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The kids woke up happily knowing they will head to Disneyland this morning. After buying food for breakfast at Lawson on the hotel lobby level, I purchased 3 days pass for Disneyland & Disneysea at the concierge. The price at that time was 13,800 Yen for adult and 9,500 Yen for childen under 11, free admission for children under 4. The hotel concierge also handed me the shuttle bus schedule from the hotel (Oriental Tokyo Bay) to the Tokyo Disney Resort. Although we were planning to spend 4 days at TDR, we purchased 3 days pass to have more flexibility (just in case 3 days is enough) since the upgrade from 3 days to 4 days pass will cost the same as a 4 days pass.
After breakfast, we went down to the shuttle pick up area. A small queue was already formed there. After a couple of minutes, the bus arrived and off we went to Tokyo Disney Resort
Stopping at the bus stop platform at Disneyland, we rushed to the entrance to find there were already several long queues. It was before the park open on Monday… So it will be very wise to buy your park ticket elsewhere, unless you want to take 2 queues, one for the ticket, and afterward, one for the entrance.
The park theme was special “Happiness is Here” since it was TDR 30th anniversary. There’s many decoration & merchandise commemorating the occasion.
Entering the park, my wife stayed behind near the entrance so the children can has their breakfast, while I ran to get Pooh Honey Hunt fast pass. I arrived there only to see another long queue. At 9.15am I finally got the fast pass to enter the ride later at 2pm. By the time I finished getting our fast pass, my wife and the kids were already waiting at the front of Grand Circuit Raceway nearby.
Grand Circuit Raceway,
2 persons in each car, the cars run on tracks and automatically stop when it get to close to another car in front of it, so there’s no chance of collision. We control the accelerator pedal and the steering wheel. My children love this ride very much.
2 persons on each plane which circling around quite fast, we have the control to ascend or descend our plane. My younger kids love this ride. We can’t chose which plane we want to ride ride since it’s already been assigned on Pilot Pass distributed when we took the elevator to the 2nd floor.
Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters,
2 persons in each vehicle, each assigned a laser gun to shoot at the targets. Both kids love it since they already familiar with the Toy Story movie.
The average queuing time for the rides was around 20-30 minutes that morning.
We then stop for a while to have lunch of burgers in the shape of Mickey’s head and fries at Tomorrowland Terrace. The food price is quite reasonable at TDR fast food restaurants. The table service restaurants are much more expensive.
After that we ride the Grand Circuit Raceway again.
Followed by :
Mickey’s PhilharMagic 4D Theater,
A 4D theater, we wear 3D glasses, there will be sprinkles of water, scent of food, blowing wind, etc. The movie is the same as the one in Hongkong Disneyland.
Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
We just sit back in a vehicle (for 4 persons) and watch the diorama of Pinocchio stories as we moved along the track.
Alice’s Tea Party
A whirling spinning ride in a tea cup, fun for the boys, not so much for the parents 🙂
The little boy loves it. The big boy said it was boring, but remember big boy, you asked to take this ride several times 4 years ago in HKDL
These rides queue are more agreeable though.
Pooh Honey Hunt
Then off we go to use our fast pass. The normal queue time is expected to be around 75 minutes according to the sign at the front of the ride, but since we utilized the fast pass, we can enter in a couple of minutes. The ride was really fun, much much better than the HKDL version.
Exiting the ride, it’s already nap time for the little boy, we looked for a place shaded by trees so my wife can get the little boy to sleep on his stroller, while I took the big boy to continue with the rides :
Without fast pass, we spent around 1 hour before finally board the roller coaster, but we have no choice since the ride will be close for maintenance starting tomorrow. The boy said the ride was a bit scary but really exciting.
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
A 4D ride showing part of Star Wars movie. There’s several different movie parts, so we might get different parts everytime we take the ride. The boy also loves it (me, a star wars fans? no need to ask)
Afterwards, joining the little boy and my wife again, we had dinner at Plaza Restaurant.
After dinner we took these rides :
Peter Pan’s Flight
Similar to Pinocchio, but the vehicle is a “flying boat” and the story is Peter Pan which took us to the Neverland, including the fight with Captain Hook.
Dumbo The Flying Elephant
Circling around inside the flying dumbo, as in Star Jets, we can control the ascend and descend.
Afterwards we decided to join the crowd which already neatly & orderly taking strategic sitting positions along the parade route and enjoying the TDR famous popcorn as we wait for the parade to begin. There’s so many popcorn flavor to choose from, from the common flavor such as salty, butter, strawberry, caramel, to the more unusual ones like curry, black pepper, and soy sauce. We can get it in a box for 300 Yen, or buy the fancy popcorn bucket (in various shapes and themes) priced around 2000 Yen.
We paced ourselves rather slow today because we have a least a couple of days more to explore Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disneysea, so on day 1 we only cover Tomorrowland and Fantasyland.
When the “Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights” began, I really admired the Japanese crowd, nobody standing to take picture (thus blocking the view of people behind them) or hustling to get in front. Really well behave and discipline crowd here.
The parade was exciting, colorful and bright, with very nice music. We enjoyed it very much. Almost every Disney characters appeared, from the classic one like Mickey and friends, the Disney Princess, Alice, Peter Pan, and Pinocchio to the newer one such as Toy Story, Aladin, and Monster Inc.
After the parade, we were thinking to wait for the firework, but eventually decided to head back to the hotel since we all already tired and we thought we can watch it later (a decision which turned out to be a “big” mistake eventually – coming soon).
So we headed back to the assigned bus stop, waiting for our shuttle to bring us back to the hotel.
Notes & tips :
- Tokyo Disneyland is very children friendly, almost all area can be access by baby stroller, and there’s many baby stroller parking space near the rides.
- Avoid having lunch and dinner at peak hour, better come a bit early or later than normal eating hour to get faster service & it will be much easier to find vacant tables.
- Although they are very friendly, we found many cast members cannot speak fluent English. Some
- Plan & utilize your fast pass wisely. People in Japan are very knowledgeable about fast pass. In our experience, fast pass for popular rides usually are all gone by 3 pm.
- Pay attention the TDR official website for temporary closure of rides and shows. During our visit, Space Mountain only open on day 1, while Monster Inc only start to operate on day 3.
- Disney characters might be found roaming around for a shortwhile for photo opportunity outside the official photo spot. You can waste 1-2 hours of queuing time to take photos with Disney Characters at official photo spot. During our visit we met some characters at Disneyland entrance shortly after opening hour, at Toontown, at Disneysea entrance, at Port Discovery, and at Mermaid Lagoon.
Better yet if you can spend extra yen for character dining, in which the Disney characters will approach each table for photo opportunity.