I'm back... and I'm going to Japan - trip cancelled

zanzibar138

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 30, 2007
Just updating this first post as this trip has now been cancelled. It was supposed to be a 40th birthday trip for me to also coincide with TDR's 40th anniversary. There were a few changes along the way to try to make it work, but unfortunately it just wasn't the right timing. I'll still be doing the Sydney part as that's for work and was mostly non-refundable anyway.

Sydney (7 nights)
Sadly the actual day of my 40th birthday coincides with the annual work conference that I am one of the main organisers for. I'll be spending the week in Sydney for work, but also to meet up with some friends from Melbourne on the Saturday night (hence the 2 bedroom suite) for some pre-birthday shenanigans. B will be arriving on the Thursday and will join me at my work-provided accommodation at the Four Seasons (although he'll be on his own until about 3am if past experience is anything to go by!). Usually the Friday after conference is a fairly relaxed work day with a late start and early finish, but things are a bit different this year. Hopefully it will still be a fairly flexible day for those of us who are heavily involved with the conference and I'll be able to spend a bit of time with B in the afternoon.

Bookings so far:
* Qantas from Perth to Sydney (Economy) (and B has booked his flight with Virgin)
* 1 night at Skye Suites Green Square (2 Bedroom Suite) - booked through Qantas
* 3 nights at Metro Hotel Marlow Sydney Central (Deluxe Double) - booked through Qantas
* 2 nights at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney - work provided
* 1 night at Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel (Superior Queen) - booked direct

Tokyo (2 nights)
Our just over 9 hour flight will take most of the day Saturday, arriving in Tokyo in the evening. The hotel I've booked is at the end of the monorail from the airport, so should be pretty easy to get to. On our full day in Tokyo, we'll aim to just wander to the Imperial Palace (approx 45 mins) and take in whatever we see along the way. The hotel is also pretty close to the Tokyo Tower, so we might decide to do that. The Monday is a public holiday (Respect for the Aged Day), so that is likely to have an impact on crowds/travel times/availability for activities.

Bookings so far:
* Japan Airlines (codeshare with Qantas) from Sydney to Tokyo (Premium Economy) - booked with Qantas points
* 2 nights at Sotetsu Fresa Inn Daimon (Standard Double) - booked through Qantas

TDR (5 nights)
This is of course the main purpose for the trip, so I was keen to spend a full 4 days to be able to have 2 full days and evenings in each park, which of course means 5 nights. We are planning to avoid weekends and of course the Monday public holiday but, despite the public holidays on the Monday and following Saturday, from my research it still actually seems to be a relatively quiet time. We plan to splurge on premier access for everything we can if required.

Bookings so far:
* 5 nights at Hotel MyStays Maihama (Standard Twin) - booked through Expedia

Kyoto (1 night)
On the Saturday, we'll make our way down to Kyoto on the bullet train. We'll try to get on an early-ish train, and will take a late train to Osaka the following day to maximise our time in Kyoto. Our must-dos in Kyoto are the Bamboo Grove (B) and the Tori Gates (me).

Bookings so far:
* 1 night at Tune Stay Kyoto (Double Room with Shower and Toilet) - booked through Qantas

Osaka & USJ (2 nights)
Unfortunately Cathay only have 1 direct flight from Osaka to Hong Kong per day, and it leaves fairly early on the Tuesday, so we won't have much time in Osaka at all. We're planning to arrive late on the Sunday, spend Monday at USJ, and then will have to head to the airport early on Tuesday.

Bookings so far:
* 2 nights at Hotel Dans Le Coeur Osaka Umeda (Twin Room) - booked through Qantas

Hong Kong & HKDL (3 nights)
We'll be arriving in HK early afternoon on the Tuesday. We decided to stay at HKDL, since we can't justify the cost of the Disney hotels in Japan. Not sure whether we'll try to do anything in the city our first night or just enjoy the HKDL Hotel since it'll be our only night there. B will lose his mind staying at a Disney hotel :hyper: We'll have 2 full days Wednesday and Thursday, and leave at about lunch time on Friday. If HKDL is still closed on Thursdays at that time, we'll go Wednesday. They've just announced that night time entertainment will be on every night the park is open. Thursday we might do the Lantau cable car or maybe the tram to Victoria Peak, and B wants to do a dinner cruise on the harbour.

