Confession time! I like Disney movies but not so much that I would be super excited to go to Disneyland. I’ve had several chances to go to one over the years (Hong Kong and Tokyo before this trip) but it just wasn’t something I felt I needed to do. This trip, I acted as the guide for my brother and his girlfriend, whose only request was to go to Disneyland. If I were given the choice, I would have gone to Disneysea since this was a theme park unique to Tokyo. However, my brother’s girlfriend was a huge Pooh fan so we ended up going to Disneyland.
Since I went to USJ last year, I was aware of the extremely long queue times for rides in Japan. Thankfully, we were able to double the number of attractions we rode on compared to my USJ experience. Tokyo Disneyland’s two flagship rides are Pooh’s Hunny Hunt and Monster’s Inc Ride and Go Seek so upon entry to the park, I immediately got a fast pass ticket to Monster’s Inc while my brother went to line up at Pooh’s Hunny Hunt. We weren’t able to ride everything but we got the main draws at least.
We went on several other attractions throughout our stay (Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin, Haunted Mansion, Star Tours, Splash Mountain, Swiss Family Robinson’s Treehouse, Country Bear Theater) with the longest line at Star Tours. We were going to attempt lining up at Space Mountain but the line was too intimidating, especially after Star Tours.
Attention to detail was top notch on the attractions but be aware that you will not understand anything (unless you know Japanese) if it’s your first time to go to Disneyland. I still prefer a more adrenaline-pumping experience though.
We also got to watch 3 parades but sadly, they cancelled the fireworks show.
Although the experience didn’t really enhance my desire to visit more Disney parks (maybe when the Star Wars park opens), I did enjoy the experience and I’d like to visit Disneysea if I have someone to go with next time.
Some tips to maximize enjoyment of Disneyland:
– get there early with a pre-purchased ticket (buy online!) – one blogger mentioned that they got there an hour before the park opened and there were at least 50 people waiting at the entry turnstiles (not the ticket booths)
– get acquainted with the fast pass system – these allow you to significantly shorten waiting time on selected rides and you can only get one every two hours or right after you’ve used one
– know the rides you want to get on so you know which ones to prioritize
– you can skip the line on Splash Mountain even without a fast pass by telling them you’re a single rider (I think this is the only ride in Tokyo Disneyland you can do this on)