Saturday, January 3, 2015

Disneyland Japan: Where Dreams Come True

Our Japan itinerary of course had to include a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth. Disneyland is considered one of the most popular and most visited tourist destination around the world. In Asia, Hongkong Disneyland is probably more popular given that it's easier to go to Hongkong and more affordable, but what's unique in Japan is that they have a Disneyland and a DisneySea which is the only one in the world!

We had a lot of discussion with each other  on whether to go to Disneyland or DisneySea but we eventually chose Disneyland due to several reasons: a.) we haven't been to Disneyland before, b.) Disneysea is more popular for kids since it has more shows vs. rides, c.) our friend said that the shows are all in Japanese so you won't understand it.haha :) If you have time though, you can visit both resorts but you'll need 2 full days to visit both of them. But if you choose Disneyland only, here's a full guide to what to do and tips in visiting Tokyo Disneyland.

How to Get There?
Take the subway and alight at JR Maihama Station. The station is near Tokyo Station. Once alighting, you have the option to walk to the main gate or ride the monorail. But you need the walk if you're going to Disneyland. Just follow the hoard of people but it's very easy to spot the entrance of Disneyland from the station.

Main entrance to Disneyland
There is a ticketing booth near the main entrance, but a lot of people recommend buying tickets in advance to save time given that there will be extremely long lines in both the entrance and the ticketing booth. We bought our ticket through the Disney website ( using credit card and printed the ticket as this is needed prior to entering. A full day ticket costs 6,400 Yen or about 2,400 Php. You can check full rates and different passes through their website.
Expect LONG LINES in all of the rides. To save time, get the express tickets called FASTPASS which are found in each booth. We did not try this since we only learned of it when we were about to leave! This will save you a lot of time but you need to get this ticket before each ride and express ticket is NOT valid for all the rides. There is also a time slot on when you can use the ticket (e.g. ticket valid if used from 3-4 pm only). Express tickets are free but expect that it will run out very fast.
We spent around 60-90 mins waiting in each ride. So expect that you will not be able try all the rides unless you go there very early morning and go home until the park closes. So research ahead of time which rides you will prioritize and which one you can skip. In total, we were able to try 3 rides since we decided to leave early and we were exhausted with all the waiting.

Here are the rides we tried:
Pirates of the Caribbean - okay to skip. Just re-tells the story of the Pirates series through an interactive riverboat show.
Splash Mountain - must do! check our video in the last part to see for yourself!
Space Mountain - just another high speed roller coaster but you will see absolutely nothing since it's indoor and there are no lights inside.

Food options are few and expensive in Disneyland which is true for all theme parks. The only difference though in Tokyo is that the queue is extremely long even for food! We had to line up and wait for around 15 mins to get a piece of a Turkey leg! There is nothing special also on the taste of the food and you're paying primarily for the presentation of the food (mostly shaped like Disney Characters). So I highly recommend you eat heavy breakfast and eat dinner outside and just eat some snacks inside Disneyland.
Turkey Leg - 520 Yen or 200 Php
Mickey Burger - 600 Yen or 220 Php
Mochi-ice cream
Mickey Ice Cream - 310 Yen or 115 Php
This is really why people go to Disney. I think that there are other theme parks that offer better rides than Disneyland especially for adults. But there is no other theme park that features all the iconic characters that we grew up watching and loved throughout our life which is why Disney becomes part of our bucket list. 

What you can see:
- Parades that happen every hour. But expect people to camp out to get the best view of the parade.
- Disney characters throughout the theme park.
- And of course, mascots! Great for photo op!

You can see Disney merchandise literally EVERYWHERE in the theme park! It's definitely a must buy for hardcore Disney fanatics given that you probably won't get as authentic souvenirs as you can get from other stores. It's also very fun to try all these merchandises and take pictures as we did below! Only downside is that merchandise costs are extremely expensive! So for parents who will bring their kids, prepare to spend a fortune for Disney merchandise! 

Tokyo Disneyland definitely did not disappoint! It definitely is the happiest place on earth especially for a Disney fan growing up! I'm also very happy since I finally ticked off going to Disneyland in my bucket list! Overall this is a must visit for everyone, more so, if you are Disney fan. But even if you're not a fan, it's still worth a visit since the experience is definitely incredible most especially if you go with the people you love which was in our case and it made our trip as meaningful and memorable as possible! 


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