For those wanting to completely refresh, I highly recommend a day trip or overnighter to the Disney theme parks, DisneyLand and DisneySea. I traveled door-to- door from my condominium to the Disney parks within a hour, stayed overnight, and came back refreshed as a daisy.
On most days in December both DisneyLand and DisneySea open at 9:00am (on some days as early as 8:00am) and close at 10:00pm. You can theoretically visit both parks in a day but practically it will keep you moving at a fast pace. Even on a slower weekday, in my case Monday, December 10, when I arrived at DisneySea around 11am, the wait for major attractions was 40-50 minutes. I experienced five major attractions and headed back to my hotel at 6:00pm. On weekends, expect waiting times of 2 hours for the most popular of the attractions.
You can cut down on waiting time drastically by planning ahead and using the FastPass system at the Park. Earmark the attractions you want to see, preferably in a few adjoining sub-parks, and FastPass(FP) them first thing on arrival.
At DisneySea, the FP attractions are Storm Rider in Port Discovery, Tower of Terror and Toy Story Mania! in American Waterfront, Indiana Jones Adventure and Raging Spirits in Lost River Delta, The Magic Lamp Theater in Arabian Coast, and Journey to the Center of the Earth and 20,000 Leagues under the Sea in Mysterious Island.
It’s not the attractions that amuse me the most at the Disney parks, but rather the organization, the cleanliness, and the friendliness of the Disney staff. Although I had been to Tokyo Disneyland and Orlando DisneyWorld with my young kids, this was my first visit to DisneySea, which reached the magic 10 million visitors mark first in Disney’s history worldwide, in less than one year.
If you stay overnight in one of the Tokyo Disney Official Hotels, check-in is effortless just after you exit at the Maihama station entrance. You can grab the monorail straight for the parks and your bags will be in your room at the end of the day when you finish ‘Disneying’.
In the land of a shrinking population, it’s refreshing to see the flourishing baby, youth population at the Tokyo Disney parks.
It’s also refreshing to see so many happy faces. No gloom and doom, at a time when there is plenty to be concerned about. I was reminded of Jim Carrey’s The Truman Show. See it if you haven’t yet. I might even see it again. But instead of a reality show with Truman trying to get out, Disney is a fantasy show keeping reality out.
So uplifting is the high spirit at the Tokyo Disney theme parks that my wife and I are contemplating monthly visits, courtesy of year-long passes.
Just kids at heart.
All the best,
Warren J. Devalier