Getting on the plane at Skyharbor was relatively simple (despite the narrow aisle), and the seats were wide enough that not only could I move my body without bumping into anyone but I was actually able to reach my bag under the seat in front of me without too much difficulty. I was almost sorry that the flight lasted only an hour.
I spent about 20 minutes wandering the pick-up area of LAX looking for the green sign mentioned in the brochure for the Disneyland Express which unlike the Disney World version is NOT run by Disney. It was when I finally ran of sidewalk that I looked up and noticed that the sign for “ALL BUSES” which hangs above the islands immediately outside of the baggage area was in green. The second difference between the two services is the California version runs on a roughly hourly basis while their Floridian counterpart dispatches them when they have a full enough load.
I waited for what seemed like an eternity watching various city, airport and car rental shuttles zipping past my little island, but according to my watch was only about 25 minutes for the Disneyland Express to arrive (about 5 minutes late, probably because I was at the last terminal).
The ride itself took approx 45 minutes (though Google Maps says it only takes 37), and they had someone board at the Disneyland Hotel to collect my money before taking me over to the entrance to Paradise Pier.
It was 2:38pm (PST) when I checked in and I was surprised when the effete man at the desk told me that the room was ready. I was disappointed when he told me the 220 Parkhopper deal was “online only” (which was the ONLY reason I chose this week over say March\April) and even more disappointed to see he had written “Johnathon” on my room key even though he presumably copied it directly from my ID which clearly says “Jonathan.” On the plus side, I was eventually able to get someone to correct it, but it still mars the whole illusion of personalization (especially when they try to dismiss the error out of hand).
It took the elevator upstairs and dropped everything off in my room. I had no idea what I was doing with the rest of my day, and, frankly, I was too tired to think about it….