Disneyland – it’s one of those places I’ve always known about but never thought I would go to. So when we were planning our holiday in Tokyo, a day at Tokyo Disneyland was definitely on the agenda. As a Disney first-timer I was very excited but the enormity of the place was a little overwhelming at first. A little planning ahead of time can make a big difference to the success of the day, so here are my recommendations for having a wonderful day at Disneyland.
Do some research. I searched on Google for “the best day to go to Tokyo Disneyland” and the results were very helpful. On the Disneyland website there is a table of predicted attendances, using past numbers and resort bookings. The days are graded on a scale from 1 to 100, with 100 being “we are so full we are closing the gates”. For the week we were going to be in Tokyo, Tuesday and Wednesday were going to be the best days with a rating of 52. So the decision was made…Tuesday would be Disney Day.
Buy your tickets before the day. Also on the Disney website I read that it is better to buy tickets before the day at a Disney store than wait to buy them at the gate, which means avoiding standing in a long queue. When planning Monday’s outing, we included a stop at the Disney Store at Takashimaya Shopping Centre. Tickets purchased with no waiting – great decision.
Get a map at the entrance. Tokyo Disneyland covers a large area and it would be very easy to wander aimlessly and waste time just looking and marvelling. With a map each, we could see exactly where we were and where we wanted to go next.
Plan your day. The first thing we did after entering the park was to sit down and work out our plan of attack. With no children to cater for, we eliminated the children’s rides and activities. We decided which attractions we definitely wanted to see and worked out a route which took us around the park. This meant we didn’t waste precious time retracing our footsteps.
Use the Fast Pass system. Having a Fast Pass means you don’t have to queue for rides. When you scan your ticket you get a pass with an allotted hour during which you can go on the ride. You can’t get another Fast Pass until that hour begins so check which rides have passes and decide which ones you most want to do. We found that the passes filled up quickly so make sure you fast pass your preferred ones first.
Take your lunch with you. We bought lunch at our local 7/11 store and carried water bottles which we refilled several times. It was far cheaper and saved us from wasting time waiting in the queue. Because we were at Disneyland all day we still needed to buy our dinner, but we waited until there wasn’t a line-up.
See all the parades. There are three amazing parades and while they all feature the favourite Disney characters, they are all very different. With thousands of LED bulbs glowing in the darkness, the night time parade was simply spectacular. You don’t have to save a space too early. The parade goes right around the park and there are plenty of great vantage points.
Stay all day. We arrived at 9 am and left when the park closed at 10 pm. Even with a full day we couldn’t do everything but we were satisfied with all that we managed to fit in.
Have fun. I did!