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Tokyo Disneyland Park takes the best parts of the original Disneyland in California and the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World to create a unique and magical experience. While there are many things which are close copies of their US counterparts (Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain, etc), there are plenty of aspects that Tokyo Disneyland that you simply cannot miss.
I base this list on the following criteria (they must meet at least one of these items):
- Unique to Tokyo Disneyland
- Different enough from other versions
- Quality is the superior to their counterparts
While you cannot get these all done in one visit, unless you are diligent and follow our tips, these are the 15 things you simply must do when you visit Tokyo Disneyland. We cover attractions, entertainment, and restaurants.
- Pooh’s Hunny Hunt
- Monster’s Inc. Ride & Go Seek!
- Jungle Cruise: Wildlife Expeditions
- Splash Mountain
- Haunted Mansion Holiday Nightmare
Pooh’s Hunny Hunt and Monster’s Inc. are unique to the Tokyo Disneyland and you absolutely make a point of seeing both. Grab a FastPass for Monster’s Inc at rope drop, then make your way over to Pooh’s Hunny Hunt and get into the standby line.
Jungle Cruise was recently updated, which now sports that ever so popular projection mapping. While the Skippers speak only in Japanese (unless you get lucky and one of them speaks English) it worth waiting to see the differences from the US versions. We recommend seeing it during the evening for the full effect.
Splash Mountain is a classic but the theming of the queue and surrounding area are simply stunning. Also, you will not get soaking wet compared to the versions in the US. Basically, Brer Rabbit gets his own land called Critter Country.
Haunted Mansion Holiday Nightmare is not as elaborate as the version at Disneyland, but it is still worth checking out. It runs starting in the fall and until after the New Year. Since it is 1 of 2 Haunted Mansions that receive this layover, you can’t miss this.
- Minnie Oh! Minnie
- Once Upon a Time
- Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights
- Seasonal Parade / Show (Happiness is Here)
- Country Bear Jamboree
Minnie Oh Minnie is a daily show at the Theatre Orleans in Adventureland. It features upbeat latin music, live singing, and vibrant colours, and of course the star of the show Minnie Mouse herself. Mickey, Donald, Daisy, Chip N Dale, and others also make appearances. This fun and colourful show is unique to Tokyo Disneyland.
Once Upon a Time is a nightly projection, laser, and pyrotechnics show on Cinderella’s Castle. While the show is not up to par with Disney Dreams over at Disneyland Paris, it still packs a punch with its vibrant projections and pyrotechnics. During Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Fantasy they included a “Winter Version” which added scenes from Disney’s Frozen.
Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights is one of the crowning jewels of Tokyo Disneyland Park. It features millions of LED lights and incredibly catchy music that everyone knows and loves. In 2015, it received an update to various floats and added a new Tangled Float to the lineup. You simply cannot miss this.
During the seasonal events, limited time parades and greetings happen along the parade route. These are limited to the season and are unique to the park. Parades or greetings happen during:
- New Years
- Christmas Fantasy
- Disney’s Easter
- Disney’s Natsu Matsuri (Summer Festival)
- Disney’s Halloween
Finally, the Country Bear Jamboree. Not much can be said, other than you need to see it.
- Hungry Bear Restaurant
- Grandma Sara’s Kitchen
- Restaurant Hokusai
- Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall
- Camp Woodchuck Kitchen
Tokyo Disneyland has a variety of restaurant options ranging from burgers, fried chicken, Japanese Curry, to seafood. Here are our top choices for restaurants to try. Be sure to read our full Dining Guide to Tokyo Disney Resort.
Hungry Bear Restaurant in Westernland is perfect for those who want something other than burgers (seriously, the burgers at the park are not that great.) They serve Japanese style curry, which is a safe option for non-adventurous eaters. Choose from chicken, beef, or the house special. Plentiful seating indoors and out, including a jail cell to eat in. We recommend the House Curry.
One of the better-themed restaurants is Grandma Sara’s in Critter Country. Fitting well with the theme of Splash Mountain, you eat inside Grandma Sara’s burrow. If you ever imagined what it would be like eating inside Splash Mountain, this is as good as it gets. The food is hearty, compared to typical Japanese food, and filling.
If you’re looking for a more traditional Japanese style restaurant within the parks, then Restaurant Hokusai (in the World Bazaar) is a perfect choice. Although I recommend eating at this type of restaurant outside the parks since you are in Japan, if time is of the essence then this is perfect. Enjoy everything from traditional Japanese Bento meals to Tonkatsu (breaded pork). We recommend the Tonkatsu.
The recently updated Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall is a must for Alice in Wonderland fans. The excellent theming leaves you feeling as if you are dining in the maze or forecourt of the castle. The hamburg (you read that correctly, hamburg) is our #1 choice. Delicious mashed potatoes (with red peppers inside), playing card shaped vegetable cracker, broccoli, and the hamburg steak with heart-shaped cheese. Another favourite is the rotisserie chicken. If you’re celebrating your Unbirthday, then they have the perfect cake for you! Expect long lines during peak dining hours, so eat before or after lunch and dinner.
Camp Woodchuck Kitchen is one of the newest restaurants at Tokyo Disneyland in the Camp Woodchuck area. Not only is the chicken and waffle sandwich delicious, the entire restaurant is one of the best-themed areas of the park.
If you are overwhelmed with what to do at Tokyo Disneyland, then follow what we listed above and you will get (in our opinion) the best of the park. Is there anything you would add or remove from this list? Let us know in the comments.
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