Timing and Vacation Package Question about May 2020 Tokyo DL Trip

KennesawNemo

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
Hi, all, we just booked airline tickets for 12 days in Tokyo. The exactly date is May 25th to June 5th, 2020. Given our booking window will open soon, I have some questions and need your suggestions!

A little bit background:

We are seasoned Disney travelers. We have had Annual Pass to FL Disney World, visited LA Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland, cruised with Disney.

We love the parks in US and the cruise. When we visited Disney here, we have stayed Deluxe, Value and Offsite and were able to enjoy all experiences.

We in general suffered at our Shanghai DL day because we visited it during a peak day, even though we bought their VIP packages with extra fast passes. It’s a combination of insanely huge crowds, rude guests, bad CMs and us not fully understanding the park rules. DH and I are originally from China so we were less shocked by the crowd level. The kids, on the other hand, are born and raised in US so they are snowflakes. My little one had a complete meltdown because she got scared by the sheer amount people at the park entrance and I really couldn’t blame her after stuck there for 90 mins just to get into the park with people back to back pushing each other. I vowed not to ever go back to Shanghai DL and that is still true. That is another nightmare to write about. We would like to avoid that in Tokyo at all expenses if possible.

I don’t want to make the vacation only about Disney, so I am only spending 2 to 3 days there. The focus would be to try unique things that are not available in the US parks.

Question 1: Timing of visit

We fly from US and will land early afternoon on Monday, May 25th and leave late afternoon Friday, June 5th. What will you recommend:
  • Plan A:
    • Book one night only for the May 25th at one of the Deluxe, Official or Partner hotels .
    • Go there directly after we land.
    • Either buy a Starlight Pass to visit a park for couple hours or chill at the hotel.
    • Book a one night vacation package at the same hotel with 2 day park tickets to visit parks at Tues May 26th and Wed May 27th.
  • Plan B:
    • Book a one night vacation package at one of the Deluxe, Official or Partner Hotels for Mon June 1st
    • Visit parks on Mon June 1st and Tues June 2nd.
Right now I am leaning towards Plan A and feel it will make our Disney part of the vacation more relaxed. But I am also worried that we would be very tired from the flight and jet lag to enjoy the park. Although, we are used to international travel with 10+ hours long flight. Thoughts?

Question 2: Hotel and Vacation Package

Although I am still debating, it’s highly unlikely I would book a Disney Hotel. It’s just too expensive comparing to the rest of the trip. I am leaning towards the Partner hotels. Plus, if I go plan A, I have a lot of Marriot/Hilton points to use on the first room only night. The main reason I want to book a vacation package is for the build in fast passes. I do have a lot of questions:
  • Would I still be able to get fast pass in the park on top of the built in ones?
  • If price is not a factor, should I choose the package with just ride passes or a combination of rides and shows?
  • Given we are going on a weekday during non peak time (by my research), would I still do ok without a vacation package? I am telling me no and go get the package constantly. But I also want to save some money if possible.
  • Is there anything to do, dinning, shopping, or entertaining around the Hilton or Sheraton if we don’t go into the park should we choose plan A?
That’s it for now. Thank you for reading my long thesis, lol. I am sure I will come back with more questions. LoL.

I attached a picture of our Shanghai DL day just for the fun of it. That was after waiting around 30-45 mins.IMG_5846.JPG
 

Wallyworld81

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Hi there! We are WDW ap holders as well and try to visit those parks 3-4 times a year and we did Tokyo Disney twice in the past two years! Our first trip we planned as our once in a lifetime trip and then once we got to Japan we fell in love with the people, the culture and the parks! As we were leaving from our first trip we were already planning our next! Its safe to say that out of the 4 parks in Orlando and the two in Cali the 2 parks in Japan are our absolute favorite and blow our US parks out of the water!

We are actually planning on going back next year around the same time as you as well - Either May 7-16th or the 28th - June 7th.

For both of our trips we stayed on property - The first year at the DL Hotel and the second year at MiraCosta. We did it so we would be able to take advantage of the Happy 15 to get in 15 min earlier - And i know that doesn't seem like a lot, but it did make a big difference for those first fast passes of the day.

