Mount Prometheus at Tokyo DisneySea beckons guests to come explore a sailing ship galleon and the Fortress Explorations within a volcano at Tokyo Disney Resort in Chiba Prefecture, Japan

Hong Kong, Shanghai & Tokyo

  • HONG KONG | Hong Kong Disneyland Park + 3 Hotels
  • CHINA | Shanghai Disneyland Park + 3 Hotels
  • JAPAN | Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea + 6 Hotels 

How many of Disney’s twelve different theme parks have you seen? Die-hard fans know that if you want to visit Disney’s most beautiful and innovative parks, you’ll need a passport! 

Tokyo Disney Resort is home to the 3rd and 4th most visited theme parks in the world. Many Disney experts consider Tokyo DisneySea the greatest Disney park on Earth, and Disney’s newest castle is now charming guests in the adorable Hong Kong Disneyland. With Shanghai Disneyland’s innovative new attractions, all of Disney’s Asian international parks set a high bar for creative enchantment.

But coming out of the pandemic, visiting Japan and China has become extra tricky. When is the best time to go? Can international guests easily access the Disney parks? What kind of reservations or visas are required?

We know Japan & China.

Chris from Wishful Thinking studied abroad in China and has visited Japan many times. He recently visited all four Asian Disney parks in December 2023.

For 2024 and 2025, we’ve got up-to-date information on the international travel & visa requirements to visit Asia. Post-pandemic international travel to Japan and China has more than rebounded — it’s thriving. Now more than ever, it’s wise to start planning as early as possible. 

We’re happy to help. For free.

Thankfully, Wishful Thinking is more than merely an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. We’re experts about Disney destinations around the world, and we’ve planned detailed trips to Asia for dozens of clients for more than a decade. 

As soon as you’ve got travel dates in mind, it’s smart to start planning. Asia’s Disney destinations sell out months in advance. To learn more, visit our FAQ articles below.

TOKYO DISNEY RESORT

SHANGHAI DISNEYLAND RESORT

HONG KONG DISNEYLAND RESORT

Rapunzel's Lantern Festival in Fantasy Springs enchants guests within a boat ride through the famous scene from At Last I See the Light in Tokyo DisneySea theme park

Tokyo Disney Resort

Updated: May, 2024

For over a decade, Chris from Wishful Thinking has made regular visits to Tokyo Disneyland & Tokyo DisneySea; most recently in December of 2023.

Tokyo’s Fantasy Springs expansion at DisneySea is inspiring Disney fans across the planet. 

Wondering which hotel is best? How many days for sightseeing in Tokyo? How to include visits to Kyoto, Osaka, or Universal Studios Japan? Scroll down for some expert advice.

Fantasy Springs has dramatically raised the bar. Disney’s most exciting, new, state-of-the-art attractions are inspired by Tangled, Frozen and Peter Pan. 

Now’s the time to plan your visit to the Land of the Rising Sun!

Rapunzel's Lantern Festival in Fantasy Springs enchants guests within a boat ride through the famous scene from At Last I See the Light in Tokyo DisneySea theme park
Rapunzel's tower soars above the Rapunzel's Lantern Festival attraction within Tokyo DisneySea's new Fantasy Springs area, in May 2024

Tokyo Disney Resort | FAQ

Curious about Tokyo’s two spectacular theme parks, their five Disney-owned resort hotels, and some of the most creative Imagineering on Earth? Tokyo Disney Resort is preparing to launch Disney’s latest innovations to Tokyo DisneySea at the deeply imaginative new Fantasy Springs. Disney fans are thrilled to finally see these sights with their own eyes. 

But when we compare it to Disneyland (in California) and Walt Disney World (in Florida), what’s different about Tokyo Disney Resort? Let’s answer some of the most common questions:

• TIMING | When is the best time to visit Tokyo Disney Resort? How many days do I need? What holidays or days of the week should I avoid? Should I visit Disney before or after some sightseeing in Tokyo? Should I wait for the new Fantasy Springs buzz to die down? | Get the answers ▸

• FANTASY SPRINGS | What’s required in order to experience the new Tangled, Frozen, and Peter Pan-themed areas at TokyoDisneySea? What attractions & restaurants are best? Fantasy Springs opens on June 6, 2024 — what can we expect? | Get the answers ▸

• HOTELS | What are the best hotels at Tokyo Disney Resort? The Disneyland Hotel, the Hotel MiraCosta, the Toy Story hotel, the Ambassador hotel, or the Celebration hotel? What about the other hotels along the monorail? When will the new Fantasy Springs Hotel open for bookings? | Get the answers  ▸

• TICKETS | How do I get theme park tickets for Tokyo Disneyland & Tokyo DisneySea?  Can I get single-day tickets without a hotel stay? Will North American credit cards work? | Get the answers ▸

• PACKAGES | Is a Package a good value? Is Fantasy Springs access guaranteed for everyone? What are Attraction Tickets? If are packages only available for one or two nights, how can I extend my stay? | Get the answers ▸

• TOURISM | What should I see & do in Tokyo? How many days do I need for sightseeing? How should I get around? What’s the most essential etiquette? | Get the answers  ▸

TOKYO + SHANGHAI + HONG KONG | What’s the best way to visit all three Asian Disney destinations? Which should I visit first? How many days do I really need in each location? What’s the best way to schedule this kind of trip? 

These are just the first batch of questions you’re likely to have. Thankfully, we’re experts on travel to Asia, and we’re ready to help you plan every detail of your trip — for free.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT TOKYO DISNEY RESORT?

The weather’s different, the holidays are different, and the local traffic patterns are very different from North American Disney parks. You won’t want to arrive in Japan and question if you’ve timed it right. How many days do you need to see everything? Is it best to wait to visit after Fantasy Springs opens at Tokyo DisneySea?

When you think about planning your visit, keep these guidelines in mind:

You’ll probably want four days to see the parks. | If you’re a major Disney fan — like many Wishful Thinking clients — you’ll probably want at least four days to properly explore Tokyo Disney’s parks.

Tokyo Disneyland’s shows, restaurants, parades, and shops are completely unique. You’ll want to see them all. Other one-of-a-kind attractions — like their new Beauty & the Beast attraction, Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, Monsters Inc. Ride & Go Seek, and others — are so cool that you’ll want to ride them more than once to notice new details! 

Tokyo DisneySea is Disney’s best theme park. You could easily spend an entire day exploring the astonishing theming without getting on a single ride. Nearly all the attractions at DisneySea are unique to Tokyo; you’ll want more than one ride. Sindbad’s Storybook Voyage, The Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Nemo & Friends SeaRider are all originals. Even the Tower of Terror has an entirely unique story.  

On June 6 2024, Fantasy Springs will open at DisneySea. | As you’ll see below, entry for this new state-of-the-art land and its attractions will be limited — especially in the opening months. If seeing Fantasy Springs is a priority for you, be sure to read the next section, below.

Plan for intense jet lag. | If you’re arriving from North or South America, It isn’t wise to visit Disney immediately upon arrival. Why? Because you’ll be dealing with intense jet lag symptoms. For the first two or three days, you’ll feel like you’re sleepwalking. Your body will be saying, “Cannot do this right now. Must. Lie. Down. Immediately.” You’ll be foggy-brained and exhausted. 

