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  1. #1

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    Are the lines REALLY that bad?

    I've read trip reports where people say there is a five hour wait for some attractions at TDL These are for trips in the middle of summer so I assume we will be slightly better of in September. I've warned my husband that queues aren't going to be like they have been the two times we've been to DL together, and the fact that I'm not familiar at all with TDL whereas I know DL quite well will also be against us when working the FP's. ToT opens the week before we're there too. I shouldn't be expecting five hour queues though.....should I?

    We'll be there Sept 11th-14th inclusive.
    Next trip September 2013

    Past trips:
    May 2010 TDL and DisneySea
    September 2006 TDL and DisneySea

    Dec 2005 DL
    June 2003 DL
    Dec 2002 WDW
    April 2002 DLP
    Dec 2001 DL
    Nov 2000 WDW
    Oct 2000 DL
    Oct 1997 WDW
    April 1994 DL

  2. #2

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    Re: Are the lines REALLY that bad?

    Expect 30-90 min queues at DisneySea for the major rides. At least 3 hours for TOT depending on when you show up.

    Expect crowds at Disneyland for the Halloween events from the 12th. It is a good thing you're going on weekdays though. However, the major rides show not have more than a 90-120 min wait.

  3. #3

    • Main Street Maniac
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    Re: Are the lines REALLY that bad?

    I visited TDS and TDL last August and experienced the longest lines in my whole experience. In fact, even though I don't usually use the FastPass and prefer enjoy the theming of the queue, I used it very often there, especially when I wanted to get sure I could ride the most amazing rides not just once. On the plus side, except for Pooh's Hunny Hunt (that has an outside queue almost entirely under the sun), queueing theming in TDR is the best I ever experiences, sometimes as beautiful as the attraction itself (Roger Rabbit CarToon Spin, JTTCOTE, Indiana Jones)
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    2008: Disneyland (15 years after the 1st visit!)
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  4. #4

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    Re: Are the lines REALLY that bad?

    Mellywil,
    I am not going to lie to you and tell you the parks will be slow on those days. You will be visiting TDL at the beginning of their "Disney's Halloween" event (so help me God..I will be there on sept 12th to collect my free debut day gift at the door) Those days are particularly busy at TDL with a batallion of APers coming down on the park to see all of the new halloween entertainment and get their free memento gift. You are also coming to TDS just as the TOT has been opened officially for just one week. I anticipate some crowds to be at TDS as well to experience the new TOT but also some of the new entertainment coming to the park as part of their 5th anniversary celebration.

    However... FEAR NOT! You are coming to TDR during a very exciting and (entertainment-wise) plentyful time. But it will require some planning in your part to enjoy your visit... You must become japanese and do things the japanese way... so here are my suggestions:

    First up... Not sure how many days you anticipate to be at TDR or if you are staying in one of the hotels on property. Miracosta allows early entry into TDS at times.. so if you are a guest there, take advantage of that. A 4-day pass would be ideal as it will allow you to enjoy everything there is to be done. If not then...

    -Show up at the parks ONE hour before the gates open and grab a place in any of the lines to enter the park. Trust me, you'll be glad you did once you see the long line waiting to get in behind you by opening time.

    -Once the park opens... MOVE QUICKLY! Most everyone will be rushing to get to their FP attractions quickly. Over at TDL... Hunny Hunt and Astroblasters will be the most popular. Also, because of the Halloween event, the Haunted Mansion Nightmare overlay will be opened and that also packs a lot of people in their stand by line. You will have to make a choice here....

    A) Go into the park and proceed quickly to Astroblasters and get their FP, then proceed to Hunny Hunt and do the stand by line, then get a FP for Haunted Mansion Nightmare once you are permitted to get the next FP.

    OR...

    B) Go immediately to Hunny HUnt and get a FP (the later you wait the longer the line for FP distribution will get..could take over an hour to Just get a FP), then come back to Astroblasters, do stand by, and plan what you want to do the rest of the day... Haunted Mansion Nightmare would be the next logical FP to get.

    Once you have seen those very popular rides..then slow down and plan your day accordingly, taking as much advantage of FP as possible thru the day.

