This guide breaks down the best and worst times to visit Tokyo Disneyland & Tokyo DisneySea. We take into account holidays, weather, construction, and seasonal events. I’ll talk about the best times to visit in 2018 and general advice to help you decide when to visit in the future.
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Table of Contents
- Things to Know
- When to Visit in 2018
- When to Visit in 2019
- When to Visit in 2020
- Best Months to Visit
- My Favourite Times to Visit
Things to Know
Before we begin, I want to stress that there is no absolute best time to visit. There are times which are better than others of course. I designed this guide to help you make the right decision. Now that’s out-of-the-way, let’s begin.
Major public holidays are usually the busiest time of year, and off-peak or shoulder seasons tend to save your sanity. But because the Japanese calendar of public holidays differs greatly from North America (and even Europe), what might be the low season at other parks could be an extremely busy time at the Tokyo Disney Resort.
Here’s a simple list of tips:
- Avoid weekends and national holidays
- Best days to visit are Tuesday through Friday
- Mondays are generally the busier weekday
- Always buy your tickets in advance to save yourself time
- Always prepare yourself for crowds (you’ll thank me)
- Crowds are always heavier in the morning so it’s best to get there early
The best piece of advice I can give is to always check the crowd calendar. This helps you see if the dates you chose are busy or not.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the months (details are on the “Best Months to Visit” section)
- Busy Months
- End of December into the first week of January
- End of April into the first week of May
- Lower Crowds
- After Golden Week in May
- Comfortable Weather
Every month of the year has a seasonal event that brings merchandise, food, entertainment, and decorations. Here’s a list of the seasonal events. The beginning of an event is always busy. Merchandise and food typically come out a week before the start of the event which also increases the crowds a bit.
- New Years
- Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Fantasy
- Pixar Playtime
- Duffy’s Heartwarming Days
- Tanabata Days
When to Visit in 2018
Please keep in mind that the attraction closure schedule for 2019 is released in November/December 2018. Until then we don’t know what is closed for 2019. Expect some sort of closures in January/February and May/June for maintenance, but this is no guarantee.
There are a few things to consider if you’re thinking about visiting in 2018:
- Construction of the new Beauty and the Beast area goes until 2020
- Soarin’ opens in 2019 (no specific date)
- Renovations of the Tokyo Disneyland entrance start in 2018
- The Tokyo Disneyland 35th Anniversary is on now through March 25, 2019
See our update on the construction at Tokyo Disneyland for Spring 2018.
If you’re saving up money and vacation time for a once-in-a-lifetime trip then I’d considering waiting until 2020. It’s also worth noting that Super Mario World at Universal Studios Japan opens in 2020. Even if you decide to visit before then, there’s still tons to experience.
Closures in 2018
Attraction, show closures, and refurbishment schedule are important to take into account. Always double-check the official website for the full and most up-to-date list. Here are the major closures (popular attractions are in bold):
- Journey to the Center of the Earth: May 7, 2018 – July 20, 2018
- Toy Story Mania!: June 4, 2018 – June 24, 2018
Best Times in 2018
For those visiting in 2018, here are my suggestions for the best time to visit. Taking into account weather, events, closures, and construction.
- After April 15 but before April 29 (Golden Week)
- Beginning of the Tokyo Disney Resort 35th “Happiest Celebration!”
- Mild weather and a chance to see Cherry Blooms (Sakura)
- The only downside is the closure of Pooh’s Hunny Hunt (April 2, 2018 – May 1, 2018)
- Tanabata Days until July 7
- Natsu Matsuri (Tokyo Disneyland) & Disney Pirates Summer (Tokyo DisneySea) starts July 10 until September 2
- The debut of new entertainment at Tokyo Disneyland & Tokyo DisneySea
- Journey to the Center of the Earth reopens July 20
- The only downside is the weather is hot and humid
The reason for July is the debut of three new entertainment options at both parks and that’s when Journey to the Center of the Earth reopens after a long refurbishment (May 7, 2018, until July 20, 2018). Disney Pirates Summer is some of the best fun you’ll have at the park and I highly recommend it. Visit before the last week of July to avoid the summer school holidays.