Bookings so far:
* Cathy Pacific (codeshare with Qantas) from Osaka to Hong Kong (Economy) - booked with Qantas points
* 1 night at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel (Standard Room) - booked through Qantas
* 2 nights at Disney's Hollywood Hotel (Standard Room) - booked through Expedia
* Cathay Pacific (codeshare with Qantas) from Hong Kong to Perth (Business) - booked with Qantas points
 
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Finally got some more news to share. With Qantas's 9 points per $ offer on hotels at the moment, I've gone a bit nuts on hotel bookings. I've now booked:
  • 2 nights at Sotetsu Fresa Inn Daimon, Tokyo
  • 4 nights at Hotel Monterey Le Frere, Osaka
  • 2 nights at Disney Explorers Lodge, Hong Kong
I haven't booked anything for Tokyo Disneyland yet, because I'm struggling to find something that seems like it will suit us. Trying to avoid the 'large single' bed configuration they seem to favour in Japan and find something that has actual double/queen beds, an easy commute to TDR (preferably walkable) and not ridiculously expensive. I think I may have to give up on one of those things lol!

We decided to stay at HKDL because we likely won't be staying at a Disney hotel in Japan due to the expense, so thought it would be nice to have that experience at some point in the trip. In my email confirmation from Explorers Lodge, it advises that HKDL is currently closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I'm guessing this probably won't be the case in nearly a year, but if it is, it'll make for an easy decision on which day to do HKDL!
 
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Looking forward to seeing your plans come to life! :dogdance:

I’ve started thinking about finally doing a trip to Tokyo Disneyland for the first time next year (a birthday-ish trip too!), so I’d love to follow along your trip details

Hopefully Fantasy Springs will be open in time for you as well!
 
Looking forward to seeing your plans come to life! :dogdance:

I’ve started thinking about finally doing a trip to Tokyo Disneyland for the first time next year (a birthday-ish trip too!), so I’d love to follow along your trip details

Hopefully Fantasy Springs will be open in time for you as well!
Welcome aboard!

I had to google Fantasy Springs - I'm so out of the loop with TDR 🤦‍♀️ Fingers crossed for the opening!
 


Welcome aboard!

I had to google Fantasy Springs - I'm so out of the loop with TDR 🤦‍♀️ Fingers crossed for the opening!
Hahaha I only just learned about the expansion recently when I checked if they had anything new coming, because I had to decide between Paris or Tokyo 😂 (even though the 30th anniversary in Paris would’ve been poetic for my 30th birthday 🥲)
Too much Disney to keep up with!

How many non-Disney days are you planning to do in Japan?
 
Hahaha I only just learned about the expansion recently when I checked if they had anything new coming, because I had to decide between Paris or Tokyo 😂 (even though the 30th anniversary in Paris would’ve been poetic for my 30th birthday 🥲)
Too much Disney to keep up with!

How many non-Disney days are you planning to do in Japan?
Ooh, what made you go with Tokyo? I specifically chose Tokyo because their 40th anniversary coincides with my 40th birthday 😉

We haven't got much non-Disney time to be honest. Literally 1 full and night in Tokyo, 3 full days and nights in Osaka (one of which will still be theme park though at USJ), 1 full day and night in HK, and a few travel days. We're not going to try to book too many activities - most of what we want to experience in Japan is just the general vibe, parks and gardens and pop culture.
 
Ooh, what made you go with Tokyo? I specifically chose Tokyo because their 40th anniversary coincides with my 40th birthday 😉

We haven't got much non-Disney time to be honest. Literally 1 full and night in Tokyo, 3 full days and nights in Osaka (one of which will still be theme park though at USJ), 1 full day and night in HK, and a few travel days. We're not going to try to book too many activities - most of what we want to experience in Japan is just the general vibe, parks and gardens and pop culture.
I was hoping the Paris expansions would be done by then (wishful!) but at this rate it’ll probably be in 2024, luckily I’ve already been before so I’d rather go back once all the work is done
Tokyo has been on the back burner and my husband always wanted to go to Japan so it’s a more logical choice 😅 also a lot of people say TDR is the best across all Disney parks so that was another factor!

Though I’m thinking November instead of Sept when the weather is cooler, so it won’t fall exactly on my birthday but I’ll take it!

And I’m on the same boat as you, I’m fine to just get a feel of the general vibe, crowded cities give me anxiety so hopefully I can keep my itinerary light as well 😂
 


I was hoping the Paris expansions would be done by then (wishful!) but at this rate it’ll probably be in 2024, luckily I’ve already been before so I’d rather go back once all the work is done
Tokyo has been on the back burner and my husband always wanted to go to Japan so it’s a more logical choice 😅 also a lot of people say TDR is the best across all Disney parks so that was another factor!

