Announcement

Collapse
See more
See less

In desperate need of lots of planning help

Collapse

Get Away Today

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • [Question] In desperate need of lots of planning help

    Over the past several years I have read some Tokyo Disney trip reports, thinking someday we would get there. Well, as of last week "someday" is in two months and I am feeling pretty panicked. My most immediate question is where to stay. We will arrive at Disney from Kyoto on Sunday, July 5 (hopefully arriving mid-afternoon so we can fit in one of the parks that evening), stay overnight, spend all day Monday, July 6 in the park(s), and then travel to Tokyo Monday evening.

    So, my first question is, where should we -- myself and my 15-year-old twin daughters -- stay Sunday night? I definitely want to take advantage of the 15-minute early entrance, but the question is, at which park? It seems to me that Disneyland has more that we must see first thing or not at all, whereas DisneySea seems slightly more manageable if we are there only in the evening, especially since we are fine with using the single-rider line. So if we are going to use our 15-minute head-start at Disneyland, which hotel should we choose?

    My other big-picture planning question is what time would we have to arrive on Sunday to make it worthwhile to go to one of the parks? It looks like both are open until 10 pm, but I would guess that all fastpasses (I assume Tokyo is still using the old fastpass system?) will be gone by midafternoon and lines will be super long -- will we just be frustrated if we enter in the late afternoon?

    Help please!
    Last edited by AmyAnne; 05-08-2015, 03:06 PM.

  • #2
    Re: In desperate need of lots of planning help

    First tip - Allow more time. You're going at a busy time and giving yourself an evening and part of the next day (since you said you're leaving to go back into Tokyo that night).

    Recipe for disaster and disappointment.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: In desperate need of lots of planning help

      TDS - Absolutely more time would be better but it's really, truly not possible this trip. I've talked with my daughters and they are fully aware that we will not get to do everything - or even close to everything - but we all agree that we want to go anyway. I think it will help that we have been to WDW in Orlando many times -- from ten-day trips where we did get to see everything to two-day trips for conferences where we just had a few afternoons in the parks. We are all excited that we squeezed this time out of the trip and so now I just want to try to maximize the time we do have. We do have to leave Monday night but we could stay until the parks close (if we last that long).

      My tentative plan is DisneySea on Sunday afternoon/evening and Disneyland on Monday morning, with the option of returning to DisneySea Monday afternoon/evening. My reasoning is that more DisneySea rides have single-rider lines. But I am quite sure there are aspects of this plan I am not realizing at this moment.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: In desperate need of lots of planning help

        Personally, I'd say if you've been to WDW so many times, I'd spend the Monday at TDS.

        I was there two weeks ago and, to be honest, not that many more attractions have SRLs. The main one is Indy and you SHOULD make use of that to ride AS MANY times as possible, especially if you have not been to DL in Anaheim too often.

        Then, if HH and MI are MUST DO's for you, since they're unique to TDR, you WILL want to do TDL on the Monday.

        I just feel that TDS is SUCH an amazing park and SUCH a great place to just BE IN< it'd be a shame not to spend as much time there as possible.

        Please ask any questions but unfortunately, this particular issue comes down to personal preference.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: In desperate need of lots of planning help

          Are you only interested in attractions? Were you interested at all in the parades and shows? TDR has some of the best entertainment offerings of all Disney Parks. If you plan to watch some parades and shows you should factor them into your decision making.

          Did you know the parks close precisely at 10PM? There are no late or extra magic hours like the US parks. This limits the hours you have in the parks.

          Know the ticketing options available. There are not one or two day parkhopper tickets. There are promotions at the official Disney hotels to purchase one day parkhoppers but I'm not sure as to when those are available. There are also After 6 and Starlight passports which may be an option.

          Weekend days are very crowded. TDS is a better choice for Sunday in my opinion.

