***Tokyo Disney Resort - FAQ***

Discussion in 'Tokyo Disneyland' started by ChrisFL, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. ChrisFL

    ChrisFL Disney/Universal Fan and MALE

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    Per someone's excellent recommendation I decided to start a TDR FAQ since many people have questions about the resort and Tokyo in general.

    I have been to Tokyo and the parks twice, in 2009 and 2012.

    Here we go:


    * How many theme parks are there?

    Tokyo Disney Resort is home to two theme parks, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea.


    * Are the parks as nice as WDW or DL?

    In my opinion and the opinion of many others who visited, they're actually much nicer in many ways. The quality of the attractions is actually much higher with more intricate details or ride systems that are more advanced than anything we have in the U.S.. The cleanliness and friendliness of the staff is also very very high (but the same can be said for most of Tokyo itself!)


    * Do they offer park discounts often?

    This I am not too familiar with. One thing you have to keep in mind is that TDR is NOT owned or operated by Disney. It is owned by the Oriental Land Company. They license everything from Disney but run things their way (ironically a BETTER way these days than Disney itself).


    * Are they "full day" parks?

    VERY much so. Disneyland has a LOT of attractions and DisneySea is so gosh darn beautiful you could spend a whole day just walking around.


    * Are park-hoppers available?

    Not the same way as in the U.S.. You can purchase 1-day, 2-day, 3-day and 4-day park tickets but not "park hop" on the first or second day. For example if you buy a 3 day pass, you have to tell them which park you're visiting on which day for the first two days, then the third day, you can park-hop. 4-day tickets will be the same, with park-hopping on the third and fourth day.


    * How many days do I need to see both parks?

    I recommened 3 to 4 days to see everything. These parks get VERY busy at most times of the year.


    * Do they have fastpass?

    YES, and let me tell you, the guests KNOW EXACTLY how to use them, so you'll often see lines stretching for fastpasses nearly as long as the line to get in the attraction itself!

    * Can I use a credit card in most places

    I don't believe the food carts allow credit cards, probably only the restaurants. Ironically Japan is VERY cash based. Also, while we're on the subject, if you are off property and you want to use an ATM, look for 7-11 locations or post offices. Those are the only places you may find ATM's which take "western" cards typically.


    * Do they use any wristband system like the new one at WDW?

    No, they just have the fastpass system which works the same way as in WDW/DL.


    * Is there pin-trading?

    No. They had it temporarily but it wasn't popular.


    * Are there any on-site Hotels?

    YES, not only on-site, but VERY close to the parks. The MiraCosta Hotel is located INSIDE Tokyo DisneySea. Tokyo Disneyland Hotel is directly outside of the Disneyland Park. There's also the Disney Ambassador Hotel which is not too far away.

    There's also 6 "Partner" hotels right near the parks:

    http://www.tokyodisneyresort.co.jp/en/about/rh/official.html


    * Is there a monorail to get around?

    Yes, to get between parks and some of the hotels there is a monorail, however due to city transit requirements it is not free. You can buy a pass for the monorail access, or use the same prepaid card for other trains in the Tokyo rail system (Pasmo or Suica).

    Also, despite the fact that both parks are right next to each other, their entrances are FAR apart, so you will need a monorail to get between them.


    * Will I have problems if I don't speak any Japanese?

    Rarely will you have any issues within TDR. Most CM's speak at least some english or will happily find someone who will help you out. This is also what you'll probably find in Tokyo itself, people are very helpful to foreigners and quite pleasant in general. Having said that, realize that literally 95% of the guests at TDR are Japanese. Since TDR is not owned by Disney, but by Oriental Land Company, they don't get to advertise outside of their own borders, which is why you don't hear about TDR much internationally.

    Of course, learning the basic greetings of Konnichiwa (Hello) and Arigatou Gozaimasi (Thank you very much) helps out. Japanese people are EXTREMELY POLITE in practically all situations, so doing this will really help you "fit in".

    Also, most of the signs in TDR are in english. As for the attractions, admittedly most are in Japanese, but the storylines are often pretty basic. If you attend shows, you can get a translation device that follows along with the story (although I am not a "show" person, so I haven't personally tried one)


    * What about food choices??

    Food prices are probably a little bit higher but the food quality is also very very good. There is also quite a variety of choices, italian, american, chinese, sushi around the parks.


