Planning your trip to Tokyo Disneyland is a daunting task and while in the parks you can’t afford to make any mistakes during your visit. We have a plethora of information on how to plan your trip, such as our Ultimate Guide to Tokyo Disney Resort. But, if you avoid these mistakes listed below, you’ll be well ahead of the curve.
You’ll want the most out of your day, which means you must arrive at the park gates early. A good rule of thumb is at least 1-hour before the park opens or 2-hours for weekends and public holidays. The crowds at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea are higher compared to other Disney Parks. I recommend studying the crowd calendar to fine-tune your strategy.
Visiting During a Public Holiday or Weekend
In our guide explaining the best and worst times to visit, we list “visiting on the weekend or public holiday” as one of the worst times. The parks are crowded and sometimes reach capacity. Avoid the big public holidays such as New Years, Golden Week, and the end of March (school break). Head to the parks on a weekday and use tdrnavi.jp to check crowd levels.
Not Using Our Wait Time App
Not Making A Reservation for Table Service
All table service restaurants require priority seating reservations. The easiest way is to make your reservation at the restaurant starting at 10 AM — this is when they start accepting in-park reservations. If you are staying at a Disney Hotel, then you can do this online with your hotel reservation. Otherwise, another option is doing it online but it’s only offered in Japanese.
If you don’t make the reservation right at 10 AM there is the risk of the restaurant becoming completely booked. Not all is lost however, you can queue up in the stand-by line (as of July 1, 2017). Read our full dining guide for more information.
Not Staying on Property
If you stay at a Disney Hotel or any of the Official Hotels — such as the Hilton Tokyo Bay or Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel — then access to the parks is quick and easy. If you’re not staying on property, you are left to the mercy of public transportation. While Japan’s public transportation is superb it’s far from perfect. Depending on where you are staying, this could eat up that precious time in the parks.
Your best option is to stay on property to utilize your time. Read our hotel guide for full information.
Eating When Everyone Else Does
Like other Disney Parks, most people eat at noon and around 6 PM. This makes for long lines at the counter service restaurants. So, eat at off-peak hours such as 10-11AM or mid-afternoon or even around 8-9PM.
Not Buying Your Tickets Ahead of Time
Do not buy your tickets at the gate, buy them in advance. You waste valuable time waiting in line. Read our full guide to Park Tickets to see what your options are.
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Only Using an English Park Map
You’ll want an English Park Map of course, but also grab a “Today Guide” in Japanese. This shows you pictures of all the featured merchandise along with seasonal food. This helps you visually plan what you want to eat or buy while you wait in line. While the text is in Japanese, you can ask a Cast Member to help you.
Not Utilising the Show Lottery
Select shows at both parks offer a lottery to see the shows. This saves you a ton of time instead of waiting in standby for Big Band Beat. In order to see shows such as One Man’s Dream II, you need to win the lottery (first show of the day is standby only however).
Big Band Beat has a standby line (second-floor viewing) and you can watch Once Upon A Time outside the lottery seating area, but you’ll have to get a spot ahead of time.
With the lottery, you can just show up at your allotted time. Our full guide gives an explanation on how this works. Some days, for all these shows there is no lottery (usually on days of low attendance) and is standby only.
Not Planning Your FastPasses
There you have it, avoid these mistakes and you’ll save yourself a ton of time at both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea!
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