How far in advance can you book? Travel Agencies...

Discussion in 'Tokyo Disneyland' started by tweak89, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. tweak89

    tweak89 Mouseketeer

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    I'm trying to price a trip for March 2019 and can't get past December. So is it a 6 month booking window?

    Also, are there an travel agencies that specialize in Tokyo Disney? Hopefully we can make this happen and then there will only be 2 Disney parks left to visit!!

    Thanks!!
     
  2. mel2014

    mel2014 Mouseketeer

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    Packages are only available 6 months in advance. Hotel-only reservations are available 5 months in advance and the Mira Costa will sell out almost immediately. You can get an idea of pricing by doing a mock booking for a closer date. I think the general consensus is that the packages are extremely overpriced, so you're better off booking the hotel and tickets separately.
     
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  4. rkold

    rkold Mouseketeer

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    No, depending on time of year and specific room, the Mira Costa will not sell out almost immediately. I decided against it, but about 1 1/2 months from when I will be in Tokyo, there were rooms available at the Ambassador, Mira Costa, and Disneyland Hotel. (I am not sure about Celebration as I didn't look.) There were certain room categories there which were sold out at the Mira Costa, but the entire hotel was not sold out. Though again this is very dependent upon time of year you visit. I was looking the first week in July which is considered relatively off-season because it's rainy season.
     
  5. tweak89

    tweak89 Mouseketeer

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    The main reason I'm looking at the packages is for the extra fast passes. Unless I'm reading things wrong (here and on the website) the only way to get those is via a package. I'm pretty sure this will be our only trip to Japan/Tokyo Disney so we want to be able to ride everything. Price is almost no object for this trip, at least when it comes to maximizing our time when in Disney.
     
  6. rkold

    rkold Mouseketeer

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    If money is no object, it may be worth it? I remember looking at the packages last year and for us, the cost was about 50-75% more than booking a la carte and not having the fast passes. I think a lot has to do with when you visit the parks, the weather when you visit, and how often you go to WDW/DL?

    We went 1.5-2 days (we had to leave by 4:00 pm to catch a train on our second day) Our first day we were able to ride everything that was open and my daughter made the height line for/she wanted to ride. So for Sea we did: Nemo 2x, the Scuttle ride, 20,000 Leagues, saw some of the Duffy Show, did some character lines, saw the Mermaid show, did the carousel, and did all the inside Mermaid Lagoon attractions. We then went to Disneyland and went on: Pooh 4 or 5x and Monsters Inc. and maybe Star Tours, before my daughter turned into a pumpkin. Toy Story was down, DD didn't make the height line for Journey, Indiana or Raging Spirits and refused to go on anything else at Sea (like ToT.) But if she had made the height line and had wanted to go on the missing rides, we easily could have done those instead of leaving the park for lunch and then going to Disneyland proper. On our first day it also rained... a lot. And it was gray and windy when the rain finally let up. I think most outdoor shows were canceled. But the rain kept the lines really short. We walked on Pooh and Monsters in the afternoon, which is how we did Pooh 4 or 5x. We did not wait at all for the Duffy Show or the Mermaid Show but just pretty much got seats immediately.

    So.... whether you actually need those extra passes can vary. If money is no object I would 100% stay on property. The 15 minute early entry was more helpful than I expected and I loved being so close to the parks. I thought the Disneyland Hotel itself was a let down... but I know I am in the minority on this, much like how my opinions on Takayama are in the minority.
     
  7. tweak89

    tweak89 Mouseketeer

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    Right now we're trying to determine the best time to go. 3rd week of March is preferred, as my wife is on spring break (she teaches) and has that week off. We've nixed summer (to expensive, crowded and hot). But, it's kind of hard to determine the actual best time to go. Every article/post we've read has differing opinions on when the actual best time to go is. We want lower crowds and halfway decent weather. We'll have 9 days total (including travel days) for Disney and Tokyo/Japan in general.
     
  8. rkold

    rkold Mouseketeer

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    End of March will be crowded. Lots of colleges have their break then and I think there is a regular school break then as well. The Disney parks are hugely popular as "date" destinations, particularly Sea. If you use the crowd calendar recommended by TDR Explorer anytime after 3/16/18, you're looking at 50,000+ people! The parks are bigger than the CA parks but as big as the WDW and 50,000 is not going to be fun. (vs. from June 19th until mid August it's only that high on week ends and during the week is frequently under 40,000 people and in late June/early July is often below 30,000 people.

