What You Need to Know About Visiting Tokyo Disneyland
Many miles, oceans and continents away from the United States is another playground for Disney fanatics in Tokyo, Japan. Disneyland and DisneySea is an easy, cool commute from the center of downtown and offer many of the same experiences, rides, amenities and offerings that you find in Disney World in Florida or Disneyland in California. However, given the location on the map, there are plenty of interesting, fascinating and exciting differences that set this park apart from others, from food and costumes to language and more. If your travels have you globe-trotting around Asia, make sure to add this destination to your list of must-see’s. Here’s what you need to know about Tokyo Disneyland before your trek:
It’s only 45 minutes from the center of Tokyo.
If you call a city a home, you’re probably well-versed with the local metro system, allowing you figure out trains and buses when you’re on-the-go. And hey, even if you aren’t used to skyscrapers and sidewalks, the underground routes of Tokyo are easy to navigate, along with helpful workers who can answer questions. From Tokyo Station in the center of the action, it’s only a 45-minute commute to Tokyo and costs a mere $5. Almost all of these surprisingly-clean stations also have elevators or escalators, so if you’re exploring with a stroller, you won’t have to sweat over stairs (literally).
Be early about everything.
One major difference you’ll learn as you explore Japan is a special emphasis on customs, etiquette and culture. Here, being late is considered rude, so if you’re meeting anyone at a specific time, get there early. This same mentality is applied through everything: buy your tickets early to avoid long lines and arrive at the park in the morning to get the most out of your experience. Much like the United States, weekends and times when kids are out of school will be the busiest, so avoiding them is preferably. As for seasons, Autumn should be your top priority, with foliage that will take your breath away.
DisneySea is for adults, Disneyland is for kids.
While – of course! – the whole family will enjoy both parks, generally speaking, DisneySea is geared toward adults, while Disneyland is designed with children in mind. At DisneySea, you can expect more intense thrillers – like Tower of Terror – and attractions like Indiana Jones. Next door, Disneyland features many of the classics you remember from your own childhood, like Splash Mountain or Alice in Wonderland Teacups. Though your specialized Disney Agent can help you decide which one to invest your time and dollars at, the affordable price of Disney Tokyo tickets allows you to see both over two days.
The food is part of the fun.
Yes, you can find Mickey Mouse ice cream at Disneyland Tokyo. And sure, American-like bites exist too. But why go for those old classics when you can ignite your tastebuds with Japanese-inspired fare. From Mickey Mouse-shaped sticky pork buns to curry-flavored popcorn and plenty of country-specific sweets, you can sample your way around the region, one pit stop at a time. (Pro tip: if you’re going to be at the park for a few days, get a popcorn purse for your kid. You’ll see plenty of them – in the shape of cars or princesses – and it allows you to refill on a large variety of popcorn flavors in between meet-and-greets and rides.)
…and the fashion!
In Tokyo, plenty of teenagers opt for a season pass to Disneyland and consider it an afternoon hang. You’ll see all sorts of matching outfits, crazy makeup, interesting shoes and character recreations as you tour around. This means you and your family should feel empowered to go overboard yourself as you tour through the park. What might be considered over-the-top stateside is pretty commonplace – and encouraged! – in Japan.
You might struggle with English.
While some cast members and employees do speak English, plenty do not, making Google Translate on your phone a highly-recommended app to download before takeoff. It’s also important to remember that all of the performances, rides with storylines and instructions throughout the park are in Japanese. Consider it a deep dive into a learning language challenge for your kids – and for you! Though you might find some barriers, the Japanese community is very welcoming and kind, so you will be greeted with smiles, even if you can’t quite communicate with words.