An Insider’s Guide to Visiting Tokyo Disneyland with Children

Everything you need to know for a trip with kids in tow

By Nina Peacock
December 11, 2019
Adventures, Families, Out & About

Here are Tokyo Disneyland’s best rides and food for kids, when to go and what to bring, and five insider tips you shouldn’t go to the park without.

On your first trip to Tokyo Disneyland with kids, the grand number of rides, restaurants, parades, and even popcorn flavors can be daunting. What should you pack? When are the parades? And what’s the deal with fast passes? Never fear — just a bit of preplanning will give you an edge.

Here, Savvy Tokyo presents all you need to know for a great day at Tokyo Disneyland with children.

When to go to Tokyo Disneyland

When selecting a day to visit Tokyo Disneyland, consider the crowds. It’s not impossible to enjoy Tokyo Disneyland on a high-crowd day but you’ll wait in longer lines, and you won’t get to experience as many attractions.

The least crowded days are usually weekdays when Japanese schools are in session, so watch out for school holidays and breaks and avoid those days if you can. School is out from mid-March to the beginning of April, the entire month of August, three weeks from the end of December to the week after New Years Day, Golden Week and all Japanese national holidays.

Insider tip: Check the Tokyo Disney Resort crowd prediction calendar before you go.

What to bring to Tokyo Disneyland

Bring what you’d need for one full day out with your children. This means you should dress appropriately for the day’s weather, wear comfortable shoes, and pack a bag or stroller with what you’d expect to use. For example, diapers for infants, a change of clothes for toddlers, etc.

Additionally, these things are helpful:

  • Stroller: Your own strollers (not carts or wagons) are allowed into the park, or you can rent a Mickey Mouse-themed stroller for ¥1,000.
  • Leisure sheet: This is a plastic mat or a small blanket that you can sit on during parades.
  • Portable phone charger: It’ll be a long day, and the park does not have a lot of charging stations.
  • Costumes: It’s popular for families to dress in coordinated outfits or matching headgear, and it’s fun, too!

Check out this cute family with their matching 101 Dalmations costumes. 😍

 

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Lastly, leave tripods and selfie sticks at home: These are not allowed inside the park.

What guides and maps to pick-up

Upon entrance, pick up an English map of the park at the entrance of the World Bazaar. On the back of this map, you’ll see a section labeled “Quick Guide to Shopping,” where you’ll find locations to purchase helpful items such as rainwear, stroller rain covers, diapers, and cold packs.

Tokyo Disneyland World Bazaar Guide to Visiting Tokyo Disneyland with Kids© Photo by Emran Kassim

The World Bazaar at Christmastime.

The “Quick Guide to Attractions” tells you which rides have height and child-on-lap restrictions. Note the lost child facility—just in case—between the World Bazaar and Tomorrowland.

You should also grab a “Foods & Goods” guide—this one features seasonal foods and souvenirs. An insert in the map gives information on that day’s parades and shows.

For parents of infants, there are two baby centers in the park. One is between Tomorrowland and World Bazaar, and the other is in Toon Town. Baby centers have sales of formula and baby food, hot water for preparing infant formula, and designated spaces for nursing infants.

Where to eat with children in Tokyo Disneyland

 

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Tokyo Disneyland has an abundance of kid-friendly eats, but the following restaurants and menu items stand out because of their playful ambiance, tastes kids will enjoy, and an abundance of Mickey-shaped goodies.

Hungry Bear Restaurant (Westernland)

Japanese curry dominates this menu, and it has a kid-sized portion with an optional Mickey-shaped souvenir plate for purchase.

Camp Woodchuck Kitchen (Westernland)

Sandwiches on this menu appeal to both adults and kids; the indoor seating has a fun campsite theme. The onigiri (rice ball) sandwiches and churros are Mickey-shaped.

Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall (Fantasyland)

This buffeteria has western-style meals like roasted chicken and flank steak, and the Alice in Wonderland decor is outstanding. It can get very crowded during meal times; try it for a late lunch or an early dinner.

 

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Crystal Palace Restaurant (Adventureland)

This buffet has an abundance of adult and child-friendly foods — even Mickey-shaped chicken nuggets. This is a “Priority Seating” restaurant, which means you can make a reservation in advance.

Pizza (various)

 

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If your kids are craving this classic, go to Huey, Dewey and Louie’s Good Time Cafe (in Toon Town, with Mickey-shaped pizza), Captain Hook’s Galley (in Fantasyland), or Pan Galactic Pizza Port (in Tomorrowland). Plain cheese pizza is available at these restaurants but ask for it specifically because it’s not on the menu.

Popcorn stands

On the park map, find the day’s popcorn flavors and their locations. Caramel is a classic and it’s delicious, but it’s also worth finding milk chocolate, curry, and honey.

Insider tip: If your child has food allergies, you can bring your own meals into the park, or ask for a “low allergen” set at many restaurants, which is a meal that does not include wheat, buckwheat, egg, milk, or peanuts.

Navigating the rides and attractions with kids

During your day at Tokyo Disneyland, you’ll want to grab a fastpass early, hit the best attractions for children, and make sure you see at least one parade or show.

One trick to enjoying Tokyo Disneyland is to take advantage of the park’s fastpass system. A fastpass is a ticket for a specific ride that allows you to enter with a shorter wait (usually about 15 minutes) than the standby line (which will probably be an hour wait or more).

