There are seven different Disney Resorts in the world. Anaheim (California) Disneyland Resort, Orlando (Florida) Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, Shanghai Disney Resort, Hong Kong Disney Resort, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. Whether you’ve been to one or all seven of the Disney parks, chances are you would have had one of the best days of your life. After all, Disneyland is the Happiest Place in the World!
Before our visit to Japan, Russell and I had only visited the Anaheim Disney Parks (Disneyland and California Adventure Park). Although we’ve been to both of those parks multiple times, we hadn’t broadened our Disney horizons beyond California.
The Tokyo Disneyland parks are something that I am going to find difficult to explain, especially if you’ve never visited any other Disney Parks before. If you have visited other Disney Parks around the world, you’re in for a treat!
Warning: there are a LOT of photos in this post! 😉Everything you need to know about Tokyo's Disneyland and DisneySea! #tokyodisneyland #disneysea Click To Tweet
Everything you need to know about Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea!
How to get to Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea
There are a few ways to get to the Disney parks, it just depends on where you are staying and which is your preferred method of transport!
- If you are travelling from Shinjuku, Tokyo, Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, Shinagawa, Yokohama or Akihabara, you can catch any of the JR train lines heading to Maihama Station.
- Google Maps is the best way to help get you there from your hotel or current location. The app will give you step by step instructions, including the train(s) you’ll need to catch and the exits to leave by. It will also tell you which direction and how far you have to walk in between! Pretty handy, huh?
Tip: If you have a Japan Rail Pass (click here for more on the Rail Pass), you can actually use it to get to the Disney parks! Simply show your JR pass to an officer standing next to any JR entrance gate, and you’ll be let straight through – without having to pay any extra! For more information, here is a detailed explanation of the trains you can catch from the main stations around Tokyo!
Once you arrive at the Maihama Station, you’ll then need to catch the Disney Resort Monorail. This is where you put away your JR Pass, and take out your Suica Card! The monorail is decked out in Disney, and super adorable! Even the windows are shaped as Mickey’s head. The monorail will take you directly to the entrances of both Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, so just hop off at your desired park!
Ticket Prices & Where to Purchase Tickets
There are a few different options when it comes to purchasing tickets to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea.
1 Day Passport – 7,400 yen (adult), 6,400 yen (ages 12 to 17), 4,800 (ages 4 to 11)
2 Day Passport – 13,200 (adult), 11,600 yen (ages 12 to 17), 8,600 yen (ages 4 to 11)
3 Day Magic Passport* – 17,800 (adult), 15,500 (ages 12 to 17), 11,500 (ages 4 to 11)
4 Day Magic Passport* – 22,400 (adult), 19,400 (ages 12 to 17), 14,400 (ages 4 to 11)
*A Magic Passport gets you into either park on the 3rd or 4th consecutive day. Basically, you can spend the morning at Disneyland, then end the day at DisneySea!
This is the most important piece of advice I can give, throughout this whole blog post: Do NOT purchase Disneyland or DisneySea tickets at the gate. You will regret it. The lines are excruciatingly long, and you will spend a great deal of your time waiting in lines before you even enter the park.
Instead, there are a few ways you can buy tickets before you arrive:
- At selected Disney Stores around Tokyo: Shibuya Koen Dori, Odaiba Aqua City, Ikebukuro Sunshine City Alpa, Hachioji Tokyu Square, Machida 109, Akishima Mori Town.
- Online via the Tokyo Disneyland website
- At Family Mart or Lawson convenience stores throughout Tokyo
We purchased our 2-day passports from the Shibuya Disney Store a few days beforehand.Click for ticket prices to Tokyo's Disneyland and DisneySea! I recommend the 3 Day Magic… Click To Tweet
Disneyland or DisneySea – What’s the Difference?
If you’ve been to any other Disneyland parks before, Japan’s Disneyland is very similar. It’s laid out pretty much the same, you still walk in to admire Cinderella’s Castle – mind you, the castle looks super different. The characters are the same and you can still indulge in dozens of delicious churros. However, if you’re after something different, but still want to experience the magical Disney vibe, DisneySea would be my recommendation.
The props, buildings, decorations, rides and attractions are amazing. Not to mention the huge river stretching across almost half of the DisneySea park from Port Discovery to Mediterranean Harbour. The sheer detail and thought that has been put into DisneySea is something that is hard to describe, so you will just have to check it out for yourself!
In my experience (having been to Anaheim’s Disneyland and California Adventure Park multiple times), DisneySea is completely different. The sheer size of everything around you, like the Journey to the Centre of the Earth volcano, is super impressive and like nothing I have ever seen before.
