Frequent Questions

Our most frequently asked travel questions - answered!

Every New Year families gather to experience the beauty, pageantry and festivities surrounding the annual Tournament of Roses Parade.

Celebrate the New Year with your close family members and friends, for an experience-of-a-lifetime.

We realize a lot of questions come to mind when planning to attend an event, and we are here to help answer those questions.

Below are answers to the most common questions we receive each year about our annual Rose Parade Tour Package.

If you do not find an answer to your specific question, feel free to call us at 800.749.9342.

We look forward to welcoming you, along with your family and friends on-board our exciting tour.

NO – EVERYONE IS WELCOME! Regardless of vaccination status!

Given the significant, positive progress in the public health environment, A la Carte Tours is thrilled to welcome all guests back on our tours – regardless of vaccination status and with no testing requirements. While the world has changed, your health and safety still remains our highest priority. A worry-free experience for our guests is very important to us, and with a few changes and new protocols, you can continue to enjoy peace-of-mind while traveling.

COVID-19 infection rates have seen significant improvements in recent months. But trusted health authorities predict an increase in COVID-19 and influenza (FLU) cases as we move into the winter months. Therefore, we are recommending the following measures be taken for your own protection and safety prior to joining and while on the tour.

A la Carte Tours is currently recommending guests 5 years and older to be up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccines, including booster shots, along with the annual FLU vaccine prior to joining the tour.

Updated boosters became available in September, 2023. Although not required, updated COVID-19 vaccines are now available to provide increased protection against the currently circulating subvariants. If it has been at least 2 months since you completed your COVID-19 primary series or had your last booster, then you are eligible for an updated vaccine. The CDC recommends that everyone stay up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine after you recover from COVID-19 infection provides added protection. Boosters are an important part of protecting yourself from getting seriously ill, hospitalized or dying from COVID-19.

Some people may get additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines:

People aged 65 years and older may get 1 additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine, 4 or more months after the 1st updated COVID-19 vaccine.

People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may get 1 additional dose of updated COVID-19 vaccine, 2 or more months after the last updated COVID-19 vaccine. Please consult your healthcare provider to see if you qualify for additional updated doses.

Do not travel if you have COVID-19 symptoms, tested positive for COVID-19, are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test, or had close contact with a person recently infected with COVID-19.

Remember: Medicare and most health insurance policies cover the COVID-19 vaccine at little or no cost to you. Find a COVID-19 vaccine location near you.

Wash your hands often. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Face Masks are currently recommended and at your own discretion while on the tour. Currently, there are no COVID-19 masking mandates or vaccination requirements for the Tournament of Roses Parade, Rose Bowl Game or included events.

Travel Insurance is available from our office to protect your travel investment, in case you test POSITIVE for COVID-19, or incur any other illness or serious injury that would prevent you from joining the tour. This insurance will also provide additional protection if you should become ill while on your tour. For additional information, or to purchase Travel Insurance, please call our office during normal business hours.

Airport Transfers are available from the Sheraton Gateway Hotel – 24 Hours a day. The Shuttle runs every 20 to 30 minutes depending on traffic. Just look for the Sheraton Gateway – Hotel Shuttle at the Hotel Shuttle Pick-Up Point on the Upper Level from Baggage Claim. There is a ‘Welcome Orientation’ at 5:00pm on December 29th. Check-in and Ticket Packet Distribution starts at 4:00pm. Please check with the Hotel Front Desk for the location of the event. If your flight is delayed and you miss the ‘Welcome Orientation’, your Ticket Packet will be waiting for you at the Front Desk upon Check-in at the Hotel.

Sheraton Gateway Hotel is located at 6101 W. Century Boulevard, Los Angeles, California in the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) area with convenient access to all Rose Parade activities.

Check-in time is 3:00pm at the hotel. If you should arrive earlier, and no rooms are available, you may leave your luggage with the Hotel Concierge Desk for storage until a room becomes available. Check-out time at the hotel is 12:00pm. Late check-out may be arranged with the Hotel Front Desk for an additional charge, or you may leave your luggage with the Hotel Concierge Desk for storage until your scheduled departure time.


The Sheraton Gateway Hotel is 5 minutes from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and 60 minutes from Orange County Airport (SNA) depending on traffic.


Sheraton Gateway Hotel is approximately 35-45 minute drive from Pasadena, California and the Rose Parade activities, depending on traffic.

