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LuxBus America (Disneyland to Vegas) Report

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by CosmoM, Oct 13, 2012.

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  1. CosmoM

    CosmoM Low-Roller

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    If you are within commuting distance to Anaheim, CA or are planning a vacation that includes Disneyland, then the LuxBus America service to Las Vegas may be of interest to you.

    I have known about this service for some time and was curious about it, but disregarded it because I could commute by car to Vegas for less money. But after quite a few commutes to Vegas under my belt, I was looking for an alternative to the grind of driving to Vegas - so I took a weekend to find out if LuxBus America service to Vegas was for me or not. Currently, I feel I need a few more trips on the LuxBus to see if this is the right solution for me.

    GENERAL INFO

    The LuxBus America bus runs mainly between Anaheim and Las Vegas for a cost of $99 roundtrip (they also pick-up from Los Angeles and various hotels before departing from Anaheim). There is a fuel charge of $2.00 extra each way for a total of $103 roundtrip. The trip from Anaheim to Las Vegas takes around 4.5 hours.

    The bus stops and picks-up at Harrah’s on the strip and the California Hotel and Casino downtown.

    THE BUS

    The bus is the same type you would associate with a touring rock group, but instead of couches, rooms and bongs, there are rows of seats - two seats on each side of the aisle. There is overhead storage, but not as roomy as a 737, more like a commuter jet.

    The leather seats are very comfortable and there are monitors running down each side to view movies that are played during the trip. Overhead the seats is a console for controlling air flow and switches for lighting, just like an airplane, except the overhead lights are disabled, I’m guessing, so they do not interfere with viewing the movies that are played.

    The windows are large and have a pull-down screen to reduce glare.

    Besides a driver there is an attendant.

    AMENITIES


    - 2 Beverages and a bag of chips included with bus fare, each way
    - Restroom at the rear of bus
    - Small overhead LCD screens along each side for fairly recent movies.
    - Some rows have AC current plugs below the window, near the floor.
    - Wireless internet access
    - Sirius music channels
    - Headphones are available for purchase for $5


    BUS TERMINAL

    The terminal can best be described as Disneyland-esque. The location is at Anaheim Gardenwalk which is as clean as Disneyland, is close to Disneyland and consists of nice amenities - There is a high-class bowling alley like the Lucky Strike Lanes you see in Hollywood and next to Staples Center, only less crowded. There is a movie theatre and a 24 hour fitness (new equipment and less crowded), and if that is not enough there are really good restaurants including Bubba Gump Shrimp, PF Changs, Roy’s and the Cheesecake Factory to name a few.

    Definitely not your usual bus station and light years away from the bus station in downtown Las Vegas (The bus does not stop at Las Vegas Bus Station).

    Parking at Anaheim Gardenwalk is $5/day if you get your parking validated when you check-in for your departure. Parking is covered, ample and secure.


    ROUTE AND SCHEDULE

    Officially the schedule is:
    ANA-LAS Depart 8:45AM, Arrive 1:15PM
    LAS-ANA Depart 3:30PM, Arrive 8:00PM

    The actual travel time I experienced was consistent with the official schedule.

    The bus makes a stop each way in Barstow at location called Barstow Station which is constructed from train cars. There is a Mc Donalds, Panda Express, Popeye’s Chicken, an assortment of gift shops, restrooms, and a Greyhound bus station (which our attendant called Greydog).

    The total diversion time at Barstow is around 30 minutes - 20 minutes at the stop and travel off/on the freeway.

    I like the 3:30 departure time since it allows time for brunch and/or pool time before departing,

    I was interested in the trip back to Anaheim from Vegas, since on Sunday the route from Vegas to Southern California is heavily traveled. They must have done their homework, since I did not notice any heavy traffic. I also the noticed the bus passing slower cars and trucks, which for me was positive.

    Overall it was a smooth ride in both directions.

    THE PEOPLE ON THE BUS

    The passengers on the bus were a mixed crowd of families, couples, singles, all age groups - similar to what you would find on an airline flight. However, being that this bus service is close to Disneyland, there was a small bias to foreign tourists, which is a good thing in my opinion, it makes for conversation. On my trip, there were passengers from England and Australia that I knew of. It’s nice to see people pointing cameras at the windows to take pictures at the sites along the way and of Vegas - an experience I said bye to a long time ago.

    THE ATTENDANT

    If you are lucky, you will get the female Russian attendant. She is part of the entertainment - her jokes, wasted on a tired group returning from Vegas, were funny and she soldiered on even after hearing crickets. A real pro.

