Visiting the Kingdom of the Mouse
06.04.2015 - 06.07.2015
April 6th is our wedding anniversary, so we decided to keep our day out in Disneyland until that day. It was our second time visiting the park, our first back in 2013, and we woke to beautiful sunshine. The journey to Tokyo Disneyland is a fairly easy one, taking around an hour overall, with the train taking you straight into the resort. Tokyo Disneyland is unusual in that its second park, Disney Sea, is completely unique to Japan but with our schedule being so tight we had to give it a miss this time. Maybe next time...
We're both big fans of Disneyland, having had some excellent days out at both Paris and Tokyo's parks. Tokyo is by far our favourite though, as its a good mix of the park in Paris and the one in Florida. The shops are also far better, with mostly high-quality merchandise. Plus, there's also plenty of merchandise that we haven't seen anywhere else! Tokyo Disneyland gets a bit of bad press from many people, mainly due to how busy it gets and the insane queuing times for its top rides. We've never had any problems with this, despite both times being very busy, so we've decided to include some top tips below.
Tip One: Get there early!
It sounds like a no-brainer, right? But amazingly, many people will arrive as the park opens or just after. This is a big mistake. The Japanese know what they're doing when it comes to Disneyland, with the queues to get in already huge at least half an hour before they open the gates. This then leads to a bit of a rush at opening time as people head to their favourite rides to grab fast-passes. Our advice? Get there as early as possible and get in line, it'll make your time all the more easy!
Tip Two: Grab a fast pass and ignore Splash Mountain!
Ignore Splash Mountain?! No, really. Both times that we've visited the park, the most popular ride by far has been Splash Mountain. Within an hour of opening, the fast pass return time is already into the afternoon and the queuing time close to three hours. It's simply not worth it. If you grab a fast pass for this ride, you're effectively sealing your fate as to the other rides as its only one fast pass at a time. It's much better to grab a pass for something like space or thunder mountain, then hit the less busy, but still popular, rides such as the Jungle Cruise or Pirates of the Caribbean. By doing this, we managed to tick off four-five rides by lunch time, leaving you time to hit smaller rides and the shops in the afternoon. Once you've used your fast pass, be sure to grab another as soon as possible. Thunder mountain had nearly a three hour queue within a couple of hours when we visited last time, with people queuing well out of the ride and through Fronteirland.
Tip Three: Don't panic about the parades!
When we've visited other Disneylands around the world, finding a decent space for the parades has meant grabbing a space an hour before the parade. This isn't such a problem in Japan as people actually sit down for the parade, meaning that wherever you are you're going to get a good view of the show! We were amazed when we first saw this and I only wish it happened in the other parks around the world.
Tip Four: Don't miss the Electrical Parade and fireworks!
The Electrical Parade has been a mainstay of DIsneyland for many, many years and Its only gotten better each time I've seen it. Tokyo's electrical parade was simply stunning, as was the light show that they projected onto the castle after. Like the parades, everyone sits down to give the people behind a decent view. Be warned though, whilst you won't have to camp out quite as long as you would in another park, it still gets very busy very quickly so keep an eye on the situation.
So, there you have it, our guide to visiting Tokyo Disneyland! We both hope this helps anyone planning a visit and if you've got any other tips then feel free to share them in comments section below.