You didn’t think I would visit another Disneyland, and not give you my rundown and tips, do you?
We recently visited Disneyland Japan, which is actually not owned by Disney directly, but a franchised park. So, I found that a lot of things were different.
I did my research and spoke to a lot of people before going, and I am glad I did. Especially when it came to wait and line times!
I thought that I would put together a few tips for those heading to Disneyland Tokyo for the first time, especially if you are a family.
Stay At a Hotel Nearby
Tokyo Disneyland is actually about 20 minutes out of Tokyo, on the bay. There are several hotels around the parks. With most running free shuttles to and from.
There is a train station close to the park, just a short walk over the bridge. But if you are spending a few days, I highly suggest staying at one of the Disney hotels.
There is also a direct bus that runs from Narita Airport.
Buy Tickets Before You Go
This is absolutely key for this park. The ticketing booth is ages away from the front and the lines are HUGE.
Don’t forget once you have your ticket, you still need to line up for the park. So save yourself all the time and get these before.
I struggled to get them online before I came. Klook didn’t appear to have them but I got them at our hotel, we stayed at the Hilton On The Bay.
It was easy and straight forward, I just needed to pay in cash.
Check A Crowd Predictor
This was also instrumental in deciding what days we did Disneyland Tokyo. As we accidentally went during the Rugby World Cup and school holidays, we had black on the weekend dates we originally planned to go.
We went on a day it was “orange” and it was still insane there. I highly recommend checking your dates before you go.
I used the site TDR Explorer, you can view the crowd predictor here.
Plan Your Day
I believe this is key for any Disneyland park. Having a loose idea of what rides you want to go one and checking on wait times on specific rides before you go.
I always plan to do the rides with biggest wait times first, I try to get in when the park opens and rush to that line 😉
Arrive Early – REALLY Early!
Holy guacamole was the line long!
We arrived half an hour before the park opened, even though I was warned to go an hour before (didn’t believe it) and we were around 250 metres from the front in a sea of people.
It did move quickly, but it was so hot and the girls were already over it before we got in the park.
There was no shade and I’m not very good in crowded situations where people have personal space issues.
Get Those Fast Passes
The fast pass system works very different in Japan. Firstly, you can only get one at a time AND they’re old school physical passes.
There is no app to load them onto, you have to go to the machines at the front of the ride and print them out.
They will then give you your return time (and also note down the bottom when you can get the next pass!).
You need to move quickly as well as they do sell out fast and you can often get given a time late in the evening.
Make The Unique Rides Your First Stop
There are several unique rides at Disneyland Tokyo, including Poohs Honey Hunt and Monstors Inc Ride & Go Seek.
We made sure that we went and rode these first, as you cannot find them at any other park.
Be Prepared To Line Up
I have visited three Disney parks now, and by far the lines at Disneyland Tokyo were the longest.
Even for things like popcorn, there was a line 20 people deep.
I think it might be an attraction to line up for things at the park, as everyone seemed more than willing to line up for anything!
Expect Very Different Merch
I had gone to the park with a list of things I was hoping to buy, including the new Arendal ears from Frozen II.
However, merch is very different at this park and obviously catered for a different audience.
They still had super adorable stuff, but nothing I expected.
Make Sure You Try The Foods
Another key difference was obviously the food. It was all still Disney themed but with a Japanese twist.