Our Tokyo Disneyland 1-Day Itinerary is an efficient touring plan for what attractions, shows, and dining we’d do in our ideal day at the park. This itinerary is how we’d recommend experiencing all of the, what we consider, Tokyo Disneyland essentials. While other touring plans focus on fitting in every attraction in one day, we’ll be more focused on how to have the best day possible. Instead of constantly running from attraction to attraction, this plan will also have you enjoying some of the little things that make Tokyo Disneyland special. Yes, we’ll get to the majority of the attractions but some are left behind in favor of, what we consider, better options. If you are more ride focused then check out our Tokyo Disneyland attractions rankings. We’ve made it through our Disneyland, California Adventure, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios itineraries with a Tokyo DisneySea edition coming soon!
Tokyo Disneyland is an incredible castle park. Much of TDL will feel familiar to those that have gone to Disneyland and Magic Kingdom. In a way, the park is a greatest hits collection from those two parks. On top of that, Tokyo Disneyland boasts a few impressive original attractions. Moving away from the attractions, the park shines in the way of parades, dining and atmosphere. Thanks to marvelous upkeep throughout the resort, Tokyo Disneyland is beautiful and interesting. While the experience will feel very familiar to the castle parks stateside, there is also something very unique about the park. Everything about TDL is just different enough to make it feel… Weird? I mean that as a compliment.
Ideally, guests would have two days at Tokyo Disneyland. The park boasts a robust attraction lineup that is hard to fit into one day while mixing in parades, shows and dining. Obviously, that isn’t the point of this post though so we’ll do our best to fit in all of the essentials. If you are able to visit Tokyo Disneyland during low crowd season then the chances of fitting in this whole itinerary grow exponentially. Understanding that many guests traveling to Tokyo Disneyland have already been to Magic Kingdom and/or Disneyland, we won’t put as much emphasis on the attractions that are replicas at Tokyo Disneyland. We’ll still fit in, what we consider, the best attraction but they won’t take priority over what makes Tokyo Disneyland unique.
Like other itineraries, FastPass plays a big role. We have our Tokyo Disneyland FastPass Guide that we will be (more or less) following in this post. If you get ahead or behind in this itinerary, refer to that to see what attraction you should FastPass next.
There are many different factors that go into a theme park day, so we do have to keep this plan somewhat general. I don’t know how busy the park will be when you visit, where you are staying, etc. What I do assume in this itinerary is that you are spending the full day inside of the park, getting there before the gates open and leaving after the park closes. Getting to the park at least half an hour before opening would be a wise choice if you only have one day there. For guests staying at one of the official Tokyo Disney Resort hotels then you get access to the park 15 minutes before anyone else. While it doesn’t seem like much, take advantage of this as it will get you a leg up on FastPasses. Tokyo Disneyland Hotel, Hotel MiraCosta and Disney Ambassador Hotel are the closest hotels to the park and each one is incredible. Unfortunately, they are also the most expensive hotels at the resort. If you aren’t staying at either of these resorts, don’t worry. Just get to the park before opening one way or another. On to the plan!
Arrive Early for the Original Attractions
As we’ve already said, arrive at least half an hour early to the park. If it’s a high crowd season then getting there an hour in advance is a smart idea. Take advantage of the early 15 if staying on-site. Once inside the park make a beeline towards Pooh’s Hunny Hunt. This is one of the park’s original attractions and is considered one of the best rides in the world. Your first decision of the day is whether you want to both ride and FastPass the attraction or just ride it. I would recommend riding and FastPassing.
Once done at Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, head over to another Tokyo Disneyland original, Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek. This is another enjoyable dark ride, although not quite up to the level of Hunny Hunt. If the line here is already over 40 minutes then just use a FastPass once the ticket window opens up. If the wait time isn’t long then hop in line.
E-Tickets (and Waffles!) Throughout the Morning
With two of Tokyo Disneyland’s most popular attractions out-of-the-way, it’s time to knock off some other popular Tokyo Disneyland rides. Since already in Tomorrowland, start with Space Mountain. This attraction may have a long wait already and would be next in line to FastPass so use your judgement there. If Buzz Lightyear or Star Tours is important to you, then riding them while in this area would be a smart plan before crossing the park. I would recommend skipping both attractions for now.
