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Random questions for first time Tokyo Disney visitor

Discussion in 'Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai' started by donsullivan, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. donsullivan

    donsullivan Premium Member

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    I just booked my very first trip to Tokyo Disney Resort this fall and could not be more excited. I've already got my flights and hotel book (Hotel MiraCosta) but I'm having trouble with getting clear answers on a bunch of random questions. I'm hoping others here who have visited recently can help. Since it's my first visit to Japan I'll be staying in the TDR bubble for the whole visit so only really concerned with that area.

    - I've seen inconsistent reports about AMEX acceptance. Some sites say AMEX is accepted but only for Japan issued cards not others, but other sites are saying AMEX is no problem. I tried to use my AMEX to book hotel reservations and it failed but can't tell for sure why. I got no fraud alerts from AMEX.
    - It seems like I can't purchase tickets as part of my hotel booking but have to wait until I get there to purchase those. Am I missing something or is that a correct assumption? It looks like the longest ticket I can buy is 4 days. I'll be there for 5-1/2 days; Is something similar to a length-of-stay ticket available to hotel guests?
    - From what I've read, the only ATM that accepts US ATM cards for cash Yen withdrawal is the one at the 7-Eleven at Ikspiari. Is that still the case? Is there any place in the hotel that a US guests can use, or is this still the only option on property?
    - Do they have a room charge model like the US parks do where things like meals and merchandise in the resort or parks can be charged back to my room at Hotel MiraCosta, or do I just do all of that separately?
    - Do Disney owned resort guests have to pay for the monorail access to get around or is that built into the room rate?

    It's been so long since I had to do extensive planning and research for a Disney parks visit since I live near WDW and visit DL every year (except this year). All those trips are pretty on-the-fly. This one requires a lot of research I'm not used to but it's kind of exciting.
     
    Sped2424 likes this.
  2. BrerJon

    BrerJon Well-Known Member

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    First of all congratulations for booking a trip to Tokyo Disneyland, you won't regret it, the only downside is WDW may feel a little half-baked in comparison afterwards!

    Not sure on AMEX, but I imagine it would be fine. Most regular credit cards work fine in Japan.

    There are plenty of ATMs, the one in World Bazaar will accept US cards fine, so getting money out shouldn't be a problem. And even if it is, there's a foreign currency service there that will sort you out. One ease of mind is the Japanese CMs are so helpful they will do their best to resolve any problems you have and make your visit a happy one.

    Park tickets are easy to buy, you can do them once you arrive at the hotel desks or at the ticket office at Iskpiari, but there's no 'length of stay' tickets, you're right that 4 days is the max. No need to book in advance.

    Monorail access is included free with your MiraCosta stay, but even without that its very cheap, a 4 day pass is about $15.

    I don't think there's a room charge 'Key to the world' type facility, so purchases would have to be made individually. They do offer package delivery to the rooms though, like in the US parks.

    Make sure to post a trip report on your return!
     
  3. donsullivan

    donsullivan Original Poster Premium Member

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    Thanks,

    I tried to use my AMEX for the room deposits but they didn't accept it and I didn't get any fraud alerts from AMEX which makes me assume TDR rejected it. I just used a VISA card and they went right through which 'might' confirm the no US AMEX reports I've read. Guess I can try and just have the VISA as an alternative in case I need it. It does seem that except for the hotel I just need to be prepared for a cash based visit which I'm just not used to. I've already checked with my bank so I know I can get plenty of Yen before I leave really easily from the bank, just want to have a fallback if I need more. Never know how much merchandise I might feel compelled to come back with from a first visit.

    I'm not one to normally write trip reports but this trip might change that. I'll definitely have lots and lots of photos while I'm there and when I get back though.
     
    tirian likes this.
  4. lazyboy97o

    lazyboy97o Well-Known Member

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    Tickets can be purchased on the Tokyo Disney Resort website. You can pick your days so as to guarantee admission on that day. They ar sprint at home and the website makes it sound like A4 paper is very important, but scaling to 8.5" x 11" will work just fine.
     
