Tokyo Disney is top of our list whenever we visit Japan. The two theme parks aren’t far from the centre of Tokyo and are easy to add to your itinerary.
Tokyo DisneySea is a unique park featuring rides you won’t find anywhere else.
Tokyo Disneyland is more of a classic Disney park and is similar to Magic Kingdom in Orlando or Disneyland California. It features a fairytale castle, popular characters like Mickey Mouse, and much-loved rides like Space Mountain. There are a few unique rides too.
DisneySea is our personal favourite as it’s unique, a little quieter, and more adult-orientated, but Tokyo Disneyland is still a fantastic day out. Ideally you’d spent a day at each park. I don’t recommend trying to visit both parks in one day.
Here are our favourite Tokyo Disneyland rides, our one-day itinerary, and other tips to help you make the most of your stay and avoid the crowds.
Top Tokyo Disneyland Rides and Attractions
- 1) Space Mountain (FP)
- 2) Splash Mountain (FP)
- 3) Big Thunder Mountain (FP)
- 4) Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek! (FP)
- 5) Pooh’s Hunny Hunt (FP)
- 6) Pirates of the Caribbean
- 7) Haunted Mansion (FP)
- 8) Star Tours: The Adventures Continue (FP)
- 9) Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters (FP)
- 10) Western River Railroad
- 11) Mark Twain Riverboat
- 12) Tom Sawyer Island
- Other Tokyo Disneyland Attractions
- Tokyo Disneyland 1 Day Itinerary for Adults
- Hotels Near Tokyo Disneyland
- Tokyo Disneyland Tickets
- The Best Time to Visit Tokyo Disneyland
- Tokyo Disneyland Fastpass Tips
- How to Get to Tokyo Disneyland
- Vegetarian Food at Tokyo Disneyland
Top Tokyo Disneyland Rides and Attractions
I have noted with (FP) the rides that have Tokyo Disneyland Fastpasses available (more on how to use these to skip queues below). You can also find our itinerary below.
1) Space Mountain (FP)
Space Mountain is the best rollercoaster at Tokyo Disneyland. On this thrilling indoor ride you fly in the dark through the galaxy at high speeds with plenty of twists and turns.
There are no inversions or massive drops, but it’s still intense and the darkness adds to the thrill—you never know what’s coming next!
In the queue you’ll find interactive games to keep you occupied.
Space Mountain is one of our favourites and is usually our first stop of the day (there’s no better way to wake up!) before queues get too long.
2) Splash Mountain (FP)
We love cheerful Splash Mountain! This log flume ride is mostly gentle but ends with a thrilling drop over a waterfall. Be prepared to get wet!
On this leisurely journey you follow the adventures of Br’er Rabbit with cute animatronic scenes and catchy songs. It’s based on the Disney film Song of the South (which we’ve never seen).
Splash Mountain is extremely popular so head there early, get a Fastpass, or use the single rider queue (which can save you hours). There’s no marked single rider queue, but if you ask one of the friendly cast members at the ride entrance, they’ll show you the way.
3) Big Thunder Mountain (FP)
The third Tokyo Disneyland mountain ride is another classic (and also very popular).
Big Thunder Mountain is a fun ride on a runaway mine train with sudden drops and turns. It’s not a scary rollercoaster, but it is fast and we love the Wild West theming.
The journey takes you through an old gold mine and there are lots of humorous details to spot along the way. It’s worth riding during the day and at night if you can (but the queues do tend to be long).
4) Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek! (FP)
Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek! is the most popular ride at Tokyo Disneyland. Unlike the rides above, this flagship attraction can’t be found at any other Disney park.
It’s an interactive dark ride that takes place after the events in the movie Monsters, Inc. Along with Boo, you are invited to play a game of hide and seek with flashlights.
You board a gentle moving tram and go off in search of monsters. When you spot a monster helmet, shine your flashlight on it and the monsters pop up. It’s a fun and cute ride.