Plan for Tokyo sightseeing first. | At the start of your trip, give yourself a few full days in Tokyo. Fill your itinerary with flexible sightseeing plans. Book a comfy, centrally-located hotel where you can sleep in or take mid-day breaks without fearing that you’re wasting the precious time you’re supposed to be in the parks. Save your Disney days until after your body has had some time to adjust. | See our expert tourism tips ▸

Expect massive crowds. | 38 million people live in Tokyo Disney Resort’s backyard. On Saturdays and Sundays — all year long — you’ll see an influx of local families with kids and huge groups of teenagers who crowd the parks. If there’s any way to visit during the week — at least before June — it’s a bit more chill. However, when Fantasy Springs opens, you should expect sold-out peak capacity days every day of the week until the fall. 

Prepare to wait in lines. | At Disney, there are no VIP Tours, and FastPass was discontinued. If you cannot handle waiting in queues, do not go to Tokyo. It’s that simple. The Japanese queue up for everything in Tokyo, even beyond Disney, from train stations to restrooms to ramen shops. That’s how things are in the world’s largest city.

Avoid Japan & China’s major holidays. |  The parks’ busiest periods are during Golden Week (late April into early May), Obon (August), and the New Year (Dec 31 through early January). Hotel rates are higher throughout the country. historically Chinese New Year brings many vacationers to Japan, and Chinese tourists love Tokyo Disney Resort. The Western holidays of Christmas, Easter, & Halloween don’t bring major crowds — they do, however, bring delightful decorations to the parks.

Tokyo’s weather is similar to Washington, D.C. | Tokyo has four distinct seasons. Summer is hot and humid, fall is cooler and dry. Winter sees frigid temperatures & occasional frozen rain / snow. Spring tends to arrive a bit early, with warm sunshine and springtime showers. Tokyo’s Disney parks are designed for this weather, with more indoor queues than you’ll find in Florida or California. But even sub-zero temperatures don’t drive away crowds — guests show up in their warm winter coats & fuzzy character hats, and make it a fun day with hot cocoa and warm hugs. Extended rainy days — like during a fall typhoon — do tend to inspire the locals to stay home. 

Tell us about your travel dates & let’s start planning ▸  

White Rabbit toots his trumpet outside the Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall in Fantasyland at Tokyo Disneyland

WHAT IS FANTASY SPRINGS AT TOKYO DISNEYSEA?

Curious about the enchanting additions coming to Tokyo Disney Resort’s Fantasy Springs, opening on June 6, 2024? If you’ve ever wondered what it’d be like to see Rapunzel’s Lantern Festival or sail up into the sky on pirate ship with Peter Pan, get ready for an adventure like no other. Disney’s just announced all new details for Fantasy Springs, its captivating attractions, dining, and more!

WHAT IS FANTASY SPRINGS?

A whole new world of Disney magic is now welcoming guests to all-new state-of-the-art attractions, restaurants & entertainment inspired by Tangled, Frozen, and Peter Pan. The eighth themed port at Tokyo DisneySea promises a paradise of enchantment, featuring three waterfront areas: Rapunzel’s Forest, Peter Pan’s Never Land, and Frozen Kingdom.

At last — you’ll see the light! Join Rapunzel’s Lantern Festival as you sail away on a romantic boat ride, reliving the heartwarming tale of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider.  Head to The Snuggly Duckling for a delicious meal in a brand new restaurant that’s ready to refresh all your ruffians.

Never-grow-up adventures unfold in Peter Pan’s Never Land. Explore a swashbuckling pirate ship playground, then chow down at Lookout Cookout, the hideout for the Lost Kids.  Peter Pan hosts an all-new one-of-a-kind attraction that soars far beyond Peter Pan’s Flight. Little ones are sure to giggle as they help Tinker Bell deliver packages in Pixie Hollow on the Fairy Tinker Bell’s Busy Buggies.

Frozen Kingdom beckons you into the unknown on Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Journey. You’ll relive the heartwarming sisters’ story and enjoy captivating views of fjord cliffs at the Royal Banquet of Arendelle restaurant. The park’s newest snacks will tempt your tastebuds at Oaken’s OK Foods.

WHAT WILL I NEED IN ORDER TO VISIT FANTASY SPRINGS?

All guests who want to see Fantasy Springs will need a valid park ticket for Tokyo Disney Sea plus at least one of the following:

  • A Standby Pass, which is essentially just like one of Disneyland / WDW’s Virtual Queues — it’s free. You’ll request one in the Tokyo Disney app on the day of your visit after you pass through the turnstiles to the park.
  • Disney Premier Access — which is just like an Individual Lightning Lane — is available for purchase. You may purchase Premier Access for the top attractions inside Fantasy Springs within the app on the day of your visit after you enter the park — or — receive one as a perk of booking a specific Tokyo Disney Resort Vacation Package. As of now, the price is 2,000 JPY per attraction. View the latest updates on Premier Access ▸ 

TDR has announced that guests will only be able to obtain these entry methods after they have passed through the turnstiles. This is one reason why Early Park Entry is being restricted to Tokyo DisneySea; after June 6, only the guests of the Hotel Miracosta and the Fantasy Springs Hotel will have early park entry at DisneySea. (Disney’s said that this is subject to change.) It’s reasonable to assume that not everyone who enters Tokyo DisneySea on a given day will gain access to Fantasy Springs. (If everyone did, guests would lack a strong incentive to purchase Disney’s Premier Access for entry.)

WHAT IS THE NEW 1-DAY PASSPORT – FANTASY SPRINGS MAGIC?

It’s a new type of 1-day ticket that bundles together Tokyo DisneySea theme park entry with a Disney Premier Access pass for Fantasy Springs. It guarantees that you’ll gain entry to the land. Currently, they’re only available to those who book new type of Disney Vacation Package — although they may become available to regular ticket buyers. We’re awaiting details.

WHAT IS THE FANTASY SPRINGS HOTEL?

Built right into the perimeter of the park, the elegant new Tokyo DisneySea Fantasy Springs Hotel brings enchanting luxury accommodations and Art Nouveau to Fantasy Springs. With rooms and restaurants that gaze directly into the land, the Fantasy Springs Restaurant will offering buffet-style dining, La Libellule serves gourmet French cuisine, and Grand Paradis Lounge offers a relaxing salon with wide open windows and one-of-a-kind views. Read on below for more info about Disney’s resort hotels.

Complete this form and we’ll keep you up to date on all the news from Tokyo ▸

At Fantasy Springs in Tokyo DisneySea, Anna and Elsa skate through the palace within Anna & Elsa's Frozen Journey attraction in May, 2024

WHAT ARE THE BEST HOTELS AT TOKYO DISNEY RESORT?

If this is your only chance to visit, you’ll want to be comfortable. Let’s explore the Disney resort hotels — plus the hotels along the Disney resort monorail line. And, let’s discuss why you shouldn’t stay in central Tokyo for your Disney days.

THE LAY OF THE LAND

Before you think about where to stay, let’s cover some navigational basics:

Tokyo is huge. | You can easily spend two hours traveling from one side of the city to the other. That’s why you’ll want to stay right near Tokyo Disney Resort during your theme park days. Stay in central Tokyo when you’re sightseeing.

