Tokyo Disney Resort Planning Notes (Long post warning!)

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acp
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Tokyo Disney Resort Planning Notes (Long post warning!)

Post by acp » Apr Wed 10, 2013 9:52 am

So, it’s now less than four weeks until my trip to Tokyo, so I thought it might be helpful to post my notes from planning for anyone else considering visiting Tokyo Disney Resort. I’m going to try and keep this to the Disney resort, rather than Tokyo in general.

I was a bit torn on whether to put this under Disney around the world or Trip planning and reports. I decided on here, because it seemed more relevant.

Be warned, folks. This might get a bit long...

Where to start... finding information online

Here’s a list of Tokyo Disney Resort related websites I found useful:

- The official Tokyo Disney Resort Website (English) - The official site, which now finally has a page for the 30th anniversary events.
- Uranezu.com - An English language site run by a Japanese fan of the parks. Has restaurant menus, photos of sample food and fairly regular updates from the parks and special events.
- DeepDisney daily updates - Japanese language site, has interesting daily park updates (pick today’s date from the calendar, and don’t forget to look at each day’s page 2 (link at the top of the update page))
- TDR Crowd Calendar - Japanese language crowd estimates for the Tokyo parks. Google Translate does a fair job with this page, and it’s quite useful for trying to gauge what the crowds may be like on a given day.

Types of ticket how to go about reserving them

Once you’ve picked dates, you need tickets. Tokyo’s tickets work somewhat differently from the other resorts. Tickets are available for one, two, three or four day visits, and have very different rules regarding park hopping to the other resorts. Basically, the way it works is this:

- One day tickets - You must nominate which park you’re going to when you buy the ticket, and you can not park hop.
- Two day tickets - You must nominate which park you’re going to on each day when you buy the ticket, and can not park hop on either day.
- Three day tickets - You must nominate which park you’re going to on days one and two when you buy the ticket, and you can only park hop on day three.
- Four day tickets - You must nominate which park you’re going to on days one and two when you buy the ticket, and you can park hop on days three and four.

In addition to these, there are also “Starlight Passports” and “After six passports” available. They’re only available on certain days (which are shown on the resort's operation calendar, and work as follows:

- Starlight Passport - Access to one park from 3pm until closing. As far as I can tell, these tend to only be available at weekends.
- After six passport - Access to one park from 6pm to closing. These are available any day of the week, but aren’t always available.

So then we come to actually ordering the ticket you want. This is where it gets annoying. The online ticketing website is something of a mess. It's been made in flash, and takes a while to load up. Once it does load up, you can book tickets for up to two months in advance. If you're not in Japan, you can only reserve tickets, and the website won't let you actually pay for them or have them delivered. The website is clearly aimed at Japan residents, and I had problems entering all my details properly (for instance, the postcode field doesn't allow letters, which makes it impossible to enter a UK postcode properly).

As mentioned above, the website will ask you which park you're going to on the first two days of your ticket, so you'll need to work that out before you book (the website says that you cannot change your choices after you've booked, although I've never tried it to know if that's actually true or not).

Be aware that during their 30th anniversary, the website will offer you a choice of "x-Day Magic Passport" or "x-Day Happiness Magic Passport", but doesn't tell you anything about the differences between them except that the Happiness version is 1000 yen cheaper. The difference is that the Happiness version is for people over the age of 60. If you're not over 60, you want the regular ticket.

Because you can't have your tickets delivered if you're outside Japan, you have to collect them at the Tokyo Disney Resort Ticket Centre, which is located in Ikspiari (next to the train station) at the resort.

Getting to the resort

Obviously, this is going to vary depending on where you're staying in Tokyo, but getting to the resort seems fairly straightforward. The station you want to get to is Maihama, which is on the Keiyo line. You can get there directly from Tokyo station, which is one of the main central stations in the city and makes it fairly easy to get to from anywhere else in the city.

From here, the Ticket Centre is located in the Ikspiari shopping centre (which is basically Tokyo's version of Downtown Disney), which is next to the station.

