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Old 11-16-2012, 06:33 PM   #1
LouandtheWho
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Tokyo Disney in 2 weeks PTR - advice for a family?

Hi! My name is Lou and my husband, 3 kids and I will be jetting off to Japan and Tokyo Disney on Dec 3rd! We are so SO excited; Ive been to Disney in LA but this will be the first trip for everyone else (and our first international trip with the kids!). We picked Japan because it was cheaper to fulfill our dream of taking the kids to Disney there than it was to fly across Australia to the west coast to visit family for christmas Ive seen the christmas schedules for Tokyo Disney and DisneySea, Dec 3rd cant come fast enough

Our travel itinerary is pretty loose, having 3 small kids means we have to be flexible depending on their moods. We've done lots of domestic travel with our kids due to my husband's career so Im sure they will do ok.

Dec 3rd to 6th - Disney
Dec 7th to 9th - Tokyo
Dec 10th to 12th - Kyoto

We fly into Narita at 7:30pm and we are staying at Palm & Fountain Terrace Hotel just outside of Disney. We plan to train it into Tokyo to do our exploring. We will be catching the Shinkansen down to Kyoto for our 2 nights stay at Hotel Kanra then back again to connect with an airport train when we fly out.

We are taking backpack luggage as Ive heard that Japanese train stations are known for their epic stairs. I plan on taking most of our spending money in cash as Ive also read that most retailers prefer cash and finding an international atm can be difficult.

Id love it if anyone else, esp those who've travelled there with kids, could give us any advice you think might be helpful. Places that are a must see, places to eat and especially tips for getting the best Disney experience

Thanks!!
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:52 PM   #2
BecBennett
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you won't need back packs for the train stations, we didn't find any that didn't have escalators.

Prepare your kids for cramped train rides. They're not too bad during the day, but if you want to have dinner in Tokyo for example to see Shibuya at night time (lots of lights, pretty cool) then that's when you can expect busy trains. The busiest train we faced was at around 11pm on a Tuesday going from DL into Tokyo.

Most (if not all) 7/11s have international ATMs, that's where we got most of our money, either at those, or there's an ATM downstairs at Ikspiari, and I used it a couple of times. We pretty much paid cash for everything, with a couple of credit card transactions.

How adventurous are your kids with food? We found the best restaurants were generally hole in the wall type places. Usually we'd just check if they had an english menu, and if they did we'd eat there. Except on the few days where it was so scalding hot we didn't want hot food. Then we'd take a bit longer... Everywhere at Ikspiari has english menus.

Have an amazing time!
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:12 AM   #3
paulakimtrac
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Have a fun time! Many of the train/metro stations have Citibank ATM's which accept international credit cards and have an English option. Are you purchasing your tickets ahead of time?? There are Disney stores in Shibuya, Shinjuku and a variety of areas. The Shibuya store is the only one with a street entrance, as the others are located inside a shopping mall type setting. The trains and metros are fantastic, so is the bus system to and from the airports. In the train/metro stations at the train platforms look for the car numbering system to see which car of a train or metro is closest to the elevators/escalators/transfers etc when you depart at your destination....it is a very cool system developed by Japanese moms who were pushing baby strollers and wanted to exit and enter at the closest points possible. Also, make sure when you exit a subway station you also get the specific exit gate i.e. A3, A2 etc...many of the stations are big and you will want to exit at the gate nearest your destination.

The new Tokyo Sky Tree is pretty impressive and fun on a clear day. Also you might want to go to the Edo Museum which has some very nice and fun exhibits for the kids.

Enjoy your trip!!
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:27 AM   #4
LouandtheWho
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Thanks for the tips! The kids are pretty good eaters but my 6yo is probably the most excited about eating in Japan as he loves asian dishes, esp anything containing rice, and has heard about a pickle store in Kyoto (kid loves pickles ) so thats our top priority when we get there!
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:34 PM   #5
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+1 about buying your Disney park tickets early. The lines to buy tickets at the park entrance are CRAZY! If you go at rope drop, hang on to your little ones. People full on run the minute they get in the park and its pretty easy to get plowed by a speeding stroller!
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:00 PM   #6
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Most places will have a display or picture menu. Look at it and point It is your friend.

It is going to be cold. We were just there over Thanksgiving, Tokyo. And we froze. We are living in Okinawa and came from Hawaii so anything below 75 is freezing

Second, hanging on to the little ones. The trains/ stations can be confusing. Something we did not think or know about was if you are getting on the JR line and than getting on a different line, where you pick up the new line is where you will buy your new ticket.

Look for English or Romanji maps.

There are lots of stairs, but there is also escalators.

Take lots of pictures. Try all the popcorn in Disney
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:24 PM   #7
LouandtheWho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris31997 View Post
Most places will have a display or picture menu. Look at it and point It is your friend.

It is going to be cold. We were just there over Thanksgiving, Tokyo. And we froze. We are living in Okinawa and came from Hawaii so anything below 75 is freezing

Second, hanging on to the little ones. The trains/ stations can be confusing. Something we did not think or know about was if you are getting on the JR line and than getting on a different line, where you pick up the new line is where you will buy your new ticket.

Look for English or Romanji maps.

There are lots of stairs, but there is also escalators.

Take lots of pictures. Try all the popcorn in Disney
Like you, we live tropical (in Northern Australia) and it is currently wet season which means ridiculously hot and humid as opposed to just hot but nice. So yep Im expecting all of us to freeeeeeeeze.

Duly noted about the popcorn, lucky the kids love popcorn!
5 more days and we'll be on the plane enroute to Tokyo. So excited
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris31997 View Post
Most places will have a display or picture menu. Look at it and point It is your friend.

It is going to be cold. We were just there over Thanksgiving, Tokyo. And we froze. We are living in Okinawa and came from Hawaii so anything below 75 is freezing

Second, hanging on to the little ones. The trains/ stations can be confusing. Something we did not think or know about was if you are getting on the JR line and than getting on a different line, where you pick up the new line is where you will buy your new ticket.

Look for English or Romanji maps.

There are lots of stairs, but there is also escalators.

Take lots of pictures. Try all the popcorn in Disney

what was the temp in nov? We are going in Jan and I am SCARED!
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by downunder

what was the temp in nov? We are going in Jan and I am SCARED!
The temp was around the 40s and 50s while I was there
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