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  1. #1

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    Help with schedule and travel questions

    I apologize, this will be long. I've been reading and reading and I haven't had anyone to bounce thoughts off of aside from someone else who doesn't know anything, so I appreciate you taking the time to read it.

    Some background info: we're going to TDR on Wednesday through Friday, June 17-19. We just visited Anaheim Disneyland last month and so we're familiar with the versions in DLR and DCA.

    1) Are we able to purchase tickets at our hotel or only Resort hotels have that option?

    2) If not, for sure we can purchase tickets at the Welcome Center at 7:30 AM? Do trains run that early that we can get there that early? Our hotel offers a shuttle but I'm not sure what the first one is and I want to make sure to be in line an hour before they open, however...

    3) We're going to do DisneySea on the first day because it opens an hour later so it gives us some time to get to the resort area, but I would prefer to do Disneyland first. In my mind, Wednesday would be less crowded then Thursday, y/n or doesn't matter? We will use the parkhopper Friday by going to Disneyland in the morning and heading over to DisneySea for the rest of the day.

    4) Which one would run out of FP sooner, Big Thunder or Buzz? Our first two FP will be Monsters, Inc. and Pooh. These are the only FP rides we plan to go on.

    5) Is Jungle Cruise worth going on if I've been on the one in DLR numerous times?

    6) Is there a "best" time to go to these attractions: Swiss Family Treehouse, Tiki Room, Tom Sawyer Island Rafts, Haunted Mansion, and Grand Circuit Raceway.

    In DisneySea, our FP plan is as follows: ride ToT, then grab a FP Indy, FP Raging Spirits, and our last FP 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and in between, ride other rides.

    7) Same as #6 except DisneySea edition: Stormrider (worth the FP?), Aquatopia, Sinbad, and Magic Lamp Theater (worth the FP?).

    8) How do we ask in Japanese if we can wait for the next load to get the front or the back? We really want to get the best experience for 20,000 Leagues and Raging Spirits (although for this, we'd have to go on it to find out if we like the front of the back -- for Screamin' we always ask for the last row even though most people ask for the front.)

    9) Are we supposed to take the monorail to DisneySea? I've read tips about walking to save time since it's such a short distance, but all the trip reports I've read talk about riding the monorail.

    10) This is a money question. We're looking to exchange a large sum so we've been monitoring the exchange rate the last couple weeks. I've read on two different sites that it's better to exchange US$ in Japan since it's more favorable than doing it at home but that was last year. Anyone have any experience like that? We'd be doing the exchanging at the airport.

    We have a Capitalone Visa, which shouldn't charge foreign transaction fees. If we decide to take the card along, we'll probably put half our money on it. Does anyone have any experience with the exchange rate with a credit card? How comparable would it be to using cash? I understand if the exchange rate continues going up while we're there, we would benefit, but if it goes down, we would've benefitted exchanging to yen while it was good.

    That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Thanks for the help!

  2. #2

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    Re: Help with schedule and travel questions

    Nice write up huh...
    Music is my LIFE!!!

  3. #3

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    Re: Help with schedule and travel questions

    I've been to TDR three times; maybe I can provide answers to some of your questions:

    1) Are we able to purchase tickets at our hotel or only Resort hotels have that option?

    A - Depends on which hotel you're staying at; which hotel are you staying?

    2) If not, for sure we can purchase tickets at the Welcome Center at 7:30 AM? Do trains run that early that we can get there that early? Our hotel offers a shuttle but I'm not sure what the first one is and I want to make sure to be in line an hour before they open, however...

    3) We're going to do DisneySea on the first day because it opens an hour later so it gives us some time to get to the resort area, but I would prefer to do Disneyland first. In my mind, Wednesday would be less crowded then Thursday, y/n or doesn't matter? We will use the parkhopper Friday by going to Disneyland in the morning and heading over to DisneySea for the rest of the day.

