UPDATE: This guide is no longer updated. Read our new guide to Christmas at Tokyo Disney Resort.
Starting November 8 until December 25th, 2016, Tokyo Disney Resort transforms into a winter wonderland for their annual Christmas event—Christmas Fantasy at Tokyo Disneyland and Christmas Wishes at Tokyo DisneySea! From savory and sweet food selections, seasonal entertainment, and irresistible merchandise.
Follow our guide for Christmas and get the most out of your trip during one of my favourite times of the year!
Differences from Other Disney Parks
Traditionally Christmas is not celebrated in Japan but has made its way over in the form of marketing, much like Halloween. December 25th is a date night for many couples in Japan and heading to Tokyo DisneySea is a “tradition” among many couples. Notable differences inside the parks are:
- As with most seasonal events, all entertainment is included in your park ticket
- There is no Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
- Haunted Mansion becomes the Haunted Mansion Holiday (similar to Disneyland Resort)
- Fireworks are above both parks and not just over Cinderella Castle
- Christmas Day is not too busy, except in the evening when couples are going on dates
- Both Parks offer a limited time food menu and merchandise, while the Disney Hotels offer limited food menu items:
When to Visit
Christmas starts at the beginning of November, which is a favourable time to visit weather wise. With an average temperature of 12C (54F). December is cooler with the average of 8C (46F). I recommend you read our guide to staying warm.
If you want to experience both Halloween and Christmas at the parks, the end of October and beginning of November is the best time to visit. You need to split your visit over the course of two weeks. Christmas begins—on average—a week after Halloween ends (October 31). Check the event schedule before booking!
Christmas Day is date night—as mentioned above—which fills up reservations for table service restaurants. We recommend making reservations 30-days in advance (our full dining guide explains how to do this). Other than that, the park is not crowded on that day, unless it falls on a weekend (which it does for 2016).
The worst time to visit are the national holidays in November and December which are:
For crowd calendar forecasts we recommend TDRNavi.jp.
Both Parks offer a variety of entertainment options for the Christmas season, both during the day and in the evening. Here are our recommendations:
- Christmas Stories at Tokyo Disneyland (daytime)
- Perfect Christmas at Tokyo DisneySea (daytime)
- Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights Christmas Version (nighttime)
- Colors of Christmas ~Nighttime Wish~ at Tokyo DisneySea (nighttime)
The crowd favourite “Country Bear Jamboree Jingle Bell Jamboree” returns for a limited time to Tokyo Disneyland as well. Don’t worry, Happiness is Here also runs during this time at Tokyo Disneyland!
Check showtimes in the Park guides, which are available in English at the entrance to the park.
One of my favourite parts of seasonal events is all the delicious food to try. Christmas is no exception, and there is no shortage of what to stuff your face with. Options range from adorable and Instagram-worthy desserts to full meals at select restaurants. There’s a ton of food to cover, so I won’t list it here but you can check them out for Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, the Disney Hotels, and Duffy.
My recommendations for food are:
- BBQ and Mozzarella Pizza at Tokyo Disneyland (it looks like a Christmas tree!)
- Hazelnut Tipo Torta
- Cookie Sandwich
- Apple Cinnamon Hot Drink
Both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea offer unique merchandise which aligns with the theme for Christmas. In addition, resort-wide merchandise is also available. Most items (excluding Duffy the Disney Bear) is available at Bon Vonyage—which is just outside the Maihama train station.
Here’s a quick list of typical items:
- Plush keychains of Disney Characters from the seasonal shows
- Ear Headbands
- Disney Pins
- Tomica & Nanoblocks
- Smartphone cases (iPhone & Android Devices)
- Small Christmas Trees
- Cup & Saucer set
Not every year is the same as the last. Minor updates to the shows and food to a complete overhaul of the theme. Here’s a look at the years past:
- Christmas 2015
Recommendations & Tips
Here are our recommendations to make the best out of Christmas at the Parks:
- Gorge on the Christmas Cuisine at the Sailing Day Buffet. Arrive early to lower wait times, around 10-11am is best.
- Experience Disney Christmas Stories & Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights
- Watch the Country Bear Jamboree Jingle Bell Jamboree
- Enjoy the hot apple cinnamon drink
- Buy yourself the Mr. Potato Head Santa Popcorn Bucket
- Watch Perfect Christmas & Colors of Christmas ~Nighttime Wish~ at Tokyo DisneySea
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