Everyone has a different opinion about the best age for children to have their first Disney experience! We were in Tokyo with our toddler and couldn’t resist the draw of taking our toddler to on her first trip to Disney. Who knew when we would get chance to go back again but was Tokyo Disney toddler friendly? The answer for us had to be yes so we have put together our Tokyo Disney Guide to help you have a great time at Tokyo Disney with your toddler.
Updated: October 2019
Tips for visiting Tokyo Disneyland with toddlers
Check the Crowd Calendar before Visiting
We were really lucky with our visits to Tokyo Disneyland and Disneysea as we really didn’t experience any long queues but I have heard that these parks can get exceptionally busy especially if you are travelling in holidays or weekends. If you have any flexibility I would advise a mid week visit and also checking the crowd calendar before you visit. The crowd calendar is a bit confusing as it is in Japanese however it is colour coded so be sure to look for least crowded days. Most people seem to recommend this as the most accurate and is the one we used when we booked our trip. Since our trip I also found the following crowd calendar in English however it only has dates for 6 months in advance.
Should I stay onsite at Tokyo Disneyland with toddlers?
I think the on site vs offsite Disneyland hotel question is one that comes up no matter what park you are visiting in the world. We did both options during our stay and actually had a great time even when we commuted into the park from central Tokyo when we were staying at the Conrad.
As with everywhere the main reason to stay off-site for Tokyo Disneyland is that it can be much cheaper as there are plenty more budget options in central Tokyo. However depending on where you are located you might have a long journey on public transport to get to the park and you will inevitable be travelling during at least a little bit of Tokyo rush hour and might mean you have a very early start if you want to get to the park for rope drop (as we recommend).
However, if you are only planning on going to the park once during your Tokyo with toddlers itinerary you might want to stick to one hotel for your entire trip to save disruption in which case a more central location is probably going to be easiest so you aren’t travelling into Tokyo every day.
For onsite hotels at Tokyo Disneyland there are two options – official Disneyland hotels and on-site non Disney hotels.
There are four hotels at Tokyo Disneyland
- Disney Ambassador Hotel
- Tokyo Disneysea Hotel MiraCosta
- Tokyo Disneyland Hotel
- Tokyo Disney Celebration Hotel (not located as close to the park being in Shin-Urayasu however this is more of a resort feel so might suit people looking for a long Disney stay.
This hotels all offer great Disney theming, are close to the park and have some character dining options available such as Chef Mickey at the Ambassador). Perhaps the most unique of all of the hotels however is the Miracosta as it is actually the only hotel in the world to actually be INSIDE a park and some rooms come with exceptional park view. This hotel is especially good for those concentrating on visiting Disneysea rather than Disneyland.
There aren’t Early Magic Hours per se as you get in Florida and at Disneyland Paris. It is more akin to when you do early magic hours at Disneyland with toddlers or California Adventure with toddlers. However if you are a guest at one of the above hotels you get access to the Happy 15 Entry which is similar to Early Magic Hours. This gives you access to the park 30 minutes before official opening via a special entrance. During this time some attractions may be open but you can also use this time to get your first fast passes.
If you want to stay on the Disney resort but want to save money then a great option is to stay at a Disney Resort Official Resort that isn’t run by Disney specifically. There are several hotels which fall into this category which are:
- Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay
- Tokyo Bay Maihama Hotel
- Tokyo Bay Maihama Hotel Club Resort
- Hilton Tokyo Bay
- Hotel Okura Tokyo Bay
This parks are exceptionally close to the park and there is a free shuttle bus service to the park for guests. These are a great compromise for those that want a more budget stay on the Disney Resort.
Overall if you can afford it and are planning to spend more than one day at Tokyo Disneyland parks I would recommend staying on site at either an official Disney hotel or a partner hotel especially if you are travelling to Disney with toddlers. If you only have one day and can’t decide between Disneyland vs Disneysea check out this guide and our toddler guide to Disneysea.
Should I book tickets in advance for Tokyo Disneyland?
If you are staying on site at Tokyo Disneyland with toddlers be sure to check whether tickets are included with your room. If there are not or you are staying off site then it is e book your Tokyo Disneyland tickets in advance to avoid the queues and make sure you are inside the park for the rope drop.
There are several ticket options available which are:
Please note: Children aged three and younger are free so they won’t require a paid for ticket.
How easy is it to get to Tokyo Disney with a toddler? Public Transport and the Tokyo Disney Train
On our first visit to the Disney complex we were staying in central Tokyo and had to use a combination of subway and then use the Tokyo Disney Train to transfer to the park. We were slightly concerned about using the public transit system with our stroller but actually found it very easy to do even with our stroller. Just be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to get to the park so you can be there for the rope drop.
On our second visit we were staying on the Tokyo Disney complex at the Sheraton Grande (not an official Disneyland hotel but on the Tokyo Disneyland monorail system so getting to the parks was very quick in the morning.
We found both options very easy to navigate with the toddler.
Tokyo Disneyland stroller required?
Is a stroller required at Tokyo Disneyland? It can be tempting to leave behind a stroller when travelling to Disney especially if you have already stopped using it on a day to day basis but my advice is always take a stroller to Disney with toddlers whatever park you are travelling to. Days at Disney are long, exciting and tiring and you will be happy to have it with you.
