Friday, March 24, 2017

PB&J Adventures: Tokyo Disney Resort Arrival

 It's here, it's here! The most magical portion of our Japan adventures recap: Tokyo Disney!

There's about a million and a half photos, stories and more to cover from our most recent visit to the Tokyo Disney Resort, so I'll be breaking down these posts into a handful of posts that will cover the general recap of our visit, then eventually covering our favorite tips, tricks and memories of why Tokyo Disney is literally the most magical place on Earth! Let's begin at the beginning...

City bustle to Magical Kingdoms
During this particular visit to Tokyo, our Disney visit ended up on a Monday through Thursday. We always make it a priority to visit the resort only during the weekdays because weekends (and holidays) have the park insanely crowded. So when Monday morning rolled around, we gathered our luggage, checked out of our hotel in Shinjuku, central Tokyo and made our journey to the happiest place in all of the world.
The craziness that is navigating a JR train station.
The trek from Shinjuku to the Tokyo Disney Resort in Maihama is one that can be describes as "interesting". If you're lucky enough to have your Disney visit at the start of your trip, the easiest option to get to the park is by taking the Airport Limo Bus, found both at Haneda and Narita, which is a direct shuttle bus that takes you to the Tokyo Disney Resort area. If you're like PB and I, and are coming from the central Tokyo area, you'll most likely be taking the JR train to the resort. For those who have made their way to the parks via the JR train system and the massive Tokyo station will feel me on this one! You're basically navigating your way through one of Tokyo's central train stations to connect to either the Keiyo or Musashino line, which takes you to the resort. When you combine luggage, the long walk through the corridors and multi levels to get to the platform you need to get to, it can definitely be tedious. I do have to say that traveling to the resort via the JR lines has vastly improved since our first visit in 2009. There have since been better posted signage, moving walkways, and best yet... elevators to help ease the journey through the station.
Fun photo ops around the Tokyo Station!
Once you've reached the train line to Maihama, rest easy because your next stop is the Tokyo Disney Resort!

Welcome to the Tokyo Disney Resort!
There's so much excitement that builds as you approach the Maihama/Tokyo Disney Resort stop. If you look around, you may even see some fellow Disney fans with their popcorn buckets, Shellie May's/Duffy's and Disney gear ready for a fun visit to the parks. If you keep your eyes peeled, you'll know you're approaching the resort when you see the massive Tokyo Disneyland Hotel in the distance.

When the moment you exit the train, you know you've officially landed at the happiest place on Earth. There's even Disney music already playing when you exit the train, keep your ears open to hear the tunes. As you make you way to the exit of the train station, you're greeted by lots of signs and reminders that you've just made it to somewhere absolutely magical.
Welcome to the Happiest Place in Tokyo!
 
Feeling the magic already and we haven't even left the station!

Welcome to the Magic
The second you exit the train station you're spilled out to the entrance of the Resort Welcome Center. If you're a guest staying at one of the official hotels and it's before your check-in time, this is where you can go to purchase your tickets, drop off your luggage, which they will then bring to your hotel and receive your monorail tickets for your stay.
Eek, didn't catch a current photo of the Welcome Center on our February trip, so here's an old one from our 2013 trip!
On the same side of the welcome center is the entrance to Ikspiari, the Tokyo Disney equivalent of Downtown Disney or Disney Springs. Here is where you'll find lots of good food spots, shopping and even another Disney Store!

On the opposite end of the welcome center and Ikspiari is Bon Voyage, the official park merchandise store, or their version of our "World of Disney" stores. Here is where you can pick up a selection of park merchandise from both DisneySea and Disneyland. Be warned though that they don't carry all of the items the parks offer, so if you're looking at buying a Gelatoni bag, your best bet to to buy it in park.
The exterior of Bon Voyage looks like a giant suitcase!
On this side is also the walkway to the entrance of Tokyo Disneyland and the Tokyo Disneyland hotel!

The Happiest Monorail on Earth!
Tokyo Disney literally has the happiest Monorail on earth! No really, I'm not kidding. The exterior of the monorail features Mickey shaped windows, and the interior? Well that's a whole other story. Tokyo Disney goes in and themes their monorails according to whatever event is currently taking place. The themed monorails during our winter visit were either Frozen themed or crystal themed for DisneySea's 15th anniversary. In the past we've seen the monorails decorated with christmas decor, easter decor and more! Even without a theme, the monorails still hold magical elements, like the iconic Mickey handle.


Anna and Elsa make a cameo on the monorail.




A flashback to 2015's Easter monorail decor and 2013's Christmas monorail theme!
The use of the monorail is free if you're a guest of one of the Disney hotels and if not, you can purchase tickets for single to multi day use. The monorail is the easiest way to get to and from DisneySea and Disneyland since they're pretty far apart. The entire monorail loop takes you from the resort entrance from the Maihama Station/Ikspiari, Tokyo Disneyland & the Disneyland Hotel, the "Good neighbor" hotels and finally DisneySea!
Tokyo Disney monorail map!
Those Disney Details 
Once again, Tokyo Disney amps it up a notch with their attention to details. If that wasn't evident enough with their monorail system, even their monorail stations have magical Disney details. The main gate monorail station have displays set up that change with each seasonal event.
One of my favorite details is the Tokyo Disney Resort map that welcomes you before you make it to the monorail platform
During the "Frozen Fantasy" event that was going on during our visit, there were little Snowgies hidden around each monorail station.
 

Up Next...
Thank you for reading along on our Tokyo Disney arrival round-up. Stay tuned for the next post which will be all about our first afternoon at Tokyo Disneyland! A sneak peek....









4 comments

  1. I cannot wait to read more about your trip! Its getting me so excited for when I get to go plus can't wait for your tips as well!xxx

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    1. Yay for your own Disney adventures! I hope to get my Tokyo Disney tips up soon. There's definitely lots of Tokyo Disney goodness coming up soon!

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  2. What is the difference between Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea? Is it like Disneyland and California Disney?

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    1. Yes! The two parks are totally different. Tokyo Disneyland is a lot like the Magic Kingdom in Florida. DisneySea on the other hand is absolutely incredible! It's a completely unique park that's unlike any other Disney park in the world. I'll have a recap of our adventures at DisneySea soon!

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