Where do you even start..

Discussion in 'Tokyo Disneyland' started by katyringo, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. katyringo

    katyringo DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2017
    Messages:
    864
    husband dreams of visiting Tokyo..

    I love all things Disney..

    The perfect vacation..

    But I have no idea where to even start. We live in the middle of The United States and have never traveled abroad before. It gives me tons of anxiety and overwhelming feelings.

    We would probably want to spend 4 or so days at Disneyland Tokyo and then a couple days exploring Tokyo. It’s the later that I am the most confused on. I feel I can probably research the crap out of the Disney stuff enough..

    What kind of budget does one need for this trip? We wouldn’t go with the most expensive, but not the cheapest either.
     
  2. Douglas Dubh

    Douglas Dubh True Fiscal Conservative

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 1999
    Messages:
    3,071
    Our last trip we used a company called tripmasters to book the flight and a hotel in Tokyo, but we also went to Hong Kong and Osaka. If you're just going to Tokyo, it might be better to book flights and hotels separately. Do you have airline miles or hotel points? That would make a big difference.

    Do you know when you want to go? Our first trip was in July, and it was pretty hot and humid, and the parks fairly crowded. Our second trip was in May, and the weather was better and the parks less crowded. Here's a good site that discusses good times to go - https://tdrexplorer.com/when-should-you-visit-tokyo-disney-resort/
    There's a link to a crowd calendar there too.

    What to do in Tokyo? I'd suggest doing a search for top 10 things to do in Tokyo, read a few articles, and decide what things are most interesting to you. If you're just thinking of going for a week, you could probably stay at the Disney resort the whole time, and just go into Tokyo for a weekend, either before or after Disney. I recommend at least two days at each park. That should give you time to do everything once, a few favorites twice, and spend a bit of time at Ikspari and the hotels.

    There's lots of threads here where people discuss all kinds of things about Japan, and plenty of people who will answer all sorts of questions.
     
    MinnieWebster and Haley R like this.
  3. Avatar

    Advertisement


  4. SgtTibbs

    SgtTibbs RunDisney'er

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2014
    Messages:
    1,323
    Where to start? I would recommend the TDR Explorer planning guide. It's great resource packed with all the things you need to know.


    Which I just noticed Douglas already linked to.

    When you start looking at flights, I found it was a couple of hundred dollars per person cheaper to book two separate round trip flights. One LAX-to-Tokyo and one Home-to-LAX
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  5. Haley R

    Haley R With all the strength of a raging fire

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2017
    Messages:
    10,875
    We are pretty similar to you. We live in the Midwest and have never been out of the country together. Dh has never been out of the us but I’ve gone with my parents before to Mexico and Jamaica. When we decided we wanted to go to Japan I was thinking about doing the adventures by Disney until I saw the price tag. I realized we need to plan our own trip but I started thinking “how will we afford this?”. We ended up applying for and opening credit cards that gave us good bonuses for meeting certain spends.

    Here’s a list of everything we have booked for our upcoming trip on points:
    -round trip business class tickets LAX-TOKYO
    -round trip southwest tickets to get to and from LAX
    -5 out of our 6 nights at Hilton Tokyo bay with ocean view
    -1 night in hakone at a hotel
    -6 nights in Kyoto at an apartment hotel
    -rail passes

    With some research and time, it’s very doable to make the trip affordable. If you plan to do most of your trip at Disney I would think you could stay at the Hilton or Sheraton with points and take the train into Tokyo on your days in the city.

    I like to use Disney tourist blog and their other website travel caffeine for my planning. I also like Japan guide for finding things to do in the city.
     
