How to Plan Your Trip to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea

by Alexandra

Whether it’s seeing your favorite characters come to life or getting an adrenaline rush from the thrilling rides, you can be sure that you’ll have a magical time re-discovering the awes and wonders from your childhood at Tokyo Disney Resort. From maintenance to food quality to cast members’ friendliness, Tokyo Disney Resort is in a league of its own. Tokyo’s Disney Resort is home to two amazing amusement parks – Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. But you should know a thing or two about how to plan your trip to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea to take the most out of this fantastic experience!

Difference Between Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea

But if you have only one day to spare, here is a breakdown of Plan Your Trip to Tokyo Disneyland

Tokyo Disneyland

If you’re a fan of the immersive, magical experience unique to Disney Parks, Tokyo Disneyland is the one. Especially if you have young kids, or you feel like one, spectacular shows and parades will leave you speechless.  Overall, the atmosphere in Tokyo Disneyland is easily more true to the Disney parks around the globe. It ticks off your standard Disney park “must-do” checklist.

Plan Your Trip to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea

Popular attractions at Disneyland:

Dreamlights – Nighttime light parade a la SpectroMagic and the Main Street Electrical Parade. Dreamlights takes the light parade concept to the next level, and adds a couple of revolutionary floats to the mix, making Main Street Electrical Parade look antiquated by comparison.

Minnie Oh! Minnie!  – Live show featuring Latin music and dancers, as well as Disney characters. This is basically a high-energy show with performers and other characters swooning over Minnie Mouse as a very loose plot (or perhaps a ‘musical motif’ is better). The costuming is gorgeous, and the human performers are really talented. The choreography is great and the songs are really catchy. Theater Orleans, where the show is performed, is fairly large, so getting a seat shouldn’t be too much of an issue except on especially busy days. Enough of the show is in English so that you’ll understand what’s going on, but it’s mostly about the Latin beats and costumes, anyway.

Monster’s Inc. Ride & Go Seek – Interactive dark ride in which guests use flashlights to trigger effects and reveal monsters. Along with Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, this is the flagship attraction at Tokyo Disneyland.

Pooh’s Hunny Hunt – Trackless dark ride through the world of Winnie the Pooh. This is the gold standard for Fantasyland dark rides–you will never look at the rest the same after Hunny Hunt. The trackless ride system is key, but so are the great scenes and other effects. Hunny Hunt’s ride vehicles dance with one another and engage their environments in a way that adds an incredible amount of immersion.

Western River Railroad – Railroad ride departing Adventureland and taking guests through Westernland and Critter Country before returning to Adventureland. Unlike other Disney theme parks, this railroad does not circle the perimeter of the park. Instead, it’s a loop departing from and returning to Adventureland. While it can’t be used as transportation between lands, it offers beautiful views of attractions and scenes, including Primeval World, along the way. Do this whenever.

Space Mountain – Space Mountain is a dark roller coaster through outer space. There’s some cool theming here, a blast-off tunnel, and a re-entry tunnel. This is similar to the Disneyland version, except with different effects and without onboard audio. We recommend doing it, even if you’re familiar with the US versions. Do it early in the morning or use a FastPass.

Plan Your Trip to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea

Also, check out:

Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin

Pirates of the Caribbean

Haunted Mansion

Splash Mountain

Country Bear Jamboree

Jungle Cruise

Star Tours: The Adventures Continue

Tokyo DisneySea

On the other hand, DisneySea is unique to Tokyo and it’s really a theme park unlike anything else Disney has to offer. It is a bit more adult-oriented in feeling and atmosphere. There is still plenty to do for kids, but they’re more likely to prefer Tokyo Disneyland, as much of the brilliance of Tokyo DisneySea will be lost on them. 

Another added attraction is that you can buy beer and wine at DisneySea if that appeals to you, while the closest to alcohol you can buy at Disneyland is non-alcoholic beer.

Plan Your Trip to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea

Popular shows at DisneySea:

Big Band Beat – This 30-minute Broadway jazz revue featuring tap dancing, an orchestra, and other performers is housed in the Broadway Music Theatre, which harks back to classic theaters in New York City. While most of Big Band Beat is traditional non-Disney jazz numbers, there are appearances by Disney characters, like Mickey Mouse’s impressive drum finale.