The number of hotels in Pasadena are very few and do not meet our high quality standards and requirements for our group tour size. Dining and transportation options in Pasadena are very limited, and would require a rental car or taxi to get around.


Sheraton Gateway Hotel offers rooms with either 1 King Bed or 2 Queen Beds. Each room has a flat panel television, 2-line telephone, writing desk, personal safe, mini-fridge and iron with ironing board. Bathroom amenities include marble bathroom with step-in shower, hair dryer, lighted makeup mirror along with shampoo, conditioner and soaps. Maximum Occupancy per room is 4 Guests using existing bedding. Due to current Fire and Safety Regulations, roll-away beds are not allowed for additional guests.


Your Hotel room rate includes daily Breakfast with coffee, tea and juices, and a Grab-n-Go Breakfast on January 1st. Your room rate also includes all applicable local hotel taxes and resort fees.

YES – There is Self-Parking behind the hotel at ABM Parking at the current rate of $24.00 per day (NO In & Out). Overnight Valet Parking is available for $50.00 per day (normally $75.00 per day including In & Out privilages). All Valet Parking Fees are subject to change and are due and payable directly to the Hotel.


For our guests with Special Needs there are a limited number of Accessible Rooms available at the hotel. These rooms can accommodate guests requiring hearing accessible or mobility accessible rooms. The bathrooms will either have a tub shower with an extendable shower head with grab bars, or a roll-in shower.


YES – Sheraton Gateway Hotel has 2 Restaurants in the hotel. The Brasserie is open for Breakfast, and the Costero Bar & Bistro is open for Lunch and Dinner offering creative California cuisine and room service for your convenience. Starbucks is located just off the Main Lobby. Other Fast-Food and Full-Service restaurants are available within walking distance of the Hotel.


YES – Complimentary Basic wireless internet service is included at the hotel for all guests on our tour.


The motorcoaches depart the hotel promptly on December 30th at 7:15am, on December 31st at 7:30am, and on January 1st at 6:00am. We start boarding the motorcoaches 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure time. (Schedules subject to change)


The Tournament of Roses Parade starts promptly at 8:00am Pacific Time, and ends exactly at 10:00am Pacific Time.


It is a 1 block walk from where the motorcoaches are parked to the parade seating area. There is a slight incline leading up to the grandstands. The sun is to your back, and there are plenty of Port-a-Potty’s located beneath the bleacher seats. There are approximately 15 to 30 steps up into the stands to get to your seats, with a center hand rail for your assistance.

If you cannot climb stairs, PLEASE REQUEST HANDICAP SEATING at the time you make your reservation. Handicap seating is very limited and fills up quickly. Handicap seating cannot be requested on the day of the parade, and must be reserved in advance.

Our seats are at the beginning of the parade in Section 430, with the sun at your back. This is the area where the parade begins, where all the entertainment happens and where the television cameras are located that broadcast the parade. This is the perfect vantage point to capture all the pageantry and beauty of the Tournament of Roses Parade. You will have to climb approximately 15-30 steps up into the stands to your seats. There is a center hand rail in the aisle for your assistance and convenience.

The seats are bleacher-style, much like at a high school or little league game. Although the seats can be high there are no bad seats. Space is tight and there are no backs to the seats. Stadium seats with backs can be used, but are sometimes frowned upon by your neighbor. We provide you with a Complimentary souvenir stadium cushion for your comfort.

It is recommended you bring a hat and gloves, because the weather is cold in January. Don’t forget to bring your camera. Do not bring any large bags, there is no room for you to store them. Umbrellas are not allowed at the parade. If it is raining, it is recommended you wear a light jacket with a hood. For your safety no alcohol, drugs, weapons, cans, glass bottles, sports bottles, coolers, banners, flagpoles, sign posts, placards or rigid signs are allowed into the parade grandstands. You will be subject to a reasonable search of all bags before admittance into the grandstand area. Any non-compliant items will be confiscated by Rose Parade Officials. Complimentary bottled water is allowed and will be provided to you prior to entering the parade seating area.

YES – But our Premium Grandstand seats are above the lowest rows, and your view will not be blocked by anyone walking or standing in front of you or by television camera equipment.


We have limited space reserved for our guests that require Wheelchair, Walker or Mobility Scooter seating. Due to ADA regulations, the Accessible Seating is located at street level in front of the grandstand seating area. If you require Wheelchair, Walker or Mobility Scooter seating, FULL PAYMENT is required when you make your reservation to secure your space. Wheelchair, Walker and Mobility Scooter seating is limited to the guest using a Wheelchair, Walker or Mobility Scooter plus only one additional guest.


