Baby-friendly sightseeing in Japan, Sightseeing

10 Tips for Enjoying Tokyo Disneyland with young kids!

We had been planning to go to Tokyo Disneyland since a few months ago, but every time the kids got sick so we had to postpone! Finally yesterday we made it there and had a fantastic time!!

Here are my top tips for enjoying Tokyo Disneyland with young children (in our case 3.5 year old and 1 year old).

1. Buy your tickets online. My husband bought our tickets online the night before. Our printer had broken, so we printed the tickets out at 711 convenience store. Super easy and definitely saved us about an hour of lining up to buy tickets at the gate!

2. Get there early. Plan to arrive at 8:30am when the gates open. It was a partly cloudy day yesterday but it was still so HOT. So it was super important to arrive early, not only to avoid the crowds, but also for the kids to enjoy the morning before it got too hot.

3. Fast pass. The first thing we did was get a fast pass for Buzz Lightyear. My husband actually lined up for us and got our tickets (it wasn’t necessary for us all to line up together), so I took the kids to Cinderella’s castle and then we met up with my husband in Toontown. This was fantastic, as my son was keen to see EVERYTHING ASAP and definitely couldn’t have waited in line. We managed to get the Buzz fast pass for1:30pm (my husband lined up at 9:30, so the earliest fast pass we could get was for 4 hours later). My husband also lined up to get the Fastpass for the other highly popular kids attraction Winnie the Pooh Honey trail, but by the time he got there the earliest fast pass he could get was for 4pm, and as we planned to go home at 3pm, we decided just to see Buzz.

4. Take your kids to the less-popular (and therefore less crowded) attractions to begin with. Minnie Mouse’s house and Donald Duck’s boat in Toontown are super cute, nice and cool inside, and your kids will enjoy having the freedom to explore around without having to line up. My daughter isn’t walking yet, but she absolutely LOVED looking inside Minnie’s washing machine, and my son loved Donald Duck’s boat so much that he went there 6 times!

5. Meeting Mickey Mouse is like lining up to see Santa Claus. It literally took about 1.5 hours. Every time we turned a corner in his house I thought we would finally see him, only to find another room! The whole house was air conditioned though, and dimly lit which created a calming atmosphere with the kids which was nice. There were also little activities for them to do and sites to see while we waited. When we finally did meet Mickey he gave my son a huge hug which he LOVED (my daughter cried!), and we got to take a photo with our iPhone.

6. Food and water. My son was car sick on the way to Disneyland in the morning, so he basically turned up to the biggest event of his life with an empty stomach and looking very pale the poor thing. So I was constantly offering him water, bread, even icecream and juice just to keep up his fluid and food intake. The big issue though is that the food and drinks at Disneyland tend to be like fast food, and it is very hard to find simple healthy options for kids. Make sure you bring lots of water, sandwiches or onigiri and easy fruit such as bananas to keep your kids energy levels up.

7. Parade. Don’t miss the parade! Fantastic. You just need to put your kids on your shoulders so they can see.

8. Hats, umbrella, sunscreen.

9. Stroller. I am SO glad we took our stroller. We basically took it with us inside all the attractions, including Mickey Mouse’s house. This was a huge relief, particularly when we were waiting for so long to see Mickey. For Buzz Lightyear and a few others we weren’t able to take the stroller in so we had to leave it outside, but he just put my daughter in the Ergo and carried our valuables and it was fine.

10. Baby Rooms. Tokyo Disneyland has fantastic baby rooms! They are a bit in need of some renovating, but very clean, air-conditioned, and very comfortable. It was so comfortable in fact that I saw one mother had fallen asleep in her chair while taking a rest with her baby! There were a lot of staff inside helping out and providing clean changing mats etc for diaper changing, so very welcoming and stress-free.

IMG_1233 copy

Opt In Image
Subscribe to Tokyo Urban Baby

Sign up for my latest news about traveling with a baby in Tokyo and insights into my members section. After signing up, please check your inbox to confirm your subscription!

Related Posts

29 thoughts on “10 Tips for Enjoying Tokyo Disneyland with young kids!

  1. Juliet says:

    This is very helpful. We are going to Disneyland next weekend with my 11month old baby. I am just wishing it’s not going to be so HOT! I am so glad they have baby rooms since i still breastfeed my baby 🙂 Thank you

    1. Kate says:

      Thanks Juliet! xx Kate

  2. Rebecca Simic says:

    Hi Kate, I just found your blog via google while I was researching some info about Disneyland as we are heading to Japan in August! You mentioned that your son was 3.5, did you purchase a ticket for him or just yourself and your husband?

    Thank you so much.