    WAIT TIMES!.... Due to the FP situation, the stand by lines at TDL are regrettable 2-3 hours long for most popular rides on very crowded days. I am yet to see a 5 hr wait time at TDR... but I have seen lines get close to 4 hrs in lenght. That is for stand by lines... This is the reason why I urge you to take advantage of FP as much as possible. Also, DO NOT miss the parades and shows at TDL, as they are very good. You will be able to enjoy 3 different parades each day... Halloween parade, Dreams Parade moving ON!, and Dreamlights at night! Stake a place early for the parades if you want a great view. Wann do it the japanese way?? Bring a picnic mat and place it on the floor for you and your traveling companions to sit on... Everyone does it at TDL and everyone gets to enjoy the view.

    Now... TDS.

    Again, be there early before the park gates open... and this is the procedure that has worked well for me...

    As soon as the park opens... go straight to 20K or TOT and get a FP, then go on the stand by line for Journey to the Center of the Earth... After that, go to Indy and do their stand by line. After Indy, your FP time for 20k or TOT should be up and you can ride it. From this point on... slow down. Choose to get a FP for the other attraction you didn't see (20K or TOT as these FPs go quickly for the day so hurry) Then... Take in the sights and plan your day. Enjoy the sights around Mediterranean Harbor, or proceed to Aabian Coast and enjoy Sindbad, and the 3D movie (get a FP for that as well). Explore Mermaid Lagoon (TDS' Fantasyland) and catch the Mermaid show... it's excellent! Make your way around Lost River Delta, and ride Raging Spirits using the single rider line...fastest way to get on it if you don't mind splitting up. Proceed thru Port Discovery and do Stormrider, have a tranquil time at Cape Cod. Enjoy the sights around American Waterfront. Do plan your day and make time to see the new Mythica show on the lagoon in the afternoon, catch the stage shows... Mysthic Rhythmns is a favorite of mine.. Explore the shops and restaurants as the theming around TDS is top notch Disney fabulous! Then cap the night with a showing of BraviSEAmo!... the romantic show about the spirits of water and fire meeting in the lagoon and falling in love... Not a show as good as Fantasmic! or IllumiNations but, it's great eye candy so enjoy for what it is.

    One more things.. for TDS, bring comfortable shoes and clothing... there is a lot of walking to be done at TDS and that includes hills and stairs in some areas of the parks...as this park is bi-leveled.

    With so much to see, do and discover at both TDR parks, and taking in concideration the size of the crowds... It would be to your advantage to dedicate it 4 days.

    ..And that's my opinion and suggestion for you. Feel free to drop any questions.

  5. #5

    • Shablagoo!
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    Re: Are the lines REALLY that bad?

    Wow, great thread. I have been curious about how the crowds are at the TDR. Is there an off-season? When would be the best time to go to avoid crowds?

  6. #6

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    Re: Are the lines REALLY that bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Melonballer
    Is there an off-season? When would be the best time to go to avoid crowds?
    From the 2nd week of January and thru mid march.. however, it gets very cold in that Tokyo aream with posibility of snow and very windy cold days. Not the best of times to go enjoy TDR, especially because some rides close for refurbishing and park hours may be shortened. Also, June is rainy season in Japan and things tend to slow down a bit at TDR, which can affect a lot of the outdoor activities (parades, shows, events..) and the parks tend to be less crowded at that time.

    Times to avoid if you do not want to deal with huge crowds:
    -New year Holidays..first week in Jan, it's a very unique and very japanese time at TDR, with japanese decor all over and special japanese style shows. Mickey and Minnie in kimonos, very cute.
    -Golden Week (first week in May) Very crowded due to 3 national holidays held the same week.
    -Spring Break (mid-late Mar) Last march, TDL closed due to filled capacity for about 7 days in a row.. Avoid!
    -Late July and all month of August (summer vacation time) Both TDR parks are very crowded at this time and the hot humid weather does make it very trying to enjoy the parks if you can't tolerate heat and sweat.
    -Mid Sept thru all of Oct. Halloween event in full gear... very crowded at TDL, slower crowds at TDS, however, with TDS' 5th anniversary celebration.. it's everyone's guess what the crowds will be like in TDS during this period.
    -early Nov thru New year's eve.... VERY crowded at TDL due to Xmas Event, and TDS sees extremely healthy crowds as well during their "Harborside Xmas event".

    ...And there you have it.

  7. #7

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    Re: Are the lines REALLY that bad?