    A - I think that since you're going to be there all day I would suggest DL first because it will get very busy as it gets closer to the weekend.


    4) Which one would run out of FP sooner, Big Thunder or Buzz? Our first two FP will be Monsters, Inc. and Pooh. These are the only FP rides we plan to go on.

    A - Don't miss Big Thunder as it's different from the U.S. parks. Buzz is hit or miss; also go see the Country Bears - nothing beats hearing them sing and talk in Japanese - so fun.
    5) Is Jungle Cruise worth going on if I've been on the one in DLR numerous times?

    A - It seems similar to the WDW version except the boat travels the opposit way (somewhat counter clockwise). Also, don't miss the train; very cool. Bottom-line, if you have the time do it; the classic Disney rides are awesome here including Pirates!

    6) Is there a "best" time to go to these attractions: Swiss Family Treehouse, Tiki Room, Tom Sawyer Island Rafts, Haunted Mansion, and Grand Circuit Raceway.

    A - See Mansion when you can, don't underestimate the popularity of this ride. You can ditch Tiki w/Stitch, really not that great. Also, make sure you see parks shows/entertainemnt, the American parks suck in comaprision to TDR entertainment. You must see Electrcial Parade!

    In DisneySea, our FP plan is as follows: ride ToT, then grab a FP Indy, FP Raging Spirits, and our last FP 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and in between, ride other rides.

    A - Raging Spirits is worthless, don't even bother. The electric train between Port Discovery and American Waterfront is better. Also, don't miss Big Band Beat at Am. Waterfront theater. Finally, I doubt you'll need Fast Pass for Tower, I'd focus on starting day at the caldera (volcano) and do the two attractions there - Journey and 20K then branch out. Also, see Mermaid land, it's cool inside.

    7) Same as #6 except DisneySea edition: Stormrider (worth the FP?), Aquatopia, Sinbad, and Magic Lamp Theater (worth the FP?).

    A - Magic Lamp (not worth it); Aquatopia is lame; Stormrider kind of cool and Sinbad is OK.

    8) How do we ask in Japanese if we can wait for the next load to get the front or the back? We really want to get the best experience for 20,000 Leagues and Raging Spirits (although for this, we'd have to go on it to find out if we like the front of the back -- for Screamin' we always ask for the last row even though most people ask for the front.)

    A- Again, Raging Spirits is lame. 20k, ask for front seat. Journey ask for right seats - Make sure you do Indy, much better here than DL in CA.

    9) Are we supposed to take the monorail to DisneySea? I've read tips about walking to save time since it's such a short distance, but all the trip reports I've read talk about riding the monorail.

    A - Short distance? What? Dude, you totally need the monorail!!!!

    10) This is a money question. We're looking to exchange a large sum so we've been monitoring the exchange rate the last couple weeks. I've read on two different sites that it's better to exchange US$ in Japan since it's more favorable than doing it at home but that was last year. Anyone have any experience like that? We'd be doing the exchanging at the airport.

    We have a Capitalone Visa, which shouldn't charge foreign transaction fees. If we decide to take the card along, we'll probably put half our money on it. Does anyone have any experience with the exchange rate with a credit card? How comparable would it be to using cash? I understand if the exchange rate continues going up while we're there, we would benefit, but if it goes down, we would've benefitted exchanging to yen while it was good.

    A - Can't answer - bring lots of Yen in cash form!!!!

    That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Thanks for the help!

    Did yo

  4. #4

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    Re: Help with schedule and travel questions

    I'll try to give you another perspective and opinion in response to your questions....

    1) Are we able to purchase tickets at our hotel or only Resort hotels have that option?

    It all depends on what hotel you are staying at. If you are at a TDR Official Hotel, Partner Hotel or Good Neighbor Hotel you can get tickets there.

    http://www.tokyodisneyresort.co.jp/tdr/english/hotel/index.html

    2) If not, for sure we can purchase tickets at the Welcome Center at 7:30 AM? Do trains run that early that we can get there that early? Our hotel offers a shuttle but I'm not sure what the first one is and I want to make sure to be in line an hour before they open, however...

