Tokyo Disney Resort: An Overview

Tokyo Disney Resort: An Overview

Located in Chiba, Japan, Tokyo Disney Resort was the first Disney theme park to open outside the United States, and it’s the third most visited theme park today (After, go figure, Florida’s Walt Disney World and California’s Disneyland).

Tokyo Disney Resort is often regarded as the pinnacle of Disney theme park experiences by many Disney fans, but just what is it that makes this resort so special?

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At Tokyo Disney Resort you’ll find two theme parks: Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea.

Unfortunately, unless you’re planning to stay three days or longer, there is no “Park Hopper” option like there is in Walt Disney World, which means you’ll need to buy separate tickets to both resorts.

Prices for a one-day passport are ¥6,200 ($63 USD) for adults 18 and over. If you’re looking to visit both Disneyland and DisneySea, I highly recommend purchasing a two-day passport for ¥10,700 ($109 USD), which allows you to visit one park the first day, and the other park on the second day.

Tokyo Disneyland

Tokyo Disney

Centered around Cinderella’s Castle, Tokyo Disneyland is not much different from any other “Magic Kingdom”-styled park that you’ll find in Florida, California or Hong Kong.

There are seven themed lands in Tokyo Disneyland including: World Bazaar, Tomorrowland, Toontown, Fantasyland, Critter County, Westernland and Adventureland.

Apart from the shows and Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, all of the rides found in Tokyo Disneyland can be found in other Disney parks.

 Tokyo DisneySea

Tokyo Disney

Tokyo DisneySea is an ocean-themed park, and home to Duffy the Disney Bear– a character well loved by most in Japan.

It features seven “ports of call”, as opposed to “lands”, and these include: Mediterranean Harbor, American Waterfront, Port Discovery, Lost River Delta, Arabian Coast, Mermaid Lagoon, and the Mysterious Island.

Almost all of the rides (with the exception of maybe one or two) are exclusive to this park, which is part of what makes this park so special.

Tokyo Disney Resort Hotels

Tokyo Disney

There are a total of nine hotels in and around Tokyo Disney Resort— three of these are Disney Resort hotels and the other six are “official” hotels. Each hotel has varying prices depending on season and benefits for guests staying there.

If these hotels are out of your prince range and you don’t mind staying off property, there are also five other “partner” and 12 “good neighbor” hotels located throughout Tokyo.

Tokyo Disney Resort Welcome Center

Just outside the JR Maihama Station, the Tokyo Disney Resort Welcome Center is where you’ll want to head to first if you’re planning on going to the park that day. Here you can check into any of the nine hotels on property, and they’ll give you a room key even if your room isn’t ready yet. You can also leave all of your luggage here and they’ll deliver to your hotel room so that you don’t have to deal with it at the park.

Tokyo Disney Resort Ticket Center

Just downstairs from the Welcome Center you’ll find the Tokyo Disney Resort Ticket Center. Here is where you will purchase and pickup advance tickets, multi-day passports, and season passes. If you are planning to buy tickets for entry that day, you can skip visiting here and instead buy tickets from the Welcome Center or any of the ticket windows directly outside either park entrance.

Bon Voyage

Tokyo Disney

Bon Voyage is a souvenir shop located (dangerously) outside the Disney Parks and right next to the JR Maihama Station. Inside you’ll find basically everything sold inside the parks and more, making it the largest selection of Disney merchandise in Japan.

Stop by here to deck yourself out in Disney apparel before hitting the parks!

Ikspiari

Tokyo Disney

 Ikspiari is Japan’s version of Downtown Disney with over 140 shops, restaurants and a movie theater.

There is a food court filled with cheaper options for those who don’t want to break the bank eating every meal inside the park. Across from it, you’ll also find a grocery store, which is perfect for stocking up your hotel room with snacks or meals. If you’re weary of Japanese food, you’ll also find many western chains here like TGI Fridays, Rainforest Cafe, and others.

Disney Stores are seldom found across Japan. Tokyo has two, one of which, you guessed it, is also found here in Ikspiari.

Tokyo Disney Resort Line

Tokyo Disney

Complete with Mickey-shaped windows, the Tokyo Disney Resort Line monorail makes getting around the park simple. The line has four stops: Resort Gateway (JR Maihama Station and Ikspiari access), Tokyo Disneyland, Bayside (Official hotels access), and Tokyo DisneySea.

Unlike other Disney monorails, this one costs ¥250 ($2.50 USD) for a single ride, though you can also buy day passes starting at ¥650 ($6.50 USD).

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Tokyo Disney Resort gets very crowded, so try to avoid visiting on a weekend or during one of the three major Japanese holiday periods (New Years week, the first week in May, and Obon week in August).

Book any hotels and restaurant reservations 1-2 months in advanced. If you are not planning on staying in a Resort Hotel, also book your park tickets ahead of time as well.

