Tips and tricks to hack your way to a better Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea adventure

Many rave about Tokyo Disneyland/DisneySea, claiming that they are unlike any of the other Disney Resort Parks around.It is definitely a must see if you happen to be in Japan.

To enhance your experience in Tokyo Disneyland/DisneySea, we’ve compiled a few tips and tricks that could make things a lot smoother sailing when visiting the Happiest Place on Earth.

Check the crowd calendar

Crowd calendar TDR

Perhaps the best thing since sliced bread, the crowd calendar helps you steer clear of days when Tokyo’s Disney parks are packed to the brim. Functioning on a scale of 0 to caution sign (100), it takes into account a myriad of factors like school holidays, occasions, and weather, to name a few.

This is an extremely important tool to use prior to purchasing your tickets as the only thing worse than lining up for your entrance ticket is lining up for over two hours for a two-minute Winnie the Pooh ride.

Tokyo Disneyland Crowd Calendar
Tokyo DisneySea Crowd Calendar

Buy your tickets in advance

Tokyo Disneyland Tickets

Park visitors are known to line up 45 minutes prior to opening and you do not want to spend your first hour or so in line purchasing tickets. These can be bought from official hotels, partner hotels or through agencies. Sometimes if you are lucky, you might be able to buy your tickets at a discounted rate.

There are various types of tickets you can purchase.


For more information, head over to the Tokyo Disneyland official website.

Familiarize yourself with the map

Tokyo Disneyland Map

One of the best things you can do before entering Disneyland or DisneySea is familiarizing yourself with the layout of the parks. This helps you ‘strategize’ your flow for the day, from the attractions you would want to visit, to the shows or parades of interest. Plenty of time will be spent waiting so you would not want to waste any more time trying to figure out what to do or where to go.

What you can do is download a map from here and make your plans the night before, or on the way to Disneyland or DisneySea.

Each park has a ‘centre’ from which all sections of the parks are accessible. This would be the best place to meet up should you lose your group members.

Download a Wait Time Check App


If you happen to have mobile service on you, make sure you download a Tokyo Disneyland/DisneySea Wait Time Check app. There are several available in the App Store or Google Play for you to choose from and they all function pretty much the same way.

This nifty little thing gives you a little insider information pertaining to waiting times for rides, attractions and parades, in real time. Some of them even tell you the status of its FASTPASS® ticketing systems.  Waiting times for rides can sometimes take up to three hours, especially during peak season and you do not want to be wasting your time!



The FASTPASS® is a system that churns out passes that allow you to skip lines by coming back at a designated time. All you need to do is look for the FASTPASS® machines that are located outside the attractions, insert your park ticket, and receive your printed FASTPASS®.

Do keep in mind that they are pretty strict when it comes to timing and the Disneyland Cast Members (staff) may not allow you to use the FASTPASS® system if you are late. Also, FASTPASS® passes do run out really quickly so it’s best to run(!!) over to your favourite attractions as soon as you can to secure your pass.

Here are some attractions with FASTPASS®


Space Mountain (Tomorrowland)
Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters (Tomorrowland)
Star Tours: The Adventure Continues (Tomorrowland)
Monsters INC: Ride & Go Seek! (Tomorrowland)
Pooh’s Hunny Hunt (Fantasyland)
Haunted Mansion (Fantasyland)
Splash Mountain (Critter Country)
Big Thunder Mountain (Westernland)


Tower of Terror (American Waterfront)
Toy Story Mania! (American Waterfront)
Stormrider (Port Discovery)
Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull (Lost River Delta)
Raging Spirits (Lost River Delta)
Magic Lamp Theatre (Arabian Coast)
Mermaid Lagoon Theatre (Mermaid Lagoon)
Journey to the Centre of the Earth (Mysterious Island)
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Mysterious Island)

Use Single Rider lanes

Single Rider TDR

Are you the only person in your group that wants to witness Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull (which, by the way, is arguably the best in Tokyo Disneyland) ? Lucky you!

