We hope you have enjoyed our review of Tokyo Disneyland Resort so far. In part 1, we reviewed Tokyo Disneyland and in part 2, we reviewed Tokyo DisneySea each of which is a separate theme park (but within the same geographical area).
This is part 3, the final post that details some criticism of Tokyo Disneyland Resort (so it is not specific to Disneyland or DisneySea, but to the whole resort). Before I list these issues, read this disclaimer:
* We understand that some of these issues are not specific to Tokyo Disneyland Resort, but apply to other theme parks as well.
* We understand that Tokyo Disneyland Resort is not owned by the Walt Disney Company.
* In spite of these issues, we overwhelmingly recommend going to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, especially DisneySea.
With those disclaimers out of the way, let’s look at the issues. These are in no particular order.
Charging for children under 6 years
Throughout Japan (at least in the areas that we travelled) a child less than 6 years of age is considered an infant and is not charged as long as they are with a paying adult. This was true on the extensive train system, hotels, museums, attractions and almost everywhere we went. In fact, this was even true on the Disney Monorail itself. But as soon as you get to the park, you are asked to pay a child’s price for children between 3-6 years of age!
This seems to be a blatant money grab. Tokyo Disneyland should be following the system in place across the rest of the country and should only start charging for kids from 6 years onwards.
No Japanese or Manga influences
With the very obvious fact that this resort is located in Japan, you could be forgiven for thinking that you are in California or Florida. We were really disappointed to see that despite the rich history of Japanese comics and the manga movement, there is nothing Japanese about the resort. If DisneySea was out of the picture, we would see no compelling reason for Disneyland Tokyo to differentiate itself from its counterpoints in the rest of the world.
Tokyo Disneyland Resort should incorporate some Japanese influences. There are so many themed areas; why not a themed area with Manga or Anime?
Refund policy on busy days
This issue, out of all the other ones, annoyed us the most on the last day of our trip. We had gotten into the resort, and we found that there were at least another 60000 people in the resort and that the wait times on most rides averaged between 1 to 3 hours. Not an ideal day for us to visit, especially with young children. Yet, we had just paid our money and gotten in without knowing that it was already this busy.
We looked and looked but found no way to find out if we are allowed to exit the park and get a refund. We looked later and found no way for us to know if a park would be really busy on a particular day so we could avoid going.
Tokyo Disneyland Resort should have updated information on its website about how busy a park is. It should also allow a refund option for visitors who come into the park and find it to be too busy (for let’s say, within an half hour of purchasing the tickets).
Allowing older people to ride kids rides (without a kid)
We understand that Tokyo Disneyland is a rite of passage for most Japanese kids and teenagers. Yet, in a lot of rides that are specifically meant for younger kids (under 6), we saw a lot of older students and adults riding them, without a younger kid in tow. What that meant was longer lines for parents or guardians with younger kids who are the target for these rides.
There is a minimum height and age restriction on these rides. Why is there no maximum age restriction?
Designated days for a 2 days pass must be consecutive
In Tokyo Disneyland, if you buy a 2 day or less ticket, you are not allowed to park hop. At all. You must designate the park you are going to when you are purchasing the tickets. You are not allowed to change your mind. Most other theme parks with multiple parks allow park hopping on single day tickets (with added fees).
There is worse though. Your designated days must be consecutive! So, if you buy a 2 day ticket on a Thursday, you must travel on Thursday or Friday to each of the parks.
This is a very restrictive ticket pricing option and limits the flexibility of visiting these parks for families with kids.
Not letting people in to the covered areas while waiting for a ride
This was very frustrating on a hot day when the park was full of visitors. Waiting for the Grand Circuit ride at Tokyo Disneyland, the attendants made everyone wait outside the main covered area and limited the entry of guests. The whole purpose of the covered area was to provide some comfort for visitors from the hot sun. Instead, we got absolutely baked with two little ones, when there was a whole covered area that was not utilized.
Maximum usage of the covered area should be mandatory and taught to the cast members.
Charging for monorail
We were surprised to learn that the Monorail system is charged. Neither the Monorail system in Disneyland in California or the one in Orlando are charged, and they are much bigger systems.
Riding on the monorail should be free. You can’t actually go anywhere else but within the Resort itself!
This concludes our three part series on Tokyo Disneyland Resort. Despite the issues mentioned above, we still recommend going and visiting, especially DisneySea. If you haven’t read part 1 (Review of Tokyo Disneyland) or part 2 (Review of Tokyo DisneySea), we recommend reading those as well.
* Disclosure: CraftGossip received complimentary one day ticket to each park.
By Shellie Wilson
- Review: Disneyland and DisneySea Tokyo – Part 1: Tokyo Disneyland
- Review: Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea – Part 2: Tokyo DisneySea
- Review: Hilton Tokyo Bay
- Review: Disneyland Hotel, Hong Kong
- Review: Disneyland, Hong Kong