Tokyo Disney: March 28-30, 2018.
BEST DISNEY EVER. So far that we’ve experienced.
When planning our Tokyo trip, we knew we had to go to Tokyo Disney this time. For the full experience, we decided to splurge on a Disney vacation package which included our hotel, park entrance, fast passes, and some exclusive merchandise.
By booking a vacation package, we also had access to meal reservations via their website. As a family of 4, it was still difficult to secure. The website is also a little frustrating and could use a user-friendly update. We ended up asking the welcome desk for reservations help upon arrival.
From Tokyo, we took the train to Maihama Station. Basically, at the exit, Maihama Station leads you to the IKSPIARI shopping center (has food and a cinema too), the Disney welcome center, and the Disney Resort Line.
We checked in at the welcome center first and they handed us an envelope with all of our vacation package stuff (entrance tickets and fast passes). After, we walked to the Disney Resort Line and waited at the front because we read that the nose of the train gives you the best view of seeing the path to Disney (it’s a wide open window). The train stops at Miracosta.
We stayed on the Venice side of the hotel. The gift shop in the hotel offers original Disney SEA Hotel MiraCosta items (available here only; logo merchandise), as well as resort merchandise and daily-use items.
Included in our vacation package was a daily breakfast buffet at Oceano (located in Miracosta). We had to select a specific time upon booking (we aimed for an hour before the park opened) and we never had to wait long for a table upon check-in. There are a variety of foods and drinks to choose from. No complaints.
Tokyo Disney SEA
If you don’t have enough time to explore Tokyo Disney SEA and Tokyo Disneyland, choose Disney SEA. The experience is unlike any other Disney we’ve been to. The build felt more detailed. The rides felt longer. The shows were great. Disney always has some kinda magic, but Disney SEA has a little something more.
But it also had lines. Lots and lots of lines. Lines before opening at the park entrance (even if hotel guests can enter 15 minutes earlier than opening time, there was still a line). It took more than 15 minutes for hotel guests to enter the park and by that time, all guests could enter. It was crazy. People literally ran or jumped over medians to get to where they wanted to go. “Cast members” held up signs that said something like “please walk.” No one listened.
There were lines for food. Lines for snacks. Lines for games. People walked in and would sit around the lake for a good amount of the day to secure a spot for the show.
People ran because the fast pass system is archaic. There is no online system and you had to physically go to booths in front of whatever ride to get a ticket for a time slot (make sure the entrance ticket was scanned upon entering the park or else a fast pass will not print for that ticket). One of the craziest lines was for the Toy Story ride.
Fortunately, as part of the vacation package, we received enough fast passes to ride the good rides at least once. We were given “A” fast passes and “D” fast passes; with “A,” we could use it for any ride in the parks and with “D,” we could use it for anything but Toy Story Mania and Nemo & Friends Searider. If we saw that a ride had a short line, we didn’t bother using our fast passes and were able to ride some of our favorite rides twice.
We spent most of our time at Ariel’s Grotto. Olivia really enjoyed the play area inside and all of the rides. The Mermaid Lagoon Theatre was her absolute favorite. Ariel glides across the air in a musical show. It was so well done. We used our fast passes twice to watch it.
The highlight was having a conversation with Ariel (yes, there is a line here too). She asked Olivia if she swam all the way from Florida. Olivia was starstruck.
The different flavored popcorn had to be one of the best things ever. We tried so many flavors, but our top picks were garlic shrimp, black pepper, and soy sauce & butter.
There was an exclusive sakura drink to commemorate the cherry blossom season.
Eat at odd times or be prepared to wait in long lines. We loved the naan and curry dipping sauces from Casbah Food Court.
The spicy smoked chicken leg at the Lost River Cookhouse was very moist and tasty.
We read so many reviews that Magellan’s was the top of the top of all Disney (worldwide) restaurants and had to try. We were not fans. It was okay.. it seemed.. basic. It’s supposed to be fine dining, but we didn’t find it to be particularly well executed. It was simple foods and not so simple prices.
We also tried SS Columbia aboard what looks like a huge ship. Also a disappointment. It was so similar to Magellan’s. After these two “fine-dining” experiences, we canceled our other reservations and decided to eat at the food courts or food stands.
The merchandise throughout Tokyo Disney was pretty cool. Nothing we’ve ever seen before. It’s definitely a good place to pick up special souvenirs.
The great thing about our Tokyo trip was that we got cherry blossom season and Easter! Tokyo Disney was all dressed up for Easter.
Tokyo Disney people watching was pretty fun. They come in creative outfits, they dress in a theme, or groups of people would wear the exact same outfit.
The Tokyo Disneyland side felt very much like any Magic Kingdom/Disneyland park.
Olivia enjoyed Pooh’s Hunny Hunt.
We walked through the back of the castle to find a cute little room upstairs. You could see Cinderella’s glass slipper and you could sit on her throne.
We ate Mickey-shaped nuggets at the food court.
Tokyo Disney has the best princess dresses ever. There’s no glitter!! These were the premium ones.
At the end of the night, there was a light parade in front of the castle. Because we had a vacation package, we were able to sit in a special sitting area to watch the show.
We took a mid-day break during one of our Disney days to relax by the hotel pool. We did have to pay per person, but it was one of the highlights for the kids.
If we are ever back in Tokyo, I’m sure my kids will be begging to come back to Tokyo Disney. Despite the lines, it’s such a massive park that you never lose the magic.
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