Tokyo Disneyland New Year’s Day 2019 Trip Report

Happy New Year, Explorers! Just like that, 2018 is over and we’re into 2019. How did we celebrate the first day (January 1, 2019) of the new year? Paid a visit to Tokyo Disney Resort, of course! Watching Mickey, Minnie and Friends celebrate the new year in their traditional Japanese attire is always a special treat.

OLC invited us to Press Day for the New Year’s Event, which is happening now through January 6, 2019, at both Parks. Read all the details here.


The first week of January is always incredibly busy due to the New Year’s holiday (school, work, etc). This day was no exception. The crowds were high at both parks and the queue to get through bag check and turnstiles took a good 10-15 minutes. The attraction wait times weren’t terribly high, compared to a weekend. My guess is since normal guests were allowed into the Parks since 02:00, that helped a bit.

New Year's Day Security Line Tokyo Disneyland

Bag check getting into Tokyo Disneyland from the Monorail Station

New Year's Day Tokyo Disneyland Parking Lot Full

You don’t see this part of the parking lot at Tokyo Disneyland used too often

From what I could see, the crowds were mostly waiting for the New Year’s Greetings (I’ll talk about those in a moment), restaurants, and shopping. We waited about an hour to get our photo with the Pumbaa decoration at the entrance to the World Bazaar at Tokyo Disneyland and about 15-minutes at Tokyo DisneySea.

Tokyo DisneySea New Year's Entrance Decoration

Tokyo DisneySea New Year’s Decoration at the Entrance

If you check the crowd calendar you’ll see the first week of January is incredibly busy. For first time visitors, I don’t recommend visiting at this time.

Start off 2019 right by planning your trip to Japan with our choice of premium and free travel guides!

New Year’s Greetings

The New Year’s event is one of the few times during the year where you’re able to see Mickey and Friends in traditional Japanese kimono. The other is Tanabata Days (Yukata) and the summer event. This is called a “greeting” but it’s not a character greeting. Instead, it’s a mini parade with the characters. Think of it as a “drive-by waving.”

Tokyo DisneySea New Year's 2019 Greeting

Both Tokyo Disneyland & Tokyo DisneySea have these greetings a couple of times during the day. The main reason it’s so busy in the morning is the new Ambassador makes an appearance during the parade. For 2019/2020, Ayumi Noguchi (野口 歩美) is the Tokyo Disney Resort Ambassador.

We got to watch the greetings at both Parks (see my clips below). It was rather busy for the first performances, with guests waiting an hour before show time.


Even for such a short event, there are some delicious things to stuff your face with. The strawberry mousse with souvenir mug is one of my favourites and I get one each year. The design always changes to show the current zodiac. Pumbaa, Timon, and Simba have beautiful artwork on this year’s mug. The dessert is always fantastic and makes for an ideal light snack.

New Year's 2019 Souvenir Mug Tokyo Disneyland DisneySea Front

Front design

New Year's 2019 Souvenir Mug Tokyo Disneyland DisneySea Back

Back design

To end our day (we were up at 05:30), we made our way over to the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel. The Dreamer’s Lounge, inside the hotel, was offering a dessert aptly named “Year End & New Year” Dessert Medley. I always love the seasonal desserts at the hotel lounges. Not only do they look phenomenal, but the flavour is also always top-notch.

Year End & New Year Dessert Medley Tokyo Disneyland

Thank you to OLC for providing the souvenir mug for us.


The merchandise for the New Year’s event came out on November 30. I went and took a look through the shops to see what was left. The plush badges (keychains) with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, & Chip ‘n’ Dale were all gone from what I saw. The other items were low in stock too.

New Years is a short but sweet event at the Parks. I enjoy the event since it’s something you’ll only ever experience in Japan and the character costumes are wonderful. The only downside is the crowds are high since everyone in Japan is off on holidays for that week.

Watch our day at the Parks in our New Year’s Day 2019 vlog below!

Are you planning a trip to Japan?

Take the anxiety out of planning a trip to Japan with our premium ebook travel guides on Tokyo Disney Resort & Universal Studios Japan. Our guides have everything you need to know from the best times to visit, what hotel to choose, what to do, what to eat, and tons more! With nearly 2000 copies sold, our premium guides have become an essential tool for Explorers!

Get all your discount tickets for Tokyo Disneyland, Robot Restaurant, Universal Studios Japan, and more through our tickets page (includes an exclusive discount code). For my personal recommendations on SIM cards, portable wi-fi devices, travel insurance, cheap flights, and hotel bookings, read our travel resources page.

Do you love exclusive and early access to content? Support us on Patreon as it helps us continue bringing you free and continuous content to help you plan your trip.

Make sure to follow us on social media to stay updated on everything Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Shanghai! Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Some links may be affiliate links to services I recommend. At no extra cost to you, buying services through these links help support TDR Explorer. Please read our full disclosure for more details.


1 comment

Add yours

+ Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.