          Pick out your "must do's" and just go with the flow. Don't stress if you can't do everything.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: In desperate need of lots of planning help

            Thanks for the input. I have been looking mostly at the rides but will also consider parades and shows. Any advice about specific shows? TDR does seem to have a lot - in my trip-report reading I recall thinking that the revised Little mermaid show sounded intriguing but I can't recall any other specific ones. Is there a comprehensive list of rides/shows at each of the parks?

            Also, why is MiraCosta the hardest hotel to get a reservation at? Just wondering what the advantage of staying there is. We definitely will stay at one of the on-site hotels, for the 15-minute early entrance and also, if my research is correct, for the opportunity to purchase length-of-stay park-hopper tickets.

            Thanks again for the input - I am starting to feel slightly less panicked!

            Edited to add some more random questions I have come up with in the past few hours of internet reading:

            I read somewhere about lining up for the Queen of Hearts restaurant's opening at 3 pm - is this still the correct opening time? Any place I could find restaurant hours for the parks?

            I noticed that there is a Dumbo ride in Disneyland - in my trip report reading I have not come across anyone mentioning riding this, which makes me wonder if it's not as popular in Tokyo as it is in the US. When my daughters were younger, it was our very first ride of the day, otherwise the line would be super long (and no fastpasses).
            Last edited by AmyAnne; 05-09-2015, 12:21 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: In desperate need of lots of planning help

              Big Band Beat in TDS is a very good show. It's a tribute to jazz and swing from the '20's to the '40's. The show is about half an hour and features Disney characters and some very talented performers. I took my partner who is NOT a theatre/show person and he loved it, so that says a lot! Plus, it's worth it to see Mickey on the drums.




              As far as I recall, the QoH Banquet Hall was open for lunch as well. We only ever did dinner there but I remember walking past several times during different times of the day and CMs being stationed out the front beckoning people inside.

              As for Dumbo - I guess people aren't mentioning it because, at the end of the day, it's just Dumbo - a spinner. If you REALLY want to ride it for sentimental reasons, that of course is completely your choice but I'd say, considering the extremely limited time you have and the fact you'll be in a park with HH and MI, you'd do better to place your priorities on attractions unique to TDR. Especially if you're a regular visitor to WDW and can ride Dumbo whenever you want. It just seems a bit unusual to be considering getting a ride in on Dumbo when HH is adjacent and SUCH an amazing attraction!

              Besides, depending on when you go, Dumbo may be closed and in the process of being moved for the refurbishment, so this all may be moot.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: In desperate need of lots of planning help

                I have done exactly what you are doing (just not at that time of year). I once even did both Parks in one day. You're going for the novelty of it. And won't get to experience it all or even in depth, but you'll get just enough taste to see how magical and wonderful these Parks are.

                When you arrive--buy your tickets. You won't be able to Park Hop. So make a decision before hand on what day you want to visit what Park.

                Hotel: If you've got tons of money then I'd stay at the Disneyland Hotel. But to be honest, 15 mins is not going to make or break the trip. I'd recommend the Sheraton for a more cost efficient option. Do arrive at the Parks at least 45-1hr before gates open. That's a must!!!!! Seriously!

                Sunday--I'd do TDS. Catch Fantasmic (it's diferent than the US versions) at night and really just plan on walking around and enjoying the Park when you get there in the afternoon. Take it all in. It's got fewer rides. It's very different from the other Disney Parks--and don't expect the magic that the Magic Kingdom has. It's not character heavy. Stay until closing. You can single rider Indy, and if you have a chance catch the new Little Mermaid Show--but I'm going to guess you're going to have to queue up pretty early for that one-so you might not want to waste your time. But definitely visit Mermaid Lagoon--it's amazing! Don't waste your time at the restaurants. Enjoy the Park and eat at odd times-Cape Cod is generally where I grab a quick bite. Other rides to definitely try and hit: Journey to the Center of the Earth, 20k Leagues under the sea and Sinbad. Definitely tho--walk around, take it all in and shop--almost every store is unique and sells different merchandise.