Tokyo Disney Resort is located on the distant southeastern waterfront. | It’s about as far from central Tokyo as Disneyland is from central Los Angeles. It’s in the neighborhood of Urayasu, along the shores of Tokyo Bay. Technically, Urayasu is not in Tokyo — it’s in the neighboring Shiba prefecture. The train station nearest to Tokyo Disney Resort is Maihama.

View the location on Google Maps ▸

Traveling to Tokyo Disney Resort can be a hike. | Depending on which train you catch (and the time of day), reaching Urayasu can take 30 minutes from Tokyo Station, 35 minutes from Shinagawa Station, and 45 minutes (to an hour) from Shinjuku Station, Shibuya Station, and Ikebukuro Station. Like any major city, there are rush hour delays. If you’re traveling here directly from either international airport — Narita (NRT) or Haneda (HND) — trains and shared shuttles are your best transfer options. The Airport Limousine Bus is arguably the easiest, most carefree way to travel, but its schedule is limited — the last departure from Narita can depart as early as 6:00 PM. 

More on traveling from HND  Airport ▸ | More on traveling from NRT Airport ▸

The resort area includes five Disney-owned hotels and six Official Hotels (aka ‘Good Neighbor’ hotels) | All but one of them are accessible along Tokyo Disney Resort’s monorail line. Tokyo Disney Celebration Hotel is a quick shuttle ride away.

View the resort hotel map* ▸   *the new Toy Story Hotel is located between map markers 4 and 5

DISNEY-THEMED HOTELS AT TOKYO DISNEY RESORT

The official owner of Tokyo Disney Resort is the Oriental Land Company (OLC), which owns and manages the following Disney-themed hotels.

HELPFUL TIP: At each link, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and you’ll be able to view a simple calendar that reveals which dates have rooms remaining and the nightly rate (in Japanese Yen) of the lowest-price available room. As of today, hotel rates and booking are only available 120 days in advance. We’ve got expert tips and advice about how to start planning now; complete this form and we’ll send you three very helpful FAQ guides. Be sure to also see our information about Disney Travel Packages below.

Tokyo DisneySea Fantasy Springs Hotel | Luxury / Deluxe |  Disney’s newest luxury hotel experience is divided into two areas: the Grand Chateau offers Luxury accommodations and amenities (including line-skipping privileges), while the Fantasy Chateau is classified as a Deluxe hotel. Its three new restaurants will offer beautiful views of the park, and this hotel benefits with unique ticketed access to Fantasy Springs plus the 15-minute early park entry directly into Tokyo DisneySea. | View more details about the hotel ▸ 

Tokyo Disneyland Hotel | Deluxe | Luxurious, classical, elegant. Similar Victorian-era design as Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Orlando, but nicer (if you can believe it). Located just outside the monorail station entrance to Disneyland park. Some rooms feature views of Cinderella Castle; you may see fireworks in the distance. You’ll find art inspired by Alice in Wonderland, beautifully appointed rooms with subtle theme details, themed suites, and a gorgeous lobby with high-end restaurants and cafes. | View the room availability & rate calendar ▸ 

Tokyo DisneySea Hotel MiraCosta | Deluxe | Ornate, sumptuous, opulent. The world’s only hotel located inside a Disney theme park. Baroque design invites you to relax within an 18th-century Italian waterfront village, inspired by Portofino and Venice. Its main façade serves as the entry point to Tokyo DisneySea’s Mediterranean Harbor. Many rooms feature water views of the park’s nightly spectacular. Its recently renovated, sophisticated rooms feature rich brocades, tapestries, and wood-carved furnishings. The stunning domed lobby features fresco paintings and entryways to a collection of delicious restaurants. | View the room availability & rate calendar ▸ 

Disney Ambassador Hotel | Deluxe | Clever, cool, comfortable. Art deco design evokes 1920’s – 1930’s railway sleeper cars and Atlantic steamships. Although the rooms are simply appointed (on par with a Moderate-level hotel at Walt Disney World) the lobby, pools and common areas feel like a Deluxe resort. Around every corner, you’ll find extravagant details and gleaming artwork from the period. The hotel is located near the back of  Disneyland Park, but it’s a bit too far to walk. Entrances to both parks are just a few minutes away via the monorail. Dining includes a gourmet table service restaurant, a casual diner, and some of Tokyo’s only character dining, Chef Mickey’s. | View the room availability & rate calendar ▸ 

Toy Story Hotel | Moderate | Colorful, whimsical, imaginative. Tokyo’s newest Disney-themed resort hotel, located right along the monorail line. Think: Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World / Disneyland Paris — the vibe is identical.  Lots of two-dimensional drawings and oversized toy-sized architecture. Rooms are inviting and full of clever details, like an Etch-A-Sketch TV screen and Andy’s iconic bedroom wallpaper: blue sky & white clouds. The hotel’s extensive original merch, kid-friendly play areas, and casual affordable eateries make this family-friendly hotel ideal for guests of all ages.  | View the room availability & rate calendar ▸ 

Tokyo Celebration Hotel | Value | Fanciful, cute, casual. The only Disney-themed hotel located beyond the resort, about a 15-minute complimentary shuttle drive away. Formerly the Palm & Fountain Terrace Hotel, Oriental Land Company began to transform these hotels a few years ago by adding all-new Disney designs to its rooms, lobbies and pools.  The comfortable rooms are modestly-appointed. The amusing, brightly-colored murals and various bed configurations, however, are designed to appeal to families with young kids. Affordable nightly rates make this hotel one of the most economical lodging choices for Tokyo Disney Resort. | View the room availability & rate calendar ▸ 

TOKYO DISNEY RESORT OFFICIAL HOTELS

In addition to the hotels above, Tokyo Disney Resort also features six official hotels which are located along the resort monorail.  These are similar to what you might know in the USA as Good Neighbor Hotels. OLC doesn’t own or manage them, but they meet the resort’s high standards for cleanliness, service, and amenities. Each of them has an on-site official Tokyo Disney Resort ticket & planning desk.

Two of the hotels are owned by American brands, and are exceptionally accommodating for English-speaking travelers.

HELPFUL TIP | Unlike the Disney hotels above, these hotels may be booked up to 1 year in advance, and Wishful Thinking can set up your hotel reservation.

Hilton Tokyo Bay | Modern, efficient, familiar. Our top choice for where to stay if you’re not in one of the Disney hotels. This large, recently renovated resort hotel feels like any upscale Hilton you might find back home, with polished marble floors and sleek, modern décor. The Front Desk staff speaks impeccable English. Standard rooms are divided into two design categories — one is more serene and classic, the other more colorful and contemporary — but you can’t go wrong here. The on-site restaurants are big — if a tad bit overpriced — with impressive menus that cater to North American, European, and Asian travelers. Best of all, the hotel’s just a quick monorail ride away from the theme parks. | Get pricing ▸

Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay | Not currently recommended. Although the hotel formerly was on-par with the Hilton right next door, it’s now overdue for a refresh & refurbishment, and the staff at the Front Desk are not able to communicate in conversational English. After numerous visits (and client feedback) over the 2023 / 2024 travel period, we can’t recommend this hotel, unfortunately. We’ll update this if things improve over the coming year. 

CHOOSING A HOTEL IN CENTRAL TOKYO

Tokyo’s main sights aren’t near Tokyo Disney Resort. Wishful Thinking has expert tips, first-hand accounts, and we love to recommend and book hotels for our clients in Tokyo.