    * Can I grab snacks to eat and walk around with?

    You can buy snacks like the famous popcorn in many different flavors around the parks, but for some reason Japanese people DO NOT walk around while eating food. I doubt they'd "frown on you" for doing so, but it just isn't something that they do.


    * What kind of park attire can I wear?

    Although on my last trip I was wondering why I never see Japanese men wearing shorts, it isn't a problem, just not regularly seen (I did see a few finally, lol).

    Most decent respectable clothes will be fine, just might not want to be in a bathing suit or something. Japanese people have a tendency to "dress up" a bit when going to the parks. Also, if you want to wear your nicest Disney princess outfit or special ears or hats, you'll fit RIGHT in. Putting on costumes in Tokyo overall is practically normal I think.
     
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  3. greenkai3000

    greenkai3000 Mouseketeer

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    Woo hoo! Thanks for getting this ball rolling! :worship: I have a few specific questions if you please...

    You mentioned earlier that the Japanese know the Fast Pass system pretty well... Is there a specific order, at rope drop, in which one should get fast passes,based on ride popularity?

    For instance, most Disneyland Anaheim vets will go straight to Space Mountain, then Indy , Big Thunder Mountain , and Star Tours. At Disney California Adventure they'll go straight to Radiator Springs Racers, and Soarin' because those are the rides that get the longer lines. :crowded:

    What about the most popular rides that do not offer Fast Passes? Which ones should we ride first?

    Are both Disney Sea and Disneyland Fast Passes connected, or can you get FPs to both parks on a park hopping day?

    Do they enforce FP return times, or can you use them at any time before park closing?
     
  4. ChrisFL

    ChrisFL Disney/Universal Fan and MALE

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    The newest attractions are typically the most popular for Fastpass, and at rope drop you'll see one of the VERY few times that Japanese people will run at top speed to get a fastpass, lol.

    The most popular rides for Fastpass currently are:

    Tokyo DisneySea - Toy Story Mania (which isn't much different than the U.S. parks, so if you've seen this before, you're not missing much)

    I don't know what other attractions are super busy for FP at DisneySea.

    At Disneyland the popular attractions are definitely Monsters Inc and Pooh's Hunny Hunt (I'm sure Star Tours 2 will also be very busy)

    To be honest, the two times I visited, I made sure to visit during the slow period of the year (once in mid February and once in early April) so I didn't have to worry about fastpasses. My thoughts come from seeing others trip reports and info.

    I don't think the FP stations are connected between parks since they're so "separate"...people aren't park hopping very often.

    I believe they DO enforce return times, its more about Japanese culture is that they're quite used to following rules to the letter.
     
  5. DreamSweetsLove

    DreamSweetsLove Loves Mickey

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    It's a really good FAQ but there are a few things I noticed.

    There are sometimes discounts but information isn't always readily available in English and it's not very common. Right now for example there is an event called campus days where students get a discount on tickets, for ages 12-17 tickets are marked down from 5,300yen to 4,300yen and for ages 18 and up (University students) it's marked down from 6,200yen to 4,900yen.

    There are also discounts available through club memberships like Magic Kingdom Club and sometimes through Funderful.

    There is one exception to this which is if you are staying at the official hotels you can get a park hopper where you don't have to choose which days you are going.


    I've always heard that it was the opposite, that pin trading got out of control and that's why it was banned. In any case you can still buy pins in the parks just no trading is allowed.


    Not usually enforced especially if you are a tourist from overseas they won't say anything but it's best to at least try to get there close to the FP time window out of courtesy. The FP machines are not connected between parks but it's not really practical because many days FP's run out rather quickly.
     
  6. ChrisFL

    ChrisFL Disney/Universal Fan and MALE

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    Thanks for the updates :thumbsup2
     
  7. greenkai3000

    greenkai3000 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the info so far. So... can I ask if anyone knows what time of the year it's better to visit Tokyo, weather wise? Not so concerned about extreme temperature but rather precipitation. Is there a dry season when it's mostly clear and sunny? :confused3
     
  8. SmilingGrump

    SmilingGrump Dis Dads Club Member #584

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    Great info, thank you! Good to know when their "slow" times are too as I'm sure the slightest decrease in numbers would be welcome to those of us not used to heavy crowds and local customs and rules :)
     
  9. DreamSweetsLove

    DreamSweetsLove Loves Mickey

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    My pleasure! Thank you for getting the ball rolling, it's a great start for this FAQ!


