Planet Japan: Disneyland Tokyo

Planet Japan: Disneyland Tokyo

0 comments 📅17 January 2017, 09:15

There are so many amazing things to see and do in Tokyo that it’s easy to forget that mainstream entertainment attractions such as Disneyland exist at all! Since we were there at Christmas, it was even more magical than usual, decked out to the nines and looking more sparkly than an explosion in a tinsel factory!

An absolute must for anyone with even a little bit of an interest in Disney memorabilia, given the huge selection in shops that appear even before you’ve paid your money to enter the park, only its curiously limited number of fridge magnets let us down on that front. There’s also an awful lot of sponsorship, with almost no opportunity for a tie-in wasted – from Fujifilm Photo Spots to dedicated backers for specific rides.

Don’t lose your Disneyland ticket once you head through those gates. Scanning it on a reader next to a ride allows you to avoid the longer lines by securing a queue-jumping ticket that’s valid later on that same ride. Be warned, though: you can only hold one Fastpass ticket at a time, so choose wisely; and later in the day there might be a large gap to your Fastpass entry time – at 1pm Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was giving out tickets valid from 5-6pm!

Your first stop at Disneyland Tokyo (and any other Disneyland park for that matter…) should be Star Tours. Rushing here with the abandon of a young Anakin Skywalker as soon as the park opened, we managed two excursions in an hour before the crowds had time to build up. While there’s no English translation, as with Disneyland Paris it’s easy to follow events and enjoy that hit of light speed.

You can find food of almost every description at Disneyland Tokyo, but the snack of choice is popcorn. These stalls are handily marked on the map, as different flavours of popcorn are available at different stalls. Since you’ll need something to carry those kernels around in, every popcorn stand also has its own plastic bucket shaped like a Disney, Marvel or Star Wars character, which you can buy for an additional cost. If you wonder why people return to the park with these buckets still hanging around their necks, it’s because popcorn refills cost less than the first serving. We’re not sold on soy sauce or curry as flavourings, mind.

Disneyland Tokyo feels lacking in rollercoasters when compared with its American counterparts, making this a must-visit ride (we recommend fighting Zurg in Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters while you wait for the Fastpass to kick in). Zipping around in the darkness adds an extra dimension to its speedy turns and makes this ride a lot of fun.

Disney classic Song of the South (the one with ‘Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah’ in it) has been transformed into a gentle boat ride featuring plenty of animatronic characters from the movie. But as the name suggests, the people at the front of the eight-seater boat better be wearing quick-dry trousers.

There are shades of Mr Toad’s Wild Ride from Disneyland California, harking back to the first park Walt ever constructed – and there’s not as much of that feel in Japan as you get in America. Riders queue through an old factory which is kicking out the deadly chemical dip, as Baby Herman shows his nasty side. The ride itself is more fun that it ought to be (and a good workout for the arms), as you swing your car around 180-degrees using the dish-style steering wheel.


Disneyland Tokyo
A one-day ticket costs ¥7,400 (£51) for an adult and ¥6,400 for a junior up to the age of 17, with children from the ages of four to 11 costing ¥4,800. A range of multi-day passes offer a better deal if you’re planning to return, as well as giving you access to the nearby Sea World on the later days.

Our man on Planet Japan was editor Matt Chapman, who journeyed to Tokyo to enjoy the sights, sounds and culinary delights of this amazing city. You can find him on Twitter @meejaboy.

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