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  • [Question] Best Time(s) Of Year To Visit

    I've perused a few older threads discussing this topic, but most of are in the context of "we can visit during X month or Y month, which should we pick?"

    We have a blank slate--which months of the year are least busy?

    It seems there is a lot of misinformation out there. Most sites I've read say January and early February are good (albeit cold) months to visit. Some say October is a good choice, although TDLFAN (who is an expert in this area, it seems) has said October is busy because of Halloween. We'd love to visit around Christmas to see those decorations, but I've heard that's another busy season.

    I plan on taking a lot of photos during the trip. I've noticed there aren't many good photos of Tokyo out there (maybe I just haven't found them, I know the Japanese love photography), and many photos have ugly blown out white skies. I'm assuming the sky is often overcast, and the puffy clouds/blue skies that are prevalent in Orlando (but rare in Anaheim) are also rare in Tokyo? Are certain months better than others for nice blue skies?
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  • #2
    Re: Best Time(s) Of Year To Visit

    ok if you wanna see the christmas decorations and not wanna deal with those damned crowds either visit the first week of december or maybe on january 2nd or 3rd this year i visited on the 2nd and it was EMPTY! (partly due to rain but still fun nonetheless) but if you wanna enjoy regular Disneyland, visit in feb or september

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    • #3
      Re: Best Time(s) Of Year To Visit

      ^Thanks, that's pretty helpful. Subsequent to posting this, I found a couple of crowd calendars. After reviewing this one: it looks like crowds aren't too bad that first week (weekdays) of December. That is, assuming the number in the middle of the calendar is the crowd level, and lower is better. Also assuming that calendar is accurate. I can't get it to properly translate in Google Translate.
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      • #4
        Re: Best Time(s) Of Year To Visit

        Originally posted by WDWFigment View Post
        I've noticed there aren't many good photos of Tokyo out there (maybe I just haven't found them, I know the Japanese love photography), and many photos have ugly blown out white skies. I'm assuming the sky is often overcast, and the puffy clouds/blue skies that are prevalent in Orlando (but rare in Anaheim) are also rare in Tokyo? Are certain months better than others for nice blue skies?
        The sky is very often like that. Even when the sun shines the sky looks a bit... pale.

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        • #5
          Re: Best Time(s) Of Year To Visit

          Originally posted by TimmyTimmyTimmy View Post
          The sky is very often like that. Even when the sun shines the sky looks a bit... pale.
          The weather was great over the past few days. Here is one of the thousands of photos I took. More to come next month when I get back home from my trip.

          (Click for a bigger image)


          Click image for larger version

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          • #6
            Re: Best Time(s) Of Year To Visit

            Originally posted by WDWFigment View Post
            It seems there is a lot of misinformation out there. Most sites I've read say January and early February are good (albeit cold) months to visit. Some say October is a good choice, although TDLFAN (who is an expert in this area, it seems) has said October is busy because of Halloween. We'd love to visit around Christmas to see those decorations, but I've heard that's another busy season.
            Yes Halloween and Christmas are busy seasons at the Tokyo parks. Sadly TDLFAN doesn't post here anymore (his account was suspended), but he did travel to the Tokyo parks often (several times a year), so he did know a lot about the different events going on and whatnot.

            I plan on taking a lot of photos during the trip. I've noticed there aren't many good photos of Tokyo out there (maybe I just haven't found them, I know the Japanese love photography), and many photos have ugly blown out white skies. I'm assuming the sky is often overcast, and the puffy clouds/blue skies that are prevalent in Orlando (but rare in Anaheim) are also rare in Tokyo? Are certain months better than others for nice blue skies?
            You should look for Lurkyloo's trip report on here. She went to Tokyo for 2 or 3 weeks earlier this year and besides visiting TDR, she visited tons of places in Tokyo in the city and took LOTS of photos. It's really quite an epic trip report.