The single rider feature in Disneyland and DisneySea allows you to skip that painfully long queue if you do not mind sitting with a stranger – Disney Parks’ way of eliminating long lines by allowing single riders to fill in empty seats, making sure that each car carries the maximum amount of allowed passengers.

Just follow the ‘Single Rider’ signs and you’ll be walking past the super long queues, much to the envy of those lining up in groups.


Splash Mountain (Critter Country)


Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull (Lost River Delta)
Raging Spirits (Lost River Delta)

Make a Priority Seating booking

Blue Bayou Tokyo Disneyland

Regardless of what people say about food prices in Disneyland, it is an absolute must to pay a visit to at least one restaurant on park grounds. When it comes to an all round amazing experience, Disneyland has it down to a pat.

The only downside is the potentially long wait before you get a highly-coveted seat at a place like the famous Blue Bayou Restaurant (photo) but do not despair.

A reservation booking system, all you need to do is to walk up a Cast Members located at the restaurant and ask for Priority Seating with your preferred time. They will then pass you a printed ticket. Just don’t forget to come back for the gumbo.

Here are the restaurants you can opt for Priority Seating:


Eastside Cafe (World Bazaar)
Restaurant Hokusai (World Bazaar)
Blue Bayou Restaurant (Adventureland)
Crystal Palace Restaurant (Adventureland)


Ristorante di Canaletto (Mediterranean Harbor)
Magellan’s (Mediterranean Harbor)
S.S. Columbia Dining Room (American Waterfront)
Restaurant Sakura (American Waterfront)
Sailing Day Buffet (American Waterfront)

Save a spot for parades and outdoor shows in advance

Tokyo Disneyland Parade

No trip to Disneyland or DisneySea is complete without watching one of their amazing parades or outdoor shows. There are several that take place on a daily basis so you would have no excuse to miss out on them. Expect to see the craziest floats, dancers and Disney characters in costume, a visual and auditory feast for the senses, whether or not you are 2 years of age, or 100!

Disney parade and outdoor show enthusiasts are known to book their place three hours in advanced but if you are there for just a day, you could always come back 45 minutes to an hour prior to the show. Sit down or bring a mat to secure your position.

People are generally kinder to children so if your child is being blocked by others, what you can do is ask the person in front if they could allow your him/her to stand in front of them. Please don’t put your child on your shoulders as this makes it harder for the people behind to enjoy the show.

If you are a fan of fireworks, be sure to stay till the end of the parade come nightfall.

Collect pressed pennies as souvenirs for friends and family

Pressed pennies Tokyo Disneyland

Souvenirs in the Disney Stores strewn across the park grounds are top-notch but not exactly wallet-friendly. If Disney gifts for friends are what you are looking for, pressed pennies are perfect!

Essentially coins melted and then pressed with various prints, these affordable gifts are not only nice to look at but the process of making them are fun to watch as well.

These machines are ‘hidden’ all over the parks, from Disney Stores to arcades to train stations so you will have to do a little searching. Each penny pressing machine has several different designs and you just might find yourself running high and low looking for your favourite characters. From Star Wars to Duffy, they have them all.

Don’t be afraid to ask Cast Members for help

Image by

Who better to give advice than the staff who work there? All part of the Disney experience, Cast Members are there to help you however they can, whenever they can. From directions to the restrooms, advice on attractions, and upgrades, they cover it all. If language barriers worry you, look for the Cast Members wearing a language support pin.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained and from piloting boats to getting free souvenirs from attractions, you won’t know what you can get from these lovely people until you ask, and nicely at that.

Try out the popcorn flavours


One of the highlights of Tokyo Disneyland/DisneySea is the popcorn flavours that can be found, and park visitors go absolutely nuts over them. A person carrying a bucket of popcorn is definitely not an uncommon sight here.

From the strange flavours like milk tea and soy sauce to the familiar like caramel and salt. Once in a while, you will find limited edition flavours like Corn Potage or Jalapeno. There are about fifteen huge popcorn stands strewn across both parks and they are not easy to miss!

Have you got any of your own Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea tips and tricks? We want to know! Do share with us your tips and tricks in the comments below.

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