I went to Tokyo Disneyland! It was great. I had been to Disney World in Florida as a kid so that’s kind of my baseline for Disney, but Tokyo Disneyland was nice because you can make a day trip out of it. No driving for days to get to Florida or working with a Disney trip planing expert. You can just kind of show up, do your thing, and leave at the end of the day having seen most of the park. It also seems like there isn’t a single day of the year that doesn’t have a seasonal event going on. This time of year it’s Tanabata. They had a little parade and a place for people to write their wishes on Mickey Mouse shaped paper to hang. They always seem to be rotating seasonal events and merchandise to give each trip its own special something which I’m sure the diehard Disney fans appreciate.

Tokyo Disneyland Tanabata
Tanabata at Disneyland
Play Me Some Mountain Music

Disney theme parks seem to be more about visual spectacle and bringing their properties to life than about roller coasters and thrill rides. Before going, I didn’t know that rides like Pirate’s of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion weren’t going to some form of roller coaster or something. They’re more like tours through other worlds brought to life through animatronics. Jack Sparrow was kind of creepy looking, but besides that, it was goofy fun. Out of all of the visual tour type rides, I think Pooh’s Hunny Hunt was the best. It also had the longest line. It’s worth it to see Pooh’s conscious separate from his body before cruising through his nightmares though. 

Speaking of animatronics, if you’re from the midwest or have any sort of affinity for bears, you have to go to the Country Bear Theater. It’s robotic bears singing country music… in Japanese. Hear Japanese parodies of classics like On the Road Again, Achy Breaky Heart, and Mountain Music sang by robotic bears. I hope I’m properly conveying the spectacle I’m trying to describe here. It’s also an attraction you can always enter without much trouble. We checked the Disney app which shows the wait times for each ride and a line was pretty much nonexistent. 

Tokyo Disneyland Country Bear Theater
They play the songs of my people
Don’t Forget Your Fastpass

*Mega Hot Tip* I’m stupid so I don’t know how fast passes work at Disney at home, but here, there are booths near a ride where you scan your ticket and then you get a fast pass with a time frame for you to show up in to basically jump the line. You should probably try to grab one quick for Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, or the Buzz Lightyear ride. These rides, and Mickey’s House, had lines that were about an hour long all day. The fast pass for Big Thunder Mountain got us on the ride in 5-ish minutes though. Plus it’s right next to the Country Bear Theater. The number of fast passes given out in a day are limited so it’s best to grab one quick and build a little plan around your allotted time.

View from the Space Mountain line
The view from the Space Mountain line

If you’re going to go all the way to Tokyo Disneyland you should do something you can’t experience anywhere else… Mickey’s Philharmagic doesn’t fit that criteria, but you should watch it anyway. It looks like this show is a Disney theme park staple so you may have already watched it before, but this time you’ll get to hear the Japanese voice cast for tons of Disney characters. The premise is basically Donald Duck pulls a Kingdom Hearts and goes all sorts of classic Disney locations so you’ll hear everyone from Goofy to Aladdin. And they all do such a great job. So many of the characters sound like the same person just speaking another language. And hearing the translated lyrics for songs like A Whole New World was also neat.

What About Everything Else?

Since it’s Disneyland, there are of course characters dancing about and taking pictures with people. There are also popcorn carts scattered around the park with each cart having a different flavor. The barbecue line is short. The milk chocolate line needs a fast pass. As for what you can enjoy without knowing Japanese, the only thing I saw that I thought would be a problem is probably the Stitch Encounter show. If you can follow what’s going on it’s pretty funny, but it’s mostly Stitch going back and forth with the audience. The safety announcements that play are also in multiple languages though, so you can hear bilingual pirates tell you to keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times.

picture with the Aristocats
He was just standing there… Menacingly

Overall, I had a lot of fun. It’s a good way to spend a day if you’re in Tokyo, but won’t eat up your whole trip. Feel free to drop a comment below if you have any questions about the park!

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