If you go to Tokyo a trip to Tokyo Disneyland can’t miss! I don’t know what it is about Disney movies, but they stay awesome no matter how old you get. I feel that I like them even more now than I did when I was still in school haha. Anyway, in Tokyo there are actually two Disney parks, there is the original Tokyo Disneyland and a Disney Sea park that obviously has the ocean as a common theme and recreates Venice, Aladdin’s world and much more. In 2011 I only went to the original Disney Park, so I’m only going to write about that park, but at the beginning of this year I also went to Disney Sea, so I will let you know how that was in one of my future posts. I had first been to a Disney Park when I was about eight years old, to the one in Paris. I didn’t recall much of it except that I freaking loved ‘It’s a Small World’, that I saw a mesmerizing night parade and that I wanted a princess dress. Even though I didn’t remember much, I did remember that it was one of the best trips ever and I couldn’t wait to go back there one day. And so I did ten years later!
You can get your tickets online, at a Disney Store or at the park entrance. We didn’t have a computer or printer, so online tickets were not really an option and going on the day itself might mean that you will have to stand in a long line. So we decided to get tickets at a Disney Store in Shibuya, giving us a good excuse to check out the shop as well, because honestly Disney stores are awesome. You can find a list of Disney stores here. Disney Land in Tokyo is always busy, even on a normal workday, so I suggest using a crowds calendar to plan your trip. On days that they expect a lot of people you can expect a line of 4 or even 5 hours for one attraction. I’m sure you don’t want to spend your whole day waiting for one attraction, at least I wouldn’t! I used this crowd calendar to find a day that had a green color, meaning it would be relatively uncrowded.
Luckily not crowded
The day of our Disney trip we went there in the morning, arriving at about 10AM. It is quite a journey from Ikebukuro to the Disney Resort. First we had to take the metro to Shin-Kiba and from there we took the train to Maihama where Disney Resort is located. We got in without any hassle or waiting because we already had tickets. In the morning it was not super crowded but there were already quite some people. Throughout the day it got more busy, especially at the parades, but luckily never annoyingly so. We even got to ride all the rides that we wanted to expect the ones that we closed for maintenance, that’s quite an achievement in Disneyland! Most rides were close to an hour of waiting, sometimes only thirty minutes, sometimes maybe a bit more than an hour, but luckily no 2,3 or 4 hour waiting times. We rode the Space Mountain twice! And we also had time to get some food and watch two parades. I’m so glad we didn’t go on a crowded day.
Winnie the Pooh and selfies?!
A ride that is unique to the Tokyo Disneyland is the Winnie the Pooh attraction. I definitely wanted to try this one because it is nowhere else but here. I had one of the longer waiting lines but it was so cute and funny, so it was worth the wait. While waiting we saw the infamous selfie-loving Japanese youth. Mind you, this was 2011, so the word selfie didn’t even exist yet and iPhones were still not very widely available, so most people (like me) still had shitty phones with shitty cameras back home. But the Japanese had these awesome flip phones on which they could watch tv and could even take photos of themselves! It was pretty amazing to see this back then. Although they would take so many photos of themselves just waiting in line, so that was very strange to us. Why would you take a photo of yourself in the queue? Why so many? Why are you so vain? It was such an Asian culture thing, because I saw the same thing in South Korea… but now with iPhones and selfies the people in the West have really caught up with this vain obsession. And I admit to being guilty sometimes as well. Another thing that really surprised was all the teenage girls and adult women (and sometimes men) that dressed up as Disney characters or at least coordinated their clothing according to the Disney headpieces they had bought. In Paris these Minnie Mouse ears and Donald Duck hats and such were only worn by kids (at least when I went there 10 years ago), but here it was even worn by adults! Which was of course another reason to take lots of selfies.
Enjoying the small things
Another two rides that I had never tried before were the Monsters Inc. attraction (my absolute fav Disney movie ever!!), which was closed to my huge disappointment, and a Lilo and Stitch attraction which was sadly also closed for maintenance. So instead we got ourselves a yummy churro. The churros come in all kinds of flavors here and are a specialty of the Tokyo park, just like all the crazy popcorn flavors they sell in adorably cute Disney buckets. We enjoyed our churro and walking around the park which is decorated in even the smallest details. It was fun just looking for small things like a Mickey mouse shaped bush, a cute bench or Disney trash cans. While walking around we also bumped into a Easter parade (although it was already late into June), and later we saw another dance parade for which the Japanese people neatly line up of course. I think that going to Disneyland during Halloween or Winter would be so cool with the decorations and the parades.
I really enjoyed myself in Disneyland. It doesn’t matter how old you are, anyone can enjoy this place, especially if you love Disney! It took me four years to go to Disney Sea as well and it is also a great although I couldn’t try any of the exciting attractions there. But both places are worth going to if you are in Tokyo. This is definitely the place I would recommend most for families traveling with kids and people who are still a kid inside 😉