15 Things You Cannot Miss at Tokyo Disneyland


4 min read

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.

Our criteria for this list is based on the following (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.

Attractions

Haunted Mansion Holiday Nightmare Tokyo Disneyland

  1. Pooh’s Hunny Hunt
  2. Monster’s Inc. Ride & Go Seek!
  3. Jungle Cruise: Wildlife Expeditions
  4. Splash Mountain
  5. 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.

Entertainment

Once Upon A Time Tokyo Disneyland Duy Phan Photography

Once Upon A Time debuted May 2014 at Tokyo Disneyland as a nightly show. This simply amazing photo from Duy Phan Photography shows just how colourful a Disney Fairytale can be.

  1. Minnie Oh! Minnie
  2. Once Upon a Time
  3. Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights
  4. Seasonal Parade / Show (Happiness is Here)
  5. 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:

Finally, the Country Bear Jamboree. Not much can be said, other than you need to see it.

Restaurants

Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall at Tokyo Disneyland

Have lunch at the Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall in Fantasyland!

  1. Hungry Bear Restaurant
  2. Grandma Sara’s Kitchen
  3. Restaurant Hokusai
  4. Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall
  5. The Diamond Horseshoe Presents “Mickey & Company”

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.

The Diamond Horseshoe Presents “Mickey & Company” requires a reservation ahead of time and is one of two dinner shows at Tokyo Disneyland. Read our guide on how to make your reservation. Walk up reservations are possible, but are not a guarantee. Enjoy an excellent meal while being entertained by Mickey and Friends. It does not get any better than that.

Conclusion

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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  • Rebecca

    Hi there, thank you so much. I’m wondering how long you’d recommend a first time visitor to any Disney park should allocate to TDR with 2 kids, 6 and 4?

  • It would depend on how much you wish to accomplish. I would say 3-4 days if you want to try and do everything. But if you just want the highlights (and you are not going at a busy time) then you can do it in 2, one day at each park. The sweet spot would be 3 where you can do park hopping with your ticket on the last day (a two day passport does not allow park hopping but a 3-4 day does). I hope this helps!

  • liberalguilt

    Is it easy to get around if your don’t speak a word of Japanese? (With a 9 year old)

  • You will be OK without any Japanese. But if you have any dietary needs, it would be best to get that translated into Japanese before you go. Then you can either show it to the Cast Member before you order. Most Hotels will have someone on staff that speaks a level of English to help you out.

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