Robert Niles

Published: August 26, 2013 at 11:33 AM

I hereby declare that we shall adopt officially the "People Rattle" to "Congestion Violently" scale for all future discussions of theme park crowds.
David Brown

Published: August 26, 2013 at 11:45 AM

You know, every other article I have ever read about Tokyo Disneyland/Disneysea has made me want (desperately) to visit it.
This is the first time I've read anything about the park that made me think - 'you know what - I'm not sure I could be bothered, (even if I could afford it).

I'm sure, given the opportunity, I'd go and love every second, but you're really not selling it to me Bryan.......

Jacob Sundstrom

Published: August 26, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Awesome, awesome post. The wife and I are carefully saving our money and posts like this to prepare for our trip to Japan in a couple of years. Looking forward to using these tips!
Eric G

Published: August 26, 2013 at 12:12 PM

The return time enforcement in the US parks has less to do with the NextGen roll out and more to do with bloggers and people like yourself who post every secret and loophole on the Internet and in guidebooks. If people would just keep their mouths shut about these secrets then the enforcement would not be necessary.

If you really want to write an article about FastPass in Tokyo then explain how to use the system without the loophole!

I agree with the other posters comment. This article doesn't make me want to visit Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. Forget it!


Published: August 26, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Love the Ghostbusters movie quote, Bryan... Having to juggle times and plan out your entire day at a park just isn't for me. I think the Disney die-hards must spend countless hours putting together a game plan for a visit.

I can't imagine putting that much time into a day that is supposed to be fun and relaxing.

You must be pretty brave to visit Japan. I would have next day aired my Soeks Geiger counter to you just so you could take a couple of readings. They don't measure in microsieverts over there any more, it's millisieverts....

Published: August 26, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Although the article does NOT dissuade me from wanting to visit (hah! Anyone have a kidney they would like to donate to sell?), the need to act like a veteran at the Japanese parks isn't in me. When was the last time most of us experienced Disney with fresh eyes? I love taking newbies to the parks as I make sure that I don't drag them in my I-know-everything-and don't-take-the-time-to-smell-the-whatever wake! I would love to go just to see it for the first time. Soooo, if I go during a busy season (heaven forbid) I will make sure that I stay enough days to see everything without the insider information. If I were to visit subsequent times, THEN I would employ the "Insider's Guide to Disney Madness- or How to Get Through the Crowds Without Killing Someone"!
David L.

Published: August 26, 2013 at 2:51 PM

I don't see how this would discourage people from visiting the Tokyo parks any more than visiting any foreign country. It requires a lot of planning. Even at the Tokyo parks, if you have 3 or 4 days, you can spend two mornings running to get fast passes and the rest of you times wandering around, AKA relaxing at the supposedly greatest theme parks on Earth. Fast Passes will be gone by the afternoon for most attractions, so there is no need to be stressed out.
Robert Niles

Published: August 26, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Lemme throw this out there: I suspect that Tokyo Disney doesn't distribute as many Fastpasses for each hour of attraction operation as Walt Disney World does. That means they do more quickly. And compared with standby lines at WDW, the standby lines at TDR flew. I waited between 5-45 minutes for most everything when I visited Tokyo Disneyland DisneySea. That's not bad for days when the parks are slammed and the Fastpasses are gone by noon.

The only attraction I waited more than an hour to ride was Monsters Inc., which I foolishly left for late in the day.

So if you long for the days before Fastpass led people to hyperschedule every freaking moment of their day in a Disney theme park, here's another reason to love Tokyo Disney. Your "best" case scenario there is to get a couple Fastpasses. Then it's old-fashioned stand-by queues for the rest of the day.

Better yet, with big crowds sucked into Fastpass queues, you can blow through a ton of great attractions first thing in the morning, if you arrive at the turnstiles early enough and beeline straight for the big stuff. I knocked off 20K, Raging Sprits and Journey twice early in the day at DisneySea.

Anthony Murphy

Published: August 26, 2013 at 4:18 PM

So, you basically got to get there early. Interesting story
Charles Reichley

Published: August 26, 2013 at 7:36 PM

It does amuse me that in order to avoid a 45 minute wait for a ride, we will get a fastpass. To get the fastpass, we will wait in a 1.5 hour line before the park opens, and then sprint across the park. But we'll save that 45 minutes.