Once you have left Tomorrowland, cut through Fantasyland for “it’s a small world” and Haunted Mansion. If you feel the need, go back to ToonTown for Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin. We don’t necessarily recommend that but it’s good to do earlier in the day before the lines stack up. Moving on, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Pirates of the Caribbean complete our whirlwind morning of rides. Fitting all of these in is asking a lot, especially if crowd levels are high. Use FastPass when necessary and skipping Big Thunder and Haunted Mansion is an option as they are mostly replicas.
Somewhere along the way, find time to get over to World Bazaar and enjoy a waffle from Great American Waffle Company. Lines can also back up here so I’d wait until a little later in the morning, maybe having a snack from a convenience store before you enter the park.
Explore (and ride) Splash Mountain
You may have noticed that Splash Mountain was left off the above list of E-tickets. That’s not because it isn’t worth your time, on the contrary, this is my favorite version. Instead, this is typically the only attraction in the park that utilizes a single-rider line. We absolutely recommend going that route here unless the standby time is under 30 minutes. Single-rider will save you a significant amount of time and, while we all love to hang out with the group we came with, it’s a great experience to ride Splash Mountain with a group that is likely from a different country than you.
After the ride, explore the mini-land around Splash Mountain. Grandma Sara’s Kitchen sits right beside Splash Mountain and has some excellent details on the inside and out. This wouldn’t be a bad spot for lunch (we’ll get to that in the next step) but if nothing else, take a look around the area. There is a little path that runs down from Splash Mountain to the river. Everything here feels far more accessible than most areas in the U.S. castle parks, that path is a prime example of it.
Off (with your heads) to Lunch
Making it through a busy morning of rides will lead to quite an appetite and there is no shortage of good places to eat at in Tokyo Disneyland. For this itinerary we recommend Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall. This counter-service restaurant is well-known because of the detailed interior. Chances are that you have seen the inside of the restaurant in photos somewhere or another. The food is pretty good too! If you do choose Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall, we recommend getting there around opening (usually at 11) to avoid long lines. The restaurant gets very busy during typical eating hours.
While we consider Queen of Heart Banquet Hall a Tokyo Disneyland rite of passage, it is not our favorite restaurant at the park. Instead, we like China Voyager and Hungry Bear Restaurant in the counter-service arena. Blue Bayou is among a strong group of table-service restaurants. Check out the menu to Grandma Sara’s if you are still in the area and see if it appeals to you, as well. There are plenty of good options for lunch and dinner at Tokyo Disneyland!
A Relaxing Afternoon
As with most of our park itineraries, the early afternoon is when we start to slow the day down. Lines will be the longest and the weather will be the most intense at this point in the day. If visiting in the summer, then this step will try to keep you out of the heat. Fortunately, Tokyo Disneyland has a wide array of shows and attractions that are relaxing and well worth your time.
First and foremost, Country Bear Jamboree is in excellent condition at Tokyo Disneyland, playing the full show and also doing holiday versions in the summer and around Christmas time. Other shows or slower attractions we recommend include The Enchanted Tiki Room: Stitch Presents “Aloha E Komo Mai!”, One Man’s Dream II, Let’s Party Gras! and Philharmagic. While none of the above are incredible, they’re all well done and original, save Philharmagic. Along with seeing some shows, keep working your way through the FastPasses and enjoy any attraction with short lines.
Dreaming (of snacks) Up!
Tokyo Disneyland’s daytime parade is an absolute joy. The floats are astonishing and the costuming is loud, over-the-top fun. No matter how you feel about parades, this is a must do while at the park. There are number of good places to view Dreaming Up!, although any view that includes the castle earns bonus points. With that said, it might take up a good chunk of your time to save a spot around there. Instead, find a spot about half an hour ahead of time somewhere near the front row. Most viewing areas for the parade will have guests sit. One other option if you don’t want to sit down and wait for the parade to come is to walk up a few minutes before Dreaming Up! will start. This won’t put you as close as guests who are sitting but should still offer quality views assuming you are in front of others standing. We recommend arriving early and enjoying the parade while sitting.
While you wait for the parade to get there, send one of your party out to get snacks. My absolute favorite is the Seafood Pizza at Captain Hook’s Galley in Fantasyland. While the pizza doesn’t look great, it tastes amazing. The seafood is fresh and augmented by the pizza sauce. If that’s not up your alley then the Pork Rice Roll at Pecos Bill’s in Westernland or popcorn from one of the stands is a good option. Custom in the Tokyo Parks (and it should be everywhere) is to leave at least the same amount of people saving spots as the amount that went to go do something else, so if 2 left to go get snacks at least 2 should stay.
