Is Tokyo Disneyland Worth Visiting in 2024?

Tokyo Disneyland was the first ever Disney theme park built outside of the USA and although it holds the same nostalgia and magic as the originals, Japan has made it a truly unique experience that surprises even the biggest Disney fans!

With enchantment, indulgent themed treats, heart-pumping rides and impeccable cleanliness all across across this mammoth 115-acre (47 ha) theme park Tokyo Disneyland promises a whimsical adventure that has made it a top bucket list item for those travelling to Japan. Including me!

Luckily, I had recently come back from a trip to the OG parks of Disneyland California and Walt Disney World, so while my expectations were extra high so was my Disneyland knowledge.

And let me tell you, I would have struggled without that knowledge. So I am bringing all of those insider secrets, top hacks, money-saving tips and bonus discounts to you, right here, right now with your ULTIMATE GUIDE TO TOKYO DISNEYLAND!

Where is Tokyo Disneyland?

Tokyo Disneyland is nestled slightly east of Tokyo in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture.

It’s part of the Tokyo Disney Resort complex, which also includes Tokyo DisneySea and a range of Disney Resorts.

How to get to Tokyo Disneyland?

Tokyo Disneyland is well connected to Central Tokyo and its major airports with an abundance of transport options available. With some suitable for any budget, accommodation style and preference.

For more specific transport routes and timings, Tokyo Disneyland has a great page of transport infographics here.

From all transport drop off points, follow the signs, or more likely, the flood of people to the main Disneyland park gates to start your magical day.

Klook.com

đźš„Taking the TRAIN to Tokyo Disneyland

JR Keiyo Line: Take this line from Tokyo Station to Maihama Station, which is directly next to Tokyo Disneyland.

JR Musashino Line: This line also runs from Tokyo Station to Maihama Station.

These routes are covered under the JAPAN RAIL PASS (JR PASS)
Normal one-way fares cost around 220 yen.

đźšť Taking the DISNEY MONORAIL to Tokyo Disneyland

After arriving at Maihama Station, you can transfer to the Disney Resort Line monorail. This dedicated line takes you directly to Tokyo Disneyland (Tokyo Disneyland Station) and Tokyo DisneySea (Tokyo DisneySea Station).

Decorated in true Disney Magic fashion with things like Mickey Windows and colourful designs, it’s a fan favourite to start your Disneyland Day.

🚏Taking the BUS to Tokyo Disneyland

With the Bus Terminal directly across the road from the main gates of Tokyo Disneyland, it is a great option with a lot of flexibility.

It is a large terminal with a range of regular bus lines around Tokyo, shuttle buses and even the Limousine Bus to/from Narita or Haneda Airport

MONEY SAVING TIP: Book a hotel with a FREE Disneyland shuttle service and don’t be afraid to look a little further away from the parks.
for example, we stayed 20mins away at hotel MONday Tokyo Nishikasai yet still have Disneyland transfers included and free soup, tea and slippers to come home to!

đźš• Taking a TAXI to Tokyo Disneyland

The Taxi stand/rank is within the main Bus Terminal directly across from Disneyland’s main gates.

They are available here throughout the day making it one of the easiest ways to get to and from Tokyo Disneyland but also one of the most expensive.

Is Tokyo Disneyland worth visiting in 2024?

With Tokyo Disneyland easily accessible from the airport and/or city centre, it’s not hard to see why it has become a MUST VISIT for those travelling through Japan.

AND, Like most of the Disney parks around the world, Tokyo Disneyland is stepping up the magic, innovation and experience making a visit more enticing than ever.

However, those upgrades do come with construction that I highly recommend you research before your trip, especially if you are tossing up what park to book.

The Official Tokyo Disney website will always have the most up-to-date information but I also love reading through niche blogs like Disney Tourist Blog for a more personal insight.

For example, Space Mountain is officially closed for the foreseeable future ahead of a major revamp of Tomorrowland as we enter the next era/phase of Disneyland. So, if you are coming to the park expecting big thrill rides and rollercoasters, at this time, DisneySea might be better suited.

