What’s It Like at Tokyo Disney Resort

Standing in front of Cinderella’s Castle, the icon of Tokyo Disneyland

Standing in front of Cinderella’s Castle, the icon of Tokyo Disneyland

Today, we have arrived at the Disney theme park, which is also fondly known as The Land of the Dreams (夢の国)! In Japan, there are two theme parks that make up the Tokyo Disney Resort: Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disneysea. You can purchase either a one-day pass, two-day pass (for both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disneysea), an after-6pm pass (whereby you can only enter the theme park after 3pm; but it’s cheaper than the regular pass!) or even an annual season pass.

Getting to Tokyo Disney Resort
The easiest method for any tourist to get to the Tokyo Disney Resort would be, of course, to book a room at the Disney Hotels that are located within the vicinity of the park. However, you’d have to take note of the prices of the hotels, which are relatively more expensive. Also, the hotels can be fully booked months in advance, so you’d have to book early if you want to stay at the Disney Hotels!

Otherwise, you may also consider booking a stay at the Tokyo Disney Resort Good Neighbour Hotels (you can find the list of hotels here), which was what I did. The prices are less expensive compared to the Disney Hotels and generally, these hotels are located more towards central Tokyo. Then what’s the difference between a Tokyo Disney Resort Good Neighbour Hotel and a regular hotel? At a Tokyo Disney Resort Good Neighbour Hotel, they provide shuttle bus services to and from the Tokyo Disney Resort at no additional cost! You will be able to choose the timings that you wish to board the bus at your own convenience and book a seat in advance. This is definitely a more convenient and slightly cheaper option than staying at a Disney Hotel.

On the other hand, with the rising popularity of Airbnb, some of you might not be staying in hotels but at places in central Tokyo. Then, the easiest way for you to get to the Tokyo Disney Resort will be via train. All the instructions on how to get there can easily be found on the Tokyo Disney Resort website! Otherwise, I recommend a website called Hyperdia which is a really good website that gives you the directions on how to get from one place to another in English.

Tokyo Disney Resort
If you worry about the exorbitant prices of food within the park itself, then I suggest that before you head to the park in the morning, you could perhaps get a bento set from a local convenience store. Not only are they tasty, but they are definitely cheaper than the meals that are sold within the park.

Additionally, located near the Tokyo Disney Resort is a shopping mall called Ikispiari. Ikispiari is a shopping mall that houses cheaper restaurant chains such as Saizeriya (It’s so much tastier in Japan than in Singapore!). There are also clothing shops such as Lowry’s Farm, Stussy and WEGO, and some of these shops may include tax-free shopping for tourists.

Depending on the season that you are headed to Tokyo Disney Resort, the crowd levels also differ. There are crowd calendars that can be found online which will help you come to a decision on which day you might want to check out the theme park. Of course, you will have to expect more people to be at the theme park during school holidays, public holidays and special days like Christmas. It is interesting to note that although Christmas is not a public holiday in Japan, it usually falls within the school holidays for students. Additionally, Christmas is known as a lover’s day in Japan and thus, the park will be filled with many lovey-dovey couples!

Tokyo Disneysea
On the first day, I headed to Tokyo Disneysea! Many of you should already know this, but Tokyo Disneysea is exclusive to Japan! There are also very cute Disney characters, Duffy and Shellie May, which are limited to Disneysea.

Compared to Tokyo Disneyland, the rides at Tokyo Disneysea are targeted at an older age group. This means that if you’re the type who prefer thrill rides, Tokyo Disneysea would definitely be more suitable for you.

Standing in front of Cinderella’s Castle, the icon of Tokyo Disneyland
Standing in front of Cinderella’s Castle, the icon of Tokyo Disneyland

Upon arrival at the park, you must definitely rush to your favourite ride in order to get a Fastpass. A Fastpass will enable you to board the ride without having to queue with the other regular riders, but there is a specific timing that you have to be at the ride by. Additionally, you are not allowed to take multiple Fastpass at a single time and you will have to wait until the stipulated timing that can be found towards the bottom of the first Fastpass.

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My favourite ride at Tokyo Disneysea would definitely be the Tower of Terror. The Tower of Terror is a drop ride that takes place in a fictional hotel, Hotel Hightower. I shall not give away too many spoilers about the ride or the story, but there was one very fun part of the ride – that was when the “windows” in front of the seats opened and riders were treated to a bird’s eye view of the park. Very thrilling.

One of the cutest popsicles to ever exist! Plus, it tastes real good too.
Many of such adorable goods can be found all over the Tokyo Disneyland/sea. Why not get one for yourself too?
Many of such adorable goods can be found all over the Tokyo Disneyland/sea. Why not get one for yourself too?

Of course, while you’re at Disneysea, don’t forget to buy several of these special Disney-limited goodies like a Minnie Mouse-shaped popsicle or a Winnie The Pooh balloon. I swear the popsicle tastes even better when it’s cold.

Tokyo Disneyland
On the second day, I headed to Tokyo Disneyland. When I went to Disneyland, it felt more crowded than Disneysea and there were many more tourists around. Here at Disneyland, you may also get the Fastpass so don’t forget to grab them as you walk around the park.

A young boy trying to high-five a Little Green Man!
A young boy trying to high-five a Little Green Man!

The rides at Disneyland are catered to a younger audience and thus, you will find that the rides are definitely less thrilling than the rides at Disneysea. Many of my friends who have been to Disneyland are fans of Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, which is limited to Tokyo Disneyland. This ride always has the longest waiting lines and its Fastpass is always sold out first.

The Easter Parade in Tokyo Disneyland that is held in the month of April
The Easter Parade in Tokyo Disneyland that is held in the month of April

When you’re at Disneyland, don’t forget to check out the parades that are held! Most of these parades are held based on the season or any special holidays that will be taking place during the season. For instance, when I was there, the parade that was held was based on Easter. This also meant that there were fun events that were held at Disneyland, such as hunting for Disney character-themed eggs and the sale of food and goodies that were Easter themed.

The parades are definitely a magical experience. The performers all have such bright expressions and they just make you feel so happy inside, as if you’ve gone back to being a child again. From the parade, I could understand why they also deem Disneyland as The Land of the Dreams (夢の国). It just feels like you’re in a dreamlike place where everything just feels innocent and filled with happiness.

Many also don’t know this but you can mail postcards and letters out from Disneyland/Disneysea. There are post offices located around the park and you can find out where they are here. When you post a postcard/letter out from Disneyland, there will be a Disney-limited stamp that is stamped on the postcard/letter itself. If you’re thinking of souvenirs that you would like to give to the people around you, I think that this is a great idea! Not only can you pen down a personal message that is filled with feelings, the postcard/letter will also contain a special Disney stamp!

The ship that welcomes Tokyo Disneysea’s 15th anniversary is the last highlight before you head back
The ship that welcomes Tokyo Disneysea’s 15th anniversary is the last highlight before you head back

If you have yet to visit the Tokyo Disney Resort, what are you waiting for? Although Disney may come across as childish, something that is associated with children, it’s definitely not the case in Japan. In the Tokyo Disney Resort, you will find people of all ages – from young children to teenagers to adults – decked in Disney gear (such as Minnie Mouse ears, Duffy tote bags, carrying plushies around)! You won’t have to worry about how old you are or anything like that. Just take the time to relax and relish in the innocent, dream-like charm that Disney has. It’s The Land of the Dreams (夢の国) after all!

Andrea