Getting to the parks from Maihama Station

This seems fairly easy. For Tokyo Disneyland, you can either get on the Disney Resort Line monorail at the adjacent Resort Gateway Station (more on that in a minute), or you can walk. From what I can work out from what I've read, both will take around the same amount of time.

For Tokyo DisneySea, you can take the Disney Resort Line monorail from Resort Gateway Station, which circles the resort.

About that monorail...

The big, important thing to note about the Disney Resort Line monorail is that it isn't free to ride. You need to pay a fare and get a ticket. It's not expensive, but it's an important thing to know about.

The full list of fares is on the Disney Resort Line page on the website.

While looking at organising my trip, I had a go at working out whether the 4-Day Pass actually makes sense given how much I'd be using the monorail. The conclusion I came to was that it wasn't worth it in my case, but a 3-Day pass might be. Here's the logic behind that:

A single ride on the monorail costs 250 yen. So to visit, for instance, Tokyo DisneySea for a day, it'd be 250 yen there, and 250 yen back, so 500 yen total for the day.

A 1-Day Pass is 650 yen, so 150 yen more expensive than the two separate journeys.

I'm likely to walk to Tokyo Disneyland during my trip, so won't need to use the monorail for that.

Over the four days, with two days being at Tokyo DisneySea, that works out to be 1000 yen total. The two days at Tokyo DisneySea are non-consecutive, so a 2-Day Pass wouldn't work.

A 3-Day pass would work, given that my Tokyo DisneySea days are going to be days 2 and 4, however the ticket is 1100 yen, which is 100 yen more expensive than the individual tickets.

A 4-Day pass is 1400 yen, which is 400 yen more expensive than the individual tickets.

Given that, I think individual tickets are the way to go (at least in my case, as always, your mileage may vary).

One thing worth noting here is that the Disney Resort Line does accept Suica card payments. (Suica cards are Tokyo's pre-pay transport cards, which are usable on most train lines and even for some shopping/vending machines. See the Japan Rail website for more info.)

The resort's schedules..

The resort has the schedules for the next three weeks on their website. Of course, I can't talk about this without plugging ParkHours now, can I? ;)

Also of note here is the page which lists upcoming refurbishments, attraction/restaurant closures and shows going dark for a while, which is sure to be of much use when trying to pick your dates.

Ikspiari

The easiest way to think of Ikspiari is that it's roughly Tokyo's version of Downtown Disney. It's more of a shopping arcade, really. It has all the usuals, Disney Stores, restaurants, etc. A full list of shops is on the website.

Getting to it is super easy, too. It's right next to Maihama Station and Resort Gateway Station.

Wrapping up... for now...

And that brings me to the end of my notes on the planning/booking part of the Tokyo Disney Resort. When I've actually been, I'll add to this thread with some other useful details I find. In the meantime, feel free to add to this if you have any notes from planning trips to Tokyo Disney Resort, or feel equally as free to poke holes in my logic or as questions, etc.
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Re: Tokyo Disney Resort Planning Notes (Long post warning!)

Post by Amy » Apr Wed 10, 2013 3:03 pm

Interesting. My trip to Tokyo was almost 10 years ago now, so some details are a bit fuzzy. I do remember the weird park hopper requirements. I think I did a three day pass with TDL the first day, then TDS, and then both parks the last day. I can't remember if I had to specify the order in which I was going to the parks though. And I don't remember having to pay extra to ride the monorail. Is that new? Or is the monorail included if you stay on property perhaps? I stayed onsite so maybe all the transportation was included like at the US parks?

acp
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Re: Tokyo Disney Resort Planning Notes (Long post warning!)

Post by acp » Apr Wed 10, 2013 3:30 pm

Amy wrote:Interesting. My trip to Tokyo was almost 10 years ago now, so some details are a bit fuzzy. I do remember the weird park hopper requirements. I think I did a three day pass with TDL the first day, then TDS, and then both parks the last day. I can't remember if I had to specify the order in which I was going to the parks though. And I don't remember having to pay extra to ride the monorail. Is that new? Or is the monorail included if you stay on property perhaps? I stayed onsite so maybe all the transportation was included like at the US parks?
They ask you to nominate your parks for the days when you place the order. They do this on the website, and I believe also when you buy them in person at the resort.

