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  • [Question] Going to TDS in Dec, some suggestions needed.

    Hi, my name is Phil, and I have been reading this board for many years now. I am planning for a trip to Thailand and want to make a stop in Tokyo and see DisneySea on my way to Thailand. So I would appreaciate if I can get some suggestions:

    My itinerary:
    Dec 25, 2009 Fri morning: Depart LAX
    Dec 26, 2009 Sat afternoon: Arrive NRT, see Ginza at night
    Dec 27, 2009 Sun whole day: See popular places in Tokyo
    Dec 28, 2009 Mon whole day: See DisneySea
    Dec 29, 2009 Tue morning: Depart NRT and head for BKK.

    So here are what I'm trying to figure out:
    1. I will not stay at Disney hotels since they will be expensive during holiday season. I am wondering if Shinjuku area hotels will be cheaper since there are fewer business travelers during holidays? I would like to spend no more than US$165 per night per room on hotels. Are there any other areas which I can look into for hotels?

    2. I am not a person into shows, but I adore the Fantasmic show at Disneyland very much. If there is one show I cannot miss at DisneySea, which show would it be and what can I do to secure a good seat?

    3. Is it better (saves more time) to get fastpass at 20,000 league while waiting in line for Journey, or the other way around? and Can I get multiple fastpasses at a time like I do at DCA?

    Thanks!

    Thanks =)
    Last edited by philip; 05-03-2009, 05:24 PM.
    I am the picture guy---A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.

  • #2
    Re: Going to TDS in Dec, some suggestions needed.

    I have posted a recommended business hotel in the TDR planning section here on Micechat.. It's called Hotel Universe.. close to the JR train to TDR (16 mins travel time to the park).. and if you are traveling alone.. it's a good hotel for visiting the parks and located by Hibiya subway station.. making the rest of Tokyo city accessible to reach. Shijuku is a bit too far from TDR and crowded due to the overabundance of shopping, goverment offices and other popular establishments in that area.

    The fact that you mention you are not a "show person" concerns me. TDS has some of the best stage shows ever staged at Disney parks.. I can only recommend to skip "Over the Waves", and make a point of catching all of the other shows there, like "Big Band Beat", "Little Mermaid", and "Mystic Rhythms". Lucky for you there are a few rides at TDS worth checking out as well. And if you are a big Fantasmic! fan, you will be very disappointed with BraviSEAmo!, the nightime lagoon show. Technically impressive, but it is no Fantasmic! and certainly not as engaging a show to watch.. especially if you are not familiar with it's storyline.. At least "Legend of Mythica" the afternoon lagoon show, is full of eye candy. That you may enjoy more I would think.

    In regards to Fastpasses.. you can run to 20K and get a Fastpass, and probably do stand by for JTTCOTE...assuming you do this as soon as the park opens, but everytime you get a Fastpass, you will have to wait on average 2 hours before being able to get the next one. That is the usual block out time. The only way you could do well with Fastpass is by showing up at TDS early (at least 45 mins before opening time) and as soon as you enter the park, start getting fastpasses as soon as the system lockout is lifted for the next one.. Most popular FP right now at TDS is the TOT one... followed by the JTTCOTE and 20K...

    Finally.. plan for crowds. You are going at the end of the year... and usually many japanese are on time off. I know TDL gets a lot of people over those days and I assume TDS does as well.

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    • #3
      Re: Going to TDS in Dec, some suggestions needed.

      My wife and I like to stay in Shinagawa at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel. It's centrally located for visiting Tokyo and is right across the street from the train station. Plus it usually ran us about $90-$130 a night (we've stayed there a few times). It is about 35-45 minutes to TDR from the hotel but it's 10 minutes from Ginza and 10 minutes from Shibuya.

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      • #4
        Re: Going to TDS in Dec, some suggestions needed.

        The Shinagawa is a nice spot to stay if you are going to hang out in downtown as well besides TDR. I prefer the Hotel Universe because you totally avoid the mad rush hour crowds to get to/from TDR at rush time.

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        • #5
          Re: Going to TDS in Dec, some suggestions needed.

          We noticed most of the mad rush going the other way in the morning (especially at Tokyo Station). On our second to last trip we decided to get off at the station just South of Tokyo Station and enter Tokyo Station through the Tokyo International Forum. It cost a bit more (but what's a couple bucks in the big picutre) round trip than going into Tokyo Station to change trains because we had to buy two tickets but I bet it saved us 10 minutes in walking and we completely avoided all of the crowds in the morning.

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          • #6
            Re: Going to TDS in Dec, some suggestions needed.

            Great information guys - top notch local 'insight'

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            • #7

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              • #8
                Re: Going to TDS in Dec, some suggestions needed.

                Thanks everyone for your valuable suggestions.

