Tokyo Disneyland / Disneysea – for kids at heart ♥
We purchased our Disney park tickets via the Klook app since they offer discounted tickets.
I have tried purchasing from Klook before and service was satisfactory.
I know I could buy tickets at further discounted prices in some agencies at Tokyo but Klook was the more convenient option. I just waited for the reservation confirmation after a few days and printed the tickets at the comfort of home. Since Klook actually sends you the actual park tickets (not voucher) we didn’t have to queue at the ticket office upon arrival. Only con of purchasing Disneyland / Disneysea tickets via Klook is that the park tickets are pre-dated and you couldn’t really make any changes once purchased. You can however make changes to your ticket at the ticket office at the Disney parks for a minimum fee of JPY 200.
Since the park tickets’ dates were more or less final, I had to finalize our itinerary before purchasing the tickets. The factor we considered when finalizing our schedule for our park visit dates was the crowd level. Fortunately, I read about this site: trdrnavi. The crowd level forecast gives you an estimate of the wait times given a certain crowd level. This was really helpful in determining what days / dates to avoid. Generally, the parks have higher crowd levels during the weekend. Since we were arriving in Tokyo on a Thursday, purchasing the two-day passport (discounted ticket that grants park entrance at Disneyland and Disneysea on two consecutive days) wasn’t a good option for us since we wanted to avoid the heavy crowds during the weekend. We ended up purchasing separate park tickets for two visit dates- Friday: Disneyland and Monday: Disneysea.
DAY 5: Disneyland
From the apartment, it was really easy and convenient to travel to Tokyo Disney parks. From Tokyo Metro Tsukiji station, we made one transfer at JR Hatchobori station and got off at JR Maihama station. There weren’t a lot of commuters at Hatchobori station which made me hopeful that the park wouldn’t be so crowded especially with the overcast weather. But I couldn’t be so wrong. It seemed like everyone skipped all other stations and converged at Maihama! 😯
Instead of taking the Disney rail, we decided to walk to Disneyland. We saved JPY 260 by skipping the train. Disneyland is just one stop away from Maihama station or just a five minute leisurely walk.
The park had just opened when we got to the park gates, and the queues were very long. I didn’t expect that many people since crowd forecast was about 52 (ie park attendance is at 52% of park capacity). There were about six lanes open at the entrance but each line was still about 30 meters long when we got there. (Then again on hindsight, lines were probably that long because of the many baby trollies in line also.)
Once we passed the gates, we rented a locker to put our jackets in. We purposely brought heavy jackets since we were going to stay in the park until the evening to watch the fireworks show. Coin lockers are available for rent from JPY 300 (small) to JPY 700 (super-extra large).
We got maps at the guest relations office by the entrance and after a quick look (I have already studied the map prior) made our way to Splash Mountain.
While we were busy hopping from one attraction to the next, we noticed that there were a lot of park guests taking their spots along the parade route – two hours earlier than the scheduled morning parade! Just as we finished with Splash Mountain, we were able to catch the Easter Special Parade.
For lunch we bought some turkey legs and churos. Since my mom wanted to just leisurely stroll around, my sisters and I split from our parents and continued with the rides.
By late afternoon, temperature had dropped even more and we retrieved our jackets from the lockers. And since we were back near the guest relations office, I asked if they have a Pandora boutique. Unfortunately they do not 😦
We watched both evening parades despite the cold weather. Having people sit side by side while watching the shows somehow helped block chilly winds from turning us into ice popsicles.
Day 8: Disneysea
The night before, my sister and I have mapped out our “plan of attack” so we would be able to ride the attractions we wanted given the limited time. We only planned to stay until before dinnertime since we still needed to pack up our stuff for our morning flight the following day.
Since my younger sister woke up late and my parents weren’t in a rush, my older sister and I decided to go ahead of them and then just meet up at the park later on.
At the Maihama Station, we changed lines at the Disney rail to take the train towards Disneysea. Disneysea station is at the last stop, so the ride towards the park was rather a nice way to see the whole Disney Japan complex including its hotels.
I’m not sure if it was because it was a Monday or because the park was not as “family friendly” (read: “extreme” rides), crowd was visibly thinner when we got to the park. First plan of attack, go to the furthest attraction with Fastpass. We were able to experience a fair number of attractions and had enough time to squeeze in the Aladdin show before lunch.
We accidentally met mother while we were en route to the Marina Restaurant. Lunch was surprisingly good – and affordable. When were about done with dessert, my father and other sister arrived at the restaurant and they had their lunch while my sister and I ran off to other attractions.
By around 3pm, my sister and I had completed our “course” even being able to include some attractions not in our original plan. However, we did miss the Tower of Terror cause even with a Fastpass, next entry was in about 2 hours! So using the Fastpass on only one ride was kinda a waste.
Since we had a couple of hours before 5pm, which we set to be the time we’d all depart from Disneyland, my sister and I went to all coin stops – pretty cheap souvenirs!
Tip to maximizing your time at Tokyo Disney parks is to take advantage of the Fastpass. No additional charges for the use of the Fastpass, unlike the Universal Studios Express Pass which is a separate ticket from the park entrance ticket. You can read more about it here: Disney Fast Pass.
Disneyland vs Disneysea
If you have to choose either one, I’d recommend Disneysea anytime. Aside from the fact that it is the only Disneysea park in the world, it is much more modern than its Disneyland counterpart in Japan. They also have more thrilling rides (I say that in relative to Disneyland and not other parks like Universal Studios).
In my honest opinion, if you have visited Hong Kong Disneyland, you can definitely skip Tokyo Disneyland. They have many similar rides, and for me I prefer the Hong Kong park over the Tokyo version. Aside from the fact that Hong Kong Disneyland is relatively newer than Tokyo Disneyland, the prior is also more friendly to English-speaking tourists. Hong Kong Disneyland is also bigger hence more attractions to see.
And even if you haven’t been to Hong Kong Disneyland, I wouldn’t really recommend visiting Tokyo Disneyland unless you’re staying in Tokyo for a while. Shows aren’t in English so unless you’re very familiar with the Disney movies, it would be kinda hard to appreciate. Since this park is more family friendly compared to Tokyo Disneysea (which has more “extreme” rides), there are a lot (and I mean a lot) of young families visiting the park. Everywhere I turned there was a baby stroller parked or being pushed. Nothing personal against the kids, it was just something that I would always associate when I think about Tokyo Disneyland.
Overall, my family and I enjoyed our visit to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disneysea. It’s always a magical time at Disney parks. 😉
Have you been to any of the Tokyo Disney parks? How was your experience? 🙂
God bless everyone!