Tokyo Disneyland is a 115-acre (465,000 m) theme park located in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan, near Tokyo. The park opened on April 15, 1983 as the first Disney park to be built outside of the United States. Tokyo Disneyland has approximately 15 million visitors a year, ranking it as the third-most visited theme park in the world, behind its American sister parks, Magic Kingdom in Orlando and Disneyland Park in Anaheim. This is curious because for us the park is a mix of the two American parks. It’s like Disney took the best parts of the Disneyland Parks and mixed them all together to create Tokyo Disneyland. The park closed for a month in 2011 after the devastating earthquake and tsunami crippled power supplies and transit routes in much of Japan, but it’s now completely restored.
There are seven themed areas in the park: the World Bazaar; the four classic Disney lands: Adventureland, Westernland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland; and two mini-lands: Critter Country and Mickey’s Toontown. These themed areas are not much different from the other ones found in the rest of the Disneylands. In all there are 43 attractions, 52 shops and 54 restaurants. Critter Country are perfect for little ones, from 3 years to 7 year olds, while the rest will fit the older kids (and adults). FantasyLand is bar far everyone’s favorite themed area including rides like Peter Pan’s flight, Pinnochio’s Daring Journey, Alice’s Tea Party, and Snowwhite’s Adventures. Other highlights include a great version of the ‘Splash Mountain’ flume ride, an atmospheric ‘Big Thunder Mountain’ roller coaster, an awesome ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ dark ride featuring Jack Sparrow (a stunningly life-like animatronic), a very good ‘Haunted Mansion’ ghost castle, a ‘Space Mountain‘ roller coaster, a ‘Star Tours’ flight simulator and of course the Disney castle, similar to the one in Florida. In May 7th 2013 Disney is revamping his Star Tours attraction as part of the company Star Wars strategy.
Some tips we’ve collected from friends. First, plan the visit ahead and buy tickets online. There are several types of admission tickets. Most people buy the One-Day Passport (¥5,800/47€), which gives you unlimited access to the attractions and shows at one or the other of the two parks. See the park Web site for other ticketing options or talk to the staff (most of them speak perfect English and most signs on the park are in English). You can also buy tickets in advance from any local travel agency, such as the Japan Travel Bureau (JTB). Second, chose transportation.
The simplest way to get to Disneyland is by JR Keiyo Line from Tokyo Station to Maihama; the park is just a few steps from the station exit. From Nihombashi you can also take the Tozai subway line to Urayasu and walk over to the Tokyo Disneyland Bus Terminal for the 25-minute ride, which costs ¥230 (only 2€). Third, buy a fast pass. The park is designed to handle huge crowds so expect long queues for even the less popular rides, so it is strongly recommended to get a fast pass. Finality, bring water. The park is huge so be prepared for long walks. The food stands at the park are okay, but really expensive for European and American standards and only in small portions.
Two final thoughts: Even i you went to several other Disney Parks this one deserves a visit (and has Disney Sea next door – probably on of the most original theme parks in the world). The park is cleaner than clean and everyone is very polite, making this perhaps the “friendliest place on earth”, as announced on the park’s flyer. Enjoy!.
Tickets ¥6,400 (63 USD 46€) for adults ages 18 and over – ¥5,500 junior ages 11 to 17 and ¥4,200 child ages 4 to 11.
Park is open all year