    TDLFAN's advice is right on the money and mirrors my own experience.
    You MUST MUST MUST be at the parks 30 to 60 minutes before they open the gates at the appointed hour. You have never seen so many thousands of people neatly lined up behind the gate at every turnstile (and all turnstiles open at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, so there's never a question of which gate will open).
    Forget Buzz Lightyear, it's essentially the same as what you've seen in the States. GO DIRECTLY TO Pooh's Hunny Hunt and get immediately on the line. Ride it, then get a FastPass to come back later on your way out.
    Go IMMEDIATELY to Haunted Mansion Holiday Nightmare and ride it. When you come out, go immediately to Splash Mountain and get another FastPass (if the timing is right--if you get your Pooh FastPass early enough, then your window to get another FastPass may now be open). Go immediately to Big Thunder Mountain and ride it. If you haven't gotten a FastPass for Splash Mountain, do it now. (Tokyo has the best version of Splash Mountain.)
    Now go back and get in line for Space Mountain. You'll have a wait, but by the time you're done, your Fastpasses will start kicking in.
    You are now free to relax, eat lunch, and go on The Mickey Mouse Review, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Tiki Room, etc., to round out your day.
    The crowds for Buzz may thin out toward the end of the day, or you may be able to snag a Fastpass for it when your next window opens up.
    Good luck! I just made my reservations for four days at the end of September and can't wait!

  8. #8

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    Re: Are the lines REALLY that bad?

    Is it just me or are the CM's quite strict at TDR? When your Fastpass expires, they don't seem to let you in like the CM's do at the American parks. Is this a rule they must follow or did I just get a strict CM?

    It was quite confusing at times....I didn't know whether to get a Fastpass or go in standby because even the Fastpass line was huge!

  9. #9

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    Re: Are the lines REALLY that bad?

    I've never had a problem using a FastPass beyond its return time.

  10. #10

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    Re: Are the lines REALLY that bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Goddess Mara
    I've never had a problem using a FastPass beyond its return time.
    At TDR?? Really?? The only time I tried to use a FP after the time window, I was refused entry, therefore I have not tried doing that again.

    And your advise up above was great!!!

  11. #11

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    Re: Are the lines REALLY that bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by TDR_Fan
    Is it just me or are the CM's quite strict at TDR? When your Fastpass expires, they don't seem to let you in like the CM's do at the American parks. Is this a rule they must follow or did I just get a strict CM?
    As I posted above, I was refused entry into Space Mountain because my FP window time had passed. So who knows since Mara claims she has been able to ride after her FP has expired. I do have to say, I have an issue with CMs who allow people with expired FPs to access rides..as that causes further delay to those in the Stand By Line. It's bad enough those in the Stand By lines are basically penalized for not wanting to use FP or simply because they didn't get a FP before they ran out.

    I didn't know whether to get a Fastpass or go in standby because even the Fastpass line was huge!
    There is no FP line that is as long as any Stand By line in the park, and at least the FP distribution line *moves*, as opposed to the Stand by line. So I'd suggest you get the FP.

  12. #12

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    Re: Are the lines REALLY that bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN
    As I posted above, I was refused entry into Space Mountain because my FP window time had passed. So who knows since Mara claims she has been able to ride after her FP has expired. I do have to say, I have an issue with CMs who allow people with expired FPs to access rides..as that causes further delay to those in the Stand By Line. It's bad enough those in the Stand By lines are basically penalized for not wanting to use FP or simply because they didn't get a FP before they ran out.


    There is no FP line that is as long as any Stand By line in the park, and at least the FP distribution line *moves*, as opposed to the Stand by line. So I'd suggest you get the FP.
    I was refused entry at Indiana Jones because I was too busy rushing from Tokyo Disneyland, and missed the time window by about 20 minutes. Oh well....at least I got to ride it later in the night.

  13. #13

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    Re: Are the lines REALLY that bad?

    Also, you should know that last month when I was there, I noticed the FP return-time window is now 2-hours long. I suspect this was changed in order to give guests more time to be able to enjoy the attractions and decrease the chances of being turned away if they missed their return time window.

  14. #14

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    Re: Are the lines REALLY that bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN
    Also, you should know that last month when I was there, I noticed the FP return-time window is now 2-hours long. I suspect this was changed in order to give guests more time to be able to enjoy the attractions and decrease the chances of being turned away if they missed their return time window.
    That's good to hear.

  15. #15

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    Re: Are the lines REALLY that bad?

    Just out of interest, as TDR's Splash Mountain is "the best", how different is it? is it still themed on the Briar Patch or something completely different? I've always found DLPs version of Thunder Mountain to be better than WDW and DLR, I wonder how it compares to TDR's.

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