    I don't know what time the Welcome Center opens on the first day of your visit. Trains start running at 5 AM. My guess would be you can get there earlier by starting early and taking the train. It really does depend on what hotel you are staying at.

    3) We're going to do DisneySea on the first day because it opens an hour later so it gives us some time to get to the resort area, but I would prefer to do Disneyland first. In my mind, Wednesday would be less crowded then Thursday, y/n or doesn't matter? We will use the parkhopper Friday by going to Disneyland in the morning and heading over to DisneySea for the rest of the day.

    I don't think it really matters. Since you may be buying your three day passports on the morning of your first day, maybe you would want to take advantage of TDS opening one hour later.

    4) Which one would run out of FP sooner, Big Thunder or Buzz? Our first two FP will be Monsters, Inc. and Pooh. These are the only FP rides we plan to go on.

    If things are still as they were when I was there this spring, Buzz will run out of FPs first. Before Monster's Inc opened, Pooh and Buzz were the most sought after FPs in the morning dash.

    5) Is Jungle Cruise worth going on if I've been on the one in DLR numerous times?

    If you have time, I would experience it. It is interesting to listen the the skippers in Japanese.

    6) Is there a "best" time to go to these attractions: Swiss Family Treehouse, Tiki Room, Tom Sawyer Island Rafts, Haunted Mansion, and Grand Circuit Raceway.

    Only the HM and Tiki Room will have any significant wait. The others you can just expect normal wait times.

    In DisneySea, our FP plan is as follows: ride ToT, then grab a FP Indy, FP Raging Spirits, and our last FP 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and in between, ride other rides.

    Don't forget one of the "gems" of TDS... Journey to the Center of the Earth. You don't want to miss it.

    7) Same as #6 except DisneySea edition: Stormrider (worth the FP?), Aquatopia, Sinbad, and Magic Lamp Theater (worth the FP?).

    If you can get a Stormrider FP it might save you some time. Aquatopia is a fun quwircky kind of ride. I would try it if you have time. Sindbad will not require a FP. Magic Lamp Theater is entertaining for me. If you don't understand Japanese, get the translation device.

    8) How do we ask in Japanese if we can wait for the next load to get the front or the back? We really want to get the best experience for 20,000 Leagues and Raging Spirits (although for this, we'd have to go on it to find out if we like the front of the back -- for Screamin' we always ask for the last row even though most people ask for the front.)

    It would be best if you just ask in English. If you say you want the front or back and point, most CMs will know what you are asking. If they get what you are asking, they will probably gesture back to you and ask you to wait for the next time they can accomodate you. I do not make special requsts for seating, so I don't know how accomodating they will be. Maybe someone else here will be able to answer this.

    9) Are we supposed to take the monorail to DisneySea? I've read tips about walking to save time since it's such a short distance, but all the trip reports I've read talk about riding the monorail.

    If you are talking about from Maihama Station or from TDL, I would say yes, take the Disney Resort Line(monorail). The only time I would say it might be OK to walk to TDS is if you are at the Ambassador Hotel. Even from there though, I just walk to the Disney Resort Line station in Ikspiari rather than walk.

    10) This is a money question. We're looking to exchange a large sum so we've been monitoring the exchange rate the last couple weeks. I've read on two different sites that it's better to exchange US$ in Japan since it's more favorable than doing it at home but that was last year. Anyone have any experience like that? We'd be doing the exchanging at the airport.

    I have never exchaged USD cash for JPY. I use to exchange Traveler's Checks for JPY at the airport or my hotel. For the past several years I have been getting cash from ATMs.