We’ve got hotels in the best neighborhoods. | Most Tokyo visitors have the easiest, most enjoyable visits when they stay in Shinjuku, Harajuku, Shibuya, Roppongi, or Ginza. These neighborhoods are all full of terrific dining, elaborate shopping, and vibrant street life. If we had to pick just one neighborhood, we’d probably point you toward Shinjuku. But it’s a tough call; they’re all great. Get pricing for Tokyo hotels ▸ 

You’ll want to stay near a train station. | As we explain below, Tokyo is all about train travel. If possible, select a hotel that’s within a comfortable walking distance of a big train station. 

Compare North American hotel brands vs. Japanese lodging. | If you don’t have a lot of international travel experience, try to minimize your culture shock. A North American hotel chain might be your smartest option. Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, and IHG all have properties in Tokyo, and we’ve got top recommendations within each brand. Their websites, support staff, and on-site front desk staff will work in fluent English. In the guest rooms, you’ll find familiar bed sizes and amenities. If you need to modify / cancel your booking, you’ll be able to rely on English language phone support. When you’re visiting an unfamiliar country, that can help guarantee more restful nights.

However, if you’re an adventurous, seasoned traveler and you’re drawn to unique experiences, consider staying in a ryokan. These traditional, family-owned lodges are Japan’s most memorable accommodations, particularly in historic locales like Kyoto, Nara, or Osaka. Learn all about ryokan ▸

We have a terrific shortlist of hotels in central Tokyo. | Get pricing at one of our top hotels ▸ 

WHEN & HOW TO BOOK YOUR HOTELS FOR A TOKYO DISNEY RESORT VACATION

When should I visit? And how far in advance can I book?

It greatly depends on whether you want a simple hotel stay, a Disney Vacation Package, or if you’d simply like to visit Tokyo Disneyland / Tokyo DisneySea during a longer stay in Tokyo. Tap below and we’ll send you a free, informative FAQ to help you think through all these decisions.

Let’s plan your trip to Japan ▸

 
Tokyo DisneySea's brand new Fantasy Springs Hotel invites guests to experience French nouvelle design and views into Fantasy Springs in 2024

HOW DO I GET THEME PARK TICKETS FOR TOKYO DISNEYLAND & TOKYO DISNEYSEA?

Having trouble with North American credit cards? Wondering if you should get your theme park tickets before you arrive in Japan? Are theme park reservations required?

Here’s the main thing you need to know: many of Tokyo Disney Resort’s operations have changed post-pandemic.

That’s especially true of their ticket & reservation systems. Much of what we could tell you today could be different tomorrow. 

Here are the most essential updates (updated May, 2024):

If you’re an overnight guest in one of the Disney resort hotels, Disney instructs you to WAIT to buy theme park tickets through your hotel.As Tokyo Disney Resort explains on their helpful FAQ, all Disney resort hotel guests are guaranteed to be able to enter the parks on all their dates of stay (check-in through check-out) even if all the day’s theme park tickets are sold out for non-hotel guests.  However, you should wait to purchase your tickets for a few big reasons: one, you’ll need the type of ticket that includes early park entry. Those tickets aren’t available on the internet. Two, Disney may someday offer other types of tickets that were paused for the pandemic, namely, a park hopper ticket and a multi-day ticket. As of April 2024, only one-park-per-day tickets are being sold.

The Disney resort hotels are:

  • Tokyo Disneyland Hotel
  • Tokyo DisneySea Hotel MiraCosta
  • Tokyo DisneySea Fantasy Springs Hotel
  • Disney Ambassador Hotel
  • Tokyo Disney Resort Toy Story Hotel
  • Tokyo Disney Celebration Hotel

Guests at the Tokyo DisneySea Fantasy Springs Hotel have unique access. | As of April, 2024, guests of this hotel (who are not package holders) have exclusive access to a one-day ticket that includes guaranteed Fantasy Springs entry and reduced wait times at its attractions. Learn more here. Additionally, guests in the Grand Chateau rooms receive extra line-skipping privileges.

If you’re a guest in one of the Tokyo Disney Resort Official Hotels — the ones which are not Disney operated & themed — guests may buy tickets through the hotel. | All guests of the Hilton Tokyo Bay may purchase one-park, one-day tickets in person, in the lobby of the Hilton, even when the tickets are sold out for the general public. Wishful Thinking can book you today into the Hilton, and we highly recommend it. Start here ▸ 

You may buy advance-day tickets online, but you can’t buy tickets more than 60 days in advance. | Currently, online tickets are only valid on the date you select when you purchase them — no additional Theme Park reservations are required. As of now, there are no in-person theme park ticket sales at the parks. You MUST buy your tickets online (or through your Disney-area hotel).

Tickets do not include Genie+ — that’s not how things work in Tokyo. | Instead of FastPass or Genie+, Tokyo Disney Resort offers Premier Access, which any guest may purchase on the day of their visit within the Tokyo Disney Resort app. As of now, Premier Access is only offered on about 3 or 4 attractions per park — here’s the list of attractions and prices. It works almost identically to Individual Lightning Lane purchases at Disneyland in California. You purchase the enhancement after you scan into the park.

Many USA-based credit cards are declined because the Tokyo Disney Resort website and app rely on advanced credit card security called 3D Secure. | The 3D Secure verification is standard for Japan-based banks, but it’s a protocol that isn’t yet standard within the USA. For this reason, many USA-based credit cards will not work if you try to book a hotel or purchase tickets on the Tokyo Disney Resort site. If your card is not working, you need to get a new card. Why? Because you will need a card with this feature when you actually visit Japan. The paid features in the Tokyo Disney Resort app won’t work without one, and many other vendors in Japan require this type of authentication.

Get a card from Revolut. | We highly recommend the safe, secure, internationally-accepted debit cards & credit cards from Revolut, which specializes in international travel. Their exchange rates are tremendous, there are no international transaction fees, and you can even store online balances in multiple currencies — a great strategy if you’d like to buy JPY in advance when the USD is strong. Best of all, their cards support 3D Secure verification.

Explore debit & credit cards from Revolut ▸

Multi-day tickets are still not available. | The 2-day Passport, 3-Day Magic Passport, 5-Day Magic Passport, Annual Passport, and many other long-standing ticket categories are currently not available, and we don’t know when Tokyo Disney Resort may resume the sales of these ticket types. 

Wishful Thinking provides expert guidance & assistance for Tokyo Disney Resort. | Complete our form and we’ll send you an extremely informative, helpful FAQ, direct to your inbox.

   
 

SHOULD I BOOK A PACKAGE FOR TOKYO DISNEY RESORT?

Packages at Tokyo Disney Resort are very different from what you’ll find at Disneyland or Walt Disney World. For starters: they’re more expensive than simple hotel bookings + park tickets. You’re paying for unique perks & privileges. So are they worth it? What are the minimum / maximum number of hotel nights and theme park days? When do Tokyo Disney Resort Travel Packages become available? We’ve got all the nerdy details.

Nothing confounds international visitors more than Tokyo Disney Resort’s Disney Travel Packages.

Why? Because their offerings and restrictions are dramatically different from Walt Disney World or Disneyland. Pay attention to the details we’re sharing here; they matter tremendously.

