1.05.2015

Wacky Tokyo : Surviving Tokyo Disneyland with kids



Disneyland is touted as the Happiest Place on earth.

You can see why from the colourful facade , the happy smiles, the fun rides, the infectious music and the awesome parades. However if you bring a young child to Tokyo Disneyland, there might be periods when they get a little restless or tired especially when snaking queues of up to 2 hours is common.
With not one but two hyper active boys on tow to Disneyland, it is a challenge to survive 12 hours at Tokyo Disneyland. Nonetheless we did it!

Here are some tips from our experience on how to survive Tokyo Disneyland with young kids

Be at the park early for Character Meet and Greet
Character meet and greet are part of Disneyland tradition. It also brings smiles to children faces when they come face to face with familiar characters they have come to know via stories or show.

Be at the park early and you could catch quite a few characters roaming about for photo shoot. Catch the roaming characters instead of those with long queues to maximize your time. Waiting one hour in line for a photo with Mickey might not be a child's cup of tea.
Go for rides with the shortest queue

Tokyo Disneyland is synonymous with super long queue. When you see a ride with queue of 20 mins or less, just go for it. You will never know if the queue builds up and you might end up waiting longer. Unless you would like to be bombarded with 'why so long' complains even 30s from the kids, this strategy works.
We ended up taking more rides and attractions than we ever did in Tokyo Disneyland. The rides included Flight of Peter Pan, Buzz Lightyear, Snow White, Pirates of the Caribbean, train rides, Star Tour, Mickey Magic, toon car, Small small world Pinocchio. A grand total of 10 different rides (with a few repeats) in a day. Not too shabby for a day at Disneyland.

Take the fast pass
For the longer rides, take a fast pass. It will save you tons of precious time. Do note that you can only take one fast pass at each time till the timing lapse for that fast pass. So choose wisely. We took the fast pass for Buzz light year as it was the boys favourite and it has a perpetual one hour wait.


Allocate a whole day at Disneyland
Forget about planning half a day stay at Disneyland. We spend almost 12 hours there and it is not enough. It is almost impossible to cover all the attractions. If you intend to do so, you might like to allocate 2 days at Disneyland.

Don't wait for the parades

On our previous trips, we spend almost an hour waiting for EACH parade as we wanted to get a good seats. That meant that we spend 3 hours just sitting down waiting for a parade.This time round , we did not plan for the parades and instead watch it as it happens. It may not be front row seat, but it was still a great show. Unless you are at Disneyland just for the parades, we suggest that you allocate more time at the rides instead.

It's not about rides and parades
Head to Toon Town to have fun for the kids. There are interesting spots with zero queues for the it. Head for Goofy's Paint and Play house, Donald's Boat and Toon Park . There are also other areas of the park that is worth exploring. So start exploring!

Bring a stroller or rent one 
 Strollers are excellent for kids who gets too tired from walking or afternoon naps. It is also useful to hang bags and stuff for the day. It is a must have if you want to save your arms for the day. 

Grab a popcorn bucket









A popcorn bucket seems to be a must have in Disneyland. We always grab one for each visit to Disneyland. The last I check, we have at least 4 popcorn buckets back home. The popcorn will keep the hungry little ones filled and the buckets are great souvenirs that doubles up as a titbits bucket back home.

Mr Potato Head was our target for this trip. There are different flavors of popcorn found around the park, check the park map for the locations.

Kids friendly food

One thing I learn about dining out with young children is to look for food that they fancy. Disneyland has many kids friendly food such as burgers and pizzas. Forget about the fancy restaurants with long queues especially if the children are picky eaters. Take the safest option , so children would not spend too much time protesting about their meals and actually eating them.



Ask for an English Map
The maps displayed are in Japanese. You can actually ask for an English Map at the entrance. It is useful as it comes with timing for shows too. We took the Japanese Map and ended up wandering aimlessly for a while.

Don't over plan your visit
Planning is always good except when it comes to Disneyland. Forget about planning which rides to sit first or what shows to watch. With the long queues at the attractions, any plans can easily go astray. Add the children unpredictable nature, it is best to go with an open mind and ride with the flow.


For the record, this is probably the best visit to Disneyland for us. We had photos taken with Characters, watched 2 parades, sat on countless rides and even caught the fireworks. During the 12 hours spend in the park, it was indeed the happiest place for us to be in.









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