23 Jun Tokyo Disneyland with young kids
We have visited Tokyo Disneyland with kids twice now. The first was with a 1.5-year-old and the second time was with a 9-month-old and 4-year-old. You may be wondering whether it’s worth the time and money to do Tokyo Disneyland with young kids. Read on to find out our thoughts.
*updated to add in info about our second visit.
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Where to stay to visit Tokyo Disneyland
We have never stayed near Tokyo Disneyland as it has just been a day added into the rest of our Tokyo trip. The first time we were staying at Hotel Century Southern Tower. The second time we were staying in an AirBnB. Sign up through our link to recieve $55aud off your stay.
If you want to prioritise visiting Tokyo Disneyland and also Tokyo DisneySea than there are accommodation options close by. There is Tokyo Disney Hotel located closest to the gates and a there is also a hotel located inside Tokyo DisneySea. There are also a number of hotels in the Tokyo Bay area, some of which are official Tokyo Disney Resort hotels.
Official Tokyo Disneyland Resort website: tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/tdl
How to get to Tokyo Disneyland
If you do choose to stay in one of the official Tokyo Disneyland Resort hotels then you will have complimentary transport and a short journey.
For our first visit we were staying right by Shinjuku Station. We walked over and took an early train to Tokyo Station. From there the Keiyo line will get you to Maihama Station in under 15 minutes.
When visiting the second time we were staying outside of the main Shinjuku area. It was raining and when we arrived at the local train station and saw people squashing into trains. We waited a while watching train after train be absolutely packed full before giving up on that idea.
When we couldn’t get onto the packed trains we walked to Shinjuku Station and bought return tickets for the next available express bus. The bus ride took about one hour to Tokyo Disneyland. There is a bus available from several stations and Narita Airport.
Buying tickets for Tokyo Disneyland
We purchased e-tickets from the Disneyland website before we left for Japan. The e-tickets have a barcode and can be taken straight to the park gates with no need to exchange them beforehand. For our first Disneyland visit, we arrived before opening and joined the back of the queue. The gates were opened at 9am and it took us about ten minutes to reach the front and enter.
Tokyo Disneyland themed decorations
Our first visit to Tokyo Disneyland was in early November and it was decorated for Christmas. Tokyo Disneyland was also celebrating its 3oth anniversary so this was the theme for the parade. There were decorations around the park and special merchandise in celebration of this special event. Cinderella’s Castle the number 30 on front and colourful Mickey shapes all over. Minnie’s house featured pretty pink Christmas decorations and there were ornaments and little Christmas touches everywhere. Our second visit was early July and there were still some cute decorations from Easter. Tokyo Disneyland has different themes throughout the year which adds to the fun.
We headed straight to Fantasyland to get fast pass tickets for the ride Pooh’s Hunny Hunt. The Fastpass machine was located behind the ride line. There was a short queue for the machines. Once at the Fastpass machine, I scanned the barcodes on our e-tickets and the time we got to come back to the ride was 11:50-12:50. The actual queue time for it was already over an hour.
Tokyo Disneyland with young kids: Rides
We actually haven’t been on a lot of the rides. It’s a small world is a great ride for young kids and we went on it both visits. The line moves pretty quickly and the kids are always entertained by the scenes and the music.
Pooh’s Hunny Hunt line takes you past giant book pages and a scene from Winnie The Pooh. You sit in a large honey pot which glides along the floor. There are screens and you bounce along with Tigger and dance with lots of lights. It’s a bit wacky, lots of fun and possibly a little overwhelming.
During our November visit the wait times for the smaller rides like the carousel were at least 45 minutes which is quite a long time for a 1.5-year-old.
Tokyo Disneyland baby change centres
Located in Toon Town is a great baby centre. It was super clean and organised, I was even instructed by a staff member on the correct procedure for changing and disposing of nappies. There is also a baby centre near the main entrance.
Tokyo Disneyland play area for toddlers
Tokyo Disneyland food
We were quite surprised at how reasonably priced the food and drinks are in Tokyo Disneyland, not the usual inflated theme park prices. Both times we ate lunch in Toon Town because it’s where we spent most of the time with the kids. We enjoyed a lunch set with a Mickey shaped pizza and later had a Mickey face ice-cream sandwich. There are little stores around with ice-creams, drinks and popcorn.
Tokyo Disneyland with young kids: Strollers
With a 1.5 year old, our stroller was well used. After running around and getting tired, we were able to recline it and get him to sleep. On our second visit, I had our 9-month-old in a baby carrier and we still bought the stroller with us, thinking we might need it for the four-year-old. He didn’t want to sit in it though, there was too much to see and do. You can rent strollers for the day for 1,000 yen.
Tokyo Disneyland characters
Characters walk around the park throughout the day and you can approach them and get photos taken. During our second visit to Tokyo Disneyland, our four-year-old wanted to meet Mickey so we lined up, walked through Mickey’s house and met the famous mouse! We had one very happy little boy.
Tokyo Disneyland in the rain
I don’t have many photos from our second visit to Tokyo Disneyland and that is because it rained. It was early June and this was the only day we experienced significant rain. The other days had been humid and a few were a little drizzly. The day we had booked for Tokyo Disneyland was pretty terrible. It rained constantly all day, it was really windy and quite cold. Obviously, this meant we couldn’t do a lot of things but we purchased ponchos and got on with it. It made no difference to the mood, this place is still magical even in terrible weather! I think it was the only day our four-year-old didn’t whine about walking. He walked all over the park, completely drenched and still had an amazing day.
Tokyo Disneyland merchandise
I’m not one for buying souvenirs but the merchandise at Tokyo Disneyland is fantastic. I love that they bring out limited edition and themed items. We were able to get a soft Mickey dressed for Christmas with the year on him as well as Tokyo Disneyland 30 years.
Tokyo Disneyland Parades and shows
We didn’t visit any shows. The Japanese line up incredibly early (2 hours before start time!) with their little mats on the ground. Tokyo Disneyland often has different themes for the parade. During our visit the parade was based on celebrating the 3oth anniversary. The floats are so well detailed and the characters wave at the crowd. It’s very fun to watch. There is also a night parade which looks wonderful all lit up with lights.
Tokyo Disneyland with young kids: our thoughts
I think everyone feels that Disney magic regardless of age. At 1.5 years old Fletcher had a blast running around, playing in Toon Park, seeing all the bright colours. At four years old he knew the movies and characters and was in a dream. Meeting Mickey was an absolute highlight. Our 9-month-old was able to go on it’s a small world and although he didn’t love the rain and wind blowing in his face he was pretty happy to be snuggled into Mum walking around for the day.