[Updated: 31 May 2019]
If you think all Disney parks are the same, you probably haven’t been to Tokyo Disneyland or its sister park Tokyo Disneysea. It might be the beautiful culture, the insane variety of merchandise, the people or just the fact that we love Japan and its amazing cuisine because the Tokyo Disney parks are our favourite! But we’ll leave that for another article 😆
After multiple visits to both parks, we’ve compiled a list of tips for you to enjoy the ultimate Tokyo Disney experience! And don’t forget to check out what’s coming to Tokyo Disneyland in 2020! If you want to have the best of both worlds, why not pay BOTH parks a visit while you’re in Japan? Whether you wish to spend a single day at both parks to save time or stretch it out within two days, Klook gives you full access to both, complete with shows and entertainment 😍 We totally recommend ending your entire Disney experience with a beautiful fireworks display at Disneyland. Trust us, a visit to both will make you the happiest kid alive 😊
1. Rent a Pocket Wi-Fi Device Before Arriving In Japan
While Wi-Fi is available at selected areas throughout the park, each session is only valid for 15 minutes meaning you’ll have to reconnect hundreds of times before the day ends! So if you’re a social media junkie, it’s so much easier to just rent a pocket Wi-Fi device before arriving in Japan! Trust us, almost every corner of Tokyo Disneyland is Instagram-worthy and you’ll need steady internet access to help you through the long queues and large crowds!
We usually rent a pocket Wi-Fi device a month before our trip from Global Advanced Communications which has one of the best prices. Do place your order early because there are limited devices!
2. Check The Park Calendar
As a rule of thumb, avoid visiting Tokyo Disneyland during the weekends and public holidays. Also, visiting the Disney parks during the Golden Week (usually between end-April to mid-May) is not a good idea. We braved the crowds on a Saturday once. Never. Doing. It. Again.
Check the crowd forecast before you decide which day to head down: Tokyo Disneyland Crowd Forecast. The site is in Japanese, but don’t worry! Just focus on the coloured numbers on the right-hand side of each date box, which range from light blue to a dark red. The lighter the number, the smaller the crowd is supposed to be – whereas the darker it is, the more likely you’ll have to fight through the crowds! For more information, check out some blogs that explain it further.
Skip the insane queues when you buy your Tokyo Disneyland tickets on Klook ahead of time! All you have to do is present the voucher at the gates- and you’re free to run into the happiest place on Earth 😍
3. Arrive Before The Park Opens
Nope, not 10 minutes before. Arrive at least 45 minutes beforehand to be one of the first few to snag a Fastpass and queue for the popular attractions. This was the queue when we arrived at the park 1.5hours before opening time.
P.S. If you’re a guest staying at the Disney Hotels, you get their ‘Happy 15’ entry privilege where you get to enter the park 15 minutes before the regular opening time, ahead of the crowd!
Check park timings here before heading down: Tokyo Disneyland Park Timings
Tokyo has an efficient and extensive subway network, so you can make your way to/from the Disney Parks (and around the city!) easily 😊
#HHWT Tip: Get your Tokyo Subway Ticket from Klook for unlimited rides all Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway lines for greater savings and even more convenience!
4. Get your FASTPASS and Beat the Queues!
Disney parks are notorious for the extremely long queues. Don’t want to spend your entire day waiting in lines? You’ll need to get your FASTPASS to make the most of your time there! The FASTPASS can be obtained at the ticketing machine for the respective attractions and will include a fixed timing for you to return for the FASTPASS (for example the Space Mountain FASTPASS below can be activated between 10.15am – 11.15am only). So you can go do something else and then return for your turn to skip the queue!
However do take note that after you have obtained one FASTPASS you won’t be able to obtain the next one until the time stated on the ticket (for example after 10:15am on the Space Mountain FASTPASS above) so if you’re determined to conquer all the rides it’s time to plan out your path to beat the time limits!
The list of FASTPASS attractions in Tokyo Disneyland is as follows:
- Big Thunder Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Haunted Mansion
- Pooh’s Hunny Hunt
- Monsters Inc. Ride & Go Seek!
- Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
- Space Mountain
- Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters
Fastpass Battle Strategy:
- The moment the park opens, walk as quickly as you can to Monsters Inc. Ride & Go Seek! to collect your FASTPASS. After that, get into the standby queue for Pooh’s Hunny Hunt.
- After Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, head over to Splash Mountain to join the stand-by queue.
- Your FASTPASS will state the time when you can take your next FASTPASS so do take note of the time and get ready to grab your next FASTPASS then!
- Remember to check the schedule for show timings, or if a ride has been temporarily closed. If you have Wi-Fi, visit a wait times website to check the estimated wait times and FASTPASS availability. Check out the timings to decide which Fastpass ticket you should get next so you plan out your strategy!
- From our past experiences, the FASTPASS tickets for Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Pooh’s Hunny Hunt and Monsters Inc. Ride & Go Seek! run out the fastest so do try to get these as early as you can!