    Although she expected a lot from us passengers, she was more than patient with everyone, and took time to let you know she told everyone the answer several times already.


    WIFI

    This was an amenity I was very interested in, because if the wifi connection was robust, I could do work while I was on the bus - So I could travel to Vegas, leave Monday, and not have to use a vacation day or pretend I’m sick.

    The connection is a mobile 3G connection that, of course, is shared by all that use wifi on the bus. Also, the availability of wifi is spotty in the desert areas and much better when the bus is in more populated areas.

    In a random test using my laptop, I tried to initiate a VPN connection to my office, but was unsuccessful due to timeouts. Pinging google.com, I saw ping rates from 500 to 1000 milliseconds. Again, this was in a desert area. Not good if you want to work from the bus using a VPN connection.

    Next, I started using my 4th Generation iPod. Email was satisfactory, I could read and send reasonably well, but sometimes I would have to put the iPod down and check later for a response. The same scenario while web browsing, good at times and sometimes you had to wait.

    I have SiriusXM online, so I fired up my SiriusXM app on the iPod and tried to connect to various channels. This followed the same pattern as for email and web browsing, but was consistent enough to be usable. I was changing channels from CNN to ESPN to various other channels to keep myself entertained, but the better connection was in the urban areas.

    You may get better results bringing your own hotspot device. I tried using my cell phone (Verizon 3G) as a hotspot a few times, but it had the same inconsistency issues.

    COST COMPARE (Weekend Travel)<table border="1"><tr><td></td><td>LuxBus</td><td>Driving</td><td>Flying</td></tr><tr><td>Fare/Fuel</td><td align="right">$103</td><td align="right">$88</td><td align="right">$250</td></tr><tr>
    <td>Parking</td><td align="right">$15</td><td align="right">$0</td><td align="right">$45</td></tr><tr>
    <td>Total</td><td align="right">$118</td><td align="right">$88</td><td align="right">$295</td></tr></table>Parking usually takes up 3 days for weekend travel.

    TRAVEL TIME COMPARE (to Vegas)
    <table border="1"><tr><td></td><td>LuxBus</td><td>Driving</td><td>Flying</td></tr><tr><td>Enroute Time</td><td>4.5 hours</td><td>4 hours</td><td>1.25 hours</td></tr><tr><td>Travel to Depart Location + Wait Time</td><td>1 hour</td><td>0 hours</td><td>1.5 to 2.5 hours depending on airport</td></tr><tr><td>Arrival to Hotel</td><td>.25 hours</td><td>0 hours</td><td>.5 to 1 hour</td></tr><tr><td>Total</td><td>5.75 hours</td><td>4 hours</td><td>3.25 to 4.75 hours</td></tr></table>I could’ve put 3.5 hours for driving, if I drive like I’m capable of every time, but I chose to be conservative.

    TRAVEL STRESS (Scale 1 to 10, 1=lowest stress)<table border="1"><tr><td></td><td>LuxBus</td><td>Driving</td><td>Flying</td></tr>
    <tr><td>Score</td><td align="right">3</td><td align="right">9</td><td align="right">7</td></tr></table>After returning from Vegas using the LuxBus I felt rested, since I could nap and relax. When driving lots of energy goes to being alert, navigating traffic, and effective speeding. Flying I feel like I’m being processed like a sardine on its’ way to being canned. Then there’s the whole ordeal after you land, taxiing the runway to getting to your hotel.

    Cheers,

    Cosmo
     
  2. Bookoo1

    Bookoo1 Low-Roller

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    Thank you for this review Cosmo.Ive been curious about luxbus for a while.I think your the first person on vmb to use them.I just wish they had a bus that left from San Diego.
     
  3. keno60

    keno60 VIP Whale

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    how close is the bus station to disneyland
     
  4. CosmoM

    CosmoM Low-Roller

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    Technically Disneyland is across the street from Anaheim Gardenwalk, but the closest Disneyland entrance at California Grand Hotel is about a mile away or a 20 minute walk.

    LuxBus America will pickup hotel guests from a multitude of hotels in the area.

    You can find detailed information at www.luxbusamerica.com.

    And you want information about Anaheim Gardenwalk go to www.anaheimgardenwalk.com.


    Cheers,


    Cosmo
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2012
  5. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    This is a great review. Lots of solid info so I made it a sticky.

    Thanks for sharing with us.
     
  6. matguy

    matguy High-Roller

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    Thanks for sticky-ing this, I have a feeling this may come in handy at some point. (Was thinking about trying to schedule a trip with my son and sister to Disney, they go home early or stay longer while we take a side trip to Vegas. Pipe dream, but maybe...)
     