Though I’m thinking November instead of Sept when the weather is cooler, so it won’t fall exactly on my birthday but I’ll take it!

And I’m on the same boat as you, I’m fine to just get a feel of the general vibe, crowded cities give me anxiety so hopefully I can keep my itinerary light as well 😂
Haha it probably would have made sense for me to wait for cooler weather too since I can't be there for my actual birthday, but I had it in my head that I wanted to be there as close as possible.

I get anxiety in big, crowded cities too, but I've been told Japan is not so bad because everyone is so polite and orderly, so fingers crossed. It's partly why we're not spending much time in Tokyo, but I'm sure Osaka will be just as bad! My mum always thinks it's hilarious that I hate crowds, but I love Disney 😂
 
I get anxiety in big, crowded cities too, but I've been told Japan is not so bad because everyone is so polite and orderly, so fingers crossed. It's partly why we're not spending much time in Tokyo, but I'm sure Osaka will be just as bad! My mum always thinks it's hilarious that I hate crowds, but I love Disney 😂
Hahaha same! I get told the same thing “how can you go there if you hate being around lots of people”, at Disney I know that I share at least one thing in common with everyone here, these are my people! 😂
 
Here's hoping Hong Kong's borders will be open by then
Hopefully we'll be fine for travel nearly a year away 🤞

No real updates to speak of... still deciding whether it's worth the splurge on a Disney hotel in Japan. Still leaning towards no, but learning that the Disney hotels offer guaranteed access to the parks is swaying my opinion a little. Not sure how busy late September is, but I don't want to go all the way there for possibly a once in a lifetime experience only to find that we can't actually get into the parks!
 
The Hilton is a great hotel. The bed configuration has always been good for us, including the one time they upgraded us to a room with a single mega sized bed that could literally fit 10+ people! It’s walkable to both parks, but the monorail is too much fun to avoid riding.

But, definitely only book during a sale.
 
The Hilton is a great hotel. The bed configuration has always been good for us, including the one time they upgraded us to a room with a single mega sized bed that could literally fit 10+ people! It’s walkable to both parks, but the monorail is too much fun to avoid riding.

But, definitely only book during a sale.
Good to know, thanks! I think the Hilton is probably the front-runner at the moment.

I did a bit more research on the timing for our trip and, despite being book-ended by public holidays, it actually seems like a decent time to go. I kind of hadn't considered typhoon season (oops!), but apparently rain makes the parks practically empty, so that could work in our favour. It's definitely cemented my decision to book something within walking distance though so we won't be impacted by public transport closures in the event of bad weather.

I had been wondering if the timing might mean we catch the start of the Halloween celebrations, and it looks like we will which should be fun. Apparently there are no hard ticketed events, but you're allowed to wear Disney-based costumes any time during Halloween! That could be dangerous lol!

In other news, Qantas sent out a special offer for half price Qantas Club membership a few weeks ago, so I decided to bite the bullet and get it. It will cover this trip of course (which means we'll get lounge access despite only being premium economy to Tokyo :cool2:), but since I have to go back to Melbourne once a quarter for work, I figured it would be pretty handy all around!
 
Rainy days can be great - the locals either don’t show up or quickly head home if the rain sets in since they obviously have a lot of flexibility for when they visit.

A poncho and umbrella (from 7-11 or in the parks) helps protect from the rain and a hair dryer can address the soaking wet shoes at the end of the day (if they need to be worn the next day).
 
Rainy days can be great - the locals either don’t show up or quickly head home if the rain sets in since they obviously have a lot of flexibility for when they visit.

A poncho and umbrella (from 7-11 or in the parks) helps protect from the rain and a hair dryer can address the soaking wet shoes at the end of the day (if they need to be worn the next day).
Yeah I'm slowly developing an umbrella collection from all the Disney parks that I end up at when it's raining 😂 Good tip about the hairdryer though - hadn't thought of that before!
 
I didn't get on the computer today with the intention of booking our Disney accommodation, and I'm not quite sure how I got here to be honest 🤣 However, I have bitten the bullet and booked the Hilton using my stash of Velocity points. I've kind of been looking for something to use them for since I plan to do all my flying with Qantas/OneWorld so that I can use my Qantas Club membership!

I've spent literally hours trying to decide between room types and reading/watching hotel reviews etc. In the end I decided that since we won't be staying in a Disney hotel which is what we really wanted, and I had more than enough points to cover it, I've splurged on a King Executive Room. Then it was the decision about whether to go with park view or ocean view, but when I saw in one of the reviews that the park views have now been obstructed by the construction of Disney Springs and its associated hotel, I decided on ocean view. We'll plan to be in the parks for the evening shows anyway.