    I did a write up here before about using credit cards and atm cards.

    http://micechat.com/forums/tokyo-disney-resort/116320-tdl-tdr-april-19-25-a-3.html#post1055350766

    We have a Capitalone Visa, which shouldn't charge foreign transaction fees. If we decide to take the card along, we'll probably put half our money on it. Does anyone have any experience with the exchange rate with a credit card? How comparable would it be to using cash? I understand if the exchange rate continues going up while we're there, we would benefit, but if it goes down, we would've benefitted exchanging to yen while it was good.

    It is my understanding that CC exchange rates are more favorable than ATM or foriegn currency exchange rates. I use CC whenever possible. I have not ever looked or worried about the differences in exchange rate. Having cash is a good idea. At TDR you can use your CC most everywhere except at the outdoor carts.

  5. #5

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    Re: Help with schedule and travel questions

    A - Don't miss Big Thunder as it's different from the U.S. parks. Buzz is hit or miss; also go see the Country Bears - nothing beats hearing them sing and talk in Japanese - so fun.

    Definitely not missing Big Thunder! It's one of our favorites at DLR.

    A - It seems similar to the WDW version except the boat travels the opposit way (somewhat counter clockwise). Also, don't miss the train; very cool. Bottom-line, if you have the time do it; the classic Disney rides are awesome here including Pirates!

    I hope we'll have time for all of them.

    A - See Mansion when you can, don't underestimate the popularity of this ride. You can ditch Tiki w/Stitch, really not that great. Also, make sure you see parks shows/entertainemnt, the American parks suck in comaprision to TDR entertainment. You must see Electrcial Parade!

    The electrical parade is definitely on our list. Tiki Room is there so I can record it for Stitch-fanatic BFF. xD

    It all depends on what hotel you are staying at. If you are at a TDR Official Hotel, Partner Hotel or Good Neighbor Hotel you can get tickets there.

    We are staying at a Good Neighbor Hotel! Thanks for the good news, I'd much rather go with tickets in hand.

    If things are still as they were when I was there this spring, Buzz will run out of FPs first. Before Monster's Inc opened, Pooh and Buzz were the most sought after FPs in the morning dash.

    That's what I suspected. Works out better for us since Buzz is on that side of the park anyway.


    Don't forget one of the "gems" of TDS... Journey to the Center of the Earth. You don't want to miss it.

    Sadly, Journey to the Center of the Earth will be down when we're there, otherwise it'd definitely be on our list.

    Thanks again for your insight! It definitely helps us get a better grasp of how to plan our day.

  6. #6

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    Re: Help with schedule and travel questions

    Our schedule is about the same as yours so this is very helpful for us!

    I wanted to mention that I think Tiki is closed during these dates too (along with Journey and Space Mountain).

    Have a great trip!

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    Re: Help with schedule and travel questions

    Have you thought about your meals while in the park? While they're a bit more expensive, the Sailing Day Buffet at TDS is pretty good and it's actually better than the Crystal Palace at DL.

    Also, it's nice to grab a drink from the hotel bars at Mira Costa or else the Disneyland Hotel. If you're grabbing a late snack at the Disneyland Hotel lounge the pasta dish is good and filling (I had it in April). These bars also serve Tanquerey gin and tonic (yum)!!!

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    Re: Help with schedule and travel questions

    Quote Originally Posted by CatFromOuterSpace View Post
    Our schedule is about the same as yours so this is very helpful for us!

    I wanted to mention that I think Tiki is closed during these dates too (along with Journey and Space Mountain).

    Have a great trip!
    Oh no! I totally missed that, along with Pinocchio and Roger Rabbit (though we wouldn't have ridden those two again). Oh well, I'll watch Youtube videos with her, instead. ^^;

    Thanks, you too! When exactly are you going?

    Quote Originally Posted by disneytom View Post
    Have you thought about your meals while in the park? While they're a bit more expensive, the Sailing Day Buffet at TDS is pretty good and it's actually better than the Crystal Palace at DL.