The challenge is getting on it. As it’s so popular you need to rush there as soon as the park opens (along with everyone else) and either ride it or grab a Fastpass.
We got a Fastpass straight away but the return time wasn’t until three hours later, which prevented us from getting any other Fastpasses before then. If we had skipped it, it would have been easier to avoid long queues on the other rides (which are easier to get Fastpasses for).
5) Pooh’s Hunny Hunt (FP)
Pooh’s Hunny Hunt is another ride unique to Tokyo Disneyland and is extremely popular. A common strategy for as soon as the park opens is to pick up a Monsters, Inc Fastpass and then join the line for Pooh.
Unfortunately, it was closed on our visit, but it’s considered an excellent example of a Disney dark ride.
You travel on a hunny pot with a mind of its own and follow Winnie the Pooh on his search for honey in the richly detailed world of Hundred Acre Wood. The ride is trackless which creates a more immersive experience as the cars engage with each other and the environment.
6) Pirates of the Caribbean
A much-loved Disney ride around the world, Pirates of the Caribbean is a gentle indoor cruise. You pass through scenes of a pirate raid from the bombardment of a fortress to debauchery after the victory. There are many elaborate details and quirky characters to notice along the way.
The films were inspired by this classic ride, which now features an animatronic figure of Captain Jack Sparrow.
Pirates isn’t as busy as other top Tokyo Disneyland attractions, so you can ride it whenever you have the chance.
7) Haunted Mansion (FP)
Another Disney classic, Haunted Mansion is an eerie ride through a Gothic mansion with 999 ghostly inhabitants.
It’s a gentle experience with lots of interesting details and special effects to enjoy and is a nice change of pace from the rollercoasters. It’s not actually scary.
It’s also much easier to get on than the above Tokyo Disney rides. It’s usually the last attraction to run out of Fastpasses and queues are shorter than most of the other rides on this list. The queue has some interesting details.
During Halloween and Christmas, the ride is transformed into a special holiday version which is well worth doing (but it will be busier than usual).
8) Star Tours: The Adventures Continue (FP)
Star Tours is a flight motion simulator journey through space with 3D effects. There are multiple storylines so every time you ride it, it could be different.
Simon loves this one, but it aggravates my motion sickness.
This is one of the least popular major attractions so you should be able to get on without queueing too long, especially in the evenings.
9) Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters (FP)
Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters is an interactive dark ride based on the character from Toy Story. You board a space cruiser (which you can spin) and blast away with your laser cannon at evil Emperor Zurg and his minions and try to rack up a higher score than your companions.
It’s an enjoyable ride, but I don’t think it’s worth the usually huge queues. We managed to get a late evening Fastpass for it on our last trip.
10) Western River Railroad
For a total change of pace, board the Western River Railroad. This isn’t a must-do attraction, but we enjoy riding this steam train, especially when queues are long elsewhere in the park.
The train loops around Adventureland, Westernland and Critter Country with fantastic views of the park and some cool hidden scenes. It even goes through Thunder Mountain.
It departs from and returns to Adventureland and you can’t get off along the way (unlike in Magic Kingdom).
11) Mark Twain Riverboat
Like the Railroad, the Mark Twain Riverboat is a gentle way to explore the park when all the rides are busy. It takes you on a tour of the Rivers of America with superb views, especially at sunset.
12) Tom Sawyer Island
Although it’s primarily a kids play area, even as adults we like taking the raft across the Rivers of America to Tom Sawyer Island.
The Tokyo version isn’t as large or as quiet as the one in Magic Kingdom Orlando, but there are some fun attractions including a barrel bridge, fort, treehouse and caves.
Again, do this one when the crowds in the park are getting to you, as you’ll likely find a quiet spot to relax. It closes at sunset so is best visited in the afternoon.
Other Tokyo Disneyland Attractions
If you have extra time, here are some more attractions to consider. Pick up a leaflet on entry for the day’s show and parade times.
