I woke up at 6 am and walked out to get breakfast. Did not feel like having MacDonald’s and cafes like Doutor and Starbucks only open at 7am, so I tried Family Mart, another convenience chain store. The selection was pretty decent – bao, sandwiches, salads. It was actually similar to our 7-11 but somehow food in Japanese convenience stores look more appetizing.
After a quick breakfast in the room, we took a 10 min walk to Hatchobori station on the Keiyo line for the train to Maihama station. I brought my younger girl to buy a child Suica card (she tried using my older girl’s Suica from 5 years ago but as the card was issued based on birth date, it was no longer valid) while the rest queued for Disney tickets.
Despite this being my 5th visit, Tokyo Disneyland never fails to exude a certain magical charm that enchants and captivates me once I enter its gates. As veterans, we knew which ride to go for first and which fastpass to take. And because the weather was slightly cold and wet, it was not crowded. The result was we sat all of our favourite rides – Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, Monsters Inc., Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean and Big Thunder Mountain without queuing for more than 15 mins.
What was new this visit was Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Cinderella’s Fairy Tale Hall and the Once Upon A Time show. We also had time to enjoy both the daytime and night parades – Happiness Is Here and Electrical Parade Dreamlights.
One of the highlights of Tokyo Disney is the food. Besides our favourite smoked turkey leg, we tried lots of new yummy stuff like chocolate churros, walnut and meat pie, cheesy potato balls and Stitch mochi balls.
The rain got heavier in the evening. We took refuge in Center Street Coffeehouse and had an early dinner.
The rest of the night was spent shopping at the many stores in World Bazaar. Bought a commemorative puzzle, a tin of instant coffee and a baby pooh key chain.
It was still raining when we left Tokyo Disneyland at 9 pm. We braved the strong wind that broke one of our umbrellas and made it to the Bon Voyage store near Maihama station. Thankfully the rain stopped when we exited Ginza-itchome station for a short walk back to the hotel.
- Child Suica card is tied to the child’s birth date. So even if it is valid for 10 years, if the child crosses her 12th birthday during the period, the card becomes invalid. It cannot be transferred to another child. You can only surrender the card and get a refund.
- If you are taking the train to Maihama Station to visit Disney, better to avoid boarding it at Tokyo Station. The inside of the station is a maze. It takes time and skills to navigate. Get on the Keiyo Line at Hatchobori Station instead. If not, go on the Yurakucho Line and switch to Keiyo Line at Shin-kiba Station.
- For maximum enjoyment at Disney, have a plan and go early. By plan I mean decide what rides to sit and what fastpasses to get. Once the gates open, go get the fastpass for the most popular or favourite ride (in my case is Pooh’s Hunny Hunt) then queue for the next sought after ride (Haunted Mansion or Monsters Inc). Remember to get fastpasses for the rest. In this way, you will get to experience most of the attractions in the park.
- Japanese love watching the Disney parades. They will line up the streets way before the start time to get a close-up view of the floats. If you are not into parades, this is the best time to sit the rides because the waiting time is significantly shorter.
- Disney introduces special merchandise for every season. They make great memorabilia and gifts. There are also yummy seasonal food items on sale all over the park. It is great fun hunting for them.
- If you want to have a sit down meal, go during off peak time to avoid long queues.
- If you want to get your hands on Disney merchandise without entering the park, visit Bon Voyage store at Maihama Station.