Tokyo Disneyland has been at the top of my bucket list for years, and after my husband passed by it while he was in Japan for work many years ago, he added it to his as well. Since then we have been scheming and saving our way to the trip of a lifetime.
I sketched this while waiting in line to enter the park, and later realized there are no classic Mickey Balloons in Tokyo!
Originally, we began plotting our Tokyo visit to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. However, that date lands in June 2020, just before the Tokyo Summer Olympics. Being in a city around the Olympics did not sound like fun to us; it sounded like CROWDS. So we quickly decided we would hurry up and go this summer. We are very thankful to our parents who happily shared the care of our daughter while we were gone for a week! Now on to the good stuff…
Temporarily enjoying the #ChildlessMillenialsofDisney life on our trip!
Tokyo Disneyland consists of two parks. Tokyo Disneyland, and Tokyo Disney Sea. Tokyo Disney Sea has the reputation of being the world’s greatest theme park, and I can assure you, it lives up to the hype 100%! For this post I am going to focus on Disneyland.
Our stay included breakfast which had both western and Japanese style foods!
During our time at the parks, we stayed at the Hilton Tokyo Bay. Not a Disney Hotel, but a partner hotel that is also on property. Upon our late Tuesday night arrival, we bought our Disney Tickets (it’s very difficult to buy them in advance online since the web site is all in Japanese); two 4 day park passes. One of the things that drew us to this trip is that Tokyo Disney Tickets are less expensive than state side parks.
4 days at Tokyo Disney & Tokyo Disney Sea costs roughly $52 per day for one person. So we paid $425 for the two of us. In comparison, 4 days of park hopper tickets with MaxPass for the two of us at Disneyland California would cost $880, TWICE as much. Keep in mind that the Tokyo Disney tickets work differently, and they don’t allow park hopping right away. We had to designate the date that we would visit each park; the first day we could only do Disneyland, the second day we chose Disney Sea, and our last two days were traditional hoppers. Not sure why they do it that way, but it works out fine. So if you have airline miles to use, I would highly suggest flying to Tokyo Disney since it’s a less expensive and unique Disney experience!
We had heard crowds can get crazy at the parks, so we planned our trip mid-week to avoid crowds, and it happened to be the week after a major Japanese holiday. Even so, we enjoyed an early breakfast at our hotel (Tokyo Bay has an excellent buffet that begins at 6am), and arrived at the park by 7am. Thanks to the time difference we were full of energy nice and early, but you can also see from the photo about we were far from alone!
Like the theme park nerds we are, we had a plan of attack for maximizing our fast passes. Right away we grabbed a FASTPASS for “Monsters Inc. Ride and Go Seek!” which is an interactive ride unique to Tokyo. You can watch a video from SoCal 360 here to check it out. This was one of my top rides in Tokyo, it is so much fun!
I really wanted to sit at Celia’s desk!
After hitting all the rides we wanted in Tomorrowland, we worked our way around the park collecting Fastpasses as we went. Tokyo Disneyland is basically a copy of the original park, but with improvements and unique features. Rides that were familiar yet different include, “The Jungle Cruise” which has some amazing projection sequences, “The Haunted Mansion” which is my favorite at ANY park, but had an extended opening sequence on the ride instead of long halls to walk through, “It’s a Small World” which has a Tokyo-centric color scheme and new artwork by Joey Chou, and finally, “Pooh’s Hunny Hunt” which employs incredible trackless technology that makes the ride totally unique! I’ve linked high quality SoCal 360 videos for each of the rides because they do it better than we ever could.
Tokyo’s Jungle Cruise includes a large temple segment.
Utilizing Fastpasses and not going at peak season means that we only waited just over an hour once or twice during our 4 days. Most waits were 30-45 minutes, which is awesome!
Walking high in the treehouse brought back many memories for me!
We did enjoy a few activities that were not rides… I was especially excited to see The Swiss Family Treehouse again! This movie, book, and attraction was a staple of my childhood that I missed dearly when it switched over to Tarzan. It fits well in Tokyo because Disney Sea is particularly focused on historical explorers and innovators.
The gorgeous windows in Cinderella’s Castle gave us a unique new of Fantasyland.
We also walked through Cinderella’s Castle. If you’re really into taking photos, they had a whole throne room where you could sit on the throne that would do some magical things, or take insert yourself as Cinderella into murals with the Fairy Godmother. We were more interested in the art and the chance to cool off!
It took several tries, but Isaac did get a few holes in while playing golf!
Finally, as we wandered through Main Street, we found the penny arcade. For a few yen you could enjoy playing several vintage games. We played hockey together, and my husband tried his hand at the baseball and golf. This would be a great activity if it’s pouring outside sinceTokyo Disneyland’s Main Street area is covered by a huge glass atrium.
You can see the atrium above main street here, and the castle lit up at night!
We left the park just before closing, and our feet were thankful. Of course we ate in between all of these activities, but I think the food of Tokyo Disney will need to be a post of its own! We also did a lot of shopping, and if you’re interested to see what I bought, you can check out via my “Disney Merch” highlight on Instagram, @hayleyraedesigns . Be sure to check back for our day at Tokyo Disney Sea!