If you’ve made it through part 1 of my Tokyo Disney recap, then you know that (spoiler alert!) Tokyo Disney Sea was not my favorite park. On the flip side, I LOVED Tokyo Disneyland. I mean, really really loved it, and think you can easily spend 2 full days here. Why? Because there is just so much to do! There are tons of rides in this park, not to mention really incredible dining opportunities and shows. Both daytime and nighttime parades blew my mind (so much so, that I watched both twice). And there is just an overabundance of CUTENESS pretty much everywhere you turn in this park.
My first day here I was primarily by myself, and as many of you know, this has become my preferred method of exploring new Disney parks. I’ve gone to every Disney park in the world by myself and when I compare those trips to vacations I’ve taken with others, they are very different. Of course I know this makes me sound like a bit of a loner, but the main reason I like traveling solo is because there is zero pressure. You don’t have to compromise your plans and you don’t have to worry that the other people in your party are enjoying themselves. Also, when you don’t have anyone to talk to you, you’re really able to observe and immerse yourself in your surroundings.
So given my preference to travel solo, I started the day feeling rather optimistic about this park. The very first thing I did upon entering was Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek! This is by far the most popular ride in the park and FastPasses go very very quickly. I ended up riding this twice and loved it. The first time I had no idea what to expect and so I didn’t really understand how interactive it is but once I got the hang of it I thought it was a blast. The strategy here, is to go directly to the FastPass line and get FastPasses for your party as soon as you enter the park.
After I did that I headed over to Fantasyland to try and get on Peter Pan’s Flight. To my surprise this ride was DEAD. (Probably because everyone was trying to get FPs for Monster’s Inc.). I was so shocked that I did this twice in a row just because I could! I thought about doing it a 3rd time but was embarrassed to pass the same cast members again. (Although who’s judging, right?) After I got off this ride I went over to the Haunted Mansion. Tokyo Disneyland has a Nightmare Before Christmas overlay for their Haunted Mansion ride too. It's similar to Disneyland's but there were a few new scenes sprinkled in.
After I got off that ride, I headed back to Tomorrowland to get a spot to watch the special Christmas parade. One thing that I really appreciated about this park is that everyone sits to watch the parades. There is a rule that if you are in the first couple of rows you have to sit and everyone brings their own mats to sit on so you have a nice designated space. I really wish we’d adopt this philosophy over here in America.
The parade was kind of interesting in that it wasn’t really a parade but reminded me more of the Move It, Shake It Dance Party at WDW, only with Christmas songs. (That just means that each float stopped in a designated area for the whole performance.) Our section had 10 minutes of Snow White and Dwarfs dancing to different Christmas songs. (I mean, I didn’t hate that.)
After I was done with the Christmas show, I headed over to It’s a Small World – and OH MY GOSH – I found my favorite version of this ride. I’ve always loved It’s a Small World but this has so much more to it. They added almost every Disney movie I could think of and I felt like there were more individual countries represented.
What’s crazy about this trip it that it all went by so fast that I actually had a hard time remembering what I did the previous day. Maybe it was sensory overload, I’m not sure, but I couldn’t remember what I had and hadn’t done at different points. So it’s actually making writing these recaps sort of difficult too.
After lunch I met up with a new friend I met on Instagram to watch the Dreaming Up! Parade and I practically cried. It was the best daytime parade I’ve ever seen. The Mary Poppins and Peter Pan floats took my breath away.
After that we walked around a bit and she ended up helping me figure out where to go for the One Man’s Dream show that I won the lottery for earlier in the day. I was not totally sold on this show and was thinking about skipping it but she encouraged me to go and I’m so glad I did. It’s a celebration of all things Walt and begins with a black and white segment featuring Mickey and Minnie. From there it goes into a bunch of popular Disney movies and ends with all of the characters on stage dancing in Hollywood inspired clothing.
After the show we went over to Critter Country and she introduced me to the hotdog rollup. (I’m sure this has an official name but I can’t remember what it was.) It’s exactly what it sounds like: a hotdog rolled into a flour tortilla with cheese. And it was delish. I’m going to start making these at home.
We met some characters over here too which was fun. Unfortunately I did not go on Splash Mountain because it was cold and I’m a baby, but I hear this is one of the best versions of the ride. I regret my decision slightly but now I have an excuse to come back.
Lastly we headed to the Disneyland Railroad and rode this around before my new friend had to take off. It was dusk when we got on the train and I really loved riding it at night. After we disembarked, I quickly went over to Space Mountain before finding a spot for the fireworks show and the parade. I usually give myself about an hour before the nighttime entertainment starts because I like to have a good viewing location. I enjoyed the Celebrate! Tokyo Disneyland nighttime show but what I really could not get enough of was the Tokyo Disneyland version of the Electric Parade “Dreamlights”. If the Main Street Electrical Parade and Paint the Night had a baby it would be this parade. The floats are breathtaking. That's really all I can say about it. After all of the nighttime entertainment was over I headed back over to the main area to shop but it was madness so I decided to leave and get a good night’s sleep.
The next morning I got up extra early and arrived in time for my extra 15 minutes of magic minutes you get as a guest of a Disney Resort. And yes, you read that right. It’s only 15 minutes. LOL. On my second day at Disneyland I met up with my friend and we did a bunch of the things I had missed from the previous day, including Pirates of the Caribbean (which hasn’t changed at all, so if you want to see the original Pirates with all of the “politically incorrect” scenes, this is where you go), Big Thunder Mountain, Cinderella’s Fairy Tale Hall, and the Christmas version of the Country Bear Jamboree (which made me cry because it’s one of the most magical experiences ever…. If you have a nostalgic affiliation for the Country Bears, like I do, then you must see this). We also watched all of the parades again and ate at the Queen of Hearts restaurant which has some of the coolest theming I’ve ever seen.
Honestly, it was hard for me to want to go back to Tokyo Disney Sea after two days of this magical park. I think I could have easily spent 3 days here, especially since I still missed rides. All in all, I think this is a can’t miss Disney park and will definitely be returning (but maybe not for a few years…. my bank account is still hurting.)
Have you been to Tokyo Disney Resort? Which was your favorite park and why?