Get the scoop: 6 must-know hacks for your Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea adventure 

24 Jun 2024
10 mins read
Written by Riona lye

Welcome to the land where dreams come true—Disneyland! Every kid dreams of it, and let’s be honest, so do adults. But not all Disneylands are the same. Each one has its own rules and uniqueness, depending on where in the world you are.


Today, we’re diving into the enchanting realms of Disneyland and DisneySea in Tokyo, Japan. We’ve got the ultimate hacks to ensure you start strong and have the most magical time ever. Think of it as reliving your childhood, but this time, you’re the one footing the bill!


We want to make sure you’re fully prepared so there’s no room for disappointment. After all, a little research goes a long way.


So, let’s get this magical journey started!


Before you even get to the starting line, there’s a bit of prep work to do.

Make a choice – Disneyland or DisneySea?

In an ideal world, you might think you can tackle both Disneyland and DisneySea in a day. But if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that’s a recipe for a rushed, half-baked experience.

So, if you only have one day, pick any one park and dive in headfirst.

We recommend DisneySea. It offers unique rides and a different vibe compared to Disneyland. But before you decide, check out ride closures to make sure your favourite attractions are open.

Here’s a quick breakdown:


  • Disneyland: Perfect for little kids with classic rides and a timeless charm.
  • DisneySea: Better suited for older kids and adults, with more height-limited rides and even beer! Plus, it’s newer and shinier.


So choose wisely and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

Plan your day smartly

Decide on your must-do rides and performances in advance. Prioritise your top 5 rides and book priority passes accordingly. Remember, you can’t do everything in a day! Make sure to include time for shopping, meals, and parades. Map out your ride flow and make the most of your day.

Download the app

The Tokyo Disney app is your best friend. Use it to check wait times, book priority passes, and pay for premier access. Download it a few days in advance to get familiar with its features. And now, let’s dive into the different passes:


  • Priority passes: These are free but can only be obtained every 2 hours until they sell out. They work like a free fast pass for the next available hour slot. You can’t choose the times, and they go fast since they’re free. Set an alarm on your phone to remember when you can book the next one.

  • Premier access: This is a paid option for certain rides and shows. You can purchase it through the app once inside the park. Premier access lets you skip most of the queue for the most popular attractions. Just pick a time slot on the app and enter your card details.

  • Standby pass: When the park is buzzing with excitement, you’ll need a Standby pass. This magical pass requests a callback time to enter stores or enjoy certain attractions and restaurant food releases.

  • Entry request: Snag free lotteries on the app for watching shows or meeting characters. You can enter one lottery per day per show/character meet. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a return time and allocated seats. If not, you’ll have to try another day. Avoid the first or last time slots as they’re the most popular.
Tickets and passes

Make sure you scan all your tickets into the app before you arrive so you can book those priority and premier passes. You can only book after scanning through the gate, so strong mobile data is a must.


Here’s the game plan: have your app ready and on the priority pass screen right before you scan into the park. The moment you’re through the gate, hit that button to search for passes. With the massive crowds, your internet connection might just be your biggest hurdle to getting on those rides and catching those parades.

Arrive early

The park officially opens at 9 am, but people line up 1-2 hours prior. Arrive by 8 am to knock off a few rides before the queues build. Japan’s Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea are immensely popular, so expect queuing to be a big part of your day. It’s worth getting there early.


But don’t think you’re the only smart one showing up early—everyone else has the same idea! It might feel like a zombie apocalypse with everyone rushing to the gate, but instead of zombies, it’s a crowd of excited Disney fans ready to join the fun.

Fuel up without the fuss: navigating food queues at Disneyland and DisneySea

Long queues aren’t just for the rides—they spill over into every aspect of the park experience, including food. And let’s face it, a hungry person is an angry person, and there’s no room for grumpy vibes in the land of magic.

Eat at off hours

Avoid busy lunchtimes (11 am – 1 pm). This sounds simple enough, but Disneyland excitement can make you forget your stomach until it’s growling. So, take care of your needs early, then get back to your magical adventure. Also, some food places close early, so check their hours beforehand.

Quick service

Look at menus in advance and order through the app to avoid long lines. This is especially important if you have small kids. Check the quick service menus ahead of time, figure out what everyone wants, and place a timed order. You can order food hours in advance, and this feature is incredibly efficient compared to regular lines, which can be shockingly long.

Restaurant reservations

Book well in advance for popular spots like the Teddy Roosevelt Lounge. While some restaurants allow you to reserve seating, these spots fill up quickly. However, there are still plenty of takeaway options available on the day.

Popcorn adventures

Queues for popcorn can take up to 30 minutes, so do some research before you go. Skip the standard butter or caramel flavours and go for the more interesting options. Sea salt monaka at DisneySea is one of the sweets worth waiting in line for. Happy snacking!

Timing is everything: When to visit Disneyland and DisneySea

Getting to Disneyland is half the battle won, but planning your visit at the right time is crucial too! You might think you’re the only tourist there for fun—sorry to burst your bubble, but there are specific seasons that can really impact your magical experience.

School’s out, crowds are in

Certain months, like February, can be busier than you expect due to discounts for school students.

