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  1. #1

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    Tokyo Disney Jan 2013

    Thought it was about time I started my PTR.

    Hi I am Jess, from Sydney Australia.

    It has been 5 long years since I last visited a disney park. That was a wonderful trip (DL, WDW and Cruise!). We also came home Pregnant!... Now we have 2 beautiful daughters 4 and 2...

    I LOVE everything DISNEY! I have even been fortunate enough to work in WDW for 3 months in 2000-2001! What an experience.. If you would like to know about my time as a cast me meber let me know!

    So here we go...

    WHo is going:
    Me (32), DH (31), DD1(4) DD2 (2), my parents, my Sis (29), BIL (29) and Nephew (1)


    We are going Jan 15th - Jan 23rd... I know January is going to be FREEZING! but who cares, its still disney.


    We are staying the entire trip at the hilton tokyo bay.


    Havent really planned anything just yet, which is so not like me. I think I had a countdown from a year last trip !

    I have been to tokyodisneyland but DH and kids havent been.

    I am after advice!!!!!
    1. has anyone been in January?
    2. any tips with travelling with kids?
    3. How did you get to the disney resort from the airport?
    4. What are your must sees in TOKYO??
    5. do you buy you park tickets before leaving australia?
    6.can you book character meals before you arrive?

    thanks for reading... Hopefully this will get me excited about the trip. Life has just been in the way ATM and havent had time to plan....

    looking forward to getting to know you all
    Jess

  2. #2

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Jan 2013

    Here you go!
    1. After you exit the customs area, walk to the counter for the Airport Limousine Bus. They will have a bus that goes directly to the Hilton Tokyo Bay. Cost is 2,400 yen per person (not sure if there's a child's price).

    2. I've been in February. The cold is not just normal east-coast type cold. The wind that comes in off Tokyo Bay is bone-chilling. So, layers, layers, layers, scarves and gloves. And more layers.

    3. I've only traveled with my daughter who's 10 and a half. No problems. Make sure to get your kids on Tokyo time ASAP. Normally, one tries to avoid naps because of jet lag, but your young child is still napping, so someone else will have to give you advice there. But, normal park going rules still apply: go early in the morning and be online before the gates open. After lunch go back to your room and relax for at least three hours. Even though it may be freezing in the evening, the park may still be crowded, particularly on a weekend. (However January is one of the least crowded months.)

    4. Buy your park tickets at the Hilton Tokyo Bay. It's the simplest way. There are no discounts anywhere. You'll need to pay for them with cash. (And, by the way, one of the best ways to change dollars into yen is at the airport. There is a bank/cash exchange directly to your left as you come out of the customs area.) Most ATMs in Japan do not accept US credit cards, other than those in 7/11 stores and post offices. There is a 7/11 walking distance from Tokyo Disneyland, though you might have trouble finding it. Keep your eyes peeled out the RIGHT side of the bus after you exit the highway on the way to the resort and you'll see the 7/11.)

    5. Not sure if you can book character meals ahead unless you are staying at a Disney hotel or you can access the Japanese language website. There is a way to do it on the English-language version of the Tokyo Disney Resort website, but it might be linked to your hotel reservation.

    6. Everyone's must-see attractions are subjective, but with your kids you'll want to do Monster's Inc and Pooh's Hunny Hunt in Tokyo Disneyland. The Fantasyland rides also often have long lines. There's far less for young children to do at DisneySEA.

    Look around on this portion of the website because a lot of your questions have been asked and answered before.

    And, again, DRESS WARMLY.

    ---------- Post added 10-28-2012 at 01:10 PM ----------

    Here is some general information about staying at one of the official hotels from the Tokyo Disney Resort Website:

    Guests staying at a Tokyo Disney Resort Official Hotel can enjoy the following benefits.
    1. Obtain Park Tickets at the Hotel

    Official Hotel Guests can purchase tickets for Tokyo Disneyland Park and Tokyo DisneySea Park right at their Hotel. In addition, Guests who have purchased Park ticket vouchers from a travel agency may exchange those vouchers for actual tickets at the Hotel.
    2. Guaranteed Park Admission

    Official Hotel Guests who have valid Park Passports are guaranteed admission to Disney Parks even during periods of restricted admission and peak visiting days.
    3. Tokyo Disney Resort Information

    Up-to-the-minute information on all aspects of the Resort, including Park operating hours and event schedules, is available at the Official Hotels.
    4. Convenient Shuttle Bus

    Complimentary shuttle bus service aboard the Disney Resort Cruiser is provided between the Official Hotels and Bayside Station on the Disney Resort Line.
    5. A Great Place to Take a Break

    The Official Hotels are conveniently located next to both Disney Parks. That means you can easily take a break from your day at the Park and enjoy shopping, dining, or just plain relaxing at your Hotel. When you leave the Park, have your hand stamped for re-entry. And then, when you return to the Park, show your hand stamp and valid Disney Park Passport.
    6. Disney Shopping at the Hotel

    Disney Fantasy shops inside the Official Hotels offer a wide range of Disney and other merchandise that are perfect for gifts or souvenirs.
    7. Baggage Delivery Service

    Official Hotel Guests arriving at the Resort by train who wish to get started on their Resort vacation right away may have their belongings sent ahead to the Hotel. The Baggage Delivery Service is available at the Hotel Service Counter on the station level of the Tokyo Disney Resort Welcome Center located next to JR Maihama Station.
    Born in a shoebox and making the most of it.