YES – Except for the motorcoaches most all areas we visit on the tour are Wheelchair, Walker and Mobility Scooter accessible. Normally, the only steps in the tour are on and off the motorcoaches, and the steps leading into the grandstands at the Tournament of Roses Parade. We have taken great care in selecting appropriate venues and minimizing any obstacles that may affect your access. But some issues are beyond our control, and complete access to all areas may not be available and cannot be guaranteed; as circumstances may change from time to time. A la Carte Tours cannot be held liable for any areas on the tour that have limited access.


NO – The motorcoaches do not have mobility lifts. You may use a Wheelchair, Walker or Mobility Scooter, as long as it will fit in the storage bay underneath the motorcoach. If you have mobility issues, you are required to have someone traveling with you to assist you up and down the steps leading in and out of the motorcoach, and in all other areas that have limited accessibility. A la Carte Tours staff members are not readily available to assist anyone with mobility issues.


You will have approximately 1 1/2 hours at the Float Construction Pavilion to view the floats. This is a self-guided tour, and you can stop and take as many pictures as you wish. Please be advised that the line to get into the pavilion can be long, and it is a long walk to get through the building with a lot of standing and waiting. Since there are twelve Float Construction locations around Pasadena, it is impossible to see all the floats being constructed at one location. Only three of the Float Construction Pavilions are open to tour groups. The pavilion we visit is the largest and the only completely enclosed pavilion, easily accessible in the event of inclement weather, and the only one that offers easy access with no steps in or out of the pavilion. We depart the Float Construction Pavilion promptly at 10:30am.

You will have approximately 3 hours after lunch to tour the Queen Mary cruise ship. There is a 45 minute guided tour, with plenty of time after to explore the ship, historical exhibits and shops at your leisure. We depart the Queen Mary promptly at 4:15pm.


You will have approximately 1 1/2 hours in the area to view the Hollywood Walk of Fame, hand prints and foot prints of famous Movie Stars in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Dolby Theatre and the famous Hollywood sign.

You will have approximately 2 1/2 hours at the Post Parade – Floatfest. There is a lot of walking to see all the floats, and it will be very crowded with long lines. Be sure to have extra storage on your digital camera to capture the beautiful artistry up-close of these gorgeous works of floral art. We depart the Showcase of Floats promptly at 4:15pm.


Depending on traffic conditions, we should arrive back at the hotel at approximately 5:30pm each day.


YES – We offer several popular Optional Tours before or after your Rose Parade Tour. Plus we have several relaxing Cruise Options after your Tour. Or you might take advantage of our popular post-tour Las Vegas Package. Any Cruise or Optional Tours you book may require additional hotel nights. Periodically, some guests have forfeited the Los Angeles / Hollywood Tour included in the tour package on December 31st, to book an Optional Tour on that date. If you elect not to take the included tour that day, there will be no refund or credit available for you to use towards any other Optional Tour. If you do not find a tour from our list that is of interest to you, please contact our office and we will try to secure other arrangements.

YES – You can extend your dates of travel either prior to or after the tour package dates. Additional nights at the hotel are available when making your reservation for an additional $300 per room per night (inclusive of all taxes and Breakfast). Extend your stay to take advantage of our many Optional Tours available. Or you may wish to experience one of our luxurious and relaxing Optional Cruises after your Rose Parade Tour.

All ages are welcome. We have guests from preschoolers to seniors, singles and multi-generational famlies. Ages 5 and above are recommended, and active seniors. We take great care in accommodating all guests, even those with limited mobility issues. Due to cold weather conditions each morning, infants under the age of 2 are not accepted on this tour. Our Tour is slow paced, but there is a moderate amount of walking and standing at various times on the tour.


Casual clothes along with comfortable walking shoes are suggested at all times. None of our functions are dressy affairs. The best strategy is to dress in layers. Mornings can be as low as the 40s, while afternoon highs can be in the 70s. A jacket is recommended to stay warm in the mornings, especially on Parade Day, when we depart the hotel very early. You may also wish to bring a hat and gloves for Parade Day, because it is usually cold during the early part of the parade. A jacket with a hood is recommended in case of rain. For your safety and in consideration of others around you, umbrellas are not allowed in the Parade Seating Area. Even if temperatures are not high, you must protect your skin with sunscreen to avoid harsh UV rays. Also don’t forget to bring your sunglasses.