Sunset by the River
Like classic Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland takes full advantage of the beautiful Rivers of America. Once Dreaming Up! ends, head over to Westernland for a while to enjoy sunset by the river. Depending on the time of year, this itinerary will get you there in plenty of time. If you have extra time then explore Tom Sawyer Island, ride the Western River Railroad, do the canoes, and just explore the area. Camp Woodchuck Kitchen has beautiful views and is fun to explore, as well.
We like all of those attractions but our favorite is the Mark Twain Riverboat. A sunset cruise on the river is pure bliss, both relaxing and breathtaking. Riding the Mark Twain at anytime will offer unique views of the castle but sunset is especially picturesque.
Choose Your Own Adventure Dinner
Once the sun goes down, it’s time to eat again! As you may have been able to tell with out confused lunch step, there are many places we enjoy eating and have trouble choosing just one. Again, we really enjoy China Voyager and Hungry Bear Restaurant for counter-service restaurants. Blue Bayou and Restaurant Hokusai are both well thought of table-service restaurants. All four of those offer very different types of food and different experiences so match what fits you the best.
Dreamlights and Nighttime Shows
After dinner, it’s time to head to World Bazaar to stake out a spot for Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights. Just like Dreaming Up!, this is a spectacular parade that is not to be missed. While we don’t think seeing Dreaming Up! in front of the castle is essential to the experience, I do think Dreamlights is enhanced by having the castle in the background. Thankfully, there is a decent amount of seating in the castle hub. Show up with your group in that area about an hour before parade time and then take turns going to walk around World Bazaar, Tokyo Disneyland’s beautiful version of Main Street USA.
After the parade, move forward into the hub. From now until April 26, 2019 Tokyo Disneyland is showing Celebrate Tokyo Disneyland – a nighttime spectacular that does exactly what its name says it does. Score for practical names! Don’t miss this show if you’re able to be in the parks while this show is ongoing.
There are also fireworks that are seen from both parks. We don’t think this is a great show or worth your time, but it’s enjoyable to see from wherever you are walking around or in between Dreamlights and Celebrate Tokyo Disneyland.
Fantasyland (and other) Attractions
Time is running out on your day and we’ll use the last hour or two to fill in whatever attractions were missed. Typically, we like to go back to Fantasyland and fit in as many attractions as possible in whatever time we have. Most of these attractions are similar to Disneyland’s classic dark rides but the upkeep is exceptional. If Peter Pan’s Flight is an attraction you’d like to do then line up for it right before park close. The wait time will be minimal and as long as you are in line before closing hours they will let you ride. Another ride on Pooh’s Hunny Hunt right before close is a great option, as well. Fantasyland will feel like a ghost town at night as many families leave after the nighttime shows.
If you did miss any other attractions that you wanted to do throughout the day then now is the time. Wait times will be shorter than any other time of the day so take advantage, using whatever energy you have left to run from attraction to attraction.
Finally, once Tokyo Disneyland closes it is time to do a little more exploring. While the park shuts down quickly after closing hour hits, there is still a little bit of time to soak in the atmosphere and/or take photos in the empty lands. I’ve already mentioned that the river is gorgeous. Adventureland has a small New Orleans Square that is beautiful in both the day and night. Tomorrowland has some beautiful blues and a nice lighting package with clean lines to enjoy. Last of all, the castle hub and World Bazaar are gorgeous, especially at night. There is a little extra time to linger in that area as opposed to other lands.
As I’ve tried to convey, Tokyo Disneyland is gorgeous and beautiful. The park feels accessible, without as many fences and places walled off as Disney Parks in America. On top of that, Tokyo Disneyland is spotless with incredible care being put into the park. Many people rave about the service at Disney Parks stateside, but Tokyo Disneyland blows that out of the water. More than just about anything in this itinerary, we recommend exploring TDL to get a sense of that and the other characteristics the park boasts. Take time to explore, interact with cast members and guests, and wander off the beaten path.
As always, if you have questions or thoughts about Tokyo Disneyland then let us know down below in the comments. You can read more about our travels in Japan by clicking here. If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends, as well as like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. Links to all of those are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!
Categories: Park Itineraries