Reflecting on Tokyo Disneyland

This is the last post chronicling our trip to Tokyo Disneyland. Originally this trip was supposed to occur at the end of last month, but Leo (and the rest of us) got Covid, so we had to cancel.

At the time, I was really disappointed. But having got it and recovered, it made the fear of catching Covid disappear. We were, and everyone else was as well, wearing masks and doing our part to prevent the spread…but it was nice to not really have to worry about the “what if”.

Going two days before Golden Week, in pure “off season” times is definitely the way to go. I didn’t check in or blog about every ride, but we never waited more than 20 minutes for a ride (once) and mostly we had no wait at all. Go off-peak if at all possible.

Taking the train home from Disneyland isn’t hard. Upgrading to the green car for the Tokyo - Totsuka leg of the trip (and on the way there from Totsuka - Yokohama) is well worth the charge. You don’t want to spend an hour getting exhausted on a packed commuter train before/after spending a day walking around outside all day.

I’m glad I also booked breakfast at the same time as booking the room. Or rather, glad I noticed I needed to. As we booked the room last-minute this time, most of the time slots for breakfast were taken. 7am was perfect for me…though maybe a bit early for Leo after a day of playing hard at Disneyland.

Spring/Fall is the time to go. Walking around outside all day int summer heat would be brutal.

Changes for Next Time

It’s difficult with a 4-year old to schedule exact mealtimes as each minute they get distracted by the new shiny, and there’s a lot of new shiny at Disneyland. That said, making a reservation for dinner is the right decision. You’d think you might could still get a table, but this isn’t the case.

Print out a paper map and plan out the rides we want to ride more in advance. Paper maps aren’t a thing anymore, it’s all driven by your cellphone. This is a real shame for three reasons:

1. It removes an artifact for kids after the trip to reminisce. As a kid I’d often revisit the maps from Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland and remember what I did or think about the next ride I wanted to ride.
2. It removes kids from the decision making process. They can’t pop out the map and say “I want to go here”, they’re got to rely on their parents to being out their cellphone, open the apps and scroll around. Kids guiding their parents to the destination is a great opportunity to hone their navigation skills. And worst case scenario is you end up at a churro’s shop (which is quite great).
3. Opening your phone and relying on the internet each time you want to verify where you are or what’s nearby is such a faff and so slow. Sure, you don’t get real-time wait times with a paper map, but it got annoying. And you have to worry about battery.

I'm really happy we made this trip and the entire family had a fantastic time. Being able to escape to a fantasy land, if even for a day, is such a privilege. Experiencing these parks as a parent is heaps of fun – not just riding the rides, but watching how your kid reacts to seeing his favorite stories and characters come to life, is really something else.