Reserve all your tickets online and pick them up from the TDR Ticket Center to avoid long lines elsewhere.

Low season is in January and February because of the cold and snow.

People line up one hour before opening, so prepare to get there early as well. During this time many characters will come out and greet you, so have your camera and autograph books ready!

Most rides and shows are in Japanese-only, but for some you request an English headset.

Major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, etc.) are accepted around the park. The only ATM that accepts foreign cards is located in Ikspiari on the 2nd floor. Fun Fact: TDL guests spend an average of ¥9,700 ($99 USD) per day — not including souvenirs!

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Have YOU been to Tokyo Disney Resort? Would you like to?

18 Comments

  • Malia says:

    I love Disneyland and would love to visit Disneyland Tokyo and Disney Sea. We may be going to Japan this October, if we do, I’m definitely going there!

  • Trina Ware says:

    I’ ve had a Dinsey season pass for three years, California and this last year included Florida. The Run Disney races have got me hooked. Just starting to plan my first trip to Tokyo and can’t wait. All these tip, tricks are helpfil.

  • Charlotte says:

    I loved Tokyo Disney when I went! My aim it to go to all the Disney parks in the world!
    I went in the summer and I thought it was strange that while I wanted to get wet to cool down, Japanese people wanted to wear rain coats haha.

    I also read once that while American parks (Disney and Universal) focus on the rides while in Asia it’s all about the ears, headbands and other “one day use” items.

    • Beth Williams says:

      Tokyo Disney is definitely one of my favorite parks so far! I also have a goal of visiting all Disney parks in the world, but I’ve still got a few more to go. I always laugh at the people who put up their umbrellas and such when they ride water rides or watch the waterworks parade, and they all laugh at me while I sit there getting splashed with water.

  • My good friend has season’s passes to Disneyland and it seems like she goes to the one here in California at least once a month. She also goes to Disney World at least once a year. Disney in Japan looks awesome, but I don’t think that I could stomach multiple trips like my friend does.

    • Beth Williams says:

      After moving to Hong Kong, I bought a pass to the Disneyland here. At first we probably went once a month, especially because they do a lot of special events here, but now that we’ve gone on almost every ride, we definitely don’t go as often. A lot of days we’ll find it’s just too crowded and end up going straight home. Too much Disney is definitely not for everyone! :)

  • Arianwen says:

    Disneyland was great as a kid, but I think I’m over it now. I love the rollercoasters, but the people dressed as cartoon characters freak me out a bit, and I think the queues would get to me too!

    • Beth Williams says:

      I understand what you mean. Growing up I had only been to Disney once, and I was really small, so I don’t remember any of it (apart from what I see in photos)! I think that’s why I enjoy it now as an adult, or maybe because the different parks are interesting to visit in different countries!

      The queues can be very frustrating though. I know there’s been days where we visit our local Disney here in HK, and end up not riding anything because it’s too crowded.

  • Iain Mallory says:

    Great overview and tips, amazing how they reproduce everything so it looks almost exactly the same as any other Disney theme park.

    • Beth Williams says:

      Yeah, it’s sometimes a bit weird visiting different Disney parks around the world since most of them look identical!

      • Nice round up of my favorite Disney Resort! But, I have to say the thing I love most is that the international Disney Parks are entirely different — I disagree that they look identical. I typically maintain an annual pass to all the Disney Parks worldwide and have been to known to visit them in a relatively short span of time (like all 5 in one month two years in a row!) I grew up 20 minutes from Disneyland and have spent my entire life entrenched in Disney culture and amassing a hefty collection of art of souvenirs. LOL Other than the Magic Kingdom style parks in the US resorts, the international Disney Parks are entirely different. Tokyo has no Main Street, DLP’s Space Mountain goes upside down, and DLP and HKDL are the only two with Toy Story Playland, DCA has Cars Land, etc. Each park has really gone into branding its own identity and it’s one of the reasons I encourage people to visit each park while they are traveling.

        In regards to no park hopper — it’s worth spending the extra 3rd or 4th day to do so. But if you really have only two days and need to hop, there are the after 6 or after 4 passports (depending on day) and if you accidentally catch DL when it closes early for a private event, they offer a deeply discounted option for TDS — that just happened to me in January when I was there. Also, February can be one of the busiest times as it’s Chinese New Year — I learned to avoid Disney during that week as so many people head there for holiday (especially from Taiwan which is where I lived for a few years).

        • Beth Williams says:

          I do agree that each park has something unique about it– which is why I love visiting all of them across the world. I just thought that TDL had a much more typical Disney-feel than DisneySea. I absolutely adore both though (although I adore anything Disney. It was a huge part of my childhood as well– and even adulthood as we go to Hong Kong Disney twice a month).

          The park hopper is a great option for those staying longer, I’ve just never personally been able to stay for longer than 2 days, as we’d usually only visit Tokyo on school breaks from Osaka. :)

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