Hilton-Tokyo-Bay-3688.jpg

I'm honestly not sure how much use we'll get out of the lounge, but it'll be nice to have the option and we'll probably be able to make good use of it on our arrival day. I doubt B has stayed club level before, so will be a fun novelty for him. We'll probably make a big effort to get to the parks an hour before opening on our first 2 days to get some major rides out of the way in each park, but if we achieve everything we need to, we can have a more relaxed start to the day for our second 2 park days (and definitely on check out day!) and enjoy the included buffet breakfast.
 
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Just edited my original post.

I had a notification from Qantas that they've changed our flight home from HK - it's now leaving about 8 hours earlier at 2ish on the Friday instead of 10ish. We do really want to visit HKDL, and at this stage it's still closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so we've made the decision to ditch one of our days in Osaka so we can get to HK in time for a day at HKDL on the Wednesday. It's possible that it may go back to 7-day trading for HKDL by the time we get there, but we really did want 2 full days in HK anyway.

I've cancelled the last night at our Osaka hotel and decided to make it a split stay at HKDL and added a night at the HKDL Hotel.
 
Woohoo for another Asia trip! And first time TDR 💖 You'll be happy with the choice of the Hilton, the beds in almost everywhere I've stayed in Japan are harrrrrrrd. The Hilton is more westernized, so the mattresses shouldn't realign your spine 😆 I did notice a comment about anxiety in crowded places - this was a problem for me in the bigger cities. Not just the amount of people, but the claustrophobia from all the big buildings and over stimulation from all the lights and noises and being "alert" because I'm in an unfamiliar environment (although Japan is very, very safe). Noise cancelling headphones really helped me block out and calm down when it became too much.

And make sure you find a hole in the wall place that specializes in okonomiyaki while in Osaka 🤤
 
Woohoo for another Asia trip! And first time TDR 💖 You'll be happy with the choice of the Hilton, the beds in almost everywhere I've stayed in Japan are harrrrrrrd. The Hilton is more westernized, so the mattresses shouldn't realign your spine 😆 I did notice a comment about anxiety in crowded places - this was a problem for me in the bigger cities. Not just the amount of people, but the claustrophobia from all the big buildings and over stimulation from all the lights and noises and being "alert" because I'm in an unfamiliar environment (although Japan is very, very safe). Noise cancelling headphones really helped me block out and calm down when it became too much.

And make sure you find a hole in the wall place that specializes in okonomiyaki while in Osaka 🤤
I've never had a problem with the hard beds in Asia before, but it's been a few years and my body keeps telling me that I'm older now 😂 so maybe I will appreciate the softer beds.

Thanks for the tip about the noise cancelling headphones - will definitely keep that in mind. My anxiety is definitely at least in part due to a bit of claustrophobia and chaotic environments. Even though it will be crowded, and chaotic in many ways, hopefully at least the people being a little more orderly will help!

Unfortunately B and I aren't really into Japanese food. I'll have to be quite careful too since I can't eat mayo, and also passionately hate pickles, and not a huge fan of mushrooms or many types of seafood. We'll probably be living on teriyaki and gyoza 😂 I had to look up okonomiyaki and it doesn't sound like something I'd enjoy. I am looking forward to the cute novelty food though!
 
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So... since we're now planning our trip to WDW for early 2025, I decided that I could put my Velocity points to better use on business class flights for that trip. I've cancelled our flash room at the Hilton and booked another hotel. Since the Disney associated third party hotels don't really offer any benefits, I've decided to go with something a bit out there and have booked the Spa & Hotel Maihama Eurasia. I really did have my heart set on being within walking distance to both parks, which this one is. I've booked a western style room with a view and a bath, which were both high on my wishlist for this trip too, as well as a balcony. We get the best of both worlds with the view, which looks over TDS to the sea. The hotel also several onsite onsens, which was neither here nor there really since neither of us are keen on getting naked in public, and my partner has a tattoo so won't be allowed in anyway. The bedding configuration is 2 king singles, but they are next to each other so it's nearly like having a king 😂 There's no breakfast included here, but we'll probably be too rushed to enjoy a buffet breakfast most days anyway, and plan to just grab something in the park after the morning rush.

Over the weekend we had a YouTube night, watching some walk-throughs of the parks (including Universal) and some travel guides for Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. We're both starting to get pretty excited about the trip now, although it did really make us wish we had more time over there! Unfortunately, we just couldn't do any more than 2 weeks this time around, and really wanted to prioritise theme parks for this trip.
 

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