I'm just about a week out from my trip to TDR with my girlfriend. We'll be there September 1-8. We'll be staying at the Ambassador for the first five days and the MiraCosta for the last two.
My plan as of now is to start off with a Starlight Passport to TDL on the evening of the 1st, mostly just to ride Splash Mountain before its rehab. Then we'll begin a 3-Day ticket the following day, with TDS on 9/2 (especially because Raging Spirits goes down the next day), TDL on 9/3, and probably both on 9/4. If we feel the desire to do more after that, we'll upgrade to a 4-Day and spend 9/5 in the parks as well. (We really want to do everything because we don't know when we'll be back.)
After that, the plan is to do a few days of shopping and walking around in Tokyo. If we really feel like we need to, we can always do more of the parks, too. That's my main focus for this trip; Tokyo itself is really just a diversion.
I'm really, really, excited and, accordingly, I did lots of research, but I still have some questions. I'm going to list them below in no particular order. Any help is much appreciated. Frequent visitors to TDR, people who've only been once, those who go as often as they can make it, anyone who can help, please do.
1. What will the crowds be like during my visit? Will they have died down a bit from the summer madness yet? As far as I can tell, they should be more manageable, but give me a better idea of it if you could.
2. To get a Pooh FastPass in a reasonable amount of time after entering the park, how early do we need to be in line for park entry? Will FastPasses run out super-quickly or can we take our time getting there, maybe take some photos on the way? Is it possible to just get in the Standby line instead of getting a FastPass? Which line would be shorter, Standby or the line to get a FastPass?
3. At DisneySea, which attraction should be my first FastPass? Tower of Terror? Journey to the Center of the Earth? Can I get by without rushing to a ride at all? Would we still be able to see everything in the time that we have there (one full day and one or two partial days) if we just take it easy and explore? I'd prefer to do that if possible, especially with a park we've never been to. It would be nice to just walk and take it in for a while when we first get in, especially in this totally unique park. But we'll do what we have to do.
4. Is there a point at night at which the rides pretty much become walk-ons, like at the American parks? Is that true even of the crazy-popular E-Tickets like Pooh, TOT, and JTTCOTE?
5. How should we dress? I've heard that the Japanese tend to dress nicer in the parks. Will I look totally out of place in nice t-shirt and shorts? (I'm thinking trendy, nice-looking things, not like tacky, touristy ones.) I plan on bringing some collared shirts, too, but I definitely want to fit in culturally, so should I even pack t-shirts and/or shorts at all aside from around-the-room things? What about in the city? Is it acceptable to be more casual there or no? I guess I just don't want to be the tacky tourists. Certainly, we'll look like tourists, being gaijin and somewhat confused ones at that, but I just want to be appropriate, I guess.
6. What can I expect, weather-wise, this time of year? How likely is it that it will rain for virtually the entire trip? I'd be pretty sad if it did, but less so if I was prepared for it. I mean, I'll be able to find out with 10-day forecasts very shortly, but I'm looking for a more general idea for now.
7. What are some frequently-missed attractions, areas, restaurants, anything that is worth seeing?
8. What are the best places to meet characters? I'm particularly interested in Donald in anything other than his normal outfit and characters you never or only rarely see at the American parks.
9. How easy is it to change between the Disney hotels? Should it be no big deal?
10. Any other tips? Really, anything is fine by me. What do you always tell first-time visitors or always wish somebody had told them? Any advice on my plans? Better ideas? Anything at all that you can think of, write it. I want to hear it.
Thanks very much for any help you can offer!