            As for the overcast sky.... It rains in Japan over 200 days a year. So overcast skies are pretty normal and a nice, sunny day is somewhat rare from what I've heard. But don't let that stop you!

            BTW, Florida's rainy season is from June through usually August, though this year it went through most of September as well. However, once October started, it's been BEAUTIFUL! Hardly a cloud in the sky and only a few rainy/overcast days scattered here and there. From now through most of May, we'll have gorgeous weather and clear blue sky most days. I've had days at WDW where the sky is the most amazing blue.

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            • #7
              Re: Best Time(s) Of Year To Visit

              I would highly recommend the week just following Golden Week. This is a major holiday in Japan culminating on Children's Day (May 5th). As long as you arrive on or after May 6th, you'll find light crowds. You'll miss the cherry blossoms, but arrive in time to see the azalea bushes in full bloom. Just another time period to add to your list!
              Drop another coin in slot and I will tell you more.

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              • #8
                Re: Best Time(s) Of Year To Visit

                From talking to many people it sounds like some of the best times crowd wise are in Jan/Feb (but it is cold) and in May (but avoid holidays like Esmeralda said). As far as blue skies... we were there for over a week in the summer and there were only a few days that we really saw any blue... and it was still a grayish blue... these are some the "best" skies I was able to get :/





                Have a magical day!
                Jon

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                • #9
                  Re: Best Time(s) Of Year To Visit

                  I wanted to mention, in case you didn't know already, that camera tripods of any kind are not allowed in the Tokyo Disney parks anymore. This is even printed on the guide maps under things you're not allowed to bring into the parks.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Best Time(s) Of Year To Visit

                    I'm going to suggest early December as well. Crowds will be low and the parks will be decorated for Christmas.

                    However, it can get REALLY cold, so be prepared. The last time I was at TDL was the 2nd week of December and I froze my dusty buns. But it was still a great trip!
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                    • #11
                      Re: Best Time(s) Of Year To Visit

                      I'd add that DisneySea is one of the few theme parks where the theming fits overcast/rainy skies. What may be a bust in WDW or DLR is not necessarily so bad there.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Best Time(s) Of Year To Visit

                        Thanks, everyone. I think we're going to tentatively plan on early December. I'm from Michigan, so I'm fairly used to cold weather. No big deal there.

                        I had read about the tripod situation at Tokyo Disneyland. Irritating, but it sounds like it's out of necessity due to recordings of the live entertainment. I'm going to try to get press access from the OLC to shoot before or after operating hours, but failing that, I'll likely rent a Nikon D3s (or the next gen version if it's out by next year) for the trip.

                        I wasn't aware that you had been to TDR, Jon! I guess I shouldn't be too surprised, it seems like you're always at one of the worldwide parks!
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                        • #13
                          Re: Best Time(s) Of Year To Visit

                          First two weeks of December during the week (ALWAYS avoid weekends any time of year) are good, and the last two weeks of April (after the kids have gone back to school, but BEFORE Golden Week) are empty. And the weather is better. You'll have a great time either way.
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                          • #14
                            Re: Best Time(s) Of Year To Visit

                            Originally posted by Esmeralda View Post
                            I would highly recommend the week just following Golden Week. This is a major holiday in Japan culminating on Children's Day (May 5th). As long as you arrive on or after May 6th, you'll find light crowds. You'll miss the cherry blossoms, but arrive in time to see the azalea bushes in full bloom. Just another time period to add to your list!
                            I agree w/ Esmeralda. This is a very nice time of the year in Tokyo and much of Japan weather-wise. And like someone else mentioned, the week before is pretty good, too.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Best Time(s) Of Year To Visit

                              In 2008, I was at TDL on Oct 31 and it was busy, but a lot of fun. I knew it was going to be busy and had planned plenty of days at the resort, that it was enjoyable on Oct. 31. Nov 1 we went into Tokyo and site see, then Dec 4th (or something like that) we headed back the resort to see the Christmas decor. It was pretty quite. It was nice to see both holidays.
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