PDA

View Full Version : Tokyo Disneyland on a Budget Trip Report (Day 4 Disneyland Round 2 - Final Day)


Corbisblue
06-21-2010, 09:40 PM
Yesterday (June 20th) I returned from a 2 week visit to Tokyo, Japan! I was supposed to be there for a month but some personal things came up and had to return home early. But in any case I got to visit Tokyo Disneyland for 4 days total! Spent two days in each park. It was a fantastic time and was my 2nd Disney Trip this year! My first trip was to WDW in May as a graduation present.

Visiting Disneyland was not part of my original plan when I booked this visit back in March. After my very first visit to WDW in May I *had* to visit Tokyo Disneyland. My friend and I made it work and it was money well spent.

About myself:

I am a recent University Graduate from the University of Saskatchewan with a B.Sc in Computer Science. I recently fell in love with Disney again after "growing" out of it in my teens and early 20s. Now I am fascinated with Disney once more and loving every minute. Japan has always fascinated me and back in 2003-2004 I decided to do a Student Exchange to the prefecture of Tochigi for 6 months as a High School student. It was the best 6 months ever! This past trip was to visit some of my old friends that I met while living there.

Past Trip Report

If you wish you can read my past trip report here (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2468563). It's all about my very first visit to WDW. Plenty of photos and videos to keep you entertained. Don't mind the bad grammar and spelling. I'm a Computer Science major not an English, heh.

About this trip report

Of course this will include all the fun things I did in Disneyland along with some tips that I thought of to save some money (who doesn't want to save money) and on how to make your visit to Tokyo Disneyland as painless as possible so you can take in everything there is to offer! Visiting Japan is very expensive and saving money means you can spend more in the Gift Shops!

I will post links to my blog to keep my trip report easier to find and read. I also love to include music and videos in my posts which is a bit harder and messier to do here.

There's also a nice trip report by lurkyloo over on her trip report (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2440546). I will try not to overlap any of the tips she gave :)

If there is anything you wish to know about Japan please feel free to ask! About TDL or Japan in general.

Trip Reports

Day 1 - Tokyo DisneySea - http://www.fathobbit.ca/?p=557

Day 2 - Tokyo Disneyland - http://www.fathobbit.ca/?p=592 - Hidden Mickeys and Easter Eggs! With full video of Parades!!

Day 3 - Tokyo DisneySea Round 2 - http://www.fathobbit.ca/?p=673 - Loaded with two GREAT videos! I'm attacked by Chip!

Day 4 - Tokyo Disneyland Round 2 - http://www.fathobbit.ca/?p=715 - Videos of the Parades and more!

Where else to find me

Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/burninlover
My Fat Hobbit Blog - http://www.fathobbit.ca

Corbisblue
06-21-2010, 10:01 PM
Money Saving Tips

Cash

Best thing to do is to have enough cash on hand to pay for your meals and anything else other than Park Tickets and Gifts. Take out money from ATMs from any 7-11 or Post Office. If you can avoid it do not do it at the Airport it'll be expensive with the fees.

Pay for your Park Tickets and Gifts with your credit card. The fees associated with your credit card will be cheaper than taking money out of an ATM or exchanging.

My cash on hand was: 20,000 yen which is about $220.

Train

Get to Tokyo Station (which is on the Yamanote line) and take the Keiyo Line (red) right to Maihama. Any of the major train stations will have English on the route board if you cannot read Japanese.

Depending on where you are traveling from the cost will vary from 200 yen to over 1000 yen. But if you are in the Tokyo Area it won't be very much.

If you are on resort then the only train you'll really need to take is they Disney train to get to DisneySea. Depending on where you are in the resort. There will be clearly labeled signs everywhere for you.

Gifts

Use your credit card to make purchases. Try and bundle your purchases together as much as possible to make the amount of fees you pay on your credit card a bit lower than if you make multiple purchases.

