Top tips for Tokyo Disneyland
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Get Tokyo Disneyland tips to make your trip fun and memorable.
Tokyo Disneyland is located in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, approximately one hour from central Tokyo, Japan. It was the first Disney park to be built outside the United States, opening on April 15, 1983.
Tokyo Disneyland is owned by The Oriental Land Company, which licenses the intellectual property from The Walt Disney Company. Tokyo Disneyland and its sister park, Tokyo DisneySea, are the only Disney parks in the world that are not owned or operated by the Walt Disney Company in any way.
The park is known for its extensive open spaces to accommodate the large crowds that visit the park. It's certainly quite remarkable how well the park is designed to accommodate people comfortably compared to its American counterparts.
As of 2019, Tokyo Disneyland is the most visited theme park in Japan and the third most popular theme park in the world behind the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Park at the Disneyland Resort.
Transfer to Tokyo Disneyland
The park is easily accessible by train. Its main gate is right next to Maihama Station and Tokyo Disneyland Station.
Stay in place
One of the biggest reasons for this is that hotel guests have early access to the parks and their own special entrance gates. Early access was only 15 minutes at the time of writing (May 2023) but this combined with a special entrance for hotel guests meant we were able to get into the park quickly and ahead of the crowd and had our first ride before most people could pass through the entrance gates.
Official hotel guests receive a special paper pass at check-in that allows early access for each subsequent day of their stay (not available on the day of check-in). You must indicate at check-in which park you wish to enter each day in order to be issued a park-specific pass.
We stayed at the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel and loved it.You can read about our stay here.
The reason why it is so important to get into the park as soon as possible at Tokyo Disneyland is the lack of any kind of fastpass system. The only ways to skip the queues are to either take a rider line where offered and ride yourself or purchase Premier Access to the most popular routes where offered. More about Premier Access in this article!
So the best way to avoid spending most of your day in line is to get into the park as early as possible and get to the most popular rides early in the day.
If you don't have early access to the hotel, I would advise you to arrive REALLY early like an hour early. If you can't get there that early, it might be a good idea to get there later in the day and just prepare to queue for rides and not get on too many of them. Even with early access, I recommend arriving at the gates about 45 minutes before the park opens.
Since the majority of visitors to Tokyo Disneyland are locals, weekends, school holidays, and holidays are the busiest times to attend. If you can visit the parks on a typical weekday, the parks are much less busy.
Make a plan for your day
Research which rides you want to do in advance, look at the park map and plan where to go first and next. I advise you to block all the popular routes you want to do first thing in the morning in an orderly way - choose the route you want to start with and then the next closest to it and so on, so that you move park in a circle vs. back and forth and walking aimlessly.
The food places get busy as the day goes on, so I advise you to start your day early and take a break for an early lunch.
If you want to eat at a restaurant in the park, reservations open at 10:00. (JST) one month earlier. You can also try ordering at 10:00 a.m. once inside the park.
Download Tokyo Disney Resort-appen
I highly recommend doing this in advance. The app is only useful for its map. You can also scan your tickets in the app when you enter the park and then purchase Premier Access to certain attractions and events to reduce your wait time for popular rides and entertainment. See below for more details on Premier Access.
You can also use the app to lock in time to visit popular stores like those selling Duffy & Friends merchandise.
Have a driving strategy
I highly recommend prioritizing the rides that are unique to Tokyo Disneyland – these are also the most popular rides:
Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast (this ride is next level awesome) The Happy Ride with Baymax (Super cute but not worth standing in line for a long time to do)
Pooh's Honey Hunt (Super cute and engaging)
Monsters Inc. Hide & Go Seek (Amazing animatronics and also very busy)
We enjoyed it too
Space Mountain (Basically identical to the one at Disneyland Anaheim, much less jarring than the version at WDW Florida)
Big Thunder Railroad (Our favorite of Big Thunder from Tokyo, Anaheim and WDW.)
Our strategy for the trip was to purchase Premier Access to the Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast for 12:00 p.m., as most people go there at the opening of the park, and instead head to Pooh's Hunny Hunt, which is not available in Premier Access.
After the Pooh Hunny Hunt we go to The Happy Ride with Baymax and then Monsters, Inc. Hide & Go Seek, Space Mountain and Big Thunder Railroad, block all main routes until lunch with a maximum queue of 15-20 minutes per hour. route. We ate at a quick service restaurant and then went to the Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast.
Buy Premier Access
Premier Access is currently the only way to skip the lines for Tokyo Disneyland tours. This service, which is available for a fee, allows guests to select specific times to be admitted and enjoy specific experiences. Premier Access is best accessed via the Tokyo Disney Resort mobile app, which I highly recommend downloading in advance.
- Each park ticket can be used to purchase one Disney Premier Access at a time.
- Guests age 3 and under will have access to the experience with a companion who has purchased Disney Premier Access.
