First of all, THANK YOU to everybody here who posted questions and answers that helped me plan my trip. I knew this forum was an amazing resource, but I never knew it more than when I was actually at TDR putting it all into practice. THANK YOU!!
I won’t do a trip report because there have been so many awesome ones done before me and I doubt there’s much I could add. Instead, I’ll list some random thoughts and ideas.
About TDR and Tokyo:
- At first glance, it’ll look like all the stores carry the same merchandise. Not true! In every store I went to, I saw a new product w/the Mickey and Minnie snowman characters or with the Hakura Minnie design. Ditto w/the music CDs. Keep this in mind when making purchases.
- If you’re a Disney pin collector (which I am not), know that TDR does not participate and as a result does not have that many pins offered for sale. I did find a cute one of Minnie in a kimono in a shop somewhere near Pirates at TDL, I believe.
- We took the Friendly Airport Limousine (info found at TDR website) direct to TDR and arrived at the Miracosta around 4 p.m. We opted to explore the hotel and Ikspiari that evening instead of heading into one of the parks, which was a good time for us to explore and be awed w/o having to tear ourselves away from a park later in the trip.
- Cast members do not seem to speak English as well as they do in the city. There’s no reason they should, either, because you’re traveling in their home. But keep this in mind and know a few key words like please and thank you and excuse me. “Toilet” was universally understood, as were my hand gestures and map pointing for more complicated questions.
- The Miracosta is a beautiful hotel. It is also a very expensive hotel. I won’t stay here on my next trip, but am happy to have had the experience. We stayed in partial view rooms on the Port Paradiso side the first night (view of Mediterranean Harbor and part of Mt. Prometheus) and on the Tuscany side the next two nights (view of Aquasphere). The rooms are beautiful, but not very much more so than a Mandalay Bay or Venetian room in Vegas (I know Vegas does have exceptional rooms, however). They are huge by the standards we saw in Tokyo and Kyoto, though. And the service is impeccable. And the atmosphere outside your window is wonderful. The early entry and the ease of returning to your room after a long day of fun was a real luxury!
- The last Airport Bus from TDR’s Miracosta stop to Narita Airport was at 5:47 p.m. We opted to leave the park early to take this bus instead of staying an extra 4 hours and having to transfer twice on the JR with all of our luggage. We spent that night at the Tokyo Narita Hilton. I was NOT impressed, and it wasn’t because we had just come from the Miracosta. Keep the airport bus schedule in mind when you plan your trip.
- If you are going to stay in Tokyo at all, I highly recommend the Oakwood Apartments in Shinjuku for two people. It was new and clean with a free Internet lounge, helpful front desk staff and an awesome location. It was slightly less than $100/night through Orbitz, too.