Christmas Fantasy at Disneyland 2007
I'm not a huge fan of theme parks and heart-stopping rides scare the shit out of me! You may be like me but I still think you should visit the Tokyo Disneyland at least once in your lifetime.
Me....well, I've been there twice (not DisneySea though). The first time was like 15 years ago, with my parents and late granny. The second time was around X'mas in 2007...I went alone...kinda in memory of my late granny...and I retook some of the rides that we were on. It was weird...I felt sad in the happy-happy-land. Anyway that's just me! Everyone else had big smiles on their faces....especially kids.
And seriously...you better enjoy yourself 'cos it ain't cheap at JPY5,800 (~SGD93) for a 1-day pass! There are multi-day passes for between JPY10,000-15,000 (2-4 day passes)if you can't get enough of the fun. For absolute hardcore disney fans, annual passes are JPY45,000 (disneysea or disneyland) and JPY75,000 (for both parks). If you just want a quick visit to look-see and say that you've been to disneyland, there are cheaper passes for weekend after 3pm (JPY4,700) or weekday after 6pm (JPY3,100) visits. You can purchase your tickets at the ticket booths at the main entrances to the parks or you can also get the tickets from major travel agencies, JR stations and even convenience stores.
The nearest station to Disney is Maihama. It's really easy to get there by train. Refer to http://www.tokyodisneyresort.co.jp/tdr/english/plan/access/train.html to see how you'd get to Disney from wherever you are. There are also some direct buses from Narita & Haneda airports, Shinjuku and Yokohama if you don't mind longer travelling time.
When you've reached Disney, brace yourselves for looooooooooong f-king queues! You need to queue for tickets, queue to enter the parks, queue to take the rides, queue for food/drinks/popcorns, queue to buy souvenirs and even queue to f-king go to the loo! Average queueing time for some popular rides are over 2hrs! Seriously...more than 75% of your time in Disney will be standing in lines. I always pride myself to be a very patient person....but Disney's queues are just beyond my patience limit.
The only way you can save some time is to utilise the FastPass option to some of the popular rides. What you do is to find the FastPass machine located near the ride of your choice. Then insert your Disney Passport into the machine to get a FastPass. The FastPass will indicate the time period for your ride....so you need only to return during the indicated time period to get on the ride via the FastPass entrance. Note however that you are only allowed one FastPass at a time.....you can only get another FastPass after a certain time (check your FastPass for when you can do so again)....so make your selection wisely. Meanwhile, you can spend your time checking out the other rides, do some shopping or perhaps watch the parades.
Apart from the rides, there are also many shops selling all kinds of cutsy Disney-themed products. The stuffs aren't cheap though....but most visitors seemed very willing to splurge 'cos I supposed you don't get to visit Disney everyday. If you are bringing kids along, be prepared to spend a bomb as there are just too many things screaming out to kids to want them. Even I couldn't resist buying a silly "Pirates of the Carribbean" head scarf and a pair of minnie ears! Food and drinks aren't cheap...and you don't get much options too. If I'm not wrong, outside food/drinks aren't allowed to be brought into the park (your bags will be checked at the entrances) but if you really want, it's not hard to sneak a few onigiris in the pockets of your coat.
There are numerous parades and performances in a day so do check out the event schedules so that you'd know where to be and at what time to catch them http://www.tokyodisneyresort.co.jp/tdr/english/howto/08_02.html , http://www.tokyodisneyresort.co.jp/tdr/english/howto/08_01.html
I'd just walk to get around the parks but if you wanna save time or are too lazy to walk, you can take the Disney Resort Liners (JPY250/ride or JPY650 for 1-day pass) to zip around.
Huge Christmas Tree near the park entrance
Snaking queues at the ticket booths
The queue to ride the "Western River Railroad"
"Dumbo the flying elephant" ride during sunset
"Haunted Mansion" ride