It also helped that we only visited the parks from Monday - Friday on both trips and we went during not peak crowd levels.

From the research that i've done for the end of next may the crowds shouldnt be too bad - It should be on par to what we had our first two trips - So it will be NOTHING like your Shanghai experience

I would say to go with plan A- But a few questions:
1. what time are you set to land in Tokyo? Narita or Haneda?
2. how long were you on your flight and do you guys sleep on the flight? I dont sleep on flights at all, but we changed our watches to Tokyo time the second we got on the plane in NJ and when we landed in Narita the next day at 2pm Tokyo time we just hit the ground running and didnt go to bed till 10pm that night and were lucky enough not to have jet lag at all both trips.

As for the vacation package - I really don't feel its necessary. If you are going to splurge i would just spend it to stay at either MiraCosta or Tokyo DL Hotel and use the happy 15 and the close proximity to the parks. Yes the Hilton Tokyo Bay is just a 5 min walk to the monorail station that will take you to the parks, but you won't get the happy 15.
 

dmar

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 4, 2013
I agree with Wally.

The Happy 15 will make a big difference for both parks, especially Disney Sea as most will go to Toy Story at the start of the day from the entrance so Journey, Raging Spirits, Tower of Terror etc will be easier to get a fp and ride on immediately after rope drop. If money is not an object the Disney Hotels are great, but we did all three during our Tokyo trip ... Mira Costa, DL Hotel, and the Sheraton (Used Marriott Points) and all three hotels were fabulous and well kept. We didn't get the vacation package and we were fine, though we did end up doing the four day pass, the third and fourth days were not rushed and can be used as park hoppers.

My kids 10,13 are not into the shows, so it wasn't a big deal for getting that vacation package when we were looking into it. We did end up seeing Big Band Beat at Disney Sea and won the "lottery" for that. Kids enjoyed it but wasn't their highlight.

Going on nonpeak days is the key and sounds like that Monday Tuesday you should be fine unless it's a Japanese Holiday. Look at a crowd calender. Google Translate is a must have :)

Our flight we left the west coast at 6 am to Vancouver (got up at 3am to get to the airport) and then arrive at Narita around 4pm. Kids were up and ready to go as they took small naps on the plane... we didn't do DL or DS that day but definitely could have due to the excitement and adrenaline. You now your kids the best and how they respond to flights.

There is not much around the Sheraton or other partner hotels except the small boutique shops inside. You would take the monorail (a two minute walk from lobby of the Sheraton) and head over to Ikspiari.. kind of like a Disney Springs for WDW and Downtown Disney for DL/DCA. Ikspiari has quite a bit of stores for all ages as well as restaurants/food court, plus there is a huge Disney store called Bon Voyage (five minute walk from Ikspiari that has alot of the theme park merchandise.
 
  • wongck

    24hrs flying to get to DLR and WE MADE IT !!!
    Joined
    Oct 22, 2016
    oth parks, especially Disney Sea as most will go to Toy Story at the start of the day from the entrance so Journey, Raging Spirits, Tower of Terror etc will be easier to get a fp and ride on immediately after rope drop.
    I think you need to be careful about this now, as Soarin with Digital FP now throws a spanner into the works.
    My initial plan using crowd calendar/wait times based on last year seasonal times are a mess as those were before both Soarin & Digital FP.
    Even the crowd calendar website DisneyReal are missing all their forecast for in Nov, and are at least a notch above what's predicted.

    But since you all have the chance to go Soarin, ToT & TSMM multiple times per year in US, you can skip these rides in TDL, which cut away your mad rush to these rides.
     

    KennesawNemo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2008
    Hi, Wally and dmar, thank you so much for the replies. They are so helpful!

    To answer Wally's questions: we will landed around 2pm after a 13 hour flight. We typically don't immediately sleep after international travel but we also haven't done anything like Disney. When we go visit family in China, we just chill. When we visited England after 8 hours sleep, we went to a museum and it was much low key than Disney.

    Thanks to your suggestion, I may book a Disney hotel but not the full vacation package.

    Thank you!