- Let’s Party Gras – This show features characters like Donald Duck and Goofy singing and dancing to festive Latin tunes. To get a seat, enter the lottery in Tomorrowland Hall next to Space Mountain or show up an hour early.
- Walk through Toontown – The area features rides for kids but it’s a fun and colourful place for a wander.
- Swiss Family Treehouse – A lowkey attraction where you climb up into a treehouse.
- Beaver Brothers Explorer Canoes – You can do real canoeing along the river here! It closes at sunset.
- Jungle Cruise – An outdoor boat ride with lots of jokes. It’s all in Japanese, though.
- Country Bear Theater – At Magic Kingdom we love this charming, hilarious show featuring singing bears. We didn’t like it quite as much in Tokyo as half the songs are in Japanese, but there’s no queue and it makes a good break. There are special shows at Christmas and in the summer (unlike at other Disney parks where these have been stopped).
- The Enchanted Tiki Room: Stitch Presents “Aloha E Komo Mai!” – Another show with no queue that’s good for a break. It features singing birds and is in Japanese.
- Dreaming Up Parade – A large character parade. The parades are extremely popular with the Japanese who sit on mats by the route an hour or more before the start.
I also highly recommend allowing time to just wander and explore as there are always fun details to discover and decorations at different times of year.
At Easter we loved spotting the eggs everywhere including a Sheriff egg having an eggsistential crisis.
Tokyo Disneyland 1 Day Itinerary for Adults
Tokyo Disneyland is the busiest Disney park we’ve visited and queues are so long that it’s difficult to do all the major attractions in one day. Make sure you prioritise wisely.
Try to visit on a quieter day (more on the best times below) and arrive at the park at least 30 minutes before it opens.
Here was our itinerary for Tokyo Disneyland on a medium traffic day in April when the park was open from 9am to 10pm.
8.35am – Shuttle bus from our hotel Hotel Mystays Maihama (or it’s a 20-minute walk away).
8.50am – Arrived at Tokyo Disneyland. It was very busy and took us 10 minutes to get through bag check and 10 minutes through the main gate. Official hotel guests were walking right in as they get a 15-minute early entrance.
9.10am – Headed straight to Monsters, Inc and joined a long queue for a Fastpass. Ours was a 12.10pm return time, which meant we couldn’t get another Fastpass before then.
9.25am – Queued for and rode Space Mountain (20-minute wait). We would have ridden Pooh first but it was closed.
9.50am – Entered the lottery next door for the Let’s Party Gras show, but we didn’t win.
10am – Headed to the other side of the park and picked up some churros from Peco Bills on the way. We were planning to ride Splash or Thunder Mountain, but the queues were 35–45 minutes. We should have gone for it as they only got busier.
10.15am – Queued for and rode Haunted Mansion (20-minute wait).
10.45am – Walked through Toontown.
11am – Lunch at Plazma Rays and saw some of the Easter parade from the terrace (not the best view).
11.30am – Looked around Main Street and played in the Penny Arcade.
12.15pm – Used our Fastpass to ride Monsters, Inc. Everywhere very busy now.
12.30pm – Picked up a Thunder Mountain Fastpass with a return time of 3.40pm. (We didn’t end up using it as we went back to our hotel for a break).
12.45pm – Watched Country Bear Jamboree. There was no queue, but a 10-minute wait for the show to start.
1.15pm – Ate mango soft-serve and took a raft over to Tom Sawyer Island.
2.30pm – Tried to get into the Let’s Party Gras show without a lottery ticket, but it was already full 15 minutes before the start. People queue for an hour before to get in. We could see a bit of the show standing outside but didn’t stay for long.
3–6pm – Took a break at our hotel as everywhere was so busy. We got a veggie burrito at Guzman y Gomez at the Ikispari shopping centre on the way back in.
6pm – Returned to the park but the queues were still really long. (Splash Mountain was 70 minutes and we regretted not riding it in the morning).
6.15pm – Rode the Western River Railroad and Mark Twain Riverboat as the sun was setting.