We provide transportation to and from all included activities. Complimentary Transportation from/to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is included in your tour package and provided by the Sheraton Gateway Hotel. Transportation from/to any other airport in the Los Angeles area is at your own expense. We highly recommend contacting Uber, Lyft, (800-733-8267) or (866-805-4234) for the best rates.

Upon arrival at your hotel, please check with the Front Desk for the location and time of the ‘Welcome Orientation’ event on December 29th. There you will receive your ‘Welcome Packet’ with your event tickets and ID Badges for all the activities. At this event you will be instructed as to which activities require a ticket, and which activities you will be admitted as a group with your tour badge credentials.

All scheduled activities in your tour package include all admission fees. Any Optional Tours or Optional Cruises that you reserve are at an additional charge.

Alcoholic beverages and smoking of any type are not allowed at any time on board the motorcoaches or at any of the venues.

NO – However you have paid for everything included in your tour package, and there are NO REFUNDS for any unused components.

If you cannot or wish not to attend a function or activity, please let a member of your A la Carte Tours Staff know that you will not be attending, so that we are not spending valuable time looking for you and delaying the rest of the group. Please note, that any changes you make to your tour are at your own personal expense and may incur additional charges.

Breakfast is included daily, along with 3 Luncheons in your tour.

We will do everything possible to accommodate those who have food allergies or medical conditions requiring a limited diet. Advance notice must be given in writing prior to the tour, of any special dietary requirements. Please understand that any changes to accommodate any special dietary needs may result in an additional charge.

Basic Gratuities for your Motorcoach Driver, City Tour Guide and the wait staff for the included Breakfasts and Lunches are already included in your tour package.

A small token of your appreciation is recommended for any Luggage Handling ($3-$5 per bag) at the Hotel or on Airport Transfers.

At the Hotel for the Hotel Housekeeping Staff ($5-$10 per day).

For any additional Optional Tours ($10-$30 per guest).

As a token of your appreciation for the excellant services provided daily by your dedicated A la Carte Tours Staff, a gratuity is recommended of ($40-$50 per guest).

Because we have guests from across the United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Caribbean and Canada, we realize that some flights may depart quite early in the morning, or late at night. Your Departure Airport Transfers are provided by the Sheraton Gateway Hotel at all times day or night (every 20-30 minutes depending on traffic).

Your flight information will be required 20 days prior to your tour, so that the Hotel can arrange proper staffing at the front desk to coincide with your anticipated arrival / departure times.

Because our tours are competitively priced, we sell all tour packages at face value with no additional discounts.


The Tournament of Roses Parade and its events will go on rain or shine. Please wear appropriate clothing with a hood, also a hat and gloves are recommended for the parade. Umbrellas are not allowed in the grandstands.


Some but not all of the floats are decorated by volunteers. The process of placing live flowers on the floats begins on December 27th thru December 30th. Information on volunteering to decorate the floats can be obtained by calling the Tournament of Roses at 626-449-4100 or by visiting their website at


NO – Smoking is not allowed at the hotel, on the motorcoaches, at any of the restaurants or venues, or in the grandstands at the parade. This includes the use of e-cigarettes.

YES – We offer additional packages to the Rose Bowl Game that includes Game Tickets, Food & Beverages and Transportation. Please CLICK HERE for additional information.

The width of the seats at the Rose Parade measure 18 1/4 inches. Guests who feel they may encroach upon any part of the neighboring seat(s), or wish to have a little extra room, may proactively purchase additional seat(s) at time of reservation, to guarantee availability for $150 per seat. This helps ensure we can comfortably accommodate all guests in the grandstand seating for which they purchased a ticket, and avoid asking guests to relinquish their seats for an unplanned accommodation.

Most importantly, it ensures that all guests have access to safe and comfortable seating and a pleasant experience at the Tournament of Roses Parade.

Please notify our office at time of booking if additional seating is needed. Additional seats are very limited and not available on the day of the Parade; advance purchase is required.

Please alert our staff to any physical challenges at time of making your reservation, for anyone in your party that has any mobility issues. We will recommend and reserve the best seating options for your parade viewing experience. Tickets for Wheelchair, Walker or Mobility Scooter accessible seating at the parade are available, but very limited and not available to request on the day of the parade.

All Accessible Seating must be reserved in advance and PAID-IN-FULL at time of reservation. One companion seat is available for each Wheelchair, Walker or Mobility Scooter ticket purchased.

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