     

    KennesawNemo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2008
    I think you need to be careful about this now, as Soarin with Digital FP now throws a spanner into the works.
    My initial plan using crowd calendar/wait times based on last year seasonal times are a mess as those were before both Soarin & Digital FP.
    Even the crowd calendar website DisneyReal are missing all their forecast for in Nov, and are at least a notch above what's predicted.

    But since you all have the chance to go Soarin, ToT & TSMM multiple times per year in US, you can skip these rides in TDL, which cut away your mad rush to these rides.
    I think our family would be totally okay skipping ToT & TSMM. We may want to try Soaring since the ending will be different.

    The Digital FP would be our nightmare. When we went to Shanghai Disneyland, we arrive at the park about an hour before park opening, waited 90 mins go get into the park and got no digital FP at all. They were all gone.....I also read Digital FP is only available in their Japanese App. I only know a teeny bit Japanese so may not be able to use that all. (Edit: I went back to my trip report, we got one FP in Shanghai DL, not none).
     
    Last edited:

    Haley R

    With all the strength of a raging fire
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2017
    Hi, Wally and dmar, thank you so much for the replies. They are so helpful!

    To answer Wally's questions: we will landed around 2pm after a 13 hour flight. We typically don't immediately sleep after international travel but we also haven't done anything like Disney. When we go visit family in China, we just chill. When we visited England after 8 hours sleep, we went to a museum and it was much low key than Disney.

    Thanks to your suggestion, I may book a Disney hotel but not the full vacation package.

    Thank you!
    We stayed at the Hilton for 6 nights and loved it. We went earlier this year before soarin opened and we weren’t interested in toy story so that makes a difference but we didn’t feel like we needed the happy 15. Plus our room was completely paid for with Hilton points so basically free.

    I agree with going on a Monday-Friday. We actually did Tuesday-Friday. We could start noticing a change in the crowds on Thursday. They started to pick up the last two days. We got to the parks around an hour or more before opening and that worked pretty well.
     
  • Wallyworld81

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 11, 2019
    I think our family would be totally okay skipping ToT & TSMM. We may want to try Soaring since the ending will be different.

    The Digital FP would be our nightmare. When we went to Shanghai Disneyland, we arrive at the park about an hour before park opening, waited 90 mins go get into the park and got no digital FP at all. They were all gone.....I also read Digital FP is only available in their Japanese App. I only know a teeny bit Japanese so may not be able to use that all. (Edit: I went back to my trip report, we got one FP in Shanghai DL, not none).
    Tower of terror is totally different in Disney Sea than our parks! I would def still do this one even though we have it here in the states. I agree with skipping toy story if short on time- its an exact replica of hollywood studio's version.
     

    Wallyworld81

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 11, 2019
    Hi, Wally and dmar, thank you so much for the replies. They are so helpful!

    To answer Wally's questions: we will landed around 2pm after a 13 hour flight. We typically don't immediately sleep after international travel but we also haven't done anything like Disney. When we go visit family in China, we just chill. When we visited England after 8 hours sleep, we went to a museum and it was much low key than Disney.

    Thanks to your suggestion, I may book a Disney hotel but not the full vacation package.

    Thank you!
    You are more than welcome! I love planning and I LOVE TDR so its my pleasure!

    If you land around 3, then you will prob get to Disney by 4-4:30ish depending on if you are coming from Narita or Haneda - I would take that night to check into the hotel (if its the disney one walk all around and see the beautiful lobby, stores, landscaping outside, etc) and then go have dinner in Ikspiari (or even go get instant ramen bowls at 7-11 and have them in your room like we did our first night!) and then go check out Bon Voyage to see all the amazing souvenirs. If you haven't already heard TDR blows it out of the park in their selection of souvenirs - They are SO much better than ours here and most of the time they are less expensive as well!
     

    Linkura

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 13, 2017
    The Digital FP would be our nightmare. When we went to Shanghai Disneyland, we arrive at the park about an hour before park opening, waited 90 mins go get into the park and got no digital FP at all. They were all gone....
    That's not the case at Tokyo, except for Soaring really.
     

