Deciding what to pack when going on a trip is almost as stressful as deciding when and where to go! While everyone has their own preferences for those day-to-day items you pack like clothes and toiletries, allow me to relieve some of the stress by providing you a list of items I typically bring with me when I visit Tokyo Disney Resort. Many of these are dependent on the weather and time of year (don’t worry – I have them broken into categories for you), but they all make for a much more enjoyable day in the parks! Some items sound completely bizarre, but bring them and we can guarantee you’ll be more comfortable.
While many of these you can buy before your trip, a few items are best to buy when you get here (such as Daiso Japan)! Our criteria for these items are ones that are easy to carry/pack or you can buy it in Japan after you arrive.
These items are perfect for any time of the year. While some of these are optional, you’ll notice many other guests at the parks toting these along.
Battery Charger – No matter how long your cell phone battery says it’s good to last for, you rarely want to leave your hotel or apartment in Japan without a battery charger. Not only does it keep your phone charged, but if you are carrying a pocket Wifi, it can charge that, too (along with any other USB-powered devices you might have on you.) You can buy this before you leave or wait and buy an adorable Disney one at Yodobashi Camera or Loft in Japan!
Walking Shoes – You will do a ton of walking, and nothing makes me cranky faster than terrible shoes. I am a huge fan of New Balance and swear by them. They are incredibly popular in Japan. We recommend buying them before your trip and breaking them in.
Tote Bag – You will need a bag to carry all your Tokyo Disney Survival Items with you. I am a huge fan of carrying a tote bag, as it allows quick and easy access to everything in your bag. Also, compared to a backpack, it’s quick and easy to stow away when you are going on attractions. If you can wait until you arrive at the Resort, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the choice of tote bags at the park stores. They change out almost every month, which means there will be something there you will like. If you want to save some money, check out the 50% off section at any of the Disney Stores in Japan, which usually have totes bags.
Refillable Water Bottle – Keeping hydrated is the difference between a fantastic day to a headache filled “wish I had drunk more water” type of day. Bring yourself a nice sized water bottle and refill it throughout the day. The water fountains inside the restaurants are the best place to do this, as the water is usually colder. If you wish to save some money, simply reuse a plastic water bottle you bought earlier.
Leisure Sheet – Now, this one may seem a bit strange, but hear me out. While waiting for a parade or show, you will notice people sitting on plastic picnic-blanket style sheets on the ground. These are “leisure sheets” – and are very popular with local Tokyo Disney Resort fans. You don’t want to sit on the bare ground do you? Didn’t think so, head on over to Daiso (or buy one at the resort) and pick yourself up a “leisure sheet”. It is also perfect for those days where it was raining too.
Plastic Folder for Park Maps – Instead of stuffing your pack maps into your pocket or bag then finding them in a crumpled mess, put them in a plastic folder! You can find these at Daiso (they sometimes carry Disney themed ones) or right at the resort. I used to think it was silly, but I found it made life easier when I did not have to fight with trying to pull the park map out of my bag.
Body Wipes – No matter the time of the year you will sweat. If you are spending the entire day at the resort, sometimes you want to freshen up. They come in a variety of scents from citrus to rose petals. Pick up some body wipes from 7-11 or Daiso.
Hand Towel – Water taps throughout Japan run cold, even in the winter. After washing your hands in the restroom with cold water, it is nice to dry them with your own hand towel. There are hand dryers, but nothing beats drying your hands with a nice towel, especially in the winter. Use it to also dry yourself off from sweat in the summer. Everyone carries one, so you won’t feel out-of-place.
Duffy, ShellieMay, or Gelatoni – Love him or not, Duffy reigns supreme at the Tokyo resort. Bring your Duffy bear decked out in the latest fashion and carry him around with you all day. You’ll see people from age 5 to age 65 doing this, so no matter who you are, you will blend right in with everyone else.
Disney Flare – If Duffy is not your thing, you can find plush badges, hats, sunglasses, scarves, etc. to show your Disney fandom. Everyone does it, you might as well too! I am a huge fan of dressing up as your favourite character. It’s also a great chance to show off your fantastic pin lanyard you collect if you’re a regular at the US parks.
Winter in Japan is cold compared where the US Parks are located. If you come from a warmer climate then you are in for a bit of a shock. Even for those of us from colder climates (shout out to my fellow Canadians!), it is still a good idea to pack some of these items, you won’t be sorry.
Heat Tech Undershirt – Uniqlo has this amazing undershirt called Heat tech which helps hold your body heat. It is thin and light, which makes it perfect to fit under anything you are wearing. If you find yourself visiting in the winter, these are a must. Conversely, if you already have Under Armour heatgear, this is a perfect place to layer up with it.
Hand Warmers – Taking your gloves off and on constantly is a hassle. Pick up these small disposable hand warmers and never have cold fingers again. They feel amazing inside your pockets of your jacket, while waiting for the next showing of Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights. During the winter months these are available everywhere, including Daiso.
Shoe Warmers – These are like hand warmers, but for your shoes! I used to think theses were silly and unnecessary, but after slipping them into my shoes on a cold day I can never go back. Nothing worse than cold toes.
Similar to the Florida heat, summer in Japan gets incredibly hot and humid. These few items are always with me, and they should be with you too. Not only do they help keep you cool, they also help keep you safe in the heat.
Cooling Towel – If you only take one thing with you during the summer months (besides a water bottle of course) make it a cooling towel. This spectacular invention keeps you cool when the towel is wet. After it dries, you simply soak it again in cold water and you are back in business. The Disney Store sells rather expensive versions, so I recommend buying them online. That way you have them with you as soon as you land.
Cooling Pad – These little pads stick to your body and keep you cool for hours on end. While they are small, they are perfect to apply to various areas on your body. Such as the back of your neck or your forehead (although you might look a little silly with it on your forehead in public – use the cooling towel for that instead). Again, it’s one of those bizarre items but trust me – you won’t regret it.
Cooling Spray – Take this spray and apply it to your clothes or towel to help cool yourself off instantly. While it does not last very long (a minute or two), it does not get you wet like the towel can.
In Japan, rain can come about in a gentle mist or a torrential downpour which lasts for days. Being soggy will ruin your day at the parks – but a few ways to keep dry.
Poncho – Bring a poncho on rainy days. If you’re visiting during the rainy season in June, bring a pack on your luggage. If you find the weather changes drastically while you are visiting, you can pick them up at any store or in the parks. Be aware that the ponchos in the parks are expensive.
Umbrella – Everyone uses umbrellas when it rains here, and some times it will rain for hours. Best pick up a cheap clear plastic one from Daiso or any convenience store for about ¥500. If you love umbrellas and don’t mind spending a bit of money on them, we have a favourite Disney-themed one you might want to get and take home with you!
Where to Buy
Many of these items are available throughout Japan. Convenience stores such as 7-11, Lawson, and FamilyMart carry many of the items on this list. Daiso is Japan’s version of the dollar store (called 100 yen shop) and has stores throughout Japan. The closest Daiso to Tokyo Disney Resort is in Shin-Uyarasu, which is one train stop away.
If you do not feel like carrying everything with you around all day, there are an abundance of storage lockers both inside and outside the parks and by Maihama station. Lockers inside the parks fill up quicker than the others, but it does provide quick access if the weather suddenly changes and you need to grab something!
Follow this packing list and you are in fantastic shape to enjoy the parks while staying comfortable. Which item(s) do you always bring with you? Let us know in the comments!
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