                Monday-TDL. Get there early as I said before. Once you enter...Get a fastpass for Monsters Inc, and then head immediately to Pooh's Honey Hunt. Then go around the Park to any MUST DOs that your family enjoys. You'll have until about 11am-12noon before lines will become extremely long. Again, I'd skip the restaurants and keep it fast. But Queen of Hearts is good if you hit it right when it opens--but you can also experience it just by walking in--it's worth a walk through at the very least. You must ABSOLUTELY see the Parade Happiness is Here--it's fantastic and puts the US parades to shame. Make sure to shop--everything is so unique. I once brought back two suitcases filled with stuff, sold it all on ebay and seriously paid for my trip. It's amazing how great the merchandise is compared to the US Parks.

                You will have an great time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: In desperate need of lots of planning help

                  There are not many attractions at DisneySea. If you stay until park closing (and skip the badly done Fantasmic) you should be able to hit all the major attractions with no problem. The only Single Rider entry is at Indiana Jones (though I never do Raging Spirits). You should have no problem. Avoid Toy Story Mania: everyone else will be running in that direction to stand on a three-hour line for a ride you've done many times at Walt Disney World (and it's the same). Have lunch at the Nautilus Galley on the lower level of Mysterious Island: turkey leg and--even better--fabulous gyoza and beer, and you're sitting right next to the Nautilus.

                  Tokyo Disneyland is an entirely different story: it takes two or three days to hit everything at that park, and you MUST be online 45 minutes before the gates go up in the morning. The advice above about Monday morning is good. Monsters Inc FastPass, then ride Pooh, then Big Thunder Mountain, when your FastPass window opens, immediately get one for Haunted Mansion or Space Mountain. Pirates will be a walk-on in the evening, so wait to ride it. Try to ride the Western River Railroad. There are a lot more things to see around the river than there are at any of the US parks.
                  When it gets crowded, do the Mark Twain, Country Bears (they still do three different shows a year there!), Tiki Room, Swiss Family Treehouse.
                  Skip Buzz Lightyear, Philharmagic, and the Fantasyland dark rides--you've seen those and they're essentially the same as in the states. (Except on the dark rides the vehicles zip through at about twice the speed.)
                  Try to do the revamped Jungle Cruise at night: it's great. Should be the one thing you have to wait 45 minutes in line for.
                  And do Single Rider for Splash Mountain!
                  If you eat at the Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall, do it at 10:30 am. If you've gotten up early enough, it'll feel like lunch time and you won't have to wait in line.
                  Born in a shoebox and making the most of it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: In desperate need of lots of planning help

                    I would NOT skip Fantasmic. It is unique to Tokyo and good or bad still the biggest show in Japan.Focus on what is unique to Disney in Japan. Skip all the small shows in Japanese, not because they are in Japanese but because they SUCK. Do not stand in long lines for snacks. Buy popcorn where you see short lines. Focus on main rides and and main shows.

                    Remember to go on rides as people leave the park for the night.

                    I have done most highlights in the parks when they have been mega packed and so can you. Enjoy
                    Last edited by TimmyTimmyTimmy; 05-10-2015, 03:14 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: In desperate need of lots of planning help

                      I don't think Mystic Rhythms (now closed) sucked.
                      And most folks really enjoyed the old Mermaid show (which is easy to get into because the theater is so big); I assume the new Mermaid show is worth seeing at least once.
                      Born in a shoebox and making the most of it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: In desperate need of lots of planning help

                        Thanks for all of the helpful replies. I am something of a planning perfectionist, which is making it hard to deal with the very limited time we have, but I keep reminding myself that we will be at Disney in Tokyo and we will get to ride some things and experience the awesome atmosphere -- and I once made the brilliant decision to take my kids to the Magic Kingdom on Christmas Day, so whatever happens this trip it will be better than that experience.

                        Regarding Dumbo -- no, we replaced that as the first ride of the trip a while ago, but I recall so much planning advice for WDW saying that you must do Dumbo first thing or be prepared to skip it that I was just surprised that I had not read anything about Dumbo in TDL.

