DAY 26 Tokyo Disney
DAY 26 Tokyo Disney
November 8th, 2019
Friday. From our hotel, we caught the hotel shuttle bus to Bayside station. From there, we bought tickets for the Disney Resort line as I’d forgotten to bring our Suica cards. From the minute you step on to the resort line monorail, it’s all about Disney. Even the hand holds had little Mickey Santa hats!
When you hear about the bajillion people lining up at the Disney gates, even with your prepaid tickets, it’s all true.
I found this part frustrating as an attendant looked at our tickets and pointed for us to move ahead in the ‘queue’, which is as you see in the photo above, just a massive crowd of people. I don’t know why we were ushered ahead, maybe about ten metres, but other people were being ushered ahead only to stop when they couldn’t push past people anymore. I tried to find out why this was the case but there were no signs, and no announcements (all announcements were in Japanese but it was hard to hear). It wasn’t like there were obvious separate spaces for various queue purposes so I can’t offer any advice here and why people were being told to walk ahead of us. All I know is that our Disney 2-day pass purchased at a partner hotel (Hilton Tokyo Bay) gave us guaranteed entry even in times of entry restriction for the general public.
But here’s where Japan shines with all things queuing. Despite being in a massive crowd, we found everyone was patient and respectful and once the gates opened, the queues moved quickly.
Once inside we saw some people running for their fastpasses (see below), but we just took our time taking everything in. I’ve never been to a Disney before and, before this trip, I had zero interest in theme parks and Disneyland things. Now, I’m converted.
I don’t have many photos to share as most include my daughter. For the rides, we went on Big Thunder Mountain (which is like a kid friendly roller coast, no loops), Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters (so much fun!), Jungle Cruise (the guide was really funny and great at her job. Even though everything was in Japanese we still understood the general idea of what she was saying), Stitch Encounter (all in Japanese but again you can still understand what’s going on– this isn’t a ride), Mark Twain riverboat (we did this in the evening, lovely!), Snow White’s Adventures (more for younger kids, you’re in mine carts and it’s a cute little ride we did three times), Haunted Mansion (super impressive despite the cacaphony). On her own Dee went on the Flying Dumbo ride, the Alice Tea Party spinning teacups and the carousel a few times. Space Mountain was closed that day and other popular rides had those massively long queues. And of course there are the parades and in the evening, the fireworks.
We had a fantastic day. Despite getting there half an hour before opening time and leaving at 10pm, the day went by quickly. And we still felt like we could have had a second day there easily!
VEGAN FOOD OPTIONS AT TOKYO DISNEY (November 2019)
For vegans, the only food options available were the fries, plain popcorn, caramel (sugared) popcorn and the Mickey Shapes ice lollies. A salad cup too I believe. We took our own food in which wasn’t a problem: onigiri, fruit, packet of salad, edamame, juice and daifuku. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, I recommend you bring your own food. We were there from opening time to closing time so I had to pack enough for the day.
A fastpass gives you an allotted time for you to return to the ride concerned, rather than having to wait around in the general standby queues. And these standby queues are LONG. Like, potentially 210 minutes long (and people really do queue for that long).
The rides have signs indicating how long a wait time is. So for the Big Thunder Mountain ride at Tokyo Disney (which works the same way as DisneySea), we didn’t fancy standing in the queue for 60 minutes, which was the wait time listed. So we went to the fastpass machines near the ride entry point. You scan your Disney park entrance ticket, and your fastpass in paper ticket form comes out of the machine. The fastpass tickets we got for Big Thunder Mountain told us our allocated time was between 11:30 – 12:30. So we went off and did other stuff then returned for the ride at 11:30.
If you have a fastpass, you are in a different queue– make sure you have your fastpass ticket ready to scan when you go to your ride!
At around 11:30am we got a fastpass for the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters ride, which gave us a time of 18:30 – 19:30. So you can see how quickly the fastpasses fill up! And why you see people rushing to get fastpasses as soon as the gates open.
If you know what rides you want to go on, I recommend you study your Disney park maps online before your visit and work out the route to the rides concerned. That way you can walk fast (don’t run!) to get your fastpasses as soon as the gates open.