For little nick nack purchases that are rather generic such as pencils, pens, cases, small bags, small towels, and stickers you can skip those in the Disney Resort and purchase them off resort at any 100 Yen Shop in Japan. They sell tons of Official Disney products for 100 yen a piece. They won't have any special items that are sold only in the parks or are seasonal (such as the Easter Celebration items). They also won't have bigger items such as plush, cups, pins, and mickey ears.

If possible visit one of these 100 yen shops before going to Disneyland and you can buy some items there. Then there's no worrying about "wonder if I can find this at the 100 yen shop". I was able to get over 20 Disney Items for 2000 yen and it's all the same to those people you buy them for. You won't have to spent a lot of money to get everyone something from Disney!

Cell Phone

I rented a cell phone since the charges for my iPhone through Rogers Canada was extremely high and over priced. I rented a Softbank phone for 250 yen a day.

* Incoming texts and calls were free
* Sending international texts were 150 yen each
* Sending local SMS were 15 yen
* Sending email was 1 yen per packet (which was about 128 bytes). It's rather confusing and a very different way to charge than we do in North America

You can check out the website here (http://www.softbank-rental.jp/en/). You can book the phone online and pick it up at the airport. Then when you are done just simply drop it off at any Softbank place in Narita Airport.

Hotel

While visiting Japan we did not stay on resort. We did a combination of Couch Surfing and a Hostel.

The hostel we stayed at was Aizuya Inn (http://www.aizuya-inn.com/index.html) which was very cheap. It varies on how many people are staying with you, how many nights, and how big of a room you want.

For two of us staying for 4 nights was 6,000 yen a night for a 4.5 tatami mat room. It's a traditional Japanese room where you sleep on a futon. The washroom, kitchen, and common area are shared. The showers are 100 yen for 5 minutes.

It is located in Minami-Senju which is a bit of a way from Tokyo Disneyland but very easy to reach by train. There are also many other hostels in Tokyo. This is the one we stayed at and it was enjoyable. The staff were very nice and all spoke English. They are very helpful with any questions you have.

This is only for those that are a bit more adventurous and are willing to out of their comfort zone in order to save money. It also gives you a feel for how the Japanese live!

Another method we used was Couch Surfing where you stay with people in their home for free. We used CouchSurfing.org (http://www.couchsurfing.org) to find a few places to stay.

Please Note: It is very hard to find a host in Tokyo since it is a very busy place everyone wants to visit from around the world. If you choose this route try and request a place to stay well in advance or if you don't mind traveling a little bit find someone who is just outside of Tokyo. One host we used was just outside Chiba.

Again this is for adventurous people and that are willing to step outside of their comfort zone.

I wouldn't recommend this for those traveling with children.

With a combination of these two methods we were able to save enough money to pay for our Disney Passport Tickets!

Corbisblue
06-21-2010, 10:01 PM
Park Tips

Before you head to the Park
Before you head to the park check out the Official Tokyo Disneyland website for information on operation hours and attraction closures. http://www.tokyodisneyresort.co.jp/tdr/english/plan/today.html

You can plan your attack better if you know which attractions are closed and when the park opens. Sometimes without warning the park will open later.

Which days to go?
Depends on your preference.

Weekdays
If you enjoy days where it's not overly busy then go during the week. This is when it is "slow". There are over 32 million in Tokyo alone so the definition of slow is loosely defined here. You will encounter line ups of about 30-60mins on average if you do not have a fast pass. I would get there for park open or shortly there after to ensure you can get some fast passes. Three of the days we went was during the week and fast passes for the most popular attractions were gone by early afternoon and the rest were gone before 4pm.

Weekends
I would try and avoid Saturday and Sunday if you can. The parks will be wall to wall people. All the fast passes will be gone before noon and some are gone within the first hour of being open. Prepare yourself for 60-120 min wait times for even the least popular attractions and even higher wait times for the more popular rides.