Food – Prices & Types of Food
QUICK EATS/FOOD CARTS
Like every other theme park in the world (Disney or otherwise), there are food carts absolutely everywhere, catering to almost all of your sweet and savoury food cravings.
These are the general snacks you’ll find throughout Disneyland and DisneySea:
- Churros (fried dough pastry – aka the best theme park food on Earth) – 310 yen
- Popcorn in tons of flavours (cappuccino, caramel, milk chocolate, honey, soy sauce and butter and regular salted – the flavours will vary depending on which park you are visiting, and which area/land too!) – 310 yen for a regular box; 1,000 – 2,300 yen for a character souvenir bucket
- Ice creams – 200 yen – 300 yen
- Soft drinks & water bottles – 200 yen – 300 yen
There are a lot of Japanese and western food options that you’ll find at many of the food carts within Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. For Japanese snacks, you’ll mostly find things like steamed buns filled with different meats, dessert steamed buns with strawberries, mochi dumplings filled with custard and various fried delicacies.
Since we visited the Disney Parks at the end of our trip, we were doing our best to save money. Therefore we didn’t really experiment too much with the different varieties of snacks.
The restaurants at both of Tokyo’s Disney parks are very similar to any other Disney park you would have been to. They’re all themed, based on which land they are in. Although most sell the same sorts of food, you may find a bit of variety if you “shop around” first. We didn’t spend too much time exploring the restaurants, as we were on the hunt for cheap and quick food. But if you like pizza, french fries, sandwiches, bakery foods, rice, pasta, Japanese style foods and a lot more, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
As far as theme park food prices go, Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea are very reasonably priced. You can get a huge cup of french fries for 500 yen, a decent sized slice of pizza for around 450 yen and from what I saw, the fancier “meals” were better than expected at less than 2,000 yen (they usually include a main meal, drink and a side of some sort).
- Bring your own snacks – Hit up any of the hundreds of convenience stores around Tokyo before you head to the Disney parks. You’re allowed to bring in your own snacks, so stock up! This will not only save you money, but also save you a ton of time throughout the day, as the lines for restaurants and food carts can be painfully long.
Note: Expect to wait at least half an hour for the most popular popcorn carts!
- Bring a water bottle – There are tons of water fountains within both parks. Usually you’ll find at least one in each of the different lands, so there’s no shortage of cold water available for free. Russell and I were glad we brought our own water bottles, as it saved so much time and money throughout the day!
- Eat lunch earlier in the day – Waiting in long lines at a theme park is inevitable. But we were surprised at just how long the lines were at food carts and restaurants around the park. So we suggest eating lunch earlier as opposed to, well, lunch time! The restaurants in particular remain fairly quiet up until 11am, so head there earlier in the day to save some time. Every minute counts, especially if you’ve only got one day to explore the park!
Rides, Parades & Fast Passes
Now we come to the most important part, and the topic that everyone wants to know about: the rides and fast passes! It’s no secret that Disneyland in general is a very busy place. No matter what day you go, and no matter which Disney park around the world you visit, you’re gonna have to share the park with other people. I know, it sucks.
Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea are are the busiest Disney parks I have ever been to. Sure, I’ve only visited the Anaheim Disneyland. But I can say with certainty, Anaheim wasn’t anywhere near as busy as the Tokyo Disney parks were when we visited. The minimum wait time for almost every ride was 140 minutes. Unless you get lucky and visit on a quiet day, this is the approximate wait time for most of the popular rides.
For example, when we visited Disneyland (on a Thursday in winter), we arrived at the park around 15 minutes before it opened. We would have arrived earlier, but due to the fact that it took an hour to get to the park from our hotel in Shinjuku, it just didn’t seem worth getting up at 4am to make it there by 6am with everyone else!
The lines for the ticket booths were already insanely long at this time. The lines for the people who already had their tickets, were insanely long. When the clock struck 8am, the gates opened and thousands of guests ran to their favourite ride. Our plan of attack was to get a Fast Pass for Space Mountain (the greatest ride on Earth). By the time we got inside the park, it was already 8:10am and the line to get Fast Passes for Space Mountain was huge. The standby wait time at 8:30am, was well over 100 minutes.Space Mountain is my favourite rollercoaster of all time! What's yours? #tokyodisneyland Click To Tweet
Here are some tips to help you through your first experience at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea
PLAN YOUR DAY AROUND FAST PASSES
A Fast Pass is your best bet in getting on most (if not all) of the major rides and attractions. Insert your park ticket into a machine located outside of each ride that has a Fast Passes available. The machine will then print out a ticket with the name of the ride at the top, and an hour time bracket for you to come back later in the day. When you go back during your allotted time, you will be able to breeze past all of the people who have been standing in line for over an hour, and get on the ride in under 10 minutes! Well, most of the time. Sometimes you may have to wait a little longer than expected, but either way, it’s better than 140 minutes!
