New Year’s is the most important holiday in Japan (also Tokyo Disney Resort) known as oshougatsu (お正月). It’s a period where families come together and celebrate the holiday (typically January 1 to 3). While a lot of businesses are closed, Tokyo Disney Resort is busy celebrating New Year’s with their shortest event of the year! The New Year’s Event runs from Sunday, January 1, 2023 to Monday, January 16, 2023, at Tokyo Disneyland & Tokyo DisneySea.
This guide highlights the best aspects of New Year’s at both parks, including what to expect for weather and crowds, and my tips and recommendations to make the most out of your trip. This event is unique to Tokyo Disney Resort and you won’t experience it at any other Disney park. While the event itself is rather short, it’s worth visiting if you’re in Japan at the time (just like Tanabata Days).
Table of Contents
Things to Know
Here are key points to know about New Year’s at Tokyo Disney Resort:
- Decorations go up after the Christmas event ends (December 25) at both Tokyo Disneyland & Tokyo DisneySea
- Decorations will come down after January 16 2023.
- Unlike in previous years, there will be no overnight party at either park.
- The merchandise comes out in late November and lasts until early-miid-January
- New Year’s is the shortest event at Tokyo Disney Resort
(Read More: Buy your tickets for Tokyo Disneyland in advance and save time & money)
Best Time to Visit for New Year’s at Tokyo Disney Resort
Since the event is so short, the best time to visit is any day during the event. Since this is a holiday period, all days are busy (check the crowd calendar). The temperature in January is rather cold at an average of 5°C (41°F). You’ll want to wear layers and stay warm, especially during the evenings.
If you have to choose a day to visit, then make it January 1. May as well start off the year right!
During the New Year’s Event at both Parks, you’ll find a “New Year’s Greeting.” At Tokyo Disneyland, this is a short parade and Tokyo DisneySea is a short show in the Mediterranean Harbour. Mickey and friends come out in traditional Japanese Kimonos, one of the only times of the year you’ll see this type of attire. The first show at both Parks on January 1, typically has the Tokyo Disney Resort Ambassador in the show too.
The greeting at Tokyo Disneyland is short, so you can show up anywhere along the parade route about 10-15 minutes in advance and still get a decent view. It’s not worth waiting for that much longer.
The New Year’s Greeting on the Mediterranean Harbor is only done on a single boat that zips around the harbour and stops at three points (in front of Zambini Brothers’ Ristorante, Mickey Square, and Lido Isle). The show is short and it’s tough to see the characters unless you have a telephoto lens. If you want a prime spot, then you’ll want to get there at least 30 minutes in advance.
Food (Available December 26, 2022)
Even for such a short event, there’s limited-time food available at both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. Some items are available only during the New Year’s Event while others are available longer. Sweetheart Cafe is offering a black honey jelly & knako mousse, while Restaurant Hokusai is offering a delicious-looking Zoni bowl.
New Year’s Tokyo Disney Resort 2023 Merchandise (Available Until January 15, 2023)
Each year the merchandise is themed to the Chinese Zodiac of the New Year. 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit, so naturally, this year’s collection features Disney rabbits including Thumper from Bambi, Judy Hopps from Zootopia and White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, along with Disney characters dressed in bunny costumes.
Most of these items are available from November 24, until January 15, 2023. All items are available at both Parks, Bon Voyage, and Resort Hotels.
The small figure known as a “Daruma” is considered a symbol of good luck and perseverance. Traditionally the eyes are blank and you’ll fill in the left eye and leave the right blank. You’ll set yourself a goal and once that goal is achieved, you’ll fill in the right eye. The ones sold at Tokyo Disney Resort don’t come with blank eyes but they’re still adorable and the perfect unique souvenir from the Parks.
In addition to merchandise, guests can collect a New Year-themed Disney Resort Line ticket from the automatic ticket vending machines at each monorail station.
Tips & Recommendations
Follow my tips and you’ll be more than ready for New Year’s in the parks:
- Check the times for the New Year’s Greetings to make sure you don’t miss them ( they’re usually 2-3 times a day)
- Photo spots in front of decorations (entrance) have long lines, so do it early in the day
- Everything in this guide is also available on our podcast. Subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher
- The Japanese “Today Guide” is limited from January 1 to around January 9 (and changes every year) which makes for a unique souvenir
- Grab a Japanese Today Guide at the turnstiles to see the latest photos of food and merchandise (and watch our videos on YouTube for English explanations)
- Always buy your tickets in advance to avoid long lines at the park
Here’s a look at New Year’s events in previous years at Tokyo Disney Resort.
Images courtesy of Tokyo Disney Resort
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
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