Travelling with children - Tokyo Disneyland Resort - part 2, still planning


Following on from my post about our family trip to Tokyo later this year, I thought I'd update on the planning involved with a visit to Tokyo Disneyland including booking hotels. Turns out there is quite a lot to it all and I'm really glad I started researching early.

S and I visited DisneySea on our last trip and absolutely loved it. Its the only park of its kind in the world and amongst Disney park fanatics, its widely touted as the best Disney park in the World even. Like most of our last trip, we really did just wing it including showing up at DisneySea on the day, buying a ticket and having a great (long) day at the park. It seems we really benefited from dumb-luck in this instance as any visit to Tokyo Disney should be meticulously planned ... the park often reaches capacity and you cannot buy tickets to enter (plus busy in TDR is not even close to anything you've seen elsewhere). I've read that a quiet day at TDR is among the busiest you will see at other Disney parks around the World.

So with our flights booked and dates locked in, I researched the best recommended days within our visit to go to TDR. Weekdays of course being the best for minimising crowds and midweek days better still than Mondays and Fridays. We I decided we would go with Tuesday Wednesday Thursday to ensure we maximise our days there with the boys and 3 days will give us a day at each park plus a 3rd day to split between the 2 - park hopper passes are not typical at TDR and I believe are only available to TDR hotel guests and as part of a 3 day pass.

Once I had confirmed the days to go to TDR, my attention turned to hotels. We had already decided staying at one of the 3 TDR hotels would make the most sense for us despite the exorbitant prices. It just makes sense with young children for ease and is our major holiday splurge to indulge all four us. Being so close/onsite will definitely make life easier for S and I if one or both of the boys needs a nap or some downtime, we get early access to both parks to beat the queues and snag our fastpasses, guaranteed park access regardless of capacity and my personal favourite, anything we purchase anywhere in the park can be sent straight back to our room ... no having to lug around our gifts and souvenirs for the day or make a frantic dash to the gift shops before the park closes - winning right!

While we would have loved to stay at the MiraCosta after seeing it on our past adventure, it was a little lot more expensive to stay at on the parkside and that would be our only benefit compared to the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel - so we could watch the night show.
We ruled out Disney Ambassador for being just slightly further out given we have 2 children to juggle and that left TDH. Still expensive (starting at $500 per night) it was slightly cheaper than the MiraCosta and we went with a deluxe room as we will be spending 3 nights there and wanted the boys to have a little extra room to play and move during our downtime. Plus I hear TDH has the best gift shop - again, priorities.

I've found accommodation doesn't become available in Japan typically until 6 months out so was anxiously waiting to book our Disney nights after making the final decision on where to stay. To be honest, I was terrified the hotel would book out in minutes given the 3 hotels have about 700 rooms each and operate at 95% occupancy all year round - they are never discounted. So finally our week opened up just last week and while I was only an hour late booking from the open window, the cheapest rooms had already entirely sold out at TDH - which is why we went with the deluxe. If we couldn't get the lowest price, then there was only $100 difference between the next two levels on offer and the extra space made sense.

I was more than a little excited to finalise this booking - think squealing like a little kid and high 5'ing myself- and so very relieved. But now I have months to wait before the guest priority booking window opens to secure shows, character meals and reservations for other Disney park events.

If you are considering visiting Tokyo Disney Resort, do your research early and book as soon as you can.

Accommodation done and dusted for Disney, next up, itinerary planning, Shinjuku and Fujikyu accommodation, packing lists and preparation for flying with children still to come - bet you can't wait.

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