To begin, it’s important that you recognize a few things about Tokyo Disney Resort:

The crowds are massive. | Every day of the week. Ignore outdated information online that says that things are only busy on weekends. Not anymore. See what rope drop looks like.

FastPass doesn’t exist anymore. | Post-pandemic, Tokyo Disney Resort replaced their FastPass system with a new benefit called Premier Access, which any guest may purchase on the day of their visit within the Tokyo Disney Resort app. As of now, Premier Access is only offered on about 3 or 4 attractions per park — here’s the list of attractions and prices. It works almost identically to Individual Lightning Lane purchases at Disneyland in California. You’re waiting in line for everything else. UNLESS you have a Disney Travel Package. 

• Tokyo Disney Resort does not offer VIP tours | This is simply not a thing at Tokyo Disney Resort. Pre-pandemic, the park offered informational tours in Japanese (similar to the Keys to the Kingdom Tour at Magic Kingdom), but they haven’t returned.

Therefore, knowing that avoiding crowds are the MAIN thing that its guests would want, Tokyo Disney Resort offers exclusive additional line-skipping (and show / parade viewing) privileges within their Disney Travel Packages. But there are severe restrictions:

Packages are ONLY available for a one night stay or a two night stay.

  • A ONE NIGHT package includes TWO DAYS of theme park tickets: Tokyo DisneySea on day one and Tokyo Disneyland on day two.
  • A TWO NIGHT package includes THREE DAYS of theme park tickets: Tokyo DisneySea on day one, Disneyland on day two, and DisneySea again on day three.
  • You cannot modify when you use your tickets; your first ticket MUST be used on your check-in day, and your last ticket MUST be used on your check-out day. For this reason, you will probably not want to begin any Disney Travel Package on the day you arrive in Japan. Thankfully, we’ve got expert recommendations for additional hotels in Tokyo. Get pricing ▸
  • Disney will not permit any guest to purchase two tickets for the dame day — therefore, you CAN NOT simply book back-to-back packages. (That would mean you’d double up on tickets when one package’s check-out day is another package’s check-in day.)
  • As of now — for stays through late 2024 — there are no packages available for longer stays. This is all there is. See our recommendations below about adding a hotel stay to your package.

Currently, package perks include extra line-skipping privileges. This is the sweet gooey center of Disney Travel Packages, and this is why Disney guests are willing to pay more for them. When you book your package, you’ll gain the ability to select from a handful of attractions that are NOT offered as part of Premier Access. Disney simply calls them Attraction Tickets, but they work essentially like a FastPass. They’re available for the ‘2nd tier’ of popular attractions, and they include:

AT TOKYO DISNEYLAND | ATTRACTION TICKETS

  • Big Thunder Mountain
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek!
  • Pooh’s Hunny Hunt
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Star Tours: The Adventures Continue

AT TOKYO DISNEYSEA | ATTRACTION TICKETS

  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  • Indiana Jones® Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • The Magic Lamp Theater
  • Nemo & Friends SeaRider
  • Raging Spirits
  • Tower of Terror
  • Turtle Talk

See more details about Attraction Tickets included in Vacation Packages ▸ 

What to choose? | When you purchase your package, you’ll make your selection as for which attractions you’d like to use for your benefit. Because the ultra-popular attractions Beauty and the Beast and Soaring; Fantastic Flight are also available via Premier Access, we suggest that you use your perks here for one of these ‘2nd tier’ attractions that are ONLY available to package holders. That’s the best way to maximize the value of your purchase. Buy Beauty & the Beast after you’ve entered Disneyland. And if you’re big into the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (S.E.A.), don’t miss Soaring: Fantastic Flight. The pre-show is stunning. 

Guaranteed Fantasy Springs Access | As of now, all packages for stays beyond June 6th also include guaranteed entry to the new Fantasy Springs land at Tokyo DisneySea on one of your days. We don’t know how long that benefit will be offered as a package perk, and we don’t know whether future packages might include it. But because this is currently the ONLY way to guarantee that you’ll get into Fantasy Springs, these packages are highly sought after. This also explains why they cost so much.

Most Wishful Thinking clients choose to book a package PLUS an additional hotel stay. As you can imagine, many who journey from abroad want more than a two night stay. We recommend that you obtain an additional hotel reservation — a la carte — and purchase any additional theme park tickets on-site at your Disney hotel. (As you’ll see above, ALL Disney resort hotel guests are guaranteed to be able to purchase theme park tickets for the dates of their stay even if tickets are sold out to the general public.)  Do note, however:

  • Tokyo Disney Resort does NOT guarantee that if you purchase an a la carte hotel stay for the same hotel as your package that you’ll be able to remain in your same room. These decisions are handled on a case-by-case basis after you arrive at your hotel.
  • If you’re in a different room type at the same hotel, Cast Members will transfer your bags for you.
  • If you select to stay at a different Disney resort hotel  — including the Hilton Tokyo Bay or the Sheraton, but excluding the Celebration Hotel — Disney Cast Members will transfer your luggage for free to your next hotel. See details about the luggage delivery service ▸ 

IMPORTANT NOTE ON THE JAPANESE-LANGUAGE SITE | Package type availability and benefits differ between the Japanese-language portal of the site and the English-language portal.  Just as Disneyland has special offers for California residents and Walt Disney World has special offers for Florida residents, Tokyo Disney Resort has special offers for Japan residents. Don’t try to be sneaky and enter the name of your Japan-based lodging; if you cannot enter your legal name, permanent address, and credit card billing address using Japanese characters, you will not qualify for these packages. 

When do Tokyo Disney Resort Disney Vacation Packages become available? | Since early 2024, as the resort prepares for / promotes the new Fantasy Springs expansion, Disney’s been releasing them in monthly ‘dumps.’ Typically, Disney only provides a few days notice as to when the next release is coming, and no one knows how long this release pattern will continue.

Bookmark this page and watch for announcements ▸ 

Can an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner or a travel agent book a package for me? | No. As of now, you are literally the only person on the planet who can book a Tokyo Disney Resort Vacation Package; Disney explicitly forbids others from booking a package on your behalf, and if any agent offers to do this for you, your tickets may be invalidated.

Get our FAQ guide sent to your inbox — to learn how to actually book a package ▸ 

What CAN Wishful Thinking quote and book for me? | We’re experts on Japan and Tokyo travel, and we can quote / book all your additional hotel stays in Japan, plus guided day tours, private transportation, and phenomenal multi-night guided tours via Adventures by Disney and National Geographic Expeditions. Also, as of spring 2024, we can book a la carte hotel stays at the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel — but these are not Disney Travel Packages. You’ll still need to purchase your tickets after arriving at the hotel.

Share your plans here — we’ll send free Disney tips and expert recommendations on Japan hotels & sightseeing ▸

WHAT SHOULD I SEE & DO IN TOKYO?

The world’s biggest metropolis: 20 million people live here. Thankfully, it’s also one of the most hospitable destinations for international travelers. But what are the real must-sees? And how should you get around the city?

Have you ever walked into an incredible party in full-swing and thought, “gosh, if I’d known it was going to be this cool, I would have shown up earlier!” 

That’s what it’s like to visit Japan for the first time. It’s even cooler than you imagine it’s going to be. Most North Americans have only a surface-level knowledge of Japanese cuisine, history, & culture. Research can only get you so far. You simply have to go.