    Bec

    1. Kate says:

      Hi Bec! We didn’t pay for my son as under 4 year olds are free. Only have to pay if you child is 4 years.

      The description of the tickets on the Tokyo Disneyland website is a bit confusing, but under 4’s are definitely free.

      Have a wonderful time!

      x Kate

      1. Sessy says:

        Hi Kate,

        The information is very useful. If the kids below 4 are free, meaning they won’t be able to play certain rides as kids above 4. Is that right?

        Thanks.

        1. Kate says:

          Hi Sessy, yes there are certain rides that they won’t be able to go on as they will be under the required height/weight. However, there are many attractions and rides you can enjoy including Mickey Mouse’s house, Minney Mouse’s house, Donald Duck’s boat, the Merry-Go-Round, It’s a Small World, etc. Have fun!

  3. Abe says:

    Hi Kate, may i know Tokyo Disneyland or Disneysea is more suitable if travel with 16 months old baby? Is the weather will be too cold if visit early March? Thank you.

    Abe

    1. Kate says:

      HI Abe, thank you for your message! Either Disneyland or Disneysea is fun. One major difference is that Disneyland is alcohol free (only Disneysea has alcohol available in the restaurants). So Disneysea tends to have a slightly different atmosphere and is popular with university-age students. The weather will be still cold in early March. It will start warming up during the day from mid-March onwards. Have a wonderful trip! x Kate

  4. Hannah says:

    Hi, Just wondering, I’m taking my 2 year old, who is free to get in to disneyland – but will be ok to ride on attractions that we intend to get fastpasses for. How do I get a fastpass for him? or do they just let him in the line with us, knowing he’s too little for a park ticket?

    1. Kate says:

      Hi Hannah, they will just let him in the line with you. Hope you have a great time!

  5. Leona says:

    Hi We are travelling to Japan in September. My little one will be almost 17 months and is running about and quite adventurous. Are there many attractions suitable for her? What else would you recommend for our Tokyo trip?

    1. Membersonly says:

      Hi Leona, I recommend getting my Tokyo Guide which includes all the indoor and outdoor playgrounds which will be fantastic for your 17month old baby to play in. xoxo

  6. jonalee says:

    Hi Kate,

    I will be travelling with a 17month old and 4 year old and will visit Tokyo Disneyland. I am worried about the ‘must be able to sit on their own’ rule for the rides we want to enjoy, like Pooh Honey Hunt and Monsters Inc. The toddler can sit by himself, but of course next to me, do they let toddlers like this age ride?Can he be put in a carrier?It’s hard to plan for what strategy and rides at this point if i am not sure we can go to those rides with him. Hope you can advise. Thanks

    1. Kate says:

      Hi Jonalee, yes some rides you can have your baby in the baby carrier. Often in Japan mothers carry their babies up until 2 or 3 years of age in the baby carrier. If the ride has a safety bar though, usually the child will be required to be big enough to sit on their own next to you. There are still many attractions that you can enjoy. Particularly Toon Town with Mickey Mouse’s house, Minney’s house, Donald Duck’s boat, It’s a small world, the beautiful Merry-Go-Round, etc. Have fun!

  7. Linh says:

    Hi, which stroller did you bring to Disneyland? I’m going next month with my 2 years old son and my parents. I normally take my Bugaboo Bee as it’s realy comfy and he can sleep in it for hours. Just worried it might be to bulky to use in Disneyland or might get damaged/stolen if I park it outside for rides.

    I even consider getting a Babyzen Yoyo+ 6m+ but it’s not as comfortable as the Bee.

    TIA!

    1. Kate says:

      Hi Linh, I took my Joolz stroller. I left it outside the rides (there were hundreds of strollers left outside, so it felt very safe for me. But this is really your decision 😉 I think it depends on whether you want a comfortable and relaxing day in Disneyland or if you want to be more active and mobile around all the rides. Personally I always chose the comfortable and relaxing way! Hope this helps! x Kate

  8. Cheryl says:

    Hi Can I know for your 3.5years old kid, does he need to pay for park tickets?