    I've been going the end of June/early July to Japan the last 3 years because of school. I find the airfares are higher because of expats going home to Japan, but hotels are easier to book and lower priced. It is very hot and humid though, but I deal pretty well with heat and humidity. It's definitely not as bad as Orlando in September or the "dry heat" of DL in August. Currently, we're averaging $160 a night for our 16 night trip, and that includes 4 breakfasts and 1 dinner. 1 of those nights is at a ryokan and 2 are at a 5 star luxury hotel.

    9 days is very limited time to see a lot if that includes transport to and from the USA since you're not going to be able to do a lot on your arrival day. I honestly don't think you're going to be seeing much of Japan outside of Tokyo, unless you can get lucky with flights and go into say Tokyo and out Osaka.

    Good luck!
     
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  9. Haley R

    Haley R With all the strength of a raging fire

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    I was looking at March, too, but we ended up deciding on mid-late May for next year. The crowds will be better after Golden Week and the weather will be a lot nicer than in March.
     
  10. tweak89

    tweak89 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks all for the additional info. Unfortunately, since my wife has restrictions on time off during the school year, it makes it hard to take longer trips during less expensive times. The 5 weekdays she'll be using for this trip will require special permission from her principal as it is. While I'd love to see a lot more of Japan, we'll take what we can get! Disney Paris was soooo much easier to plan for!! But, we'll figure it out.
     
  11. rkold

    rkold Mouseketeer

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    Can she go in the Summer? I would honestly just go in the Summer because having more time is better than only having 5 days in Japan, it seems like an awful lot of money to spend on airfare for such a short period. It is hot and humid in the Summer, but it's just not that bad... and I might have gotten better airfare if I had used JTB or booked earlier. *shrugs* The hotels are not terribly priced and the selection has been quite good a month or two out vs. crowded times of year. I am also a snob and only wanted to use ANA or JAL, because I like Japanese airlines, however you will pay a premium for that.

    If you're taking off from work, Mid May post Golden Week (like when @Haley R is going) is ideal because the weather is great and crowds should be lower. I would not go in late March unless it is a choice between that and not going at all and I would pick Summer and a longer trip over Mid March in a second, because hotels are going to be more and the package is going to be more and so your savings vs. airfare is not going to be as high as you think. When I was looking at a package in June of last year it was around $700 or $800 for 1 NIGHT.

    Heck, depending on your school system, you can even head out in early June.
     
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  12. Haley R

    Haley R With all the strength of a raging fire

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    We were originally looking at March because I wanted to see the 35th anniversary before it was gone, but I ended up deciding against it. I'd rather have the nice weather and fewer people. I agree with the PP that trying to go in summer after school gets out would probably be a better choice. Maybe go at the very end of May?
     
  13. tweak89

    tweak89 Mouseketeer

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    Even the end of May is out since that is the end of the school year and even though the students are gone, mandatory workshops take place then. I always thought dating/marrying a teacher would be awesome for travel, but no....not so much lol!

    We may look at early June. Heat/Humidity is a way of life for us here on the 3rd coast!
     
  14. rkold

    rkold Mouseketeer

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    You're in Houston, right? If you're in Houston, Tokyo will be a piece of cake, it's nowhere near as hot as Houston is in June/July/August. (I lived in Houston for 1 year many many years ago while my husband went to Rice.) It is hot and humid, but a lot of the people who complain about it being humid are from "dry heat" places (and I personally think they're wrong dry heat is just as unpleasant when it is 90+, it's just a lot more comfortable in the 80's) Tokyo in June is likely to be 85 and humid, but because of the humidity it doesn't cool off at night and is still around 65. It might rain, it might rain a lot. I was there when it poured last year. Nearly everything was still up and running other than some of the outdoor shows. There were still lots of characters and lots to see and do. We had a great time and I would honestly take rain every time I go to TDR now.

    Rainy season is considered "off" time to visit in Japan so hotels are well priced and readily available. As an example, I am still debating staying at a TDR hotel for 1 night during my trip and I can still book a room at any of the 3. Is it the cheapest room, I am not sure. Is it the most expensive, definitely not. Is it the best view from the window, probably not but I am planning to be out all day so... But I can book the Ambassador, Mira Costa, or Disneyland Hotel, and we're talking less than a month out.