Here are a few of the key things you’ll need to know as you plan your visit to Tokyo:

It’s all about the trains | Getting in a car means you’ll be sitting in traffic, not moving. Taxis & rideshares are very expensive — we’re talking $250+ USD just to get to the airport. Not worth it. Getting around Tokyo — and journeying to cities beyond — is all about train travel. There are 3 major train systems in Tokyo:

  • The Japan Rail (JR) |  A nationwide rail network, kinda like Amtrak in the USA (but far, far better)
  • Tokyo Metro | 9 train lines serving 179 stations
  • Toei Subway | 4 train lines serving 106 stations

Taken together, they form an interconnected web of train lines that service the whole city. Thankfully, an IC (integrated circuit) payment card (like Suica) works for all three systems, so it doesn’t really matter which train you use. There are many major train station hubs where you can easily transfer from one train to another: Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ikebukuro, Kita-senju and Tokyo Station are the busiest.

Check out this excellent guide to Tokyo’s train systems ▸ 

Bullet trains to other cities | The JR lines also include Japan’s famous bullet trains, known by the Japanese word shinkansen. These high-speed trains are excellent and affordable and provide easy access to cities like Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, and Hiroshima. Many theme park fans who visit Tokyo Disney Resort are also interested in Universal Studios Japan in the city of Osaka, which is 3+ hours away by train. 

View shinkansen routes, schedules & tickets ▸

Japan’s trains can be intimidating at first. Soon, you’ll learn that the station signs, onboard announcements, and train schedules are available in English — once you know where to look. Within a few days, you’ll wish that travel in North America was this quick, efficient, and easy to navigate!

Sightseeing: a contrast of ancient & modern | The sights of Tokyo inspire you to appreciate one of the world’s most incredible ancient cultures with a non-stop eye on the future. From Buddhist temples to high-tech shopping, you should give yourself at least three full days for sightseeing. Remember, you’ll be very jet-lagged, so don’t plan on overdoing it. Here are the most popular tourist sights for international visitors:

  • Tokyo National Museum | An eye-popping, incredibly curated museum that traces Japan’s history from the shogun to the modern era. More ▸
  • Sensō-ji Temple / Kaminari-mon Gate | Tokyo’s oldest and most spectacular temple, dating back to the year 645. More ▸
  • Meiji-jingū Shrine | A beautiful, picturesque Shinto shrine within a peaceful evergreen park — one of Tokyo’s most-photographed locations. More ▸
  • Ghibli Museum | A family-friendly, incredible museum devoted to the films of the legendary Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki (My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke & many more). A must-see, especially for Disney fans. More ▸
  • Shibuya Crossing & Hachikō statue |  The zig-zag pedestrian traffic crossing that you’ll recognize from countless video composites of Tokyo. You might not be familiar with the touching story of the adorable Akita who waited for his dearly-departed master here every day for ten years. More ▸
  • Takeshita-dori street in Harajuku | An alley-style shopping bazaar catering to the latest youth trends. You’ll find cutting-edge fashion and the newest must-have snacks. More ▸
  • Ginza | A tawny neighborhood with impressive department stores offering high-end accessories, housewares, and designer clothing. More ▸
  • Kamakura | The former capital of Japan and an ideal day trip from the city. Visitors flock here to explore its beautiful ancient temples and pose in front of one of Asia’s largest Buddha statues. More ▸

Learn Japanese manners and courteous phrases. | Japan is a very, very polite society. To avoid unpleasantness, it’s best to learn the most common Japanese phrases, along with the most essential etiquette:

  • Payment is given & received with two hands. | When greeting a cashier, always present your cash or credit card with two hands, and do the same when receiving it back.  More ▸ 
  • Don’t walk & eat / drink at the same time. | Food and drink are meant to be consumed while seated indoors. Even if you place an order ‘to go,’ never eat or drink while walking. You’ll notice that there are virtually no trash cans on public street corners — and this is why. The one spot in Japan where you can probably get away with this? Inside Tokyo Disneyland / Tokyo DisneySea. 
  • Remove your shoes in establishments, if requested. | Many traditional tea shops, restaurants, and ryokan hotels will provide slippers or sandals for you to wear upon entry. Place your shoes in the provided cubby holes and change into the footwear they provide.  More ▸
  • To visit gyms, pools or onsen spas, be cautious about tattoos. | Tattoos are considered disrespectful by traditional Japanese society. If you’ve got large, elaborate tattoos, it’s possible that you may be denied entry to certain gyms, pools, or onsen spa baths. You may want to seek out a tattoo-friendly gym or onsen that has a stated tattoo-friendly policy. Learn more  ▸
  • Learn important, courteous Japanese phrases. | It’s absolutely crucial to learn the Japanese words for please, thank you, hello, goodbye, etc. Here’s a great guide  ▸

This is just the beginning. We’ve got far, far more tips to share.

Wondering where to find the biggest selection of kawaii collectibles, manga, and anime merch? Wondering where to pipe up for some karaoke with the locals?  Want to try fluffy Japanese cloud pancakes, giant multi-colored cones of cotton candy, or the city’s best sushi, omakase, gyoza, ramen & more?

We’ve been to Japan many times, and we’d love to tell you.

If you plan your trip with Wishful Thinking, we can provide a shortlist of our favorite restaurants, the coolest shops, most unique bars, and the best locations to find the hot new food trends. We’ve also got lots of practical tips on how to overcome jet lag, how to set up your WiFi and phone service, how to pay for things, tipping & gratuities, and more. It’s never too early to start planning!

Let’s plan your Japan adventure ▸

Shibuya's crowded and exciting streets glow with buzzy excitement in Tokyo, Japan
The Enchanted Storybook Castle at Shanghai Disneyland glows with late sunset pink hues in Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Shanghai Disneyland Resort | FAQ

Do I need a visa to enter China if I want to visit Shanghai Disneyland Resort? How many days should I spend in the park? What are the best Shanghai Disneyland resort hotels? What’s the best way to include a visit to the Great Wall of China? We’ve got answers to the most common questions below.

WHERE IS SHANGHAI DISNEY RESORT LOCATED?

Shanghai Disneyland is around 11 miles from Shanghai Pudong International Airport. It’s in the Pudong District of Shanghai, just 12 miles from the city center. Most guests take the train.

WHAT’S THE WEATHER LIKE IN SHANGHAI?

Shanghai’s weather offers four distinct seasons. Summers are sizzling, and winters can be rather chilly. The sweet spot for visiting? Spring and autumn. Here are the historical average temps.

HOW MANY DAYS SHOULD I PLAN FOR SHANGHAI DISNEY RESORT?

If you’re a major Disney fan, we recommend at least two full days in the park, plus at least two additional days for sightseeing. If this will be your first destination after flying from North America, schedule your sightseeing days first. Jet lag is going to be absolutely brutal.

IS ENGLISH IN USE AT SHANGHAI DISNEYLAND? HOW CAN I TRANSLATE ON MY PHONE?

Throughout all of China, English is used as a lingua franca for many international guests. English translations are found across Shanghai Disneyland — on signs, maps, restaurant menus, and in-park spiels. Similar to the ways you’ll hear Spanish at Disneyland or Walt Disney World — “¡Por favor manténgase alejado de las puertas!” — you’ll hear English at Shanghai.