7pm – Picked up a Fastpass for Buzz Lightyear (9.20pm return time). Things got quieter as the parade started.
7.15pm – Queued for and rode Star Tours (10-minute wait).
7.40pm – Queued for and rode Big Thunder Mountain (15-minute wait).
8.30pm – Single Rider Queue for Splash Mountain (5-minute wait)
9.20pm – Used our Fastpass for Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters.
Hotels Near Tokyo Disneyland
For the full Disney experience, I recommend staying in a hotel nearby and spending two days in the parks (one at DisneySea and one at Tokyo Disneyland). You can then move to central Tokyo to explore the rest of the city (we love Shinjuku as a base).
We have visited Tokyo Disney both from central Tokyo and stayed in a nearby hotel and we much preferred staying nearby. Here’s why:
- Save travel time (about an hour from Shinjuku) and start the day more refreshed.
- Avoid the busy morning commute (Tokyo trains get very crowded).
- Be able to take a break in the afternoon (when the parks are busiest) and then stay late (when crowds ease off).
Staying nearby is especially worthwhile if you plan to spend two days and visit both parks.
Budget Hotel in Walking Distance
On our last trip we stayed at Hotel Mystays Maihama. It’s one of the cheapest options in the area (we paid about 15,000 yen/$137) and we thought it was excellent value considering we could walk to DisneySea in 10 minutes and Disneyland in 20 minutes (there’s also a free shuttle at certain times).
Rooms are nothing fancy but are clean and comfortable with a fridge, kettle, and desk. Breakfast is an extra cost so we bought snacks instead.
It’s a 15-minute walk from the Ikispari shopping centre, where there are plenty of shops and restaurants, and Maihama Station.
If you stay in an official Disney hotel, you’ll benefit from being allowed in the park 15 minutes before anyone else. Prices are much higher though.
The Disney Ambassador Hotel is in the Ikispari shopping centre, a short walk from Tokyo Disneyland (or there’s a free shuttle).
The luxury Tokyo Disneyland Hotel is also in walking distance (the closest hotel to Disneyland) but it’s more expensive.
Tokyo Disneyland Tickets
One-day Tokyo Disney tickets cost 7500 yen ($69). If you’d like to visit both Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, two-day tickets cost 13,400 yen ($123).
If you arrive at Tokyo Disney the day before you plan to visit, you can easily buy tickets from the office at Maihama Station.
If you are arriving in the morning, it’s well worth buying tickets online in advance to save time queuing on the day.
You can buy an e-ticket from the Disney website, but you’ll need to print it at home—you can then head straight to the gate.
You can also buy tickets from Voyagin to collect from Maihama Station, which will be much quicker than buying tickets at the gate.
The Best Time to Visit Tokyo Disneyland
Avoid visiting Tokyo Disneyland on weekends or national holidays as it will be insanely busy.
Check this Tokyo Disney crowd calendar to find the quietest day to visit. Look for days that have a D rating or under (the quietest days are A but these are rare).
Mid-January is the quietest time to visit but it will be cold and more rides than usual may be closed. Late-March and late-April/early-May (Golden Week) are the busiest times of year.
Tokyo Disneyland Fastpass Tips
Fastpasses are free tickets that allow you to skip the queue on popular rides (although you may still need to wait a short time).
Using the Tokyo Disneyland Fastpass system is essential if you want to avoid queues of up to two hours or more. See the list above for the rides that offer Fastpasses.
Fastpasses are available from machines next to the ride entrance—just scan your park ticket to get one. You’ll be given a one-hour slot when you can return for the ride.
You can only have one Fastpass at a time, but as soon as your slot starts you can get another one. The best strategy is to get another Fastpass at the beginning of your slot before you go on the ride.
Fastpasses do run out so pick them up as early as you can, especially for Monsters Inc, Poohs Hunny Hunt, and Splash Mountain.