    KennesawNemo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2008
    We stayed at the Hilton for 6 nights and loved it. We went earlier this year before soarin opened and we weren’t interested in toy story so that makes a difference but we didn’t feel like we needed the happy 15. Plus our room was completely paid for with Hilton points so basically free.

    I agree with going on a Monday-Friday. We actually did Tuesday-Friday. We could start noticing a change in the crowds on Thursday. They started to pick up the last two days. We got to the parks around an hour or more before opening and that worked pretty well.
    Thanks. Your reply definitely added some points to Hilton for me!
    Tower of terror is totally different in Disney Sea than our parks! I would def still do this one even though we have it here in the states. I agree with skipping toy story if short on time- its an exact replica of hollywood studio's version.
    You are more than welcome! I love planning and I LOVE TDR so its my pleasure!

    If you land around 3, then you will prob get to Disney by 4-4:30ish depending on if you are coming from Narita or Haneda - I would take that night to check into the hotel (if its the disney one walk all around and see the beautiful lobby, stores, landscaping outside, etc) and then go have dinner in Ikspiari (or even go get instant ramen bowls at 7-11 and have them in your room like we did our first night!) and then go check out Bon Voyage to see all the amazing souvenirs. If you haven't already heard TDR blows it out of the park in their selection of souvenirs - They are SO much better than ours here and most of the time they are less expensive as well!
    Again, thank you for the solid suggestions! My daughter (and a big part of me) got really scared on ToT ride. I am very chicken when it comes to rides. But, my teenager son would love to try the ToT if it's different! I am packing minimal clothing and bring empty suitcase for souvenirs for sure, not just Disney.
    That's not the case at Tokyo, except for Soaring really.
    Thank you! That really is great to know!
     
  • Haley R

    With all the strength of a raging fire
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2017
    Thanks. Your reply definitely added some points to Hilton for me!


    Again, thank you for the solid suggestions! My daughter (and a big part of me) got really scared on ToT ride. I am very chicken when it comes to rides. But, my teenager son would love to try the ToT if it's different! I am packing minimal clothing and bring empty suitcase for souvenirs for sure, not just Disney.

    Thank you! That really is great to know!
    If you do a Hilton room I’d go with ocean view. It’s not much more and it’s worth it.

    We packed an empty duffel bag inside a big suitcase for souvenirs and that worked well since the duffel bag could be flattened.
     

    Wallyworld81

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 11, 2019
    Again, thank you for the solid suggestions! My daughter (and a big part of me) got really scared on ToT ride. I am very chicken when it comes to rides. But, my teenager son would love to try the ToT if it's different! I am packing minimal clothing and bring empty suitcase for souvenirs for sure, not just Disney.
    We actually bought a 28" suitcase at the Don Quijote in Shibuya on the last trip to fit all the souvenirs in from both Disney and Tokyo! Was only about $65 so not too bad
     

    KennesawNemo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2008
    We actually bought a 28" suitcase at the Don Quijote in Shibuya on the last trip to fit all the souvenirs in from both Disney and Tokyo! Was only about $65 so not too bad
    We may do that depending how much we pack!

    I am going to disappear for a while. Going on a Disney Cruise this Saturday. I am forcing myself not to think about two vacations at the same time for the next couple days. It has been driving me nuts for a while now. When I come back, I am sure I will come back with more questions!
     

    dmar

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2013
    I agree with Wally, the principal ride is the same except the skin and que are much different. Kind of like GOTG in DCA when it changed from ToT. If that's your son's type of ride then yeah I would say go for it.

    Have fun on your Disney Cruise!
     

    Wallyworld81

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 11, 2019
    We may do that depending how much we pack!

    I am going to disappear for a while. Going on a Disney Cruise this Saturday. I am forcing myself not to think about two vacations at the same time for the next couple days. It has been driving me nuts for a while now. When I come back, I am sure I will come back with more questions!
    have a fabulous time on your disney cruise!!!
     

    tinibee

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 14, 2011
    Ride ToT in TDS at least once to get familiar with the story so you can look for the connection when you visit Mystic Manor in Hong Kong Disney :ssst:
     

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