Tokyo Disneyland vs Tokyo DisneySea

FUN FACT: Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea are the ONLY Disney Parks around the world not owned by the Walt Disney Company. Instead The Oriental Land Company initially pitched the idea to build Tokyo Disneyland, and it funded the project and licenses intellectual property from The Walt Disney Company to keep it alive and thriving.

Despite Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea being neighbours within the Tokyo Disney Resort complex, they each offer a unique and distinctive experience.

Tokyo Disneyland was the first Disney theme park to open beyond US soil back in 1983. Built off the traditional Disney park model we all know and love yet with the spin of Japanese culture, attention to detail and cleanliness that we all know and love.

Packed full of the classic lands such as Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Adventureland, and Critter Country for peak Disney Nostalgia.

Whereas, Tokyo DisneySea is the newest addition to the Tokyo Disney scene opening in 2001.

It is arguably the most unique Disney theme park which distinguishes itself with an immersive theme taking you on a wild adventure across Mediterranean Harbor, Mysterious Island, and Arabian Coast.

DisneySea takes on a more elaborate thematic design, treats and attractions tailored to those thrill seekers with adrenaline-pumping rides like Journey to the Center of the Earth and Tower of Terror.

Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea cater to a wide range of visitors, bound to satisfy your Disney craving, ultimately divided by your own interests, nostalgia and expectations.

So is Tokyo Disneyland worth visiting? HELL YEAH but if you have the time and budget, it’ll be bigger and better with both!

Buying Tickets for Tokyo Disneyland

Tokyo Disney Resort opens all of their park tickets for sale 2 months in advance.

Sure, you can test your luck to get last-minute tickets the day of but you can save more money and stress booking tickets in advance online.

How do I buy Tokyo Disneyland Tickets?

Tickets can be purchased on the official Tokyo Disney Resort Website although you may be subject to additional transaction and currency conversion fees.

I recommend booking your Disneyland tickets through Klook!

You will be able to search and pay for both Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea tickets in one place with a few bonuses like customer support, dedicated guides and free cancellation up to 14 days prior. With Instant Confirmation you will be emailed a QR code that you scan at the park entrance.

Klook.com

Types of Tickets at Tokyo Disneyland

Now if you want to make the most of your tickets, you need to understand the different types of add-ons available throughout your visit. These are all selected and/or purchased through the Tokyo Disney Resort App

  1. Entry Request – This is a virtual queue system, reducing wait times and managing crowd flow effectively on specific character meet and greets as well as some shows and dining.
  2. Standby Pass – Are free-of-charge ‘fast passes’, giving guests a set time slot to enter select attractions. Essentially virtually holding your place in a queue while you go do other things.
  3. Disney Premier Access – Essentially these are the standby passes for some of the most popular attractions like Beauty and the Beast, but they do come at a cost. Usually a one-time fee of $15-$25 per ride/parades.
  4. Tokyo Disney Resort 40th Anniversary Priority Pass (NEW) – A special pass system introduced for the resort’s 40th anniversary, offering priority access to a wider range of attractions and exclusive anniversary-themed experiences FOR FREE. Although slots are limited and you do not get to choose the time.

Is the Tokyo Disneyland Priority Pass worth it?

Unlike Universal Studios Japan Express passes, the Disneyland Priority Passes are insanely affordable… mostly because the majority of them are completely FREE.

All it will cost you is a little bit of time and patience to understand the Tokyo Disney Resort App to know how to make the most of it.

Slots regularly sell out so you will want to prioritise your top attractions from the moment you enter in the morning. This is even more relevant for those more popular Premier Access rides like Beauty and the Beast that you may miss out on otherwise.

Ultimately it comes down to your goals for your Disney day!

Best things to do in Tokyo Disneyland

Download the Tokyo Disney Resort App

Disneyland is globally recognised for its innovation and attention to detail and it is no different when it comes to its apps. Each park with its own personalised app and controls to make the most of your day!