    1. Kate says:

      Hi Cheryl, Tokyo Disneyland is free for children 0-3 years old. So when your child turns 4 years old, you will need to buy a park ticket. So 3.5 years is still free. Hope this helps! x Kate

  9. Adeline says:

    Hi, I’m bringing my 12 months old baby but am considering between Disneyland or Disneysea, which one do you think is more appropriate as we are visiting on Xmas day itself,

    1. Kate says:

      Hi Adeline, thank you for your message! I personally recommend Tokyo Disneyland as I find the atmosphere is more suitable for babies and young children. I actually just went to both Disneyland and Disneysea a few weeks ago with my children. In general, Tokyo Disneyland is more targeted for families with young children, and Tokyo Disneysea is more targeted at older children and teenagers. Also, alcohol is available in the restaurants at Disneysea, but alcohol is prohibited in Disneyland. This means that university students and dating couples usually go to Disneysea, which tends to make the atmosphere a little older and more targeted at people in their 20s. Of course, both Disneyland and Disneysea are fantastic and they both have rides and attractions for all ages, it is just that in general there tends to be a difference in the atmosphere and the targeted age group. So in conclusion, I recommend Tokyo Disneyland! Hope this helps. Best wishes, Kate xoxo

  10. Jeng says:

    Hi Kate,
    Nice reading ur post!
    i will be traveling to japan with 2 little one, 10months Old and 4 years old coming April.
    I understand that children below 4 years doesn’t have to buy ticket for Disneyland,
    But does it look at the birth “day”, or birth “year”?
    As my daughter 4 years Old birthday will be on 8/4/2018 and we are planning to visit Disneyland either 7/4 or 8/4.
    Does it mean that she do not need a ticket if we going on 7/4, and she will need a ticket if we going on 8/4?
    I plan to purchase ticket online in advance, not sure if I should buy one for her. As she is kinda small size (90cm,13kg), can’t enjoy most of the game..
    Appreciate if u can answer my quiry,
    Thanks

    1. Kate says:

      Hi Jeng, I recently went to Disneyland with my 3 year old and they didn’t ask my daughter’s age. She is quite big for a 3 year old (she looks like a 4 year old) but they didn’t ask. So I think it would be okay. Having said that, if you go on your daughter’s birthday, you can tell the staff that it is her birthday and they will give her a special birthday sticker from Disneyland which has benefits and also the staff and characters will say happy birthday and make her feel special! I did this for my son and it was really cute! He was so excited. Hope this helps! x Kate

      1. Jeng says:

        Thanks Kate!
        Will check out the birthday special,
        Thanks!

  11. Eurris says:

    Hi Kate,
    Do you need to purchase the Disneyland Ticket for your 3.5 years old kid? The website said 0-3 years old child is free but I’m not sure how they calculate the age. Is it by year of born or birthday month?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Kate says:

      Hi Eurris, children 3 years old can enter Disneyland for free. Once your child turns 4 years old, then you will need to buy a ticket. Hope this helps and have a wonderful time! Kate

  12. Isabella says:

    Really helpful. Thanks. Glad found your website.

    I am planning to visit Japan at the end of November this year with husband & my 1.5yr old daughter.
    Based on your experience, do you think 1 day is enough? We want to enjoy, not in a rush to cover everything so our baby can enjoy it too. We are not really into rides (except shows and baby friendly rides). It is going to be our first time. Do you suggest 1 day or 2 days in Disneyland? Cannot decide until now because I don’t know what to expect and this is our very first holiday with a baby.

    What is Disney Sea? Do you think it is recommended for us?

    Thanks in advance for your insight…

    1. Kate says:

      Hi Isabella, thank you for your message! That’s wonderful you will be visiting Japan in Nov with your family! I think 1 or 2 days depends on how much you love Disneyland and all the Disney characters, and also how you want to balance it with other sightseeing in Tokyo. If you are happy to see a couple of shows and baby-friendly rides, then I think 1 day is great. If your daughter usually has a daytime nap, it is good to plan around this.

      For example, you could spend 2 hours in the morning on 1 show and 1-2 baby-friendly rides, then 11am have an early lunch, then baby might have a sleep, and then you could spend another 2 hours in the afternoon. So you could probably see in total 2 shows and 3-4 baby-friendly rides in one day (at a relaxed pace). If you would like to see everything in Disneyland and also line up to have photos with the characters, then 2 days would probably be best. I hope this helps!

      For Disneysea, please see this post: https://www.tokyourbanbaby.com/2013/05/5-steps-how-to-enjoy-tokyo-disney-sea-with-a-1-year-old-baby/

      And for Disney resorts, please see this post: https://www.tokyourbanbaby.com/2017/11/how-to-enjoy-tokyo-disney-resort-hotel-disneyland-and-disneysea-in-wet-weather-in-japan/

      Best wishes,
      x Kate

  13. Stephen says:

    Hi kate,

    I will be bringing my three year old daughter which as you mentioned is free. do I need to reserve her some free pass to show on the main gate or she can go inside directly together with us?

    1. Kate says:

      Hi Stephen, thank you for your message. You don’t need any pass for your daughter. All you need to do is show your own ticket at the gate and walk through together. Have a great time! x Kate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *