When and for how long?

How many days do I need to see everything at TDR? This is one of the questions that I get asked the most. Well, I feel that it’s subjective. When are you traveling to the resort? Is it high season or low season? What’s your goal at the parks? Is it to soak in the atmosphere and take it free and easy or do you want to see all attractions before you leave? Is this your 1st time to the resort or have you been to TDR before? All these questions will play a part in the number of days you spend at the resort.

Personally, I have been to TDR when it was jam packed and I have also been to the resort when the queue to the major e-ticket rides were a maximum of 30 minutes. I have heard feedback from a lot of people that traveled to TDR and one thing is common. Almost 100% of people that travel to the resort in it’s peak period (Golden Week, Weekends, Christmas season up to New Years, School Holidays and Public Holidays) said they didn’t enjoy the resort as much as they thought they would. Most of these people are also first timers to the resort.

For me, now, it doesn’t really matter if the parks are packed because I’ve been there loads of times and I have no qualms with enjoying the parks without taking in any rides. For those who flew halfway across the world to Tokyo and are visiting TDR for their holiday within a holiday, I am guessing that you guys want to take in as much as you can when you visit the parks.

A pretty packed day in Tokyo Disneyland
Special thanks to sfgamchick for the photo

A not so packed day in Tokyo Disneysea
Special thanks to dai-kon for the photo

So how many days should one spend at the parks? First up, plan to hit the parks during the off season, on a weekday. Arrive at the parks early. Have a simple and flexible plan. Prioritize the attractions that you want to take in, the places you want to dine in, make full use of Disney’s Fastpass, Priority Seating and Single Rider lines. Knowledge is key when visiting any Disney resort. If you’ve done your homework and are heading to the parks during the off season, I would say that one full day, per park is sufficient for you to enjoy TDR.

150 minutes bad : (
Special thanks to Shenghung Lin for the photo

10 minutes good : )
Special thanks to gruntzooki for the photo

If for any reason, you can only visit TDR during it’s peak period, I would suggest you enter the parks with a plan, but know at the back of your head that you are not going to experience everything. That doesn’t mean that you are not going to enjoy the parks. Most of my best memories at the Disney parks are the ones that were unplanned. You just have to lower your expectations, soak in the atmosphere and enjoy the idea that you are in the Happiest place on Earth with the people that you love.


10 thoughts on “When and for how long?

  1. Hi Bro!
    Read all your posts today and yet, wait for it … I have questions – BAM!!!
    My generous Okaasan gave me and my family roundtrip tickets to The Rising Sun, I get to choose my dates, here’s the info; Okaasan & big sis live in Colorado, love of my life Captain K. (just a nickname) and our 11 yr. old son – we live in Michigan. Family reunion in Kumamoto(?). We’re not new to Japan but we are to TD. Sheraton Grande looks great, son has no school between April 4-12. In regards to TD crowds & weather, I’m thinking arrive TD on Sunday April 5th get settled, organized & supplies then venture the parks Monday thru Friday fly and back home on Saturday. Please advise.

    • Generally, if it’s not a public holiday, not a school holiday and not a weekend, you are good. I’ve been to Tokyo Disney Resort this year on April 7th and 8th and it was not busy. If you stick by non holidays and weekdays, you should be good. Hope this helps. Have a great time in TDR. You’ll love it.

      • Thanks for the quick reply, but there is more and you thought this would be easy;)
        There are some issues: Okaasan is in a wheelchair, my very wonderful loving son has ADHD – long lines are a big no, he also has peanut allergies and the soul of my heart Capt. K was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma. Getting FP & dining reservations we’ll split up & meet later. Food is the big concern, we’re organic and nut free. Normally I would shoot an email to WDW with our dietary restrictions, how does this work at TD?
        Also is there anything I can get for you here in MI?