You deserve a fairy godmother of your very own and Disney supplies one that fits in your pocket with this app.

The Tokyo Disney Resort App will enable you to purchase tickets online, make advanced bookings for attractions, restaurants, and other experiences, as well as check wait times and your current location to help you enjoy the Parks even more. Downloading the App in advance is recommended.

Tokyo Disney Resort Official

Take the scenic route around the park on the Western River Railroad

The Western River Railroad is a beloved Tokyo Disneyland attraction taking inspiration from the original California Disneyland Frontierland.

This scenic train is the perfect way to get your Tokyo Disney bearings or simply relax your legs for 15 minutes as it takes you on a journey through Adventureland, Critter Country, and Westernland.

Snap your iconic photo in front of the Cinderella Castle

Nothing makes you feel like you’ve finally made it to Disneyland quite like standing under a towering princess castle.

Drawing you into the middle of the park from the moment you step through the main gates with photo opportunities every step of the way, beyond and around.

Don’t be afraid to play around with different angles. There are a bunch of quiet paths, garden spaces and platforms to capture it from a unique perspective, often without the crowds!

Go on a popcorn crawl

Once you pop, you can not stop at Tokyo Disneyland because this crunchy delight has achieved iconic status due to its unique flavours and element of novelty to the snack experience.

Unlike traditional buttered popcorn, Tokyo Disneyland is famous for an impressive range of inventive popcorn flavours such as milk tea, soy sauce and butter, and curry. There is a popcorn flavour for anyone and everyone no matter if you have a giant sweet tooth or are craving an umami bomb all for an average of $4 a bucket.

With popcorn carts, stalls and stations strategically placed around the park you are never too far away from your next fix and makes for an exhilarating scavenger hunt around the park to find all the flavours.

Not to mention the range of collectible popcorn buckets to elevate your experience.

Pick out the perfect Disney ears/headband/hat

It wouldn’t be a trip to Disneyland without picking out your perfect Mickey ears. Although, the range expands way beyond just Mickey Mouse headbands now.

These cute accessories have become a staple for a Disney day. While there will always be the classics to choose from, once again, Japan offer their own exclusive range of styles and characters.

The best part about it is they are over half the price of those in the US theme parks where prices have skyrocketed to the base USD35 + tax. In Tokyo Disneyland you will find ears, hats and headbands average $10-$15.

Find a front-row seat for the Disney Harmony in Color Parade

Themed to a “harmonious world of colours,” this daytime parade celebrates the adventure, courage, and connections of your favourite Disney characters as they tour around the park on vibrant themed floats.

Dance, sing and laugh along as you are swept up in a journey of ‘Harmony’ with a touch of that Disney magic and Nostalgia that lingers throughout your visit.

There are ample dedicated viewing areas around the main streets that do not require any booking (although can get busy FAST). However, additional designated viewing areas are available with Disney Premier Access or Tokyo Disney Resort Vacation Package reservations.

BONUS DISNEYLAND TIP: The parade will either be the best excuse to rest your legs or if you don’t mind missing the parade it is the perfect time to knock out some of those popular rides as most people (particularly families) will flock to the parade

Stick around for the nighttime Parades and Fireworks Spectacular

Finish off your day with a bang as the park lights up with Electrical Parades, light shows and fireworks.

From the ‘Electrical Parade Dreamlights’ that has your Disney favourites literally sparkling in this nighttime parade of lights and music to ‘Sky full of Colors’ fireworks spectacular that paints the night sky to a variety of Disney songs. 

Keep an eye on weather forecasts and ask ‘cast members’ throughout the day for more accurate updates as the electrical and pyrotechnical events are way more susceptible to cancellations if the conditions are not right.

What to eat at Tokyo Disneyland?

What has set Tokyo Disneyland apart the most from the original parks in the US is its exclusive and affordable food offerings and experiences.

Their blend of traditional Japanese flavours, beloved international favourites and creative concepts is the biggest driving force and most Instagrammable part of what people flock to Tokyo Disney for.