    It's so hard to say what is the best time to visit because it's so subjective. Personally I love the special events, someone else might only care about doing attractions, etc.

    This crowd calender is a really great tool, at the top the red button is for Disneyland and blue is for DisneySea. It gives weather and crowd predictions for the month and is pretty accurate. You can even change the data to see what the prediction would be for different weather situations such as a windy day, it's illustrated which makes that part easy to use.

    White means barely anyone there ~19999 guests
    Light Blue means fairly not very many people ~24999 guests
    Light Green not crowded ~29999 guests
    Yellow means a little crowded ~39999 guests
    Peach means getting crowded ~49999 guests
    Red means crowded ~59999 guests
    Burgundy means very crowded ~69999 guests
    Black means uncomfortably crowded 70000+~ guests

    This is the link:
    http://www15.plala.or.jp/gcap/disney/
     
  10. battymum

    battymum DIS Veteran

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    We will be there for the 30th Anniversary celebrations on April 15.

    Should we expect crazy crowds that day.

    I am unsure whether to go to Disneyland or Disneysea on this day. :confused3
     
  11. Captain Blue Sky

    Captain Blue Sky Fly Guy

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    Really enjoyed and appreciated reading the info on this thread about TDR. Extremely helpful. Planning a trip to TDR in a few months. Can anyone tell me, is there a meal plan at TDR? Thanks!
     
  12. abbadackerygirl

    abbadackerygirl Earning My Ears

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    Great idea!
    What about for people with disabilities? I am pregnant and on modified rest, so I will need a wheelchair for the duration of my trip. Is it similar to DL and WDW where they usually accommodate in the lines? Or is it more like, tough luck mate, you're broken?
     
  13. DreamSweetsLove

    DreamSweetsLove Loves Mickey

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    I'm not sure about WDW/DLR policy but at TDR you can receive a guest assistance card at Guest relations where you can inform the CM what your limitations are. When you want to experience an attraction you show the CM your card and he will write down the return time which is the queue wait time. Then when you return they will bring you to the attraction boarding area. Parades and shows also have wheelchair viewing areas but if it is a lottery show you will still need a ticket.

    This is the English Barrier Free website:
    http://www.tokyodisneyresort.co.jp/en/tdr/bfree/index.html

    There are some videos on youtube the show the boarding process for some of the attractions using a wheel chair:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyuPmAQquUM&list=PL64B2E52367A5FC8B
     
  14. RobinBoyWonder86

    RobinBoyWonder86 Earning My Ears

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    These FAQ are fantastic! Thank you so much. I am so excited for my first trip to Japan and to go to TDR!!!!! Do you know if the Hilton Tokyo Bay offers a free bus shuttle to the parks entrance? Or can I only use the monorail??
     
  15. DreamSweetsLove

    DreamSweetsLove Loves Mickey

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    There is a shuttle bus that goes to Maihama but only on weekends and holidays.
     
  16. overthemoon4mickey

    overthemoon4mickey Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for all this information. My daughter is headed over to Tokyo to stay with our friends this summer for 2-3weeks in June. They have TDL on the schedule of things to and I was wondering how much cash (American dollars) to send with her for 1 or 2 days at TDL.
     
  17. ChrisFL

    ChrisFL Disney/Universal Fan and MALE

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    I'd say $250 if you're including the cost of tickets into that (a 2 day ticket is about $140 I believe), there's the monorail which is a few dollars, food if she wants to eat at the nice restaurants, maybe closer to $300
     
  18. paulakimtrac

    paulakimtrac Disney Global Fun

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    Chris, thanks for this post, I put *** next to my answers to separate them out.

    * Are the parks as nice as WDW or DL? In my opinion and the opinion of many others who visited, they're actually much nicer in many ways. The quality of the attractions is actually much higher with more intricate details or ride systems that are more advanced than anything we have in the U.S.. The cleanliness and friendliness of the staff is also very very high (but the same can be said for most of Tokyo itself!)

    ***Great attention to detail and cleanliness which is typical in Japan.


    * Do they offer park discounts often?
    This I am not too familiar with. One thing you have to keep in mind is that TDR is NOT owned or operated by Disney. It is owned by the Oriental Land Company. They license everything from Disney but run things their way (ironically a BETTER way these days than Disney itself).

