Winter Low Season at Tokyo Disneyland

One of the first things you think of when planning for Tokyo Disney Resort is, “When should I visit.” We have a full guide that explains when and the best/worst times to visit.

Believe it or not, there are periods when Tokyo Disney Resort is not busy and practically empty (some days). We are asked when the slowest times are or if there is an off-peak season. You’re in luck; I will explain everything and give you enough information to decide if the off-peak winter season is a good time to visit! Also, when are the best times for the chances of snow?

When is the Winter Slow Season?

Anna and Elsa Frozen Fantasy World Bazaar Tokyo Disneyland
Frozen Fantasy was a winter event at Tokyo Disneyland from 2015 to 2018.

The winter slow season starts in January and runs through to mid-February. However, the first week of January is the New Year (usually January 1 to 5), and the parks are quite busy (everyone is on holiday until the end of the first week).

The absolute slowest times are in January, whereas in February, the crowds tend to be hit or miss (still slower than the busier times). 

After the New Year, the crowds drop. If you check our recommended Tokyo Disneyland Crowd Calendar, you see light crowds. January and February bring lighter crowds (although most weekends are busy). Then, once March hits, the crowds pick up due to the changing school year in Japan, which is around mid-March (depending on the school).

The crowds are not always low, however. The resort has events from January to March to help offset the lower crowds. The Grand Finale of the 35th Anniversary at Tokyo Disneyland and Pixar Playtime and Duffy’s Heartwarming Days at Tokyo DisneySea. There’s even a special version of Tower of Terror, titled “Tower of Terror: Unlimited.” This version adds two randomized sequences in addition to the normal one.

What’s the Weather Like?

Snow at Tokyo DisneySea

To keep it simple, it’s cold, and it may snow or blizzard on rare ocassions. Snow is a rare occurrence, so the chances of it happening during your trip are pure luck and chance. But the best chances are mid-January and February when it’s the coldest.

It can drop close to freezing in the evenings in January and February (O°C or 32°F). During the day, it can get to around 8-10°C (46-52°F). Once you add the wind, it’s rather unpleasant unless you’re prepared. In December, the weather begins to drop, and then in March, it begins to warm up again.

Read our guide on keeping yourself warm during this cold time of year.

Cheaper Flights

Flights during this period are a prime time for seat sales, so watch for those. I have seen flights from major airports in the US for as low as $400 USD round-trip and about $700 from Canada and Australia. Read our full guide to cheap flights to Japan. My favourite places to check are Google Flights and Skyscanner.

What to Expect During the Winter Slow Season

Journey to the Center of the Earth Wait time Slow Season Tokyo DisneySea
  • Early closing times
  • There is no lottery for shows.
  • Short waits to ride attractions
  • Watch out for attraction closures and refurbishments
  • There is no seasonal entertainment, but it is easy to watch regular parades or shows with no waiting

There are a few key points to be aware of if you decide to visit during this time. The first is reduced hours during weekdays. This fluctuates, so you’re best to check the official website for the park hours. The park(s) can open as late as 10:00 AM and close as early as 6:00 or 7:00 PM.

Refurbishments of shops, shows, restaurants, and attractions begin during this time, too. Check the closures guide to see the most up-to-date list.

Some days, the lottery for shows such as One Man’s Dream II and Big Band Beat isn’t needed. That means you don’t need to win the lottery to see the show; you can wait in standby and get in.

Pooh's Hunny Hunt Wait Time Slow Season Tokyo Disneyland

The wait times across the board are lower on average. Popular attractions such as Pooh’s Hunny Hunt and Monster’s Inc. at Tokyo Disneyland have waits under an hour. At the same time, Toy Story Mania at Tokyo DisneySea gets as low as an hour (which is low for this attraction). Later in the evening, many attractions may become a walk-on on colder days.

For the outdoor shows, you won’t have to wait for 60 minutes to get a decent spot. You can often show up between 30 minutes after the show has begun to get a good spot. Remember, it’ll be cold while you’re waiting, so bundle up! Read our guides for Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea for tips and recommendations for entertainment.

When is the Best Time to Visit?

Space Mountain Wait Time Slow Season Tokyo Disneyland

If you’re keen on travelling during this season with minimal crowds, then mid to end of January is, on average, the lowest crowds. But this also means it’s cold and unpleasant weather in the evenings.

Should I Visit?

Tower of Terror FastPass Tokyo DisneySea
FastPasses can last all day on cold days with short hours.

You’re asking yourself if you should visit. If you want to do as many attractions and shows as possible with minimal wait, this is an excellent time to do so — as long as you don’t mind the cold. Take advantage of those lower wait times and crowd levels. Just be mindful of closures and the crowd calendar (such as public holidays, which are always busy no matter what time of the year).

Low Season Tokyo Disneyland Pinterest

More Things to Do in Tokyo

My recommendations for things to do in and around Tokyo! Plan a day at the Hello Kitty theme park, Sanrio Puroland, and an afternoon at the popular TeamLab Planets TOKYO. Take a tour around Tokyo with the convenient hop-on and-off bus. Spend a rainy afternoon inside Japan’s largest indoor theme park, Tokyo Joyoplis, near Tokyo Disney!

More on Tokyo Disney Resort

Tokyo Disney Resort Guidebook

Are you planning a trip to Tokyo Disney Resort? If so, you need our digital guidebook! Our guidebook is the most comprehensive resource available, covering everything you need to know about the park, including tickets, hotels, restaurants, attractions, shows, seasonal events, and more! With our guidebook, you’ll be an expert on Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea before you even set foot in the Parks. You’ll know what to expect, where to go, and what to do. You’ll also be able to avoid the crowds and make the most of your time.

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Get tickets for Tokyo Disney Resort

Buying your tickets for Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea ahead of time is vital. Read our comprehensive guide on tickets to learn how to purchase tickets. For recommendations on SIM cards, portable Wi-Fi devices, travel insurance, cheap flights, and hotel bookings, read our travel resources page.

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