Are you thinking about visiting Tokyo Disneyland in 2021? The Resort has gone through a lot of changes in the past year. Today, I’ll summarize some of the biggest changes that could affect your trip in 2021!
Unless you’re visiting in the immediate future (such as those Explorers who live in Japan currently), don’t worry too much about the specifics until inbound tourism is open again. There’s a good chance a lot of this information will change.
We’ll do our best to keep you updated! Also, keep an eye on the official Tokyo Disney Resort website. OK, here’s what you need to know for visiting Tokyo Disney Resort in 2021!
We don’t know when Japan’s borders will reopen
The biggest thing to know is that the borders to Japan are closed to tourists. Sadly, we don’t know when the borders are planned to re-open.
For updates on the entry back, I recommend checking your Government’s website and the JNTO website for updates on what’s happening with tourism to Japan.
My personal thoughts are I don’t see tourism opening up until at the earliest fall 2021, but like everything this past year, we have no idea. This is simply a guess on my part based on vaccine rollout in Japan.
Update: The Japanese Government has stated that overseas spectators are excluded from attending the Summer Olympics. To me, this sounds like we won’t see tourism opening back up this summer.
Park tickets are tough to buy right now
Once tourism is re-open to Japan, I expect the process to buy tickets to become easier and similar to what it was before.
Here’s a quick summary on how to buy Tokyo Disneyland tickets:
- Tickets are available 30-days in advance and go on sale on specific days/times in Japan
- Only 1-day tickets are available
- You aren’t able to buy tickets at the gates or other third parties such as Klook or Voyagin (more on that in a moment)
- Buying tickets through the app only works in Japanese (the English version of the app won’t display the option)
- To buy tickets through the app (in Japanese only) you’ll need a credit card that has the 3D secure code and it may or may not work (it’s hit or miss)
- Guests at Disney Hotels are able to buy tickets for the day after their check-in only
Some travel agencies within Japan such as JTB may have park tickets available. As for your credit card, if you’re buying through the Japanese app, you’re best to have a Japanese credit card. A foreign credit card may not work (chances are it won’t as many Explorers have reported issues).
Tokyo Disneyland & Tokyo DisneySea close early
Both the Parks have reduced hours from opening later and closing earlier. The hours have been changing based on the situation within Japan, so it’s always best to check ahead of time for Park hours.
Tickets are also tough to buy because of the reduced capacity at both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea.
There’s no FastPass right now
Attractions aren’t offering FastPass for the time being. We’re not sure if it’ll make a return eventually or not.
Instead of a FastPass, you’ll need to use what’s called a Standby Pass. Where you select a return time for select attractions through the official app. Think of it similar to the MaxPass option at Disneyland, except it’s free.
The difference between the FastPass and Standby Pass is:
- The Standby Pass is the only way to experience certain attractions (no standby line)
- Certain times of the day (or lower crowd levels) may see the Standby Pass featured turned off (meaning it’s a regular standby) line
Read more about the Standby Pass and what attractions use it on the Tokyo Disney Resort website.
To make things even more complicated, a few attractions use what’s called the “Entry Request”:
- Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast
- Happy Ride with Baymax
- Minnie’s Style Studio
In order to ride the above attractions you’ll make an entry request through the official Tokyo Disney Resort app. Think of it like a lottery to to see if you’re able to ride or not.
If you don’t win this “entry request” you’re unable to ride the attraction. Sounds fun right? I hope this system is only temporary. Of the 4 times, I’ve been to Tokyo Disneyland, I’ve “won” the entry request once.
Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea have limited options for entertainment. This includes stage shows, parades, fireworks, and character greetings. I’m not sure when we’ll see the return of all regular entertainment either.
The most notable pieces of entertainment missing right now are “Dreaming Up!” and “Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights” at Tokyo Disneyland. Along with “Big Band Beat” and “Song of Mirage” at Tokyo DisneySea.
What entertainment is there?
Both Parks have short parades or shows, known as “greetings”, where characters come out for a few minutes. They wave, dance, and that’s all. Yeah, I know. It’s not much.
There’s a lot of changes at the Parks and I hope many of these are temporary. We’ll do our best to keep you updated as things change at Tokyo Disneyland.
Do you have any questions? Drop them in the comments!
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