I visited Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea with my daughter who just became 6 years old when she was there. It was the first time to visit there in last 20 years for me. I did not remember about the last trip 20 years ago. And also it was the first time to visit there with small child. So I was almost the first timer almost, maybe same as you.
I usually talk about train trips and other transportation in this website. But I have learned many things about Tokyo Disney Resort (Disneyland and DisneySea) as “the first timer”. Even though I am not the expert of Tokyo Disneyland, I believe the things that I have learned will help you to prepare and build the plan to visit the wonderland, Tokyo Disney Resort.
I would like to share my experience and tips about visiting Tokyo Disney Resort in three parts. In this first post, I would like to show you access from Narita airport and preparation before I was there.
26 Feb 2015
Arrived at Narita airport at 16:30
Narita airport – Tokyo – Maihama by Narita Express and Keiyo line local train
27 Feb 2015
Full day in Tokyo Disneyland
28 Feb 2015
Full day in Tokyo Disney Sea
Limousine bus from Tokyo Disney Resort to Haneda airport
Depart for Osaka (Itami) by domestic flight at 19:20 from Haneda
My hometown is Osaka. I supposed to go to Osaka first and make a trip to Tokyo. But I could not book for domestic flight from Narita to Osaka. I decided to stopover in Tokyo and visited Tokyo Disney Resort. This was very tough schedule but I had to be Osaka by 1 March 2015. I had no choice.
Access from Narita airport to Maihama via Tokyo on 26 February 2015
My actual movement was like following:
16:30 Arrived at Narita airport terminal 2
Immigration, custom and baggage pick up
Pick up Wi-Fi router at post office
Ship 4 of 6 baggage to Osaka by Takkyubin (delivery service)
18:19 Depart for Tokyo by Narita Express #44
19:17 Arrived Tokyo
19:36 Depart from Tokyo for Maihama by Keiyo Line Rapid
19:50 Arrived Maihama
20:00 Got on Disney Resort Line to Bayside station
20:10 Arrived Bayside station
Check in Hotel Okura Tokyo Bay
I usually spend 45 minutes to clear custom and immigration. But at that time, immigration was so busy. I spent 1.5 hours to clear. I supposed to take 18:44 Narita Express but I could not make it.
There were Airport limousine bus service from Narita airport to Tokyo Disney Resort. But the last bus depart from Narita at 17:00. It was too early to catch for me. Narita Express and Keiyo line were the fastest option for me.
If you arrive in Tokyo earlier than my schedule, you can catch Airport limousine bus to Tokyo Disney Resort directly. This is much easier choice. And there are some more shuttle bus service between Tokyo and Tokyo Disnery Resort.
JR Keiyo line is the primary access to Tokyo Disney Resort from downtown Tokyo. It takes 13 minutes by Rapid and 17 minutes by local from Tokyo station. In Tokyo station, Keiyo line platform is located in deep underground and very far from other platforms. Especially if you transfer from Narita Express, like me, it takes 15 minutes for just transfer in Tokyo station. Because Narita Express arrive at underground platform but different location from Keiyo line. We need to go up to ground level and go down to underground again. Please find more information about Tokyo station at the link below:
After arriving Maihama, exit from south ticket gate. If you go to Disneyland, turn right and follow the walkway. It takes 5 minute by walk. If you go to DisneySea, you may take Disney Resort Line.
Disney Resort Line run around Tokyo Disney Resort. It connects Maihama station (Resort Gateway station), Tokyo Disneyland, Bayside station (for official hotel guest) and Tokyo DisneySea.
When you go to DisneySea, turn left after exit from south ticket gate and you will find Resort Gateway station. Tokyo DisneySea station is just one station away but train goes only counterclockwise on the loop track. It is opposite way. It takes about 10 minutes to get Tokyo DisneySea station.
Disney Resort Line is very cute. Many things in the train have the shape of Micky Mouse. Disney music is always playing in the train.
You can take this train for even Maihama station to Tokyo Disneyland. It’s only 3 minutes ride but it is one of Tokyo Disney experience. I highly recommend you to ride this train. I took this train to get my hotel, Hotel Okura Tokyo Bay.
Check in Hotel Okura Tokyo Bay
I booked a flight ticket 6 months before departure day. Right after I booked it, I started to search the hotel. I supposed to book a budget type hotel and save the cost to spend more money in the park. But I booked one of the official hotels, Hotel Okura Tokyo Bay. Because I wanted to stay in the park from gate open to close. I tried to minimize movement during stay. And I also wanted to give “Disney atmosphere and experience” to my daughter all day.
Hotel Okura is a sort of highend hotel. But I found early discount rate at 36,000 yen for 2 nights. It is not cheap. But this was the cheapest choice in the official hotel at that time.
There are several highend hotels around Bayside station, such as Sheraton, Hilton. These hotels are not Disney hotel. But those are Disney Official Hotel. Free shuttle bus, “Disney Resort Cruiser” connects Bayside station and each official hotels. It runs very frequent from early morning to midnight. Hotel Okura is located just in front of Bayside station and I could walk. But when we arrived there, it was raining. I was glad to take this bus to hotel.
I thought to book Disneyland hotel. But the rate was so expensive and I could not find any rooms. Disney hotel sold the room as “Vacation Package”. There are many kinds of package products available. It includes room, ticket and other vouchers. When I checked the price, most affordable package was sold at 50,000 yen for one night per person. It was totally out of my budget. Even though it is very expensive, it is so hard to book just room.
If you stay in Disney hotel, you can enter the park 15 minutes earlier than other visitors. And it is located in front of the gate. It is most accessible hotel to Tokyo Disneyland. At Tokyo DisneySea, there is Hotel MiraCosta. I have never checked the availability of this hotel. But I have heard that it is super hard to book this hotel.
After I stayed there, I noticed I did not spend much time in the hotel. I spent most of time in the park. I just came back to hotel for just taking shower and sleep. I did not eat even breakfast there. It was the first visit for my daughter and I needed accessible accommodation. But I will use other budget type hotel next time.
Some of you think about hotel in downtown Tokyo or you may have already booked your hotel in downtown Tokyo. I understand you will not come to Tokyo for just Tokyo Disneyland. But if you really want to enjoy the park and want to ride many attractions, you need to stay in the park from early morning to late night. That means you will leave your hotel in very early morning and come back to hotel late night.
After I checked in hotel, we went out to see fireworks display and went to shopping mall, Ikspiari to eat and shop.