The monorail has always been paid, it's due to Japanese tax laws, which require taxes to be paid for rail travel. That's the reason the railway at Tokyo Disneyland doesn't go all the way around the park, only has one station and is a round-trip. It's not classed as transport that way.

I believe that if you're staying at a Disney hotel, you can get free passes for the monorail.
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Re: Tokyo Disney Resort Planning Notes (Long post warning!)

Post by Amy » Apr Wed 10, 2013 4:01 pm

acp wrote:
Amy wrote:Interesting. My trip to Tokyo was almost 10 years ago now, so some details are a bit fuzzy. I do remember the weird park hopper requirements. I think I did a three day pass with TDL the first day, then TDS, and then both parks the last day. I can't remember if I had to specify the order in which I was going to the parks though. And I don't remember having to pay extra to ride the monorail. Is that new? Or is the monorail included if you stay on property perhaps? I stayed onsite so maybe all the transportation was included like at the US parks?
They ask you to nominate your parks for the days when you place the order. They do this on the website, and I believe also when you buy them in person at the resort.

The monorail has always been paid, it's due to Japanese tax laws, which require taxes to be paid for rail travel. That's the reason the railway at Tokyo Disneyland doesn't go all the way around the park, only has one station and is a round-trip. It's not classed as transport that way.

I believe that if you're staying at a Disney hotel, you can get free passes for the monorail.
Hmmm, as I said, 10 years back and the memories on specifics sort of fade. It is interesting to know that about the rail travel taxes. I suppose that is how they keep everything so clean and on schedule :D

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Re: Tokyo Disney Resort Planning Notes (Long post warning!)

Post by australianprincess » Dec Tue 17, 2013 9:24 pm

I want to purchase the 4 day passport on my upcoming visit. However I can't seem to find anywhere, information confirming whether you must go 4 days in a row. My visit to Tokyo will be 6 days long and I was thinking of visiting the parks on days 1/2 then 4/5 is this possible? Or must I go 4 days in a row.
I have had this type of passport before, and did visit 4 days in a row, and I also understand the park hopping option on the last 2 days......just want to clarify the consecutive use issue as unlike last time I'd like a day off in-between

many thanks to anyone who can assist

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Re: Tokyo Disney Resort Planning Notes (Long post warning!)

Post by Amy » Dec Tue 17, 2013 9:46 pm

australianprincess wrote:I want to purchase the 4 day passport on my upcoming visit. However I can't seem to find anywhere, information confirming whether you must go 4 days in a row. My visit to Tokyo will be 6 days long and I was thinking of visiting the parks on days 1/2 then 4/5 is this possible? Or must I go 4 days in a row.
I have had this type of passport before, and did visit 4 days in a row, and I also understand the park hopping option on the last 2 days......just want to clarify the consecutive use issue as unlike last time I'd like a day off in-between

many thanks to anyone who can assist
I do not know for sure, but from what I can see online, you must use the pass on consecutive days.

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Re: Tokyo Disney Resort Planning Notes (Long post warning!)

Post by acp » Dec Mon 23, 2013 5:25 pm

australianprincess wrote:I want to purchase the 4 day passport on my upcoming visit. However I can't seem to find anywhere, information confirming whether you must go 4 days in a row. My visit to Tokyo will be 6 days long and I was thinking of visiting the parks on days 1/2 then 4/5 is this possible? Or must I go 4 days in a row.
I have had this type of passport before, and did visit 4 days in a row, and I also understand the park hopping option on the last 2 days......just want to clarify the consecutive use issue as unlike last time I'd like a day off in-between

many thanks to anyone who can assist
The tickets are for consecutive days*. To do days 1, 2, 4 and 5 you'd need to get two two day tickets (and thus won't be able to park hop).


* I'm 99% sure this is the case. I didn't see any option to pick split dates they were when I bought mine.
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