  5. BrerJon

    BrerJon Well-Known Member

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    You'll probably spend much less on merchandise than you anticipate. Whereas the US parks have the logos emblazoned on every possible item, there's actually very little Tokyo Disneyland specific merchandise. Even finding a Tokyo Disneyland T-shirt can be quite difficult sometimes, and the shops are mainly character items that could come from anywhere.

    The best 'unique' items are probably the cookie tins and food snacks designed for Japanese travellers to take home to their families.
     
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  6. Philo

    Philo Well-Known Member

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    You're going to enjoy the MiraCosta. Best hotel (disney or otherwise) that I've ever stayed in!

    I'm always cautious about relying on my Amex in Japan, so I always take plenty of cash and a Visa card too. Never had a problem, but you're right to check into it.

    You can buy tickets in advance from the site. From memory you do it separate to the hotel booking though. If you buy a 3 day ticket then you need to specify which park you'll be in on day 1 and 2, then day 3 is a park hopper (not sure why but thems the rules!).

    As for merchandise, I'd say there is quite a bit that'll be different to what you find in the US and elsewhere. Different characters are popular in different places so you might find something that'll interest you, but depends what you like to buy.

    Make sure you try all the different popcorn flavours! -
     
  7. lorreejean

    lorreejean Member

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    This fall will be our first visit to Tokyo Disney as well. We have been doing alot of research and found that it will be best to wait until we get there to purchase tickets. The general tickets available in advance are one park each of the first 2 days and then park hoppers for days 3 and 4. If you wait till you check in you can purchase tickets at your hotel that are only for hotel guests and are park hoppers on all 4 days. Still a 4 day max, but go where you want when you want.
     
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  8. donsullivan

    donsullivan Original Poster Premium Member

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    I'm starting to hear a pattern like that on merchandise. A friend just came back, and had a similar complaint about merchandise. I'm not real big on character merchandise so that doesn't appeal to me. The stuff I'd be looking for is park and resort logo type things that are a bit more unique to the resort. What I've heard recently from others who were there over the last few weeks is that many mens clothing items are high on the tacky quotient. I guess that will save me some money :)

    Thanks for the tip. So many customs on things like this are so different there and the TDR website is vague at best if you're not already aware of many of those customs. Since it isn't expected to be stupid busy the days I'm there it seems my best option is to just wait until I get there and get the resort guest full hopper so I'm not constrained in any way. I'm too used to that concept with the US resorts and don't really feel like being constrained, especially if I feel like getting a taste of both parks on the first day and then setting my agenda for the rest of the week. Since this is my first visit, I'm planning to spend most of it at TDR and not really venturing out beyond there very much. I'll probably regret not seeing more of Japan while I'm there but I guess that will help to give me a reason to return in the future.
     
  9. Disneysea05

    Disneysea05 Well-Known Member

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    I've purchased tons of Tokyo Disney Resort/land/Sea branded t shirts, hats and jackets over the years. They do exist, hopefully you'll be in luck when you go.
     
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  10. BrerJon

    BrerJon Well-Known Member

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    Normally I'd say please don't expect it not to be stupid busy, as even a quiet day in TDR is like 4th July in Magic Kingdom, but don't be put off by that because with a proper touring strategy you shouldn't have to wait in many lines and still see everything, and because of the length you're going for, you'll be spoiled in that you'll definitely have time to do everything.

    Remember in the USA, people like to sleep in and only the early birds get to the park for rope drop.

    For the Japanese, however, many see that 9am park opening as a compulsory attendance time, like turning up for work - if Disney opens their park for you at 9, it's rude not to be there promptly - so thousands of people get there, get the Fastpasses, and line up for the big rides, with hour long lines for some rides developing minutes after the gates open. So - at least on two or three of your days - you'll want to turn up before the gates open and do the Fastpass dash with everyone else, but the good news is once that's done, crowds spread out and the high attendance isn't anywhere near as stifling as in Florida.

