Disney is very popular in Japan. I believe it’s more popular in Japan than in the US, by far. My wife is a huge fan, and so are many of her friends.
Thankfully if you live in the Tokyo area, you can visit Tokyo Disneyland, which is in nearby Chiba Prefecture. There’s a train line that runs from Tokyo station to it, along with other routes.
In terms of size and the types of rides, it’s quite similar to Disney California, which I’ve been to twice with my wife and daughter.1 However, Disney Tokyo is much more crowded than Disney California. Just getting into the park requires waiting in a very long line, and a day pass is about ¥6200. So, for most Japanese, they try to get in early, and stay all day and night so they can get their money’s worth.
Also, the food is much better at Tokyo Disney than Disney California. California had some good restaurants and accommodations, but Tokyo Disney benefits from the “Japan effect” where the same food is somehow nicer, and better quality than what you eat in the US. Even the little road-side stands have better snacks, such as curry-flavored popcorn. If you haven’t tried curry-flavored popcorn, you are really missing out.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s very crowded, even on a weekday. And, if you go during a season like late summer or mid-winter, the weather is really tough. We went during late August which is extremely muggy and hot, and I really thought I was going to pass out by lunch-time. Once the sun-set though the weather was much more pleasant, but I was soaked with sweat and smelling like a dead animal.
Still, the rides are awesome as usual. Here’s a photo above of me screaming my head off on Splash Mountain. If you have been on this ride before, you’ll recall there’s 3 drops, but the third drop is the longest and your picture gets taken. We were riding with my wife, daughter, and several friends, and everyone was screaming except me. I was laughing hysterically for some silly reason.2
I won’t lie, Disney Tokyo is long-lines and high-prices, but if you’re going with friends and loved-ones, it’s honestly quite fun. I highly recommend it.
We’ve been to Disney California (great) and Disney Paris (smaller, bad food, but also lots of fun), but Tokyo Disney in some ways is the best one. 🙂
P.S. The “Mickey” shirt I am wearing has a funny story behind it. When my daughter was 3, we took her to Disney California, and she got a small injury after she fell and scraped her knee. She was very upset, and when the nurse tried to fix it, she got very scared and threw up all over me. A lot. Anyhow, the Disney staff felt bad, so they gave me a voucher for a free t-shirt anywhere in the park. I picked the shirt you see above. 🙂 I keep it for the memories. Ah, parenting.
1 One time, I accidentally booked the trip during Mother’s Day. It worked out very well though: the park was less busy and they had many fun activities for moms. We ate a very nice Mother’s Day luncheon there. Well worth it.
2 I did the same thing one another roller-coaster ride, the whole time. :p My wife told me to shut-up. 😉