Short answer: yes, it is*
But, please allow me to elaborate in what we call: A guide to plan your visit to Tokyo Disneyland during spring season. Let’s go!
Before your visit, we recommend checking out this crowd calendar to know which date is best. We ended up changing our planning for Tokyo because we had initially chosen a day to visit the park with estimations to be super crowded. If you can chose, I would recommend at least a “Slightly crowded” or less.
Ok, now for all the good stuff!
Best rides and a good Fast Pass strategy
Although a Disney park is always much more than the attractions (I am more in love with its decor and rides combo) this park has some well-loved rides that you certainly wouldn’t like to miss. Since there’s a big chance that the day you will be visiting will be from medium to very crowded, it is useful to know which rides have a Fast Pass, and how is the best way to get them. Don’t worry, this isn’t too overwhelming, just a nice way to enjoy the park and the rides with a feeling that you haven’t been stuck in the queues.
One of the things we didn’t anticipate was that the jewel of the crown of all the rides in Tokyo Disneyland, Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, may be down for the annual maintenance during Spring. Look at me in the picture before entering into the park, totally clueless and so happy to be able to finally try the famous trackless ride.
This may be your case too if you are visiting during spring, so to avoid a huge disappointment like we had (don’t worry, it didn’t last long because, hey! I was in Tokyo Disneyland!), make sure to check the official calendar, specially for all the rides we are included in this post.
First, you should decide which rides you would like better. We were able to ride the following: Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, It’s a small world, Peter Pan, Roger Rabbit, Monsters Inc., Buzz Lightyear and Splash Mountain. I also like attractions that are originally more directed to kids, like Dumbo and Alice’s tea cups but this time I had to miss them because there wasn’t enough time for everything. Here’s a few cents of all of them to help you decide! Also make sure to scroll down to read our Fast Pass strategy & tips.
This is one of those interactive trackless rides were you are supposed to compete with each other to see which one gets the higher score at the end. The ride is beautifully decorated with lots of Monsters Inc. elements and automats. You have a lantern in your hand, and should point the light to activate a hidden monster. At the end of the ride a screen will show your final score. With these rides I always get too distracted with the story and decorations to bother about getting a good score, but very competitive people will also be interested in that part. Specially we saw that groups of friends were specially looking forward to learn about the results and looked like they were focused on the competition. This ride is everyone’s favorite, so make sure to grab a Fast Pass!
It’s a small world
Although this ride it’s in every Disneyland park, the one in Tokyo is special because has been re-vamped on 2018 by giving it more color, adding 40 “hidden” Disney characters between the kids of the world (it is fun to discover them in their appropriate countries) and also includes the most beautiful harbor and gorgeous new posters. The infamous song remains intact, so if you are one of those who hate it, be aware, ha!
I missed my opportunity at Paris Disneyland to ride it, so we knew we had to climb to the balloon here. In this dark ride you are flying above London with the Darling children and you’ll of course find the Lost Boys and Hook in it, it’s a very cute ride! Just the perfect chill between more thrilling rides.
This is the classical black ride with ghosts and surprising effects that’s always super enjoyable, with very minor alterations to the one in Paris and California. No thrills here, but the story will keep you smiling all the way. I love it so much.
This ended up being my second favorite ride of the day! We were lucky to find no queue at all in this one, so we rushed through the corridors (which were gorgeously decorated!) to the cars like there was no tomorrow, ha!. It is a similar trackless ride to Monsters and Buzz Lightyear, but this time the interaction is quite different, it’s not a competition, but you have a wheel in your car that you can turn in order to experiment the ride from different angles. Everything goes so quickly, the ride decor is so crazy (it’s Roger Rabbit after all) and we were turning around unexpectedly that I wasn’t able to stop laughing the complete time. Wouldn’t miss it!
This is probably the most intense ride in the park, but good news if you are like me, it doesn’t have any loops. It’s a super fast roller coaster that goes completely in the dark and simulates a travel space. It was faster than I was anticipating, I wasn’t able to even scream as I was quite shocked. Anyways, it is a good shake for the middle of the day, just be aware to not ride it after lunch.
The Buzz Lightyear ride is exactly the same ride as Monsters Inc. but with Toy Story elements and a laser gun instead of a lantern. The Buzz Lightyear animatronic in the entrance was mind blowing! If you don’t have enough time maybe it is a good idea to either ride this or Monsters but not both.
This ride is my absolute favorite, like Haunted Mansion, it is a classic and a must. The ride has beautiful animatronics, songs and also enough thrills with the waterfalls.
Fast Pass strategy
The best strategy is to start the day by going directly from the entrance to Tomorrowland crossing the World Bazaar to take the Fast Pass from Monsters Inc.
Once you have it, get to Fantasyland (next to Tomorowland) and check Pooh’s waiting times, if it’s less than 30 minutes, you are in luck, do this now! Otherwise go to Peter Pan (also in Fantasyland).