- You will be able to purchase Disney Premier Access to another attraction 60 minutes after you purchase Disney Premier Access or after the start time of your purchased Disney Premier Access, whichever is earlier.
- If you wish to purchase Disney Premier Access again for the same attraction, you may do so after using the Disney Premier Access you purchased or after the deadline for using Disney Premier Access has expired.
- You can purchase Disney Premier Access using the Tokyo Disney Resort app.
- Only credit cards are accepted as payment. please checkherfor information on accepted credit cards.
- Guests who do not have the Tokyo Disney Resort app or credit card will be able to purchase Disney Premier Access at Main Street House (at Tokyo Disneyland) or at Guest Relations (at Tokyo DisneySea).
- Disney Premier Access is available in limited quantities and may sell out. Please check the Tokyo Disney Resort app in advance for availability.
- To make reservations and purchases, you must sign in with a registered Disney account. If you don't have a Disney account, sign outher(user registration on the booking/shopping page).
Disney Premier Access Experience Taken Parade/show Disney Harmony in color 2,500 yen per entry Tokyo Disneyland Electrical ParadeDream light 2,500 yen per entry Attractions Enchanted tale of Beauty and the Beast 2,000 yen per entry The Happy Ride med Baymax 1,500 yen per entry Splash Mountain 1,500 yen per entry
Using Premier Access to watch a parade/show
Visitors can pre-select a specific time to enter and enjoy parades or performances from a designated viewing area.
- You will be able to purchase Disney Premier Access for another parade or show 60 minutes after you purchase Disney Premier Access or after your purchased Disney Premier Access (for parades or shows), whichever comes first .
- For some parades and shows, the location to view the shows within the viewing area will be determined in advance. On the day of your visit, watch the show from the designated spot with a matching number at your feet. (The number indicating your designated location will appear on your device's screen after you complete your Disney Premier Access purchase.)
How to buy Premier Access
Premier Access is available when your tickets are scanned upon entering the park. Most tickets must be printed and presented upon arrival for scanning, such as those purchased through third-party vendors such as Klook (which is what we did).
Once your paper ticket is scanned and you are in the park, one person in the group must scan all tickets on their mobile app and check Premier Access reservations for the entire party. It's easy enough to scan the tickets in the app as you go on your first ride, then select from the Premier Access menu which attraction or show you want to purchase.
Try the popcorn
Popcorn is the most popular snackTokyo Disney Resort! Not only are the popcorns unique and available in crazy flavors nowhere else, Disney's popcorn buckets are also pretty special and worth taking home as a souvenir.
They are often "limited" and only sold in certain locations within a park, while most bins are likely not found in other Disney parks.
Trash cans are usually quite expensive with an average price of ¥2,600 to ¥3,400. You can buy popcorn without a souvenir bucket for much less. Flavors include Honey, Strawberry Milk, Cookies and Cream, White Chocolate Matcha, Curry, Garlic Shrimp.
Eat all the food
While Toy Story Aliens green mochi is the most popular snack at Tokyo Disney Resort, I highly recommend trying a little bit of everything!
We loved the churros, which are also available in a wide range of exciting flavors, and the festive drinks that come with jello cubes.
We also loved the tropical ice cream! They are fantastic.
When it comes to food, you can make a reservation at a restaurant or you can play it by ear at a fast food joint. This is what we chose to do as we don't like to be tied to reservations and had a great lunch between tours.
Try a vending machine
The Tokyo Disney Resort slot machines are insanely cute! Drinks inside are park themed.
Meet or see the characters
Characters are usually available in large numbers at the front of the park rather than being scheduled for short periods throughout the park.
It is possible to see and meet a large number of characters in one area. We were so excited to see characters we've never seen in any other park, including Marie.
Watch out for the glass blowers
Inside Cinderella Castle there is a shop where you can buy glass souvenirs.
What's even more special is that the glass fan works inside the store so you can see it while you browse.
I highly recommend taking home a glass souvenir if you have the luggage space.
Buy all items
The stuff at Tokyo Disneyland is definitely different from the American parks! The Duffy and Friends line is only available in the Asian parks (you need to use the app to reserve your spot to enter the in-park store, that's how popular it is).
The ears are also different and super cute (and cheaper than the American ones!) as are the souvenirs like the little bentos and cutlery boxes.
There are also cute pins that are stamped with the Tokyo Disney Resort and thus cannot be bought anywhere else.
I also loved the tote bags made especially for the park and the cute little teddy bears bought to hang. You will see the locals with their bags covered in these teddy bears.
Use Disney photographers
The photographer system works differently in Tokyo. You cannot get a digital copy of a photo unless you have a Japanese postal address (don't ask me why). Photographers will take a picture on their cameras and give you a paper ticket to pick up the print later in the day to buy if you choose. The photographer also takes pictures for you on your own camera.
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