October / November
- Halloween: September 11, 2018 – October 31, 2018
- Christmas: November 8, 2018 – December 25, 2018
- No major closures
- If you time it right and experience Halloween & Christmas with a split visit
I normally recommend visiting in May after Golden Week, but in 2018 there are two major attractions closed (Journey to the Center of the Earth and Tower of Terror). If you don’t care to ride these two attractions, then this is an excellent time to visit. Otherwise, I’d consider April, July, October, or November.
Decorations for Christmas start going up on November 1, while it’s not the full decorations, you’ll have a chance to see the Parks in transition into Christmas. This is true for most events that are back to back, once on ends the next one begins going up with decorations.
When to Visit in 2019
For those visiting in 2019, here are my suggestions for the best times to visit. I’ll update this section as more closures and seasonal event dates are announced. The 2019 Rugby World Cup is on from September 20 to November 2, 2019. This may affect crowd levels during that time (keep an eye on the crowd calendar).
There is a special case where the Emporer of Japan is expected to abdicate on April 30. This could result in Golden Week in April (one of the biggest holidays in Japan) to become a 10-day holiday. This means it could last from April 27 through May 6, 2019.
- Before April 27
- Mild weather and chance to see Cherry Blossoms at Tokyo Disney Resort and around Tokyo
- After May 6
- A chance to enjoy the Easter Events
October / November
- A chance to experience both Halloween and Christmas with a split visit
When to Visit in 2020
In 2020 we’ll see the summer Olympics in Tokyo in August. While it’s hard to predict right crowds right now, expect them to start before and after the Olympics. Read our “Should I Visit Tokyo in 2020” article for more insight on this.
Best Months to Visit
Here’s a summary of every month of the year. Each month is given one of three labels to help you see what to expect that month. Remember to always check the crowd calendar for your specific dates. This is a genearl guide and you can apply it to any year you’re visiting.
- ✅ Best: ideal for lower crowds, nice weather, and events
- ❌ Avoid: not ideal due to larger crowds and hot or cold weather
- ⚠ Hit or Miss: Depends mostly on the weather
- Average temperature: 5°C (41°F)
- Crowds are high until January 5 (afterward is the start of the low season)
- Average temperature: 6°C (43°F)
- The cold temperatures and unpredictable crowds due to student discounts
- Average temperature: 9°C (48°F)
- Spring break for students and the added student discounts make for large crowds
- Average temperature: 14°C (57°F)
- Warmer weather and chances to see Cherry Blossoms (Sakura)
- Visit before April 29 to avoid the start of Golden Week
- Average temperature: 18°C (64°F)
- The best month for lower crowds and comfortable weather
- Visit after May 5 (Golden Week)
- Average temperature: 21°C (70°F)
- Rainy Season
- Hit or miss because some years it doesn’t rain much while others it’s non-stop for weeks
- Average temperature: 25°C (77°F)
- Heat and humidity may bother some
- Crowds are lower at the beginning of the month and pickup at the end due to summer vacation
- Average temperature: 26°C (79°F)
- Hot and humid
- Summer holidays and Obon Week bring park capacity crowds
- Average temperature: 23°C (73°F)
- Summer vacation is over and the crowds are lower
- Average temperature: 18°C (64°F)
- Typhoon Season
- Typhoons bring high winds and tons of rain which lowers the crowds
- Parks are still open during most Typhoons (indoor attractions still run)
- Average temperature: 12°C (54°F)
- Cooler weather
- Average temperature: 8°C (46°F)
- Cold weather
- Avoid after December 25 due to New Years Holidays
My Favourite Times to Visit
January: After the New Years crowds are gone is one of my favourite times to visit. The weather is cold, but being Canadian, I love it. Everything feels fresh and is one of the few times in the year to experience the Parks with no events (until the winter ones begin later in the month).Sitting outside on the S.S. Columbia with a hot wine watching the sunset is one of the most relaxing things you can do.
July: I absolutely love the summer events (even though it’s hot). It’s some of the most energetic times of the year with all the shows with spraying water. I’d rather be outside and have water dumped on me than sitting at home in an air-conditioned building. That sound odd, but I adore it.
September: The summer heat subsides and Halloween begins! The crowds are also a bit lower since everyone is back in school.
December: I believe that Tokyo Disney Resort does a phenomenal job at celebrating Christmas, even though it’s not a religious holiday in Japan at all. Similar to January, I love sitting outside at night with a cup of hot wine and watching the Christmas lights twinkle in the winter sky.
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