  3. #3

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Jan 2013

    Very good information from poster above.

    Back in 2010, we were considering going to Tokyo Disneyland in January or February but our friend who lives in Tokyo said it was not the best of times to visit for some reasons, if I recall.. apart from the bitter cold weather, there are also shorter park hours, multiple rehabilitation schedules that would close attractions and cover up buildings with construction screens, the lack of any special events, etc. The one positive? No crowds in the parks. So as long as you don't mind getting a "basic" experience (no special seasonal entertainment for example) then you should be ok.

  4. #4

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Jan 2013

    There used to be a special event in Tokyo Disnyeland: "Cinderellabration, Lights of Romance," that was quite beautiful. But DAMN cold. My toes are frozen just thinking about it.
    Born in a shoebox and making the most of it.

  5. #5

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Jan 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Fukai View Post
    There used to be a special event in Tokyo Disnyeland: "Cinderellabration, Lights of Romance," that was quite beautiful. But DAMN cold. My toes are frozen just thinking about it.

    For the love of Disney....

  6. #6

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Jan 2013

    Fellow Australian! I was in Tokyo last February and the parks were quiet and I had a great time. I love the cold, although I'm sure January is colder. A good excuse to buy the warm character hats at Disneyland that all the locals buy. I love my stitch one!

    Some other tips:
    If you will be buying food in the parks, and will be there for multiple days, it might be a good idea to buy popcorn buckets. They are nice souvenirs and you get cheaper refills than buying popcorn - you have about 15 flavours to choose from around the two parks, some are delicous... some interesting.

    There is a small supermarket in the Hilton (we stayed there), and a larger one in Ikspiari near the parks, and a nice food court next door. Access to parks and the shops is easy on the monorail which stops just a couple minutes walk from the Hilton.

    For rides, a few essentials for the kids (and yourselves!). Pooh's Hunny Hunt. Over and over! One of the top few rides in the resort (and there are so many great rides!). This is generally one of the busiest rides at Disneyland... we went there first thing in the morning for a fast pass... but also found that it became really quiet whenever a parade was on, so we would watch a parade from where the parade started and then hurry over to the ride once it finished and almost walk straight on.

    Most of the shows are entirely in Japanese I think it is important to note. They still do the sword in the stone mini show, and often will take in a non-japanese speaker to joke with. Philharmagic is great even in Japanese. And a huge amount of attractions across Fantasyland and Toontown.

    Disneysea - Mermaid Lagoon is the indoor kids area with some nice theming and rides and a great little mermaid show. Sinbad is probably my favourite disney dark ride of any park. Essential! The water shows in the harbour are fantastic as well. It's all good really! I have heard that everyone rushes to the new Toy Story ride at opening leaving the rest of the park fairly quiet... although the children targeted rides are generally quiet anyway. Also take some boat rides, that'll be an experience for the kids! And make sure to explore the fortress.

    For adults... Tower of Terror is a unique theme here, Journey is amazing, 20,000 leagues... Indiana Jones is a unique version. I think for the adults you will get a lot more out of DisneySea if you are looking for unique attractions and experiences, but there is probably more for the kids at Disneyland. I assume with the group you have going you'll get a chance to get some time without the kids to explore DisneySea and the thrill rides because it is the most incredible place out there.

  7. #7

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Jan 2013

    There was a wonderful trip report written by an uncle traveling with his 10 year old niece, but I think the page has disappeared. Does anyone else remember?

    Anyhow, it looks like you've already got some excellent advice. I'll be watching for your report to see what to do when we take our little newborn boy for his first trip to Japan in a few years!

    Edit: I just noticed that this is your first post on MiceChat. Welcome to one of the Happiest Places on the Internet!
    Drop another coin in slot and I will tell you more.

  8. #8

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Jan 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Esmeralda View Post
    There was a wonderful trip report written by an uncle traveling with his 10 year old niece, but I think the page has disappeared. Does anyone else remember?
    Yep! Here's the thread.

  9. #9

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Jan 2013

    does anyone know by any chance if the popcorn is gluten free? or how Iwould find this out??