    So personally, I would do June. If you like flowers at all, the roses and iris gardens might be magnificent and you might catch the start of hydrangea. I love all the flowers, so for me I love being there for hydrangea season.

    I would go in June, maybe you can even go for 2 weeks so you can really see more of the country. I'm sorry if I seem so pushy, I just think people sell June and early July off as a time to visit because it is hot, when it's really not that bad. Heck, this year for June 7-July7 is the only time for the limited edition Donald celebration!

    Good luck! :)
     
  15. Haley R

    Haley R With all the strength of a raging fire

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    I’m a teacher too but am currently subbing waiting for a full time position. It definitely helps being a sub when it comes to flexibility.
     
  16. tweak89

    tweak89 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks all for the continued advice. I'm going to start looking at June. 85*F is cake, we've already had heat indexes over 100*F :p Plus, I can extend our stay a bit. Don't know if I'll have a full 2 weeks of time saved up, depends on how much I carry over from this year. I do wish these parks were part of the Disney system rather than licensed, would probably make booking a little easier.
     
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  17. Haley R

    Haley R With all the strength of a raging fire

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    I agree with you. I think the whole booking process is kind of a hassle. I’m still not sure if I’ll be buying tickets ahead of time or after we arrive. I’m also a little worried about getting to eat at certain restaurants because the reservation system isn’t super clear to me.
     
  18. rkold

    rkold Mouseketeer

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    Yeah, as I said I lived in Houston one year, so I think for you in particular, it's just not going to be that awful. I mean I am looking at the weather forecast for this upcoming week in Tokyo, and yes, it is raining a lot, but the highs aren't even 85. I'm from CT and it's just not that bad for Summer. I think the most challenging part is sometimes you get use to being in A/C all the time and in Japan you will be outside more. But it's really not that bad and Tanabata is fun and uniquely Japanese. If you can swing it, it did not work for me, I highly recommend trying to do an open jaw ticket. That way you don't need to backtrack back to Tokyo to fly back to the US or start West and work your way East. Though depending on how much time you have/budget there is more than enough to do in the Tokyo area for 10 days. You could spend a few days in Nikko or Kamakura or Hakone.

    I was actually surprised that my password for the US Disney website was the same for the TDR one. I didn't find booking hotels was that hard and if you're wiling to spend the money, you can call TDR and talk to them. If you are staying in an official hotel, you don't need to get tickets ahead of time because you are guaranteed admission, so can wait and purchase your tickets when you check in. That is what I did last year.

    I'm currently unemployed, but I too have to work around the school calendar because I have a child, though it's easier to pull out a child than to miss school as a teacher.

    I don't remember when restaurant reservations opened for people not staying in hotels. I think for people at the hotels it opened at 1 month out? I didn't have such a hard time booking and cancelling restaurants last year. But it also partially depends on the restaurant. It might be easier for people staying on property. If you get very frustrated, International Calls aren't as expensive as they once were and you can call TDR and book via phone.

    I've not bought tickets yet for our potential visit. I've checked a few times and my dates are still available. We're going to be staying near the Disneystore in Kyoto and already plan to go there, so I will probably buy my tickets there.
     
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  19. Douglas Dubh

    Douglas Dubh True Fiscal Conservative

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    Yokohama is a good day trip out of Tokyo too. We enjoyed the Cup Noodle museum and the shopping mall.
     
  20. Haley R

    Haley R With all the strength of a raging fire

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    I might consider calling them then. I think the only one that might be hard to get is Magellan's, but I honestly don't know. We will be staying at Hilton Tokyo Bay most likely so I think we will buy our tickets there.
     
  21. rkold

    rkold Mouseketeer

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    I think we're going to commute in from Tokyo, because I don't want to change hotels a 3rd time and because I am staying super close to Tokyo Station as is. So since my hotel is not necessarily one that sells tickets, it's easier to just get them at the start of my trip from the DisneyStore. We're starting West and working our way East. We've been many times, so we are trying some new places like Matsumoto and Kamikochi. I've traveled extensively in Japan, but there are nearly always new places to visit. :)

    You can call though, when I did it was a little weird because there was the person on the phone and instead of putting me on directly with someone conversant in English, I asked questions to someone in English, they then asked the same question in Japanese to the original person, that person then answered in Japanese to the translator and then the question was answered in English. It got particularly weird when I understood some of the Japanese or tried asking my question in broken Japanese because they refused to go off script and still went from me to person A to person B and then back to Person A and to me. lol
     
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