Bear in mind that you can only take a Fast Pass every 90 minutes, so probably after Pooh (or Peter in our case) you’ll be able to take another one, make it one of the following: Pooh (if you weren’t lucky first thing in the morning), Splash Mountain, Haunted Mansion or Space Mountain. We waited the line of Space Mountain because it wasn’t too long, but I feel it was a poor use of our time, as we saw that there were Fast Pass still available just when we left the ride.
Also, take into account that Fast Pass are usually sold out before 4pm, and for popular rides this will be way before (i.e Pooh or Monsters). You’ll be able to take around tops 2 o 3 Fast Pass during a day.
Finally, something that worked great for us was to seize the opportunity of the second night show, first & second night show that day were the same so we attended the parade and the first show. Thanks to this we rode Roger Rabbit and It’s a small world, both with 0 minute waiting line, and were able to join a much shorter line at Splash Mountain as the last attraction of the day.
Easter parade & decor
Tokyo Disneyland has an Easter mascot called Usatama, which is half rabbit (usagi) half egg (tamago), and feels like something quite unique, very Disney and also super kawaii Japanese.
Usatama is the king of the easter merchandise, the morning parade is performed in his honor and there’s even a super catchy song and dance routine that you are encouraged to follow during the parade. Everything makes for a perfect experience in a Japanese fashion, and I assure you’ll find yourself humming all day long some bits from the catchy song “Nananana usatama, nananana crazy bunny, nananana on the run”
What about the food?
The food in Tokyo Disney Resort is surprisingly good and affordable. I would never expect finding comfort food at a reasonable prices in a theme park; our katsu-curry menu at Hungry Bear restaurant was a good size yummy meal that cost around 12€. Which, if I recall well, is the price of a single crepe in Paris Disneyland, just to compare. Make sure to check the park leaflet for pictures of the menus and the restaurants that serve them, useful!
If you are in the mood of a more complete lunch and an incredible atmosphere don’t miss the Queen of Hearts, we were only peeking around, but it was amazing. The decor wasn’t tacky or too evident, it was a thoughtfully decorated dining hall.
For an afternoon bite, the Tokyo Disneyland version to the Toy Story mochis from DisneySea, is the Mike (Monsters Inc.) shaped melon bread, a MUST treat! However, don’t forget about the seasonal food too, there’s always a bunch of interesting new seasonal drinks or bites; we tried the cake (inside a mug) but still regret not getting the Easter lime drink.
Finally, like it happens in DisneySea, the most popular snacks here are the popcorns and its amazing buckets, check them all out, I would get all of them if it wasn’t for suitcase issues.
Electrical Night Parade & Celebrate! night show, don’t miss them!
Probably the most incredible experience of all day happened at night with the Electrical night parade and the Celebrate night show! I can’t stress enough how essential both of them are to upgrade your experience to “is this real life?”. I know my love for Disney can be even too annoying, but this time believe me when I tell you that you’ll love this no matter if you care so much about Disney at all.
The electrical parade includes more than 15 different colorful floats with million lights that change colors and create patterns. Disney characters, portrayed by real people, ride them but also very talented dancers go between one float and the other. Best 45 minutes spent of your day, no more things to say.
After the Electrical parade we took a place next to the castle for the Celebrate! night show, which consists of projections against the castle combined with fireworks, light effects and real fire (it takes around 20 minutes). Everything is very well synchronized, a pure fantasy! I still can’t believe how well the light effects simulated the lasers coming from the castle during the Star Wars part of the story. I think this show has changed since our visit, so make sure to check which is the night show available during your visit in the Today leaflet.
* Best park in the world?
I think Tokyo Disney Resort has to be the best Disney in the world, not only for the parks but also for their decor, food offer & merch, attention to detail, devotion of the crew and, above all, the love Japanese people put when visiting it. I have yet not visited all the parks in the world, so a little disclaimer is needed: I have visited so far Disneyland Paris, Walt Disney Studios Park (Paris), Disneyland (California), Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. However, I frequently check out information about the parks and follow people who visit them and I’m pretty much sure that this affirmation is correct. I am very looking forward to visit Disney World one day though!
Choosing between one of the two parks is super difficult, I guess Disney Sea feels more special because it is unique, you have never seen those lands before, but Disneyland is precious, quaint and beautiful. I would visit any of the two in a heartbeat and I’m definitely planning on visiting both of them in our future visit to Tokyo, specially since the two will be experimenting a re-do during 2020/2022. Have you heard about it? Here are the news (plus expected dates) in case you are planning a visit to the parks for next year:
- 2020 – New entrance gates
- 2020 – Fantasyland expansion: new Beauty & the Beast mini land and attraction (spoiler images are amazing!).
- 2020 – Tomorrowland redo: New Big Hero 6 attraction and a big Pop Corn shop
- (already there!) Summer 2019 – A new attraction called Soaring: Fantastic Flight
- 2022 – Creation of a new port called Fantasy Springs: with mini lands Tangled, Peter Pan and Frozen. All of them with restaurants and new attractions. Specially excited for Frozen (of course!) and Tangled.
- 2022 – New fancy hotel
To be continued in….