But its popularity and high demand often make it overwhelming and leave a lot of people left wondering “Is Tokyo Disneyland worth visiting for the food?”

Lucky for you, I set out on a foodie-focused Tokyo Disneyland Mission to investigate!

The different types of food available at Tokyo Disneyland

Vending Machines: You can’t go anywhere in Japan without vending machines on every corner. I would say it is no different in Disneyland but they take them to the next level through quirky themes and designs.

Wagons: Eat your way through Tokyo Disneyland’s staple snacks. These are the smaller on-the-go foods you can find at small food carts and stalls scattered across the park.

Counter Service: Bigger range and size of food is available at these takeaway restaurants. Many will have seating nearby but offer those on-the-go types of meals too.

Table Service: Go beyond finding a meal, as you step into an immersive dining experience, but be aware it will take a chunk of your day.

Buffet: The buffet/cafeteria style version of the above restaurants. These are the more in-depth experiential dining.

  • Three Green Alien Mochi – Find these cute bite-sized rice cake balls at Plazma Ray’s Diner in Tomorrowland. With chocolate, Strawberry or Custard filling waiting inside.
  • Mickey Gloves Chicken Sandwich – Pick up your Mickey glove-shaped bao bun treat at Good Time Cafe in Toontown
  • Ramen with Mickey soft-boiled eggs – A heart warming bowl of ramen that’ll have you amazed yet confused on how the hell they made the egg yolk shaped like Mickey.
  • Mickey shaped churros – There is a range of unique churro flavours around the park but you can not go wrong with a standard cinnamon churro made even better shaped like Mickey!
  • Mickey Chicken Ukiwaman Buns – the anniversary special steamed buns shaped like nautical Mickey Mouse life preservers
  • Mike Wazowski Melon Pan – Sweetbread with melon custard finish you can find at Sweetheart Cafe
  • POPCORN! – just in case I had not convinced you enough before

Is the food at Tokyo Disneyland really worth the hype and money? My brutally honest review

I too had the question “Is Tokyo Disneyland worth visiting for the food?” but as a Disney Parks expert and major foodie, my expectations were even higher than usual.

I had seen all sorts of Kawaii Disney plastered across social media that I was not only eager to taste but to capture myself (as a professional travel and food photographer).

And let me tell you it MOSTLY exceeded those extremely high expectations.

Everything was reasonably priced, even more so as an Aussie who hated paying even more tax, tip and horrible exchange rates on already overpriced food in the US parks. Each dish had well thought out design and taste that made you excited to eat it.

EXCEPT FOR THE DAMN BAYMAX BURGER that looked like Baymax has been run over by a truck and was barely holding it together (coincidentally how I felt at the end of our Disney day)

So to conclude my mission of “Is Tokyo Disneyland worth visiting for the food?”, I can confidently say YES. In fact, it was a highlight of our day and would be the primary reason we would return to Tokyo Disneyland.

DISNEYLAND MONEY SAVING TIP: You are allowed to bring outside food and beverages into the park. As long as you don’t try to smuggle in any alcoholic beverages or glass containers, you can pre-pack some cheap snacks, meals and drinks to cut down cost within the park.

Where to stay near Tokyo Disneyland

The best part about Tokyo Disneyland being so well connected to the heart of Tokyo means there are endless accommodation options.
The worst part about that is there are ENDLESS ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS to sift through. Here are my top recommendations for your trip to narrow down the search: 

Tokyo Disneyland Partner Hotel Option: TOKYO DISNEYLAND HOTEL is the primary Tokyo Disneyland Resort steps Tokyo Disneyland with the Disney Resort Line Station located in between.
This Victorian-style upscale hotel is sprinkled with Disney motifs and exclusive guest benefits.

Hostel/Capsule Option: Tokyo Ariake Bay Hotel is a 2-star capsule hotel in Koto City. With its nearest train station only 200m away it makes for a quick and easy transfer to Disneyland.

