Anyone able to review my itinerary?

Discussion in 'Other Lands' started by Lesley Wake, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

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    I was hoping I could get some input on my itinerary from people who have more experience with the Asian parks! Some trip basics: this will be by myself. I originally only planned on Tokyo Disney for a HalloXmas trip, inspired by Disney Tourist Blog's tips. So, a couple days at TDR for Halloween celebrations, then visit Kyoto and Tokyo proper, then back to TDR for Christmas stuff. But then I saw Hong Kong's Halloween stuff and it seems awesome, so thought I'd add that on. But then that would leave Shanghai as the only Disney park worldwide I hadn't visited, so while I'm out there, I might as well make a brief stop there too.

    Proposed itinerary:

    Saturday, Oct 19: Travel from LAX - PVG (Shanghai)
    Sunday, Oct 20: Arrive in Shanghai, 20:55 (one stop in Tokyo)

    Monday, Oct 21 - Tues, Oct 22: Shanghai Disney. (I decided not to attempt to head into Shanghai proper, as I'll be alone and don't speak the language, so don't want to overwhelm myself. I'll save that for another trip.)

    Wed, Oct 23: Travel from Shanghai - Hong Kong (13:10 - 18:25). Unfortunately no non-stop flights are available as I'm using miles, so there will be a stop in Taipei.

    Thurs, Oct 24 - Fri, Oct 25: Hong Kong Disneyland
    Sat, Oct 26: "relax", probably also Disney dimsum, maybe a visit out to the Buddha. I would love to go into the city, but don't want to overwork myself.

    Sun, Oct 27: Travel Hong Kong - Tokyo (15:20-20:15, direct flight)

    Mon, Oct 28 - Tues, Oct 29: Tokyo Disney for Halloween

    Wed, Oct 30 - Sat, Nov 1: Travel to Kyoto, visit Kyoto.

    Sun, Nov 2 - Mon, Nov 4: Travel back to Tokyo and visit Tokyo.

    Tues, Nov 5 - Fri, Nov 8: Tokyo Disney for Christmas stuff.
    Sat, Nov 9: TBD, maybe also Tokyo Disney for Christmas, as the official start date is the 8th, so this way I I won't be reliant on soft openings.

    Sun, Nov 10: Travel back to LA (15:15 - 17:00, no direct available yet, so there will be a stop in Beijing, I may book it and try to change to a direct if it becomes available.)


    Thanks in advance for your insight!
     
  2. bkmanhole

    bkmanhole Earning My Ears

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    Sounds like quite the adventure!
    The timing seems great in terms of amount of time in each park!

    Only thing that comes to mind is where you are staying in each location. I'll add some general halloween tips as we just came back from a Shanghai Hong Kong trip around a similar time were you're going this year.

    There's a lot of information on the benefits on staying on property in Shanghai - and getting into the park early and not having the brave the main gate crowds. This will make the overall experience better and save having to commute into the park each day. Another tip is to have some Chinese Yuan (cash) on hand is it's very helpful. We enjoyed the Halloween parade in Shanghai much more than the one in HK. Shanghai allows for adults to dress up during Halloween if that's something you'd be up for.

    Hong Kong opens later in the morning and getting to the park isn't too challenging, so if you're looking to save some bucks by staying offsite, I'd say that's a fair option for Hong Kong. We stayed at the Regal Airport Hotel on our trip. It was just convenient as we had access to 24 hour food in the airport as well.

    HK has a neat walkthrough experience for halloween as well. It was the only thing where the wait times got up there throughout the day... we actually had to skip it as we prioritized trying to get to all of the shows. We also saw adults dressed up for Halloween in this park.

    Tokyo - there are lots of choices closer to the parks and that will also save time in the mornings... but it's been a number of years since we visited Tokyo parks (can't wait to go back!) so I'll leave tips to others.
     
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  4. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

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    I think I've decided on the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel for the Shanghai Portion. For Hong Kong, I want to stay at the Explorer's hotel. Animal Kingdom Lodge is my favorite at WDW, so the look of that hotel just really excites me! For Tokyo, when I'm doing the parks I'm planning on the Hilton Tokyo Bay. I have enough Hilton points for 3 nights, plus some discounted gift cards if I book thru Hotels.com for one of the reservations (still trying to figure out the best option for booking there). I also contact them and if I do a bookended stay (so stay there a few nights, then leave for a week, and back for a few more nights) they will store my larger suitcase so I'll just need a smaller one for travelling to Kyoto and back. I'm thinking based on my merchandise obsession, I may need to even buy another large suitcase when I get there!

    For Kyoto I'm probably going to do Airbnb (the dust seems to have settled on the Japanese registration requirements) and then the couple nights in Tokyo before I go back to TDR, I'll stay closer to the center of the tourist areas, but I haven't figured those out completely!
     
  5. OldSchoolReasons

    OldSchoolReasons DIS Veteran

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    For Tokyo I'd strongly recommend staying on site. The Happy 15 entry will be the difference between a FP for Toy Story or an hour + queue. Same for Pooh / Monsters Inc. You do have multiple days though so you may just have to alternate which ride you hit first. Saying in central Tokyo I'd suggest Shinjuku - we stayed in Okubu and it was perfectly located.

    Also don't be put off going into the city due to language/stress - I'm travelling alone and for Hong Kong especially it's only one train! Tokyo transport was so easy to navigate and people are generally very friendly and eager to help so you may be presently surprised.


    Also... Wed, Oct 30 - Sat, Nov 1: Travel to Kyoto, visit Kyoto.

