One of the main reasons we stopped in Tokyo on our way home from Hong Kong was to visit Tokyo Disneyland, a must-do in Tokyo with kids. I couldn’t rationalize taking a 5-year-old to Japan’s capital city without a visit to Tokyo Disney Resort, which happens to also include Tokyo DisneySea, shopping and various hotels.
I feared rain, which is typical during a Tokyo summer. Light rain was present on the day we visited Tokyo Disneyland and it didn’t slow the park down one bit. In fact, we experienced little to no lines which was like a dream come true.
Getting to Tokyo Disney Resort
From Tokyo Station, we took the KeiyÅ Line (red on the map) to Maihama Station, where Tokyo Disney Resort is located. Once you’re on the train, it’s about a 15 minute ride. We traveled on summer weekdays, but did not have trouble finding a seat on the train. Unlike Tokyo Station, Maihama is very easy to navigate with signs guiding you through the station and to the Disney Resort Line (monorail). Cost from Tokyo Station to Maihama is ¥210 ($2.68 at the time of this writing).
The Disney Resort Line stops in four places: the Resort Gateway Station, Tokyo Disneyland Station, Bayside Station (where the resort’s official hotels are), and Tokyo DisneySea. There’s a small fee for the monorail. We bought 2-day passes which were ¥1200 (¥800 for adults and ¥400 for children) total. At the time of this writing, this equals about $15 USD. The transition from Tokyo Station to Tokyo Disney Resort Line is very easy and fast, making even a half-day visit doable.
Tokyo Disney Resort Ticket Information
Ticket prices for a one-day passport to one park are:
- Adults ages 18 and over: ¥6,200 ($77 USD)
- Kids ages 12-17: ¥5,300 ($66 USD)
- Kids ages 4-11: ¥4,100 ($51 USD)
A two-day pass can get you into both parks for roughly 50% more. I would highly recommend this if you plan to visit both parks. Check the Tokyo Disney Resort ticket page for current pricing and use a currency converter.
About Tokyo Disneyland
Tokyo Disneyland was the first Disney park built outside of the United States, opening it’s gates for the first time in 1983. The park continues to add new attractions and restaurants, but as of this writing, there are 43 attractions, 52 shops and 54 restaurants. The layout is similar to other Disneylands, where guests use the Cinderella Castle as a point of reference. Except, instead of entering through Main Street, this area is called World Bazaar and is a recreation of a small American town in the early 1900s.
There are shops (some are two-story, unlike other Disney parks), restaurants and even a working bank here. The area is covered by a glass roof, which mitigates the rain.
In addition to World Bazaar, other areas include Adventureland, Westernland, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Toontown and Tomorrowland. Here is a photograph of my map.
It didn’t feel like it, however, this park is a little bit bigger than Disneyland Anaheim but with a few less attractions.
Touring Tokyo Disneyland
As with all other Disneylands, including Hong Kong Disneyland, we take an obligatory photo in front of the Cinderella Castle and walk through it to Fantasyland.
Though it was June, I never did figure out why there were Easter eggs all over the place. Because of the rain, we rode the carousel, Dumbo, Alice’s Tea Party (teacups) and Snow White in less than an hour. However, La Jolla Girl really wanted to ride the Haunted Mansion, which she hated in Orlando. I relented and yes, it’s located in Fantasyland since there is no New Orleans Square at Tokyo Disneyland.
I’m not sure if the fact that the ride was narrated in almost exclusively Japanese made the situation better or worse, but she pretty much hid her eyes the entire time. Most of the rides are narrated in Japanese.
I rightfully figured It’s a Small World would be a perfect post-Haunted Mansion ride.
We rode this several times in a row, because there were no lines as seen in the photo below. People were just walking on to boats. Also seen in this photo: mouse ears (more on these later).
Next, we headed to Tomorrowland to ride Buzz Lightyear, back to Adventureland to ride Pirates of the Caribbean (a big hit) and then it was lunch time. We had already accomplished everything we’d wanted to. After lunch, we toured the Cinderella Castle, rode Dumbo, the Jungle Cruise, shopped and called it a day. The little legs were tired by then.
Tokyo Disneyland Restaurants
We opted for the Crystal Palace restaurant buffet lunch which featured Japanese curry, pasta, seafood, salad and more. I regret that I can’t remember how much I paid, but did not think it was unreasonable for what it was. This is where the Character Breakfast is, which you will need to make reservations for in advance.
There are four entertainment lunch and dinner shows. Some restaurants have priority seating that works sort of like a Fast Pass, where you can return at an assigned time. Popcorn carts (see Tokyo DisneySea review) are also all over Tokyo Disneyland. Visit the Tokyo Disneyland website for more restaurant information.
Things To Know
Minimal to no line waiting for attractions is not normal. If light rain is in the forecast, grab an umbrella and raincoat and go for it. If you get caught at the park in the rain, have no fear, inexpensive raincoats, towels and umbrellas are available for purchase. Rain is not unusual in Tokyo.
There is no Matterhorn ride. To be honest, this was the only ride I noticed that was missing. The characters were seen in the World Bazaar area, mainly due to the rain, I assume. The park was closed for a month after the Tokyo earthquake, but there was no sign of damage–in fact, no sign anywhere in Tokyo that I saw.
Rather than the cap-like mouse ears seen in the US and even at Hong Kong Disneyland, the mouse ears here are headbands. Some of the ears have earrings, veils, bows and what have you. It is totally normal for all ages to be seen around the park completely decked out in Disney gear.
Disneyland is considered the happiest place on Earth, but I noticed the staff demeanor at both Tokyo Disney Resort Parks to be especially friendly, which is helpful as a foreigner. Most all we encountered spoke English. The bathrooms were extraordinarily clean, as were both parks, in general.
Do visit Tokyo Disneyland on your next trip to Japan. Have you been?
*Thanks to Oriental Land Co., LTD for providing our Tokyo Disney Resort tickets.