current traffic, but who knows what that means. I wouldn't count on getting there in 6 hours. You're going to need a break somewhere for gas/food/bathroom. Even midday or weekends there can be unpredictable traffic - especially if there's an accident. I was delayed around Tejon Pass once when there was a large brush fire. I've arrived on a weekend evening and encountered bumper to bumper traffic on I-5. Southern California traffic defies all that is normal about traffic patterns. You could conceivably get stuck in traffic on CA-99 in Fresno or Bakersfield. Even if everything goes well, I'd guess with a brief stop along the way you're looking at 6-1/2 hours.

    My advice would just be to budget extra time. Come in with the attitude that being late 2-3 hours is OK, and be pleasantly surprised if you arrive earlier.
     

    czmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 26, 2011
    Thanks! It's just our travel day, so not really too worried. But the less time in the car, the better. :goodvibes

    We are from Houston and have horrible traffic here too. But typically Sundays are okay.
     

    USCAnna

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 12, 2012
    What an awesome idea...why haven't I thought of this? We are tentatively planning a Yosemite trip (2016, so just in the "talking" phase) and I hadn't even considered adding in DL! I've never been...what a great idea. Thanks!
     

    MarbleBob

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 20, 2003
    Similar to KCMike, we are doing this as a massive road trip from St. Louis in June.

    Driving to San Francisco via Hwy 80.
    4 Nights in San Francisco (east of the bay, in Hayward)
    2 Nights in Yosemite (Curry Village - rooms already booked)
    5 Nights Anaheim (TBD - probably Candy Cane Inn)
    1 Night Grand Canyon
    Driving back to St. Louis via Hwy 40/44

    We don't have all the details worked out but some highlights are:
    San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge; Disney Family Museum; Fisherman's Wharf/Pier 39/Ride the Cable Cars; Japantown and Chinatown; Muir beach/woods; Sonoma; etc.

    Yosemite: We'll only have 1.5 days here :( Probably spend most of it in the Valley. Hopefully, enough time to squeeze in a drive up to Glacier Point. Maybe see the Mariposa Grove on the way out.

    LA/Anaheim: Leaving Yosemite very early on a Sunday morning so that we can visit Walt's Barn in Griffith Park. (As it's only open once a month, we timed the whole trip around this.); And then 1 day each at Disneyland and California Adventure; 2 days exploring LA. (Or 1 day exploring and a 3rd day at Disneyland.)

    Leaving Anaheim early on our departure day, for a quick one night pit stop at the Grand Canyon south rim (room is already booked). Probably just enough to explore for a couple hours and see the sunset.
     

    GrandBob

    Grand events should not go unnoticed
    Joined
    Oct 30, 2007
    Similar to KCMike, we are doing this as a massive road trip from St. Louis in June.

    Driving to San Francisco via Hwy 80.
    4 Nights in San Francisco (east of the bay, in Hayward)
    2 Nights in Yosemite (Curry Village - rooms already booked)
    5 Nights Anaheim (TBD - probably Candy Cane Inn)
    1 Night Grand Canyon
    Driving back to St. Louis via Hwy 40/44
    You're doing the first two stops backwards, costing you a bunch of travel time. When driving west on I-80 through Reno, you'll be within 2 hours of the eastern entrance of Yosemite at Lee Vining. Though, even better, I'd leave I-80 at Wendover UT and take US 93 and 6 to the White Mountains and then Mammoth before hitting Lee Vining and Mono Lake. Best of all, you'll get to traverse Yosemite High Country, something that most tourists completely miss when visiting Yosemite. Tuolumne Meadows in the high country is a great stop. And the best don't-miss stop is Olmsted Point, which has tremendous views down Tenaya Canyon all the way to Yosemite Valley. You really should reverse the order of your visit, and hit Yosemite first. Besides, then when travelling from SF to Anaheim, you can go down Highway 1 past Big Sur. Best, most scenic drive in North America. Make sure you stop at Pfeiffer Beach, and/or have lunch at Nepenthe's.

    HTH,
    Bob
     

    bcla

    On our rugged Eastern foothills.....
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2012
    You're doing the first two stops backwards, costing you a bunch of travel time. When driving west on I-80 through Reno, you'll be within 2 hours of the eastern entrance of Yosemite at Lee Vining. Though, even better, I'd leave I-80 at Wendover UT and take US 93 and 6 to the White Mountains and then Mammoth before hitting Lee Vining and Mono Lake. Best of all, you'll get to traverse Yosemite High Country, something that most tourists completely miss when visiting Yosemite. Tuolumne Meadows in the high country is a great stop. And the best don't-miss stop is Olmsted Point, which has tremendous views down Tenaya Canyon all the way to Yosemite Valley. You really should reverse the order of your visit, and hit Yosemite first. Besides, then when travelling from SF to Anaheim, you can go down Highway 1 past Big Sur. Best, most scenic drive in North America. Make sure you stop at Pfeiffer Beach, and/or have lunch at Nepenthe's.

    HTH,
    Bob
    Tioga Pass isn't always open by June, or whatever date in June is targeted. It will be this year with the lack of snow, but I wouldn't necessarily plan a trip around it. I have been to Yosemite during June in a year when Tioga Pass opened pretty early, and the waterfalls in Yosemite Valley were pretty sad, although Vernal Fall looked pretty nice.
     

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