One question that I get quite a bit is “If I can only choose one park should I visit Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea?” There are a few reasons for this type of question:
- Limited time in Tokyo (layover or weekend trip)
- Japan itinerary only allows one day
- Limited budget
Let’s take the stress out of this decision for you. I’ll give you excellent reasons to choose one over the other (if you can only visit one). Once you know which park you’re going to, study our best trip planning articles.
Before we get to the reasons to choose one over the other, I know how to visit both parks in one day. Let’s take a look at that first.
Why Not Both?
It is possible to visit both parks on the same day, but it’ll take some planning. Tokyo Disney Resort doesn’t offer a 1-Day Park Hopper (read more about park tickets in our guide), but there is a way around this.
- Buy a “1-Day Passport” for Tokyo DisneySea
- Buy an “After 6 Passport” (weekdays only) for Tokyo Disneyland
- Buy at the park on the same day or beforehand at a Disney Store in Tokyo, Ticket Center in Ikspiari, or Official Website
This way you’re able to enjoy everything Tokyo DisneySea has to offer during the day, then head over to Tokyo Disneyland after 18:00 (6 PM). Tokyo Disneyland has more in terms of entertainment in the evening with Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights (usually at 19:30) and the nighttime castle show.
After the shows at Tokyo Disneyland, ride Pooh’s Hunny Hunt at least once (depends on crowds). A lot of the attraction wait times are lower when it reaches close to park closing.
Here’s the cost breakdown:
- 1-Day Passport (Adult): ¥7,400 ($66USD)
- After 6 Passport (Adult): ¥4,200 ($37USD)
- Total: ¥11,600 ($103USD)
To give you a reference for this method costs less than a Regular 1-Day Park Hopper at Disneyland Resort ($165USD) or Walt Disney World ($170USD). Even if you bought two 1-Day Passports (Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea) the cost is still cheaper at $132USD, but I wouldn’t bother doing that.
If cost doesn’t bother you, then this is an excellent option to see both parks in one day.
There’s a “Starlight Passport” for after 15:00 on weekends and holidays (there is no After 6 Passport), but I wouldn’t suggest doing that as the weekends and holidays are busy in most cases and I don’t believe the cost justifies the little you’ll be able to do.
Tokyo Disneyland is the first Disney Park that opened outside the US in 1983 which takes the best of both the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World and the original Disneyland in Anaheim to create a unique yet familiar experience.
You should choose Tokyo Disneyland if you:
- Never visited a Disney Park before (start with the classic to get familiar)
- You’re a fan of the classic attractions
- Have small children who are fans of the classic Disney Characters (or you’re one yourself)
- Are on a budget as the park is a quick walk from the train station (no need to pay for the monorail)
- Want to experience one of the best shows at Tokyo Disney Resort — Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights
- Want to experience one of their best attractions — Pooh’s Hunny Hunt
Tokyo DisneySea is the second gate at Tokyo Disney Resort that opened in 2001 and is often called the best Disney Park in the world. It’s the only one of its kind in the world and offers an experience you’ll only find in Japan.
You should choose Tokyo DisneySea if you:
- Want a one of a kind experience you won’t find anywhere else
- Have visited most of the other “Magic Kingdom” type parks (meaning skipping Tokyo Disneyland is OK)
- Are a foodie and want to try all the delicious snacks and outstanding restaurants
- Are a photographer and want those gorgeous photos you always see on Instagram
- Are taking that special someone on a date
- Want to experience their best attraction — Journey to the Center of the Earth
- Want to see one of the best shows at any Disney Park — Big Band Beat
What do my fellow Explorers think? Could you add any more items to the list?
Are you planning a trip to Japan?
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