5. Use the Lottery System to Get Reserved Seats for Shows
There are 2 special shows in Tokyo Disneyland that we recommend getting reserved seats for. To watch “One Man’s Dream II – The Magic Lives On”, you can either queue for the first show or enter the lottery to get reserved seat tickets for the other time slots, which will save you time.
You can also enter the lottery to get reserved seats for “Once Upon A Time”. Reserved seating basically refers to awesome seats in front of the castle and the best view in town. Again, this will save you time as the alternative is camping for good spots way before the show starts. However from our past trips, we only won reserved seat tickets once so don’t get your hopes high for this!
The lottery is held at Tomorrowland Hall (located to the left of Space Mountain in Tomorrowland) and you’ll need your park ticket to enter the lottery. Unfortunately, you can only attempt the lottery once for each show 🙁
6. Grab a Spot 30-45 Minutes Before the Parade Starts (and have your meal too)
If you spot people sitting in the middle of nowhere, they’re probably waiting for the parades to start! To save time, what we usually do is to grab a meal while waiting for the parade to begin.
For instance, we usually takeaway a seafood pizza set from Captain Hook’s gallery in Fantasyland at about 1.15pm and wait by the main path for the Happiness Is Here parade which begins at 2pm. Don’t forget to bring your own mat so that you can sit comfortably while waiting for the parades! We got ours from Daiso but you can find them in the park stores too.
P.S. Keep reading to find out how to get Muslim-friendly food in and into the park!
7. Try the Different Flavored Popcorn
Popcorn is serious business in the Tokyo Disney parks. You won’t believe the variety of flavours available. There’s honey, soy sauce and butter, curry, salted, caramel, strawberry, milk tea, white chocolate, seasonal flavours and more!
What’s even more tempting is to purchase the extremely adorable refillable popcorn buckets. Each popcorn cart features different bucket designs, so check out the different carts to find the bucket you like before you make your purchase!
There are certain standard designs available throughout the year but be on the lookout for limited edition seasonal buckets such as this Christmas edition for 2008 🙂
With a popcorn bucket, you’ll also be able to try more flavours throughout your day as refilling your popcorn bucket is cheaper than purchasing another bag of popcorn. More reasons to try all the flavours in the park!
This is our popcorn bucket collection from our past trips:
8. Try Snacks Unique To Tokyo Disneyland
Besides popcorn, we highly recommend trying the Tipatoruta (ティポトルタ) in Tokyo Disneyland! It’s a pastry shaped like Churros* and filled with chocolate, served warm and fresh out of the oven. There are also seasonal flavours available – Taro (during Halloween), Caramel Custard (during Easter), etc. The Tipatoruta can only be found at the Village Pastry (located in Fantasyland, in front of It’s A Small World ride). There always seems to be a queue in front of the store but we assure you it’s worth it.
*Not to be confused with the Potato Churros sold at Disneysea, which a reader has informed us that it’s not vegetarian and contains pork.
Even if you don’t love mochi, you have to get the green man mochi in the green man container. There are 3 mochi inside, filled with custard, chocolate and strawberry respectively.
#HHWT Disclaimer: All food items mentioned in this article are not halal-certified and we were unable to list all ingredients used.
Here are the eateries in Disneyland with seafood/vegetarian options:
- Captain Hook’s Gallery: Seafood pizza
- Pan Galactic Pizza Port: Seafood cream calzone (This is practically seafood chowder in a puff. Best thing to warm you up on a cold day!)
Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall: Fried seafood platter, Grilled swordfish(UPDATE 22 May 2017*: A reader has informed us that the seafood platter is fried in lard. We advise readers to check with the eatery before consuming at your own discretion.)
- East Side Café: Vegetarian course
9. Tuck Into Your Own Halal Bento
After a day of rides and snapping pictures with Disney characters, you may hear your tummies grumbling 😉 Be prepared by purchasing a bento set from Tokyo and bringing it along with you. Halal bento sets can be found at shops such as this Rogers Mart in Asakusa or you can order it from Taste & Discover Japan and have it delivered the morning of your Disney expedition! (Pictured: the bento we had when we went, although the bento company that has sadly closed down since then 😞)
Dine in at the designated picnic area. before rushing off to your next attraction. The Tokyo Disney staff might ask you about the bento set but just explain to them that it’s part of your dietary requirements 🤗
Credit: Japan jaha bento on Facebook
10. Do Your Prayers In Disneyland Itself
Drop by Main Street House and request for a prayer spot. The friendly staff will provide you with one so you can perform your prayers in peace. Taking a moment to recharge your soul after all the fun you had is certainly rewarding ☺️
#HHWT Tip: Do remember to bring your own prayer mat, Qibla compass and garments.
Credit: Eugene Phoen on Flickr
Are you a Disney fan or planning a trip to Tokyo Disneyland soon? Let us know if our guide has helped you conquer Tokyo Disneyland like a pro! Pass on the Disney love and share this with all your friends and family members! 🙂