Questions on TDR New Years
I was going to wait until more info was posted on the official site, but I'm too excited and I want to get more information now. :D My questions are laced into my paragraphs, but the TLDR version is at the bottom.
We're tentatively planning to go to Japan from 12/27-1/5. We had been planning on going during the week to see Christmas in the parks until a) we found out the event ends on the 25th and b) there's a New Years event the first week of January.
Because of the holidays, it doesn't seem like it would make a major difference when we go, but I think we're still going on a weekday. We are going to go to TDL either Tues (12/29) or Wed (12/30) and than TDS on Monday (1/5) and we wanted to get a Starlight passport on Sun (1/4) to see what we can of the New Years event in TDL. But first, what does it entail? Aside from some event merchadise, iirc there wasn't much to the Tanabata event which just we missed last time we went, but I figure with New Years being the most important holiday, there might be more stuff?
However, I was checking the calendar on the website and noticed hours for 1/1 is 2 am through 10 pm...that's 20 hours?! How does this work? Is it just a regular park ticket? Is it difficult to get in that day? It seems like it would be the best bang for your buck. :)
Fortunately, we did go recently in June, so we've done pretty much everything we wanted to do. We're planning on going on the rides that were closed the first time and our favorites, checking out any new food, and taking in the decor.
Will the Christmas decorations be taken down immediately or will they still be up the few days after Christmas? We can move our first day to Monday (12/28) if it means we can still catch them up. Will Christmas merchandise still be available? Will the special Duffy still be available? I was hoping to get the special Duffy with his tongue sticking out since seeing DuffyDad's pictures of his. :)
On a related note, my bf wants to experience hatsumode on the 31st and we're trying to decide which shrine or temple to go to. I think he's crazy since the crowds will probably be worse than Disneyland, but any recs? I think we'll be in Meguro for most of the time but that night will be in Asagaya, if it helps.
1) What does the New Years event offer (food, attractions, decoration, etc)?
2) 1/1 park hours are 2 AM to 10 PM. How does this work? Is it just a regular park ticket? Is it difficult to get in that day?
3) Will the Christmas decorations be taken down immediately or will they still be up the few days after Christmas?
4) Will Christmas merchandise still be available?
5) Will the special Duffy still be available?
6) Any shrine or temple recs for hatsumode on 12/31?
Thanks for your help!
Re: Questions on TDR New Years
I'll try to help, but I'm sure many other posters like TDLFAN, ichigopara, or JoeinJapan could offer more advice.
1.) For TDR, the New Years events will offer a special menu. I'm sure the specifics will come be on the TDR website shortly. As for the merchandise, there was a small sampling of it in the latest Disney Fan. Since it is the year of the tiger, it looks as if they are going to use a Tigger theme. It will go on sale from 11/18 so there's a slight chance that some goods could be sold out. There will be traditional New Years decorations. The event is short so the decorations are not as elaborate as Halloween or Christmas, but they are nice nonetheless. At TDL, there is usually a short New Years greeting with Mickey and Minnie. TDS usually offers a similar New Years greeting.
2.) On 1/1, TDL and TDS have special operating hours. To bring in the New Year, they hold a Countdown Party at TDL and New Year's Eve Celebration at TDS from 8:00 PM on 12/31 to 2:00 AM on 1/1. In order to attend the park during that time, you needed to apply way in advance for the special passport. I think the chance to get the passports are done randomly and has already ended. There is a special parade at the park. There are viewings of the parade a few days before the New Year, and it's extremely difficult to get into the parks during those days before the New Year.
On a side note, TDL and TDS are only open from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM on 12/31 without the special passport. On 1/1 from 2:00 AM to 10:00 PM, my understanding is that a regular passport is okay. I'm not 100% sure, though. It's sounds straight that it would be open from 2:00 AM through the regular operating hours. During the New Years, I would assume that it is fairly crowded with it being a national holiday and many people already being out and about. It's not difficult or impossible to get in, but it's hard. New Years is a huge celebration in Japan, as you probably already know ;)
3.) The Christmas decorations will most likely come down fairly quickly. TDR has never kept the decorations up for any event for a long time. With the preview for the Countdown parade, I expect them to go down the next day or so after Christmas.
4.) After Christmas Day like the last day of any special event at TDR, there will be no reminents of the Christmas goods. They are taken off the shelves and are, presumably, offered to castmembers at a reduced price.
5.) There will be a new Duffy Cape Cod Season's costume released on 12/28. With Duffy's popularity and the timing, I'm sure this one will sell out really quick.
6.) On 12/31, I don't really have any shrine recommendations. When I lived in Japan, I went to seven shrines for the shichifukujin. In general, I would expect really heavy crowds at the shrines during New Years.
I hope this helps. New Years is my favorite time of year in Japan.
Re: Questions on TDR New Years
"Fairly quickly" is right, as in overnight. I've been in the parks 12/25-12/26 before, and you can see crews get to work at Ikspiari at the stroke of 10pm on the 25th, starting to remove Christmas decorations. Presumably they wait in the parks until they are clear of guests, but between then and opening the next morning, essentially everything gets removed, the BGM in the parks, Ikspiari, and the Resort Line revert back to normal, and if you were to arrive the morning of 12/26, it's as if Christmas never happened. It's quite amazing to see such a dramatic transformation on that scale in so little time.
Originally Posted by honoraryhatter
Re: Questions on TDR New Years
Thank you honoraryhatter and SuperDry for the replies so far. :)
I suspected that about the Christmas, but I was trying to stay optimistic. :( I guess we'll try again in the next couple of years.
I want to clarify that we're definitely not interested in being in the park during the countdown. For some reason, my bf really wants to go with the evening crowd that goes on 31st. We've settled on the Meiji shrine. Our understanding from what we've been reading is that the trains will run all night, would anyone be able to confirm or deny this?
Getting more info about 1/1 would really help with cementing our travel itinerary, so I'd really appreciate if anyone else is able to help. If the trains are running at night, than we can easily be at the park before 1 to stand in line for park tickets if they're "normal" admission costs (assuming the same rules apply, 1 hour before park opening).