Our first day at Tokyo Disneyland
A visit to the Tokyo Disney Resort has been a bucket list item for as long as I can remember. Finally being here, and stepping inside the park for the first time, was magic unparalleled. I expected to be wowed, but Tokyo Disney blew away all my expectations. The park, the people, the food, the parades — everything was amazing. The day ended up being a whirlwind of walking, crazy crowds, Kawaii snacks, and unending internal freak outs over the absolute perfectness of it all. I loved it so much!
Of the 6 days we spent inside the Tokyo Disney parks, this first day (a Sunday) was the most crowded. The most popular rides were over a 2 hour wait, it was standing room only at a lot of the eateries, and the lineups for the parades were insanity. But even so, we had the most ridiculously good time.
Every single person we ran into (from the Cast Members down to the teeniest child) were so infectiously happy, polite, and respectful that the crowds didn’t feel half as bad as what you’d experience back in California or Orlando. Queues were orderly, no one cut, no one pushed, and everyone respected each other’s personal space. Unreal, and oh so impressive.
We’d done a lot of research prior to coming (Disney Tourist Blog was a treasure chest of good info) and gamed our day based off of the most popular attractions. Everyone I spoke to about Tokyo Disneyland basically said the same thing: RIDE POOH’S HONEY HUNT.
It’s a trackless “dark ride” that incorporates a lot of cool technology, and it’s the only Winnie the Pooh attraction of it’s kind in the world. Definitely trumps the one we have back home in Anaheim! Pooh Bear is extremely popular in Japan, so the ride is one of – if not THE – most popular rides in the entire park. Fastpasses usually run out within an hour on the busiest days, and wait times often exceed two hours.
So, naturally, the morning rush is pretty intense. When the park first opens, Cast Members wave and smile with giant “DO NOT RUN” signs, as people literally sprint to the queue. By the time we got into the park and rushed back to Fantasyland, a huuuge line had already formed. It was intimidating, but we did it! Successful, and set to ride Pooh’s Honey Hunt later on in the afternoon.
With the mad rush for Fastpasses over, we set to exploring the park at a more leisure pace.
Fun fact: the entirety of Tokyo Disneyland’s Main Street is covered. And it’s actually not even “Main Street” — it’s called the World Bazaar, instead. It’s essentially the same thing. There’s an Emporium, a sweets shop, a couple restaurants, and even a Mickey waffle place!
I suppose they chose to cover it because of the weather. It rains a ton in Tokyo (something we definitely experienced on our trip) and even snows in the winter months. We were here in mid November and it was already pretty chilly by our SoCal standards.
Look at those Pooh Bear coordinated outfits! I feel like I need to an entire post on the People of Tokyo Disney…they go ALL OUT with their outfits, accessories, and general Disney flair. I could’ve spent the whole day people watching.
Ah, the illustrious Tokyo Disney popcorn. We’d read all about the crazy flavors before we came: Soy Sauce, Chocolate, Curry, Honey etc. This was our first taste of the trip, and it absolutely lived up to the hype. A very subtle flavor — not too sweet or salty, but just right.
And don’t even get me started on the epic popcorn buckets!! I feel like that’s another quintessentially Tokyo Disney thing that requires it’s own post.
The popcorn buckets come with long adjustable straps, and everyone in the parks (grown men included!) wears them like crossbody purses.
BB-8 was just one of the 4 popcorn buckets we ended up purchasing. Still not sure how we managed to fit them all in the luggage.
These alien men mochi balls were the greatest. We had about 16 of them over the course of the trip. They’re filled with custard — vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry — and they’re oh, so delicious.
Like the other Disney parks throughout the world, Tokyo Disneyland is filled with letter boxes. But, unlike the other parks, people here actually USE them! I’ve mailed stuff from the letterboxes at Disneyland in Anaheim, but have never seen anyone else do so. There isn’t too much incentive to, since they don’t postmark letters with any special Disney stamp.
Not so in Tokyo! They have a massive stationary shop along Main Street, a special Tokyo Disney postmark that changes every month, and a park full of people who actually take part in the letter writing fun. It’s like I finally found my people.
Most fantastical vending machines ever, I think.
Something else I super duper loved about Tokyo Disney? (Besides everything, obviously.)
The parade etiquette! People lay out mats, fold their strollers, hunker down, and then — SIT. It’s a glorious thing.
This was the tail end of the Happiness is Here parade, which we caught in full a few days later.
And this was Disney Christmas Stories, a parade “themed to seven stories of Christmas that the Disney Characters spend with their dear ones.”
Unlike the Christmas parades at DLR or WDW, this one actually stops multiple times along the parade route for mini “Christmas parties” with the characters. At first, Mark and I thought maybe the floats had broken down, but then we realized it was a planned part of the show.
The parade route at Tokyo Disneyland is pretty massive, stretching all the way around the park, so each stop allows another section of the parade viewing route to see everything.
Look at that camera game. Tokyo Disneylanders don’t mess around.
Around 4:30pm, we made our way back to the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel to see if our room was ready. It was, and it was stunning. (Full post on that later!)
We stopped at the Marceline Salon for cocktails and snacks on our way back into Disneyland. How kawaii are these drinks?
To top off the night, we watched Tokyo Disneyland’s Electrical Parade, “Dreamlights.”
The floats were pretty breathtaking.
Then it was back to the Disneyland Hotel for room service and some much needed R&R. We’d been on our feet for over 16 hours, walked 8+ miles, and gotten a first hand look of the magic that is Tokyo Disney.
And it was just a tiny snippet of all the awesome to come.