                        Regarding staying onsite -- I might not spend the money if the 15-minute early entrance was the only benefit, but it seems -- and someone please correct me if I am wrong -- that a second benefit is that we can buy park-hopper tickets for the length of our (very short) stay. I am guessing that this would be a cheaper option than just buying two separate one-day tickets and using them both on Monday, so we can do one park in the morning and one in the evening. Anyone with thoughts about this?

                        My tentative plan is to do TDL on Monday morning/afternoon and TDS on Sunday evening and Monday evening. A couple of reasons for this plan - I have read a lot about the atmosphere at TDS at might, and there seems to be a greater advantage to being at the park when (before) it opens for TDL. Keeping in mind our very limited time, I think our must-sees for TDS are Journey to the Center of the Earth, 20K Leagues Under the Sea, Tower of Terror, and Sinbad's Storybook Voyage. I know this leaves out a lot of awesome things but all the more reason to come back . . . I think we could do those four things, plus have time to just wander around and observe, in two evenings.

                        Regarding food -- we are going to only do counter-service given the limited time. Eating at Queen of Hearts at 10:30 am would be perfect, if it's open then --any chance that it would be open only for dinner? For TDS, would you choose Nautilus Galley or Vulcania? Other suggestions?

                        Regarding the hotel -- both MiraCosta and the Disneyland Hotel have availability. If we do stick with the plan to do TDL Monday morning, is the Disneyland Hotel the obvious choice?

                        That's a lot of questions, so I think I will post my tentative touring plan for our morning/afternoon at TDL in a new topic.

                        Thanks again for the help!
                        Last edited by AmyAnne; 05-10-2015, 12:49 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: In desperate need of lots of planning help

                          I've done many after 6 entrances to Tokyo Disneyland and had great experiences. If you skip Once Upon a Time and the Electrical Parade, you can ride Pooh's Hunny Hunt and Monster's Inc. Ride and Go Seek at 40-60 minute waits. If you move quickly, you can see all of the attractions unique to the park.

                          I'd spend the full day at DisneySea. It's unique and you'll feel rushed if you don't have a full day to really discover all of it.

                          Edit: After seeing your tentative plans, I don't want to sway you too much. This is my two cents, but do what you feel.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: In desperate need of lots of planning help

                            In TDS, The Nautilus Galley is good for a quick snack- The gyoza is good, I'm not a fan of Turkey legs, but they are popular.

                            I love Vulcania for lunch or dinner- its basically buffeteria style and won't take up very much time- but the atmosphere is great.

                            I've also eaten in the Yukatan Base in the Lost Continent and in the Arabian Coast- both are very good.

                            Queen of Hearts is my favorite in TDL, I believe it's open all day, so eating at off times would be best and I also love the pork buns at Boiler Bites and some things at China Voyager between New Orleans/Adventureland areas. Grandma Sara's in Critter country is good tool.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: In desperate need of lots of planning help

                              On one visit, we entered the park near 3 pm and went with the idea of "we'll just do what we can" and we had a wonderful time. It was awesome just to walk around the park, take in the sights and sounds, jump on whatever we could. Of course, this was the first day of what was a 4 day trip, so we knew we'd have the opportunity to revisit those things we missed.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Re: In desperate need of lots of planning help

                                Not sure if the Park Hoppers option is available any more. Once when I was there they had it, but then the next time they didn't. Might just be seasonal and promotional. So double check that before you finalize your plan.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Re: In desperate need of lots of planning help

                                  Both times I've stayed at the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel they offered park hoppers for a slightly higher fee.

                                  If you want to find out, call the hotel and ask! Many of the staff speak English.
                                  Born in a shoebox and making the most of it.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Re: In desperate need of lots of planning help

                                    Originally posted by Fukai View Post
                                    Both times I've stayed at the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel they offered park hoppers for a slightly higher fee.

                                    If you want to find out, call the hotel and ask! Many of the staff speak English.
                                    Fukai reminded me of a good point -- yes, I highly recommend calling the Reservations number. I read somewhere that there may be rooms available that you won't see if you try to book online.

                                    Comment

                                    Working...
                                    X