Tokyo Disneyland – Be Transported into a World of Magic
December 24, 2018
Tokyo Disneyland has always been a place filled with magic and joy, especially during their 35th anniversary this year. On top of the park’s anniversary, this is also the year when almost everyone’s beloved Mickey Mouse turns 90 years old. You can definitely experience fun and excitement like never before, with a line up of special programs. There are numerous attractions and shows in the park, and you’ll also be able to meet your favourite Disney characters. I’ve put together a detailed guide on how to tackle Tokyo Disneyland, and hope it’ll help you plan a magical trip.
WHAT TO PLAY
There are seven themed lands in the park – World Bazaar, Adventureland, Westernland, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Toontown and Tomorrowland. You’ll enter the park via the World Bazaar where elegant buildings from the Victorian era line the streets and welcome you to the good old days of America at the beginning of the 20th century when Walt Disney was born.
I decided to explore the park in a clockwise direction, so Adventureland was next. As its name suggests, this is a land of adventure where thrilling encounters await you from the wild beasts deep in the jungles to the pirates along the dark waterways of the Caribbean. I climbed aboard a real steam train along the Western River Railroad and got a glimpse of the park and the wilderness. The Pirates of the Caribbean attraction brought me on a sailing adventure with Captain Jack Sparrow. You can also go on a jungle cruise, climb the Swiss family treehouse or catch Stitch in action in the enchanted Tiki room.
As I ventured further into the park, I arrived at Westernland and Critter Country. At Westernland, you can try your skill as a sharpshooting marksman, enjoy a leisurely trip down the Rivers of America on the Mark Twain Riverboat, explore the Tom Sawyer island on rafts, or feel the adrenaline rush riding a runaway mine train. At Critter Country, you can either take a thrilling trip on a log boat down the splash mountain or relax and paddle a canoe on the river.
Having grown up reading and watching Disney fairytales, Fantasyland attracted me the most. You can embark on magical journeys with Snow White, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, and other familiar heroes and heroines. Join Alice’s tea party and take a colourful spin in whimsical cups and saucers, ride on white horses at the castle carousel, fly high through the sky on Dumbo’s back, visit Cinderella’s castle … There are plenty of child-friendly attractions at Fantasyland!
Toontown and Tomorrowland were the last two lands I visited. The former is a happy town where the characters from Disney animated films live, work and play while the latter allows you to experience a journey to the distant universe. You can take a Starspeeder 1000 and go on a thrilling, unpredictable space journey, conquer the space mountain on a high-speed ride through the galaxy, board a space cruiser and blast away at evil Emperor Zurg and his minions, or board a tram and search for funny monsters.
Tokyo Disneyland sounds extremely enjoyable, but there’s one downside – be prepared to queued a minimum of 30 minutes (up to 300 minutes) when the park gets busy. To avoid wasting time waiting in the long line, you can make the most of your time if you grab the Disney FASTPASS. I recommend downloading the Disneyland app so you can check the FASTPASS and standby wait times at the attraction entrance. Hold your passport ticket under the reader of the FASTPASS ticketing machine and receive a FASTPASS ticket with the designated time period printed on it. Until the designated period starts, you can use your time effectively at other attractions, shops, or restaurants. Once the designated period starts, return to the attraction and enter through the FASTPASS entrance.
WHAT TO WATCH
Since it’s the festive season, there are a number of special Christmas and New Year parades and shows at Tokyo Disneyland. Instead of rambling on about each parade and show, I’ll share my top three favourites with you. The Nighttime Parade “Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights” is a must-watch. I’m a huge fan of fireworks so the Brand New Dream is another one of my favourites. “Celebrate! Tokyo Disneyland”, a nighttime spectacular with dynamic visuals and memorable music, also captured my full attention.
WHAT TO EAT
There are many food stands and restaurants in Tokyo Disneyland, and these are what I’ve tried. Head to the Great American Waffle Company for Mickey-shaped waffles. The waffles are freshly made upon order, fluffy on the inside with a crispy exterior. Maple sauce (¥450), chocolate sauce (¥450) and strawberry custard sauce (¥490) are available, but I went for the seasonal waffle which consists apple and caramel ice milk (¥700).
Grandma Sara’s Kitchen is a great restaurant for lunch. The interior is decorated to resemble a cottage and it feels so cozy. There is a special Christmas set available, but I decided to try the Meat Patty and Rice set which comes with a Mickey-shaped egg and vegetables (¥1,450).
I recommend having dinner at Plazma Ray’s Diner because the alfresco area provides you with unblocked views of the nighttime parades. Rice bowls, Mickey’s glove-shaped sandwiches, and more are available here.
WHAT TO BUY
It’s impossible to recommend what to buy because all of us likes different characters and things. However, I liked the Grand Emporium best as it has the largest selection of merchandise in Tokyo Disneyland. If you’re getting toys for your kids, the Toy Station is the biggest toy shop in the park – just bring your kids there directly and you can skip running around the entire park looking for a perfect toy.
This is my very first time visiting Disneyland, and I’m truly impressed. The park employees are helpful and amicable, the attractions and parades are well thought out and very entertaining, the food is generally of good standard … I honestly can’t think of anything negative about Tokyo Disneyland. It’s simply a happy place where I want to revisit with my loved ones in future.
Address: 1-1 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture 279-0031, Japan
Directions: Get off at Maihama Station on JR (Japan Railway) Keiyo Line / Musashino Line. Maihama Station is about 15 minutes by train from Tokyo Station.
Opening Hours: Daily 8am to 10pm. Disneyland’s operating hour subject to change without notice. Be sure to check the website before visiting.
Tickets can be purchased from H.I.S. Travel. There are only two official Japan travel agents in Singapore selling Tokyo Disneyland tickets, and H.I.S. Travel is one of them. Note that this is a collaboration with H.I.S. Travel (6222 1230). You can find them at 100 Tras Street, #03-16/17/18, 100 AM, Singapore 079027.