  7. waverunner

    waverunner BBHMM

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    Thank you. I'm taking the Lux Bus to Vegas in 2 weeks and enjoyed the first trip about a year and a half ago. I live in LA and a shuttle picks you up (in my case LAX Hilton) about 7am. The shuttle picks up the remaining folks in LA and then travels to Anaheim where you board the LUX Bus to Las Vegas. There is one stop in Barstow for about 20 minutes until arriving in Vegas about 1pm at Harrah's (or Downtown). The Bus drivers and attendants are all wonderful, i used to drive but not anymore. They show movies and have beer/soft drinks/juices and doughnuts etc. There are 2 buses leaving Anaheim at 9am-9:15am so there is plenty of room. The return trip leaves at 3:30pm and arrives about 8pm. Then the shuttle gets back to LA about 9pm. In my case i booked round trip (like most people do) and am staying from Nov.4-Nov.9). I always leave on Sundays which means no traffic to Vegas.
    I always book my reservations about a month in advance. After you book you call Lux Bus back about 48 hours prior to confirm. The shuttle bus and Lux bus drivers keep a running count on passengers. When i get picked up at my Hotel i show my ID and they cross my name off the list. Everything is co-ordinated, and although you first must use a credit card to reserve, you can then pay them cash at the bus depot.
     
  8. keno60

    keno60 VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the information:wave:
     
  9. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Way back... 30+ years ago, we honey-mooned in Vegas. One night, I got out the yellow pages (remember them?). Found a bus that left in the evening and arrived within a few blocks of Disneyland at 8am. Had breakfast and walked into Disneyland. Spent the day and caught a bus back later in the day and attended a midnight show. Since I had been to Disneyworld many times (Navy), I knew my way around. My first timer wife loved it.

    Only downside - trying to stay awake at late show in Vegas upon return.

    It was an awesome trip. Even the middle of the night rest stop in Barstow. Had a beer and apple pie!
     
  10. carolineno

    carolineno High-Roller

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    Great info, I never would have guessed such a bus existed! Thanks!
     
  11. waverunner

    waverunner BBHMM

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    I used to always drive from LA-Vegas but have been using the Lux Bus the last few years. I will use the bus next month as well as August and November.
    I see you're a chowda head.....that's where i was born and raised. Paaaaark the Caaaaaaar in Haaaaaaarvard yaaaaaaard.
     
  12. carolineno

    carolineno High-Roller

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    I prefer Masshole to chowda head, but yup that's me! :licklips:
     
  13. wigwam_salesman

    wigwam_salesman VIP Whale

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    http://www.luxbusamerica.com/bus-terminal-maps.php
     
  14. frcblake

    frcblake Newbie

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    It's ok.
    I used to go to Disneyland a lot.
    great going there, but coming back to vegas is like riding the greydog.
    people packed snout to snout.
    unless I just picked a really busy day to come home to vegas.
     
  15. Leeza14

    Leeza14 VIP Whale

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    Any idea on how far ahead this should be booked? Are the buses still well maintained (clean, etc)? We are thinking of working a quick trip to Anaheim in sometime during the next year to see friends there, and this seems like a good option. Thanks for any recent info you can give!
     
  16. waverunner

    waverunner BBHMM

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    Leeza....I've been using Lux Bus for my trips to Vegas the last few years. I live in LA and i used to drive to Vegas. But i had a stroke a few years back and i discovered Lux in that i'm not able to drive.
    I go to Vegas in a few weeks, i booked Lux in Feb. On the Lux Bus website, there is a calender to book online or you can call.
    The bus is well maintained, the drivers are safety oriented, and they have a stewardess on board.
    In my case, the shuttle picks me up at LAX Hilton, then they drive to Anaheim to connect to the main bus.

    What you can do is download the website, then a couple of months prior to your trip, have a time period you want to go and follow the seating plan to make sure your seats are still available. You need a credit card to book, but you can cancel anytime prior to 48 hours.
    Your seating is reserved, you can even pick the seats you want using the seating plan.

    The Lux Bus is not Greyhound, it's a luxury bus (hence the name), with DVD movies, Wi-Fi, leather reclining seats, and most importantly, a clientele of mostly tourists from around the US and abroad. That's why it's more expensive than Greyhound. It's also not a party bus, if you want to sleep you can, if you want to watch a movie you can.
    Like i said, they charge your credit card when you book (but if later on your plans change they reimburse you).
    The website will give you lots of info with a FAQ.
     
  17. Leeza14

    Leeza14 VIP Whale

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    Thanks, Waverunner! It's nice to have some first-hand current info!
     
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