    In other words, be prepared for the crowds and immense lines, but don't be scared by them as there are ways around them and you will still get all you need done!
     
  11. Philo

    Philo Well-Known Member

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    For the crowds, I've been there in April (the week after Golden Week) and in May. During that first visit the parks were practically empty. This is pretty much unheard of and I think we just got incredibly lucky. The trip in May did have larger crowds, but it was certainly manageable. We used FastPasses frequently and I think we queued for 45 mins max.

    One thing that took me a little by surprise, if you are watching the fireworks then get there early and take a blanket or something to sit on (I saw several people use their park maps). It's seen as dirty just to sit on the floor so polite to follow suit and sit on something. It's all very organised and was a very pleasant experience compared with other parks around the world (cast members stop people from blocking the view by holding up cameras / phones etc). As always though, getting a spot early is a good idea!
     
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  12. GiveMeTheMusic

    GiveMeTheMusic Well-Known Member

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    From the english TDR reservations site:

    https://reserve.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/about/usersguide_01#credit

    AMEX and MasterCards can only be used if they are issued in Japan.
     
  13. donsullivan

    donsullivan Original Poster Premium Member

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    Thanks. Yeah, I finally came across that language a couple of days after I had the trouble with the resort reservations. When I switched over a VISA card, everything worked just fine.
     
  14. GiveMeTheMusic

    GiveMeTheMusic Well-Known Member

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    I had the same issue until I tracked down the fine print! I found that my MasterCard worked at the resort for purchases despite not being Japan-issued, but I couldn't use it for the reservation online.
     
  15. RobOttawa

    RobOttawa Member

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    I noted the same on all my visits. Japanese fans seem to love the characters, and there is very little with the logo on it. I was disappointed because I love to brag about going there! I was able to find a magnet with the logo and yes, the cookie tins are good as well.
    Disneyland Hong Kong had a lot more logo merchandise similar to what the American parks have.
     
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  16. donsullivan

    donsullivan Original Poster Premium Member

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    I'm kind of hoping the Year of Wishes might have some T-shirts and similar that I can come back with. I have a tradition whenever I travel that I always come back with at least one t-shirt and I have to come back with some stuff from there. I'd also like to get something that isn't competing for an award for 'how much silkscreen ink can I put on one shirt'. I'd also like at least a few small things from Disneyland Hotel and MiraCosta.
     
  17. Disneysea05

    Disneysea05 Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, the current shirts for Year of Wishes arent the best designs TDS has had for anniversary tshirts. I hope they make another design for the actual anniversary in September. Hopefully you find what you are looking for.

    I have also found nice designed t shirts from both the Disneyland and Mira Costa Hotels with the hotel logos on them. Make sure to visit their gift shops to see what they have.
     
  18. Disneysea05

    Disneysea05 Well-Known Member

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    I'm planning on getting one of these if I end up going in a couple of weeks. Japanese on front, English on back. Maybe they'll be there still when you go.

    Additionally, they also sometimes take designs and styles from Disneyland and Walt Disney World and simply replace the name with Tokyo Disney Resort. Make sure to ask a Cast Member.
     

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  19. donsullivan

    donsullivan Original Poster Premium Member

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    Not a big fan of black t-shirts living in Florida, but those are kind of intriguing.
     
  20. donsullivan

    donsullivan Original Poster Premium Member

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    So, I'm on my way back from this Tokyo trip and can now confirm from experience the way the credit card thing works.

    The Japan issued AMEX restriction is only on the website. Once I was there I had absolutely no issues at all using the card throughout the TDR property for merchandise purchases or food at counter serve or table service restaurants. I also used my Chase Disney VISA card without issues. You just have to be sure there are no mag stripe issues with the card since they do not use chips.
     
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