It’s best to arrive at Disneyland 30–60 minutes before gates open so you can be at the front of the queue heading for Fastpasses. There are people who arrive even earlier.
Download the TDR Wait app to see ride wait times and plan your Fastpass strategy on the day. The bright colours make it difficult to read, but unfortunately, there’s no official Disney wait time app in English.
You can also check current wait times on the Disney Real website.
How to Get to Tokyo Disneyland
The nearest train station to Disney Japan is Maihama. From there you can walk to Tokyo Disneyland in about five minutes or take the Disney Resort Monorail (260 yen), which takes two minutes.
I’d allow about an hour to get from Shinjuku or Shibuya stations to Disneyland including transfer times and walking to the resort. You can use the Hyperdia website or app to check train times. Trains will be very busy in the morning rush hour.
If you are spending a few days in Tokyo, I recommend getting a Suica or Pasmo card, which you can top up and use as a ticket for all trains in Tokyo.
Tokyo Station to Tokyo Disneyland
Take the JR Keiyo or JR Musashino line to Maihama. It takes about 15 minutes.
Shinjuku to Tokyo Disneyland
Take the JR Chuo rapid line from Shinjuku to Tokyo then change to the JR Keiyo or JR Musashino line to Maihama. It takes about 30 minutes.
Shibuya to Tokyo Disneyland
There are two options:
1) Take the JR Saikyo-Rinkai line to Shinkiba then change to the JR Keiyo line to Maihama. The Saikyo line technically ends at Osaki but some trains continue on the private Rinkai line to Shinkiba. This takes about 35 minutes.
This route is fastest but it has two downsides—trains don’t run that frequently so you could have to wait 30 minutes between trains and it’s more expensive than JR lines (720 yen vs 410 yen).
2) Take the JR Yamanote line to Tokyo Station then change to the JR Keiyo or JR Musashino line to Maihama. It takes about 45 minutes.
Vegetarian Food at Tokyo Disneyland
Vegetarian food at Tokyo Disneyland is limited but there are a few options:
- Plazma Rays Diner – The best option for a quick, inexpensive meal. This large counter service restaurant near Space Mountain has a vegetarian curry rice bowl that’s pretty good. If you are hungry, get the set with a side of fries.
- Sweetheart Cafe – Self-service baked goods, but it was very busy in the morning.
- Eastside Cafe – A table service restaurant that usually requires a reservation. The only vegetarian option is pasta.
- Blue Bayou – This table service restaurant overlooking Pirates of the Caribbean was marked on the map as having vegetarian options. It was closed when we visited so we couldn’t check the options, but I’ve heard it’s a quiche as part of a set menu. You will likely need a reservation.
TDR Explorer has a longer list of vegan and vegetarian food in Tokyo Disneyland.
You can make reservations for table service restaurants on the day from 10am at the restaurant, but your choice of times will likely be limited. You can also book online on the Tokyo Disney website up to one month before.
You can find restaurant menus on the Tokyo Disney website, but they are in Japanese so you’ll have to use Google Translate.
The best option for vegetarians is actually outside the park. Guzman y Gomez is a Mexican chain restaurant in the Ikispari shopping centre between Disneyland and Maihama train station.
You can order burritos, tacos, nachos and bowls with vegetables and guacamole. The frozen margaritas are good too. You order at the counter and service is quick.
On the 1st floor of the mall, there’s also a supermarket with lots of imported items if you are looking for familiar snacks.
Although veggie choices are limited in the parks, there is plenty of delicious vegetarian food in Tokyo that you can try during the rest of your stay.
Tokyo Disneyland offers the quintessential Disney experience with Cinderella’s Castle, classic rides like Space and Splash Mountain, and all the favourite characters.
It’s a fun day out, but if you only have one spare day in Tokyo, I advise visiting DisneySea instead as it’s unlike any other Disney park around the world. Best of all, spend two days nearby and visit both parks!
For more tips on visiting Tokyo, see our post on the best things to do in Tokyo.
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