Show scripts, attractions, parades, etc., however are exclusively presented in Mandarin Chinese.

If you’re lucky enough to meet a Disney Princess, villain, or MARVEL character, they’ll speak English. Live shows typically have subtitles / supertitles projected along the proscenium with English translations. 

Disney Cast Members have very limited English that’s particular to their role. Attractions hosts will know how to say little more than “How many in your party?” The Disney Resort Hotel Front Desk agents will have much more advanced English vocabulary.Among other guests, it’s common to meet Chinese young adults and teens who speak English and are eager to practice and help. That said, communicating in English can be a challenge because…

Google Translate is blocked in China. All Google-based websites and apps — including Google search, Google Maps and Gmail — are blocked in Mainland China and will not connect to the internet.

There are a few workarounds and things you can do to prepare:

  • Rely on a VPN service like Express VPN
  • Download your native language(s) to your Google Translate app so it’ll work offline
  • Download offline maps for any cities you plan to visit
  • Consider downloading a China-based app with translation function, like Baidu

Considering that Yahoo search, Yahoo mail, and all Meta apps (including Facebook, Instagram, Threads and WhatsApp) are also blocked in China, you’ll probably need a VPN no matter what — just to simply stay in touch with folks back home! Those with Android operating systems on their cellphones typically experience extra difficulties; some folks purchase an iPhone just for their journey. 

Your real-time experience with the Shanghai Disneyland app and website can be a challenge, especially when it’s sending confirmation emails to your Gmail or Yahoo email address. The best solution is to have plan B’s for everything (like a Hotmail email address). 

WHEN & WHERE SHOULD I GET TICKETS?

It’s best if we set up your theme park tickets with your Disney resort hotel stay. See below.

WHERE SHOULD I STAY AT SHANGHAI DISNEY RESORT?

There are two Disney-owned hotels. The Shanghai Disneyland Hotel is an upscale resort with blissfully charming Art Nouveau décor. It overlooks the beautiful Wishing Star Lake. For a more budget-friendly option, the Toy Story Hotel makes Andy’s room larger-than-life. They’ve each got their own pros & cons, which we’d love to share with you:

Get pricing and expert insights for the Shanghai Disney Resort hotels ▸ 

WHAT DINING OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE IN THE PARK?

Just like any other Disney park, dining is a combination of table service, quick service & kiosks. Traditional Chinese cuisine is served in the beautiful Wandering Moon Restaurant, while the Royal Banquet Hall is a must-see fine dining restaurant inside the castle. The Tangled Tree Tavern is a charming quick service spot serving international fare. Sweet treats are available at the Duffy & Friends-inspired Cookie Ann Bakery Café on Mickey Avenue.

After you book your trip, we’ll happily steer you toward the best dining options.

WHAT ARE THE PARK’S HIGHLIGHTS?

Shanghai Disneyland boasts eight unique themed lands:

Zootopia | The newest land at Shanghai Disneyland opened in December, 2023. It’s laugh-out-loud clever, visually imaginative, and fully-immersive. Zootopia: Hot Pursuit carries guests from icy-cold Tundratown through the Rainforest District and beyond, on a crime-fighting chase alongside Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde.  You can taste a raspberry-flavored Pawpsicle, pick up an oversized donut, and try on some new threads at Fashions by Fru Fru.

Mickey Avenue | Here’s the welcome mat of Shanghai Disneyland. Imagine a Disney character-infused hometown, rather than your typical Main Street, U.S.A. vibe. Pick up your “why yes, I’ve been there” apparel in Avenue M Arcade — their equivalent of the Emporium — where you’ll find a huge selection of unique Disney merchandise. 

Gardens of Imagination | A touch of calm with a dash of imagination, Gardens of Imagination is where you’ll come across the Chinese Zodiac-themed garden, a Disney twist that’s genuinely delightful. Key spots? The Storyteller Statue and the Fantasia Carousel. And, of course, there’s the Enchanted Storybook Castle — it’s the largest one that Disney’s ever built.

Fantasyland | Step into a realm brimming with classic Disney stories. The enchanting Voyage to the Crystal Grotto is a must-do. Kids (and kids at heart) adore Peter Pan’s Flight and the Hunny Pot Spin. 

Adventure Isle | Time for some adrenaline rush. Prehistoric fun meets high-stakes adventure in attractions like the Roaring Rapids and Soaring Over the Horizon. And don’t miss out on the Camp Discovery challenge trails — they’re like full on hiking adventures.

Treasure Cove | All aboard mateys for the one and only fully pirate-themed land across all Disney parks. A must-see? Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure. Widely considered the world’s best Pirates. Discover legends and lore on a real pirate ship: Siren’s Revenge. And don’t miss Eye of the Storm: Captain Jack’s Stunt Spectacular.

Tomorrowland | Shanghai’s Tomorrowland aims to be actually futuristic. The TRON Lightcycle Power Run is a definite bucket-list item, while the Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue provides an entertaining (if familiar) alternative.

Toy Story Land | It’s time to play along with Woody, Buzz, and friends in this fun-filled setting. Ride high on Slinky Dog Spin, test your courage on Rex’s Racer, or join Woody’s Roundup. Remember to pop by Al’s Toy Barn and grab a bite at the Lotso Lunch Box.

WHAT IS THERE TO DO BEYOND THE PARK?

Although Shanghai Disneyland Resort doesn’t offer the vast outdoor recreation activities of Walt Disney World, Shanghai Disneyland’s footprint is unique — it’s the one Disney ‘castle park’ where the main thoroughfare — Mickey Avenue is located before the theme park’s turnstiles. In Celebration Square, the Market District and more, you’ll find ample Disney shopping, dining, and entertainment. For a quieter moment, take a stroll around Wishing Star Park to enjoy nature, views, and tranquility.

WHAT ELSE SHOULD I SEE WHILE VISITING CHINA?

How much time have you got? Many North Americans only know of a handful of sights — the Great Wall of China, maybe the Forbidden City, or the Xi’an Terracotta War Soldiers. China is a gigantic country with 1/5th of the world’s population. Planning a trip here can be incredibly complicated, even for seasoned travelers. None of these must-see sights are within easy reach from Shanghai.

That’s why we highly recommend the Adventures by Disney trip through China, which includes an unforgettable visit to both Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland.

ADVENTURES BY DISNEY: CHINA | 12 DAYS, 11 NIGHTS | HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Explore Hong Kong
    Discover the vibrant harbor city with an iconic skyline, world-class shops and exciting street scene.

  • Hong Kong Disneyland & Shanghai Disneyland
    Check 2 more Disney theme parks off your bucket list as you immerse yourself in Disney magic at China’s Disney theme parks.

  • Great Wall of China Cable Car Ride
    Reach new heights as you ride to Mutianyu for an amazing walk atop this iconic structure.

  • Victoria Peak
    Be awed by panoramic views of Hong Kong’s stunning skyline and harbor from the top of the mountain.

  • Beijing’s Ancient & Modern History Tour
    Walk through centuries of history as you tour this modern city with a rich past.

  • Beijing’s Temple of Heaven
    Tour this massive temple built for emperors to worship the god of heaven.

  • Panda Visit
    Get a rare peek at China’s cutest residents on a tour of Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

  • Sichuan Opera
    Enjoy music, acrobatics and the classic face changing act that has delighted audiences for centuries.