                After checking with 2 travel agents, Expedia, and 6 airline websites, I realized that I will have to fly at least 2 different airlines on my trip to Tokyo and Thailand due to my very specific flight time requirement, and this will make my flight tickets extremely expensive. So I have decided to just go to Thailand this year.

                I will keep your suggestions in mind when I make my travel plan to TDS next time. Thanks !!
                I am the picture guy---A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.

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                • #9
                  Re: Going to TDS in Dec, some suggestions needed.

                  Well TDL fan basically summed it up, have a good trip philip!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Going to TDS in Dec, some suggestions needed.

                    Originally posted by TDLFAN View Post
                    The fact that you mention you are not a "show person" concerns me. TDS has some of the best stage shows ever staged at Disney parks.. I can only recommend to skip "Over the Waves", and make a point of catching all of the other shows there, like "Big Band Beat", "Little Mermaid", and "Mystic Rhythms". Lucky for you there are a few rides at TDS worth checking out as well. And if you are a big Fantasmic! fan, you will be very disappointed with BraviSEAmo!, the nightime lagoon show. Technically impressive, but it is no Fantasmic! and certainly not as engaging a show to watch.. especially if you are not familiar with it's storyline.. At least "Legend of Mythica" the afternoon lagoon show, is full of eye candy. That you may enjoy more I would think.

                    Finally.. plan for crowds. You are going at the end of the year... and usually many japanese are on time off. I know TDL gets a lot of people over those days and I assume TDS does as well.
                    I agree with TDLFAN wholeheartedly. If you don't live here, a trip to TDS without shows is really an opportunity missed. I disagree about his advice to skip Over the Waves, though. Especially at Christmas, I think that's not a show to be missed. It has such a great story, fun costumes and incredible staging. You can even "guest star" in it with a special tour package! I think of all the shows, it most closely approaches that of a true, narrative musical. That said, it is definitely the most Japanese-language intense of the shows, so maybe he was thinking rightly that people who understood little to no Japanese would enjoy it the least. I'm not really sure. Anyone who totally doesn't understand Japanese and has seen it care to chime in?^^

                    Both Over the Waves and Big Band Beat have special Christmas versions, if that makes a difference. Big Band Beat during the Christmas season is insanely, ridiculously, unbelievably popular. Be warned. If you want to see it, they usually allow people to line up two or three hours before each show time, with queues for two shows running at once. And people do indeed wait the whole time. Some people watch it all day, rotating queues! The only way to see it is to wait in line, so I'd advise buying snacks and using this as your "break time" instead of going to a restaurant. Buy one of those plastic "leisure sheets" ("lay-jaah shee-tto"^^) in the parks or bring one with you to sit on. You can get a FastPass for Little Mermaid, and Mystic Rhythms usually doesn't have much if any wait time. Both actually seemed less busy during Christmas, too, perhaps due to the popularity of the customized Christmas season shows.

                    I also think TDLFAN is right on about Mythica having more "going on" than BraviSEAmo!, but I love BraviSEAmo! because it reminds me of the "Firebird Suite" from Fantasia 2000. I have never seen Fantasmic!, though, so I don't have the same context.

                    Don't forget to buy the special Christmas version "smiling" Duffy bear if he's still available in Aunt Peg's or McDuck's. Last year, though, he was sold out well before December 25. Perhaps before December. Since you're coming after Christmas Day, it's true that most Japanese people will have started their New Year's holidays. BUT last year I thought DisneySea (i didn't go to TDL much) was MUCH busier before the 25, especially in November. After that, the crowds seemed to die down a bit before New Year's. My memory is often unreliable, though.:blush:

                    Have a great trip!^^

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                    • #11
                      Re: Going to TDS in Dec, some suggestions needed.

                      Sorry you'll miss DisneySea this time.

                      I can second TDLFAN's recommendation of the Hotel Universe. Single rooms are about $88 a night and, although basic, a good value (and you always have a private bathroom and shower). Just stayed there in April.
                      Born in a shoebox and making the most of it.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Going to TDS in Dec, some suggestions needed.

                        Christmas at DisneySea is extra magical. I love all the shows there...each one more unique than the next. But if I had to choose one that must not be missed it would be Big Band Beat.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Going to TDS in Dec, some suggestions needed.

                          I've always preferred Halloween at the Tokyo Disney Resort over Christmas.
                          Born in a shoebox and making the most of it.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Going to TDS in Dec, some suggestions needed.

                            Originally posted by Fukai View Post
                            I've always preferred Halloween at the Tokyo Disney Resort over Christmas.
                            It seems to me that most Japanese Guests prefer Halloween while overseas folks like the Christmas season. I'm looking forward to Halloween this year, as it'll be my first one!

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                            • #15
                              Re: Going to TDS in Dec, some suggestions needed.

                              I like them both, simply because the halloween and Xmas events at WDW are so stale.

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