Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tokyo Disneyland

The moment we knew we were going to Tokyo, we made sure Disneyland was part of our itinerary. Who does not want to go to Disneyland, right? Since it was my second time there, I knew Disneyland could not be experienced in one day. Hence planning our day in Disneyland started way before the start of our trip. Here are my tips to avoid disappointment and maximize your visit:

1. Buy your tickets online
Why wait in queue (it could be up to a 40 minute wait) when you can enter the park immediately on arrival? The park is closed to visitors when it has reached the maximum number of visitors for the day. Those with pre-purchased tickets are allowed entry (and access to public transportation heading this way). So to avoid disappointment, buy your tickets online.

2. Choose your date
When you buy tickets online, you can also choose your date. If possible, avoid school and public holidays. Less crowd means shorter queues and human traffic. On certain dates, the park open its door earlier too which translates to more time spent in the park.

3. Stay closer to Disneyland (if possible).
While it is not necessary to stay at a Disney Resort, staying within the neighbourhood would save you traveling time. We stayed in Shibuya and it took us about 60 minutes to get there - 50 minutes by train plus a 10 minute walk from the station to the park. There is also a shuttle bus from Shinjuku train station to the resort and vice versa that will take 50 minutes (depending on traffic of course). Truthfully, getting there was not an issue but since we wanted to be at the gates the moment it opened, we had to leave our rented accommodation at least 1.5 hours earlier. Also the hour long commute felt much longer on our way back after nearly 12 hours of fun! 

Staying closer to the park would also mean you could purchase a 2 day pass and return the following day without a long commute.

4. Plan your activities
Theme park map is available online at Tokyo Disney Resort - Map. Print it out and "study" your route. The park is huge! Studying the park and its attractions would certainly help you maximize your day.

Also check their website on latest updates on attractions that are close for maintenance. 

5. FastPass and PrioritySeating
Take advantage of FastPass (for attractions) and PrioritySeating (for restaurants). With these passes, you only need to turn up at the attraction/restaurant within the time frame stipulated. You can queue at another attraction in the meantime. After taking a FastPass, there is a cooling period before you can take another one. Make sure you only take a FastPass for a ride you really want. 
Without FastPass, we probably would have to start queuing at 12:45pm
In between the times indicated, we queued for other attractions or booked a good spot to view the parade.
6. Souvenirs
If you see one you like, buy it there and then. Retail shops are located all over the park and some are specialized ones too. We made a mistake by thinking we could buy a souvenir somewhere else in the park. Unfortunately it was a specialized souvenir and by the time we got round to the shop that sold it, it was close for the day. 

Also, do not forget to send yourself a postcard from Disneyland. Buy your postcard and stamps from Grand Emporium at World Bazaar and mail it out to get the special Disney stamp.

7. Watch the Parades & Shows
You are allowed to book your spot 90 minutes before the start of a parade. Unless you are solely there to watch parades or in a group where you can assign 1-2 friends to reserve that spot while others explore the park, you would probably be looking for a spot last minute. That is OK since the parade runs through the park, chances are you will get a chance to view it from wherever you are (unless you are standing in line). If you do insist on front row seats, bring your mats because you will have to sit on the ground.

Some shows require reservations or by lottery. Reservations can be made online (in Japanese only) a month in advance. If there are seats available on the day itself, you may attempt to walk-in. For lottery shows, head to Tomorrowland Hall and try your luck.

By applying the tips above, we truly had a good time and definitely made the best of our visit. In fact the next time we are in Tokyo, we will definitely visit again.This time we might opt for a 2 day pass and stay somewhere closer to the park shorten our travel time.

No comments:

Post a Comment