  6. Party.Of.4-NY>>>FL

    Party.Of.4-NY>>>FL Idn't know I was supposed to be lookin for him sir

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2016
    Messages:
    1,913
    I know you mentioned you’ve got the Tokyo Disney-related research covered, but I thought I’d throw this out there. I just listened to a podcast the other day in which the guests were Disney World vets, but visited Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea for the first time. It’s the “Disney World A to Z” podcast episode 126. Lots of great info for any first time Tokyo Disney visitors. And the podcast as a whole is pretty good too!
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  7. kbmartin

    kbmartin DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2014
    Messages:
    750
    I'm completely with you - my husband and I pretty much have the same goals. We plan to travel abroad more in the future, but this is my first time. I keep telling myself - if I can do Japan, I can do anywhere!!! Honestly, though, I'm overwhelmed and terrified that I will make mistakes in planning our trip. Right now, we're planning on April 2020, but the right pieces have to fall into place. We originally thought about late June 2019 but learned how horrible the weather can be during the summer and reconsidered.

    I agree that TDR Explorer has been especially helpful. I also appreciate Tom Bricker's advice on Disney Tourist Blog (and Travel Caffeine is his side travel blog). I subscribed to the Japan Travel subReddit as well and have watched a lot of YouTube videos about Tokyo and TDR. I'm not sure where you're from. While we are close to Chicago, it's WAY more expensive to fly non-stop from ORD to either of the Tokyo airports than to fly to LAX and then do LAX to Tokyo. I also figure it might be nice to travel to LAX and stay overnight to break up what would have been a really long flight. We also are budget conscious; after researching, I have picked Hilton Tokyo Bay for our stay at TDR. I'm not sure where we'll be in Tokyo for the second part of our trip, but with research it seems like somewhere in Shibuya or Shinjuku is best.

    Best of luck!
     
    Agent 86 likes this.
  8. Haley R

    Haley R With all the strength of a raging fire

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2017
    Messages:
    10,875
    We’re going in June this summer. I’m not too worried about weather but I’m also going in with expectations of rain
     
  9. indoshakespeare

    indoshakespeare Reach out and find your Happily Ever After

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Messages:
    540
    iivye, Haley R, Bobb_o and 1 other person like this.
  10. PiratesMansion

    PiratesMansion Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    83
    A few ideas/thoughts:
    -Don't feel like you need to go into Tokyo knowing 100% what you want to do. Tokyo is a great city to wander and explore, as you never quite know what you're going to stumble on.
    -English is not widely spoken but all important signage is also in English, whether at airports, train stations, admission counters, etc. Many restaurants have fake food displays outside showing what food they sell, and worst case scenario, you can point at what you want. All western chains and Disney restaurants will have English menus.
    -The Japanese are unfailingly polite and helpful. Knowing a few basic words (I knew around five) will be very helpful and if you look confused, they will likely go out of their way to help.
    -I would do a split stay between the resort and Tokyo proper. I visited when studying abroad, and we were staying on the west side of Tokyo. The commute was easily an hour, and due to the sheer size/number of stations on the Tokyo metro, it'd be very easy to have a lengthy commute to or from the parks no matter where you're headed.
    -If you are nervous about international travel, you might consider easing your way towards Tokyo depending on your budget by starting in Hong Kong. HK is only a few hours away by plane and was a British colony, so English is widely understood if not widely spoken, and it's the ultimate fusion of East and West. Plus, Hong Kong Disneyland is right there! You can often add Hong Kong to your airfare as a stopover for very little $$$.
     
    kbmartin likes this.
  11. sippican

    sippican Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2013
    Messages:
    473
    If you want to proceed with staying onsite at TDR - register on the TDR website ahead of time so that you are all set when hotel reservations open. Stalk the website to know the rooms/categories that interest you. Package reservations open at 6 months, room only at 5 months. I made a package reservation for Miracosta at exactly the six month mark, with every intention of cancelling it if I was able to get a room only at 5 months. One of our nights is a Saturday, and on the day/hour the reservations opened, I was unable to get a room for our nights. So I am really glad I booked the packaage, even though it was a small fortune!
    If you do decide that you would like a guide in Tokyo, Triple Lights is an excellent guiding company, with many choices, at a reasonable cost.
     
  12. Bobb_o

    Bobb_o Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2015
    Messages:
    360
    I will say that Tokyo and Japan in general is a great country to visit as a tourist. Everyone is so polite and it's quite safe. The train system (especially in Tokyo) makes it a breeze to get around. Yes there is a bit of a language barrier sometimes but Google Translate can help.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/JapanTravel/ is a great forum and resource.
     
