In May 2003 a group of 4 of us paid a visit to Tokyo, including 3 days at
Tokyo Disneyland Resort.
Here is our story.
The group consisted of two couples hovering around age 40,
who have been traveling to Disney Parks for eons together. Len (me), a
recently laid off QA engineer, Kelleye, my wife and a programmer as well,
Patrick, who's in legal publishing, and Melissa, an English teacher.
We all love going to Disney Parks. Kel and I had been to all of them with
the exception of the new Disney Studios Park in Paris, and the Tokyo Parks.
There were a few of us with less interest in seeing Tokyo Disneyland, but the
review posted posted on MousePlanet did the trick of convincing everyone.
All 4 of us have been to WDW several times and Disneyland in CA way too many
times to count. Our last big Disney trip was to WDW in 2001. (we did a
smaller D-land trip that year as well during Christmas).
Info about Tokyo Disneyland on the other hand, is much more
difficult to come by on the web unless you can read Japanese. We tend to do
ALL of our trip booking via the web so this made planning the trip a
Our goal was to spend a week in Tokyo, with emphasis placed on TDR. We
aimed to do this without breaking the bank, but also not staying in
youth hostels. It's a good thing we planned it this way too, for I was laid off
in mid-April! If we'd gone totally first class we would have had to cancel!
Early on we picked Mid-May, so as to miss Golden Week (the first week in May)
and to miss finals and yearbook deadlines for Melissa. We also wanted to avoid
the hot summer months and the really cold winter months. We settled on the week
of May 12th - 19th. We got our airline tix thru Orbitz in February, flying
economy on United for $620 each, round trip from SFO.
Next we began looking at hotels. We needed one for 4 nights near Tokyo
Disneyland and then one near downtown Tokyo. We REALLY wanted to stay at
the Mira Costa at DisneySea. We went back and forth on the cost verses the
benefits until finally coming to the conclusion (like we always do) when
booking a Disney trip... we spend less than a third of our time in the
hotel, and 95% of that is sleeping. We'd rather spend the money saved on
some good meals or on souvenirs. Instead we chose the Tokyo Bay Hilton.
Reasonable rates and still an "Official" hotel with all those perks,
guaranteed admission to the parks, monorail pass, Park proximity etc. If
you want to book a room there, forget about the official website. It's
Japanese only. Go to the main Hilton website
or one of the hotel discount sites and make reservations from
there. They take all major credit cards and we paid with American Express.
We got Bay-view rooms for a little over $200 a night. Still expensive but
about half the price of the Mira Costa. We booked those rooms in February
as well. For the Tokyo leg we booked another hotel online, as well as the 3
site-seeing tours we decided on.
We took the advice of another posted trip report and planned on using the
"Friendly Airport Limousine Bus" service to get to and from Narita Airport.
We spent quite a bit of time looking into money issues as we had heard that
credit cards were not in as common-use as they are here in the States or in
Europe. This had us a little nervous. We also did a lot of reading up on the
culture and the language. As we would be using the train system a
lot after leaving the TDR area, we printed out maps, and fare sheets for
those as well. None of these issues were any big deal once we arrived.