If you wish to visit the Duffy Bear store (DisneySea Only) you will have to get a ticket that allows you to come back at a certain time to get into the store. There are a few other stores in DisneySea that sell Duffy Bears but I believe they only sell certain ones. Even then the wait to get into those stores will be a wait.

Parades/Shows
Before each Parade or Show check the pamphlet that you are given when entering the park. If you weren't given one simply go to Guest Relations or the gate and ask for one. They will know that you want an English Map right away. So don't worry if you can't speak Japanese.

Line up for a show at least a good hour or at the very latest half an hour before the show starts. The lines will get super long and you may not get in.

For Parades they are done a bit differently in Japan than North America. If it is a sunny day you will be asked to sit down to watch the show. For the bigger parades I advise you to get a spot an hour before. People sitting up much more room than people standing up. The good spots along the route will be the first to go. If it is raining you do not have to sit, unless you want to.

What should I bring to the park?

Everyone in Japan takes a bag of some sort with them. I'm not the type of person to bring a bag but after my first day in Tokyo Disneyland I brought my backpack. You can put food and drinks in there from outside the park. You can save yourself some money buy bringing your own bottle of water and some snacks. They do check bags but not as throughly as in Disney World. They will open your bag take a quick peek and that's it.

Also if you can bring an umbrella and a raincoat. The umbrella can be used in the rain or when it's sunny. Sitting in the sun waiting for a parade with an umbrella is nice. Raincoats are sold in the park for 500 yen a piece for a plain plastic one. Or you can get fancy and purchase a Mickey or Minnie Raincoat but it'll cost you 2500 yen. You can get a cheap umbrella and raincoat in any Japanese store really cheap. Don't worry about feeling awkward or weird if you use these. Everyone in Japan uses them on a regular basis.

If you want to be hip and cool then when you finally purchase your Duffy bear from DisneySea make sure to have it stick out of your bag to show everyone how Japanese you are! It's so fun to see how many people do this. I got myself a Duffy Bear and did the same thing!

Weather

As like every other Disney Park everything is subject to change depending on the weather. If you go to the park during the Rainy season which is June/July then expect a few shows to be cancelled or altered. The only parade that was cancelled due to rain was the Electrical Parade and the nightly fireworks. Everything else was altered to fit the weather. When the fireworks in Disneyland were cancelled due to wind there was a small appearance by Mickey and friends dancing in their raincoats and umbrellas! It was super cute.

Attractions to get Fast Passes for RIGHT AWAY

DisneySea - Indiana Jones, Tower of Terror, & Storm Rider
Disneyland - Monsters Inc. Hide and Go Seek (these were gone within an hour of park open), Pooh's Honey Hunt, & Space Mountain

Some of the attractions in Disneyland do not take fast passes compared to Disney World. Such as Snow White, Peter Pan, and It's A Small World.

An hour before closing time you can walk onto almost any ride. But you would have to go quickly to get in some of your favorite rides before closing.

Hope these tips help! If I can think of any more of if anyone thinks I'm missing anything I'll add em!

Should I know Japanese?

It's not a necessity for visiting the park. The cast members that need to know English will. Such as those selling Park Passes and Guest Relations will know English. For ordering food everything is displayed in English below the Japanese. Even then the person taking your order will pull out a menu for you to point at if they can't understand you.

For rides before going onto the attraction they will *always* ask how many people. So just use your fingers to show how many people. Most times they will tell you in English what number and show you on their fingers.

Most of the attractions and parades will be in Japanese. So you may not understand a lot of it. Don't worry it's still incredibly enjoyable!

ChrisFL
06-22-2010, 08:33 AM
:thumbsup2

cseca
06-22-2010, 11:24 AM
Thanks for the tips. Keep em coming! :)

Corbisblue
06-24-2010, 03:23 PM
Just updated with my first day! Tokyo DisneySea on a Saturday. The busiest time of the week. So much fun!

rosiep
06-24-2010, 04:33 PM
Loving this! Please keep posting!!!