    Haley R likes this.
  13. bibbidibobbidibecky

    bibbidibobbidibecky The Fairy Godblogger

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    2,076
    In order to make our trip affordable I have hoarded hotel points to use in Hiroshima, Kyoto and Hong Kong. I always search flights from major airports within driving distance of my home, also in the middle of the country. I found a great package flying out of Toronto that included our hotel in Shinjuku (right in Tokyo) through Expedia. I am a travel agent and packaging things is how I almost always find the best deals. Yes, driving to another country to fly out seems crazy, but when you're paying for five tickets, the savings really adds up, even after gas and a hotel (hotel is free)!

    We are big travelers and this is how we always do it! I know visiting the far east is going to be a challenge, but I also know it's going to be amazing. I plan to make good use of my Google translate app and try to learn to say at least a few things in Japanese.

    As far as knowing what to do in Tokyo, visit TripAdvisor and look at what is suggested by other travelers. This is always where I start. Planning is half the fun!
     
  14. Bobb_o

    Bobb_o Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2015
    Messages:
    360
    I hope it's not Air Canada. I looked at flight leaving from Toronto and it turns out their planes are not the most comfortable for a transpacific flight.
     
  15. bibbidibobbidibecky

    bibbidibobbidibecky The Fairy Godblogger

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    2,076
    No, American back to Chicago then Japan Airlines for the long-haul. :)
     
  16. Bobb_o

    Bobb_o Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2015
    Messages:
    360
    Nice, I've heard JAL and ANA are great. I ended up paying an extra $300 per ticket to upgrade to premium economy or whatever American calls it. It was like domestic first class (wide seats, the window columns were just 2 seats and there were footrests) and made the flight much more enjoyable.
     
  17. bibbidibobbidibecky

    bibbidibobbidibecky The Fairy Godblogger

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    2,076
    I have read nothing but good things about JAL, so I feel good about that. The only issue I ran into was I couldn't get onto their site and prebook our seats because of the codeshare. I ended up having to do it through American, but got the fee waived, luckily! A footrest sounds great haha!

    Something else I did to save money was I found out JAL has domestic flights for super cheap if you book really far in advance, so instead of buying the Japan Railpass, which is pretty pricey, we are flying in-country for less. It's a special website to purchase their domestic flights.
     
  18. Haley R

    Haley R With all the strength of a raging fire

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2017
    Messages:
    10,875
    We booked with Ana for our upcoming trip through Virgin Atlantic and saved a ton on our miles. We ended up booking business class seats to make sure we’re comfortable on the plane. This is the first time we’ve done anything like this (we normally fly frontier). I’ve heard nothing but good things about Ana so I’m excited!
     
  19. KashasMom

    KashasMom DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2012
    Messages:
    2,162
    If you are on FB the group Japan Travel Planning is fantastic! SO much info and the group there has been so helpful to me in planning our trip in April.
     
  20. LovesTimone

    LovesTimone Christmas Day 2017

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,745

    DH and I were talking about this just yesterday... We have some friends that went last year... One couple - They flew to LAX on Delta, on a early evening flight stay at an airport hotel ... to sorta help them get on that coast time zone... then flew out the next day to Tokyo... then in reverse... from Tokyo to LAX... they went straight to the hotel and went to bed... they were exhausted... then flew home on a lunch time flight... she said it did help with the jet lag both ways... the other couple... Flew into LAX early on Jet Blue, spent the day at downtown Disney, had dinner at DTD, then went back to the hotel at the airport to spend the night, then up flew out mid morning... reverse was almost the same except they flew I think Southwest heading home... They got a amazing deal with Jet Blue ( around 129.00 one way) and had points with Southwest (free) ...
     
    Haley R likes this.
  21. LovesTimone

    LovesTimone Christmas Day 2017

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,745

    I have seen several posting about ANA airlines... could you please give me some insight?
    as well could you or are you going to do a trip report?
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019

Share This Page