As a Disney fanatic, Tokyo Disneyland was high on my Tokyo to do list. I was even lucky enough to have timed my trip during Disney Halloween – which really was the highlight! Visitors must have spent so much time and money on their costumes, they were incredible!
But back to the park itself – while it doesn’t really compare to Disney World (let’s face it, what can?) it was still pretty magical.
However, to get the most out of your Tokyo Disney experience, or even have a smooth-running day, it requires a bit more planning than most of the other Disney parks I’ve been to – mostly because of the sheer number of people that visit.
Before your visit
First thing’s first: tickets. You can purchase tickets ahead of time or at the ticket booths the day of. But like many entertaining establishments in Japan, hitting daily capacity is a real issue. I’d highly recommend purchasing and reserving your visit dates ahead of time.
Tickets can be purchased online, at any travel agency, convenience stores or Disney stores. Be careful when purchasing from some third-party agencies because you might only be purchasing a pre-paid, open date ticket. If you arrive on a busy day and the park is at capacity, they will turn you away.
For more ticketing information visit their official site here.
In the park
Once in the park, plan your Fastpass choices strategically. Many of the tickets for popular rides will probably be given out by early afternoon and line ups are out of this world!
Just keep in mind that people in Japan are very patient and are used to waiting in long line ups, so it doesn’t really bother them (unlike me…).
I visited both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea, but on separate days. I’m a huge fan of the evening shows and fireworks, so there was no compromising there for me. But for those short on time I’d say it’s possible to fit both parks into one day.
Laid out like Disneyland and Disneyland Paris, the two Tokyo parks are equivalent to Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.
Many of the rides and attractions are actually identical to the other parks, with some having a slight tweak in story line. I was ecstatic to find out Tokyo Disneyland still has some of the classic rides, like Snow White’s Adventure and Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin, though admittedly, many of the rides are in need of a tune up.
Purchasing memorabilia and merchandise is a big part of the experience for many Japanese guests and stores become completely frantic near closing hours. The staff tries to stock shelves as quickly as possible, but I’d still highly recommend purchasing products you want in the afternoon and just storing it in a locker for the day.