How to get a fastpass

You can obtain a fastpass either by walking to the desired ride and scanning your ticket at a fastpass booth, or through the official Tokyo Disney Resort (TDR) app. It’s quicker to get a fastpass with the app, but the app language is Japanese and it is only available in Japanese app stores.

 

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Each ticket holder is allowed one fastpass initially, and that fastpass will tell you the time you can obtain your next one. Pay attention to this time and you may be able to obtain more than one fastpass in a day. If your child is under four years old and without a ticket, don’t worry, he or she just rides along with you. (Children three years old and younger enter Tokyo Disneyland for free, no ticket required!)

The best way to use the fastpass

With children, the most useful fastpass is for Pooh’s Honey Hut, so go for that first. If you can obtain a second fastpass, next get Monster’s Inc. Ride and Go Seek, or, if those are gone, go for Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters. After April 2020, a new Beauty and the Beast ride will be very popular, so go for that fastpass over all others.

Insider tip: If you can’t download the official TDR app, download the “TDR Alert” app instead to keep an eye on attraction wait times.

The best Tokyo Disneyland attractions for children

Tokyo Disneyland is divided into seven themed areas, which all have kid-friendly attractions, but three have a high concentration of rides kids will adore. Visit all these and you’ll have done the best of what kids can do in the park.

Fantasyland

Here, Pooh’s Honey Hunt is unique to Tokyo Disneyland and uses enchanting trackless ride technology; it’s a must-ride. The classic Disneyland rides are all here, too, such as Dumbo the Flying Elephant and It’s a Small World.

Fantasyland is a great area to meet Disney characters. There isn’t a published schedule, but they make appearances throughout daylight hours. Additionally, Disney princesses often greet guests during the park’s morning hours in the courtyard in front of Cinderella’s castle and near the World Bazaar.

Insider tip: Line wait times in Fantasyland are shortest in the early morning.

Toon Town

Tokyo Disneyland Toon Town A Guide to Visiting Tokyo Disneyland with Kids© Photo by Loren Javier

Toon Town.

Here many kid-friendly attractions will have little to no wait at all: Minnie’s House, Donald’s Boat, Chip ‘n Dale’s Treehouse, and Goofy’s Paint ‘n Play House. There’s also Toon Park, a gentle playground for toddlers to explore.

Adventureland

Here find Jungle Cruise and Western River Railroad, whose wait times probably won’t reach more than 30 minutes. Then walk through the enchanting canopy of the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse and watch Stitch cause some mischief in The Enchanted Tiki Room.

Bonus attraction

Kids should not miss the Tom Sawyer Island Rafts in Westernland. It’s an expansive adventure playground with secret caves, a fort to explore, rope bridges, a treehouse, and even a Native American tepee village. Pay attention to it’s closing time – the attraction closes at sunset.

Insider tip: If your kiddo is all fun-ed out and needs a nap in the stroller, take the opportunity to catch an adult-friendly ride, such as Space Mountain. Just ask a cast member for an “Alternate Rider Pass.” One parent will be allowed to ride while the other waits with the child, then the other rides second and skips the line.

Tokyo Disneyland parades and shows

Tokyo Disneyland parades are very entertaining. Most days they run a daily parade entitled, “Dreaming Up!”, a seasonal parade, and a nightly parade, “Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights.”

 

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Here are some tips for getting the best seats:

  • On a crowded day, spread out your leisure sheet in a seated parade area at least an hour in advance.
  • If you forgot a leisure sheet, snag a seat at the outdoor tables near Captain Hook’s Galley; the parade passes right by them.
  • As the parade finishes its route in Toon Town, only one side of the parade route is available for guests, so the characters will always face guests as they pass.
  • In seated areas, you must collapse your stroller. In standing areas, kids are not allowed on parents’ shoulders.
  • If an evening castle projection show is on the day’s schedule, don’t miss it. Claim your spot in front of Cinderella’s castle at least 30 minutes in advance.

Tokyo Disneyland also offers staged shows. Unless you or your children speak Japanese, these shows will be enjoyable for their theatrics, but not for their lyrics. Some shows require reservations. For those that don’t, line up at least 30 minutes before a show starts. Or try your luck at the ticket lottery in Tomorrowland, which offers priority seating for the winners.

Tokyo Disneyland Parade Guide to Visiting with Kids© Photo by Chao-Wei Juan

The best advice we can give is to relax and be present in your family’s Tokyo Disneyland day. Walt Disney created his original park because [he] “felt that there should be something built where the parents and the children could have fun together.” And isn’t that what it’s all about?

The Deets

Where: 1-1 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba
Business hours: Vary daily. Check the park operation calendar.
Cost: ¥7,500 (Adult), ¥6,500 (Juniors aged 12 to 17), ¥4,900 (Children aged 4 to 11). Tickets are available online.
Access: Take the JR (Japan Railway) Keiyo Line / Musashino Line to Maihama train station. Exit the station on the Tokyo Disney Resort side, then take the Tokyo Disney monorail one-stop or walk an easy six minutes to the Tokyo Disneyland entrance. Additionally, the official website lists bus routes to Tokyo Disneyland.
Parking: Available for ¥2,500 a day.
Restaurant reservations: 057-005-1118 from within Japan and +81 45-330-5711 from outside Japan. For English assistance, press 9 and then 1. Restaurant reservations are also available online.