  10. #10

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Jan 2013

    You would find out if it's gluten free by going to Guest Relations.
    Born in a shoebox and making the most of it.

  11. #11

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Jan 2013

    I've heard others post before that DisneySea is geared more towards adults, which is true, but there is plenty for kids to ride and see there! I'm going back with my girls on...SUNDAY!!! And they are 4 and 3. This is a return trip for us, so I just wanted to highlight what your girls will enjoy as mine have.

    Mermaid Lagoon: This is a given! They actually do have height requirements on a couple of the rides, but there are many that the whole family can enjoy together. In addition to the rides and the Little Mermaid show -- which is really great as things happen all around the theater -- there is a great play area. The girls have a great time playing and exploring this little area while Mom and Dad get to take a break for a bit.

    Arabian Coast: The double decker carousel is always a winner, the Adventure of Sinbad is a great ride that usually has such short lines you can ride it several times in a row. Haven't ridden it yet, but I know Jasmine's Flying Carpets will go over big. There is also the Magic Lamp Theater which is another 3D show; yes, it is in Japanese, but they have the handheld English devices you can ask a CM for.

    Lost River Delta -- they may not be tall enough for Indy or the coaster, but this is where the character trails are so the little ones can see Mickey and the gang! Mystic Rhythms is a Cirque-du-Soleil type show and everytime we've went, the girls love all the sounds and colors.

    Port Discovery: You may have to keep an arm steady on the 2 year old, but Aquatopia is on the same trackless system as Pooh's Honey Hunt, so you never know which way you're going to go. This time, I am going to make sure we ride it at night! I've read that the lights in the water give the ride an extra element you don't get during the day. And no worries, they only turn up the water during the warmer months. Horizon Bay restaurant is one of the places to have a character meal, so if that's important to have some more one-on-one time with Mickey, you'll want to check it out.

    American Waterfront: Toy Story. That's all I'm saying. You WILL need to utilize FP, though, and in order to do that, you'll need to get over there well within the first hour of park opening. Also, my 4 year, as soon as she was tall enough, couldn't wait to ride Tower of Terror. I was hesitant, but she begged. This was actually at California Adventures. I was afraid she would be freaked out, but as we came off the ride, with a huge grin on her face she said "Wow, that was scary!!! LET'S DO IT AGAIN!" This is also where they can see Duffy, who is hugely popular in Japan. Turtle Talk is also here, but I will give credit to the CMs who, when we started to get in line, informed us it would only be in Japanese and they were sorry English wasn't available.

    Mysterious Island: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is little-kid friendly.

    Mediterranean Harbor: Fortress Explorations is fun as long as you keep up with your kids! My oldest loved running up and down the stairs and discovering all the passageways. A great place to let off some energy.

    Other things include the Venetian Gondolas, the Transit Steamer which goes around the park, and Big City Vehicles. I just always found those things go a little too slow for my liking. I'm usually sitting there left thinking "I wish it would hurry up so we can go on to do something else!" But, that's me.

    The first time we saw Fantasmic -- and this wasn't even the new and improved Fantasmic -- my oldest, who was a little over a year at that point, hid her face on my shoulder on more than a couple times. That dragon was a little scary! And the new dragon is supposed to be even bigger and scarier! But, I've read reviews that say it is the best Fantasmic of them all and not to be missed!

    Anyway, I hope you have a great time!

  12. #12

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Jan 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by aliceinwonderland1 View Post
    does anyone know by any chance if the popcorn is gluten free? or how Iwould find this out??
    Popcorn in itself is gluten free. However, the concern regarding gluten content should be focused on the particular flavoring used on the popcorn.

    TDR is famous for their wide variety of popcorn flavors. And the flavors do change from time to time.

    Unless you find someone in Guests Relations that really does comprehend your gluten concerns, it might be safer to just skip the popcorn.

    Just curious, aren't you concerned about all the other food offerings at TDR as to their gluten content?

  13. #13

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Jan 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger55 View Post
    Popcorn in itself is gluten free. However, the concern regarding gluten content should be focused on the particular flavoring used on the popcorn.

    TDR is famous for their wide variety of popcorn flavors. And the flavors do change from time to time.

    Unless you find someone in Guests Relations that really does comprehend your gluten concerns, it might be safer to just skip the popcorn.

    Just curious, aren't you concerned about all the other food offerings at TDR as to their gluten content?
    yeah I am worried... dont know what my poor 4 yr old is going to do! lots of boiled rice i guess!

    Do you know if they sell autograph books in TOKYO disney?

  14. #14

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Jan 2013

    I can't remember if they sell autograph books, but you should know that the lines for meeting characters can be very long at the Tokyo Disney Resort. You could, in fact, spend your entire day waiting on lines to meet characters. It's not like the US parks, where the characters are more easily accessible.
    Born in a shoebox and making the most of it.

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