Corbisblue
06-24-2010, 05:20 PM
Loving this! Please keep posting!!!

I have three more days of Disney to share with everyone! Tons of videos and photos too :D. Glad you are enjoying it!

DouglasE
06-24-2010, 06:10 PM
Thank you so much for posting this report. I would absolutely love to visit Japan. Why don't I? Time and money. I have so little of both. Ugh! My favorite video was the one with the sushi delivered via high speed train ;)

Looking forward to reading about your second day at Disney in Tokyo

Corbisblue
06-24-2010, 07:03 PM
Thank you so much for posting this report. I would absolutely love to visit Japan. Why don't I? Time and money. I have so little of both. Ugh! My favorite video was the one with the sushi delivered via high speed train ;)

Looking forward to reading about your second day at Disney in Tokyo

I was able to do Tokyo for 2 weeks for about 2,000 Canadian. Saved a lot of money by staying in an Hostel instead of a hotel and did some couch surfing. Hopefully one day you can! It's a great place to visit!

The Shinkansen with the sushi was awesome, we kept ordering more and more sushi just so the train would come by. My one friend even ordered Hello Kitty Grape Juice just so the train would come.

Going to start writing Day 2 right away here! Once I'm done I'll be posting more photos and such from non-Disney related adventures.

Sphyrna
06-24-2010, 09:55 PM
Loving your TR, just as I did your WDW one! You're making me want to go to Tokyo! Can't wait for the next installment!

vettegirl
06-25-2010, 06:36 AM
Thanks for the tips, we may be going to Tokyo in the fall. My DH lived there for 4 years and I would love to see it!

Corbisblue
06-25-2010, 10:39 AM
Loving your TR, just as I did your WDW one! You're making me want to go to Tokyo! Can't wait for the next installment!

I'm happy you're enjoying it! :D

Corbisblue
06-25-2010, 10:44 AM
Thanks for the tips, we may be going to Tokyo in the fall. My DH lived there for 4 years and I would love to see it!

If I can think of any more tips I'll make sure to update the posts. If there's anything you'd like to ask too feel free :)

simzac
06-26-2010, 02:39 PM
Great trip report so far. One question though. You state that you took a train to TDS and show a picture of the mickey hand grips. Are you sure that wasn't the monorail? Thanks

scrump
06-26-2010, 08:35 PM
:thumbsup2:thumbsup2
This is AWESOME.

We are going in September, and I am so happy I found your thread. Great info on cash vs credit cards and mobile phones and the Duffy Bear - I definitely want to get one (and Shellie May!)

I assume the parks don't do traveler's cheques, but thought to ask anyway what your experience, if any was.

Thanks soo much!!!

Corbisblue
06-26-2010, 11:06 PM
Great trip report so far. One question though. You state that you took a train to TDS and show a picture of the mickey hand grips. Are you sure that wasn't the monorail? Thanks

Yes that was the monorail. Trains are so common in Japan that I just called it that by habit, since you have to pay for the Monorail like you would a normal train. Hope that clears it up :D

Corbisblue
06-26-2010, 11:08 PM
:thumbsup2:thumbsup2
This is AWESOME.

We are going in September, and I am so happy I found your thread. Great info on cash vs credit cards and mobile phones and the Duffy Bear - I definitely want to get one (and Shellie May!)

I assume the parks don't do traveler's cheques, but thought to ask anyway what your experience, if any was.

Thanks soo much!!!

I'm not too sure on the Traveler's Cheques. They are becoming less and less popular. I'd stick with cash and credit, just less of a headache and guessing. There are ATMs everywhere that take out money from foreign cards and credit cards are just as easy.

I'm glad that I can help!