Fantasmic! is a musical battle between the forces of good and evil set in Mickey’s dreams with stunning effects, including pyrotechnics, water, lasers, fire, and a huge dragon. It’s performed nightly in the Mediterranean Harbor lagoon

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – A sea rover-based dark ride into the depths of the sea.  Guests board a vehicle called Neptune with room for about 6 people and go through a suspended dark ride. This is a great attraction that is brilliantly executed and suspends disbelief. In typical Tokyo DisneySea fashion, the scenes and effects are pretty spectacular and detailed.
Venetian Gondolas  – Venetian gondolas captained by two charismatic gondoliers from the Palazzo Canals to the lagoon in Mediterranean Harbor and back. The scenery and the romanticism of gondolas are the big draw, but the gondoliers can be a highlight, too.
Fortress Explorations – A Tom Sawyer Island-like play area featuring 10 very memorable exhibits. It is EPCOT Center caliber “edutainment,” that not only showcased some still-impressive technologies from centuries ago but also the revolutionary thinkers who devised the devices. Kids (and even many adults!) will have fun exploring it while learning a thing or two.
Plan Your Trip to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea
Also, check out:
DisneySea Electric Railway
Sindbad’s Storybook Voyage
Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull 
King Triton’s Concert/Mermaid Lagoon Theater
Caravan Carousel
The Magic Lamp Theater
Toy Story Mania
Turtle Talk
DisneySea Transit Steamer Line
For more in-depth information about Tokyo Disney Resort, please click on the link —

Planning Tips: 

  • When to go to Tokyo Disney Resort?

 It is very important to choose your travel dates wisely to avoid weekends and holidays. Things like Japanese national holidays, like Golden week, can have a considerable impact on certain dates. So the #1 tip would be to plan your trip according to public holidays.

3 of the busiest period to avoid are:

Golden Week: 29th April to 5th May
Obon: Mid-July or Mid August (depending on the solar calendar)
New Year: 31st December to 1st January

Tuesdays and Wednesdays are your best bet. Do not visit Tokyo Disney Resort on weekends!

However, come school holidays and it probably doesn’t matter which day of the week you’re going.

School breaks:

Summer: Usually July 20th to August 31st

Winter: December 26th to January 6th

Spring: Around 25th March to 5th April

Our recommendations would be mid-May, early to mid-September, and early December, when you have mild weather, sunny days, and low crowds.

Although the differences between seasons in Japan are significant, every time of the year has seasonal events and celebrations that perfectly capture the season. Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Summer Festival (now “Pirates Summer”), and “Anna & Elsa’s Frozen Fantasy” are all worth seeing.

  • Buy your discounted Tokyo Disneyland/sea tickets online.

Crowds can be huge, and you need to prepare to avoid them. The counters only open 30 minutes before the park opens, so you want to use that time to get a head start by buying your tickets online and trying to get to the front of the gate queue instead! This will increase your chances of getting a Fast Pass for your favorite ride.

You will also save money, as they are cheaper online.

  • Have a Fast Pass Game Plan on hand

In the Disney Resort Parks, the Fast Pass system gives every ticket holder a fair chance at taking one of the popular rides without much waiting time. Problem is, some of the queues to the Fast Pass machine can take up to an hour, and the more popular rides run out of tickets shortly after the park opens.

Getting a Tokyo Disney Fast Pass: The FASTPASS ticketing machines are located beside the ride entrances and you simply have to scan the QR code on your printed e-ticket to receive a Fast Pass with a designated time period printed on it. Come back to the ride within the time period for express entry!

Note: Each Disney Park ticket is only allowed 1 Fast Pass Ticket every 2 hours. You will get an error ticket if you try getting a 2nd Fast Pass Ticket before the 2-hour buffer.

  • Bring a bento box for lunch

Food is allowed in the Disney Resort Parks and you can eat them at the designated picnic area — outside the main entrance on the left. So save money and purchase a bento box or a couple of onigiris before heading in. Re-entry is also allowed here so you can head out to the convenience store for a quick bite.

  • Arrive at least 1 hour before the park opens

Queues get quite crazy 30mins before opening, so arriving an hour before the park opens is pretty sound advice. Hopefully, you already have your Tokyo Disney Tickets the day before so you can skip the ticket queue and join the entrance queue instead. When the park is open, resist an urge to go straight to rides and line in the queue for your first Fast Pass.

That’s it for now. If you choose to go to Tokyo Disney Resort with us, we will tailor this experience just for you so you can get the most out of it.

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