Budget Option: hotel MONday Tokyo Nishikasai is a 3-star hotel perfect for Disneyland on a Budget. It may be a little further out than the main hotel zone but offers free shuttle service to Tokyo Disney and is only a 1-minute walk to its nearest train station. It exceeded our expectations.

Mid-Range Option: Henn na Hotel Maihama Tokyo Bay is part of a 3-star Japan Hotel chain famous for its unique theming and staff. In this case, you are checked in by dinosaurs only 2km from Tokyo Disneyland with free shuttle service offered.

Luxury Option: Grand Nikko Tokyo Bay Maihama is a 5-star hotel boasting so many amenities, that it feels like a theme park itself… It is one of the official hotel partners of Tokyo Disney Resort with its own Disney shop and free shuttle. It is a bonus that Limousine buses from Narita International Airport and Haneda Airport stop directly at the hotel.

Common questions about Tokyo Disneyland

What are the Tokyo Disneyland Park Hours?

Official park hours are 9 am to 9 pm

Although the park generally opens from around 8:00 AM and closes up to 10:00 PM. Not to mention, Tokyo Disneyland’s park hours vary depending on the season and day of the week.

Always check the official Tokyo Disneyland website or app for the most up-to-date operating hours for your visit.

BONUS TIP: GET THERE EARLY! They will often open to park gates 15-30 minutes earlier than set park hours. We saw many people setting up little picnics to enjoy a relaxed breakfast while waiting so it is the perfect chance to fuel up to make the most of your day!

What to pack for a day at Tokyo Disneyland?

Ultimately, it’s more so about what to wear and even then you want to keep it simple and comfortable; good walking shoes, sunglasses, a jacket, and maybe a raincoat (weather pending)

Comfort is key not only for when you get there in the morning but also as day turns to night. Being on the bay, you’ll often get cold breezes blowing in and temps drop quickly once the sun goes down so layers are recommended.

Other essentials include sunscreen, sunglasses portable charger, a refillable water bottle, and pre-entry snacks, packed in a small backpack or bag. With room to spare for merch.

Can you do Tokyo Disneyland in one day?

ABSOLUTELY! A day is the perfect amount of time to visit Tokyo Disneyland especially if you can make the most of fast passes, low season dates and early entry.

Is Tokyo Disneyland better than Tokyo DisneySea?

Some people would have a very clear YES or NO to this question but that is exactly why the overall answer here is ‘it depends’ on personal preference, goals and limitations.

To clarify, Tokyo Disneyland is your ultimate traditional Disney playground, whereas Tokyo DisneySea hosts a mystical maritime adventure theme with more immersive storytelling and thrilling rides.

It is up to you and those you are travelling with (that’s where those limitations come into play) to work out what park and its attractions, food, shows, lands, and experiences are most valuable to you.

WHY WE CHOSE TOKYO DISNEYLAND OVER DISNEYSEA:
I may be somewhat of a Disney expert at this point, however this was Jed’s first ever visit so we were eager to have a more traditional Disneyland experience with our limited time in Tokyo.

Because of my past park experience, it was easier to navigate despite language barriers and has given me way more confidence to better take of DisneySea for our next visit.
I would say, If you get the chance to do both parks I would highly recommend starting with Tokyo Disneyland to get your bearings.

Is Tokyo Disneyland better than Universal Studios?

This is one of the most common questions for Japan trips yet many people don’t realise these theme parks are in 2 completely different cities; Tokyo Disneyland (Tokyo, duh) and Universal Studios Japan (Osaka).

Knowing that alone helps narrow down the answer for many when deciding where to book. Although for those who visit both, it is very divided.

I am team Disney on this one in terms of affordability, nostalgia and value whereas you can read my comprehensive guide to Universal Studios Japan to see why others fall in love with it.

Do they speak English at Tokyo Disneyland?

Tokyo Disneyland staff members generally have basic English proficiency, especially in guest services and essential communications. In fact, many of them have come from all around the world to work at the Japanese park.

While all rides and shows are primarily in Japanese, things like Maps, signs, and major announcements are often bilingual (Japanese and English), ensuring international guests can navigate the park with ease.