    Also, it's nice to grab a drink from the hotel bars at Mira Costa or else the Disneyland Hotel. If you're grabbing a late snack at the Disneyland Hotel lounge the pasta dish is good and filling (I had it in April). These bars also serve Tanquerey gin and tonic (yum)!!!
    Yep, the Japanese Disney fan sites have a lot of food pictures and information so we've already picked out all the places we'd like to try eat at. If we're reading correctly, Casbah will still have the curry buffet in the evenings so we're definitely trying that!
    Last edited by tomoyo; 06-09-2009 at 11:54 AM.

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    Re: Help with schedule and travel questions

    Quote Originally Posted by tomoyo View Post
    We are staying at a Good Neighbor Hotel! Thanks for the good news, I'd much rather go with tickets in hand.
    Unfortunately, Good Neighbor Hotels do not offer the benefit of obtaining park tickets at the hotel. Official Hotels and Partner Hotels do.

    I really thought all Disney affiliated hotels offered park tickets, but reading specifically about Good Neighbor Hotels, I see that I was mistaken. Sorry for the misinformation.

  10. #10

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    Re: Help with schedule and travel questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger55 View Post
    Unfortunately, Good Neighbor Hotels do not offer the benefit of obtaining park tickets at the hotel. Official Hotels and Partner Hotels do.

    I really thought all Disney affiliated hotels offered park tickets, but reading specifically about Good Neighbor Hotels, I see that I was mistaken. Sorry for the misinformation.
    Aw, darn it! But it's ok, we had assumed the same thing too, but then we read more closely, we weren't so sure anymore, which is why I asked.

    This is kind of a silly question, but we don't want to assume anything, do both of us need to be there to buy our tickets? Is it ok if one of joins the line at the turnstile while the other buys the tickets?

  11. #11

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    Re: Help with schedule and travel questions

    Joining people in line seems to be a pretty common occurance whether it be for lining up before opening or for FP or Standby queues. It is great if you are the one joining the line, but not so great when a large group joins the people in front of you!

    There are usually quite a few people lined up (acutally sitting down on the pavement) waiting for the park to open. At TDL there will be people there waiting before 6 AM on most days. TDS the number of people lining up before opening is usually less, unless there is a special happening that day.

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    Re: Help with schedule and travel questions

    6 AM?! We were planning on 7:30. Maybe we'll shoot for 7 then.

    That's true about lines. xD At least now I know we won't be out of place if we split up so I can shop while he stands in line. :P

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    Re: Help with schedule and travel questions

    I don't see this information in my notes, is Bon Voyage open later than the parks like WoD is in Anaheim?

    A - Raging Spirits is worthless, don't even bother. The electric train between Port Discovery and American Waterfront is better. Also, don't miss Big Band Beat at Am. Waterfront theater. Finally, I doubt you'll need Fast Pass for Tower, I'd focus on starting day at the caldera (volcano) and do the two attractions there - Journey and 20K then branch out. Also, see Mermaid land, it's cool inside.

    I forgot to respond to this but we're not getting a FP for ToT, we'll be riding it first. We're actually sort of following a plan of attack we found on a Japanese site. The translation we got was a little odd, so we had to dissect it ourselves, sentence by sentence. I think we got the gist of it though.

  14. #14

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    Re: Help with schedule and travel questions

    Bon Voyage is open daily from 7:30-23:00(11:00PM).

    http://www.tokyodisneyresort.co.jp/bv/info.html#sub1

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    Re: Help with schedule and travel questions

    Quote Originally Posted by tomoyo View Post
    Oh no! I totally missed that, along with Pinocchio and Roger Rabbit (though we wouldn't have ridden those two again). Oh well, I'll watch Youtube videos with her, instead. ^^;

    Thanks, you too! When exactly are you going?
    We'll most likely be there that Thursday/Friday, maybe Wednesday.

    Can't wait!

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