Flight deals and seasons

Avoid cherry blossom season and Golden Week to save on costs and avoid massive crowds. The last thing you want is to find yourself among thousands of like-minded tourists, turning your dream trip into a queuing nightmare. Plus, during peak seasons, hotels and flights get expensive. If you still want to go during these times, just manage your expectations and prepare for the crowds.

Weather and clothing

Choosing the right season isn’t just about avoiding crowds—it’s about staying comfy too!


If you head there in summer, expect surprise showers that might dampen your spirits. Fall? It might be cool and refreshing, but after standing in line for an hour, you’ll definitely feel that chill in your bones.


Windy conditions: Tokyo DisneySea can be super breezy. Bring a windbreaker and some Japanese pocket warmers (kairo) to stay cozy. They do sell pocket warmers in the park, but they’re cheaper at convenience stores. Stock up beforehand and save your cash for souvenirs instead!


Rain gear: June is Japan’s rainy season, so don’t forget a raincoat and an umbrella. Being prepared means a little rain won’t rain on your parade.


Plan smart, pack right, and your trip will be nothing short of magical!

Shop till you drop (without the drop!)

Shopping is part of the Disney magic, and while you might not have your parents to foot the bill, you definitely don’t want to leave empty-handed. Sure, there are Disney stores around Tokyo, but some treasures can only be found in Disneyland and DisneySea.

Shop early

Don’t wait until the end of the night to buy your souvenirs. Shop during the day when the stores are less crowded. When the park starts closing, it’s time to go home.


Unlike Disney World, where you can shop long after the park closes, Japan’s parks close methodically, moving people from the back of the park to the front. As they do, you’ll see a wall-to-wall frenzy of buying, making it hard to shop after closing. Buy early and stash your goodies in a locker if you don’t want to carry them around all day.

Duffy merchandise

duffy disneysea tokyo


If you’re eyeing Duffy merch, DisneySea is the only place to get it! You won’t find it in Disneyland or any other shops, so stock up while you’re there. Not sure who Duffy is? Trust us, once you see everyone with their cute Duffy bears, you’ll want one too.

Parade time tip

If parades aren’t your thing, use parade times to your advantage. While everyone is lining up along the parade routes, it’s the perfect opportunity to hit the rides, grab a bite, or shop without the usual crowds.

Cheat codes for a magical day

Alright, here are some final cheat codes to ensure your Disney adventure is nothing short of epic. You’ve made it this far, so why not spill a few more beans?

Single rider lines

No need to stick together as a group all the time. Sometimes divide and conquer works better! Not sure which rides? Single rider lines are super efficient for Indiana Jones and Raging Spirits. You’ll thank us later!

Tower of Terror

This ride offers a unique twist compared to its US counterparts, with a different Japanese story. If you’re a fan, it’s a must-try.

Fireworks strategy

Here’s a nifty tip: Tower of Terror doesn’t operate during the majority of the fireworks show. They’ll let you queue up right before the show starts, and you’ll wait inside the building until the show ends. So, skip the parade and line up—you might get on the ride much faster than expected.


Now you’re armed with all the tips and tricks to conquer Disneyland and DisneySea like a pro. Go forth and have a memorable day!

Before you go…

We know the struggle of balancing the budget while trying to soak up every bit of excitement in this wonderland.


But fear not! Meet your trusty sidekick, Instarem. With Instarem by your side, you can bid farewell to those pesky transaction fees, leaving more money in your travel piggy bank for endless fun at the theme park.



Sending money overseas with Instarem is smoother than a fairy’s flutter, and security? It’s top-notch! So why not seize the day and take advantage of those competitive exchange rates? Every saved penny means more thrills, relaxation, and unforgettable moments with your crew.


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Singaporean pals heading to Disneyland or DisneySea, don’t forget your amaze card. This nifty travel card is your ticket to saving big on exchange rates, making it the ultimate companion for your Japan escapade.



Link it up with any Mastercard bank card or top up your amaze wallet, and you’re in for a treat:


  • Enjoy stellar foreign exchange rates on every global spend.
  • Exchange and store Japanese Yen (JPY) in your amaze wallet at great rates.
  • Rack up InstaPoints on foreign currency spend and cash them in for sweet cashback or discounts on overseas money transfers.


P.S.: Haven’t snagged your amaze card yet? Don’t miss out! Sign up now before your journey begins!


Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. All details are accurate at the time of publishing. Instarem has no affiliation or relationship with products or vendors mentioned.

About Instarem

Instarem stands at the forefront of international money transfer services, facilitating fast and secure transactions for both individuals and businesses. Our platform offers competitive exchange rates for popular currency pairs like USD to INR, SGD to INR, and AUD to INR. If you're looking to send money to India or transfer funds to any of 60+ global destinations, Instarem makes it easy for you. We are dedicated to simplifying cross-border payments, providing cutting-edge technology that support individuals and businesses alike in overcoming traditional fiscal barriers normally associated with banks. As a trusted and regulated brand under the umbrella of the Fintech Unicorn Nium Pte. Ltd., and its international subsidiaries, Instarem is your go-to for reliable global financial exchanges. Learn more about Instarem.

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