    Think your dates are wobbly here, won't Friday be the 1st November?
     
  6. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

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    I think for Tokyo, I'd love to stay on-site, but I just can't justify that expense! I will probably have to alternate rides for TDL. I'm not as worried about DisneySea - I live only 45 minutes away from Disneyland, so have plenty of opportunities for Toy Story! Thanks for the tip on Tokyo location!

    I'm not so worried about Hong Kong visiting with the language barrier, but I think I may just need a more low-key day, especially with the upcoming busy Japan touring days! I figure the Buddha is nearby, so that could be good, easy trip.

    Oh and the Kyoto thing - oops! I think I started writing one thing and then didn't switch it entirely! Basically, I'm travelling there on the 30th. Then the 31st and 1st will be full days in Kyoto. On Saturday the 2nd, I'll travel back to Tokyo.
     
  7. OldSchoolReasons

    OldSchoolReasons DIS Veteran

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    I totally get the expense! We stayed in the Alice room at TDR and a room overlooking the park for DisneySea and there was sweat and tears coming out of my credit card when I booked. I'm normally firmly in the budget of - no hostels, but a cheap Airbnb is fine.

    It looks like such a fun trip! The Buddha is quite handily located from HKD too so that's a good shout.
     
  8. gelatoni fan

    gelatoni fan Mouseketeer

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    If you're staying in the Hilton in Tokyo, you'll probably want to change your TDR dates since you won't have park hopping. It seems like your main priority is to see the events so I would make sure to do Nov 8/9 in TDR so you have at least one day in each park for Christmas.

    You'll may also want more days in TDR for the Halloween event because there's a risk of the outdoor shows being cancelled due to weather. Or not if you hate rain and don't mind possibly missing one or two of the seasonal shows.

    For Hong Kong, you may want to switch to Fri/Sat in the park because at least this year, some of the Halloween arts & crafts were not available from Tuesday to Thursday. If that doesn't matter to you, just keep Thurs/Fri for lower crowds. Or even move one of those days to Tokyo if it isn't critical for you to meet HKDL characters in their Halloween costumes.

    Looking at your itinerary, it seems like you're flying star alliance. I'd take the 10AMish ANA flight from HKG to NRT so that you can take the airport limousine bus to TDR instead of having to navigate the transportation system at night or pay for a taxi. I'd also avoid changing in Beijing if possible on your flight back to LA and would even prefer flying UA through SFO. Trying to hit up Shanghai Disneyland for two days immediately after a flight from LA seems a bit tiring. If you must visit a Disney park immediately after landing in Asia, maybe consider doing Hong Kong first since it involves less walking and is a shorter day.
     
  9. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

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    Thanks for the input!

    For Tokyo, I hadn’t thought about weather impacts. I guess I’ll just have to cross my fingers and play it by ear! I had heard they do soft openings of the Christmas stuff a couple days before official opening, but yes, I think I will do a park on the 9th. I shudder to think about a Saturday visit with the crowds, but I’ll just have to make it work!

    For Hong Kong I’ll have to keep track of schedules for everything! Worst comes to worst, I can add another day for Saturday. But at least I’ll have Thurs-Fri for sure.

    I did worry about doing Shanghai Disney the day after arrival in Asia. But then I thought back to other recent trips (WDW and France). I do tend to be so excited I’m like a kid on Christmas morning, ready to go right away! I can imagine I’ll be the same way over there! I’m also able to fly business class so I hope the flights won’t be too exhausting!

    Unfortunately I do have limitations in flight availability because I’m using miles. I was hoping to get the 10am ANA flight from HKG-NRT, but that no longer was available. I am still continuing to search, so if it does pop up I’ll call in and book it! Same sort of thing for flying to Shanghai-I’d prefer either the direct United flight that arrives at 5:30 in evening or an Asiana flight which leaves around midnight Friday, makes a stop in Seoul, but then arrives in Shanghai at 10am on Sunday, giving me extra rest time before hitting the park on Monday. But again, I’ll gave to call and change if those ever become available!
     
  10. MommaBerd

    MommaBerd DIS Veteran

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    I can only speak for the Shanghai portion, but staying at the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel is definitely the way to go. We had such an amazing experience there. We flex from ATL to Detroit to PVG and arrived in the evening. The best thing about arriving at night is that you can go straight to bed when you get to your hotel! We found that we didn’t experience too much jet lag, I think for that reason.

    I’m not saying you should go into Shanghai proper this trip, but it is very easy to navigate the metro system (it’s awesome!) as the signs are in English, and many of the people speak some English, too. The biggest thing to know is that you pretty much HAVE to have cash to get around. If you are only spending time at SDL, you can probably get away with a minimal amount of cash. But if you will be riding the metro, you’ll need cash to purchase your tickets. Also, have you considered cell service while you are there? You have to have a phone to use the fast pass system at SDL.

    Looks like an awesome trip!!!
     
  11. Flossbolna

    Flossbolna Sea days are just so relaxing!

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    We stayed at the Hilton Tokyo Bay and loved it. We also did not have any issues with getting on all attractions that we wanted. I know that crowds vary a lot and your October visits might very well be quite crowded. We even did rope drop only once during our visit. The other days we arrived quite a bit after rope drop and did fine... So, I am not sure if this early 15 is such a big deal - at least not for all days. But then, just like you, we did not feel that Toy Story Mania was a big deal, so we skipped that. When you go, Soarin will be open and that will certainly affect how crowds are distributed in that park.
     
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