Tokyo Disneyland is very stroller friendly as the park is flat and very easy to navigate around with a stroller. There are stroller parks next to every ride at Tokyo Disney. I left my stroller without concern however one of my top tips for using stroller parks at Disney is to have a stroller lock like this one with you as an extra security measure. Be sure you don’t leave any valuables in the stroller.
If you haven’t got a stroller with you or travelling to the park without one and regret your decision there are also strollers for rent. The rental strollers cost around 700 yen per day.
NEXT READ: For more Tokyo with a toddler or baby advice please check out this post!
Make Use of the Baby Centre
If you are travelling to Tokyo Disneyland with infants then be sure to make use of the baby centre for changes, feeding times if you want and also to give them a bit of down time away from the excitement of the park. There are two baby centres as far as I am aware one in toon town and another at the main entrance.
What to do in Tokyo Disneyland in the rain?
We visited Tokyo Disneysea the day after a typhoon so it was a bit wet. In severe rain some rides may shut or entire parks if a typhoon hits. However if you have some rain don’t panic as there are plenty of indoor things to do at Tokyo Disneyland in the rain. Our main advice as with any park is to a poncho with you. If you can buy this in advance it will be cheaper than having to buy one in the park.
What are the best Tokyo Disneyland rides for toddlers
Whenever you are thinking about what is the right age for Disney I think one of the main concerns is how many rides your child can go on. What we found when we visited was that there are actually lots of Tokyo Disneyland rides for toddlers.
List of Tokyo Disneyland rides for Toddlers
Fantasyland Tokyo Disneyland rides for Toddlers
- Alice’s Tea Party
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- it’s a small world
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Castle Carousel
- Snow WHite’s Adventures – might be a bit scary for some.
- Pooh’s Hunny Hunt – FASTPASS Available be sure to grab this so your toddler doesn’t wait in a long queue
- Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
- Snow White’s Grotto –
Other toddler friendly attractions in this area include exploring Cinderella’s castle.
There is only one ride for toddlers in Toontown – Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin but there are some great experiential attractions for toddlers including
- Goofy’s House Paint
- Chip and Dale’s Tree House
- Toon Park – a playground aimed at toddlers and preschoolers.
- Donald’s Boat
- Minnie’s House
- Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters – FASTPASS Available be sure to grab one at the start of they.
- Monster’s Inc Ride and Go Seek – FASTPASS Available be sure to grab one at the start of they.
- Jungle Cruise
- Pirates of the Caribbean – this ride has no height restriction however this might be too scary for toddlers at Tokyo Disney.
Other toddler friendly attractions in Adventureland include The Enchanted Tiki Room with Stitch
- Mark Twain River Boat
- Tom Sawyer Rafts (raft boat)
This area also has the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House which also has no height restrictions.
There is also the Beaver Brothers Explorer Canoes in Critter Country. This can be done by young children provided they can sit up without assistance. I would also advise this is only one for toddlers that can sit still for duration. We didn’t do this as I could just see my daughter wanting to sit on my lap halfway through the experience.
Tips for Tokyo Disneyland rides with Toddlers
- Grab your fast passes – rides with fast passes and are suitable for toddlers are Winnie’s Hunny Hunt, Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblasters and the Monsters Inc Ride and Go Seek. Be sure to get a fastness as soon as you enter the park and grab another once you are finished the first ride to cut down wait times with a toddler
- Save Short Queues for Later in the day – rides we found with a short queue were the carousel, teacups and Dumbo.
- Check the Website – This website has updates in realtime in English for current waits at each of the rides.
We didn’t use any of the fast passes as we didn’t feel the need to try any of the popular rides but would recommend using them if you wish to see a show
Best Things to do at Tokyo Disneyland for toddlers
Tokyo Disneyland Parades
I don’t think that I have ever experienced such a toddler friendly parade simply for the organisation and politeness of the Japanese. An hour before the parade starts people start congregating along the route but the unusual thing about Tokyo Disney is people sit down for the parade which means that your toddler’s view of the parade will be unobscured. The parade songs were mostly sung in English but even if they weren’t the spectacle would still be enjoyed.
Family Friendly Restaurants at Tokyo Disneyland
Some of the foods and restaurants are different to what you would get in western parks. There was a pizzeria but they had some bizarre toppings such as seafood and chicken, beetroot and pumpkin. There was a hotdog restaurant and an Italian that provided sit down meals which we thoroughly enjoyed but if your toddler is on the fussy side I would take snacks with you.
On the snack side, popcorn is a huge hit in Japan. Have a wonder round the different vendors as you will find a variety of flavours from chocolate to curry.
And of course there are plenty of places selling the obligatory ice cream!
Character Meetings at Tokyo Disneyland
One of my favourite things about Tokyo Disney were how many character experiences there were that didn’t need to be booked or required long queues. We enjoy watching characters from Pinnochio riding the teacups to all of the characters congregated ub the square. The only queues were for photos with Mickey and Minnie and they weren’t too long.
If you want some ideas for better Disney character interactions check out our post on questions to ask Disney Princesses.
Is Tokyo Disney toddler friendly?
Given the amount of rides, frequent parades and ample opportunities for character interactions Tokyo Disney is very toddler friendly. In fact I would go as far as to say this is the perfect place to have your little one’s first Disney experience.
What are the best Tokyo Disneyland rides for infants?
If you are visiting Tokyo Disneyland with infants most of the toddler friendly rides can be done with an infant on the proviso that they can sit unaccompanied.
Have you been to Tokyo Disney? What would your recommendations be for visiting with a toddler or young children?