      • No worries Thia. I`m glad to be of help. Tokyo Disney Resort has a special service for pregnant, disabled and guests with severe illnesses. Head to Guest Services once you enter the parks, explain your family situation to them and they will issue you with a card. Whenever you wanna go for an attraction, just show the card to the cast member and they will assign you a time to return with your family. Just return at that alloted time and you waltz right on through to board the attraction. I`ve actually taken some pictures and am gonna update the blog soon about this. Give me till next week. I will update the blog on this by then. Nut free shouldn`t be a problem. The big problem would be the organic part. Organic food culture is not really that big here in Japan yet. You could inform Guest Services as well with regards to that. I`m pretty sure they will advice from there. If you want, my wife and I run a special bento service that serves up food based on a person`s dietary needs. We`ve heard all the concerns about traveling to Japan and decided to start a bento (packed food) service to people who needs it. We`ll go shopping based on your dietary needs, cook the food up, bento it up and deliver it to you guys. If you need that, just let us know in advance. Thanks for offering to get us something from MI. We`re good thanks. I just want you to bring lots of love and a big smile from MI and enjoy TDR. Cheers.

  2. Thank you so very much for all your help and for making this site so awesome. You’re a breath of fresh air and an excellent writer yielding a smooth read. FYI on the “Special Card” word got out about WDW & DL offering this and it was raped, repeatedly. Before posting about it you might want to read how people abused this life line here in the states, it made top news. Tragic ending bro. I knew TDR had this, it’s on their site but I have no intentions to use it. Your post “3 must use systems” is very black and white. Have a plan, get up early and use the system. You covered it.
    Bento service at TDR, now that’s smooth, I will be contacting you upon arrival ; ) At WDW & DL we can have items shipped from grocery stores right to our hotel and pizza too. I usually pack organic snacks including single serve Horizon milk and organic green tea bags (The Republic of Tea: Double Green Matcha Tea). Have family in the grocery store business or does Ikspiara cover it? Hmmm. Oh, almost forgot, is there anything going on close by like bands, sporting events or limited engagements outside of TDR? Would love to go on a date with my man. Feeling the magic already, gotto love that!

    • Thank you so much for those kind words. I will definitely think about posting about that card. My purpose of creating this blog was to inform. I would not be able to control people’s actions. If the post will help one person, I feel that I have done my job. However, I’ll definitely take what you said as consideration. Thanks for that.

      With regards to organic food. Japan is not so big on that yet. I don’t have any family in the convenience store business and from what I know, Ikspiari does not cover organic food. There’s a small store close to where I live in Saitama that sells organic food, though, so I consider myself lucky.

      Happenings close to TDR? It’s too far off to tell. You will be here next April. Concerts or sports events should be scheduled closer to that date. As of now, your search on google will have very limited results.

      Once again thanks for those kind words. More posts to come!!! Have a good one and cheers!!!

  3. Hello KM! I have been reading your blog and found some really great information so far, thanks so much for writing this!

    Our first trip to TDR is in late October, and I am wondering if Halloween is a thing in the parks like it is in the USA? We are planning either 3 or 4 days but I wanted to ask your opinion on which is best, and if you think it will be busy enough that 4 days is needed?

    Another question I have is about food. My family has some serious food allergies, and I am hoping to find some basic food such as steak, chicken, veggies that are unseasoned and with no sauces. In your experience do these items exist in the parks? If we need to modify something on a menu, will we be able to ask for that?

    Lastly, I am learning some basic Japanese for the visit, but I see that most signs are also in English. Do the cast members also speak English?

    Thanks so much for the information!!

    • Hey there Sarah. Thanks for the comment and I am glad to be of help. It’s packed in late October. I would say 4 days. It’s also your first time, so 4 days will allow you to thoroughly enjoy the parks.

      With regards to the food, there are a few restaurants that serve up low-allergen food (without nuts, barley, soba, milk, eggs, shrimp and crab). I will write a blog post on this next week. Hope that it will help you out. Let me get some more information and write a blog post next week.

      Some cast members speak English, but a lot don’t. They try to assign at least one cast member with English speaking abilities at each restaurant. I would advice you to head to guest services first thing in the morning to tell them about your allergies. At every restaurant, I would suggest that you reiterate that.

      I’ll get to the research on this and update the blog on this next week. Hope it will help you out. Cheers and thanks for the connect.

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