Of course, I understand that the 1.5 hours is "extra time" before the park opens, so if you were going to run out of time during park hours, adding 1.5 hours of wait time could be worth it.

AJ Hummel

Published: August 26, 2013 at 8:22 PM

For all the people that are now afraid to visit Tokyo Disney because they won't be able to get many Fastpasses, ask yourself this: If I visited the Disneyland Resort (or Disneyland Paris or any two parks at Walt Disney World) and didn't get a single Fastpass, how long would it take to do everything I wanted to? You might be surprised. Personally, I've gone to the Disneyland Resort on Black Friday and done every major attraction in both parks (including several re-rides) with only three Fastpasses, and I visited Disneyland Paris in July when all E-tickets were posting 60-90 minute waits and still did everything I wanted to at Disneyland Park plus a couple rides at Walt Disney Studios in one day. I can't imagine that Tokyo Disney has enough must rides that you couldn't do them all in three days even under the worst case scenario. I haven't actually been to Tokyo Disney, but I've heard from people that have visited that it is actually less stressful than Walt Disney World because everything is super organized and the operations are super efficient, plus if you get stuck in a long line the theming quality is said to be better than any other park in the world.
Robert Niles

Published: August 26, 2013 at 9:07 PM

At Tokyo Disneyland, at one point I counted six, yes, six cast members stationed at greeter at Haunted Mansion. And they all were engaging guests. I joked that you could drop a kernel of the ever-popular popcorn at Tokyo Disney and a cast member would catch it before it could hit the ground.
Bryan Wawzenek

Published: August 26, 2013 at 11:56 PM

Thanks for the compliments! I regret I scared anyone away from the Tokyo Disney Resort; that was not my intention. (By all means, if you can get there: go, go, go!) I merely wanted to provide some info about what Fastpass was like in these parks. If planning is not your thing and you want to mosey and take it all in - by all means do so. You'll have a glorious time. I'm a little more type-A when it comes to this stuff (can't you tell?) and I was thankful I had a plan.

I suspect the same thing as Robert - less Fastpasses are distributed in Tokyo, so that plays a part. Plus, cast members are crazy-efficient. However, I saved more than 45 minutes with most of my Fastpasses. Monsters Inc. was often a 2-hour wait, Star Tours was almost constantly 90 minutes, ditto Splash, Big Thunder and Pooh. In DisneySea, Tower of Terror was near the 2-hour mark from 9:30 until close and Journey hovered at 80-90 minutes for most of the day. This was not high season, so we reaped the benefits of the moderate crowds with many 5-minute (or less) waits at attractions that were not offering Fastpass (either that day or ever) - Sindbad, StormRider, 20,000 Leagues, Aquatopia, Pirates, Snow White, Roger Rabbit and more.

Published: August 27, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Ok here's my experience: I was just in Disney Sea for the first time on Tuesday July 16. I got to the park an hour after opening and walked right in (much less stressful then cueing up before the park opens). My priority of course was Journey so me and my girlfriend walked immediately there for our fastpasses. Got those then went straight for Indy (which I felt was superior to Disneylands btw). We continued that process of cueing for rides while waiting for fastpasses (I actually didn't know the loophole and we returned on time). All in all I think we only used 3 fastpasses before they ran out 2 for Journey and 1 TOT. So most attractions we cued for, and as Robert attested, our wait was never more then 45 minutes, and consistently shorter then the posted time. All said we visited 13 attractions which is plenty and maybe there was a lot of people but the park has huge walkways so it actually felt less crowded then your average day at Disneyland or CA adventure. Also what I think helped is that Toy Story Mania is the new attraction there and soaks up a lot of the visitors (much how cars land did the first year it opened). So other better attractions like Indy, Journey and Tower actually have decent wait times. Oh ya and we even ate at 2 sit down restaurants too, including SS Columbia. My biggest advice is visit midweek, Tuesday through Thursday (which goes for any Disney park) and always get a fastpass when your next one becomes available. It was the best theme park experience of my life and everybody on this website needs to experience the best theme park in the world! We're returning in October to see Disneyland Tokyo and revisit Disney Sea.