Are there height restrictions on rides at Tokyo Disneyland?

Like any theme park, there are restrictions on certain rides although it is not the minimum height that is likely to trip you up.

After all, this is a Japanese theme park built with the Japanese in mind so dimensions are smaller than what many of us would be used to in the main American parks. That being said, it comes with width and length restrictions.

As a child-sized adult myself I have never had to worry about this but now travelling with a 6’6″ partner, we found ourselves getting pulled aside for rides like Space Mountain to check not only that we would both be able to get into the ride securely but not get stuck trying to get out.

Honestly, if you are up for a unique backlot tour of the parks, it’s a hilarious way to do so and a fantastic hack to cut the lines!

Is Tokyo Disneyland Worth Visiting? My brutally honest opinion.

Tokyo Disneyland is well worth the visit if you find yourself in Japan.

While I was lucky enough to be partnering with Klook who provided tickets for our visit, taking what those costs would usually be into consideration, this is still an affordable and accessible Theme Park experience, even more so for Disney Standards.

I will say it went a lot smoother for us because I had recently been to Disneyland and Disney World in the US so I knew the tips and tricks of the app system which is essential to make the most of your day.

Yet that previous experience only took me so far leaving room for a few mistakes to slip through the cracks… Here’s what I learnt and how you can avoid them to make your time at Tokyo Disneyland even better!

MISTAKE 1: Going on a peak season public holiday

Is Tokyo Disneyland Worth visiting? yes, but on a Public Holiday? I am not so sure.

Like many of us now I did extensive research on TikTok about wait times, seasons and general Disneyland advice taking it all on board. We went mid-week, booked early, you name it but no one warned me about the chaos of PUBLIC HOLIDAYS!

It was PACKED but luckily with Japanese people who are famous for respectful line waiting making it somewhat bearable.

SOLUTION: Research your dates and book in advance

If you have the flexibility when planning your trip, research a few alternate days to figure out what works best for you alongside if any peak seasons or public holidays cross over it.

Despite our oversight, I still find TikTok a great place to do that because you can see videos of varied wait times throughout different seasons/days.

MISTAKE 2: Rushing in to go to a ride that was closed and missing rides that were open

We were so excited to get let in 30 minutes early, rushing to my favourite Disneyland ride… only to find it closed.

All the time lining up early was wasted as others rushed to rides that were opened and had lines quickly forming.

On a similar note, we underestimated how competitive the priority passes would be, they do not mess around here!

SOLUTION : Use the Tokyo Disneyland app for up-to-date ride wait times, closures and restrictions

Spend a little time before your visit or even waiting in line before the park opens to download, set-up and navigate the app.

You may not be able to utilise all of the functions until you enter but simply knowing what they are and how you use them will make a world of difference.

I will always encourage a go-with-the-flow attitude for any Disney theme park visit, however, it is good to come in with your priorities.

MISTAKE 3: Not preparing for the wild weather

We came for peak cherry blossom season which ended up being delayed due to a crazy cold snap that came through just as we arrived.

And this was no ordinary cold snap, there was snow, ice, wild winds and absolutely no cherry blossoms. None of which we came prepared enough for.

Unfortunately that cancelled all nighttime events at the parks and by that point I was already horrifically wind burn across my face that we called it early.

Even more unfortunately, it meant it was too early for our free shuttle and we decided to splurge on a taxi to get us back.

SOLUTION: Wear layers, pack smarter, have backup transport options…

Again, this one will majorly come down to better research and last-minute preparation.

Weather, now more than ever, can be unpredictable so on these big days out it is good to have options and back ups.

In this case, it is better to be overprepared than underprepared and I hope this comprehensive guide has given you the head start you need on that!

Now, now, now, don’t get it twisted we still had a blast at Tokyo Disneyland and are already itching to go back and visit it’s neighbouring park, DisneySea.

SO is Tokyo Disneyland worth visiting? YES… just maybe try to avoid peak season if you can.

What are you waiting for? Get your tickets here for 10% off with code DONUTKLOOK

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