Note: You can only get one Fast Pass ticket at a time. For example, if you get a Fast Pass for Space Mountain as soon as the gates open, you’ll have to wait a couple of hours until you can get another Fast Pass (for a different ride or the same ride).
Which rides have Fast Passes available?
These are all of the rides at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea which have Fast Passes available! There are only a small number of Fast Passes available for each ride, per day. So to make things easier for you, I’ve included the rides I suggest you prioritise getting Fast Passes for!
- Big Thunder Mountain – Westernland
Tip: This is a super fun, fast paced roller coaster. Grab a Fast Pass early, to ensure you don’t have to wait in long lines – unmissable ride!
- Splash Mountain – Critter Country
- Pooh’s Hunny Hunt – Fantasyland
Tip: Fast Passes run out very quick! If you or your children are Winnie The Pooh fans, grab a Fast Pass early!
- Haunted Mansion – Fantasyland
- Star Tours: The Adventures Continue – Tomorrowland
- Space Mountain – Tomorrowland
Tip: Space Mountain is my all time favourite ride. It’s an extremely fast paced roller coaster in almost complete darkness! Grab a Fast Pass as soon as you enter the park.
- Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters – Tomorrowland
- Monster’s, Inc. Ride & Go Seek! – Tomorrowland
Tip: This is an interactive ride which is great for kids! Fast Passes run out quickly, grab a Fast Pass early to avoid missing out!
- Tower of Terror – American Waterfront
- Toy Story Mania! – American Waterfront
Tip: Grab a Fast Pass as soon as you enter the park. They run out very quick! We missed out and didn’t get to go on this ride, unfortunately!
- Indiana Jones – Lost River Delta
Tip: Indiana Jones is another super fast and awesome roller coaster! Grab a Fast Pass early to make sure you don’t miss out!
- Raging Spirits – Lost River Delta
- The Magic Lamp Theatre – Arabian Coast
- Mermaid Lagoon Theatre – Mermaid Lagoon
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – Mysterious Island
- Journey to the Centre of the Earth – Mysterious Island
Fast Passes are the best way to experience everything at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea! Here… Click To Tweet
AGE & HEIGHT LIMITS
As you might expect for a theme park, all of the attractions at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea require riders to be of a certain height and sometimes a certain age. To make things easier for you, I’ve included links to both the Disneyland and DisneySea website pages, which list each ride individually, as well as the age and height restrictions for that particular ride.
I can’t really give any advice or suggestions in regards to the Disneyland or DisneySea parades and shows, as we prioritised rides over parades. But from what we could tell by queues, the “Big Band Beat” show at DisneySea and the “Happiness is Here” daytime parade at Disneyland are unmissable!What are your favourite parades at Tokyo's Diseneyland & DisneySea? Click To Tweet
- Buy food before lining up for a ride – This is a great way to save time while waiting in long lines. We saw people snacking and even eating their lunch while waiting in lines for rides! It’s a pretty convenient way to kill some time, and eat some delicious food!
- Get to the park early – If you only have one day at each park, we definitely recommend arriving earlier than 8am (when the park opens). The earlier the better to be honest. You’ll be able to fit more into your day, and won’t risk missing out on Fast Pass tickets.
- Plan your day around Fast Passes – Before you arrive at Disneyland or DisneySea, write a list of your ‘must see’ rides and attractions. Next, write down whether that particular ride is a Fast Pass attraction. When you arrive at the park, head for the ride at the top of your list and grab a Fast Pass. Then, head to #2 on your list and stand in the standby line. By the time you’ve been on that ride, eaten some food and had a look around, it will be time for you to grab your second Fast Pass ticket! Planning your day around Fast Passes is the best way to ensure you hit up most (if not all) of the rides and attractions on your list!
I hope I’ve given you plenty of tips, to help you make the most of your day at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. The service from every single staff member at Disneyland and DisneySea is absolutely amazing. So if I have left something out, I’m sure any of the friendly Disneyland peeps will be happy to help you out!
Let’s recap – these are the most important things you need to know:
- Get to the park early
- Plan your day around Fast Pass tickets
- Bring your own snacks and water bottle
- Don’t buy your tickets at the gate – purchase them beforehand at a Disney Store or convenience store!
If you have any other questions that you would like me to answer, feel free to ask them down below! I’m more than happy to help out! Have you been to Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea? What did you think? I’d love to know!
In the meantime, here are some of my favourite photos from Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea!What's your favourite memory from Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea? Click To Tweet
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Post originally created in March 2017 – updated in August 2017.