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My sister and I made our way to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea right after spending an entire day at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (blog post here) in Universal Studios Japan (USJ).
Being the flashpackers we are, we took a very cheap overnight bus from USJ in Osaka directly to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. Major thank you to Cheryl, who found Bus Ichiba for us!
Quick note: There buses from Osaka to Japan that depart what seemed like every 3 minutes from USJ. The one you’ve booked will definitely arrive and depart as stated in your confirmation email, but it doesn’t hurt to double confirm with the buses that arrive 1-2 minutes earlier. Just keep an eye out for buses that have the words “Tokyo Disneyland” or “TDL” displayed.
As for accommodation, I managed to find the uber cheap + classy + cramped Tokyo Ariake Bay Hotel (2 stations away from Tokyo Disneyland), not to be confused with Tokyo Ariake Bay WASHINGTON Hotel which costs double or triple the price. We did end up at the at the Washington one, and even the two of their staff accepted our hotel bookings, until the third one couldn’t find our booking in their system, and very kindly printed out a map for us to the correct hotel. Ah, even the Washington Hotel’s staff got both hotels mixed up. One does wonder why both hotels have such similar names.
Here is the exact location of Tokyo Ariake Bay Hotel, and there is also soba shop around the corner of the hotel, which sells a gigantic bowl of soba for only 350 yen or so!
Just like our visit to USJ, we packed our lunch and snacks from konbini (convenience stores) at the train stations before making our way into the theme park. Both Disneyland and DisneySea are incredibly clean with dedicated picnic spots! Don’t forget to bring your picnic mats!
We didn’t really enjoy ourselves at Tokyo Disneyland, maybe because we’ve outgrown the saccharine cuteness that is all things Disney (I have to admit that Space Mountain is awesomeee), but we did enjoy Tokyo DisneySea. Bringing different parts of the world into one small park, it was hard to believe that we’re actually in Tokyo DisneySea, if you ignore the massive crowd in mouse ears!
My highlights would be Mermaid Lagoon, and Arabian Coast. Just look at how gorgeous the architecture are!
As crowded theme parks are, the Japanese respect personal space and will never cut queues, smoke, nor pee in public.
Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea are the complete opposite of Shanghai’s.
The Japanese would also patiently queue up to wait their turn to take photos at a famous landmark (I’ve experienced this at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the Fushimi Inari shrine: here and here)