    ***They sometimes have seasonal discount specials for locals...and for out of towners, they often have discounts if you are over 45 years old (I think that was the cutoff age, either that or 50)



    * Are they "full day" parks?
    VERY much so. Disneyland has a LOT of attractions and DisneySea is so gosh darn beautiful you could spend a whole day just walking around.

    ***Absolutely agree!!


    * Can I use a credit card in most places
    I don't believe the food carts allow credit cards, probably only the restaurants. Ironically Japan is VERY cash based. Also, while we're on the subject, if you are off property and you want to use an ATM, look for 7-11 locations or post offices. Those are the only places you may find ATM's which take "western" cards typically.

    ***The big stores on Main Street take foreign credit cards no problem, otherwise, as Chris said, it's mostly cash. In many of the subway stations, there are Citi ATM machines that take USA debit cards and issue cash (yen).


    * Is there a monorail to get around?
    Yes, to get between parks and some of the hotels there is a monorail, however due to city transit requirements it is not free. You can buy a pass for the monorail access, or use the same prepaid card for other trains in the Tokyo rail system (Pasmo or Suica). Also, despite the fact that both parks are right next to each other, their entrances are FAR apart, so you will need a monorail to get between them.

    ***Trains to and from Tokyo are easy and not a hassle.

    * Will I have problems if I don't speak any Japanese?
    Rarely will you have any issues within TDR. Most CM's speak at least some english or will happily find someone who will help you out. This is also what you'll probably find in Tokyo itself, people are very helpful to foreigners and quite pleasant in general. Having said that, realize that literally 95% of the guests at TDR are Japanese. Since TDR is not owned by Disney, but by Oriental Land Company, they don't get to advertise outside of their own borders, which is why you don't hear about TDR much internationally.
    Of course, learning the basic greetings of Konnichiwa (Hello) and Arigatou Gozaimasi (Thank you very much) helps out. Japanese people are EXTREMELY POLITE in practically all situations, so doing this will really help you "fit in".

    ***Should not have a problem...if you ask a CM a question and they don't understand the question or have an answer they can explain in English, they will radio someone who comes over and answers you in English, very accommodating and helpful. Also, when waiting in lines, etc. the CM's are masters at making you understand their guidance with very graceful hand movements....they are good at making people sit down for example when waiting for parades so others behind you can see...helping to ensure everyone has a good time.

    Also, most of the signs in TDR are in english. As for the attractions, admittedly most are in Japanese, but the storylines are often pretty basic. If you attend shows, you can get a translation device that follows along with the story (although I am not a "show" person, so I haven't personally tried one).

    ***I used the translation device for Aladdin just to see how it worked and it was fine. Kind of like closed captions on TV.


    * Can I grab snacks to eat and walk around with?

    You can buy snacks like the famous popcorn in many different flavors around the parks, but for some reason Japanese people DO NOT walk around while eating food. I doubt they'd "frown on you" for doing so, but it just isn't something that they do.

    ***Definitely the famous popcorn is carry and eat!


    ***One thing I also want to add is electrical outlets to charge a device are not to be found, but you can buy batteries or portable chargers at the Main Street Photo store.
     
  19. ChrisFL

    ChrisFL Disney/Universal Fan and MALE

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  20. greenkai3000

    greenkai3000 Mouseketeer

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    I hear that guests of the Disney , Miracosta and Ambassador Hotels get many perks. Such as Fast Passes, complimentary Monorail tickets, and the ability to get into the parks early if you stay at any of the main three Disney Hotels. Does one hotel in particular offer more, or better goodies? Can anyone who's stayed at the Resort recently please confirm any of this?

    Thank you! :thumbsup2
     
  21. jsilvers

    jsilvers DIS Veteran

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    No FastPasses, at least for Ambassador guests.

    You do get early entry (if I understand correctly, the Ambassador and Disneyland Hotel for TDL and the MiraCosta for TDS). But note that early entry means by 10-15 minutes, so it's really functions to position you to be at the front of the pack when the park officially opens, rather than to actually do anything during that time.

    Because it is connected to the parks by buses (which are just about as efficient as the monorail), it seems Ambassador guests do not get a monorail pass. That may not be the case for the other hotels, which are near monorail stations (and rely on the monorail for access to the other park).
     

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