Monday, 7 September 2015

Tokyo: DisneyLAND or DisneySEA?

We had one day off from sightseeing in Tokyo and instead of a day trip decided to head back to our childhood and experience Toyko Disney! The Tokyo Disney resort is absolutely huge and it is difficult to know where to begin. We were visiting on an amber day so the resort wasn't packed but at the same time wasn't at it's quietest. As a result of this we chose to start with Disneyland. We couldn't pre book tickets online as they did not take any UK debit cards or a MasterCard issued from the UK.

You can walk to Disneyland from the monorail stop, which you take from the center of Tokyo. There was no queue to purchase our tickets or to get through security. We were allowed to take our water and snacks we had packed too, which was great! The ticket was 6,900 JPY per adult for a one day passport, which only allows access to one park; they do not have a park hopper system in Tokyo like they do in Paris.

We headed straight for Tomorrowland, which at 8:30am (the park opens at 8am) was already busy. We quickly fast passed Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters and then hit the rides. We had to queue 20 mins for Star Tours and a similar amount of time for the Grand Circuit Raceway. We also then hopped along to It's a Small World where we waited ten minutes. The fast pass system worked well and we were in quickly for our 10:25am slot. Next up was Mickey's PhilharMagic (even the songs are in Japanese but you get the gist) and we waited about 20 minutes for this. At this point we also fast passed Pooh's Hunny Hunt.

We waited 15 mins for Pinocchio's Daring Journey and then 20 mins for Pirates of the Caribbean before a break for lunch. Lunch is expensive in Disney, it was about £6 for a slice of pizza and a small soft drink but then I guess this is to be expected! We then braved the 80 mins queue for Space Mountain and fast passed Thunder Mountain before taking on the 60 mins queue for Splash Mountain and the 60 mins queue for Monsters Inc. The Big Thunder Mountain did not disappoint and Pooh's Hunny Hunt was great, it was similar to the Ratatouille ride at Disneyland Paris.

After a fantastic 8:30am - 6pm at Disneyland resort we made the massive mistake of taking the monorail to Disney Sea. You have to pay for the Disney monorail, which is super cheeky bearing in mind only Disney guests will use it and bearing in mind the price of a visit to Disney. On arrival there was no queue to buy a 6-10pm pass at 4,200 JPY per adult. We were under the impression that Disney would be calming down now and the pass would be worth it, however, we were very disappointed.

Disney Sea is fantastic, the resort is amazing and absolutely huge. It's incredibly impressive. Journey to the Center of the Earth had a two hour queue, Tower of Terror was 90 mins and StormRider as well as Raging Spirits were 70 mins. Most food vendors had a 20 mins plus queue as well and teenagers were queue jumping by half queuing for the ride and half going for food and then meeting somewhere along the line. We waited just over an hour and a half for Indiana Jones, which was amazing but not really worth such an agonizing wait. All of the fast passes were also allocated by this point so we couldn't benefit from this at all.

We then took up a spot to watch Fantasmic, which was awesome but it wasn't really worth the price of entry for one ride and one show. With painful feet and tired heads we decided at 9pm to call it a night and head back to Tokyo. I really wish the staff selling tickets had told us how busy the park was and at least enabled us to make the decision as opposed to saying it's not too busy. They must have known with those queues we would have been lucky to manage two rides.

All in all Disney Tokyo is incredible and well worth a visit if you have the time! For traditional Disney head to land, you will have a fantastic day. However, Sea is totally unique to Tokyo alone and has some insanely cool rides. If you only have one day to spend head to Sea for sure. Be prepared to queue though, Sea was far busier than Land and I think you would be lucky to manage each big attraction only once.

Whatever you do, have a great time at Disney, it's always excellent to be a big kid for the day and I guess crowds come with these kind of days out! Enjoy!