Malin
06-27-2010, 06:16 AM
Wonderful Trip Report so far Corbisblue. I'm visiting the Resort in September and while I have been several times before. Reading your Trip Report is getting me psych up and ready for the trip. Look forward to day 2

Corbisblue
06-28-2010, 04:51 PM
Wonderful Trip Report so far Corbisblue. I'm visiting the Resort in September and while I have been several times before. Reading your Trip Report is getting me psych up and ready for the trip. Look forward to day 2

Thank You! Going there in September would be nice to see what celebration they have during that time.

rosiep
06-28-2010, 04:55 PM
Time for day two! I'm getting antsy.

Corbisblue
06-28-2010, 10:45 PM
Time for day two! I'm getting antsy.

It's coming! I'm working on it :D Tons of videos to upload/edit.

Corbisblue
06-30-2010, 12:05 PM
Day 2 in TDL is now up!

Hidden Easter Eggs, Hidden Mickeys, Rain, Line-ups, and canoeing! What a fun day in TDL!

http://www.fathobbit.ca/?p=592

rosiep
06-30-2010, 01:47 PM
Loving it so much!! Thank you for sharing. So fun to see different rides and to see how much is available in English!

simzac
06-30-2010, 04:02 PM
What a shame it rained on you the entire day at TDL, but looks like you had a great time. I will difinitely remember if I get there to save Monsters and Pooh until the end of the day.

Corbisblue
06-30-2010, 04:24 PM
Loving it so much!! Thank you for sharing. So fun to see different rides and to see how much is available in English!

Most things were in Japanese, except for big park wide announcements and songs. Some songs were half English for one chorus then Japanese for the other.

Also for some performances you can ask a Cast Member for an English translation which is usually just a pamphlet.

Corbisblue
06-30-2010, 04:51 PM
What a shame it rained on you the entire day at TDL, but looks like you had a great time. I will difinitely remember if I get there to save Monsters and Pooh until the end of the day.

Or get the Fast Passes as soon as the park opens. That's if you're willing to go running through the mark like a mad person! heheh :)

Malin
07-02-2010, 05:03 PM
Thank You! Going there in September would be nice to see what celebration they have during that time.

Its Halloween celebrated at both parks. Tokyo Disneyland has been holding a Halloween event for a number of years now. And last year Tokyo DisneySea joined in the fun. Parades and shows are all part of the fun. And Jack Skelington and friends all join the Haunted Mansion.

Corbisblue
07-03-2010, 04:14 PM
Its Halloween celebrated at both parks. Tokyo Disneyland has been holding a Halloween event for a number of years now. And last year Tokyo DisneySea joined in the fun. Parades and shows are all part of the fun. And Jack Skelington and friends all join the Haunted Mansion.

Jack is my absolute favorite character, that would be so much fun to see.

Corbisblue
07-10-2010, 01:41 PM
My updating is taking a bit longer than I anticipated. For those of you that are eager to see I have some photos up on Facebook you can check out to hold you over until the trip report for Day 3 is done ;)

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=458365&id=857865318&l=88333912b8

Corbisblue
07-20-2010, 01:47 PM
Sorry for taking so long to post, been away visiting family for the past couple of weeks.

I have Day 3 up now! Our 2nd day in DisneySea and I get attacked by a famous Chipmunk....

http://www.fathobbit.ca/?p=673

simzac
07-20-2010, 07:29 PM
Thanks for the latest update. Your characters name is Bernard from the Rescuers movies.

Corbisblue
07-21-2010, 11:27 AM
Thanks for the latest update. Your characters name is Bernard from the Rescuers movies.

Ahh yes! Thank you for that! Neither of us could remember his name. There was the female one there too.

Corbisblue
08-06-2010, 04:53 PM
Sorry for taking so long but I got the final day up for everyone!! Hope you all enjoy it :)

Corbisblue
11-08-2010, 12:42 PM
If you've enjoyed my trip report here check my signature for my other trip reports that I've done this year.

I'm hoping to make one more before the year is done *grins*.

Corbisblue
01-05-2011, 11:14 AM
I'm looking at doing Tokyo Disneyland again this year. So hopefully I can add another Trip Report here!