  • Shanghai Acrobat Show
    Experience the excitement of this acrobatic performance and live rock show.

  • Lijiang River Guilin Boat Tour
    Cruise the Li River and take in the scenic landscapes, including the “gumdrop mountains.”

  • Terracotta Warriors & Horses in Xi’an
    Marvel at this sculpted army created to protect China’s first emperor in the afterlife.

  • Explore Shanghai
    Discover the sprawling skyline, classic architecture and waterfront district of this truly international city.

  • Tiananmen Square Walking Tour
    Learn the rich history of this focal point of celebration and protest with a local guide.

  • Yu Garden Tour in Old Shanghai
    Find peace and inspiration in this 300-year-old garden sanctuary in the heart of Shanghai.

Get 2024 / 2025 dates and pricing for an Adventures by Disney trip to China ▸ 

DO I NEED A VISA FOR PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA?

Travelers from 50+ countries — including USA, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom — can enjoy a visa-free visit to China for up to 144 hours if they’re transiting to another country. That’s 6 days. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you enter the country. There are specific restrictions on where you can travel in China and which ports of entry / airports you may use, so it’s very important to study the regulations. Fact check everything.

How it works: upon arrival at the immigration desk in the airport or cruise terminal, you’ll complete a simple form (in English) that includes your lodging address and the reason for your visit. It about 5 minutes to complete.  In addition to your completed form, you will need to present a departure from Shanghai travel confirmation (i.e., a cruise itinerary or a flight confirmation). It’s best to print up this document on paper and have it ready for inspection; the officials will photocopy your confirmation and return it to you. Please note that if you only have the conformation on your phone, the officials will ask you to unlock your device so they can screenshot your phone’s screen. Paper is better.

Learn more about China’s 144-hour visa-free travel policy and review the countries which qualify ▸ 

If you plan to do any sightseeing in mainland China beyond Shanghai, you will you will need a visa. Best to apply for your visa 2 to 3 months before your trip.

If you are ONLY planning to visit Shanghai (for less than 144 hours) and Hong Kong, most international travelers do not need a visa before arrival. See information under Hong Kong, below.

CHINA CONSULAR SERVICES:  For citizens of the USA ▸  |  For citizens of Canada ▸  

List of China consular service websites for other countries ▸ 

LET’S START PLANNING YOUR ASIA DISNEY TRIP

The sooner we start, the better prepared you’ll be for the adventure of a lifetime.

Start planning your trip here ▸ 

The tasty raspberry-flavored pawpsicle at Zootpia inside Shanghai Disneyland, December 2023
See the spectacular Hong Kong Disneyland Castle of Magical Dreams with Wishful Thinking an authorized Disney vacation planning agency

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort | FAQ

Is it easy to visit Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland in one trip? Yes, and Wishful Thinking knows just how to do it. Let’s dive into common questions about visa entry requirements, Hong Kong’s three Disney resort hotels, sightseeing in Hong Kong, how far in advance you should reserve things, and how to enjoy the brand-new Arendelle – The World of Frozen. This absolute gem of a Disney park has so many delights that aren’t well known in the USA, and it may be the easiest Disney park to visit of them all.

WHERE IS HONG KONG DISNEYLAND LOCATED?

Hong Kong comprises a peninsula and a series of islands off the coast of mainland China. Today, Hong Kong is a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China — somewhat similar to the way that Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States. Although the region operates under the concept of “one country, two systems,” Hong Kong has a separate government, series of freedoms, and protections which are undergoing recent changes.

Hong Kong Disneyland is located on Lantau Island — the same island where the international airport is located — about 45 minutes (by train) from the more-developed city areas.

WHAT’S THE WEATHER LIKE IN HONG KONG?

Hong Kong is a subtropical climate with four distinct seasons, but summers are extra hot and humid, and winters are generally mild and dry. Here are the historical average temps. If you’re planning to visit Shanghai and Tokyo on the same trip, take note that these three destinations have dramatically different weather — that can make it tricky to pack light.

HOW MANY DAYS SHOULD I PLAN FOR HONG KONG DISNEYLAND?

If you’re a major Disney fan, we recommend at least two full days in the park, plus at least two additional days for sightseeing. If this will be your first destination after flying from North America, schedule your sightseeing days first. Jet lag is rough.

IS ENGLISH IN USE AT HONG KONG DISNEYLAND?

Like Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland is fully bilingual. Shows, songs, parades, and attraction spiels are presented in both English and Cantonese Chinese. Disney’s own Cast Members are conversational in English, although you’ll notice British usage and vocabulary. (Hong Kong’s 150+ years as a British protectorate means that English-language education is extremely common here.) Unlike Shanghai, above, there are no internet blocks in Hong Kong for Google, Google Translate, or Meta-owned apps / websites.

Mandarin Chinese translations are offered throughout the park. 對於講普通話的人來說,您會注意到香港迪士尼樂園內有許多標誌、餐廳菜單和表演字幕.

HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO I NEED TO PLAN FOR HONG KONG DISNEYLAND?

This is tough for guests from North America to accept, but not only do you not need to worry about planning Hong Kong far in advance, you cannot plan Hong Kong many months in advance. Often times, standalone theme park tickets aren’t even on sale beyond the current month.

Hong Kong Disneyland isn’t open every day.

During less busy times of year, it’s common for the theme park to be closed for one day in the middle of the week (most often on Wednesdays). The park’s opening hours and schedule, however, aren’t typically announced more than about 6 weeks in advance. Hong Kong’s own promotions typically include an ‘Early Bird’ special for bookings that are merely 21-days in advance.

Yes, our version of a last minute booking is their version of an early bird special!

For visitors who plan to fly in from overseas, this makes planning ahead quite difficult. It’s one reason why we suggest giving yourself 4+ days in Hong Kong, allowing for flexibility on exactly which day(s) you visit Hong Kong Disneyland.

Thankfully, Wishful Thinking has expert insights to share; if you get in touch, we can tell you when your travel dates become available, book and help plan your entire Hong Kong adventure. 

Get pricing & assistance for Hong Kong Disneyland ▸  

HOW BUSY IS HONG KONG DISNEYLAND COMPARED TO WALT DISNEY WORLD OR DISNEYLAND IN CALIFORNIA?

Hong Kong Disneyland is nowhere near as busy as the American Disney parks. For that reason, it’s very easy to simply visit as a spur-of-the-moment decision. You really don’t need to plan out every little detail in advance, fight for dining reservations, or struggle to beat the crowds. If anything, your challenges stem from too few guests: the parks (and some restaurants) aren’t open every day.

SO WHEN & WHERE SHOULD I GET TICKETS?

Sold out days at Hong Kong Disneyland are extremely rare.

Currently, only 1-day tickets or 2-day tickets are on sale. You can either set up tickets with your Disney resort hotel stay, purchase them on site at the ticket window, buy them directly on Hong Kong Disneyland’s website. Hong Kong Disneyland also offers a number of add-ons, including:

  • Early Park Entry | Gain access to the theme park turnstiles one hour early and enjoy select attractions in Fantasyland and Arendelle – The World of Frozen.
  • Disney Premier Access | Not unlike Genie+ / Lightning Lane, this add-on enhancement typically includes ‘skip the line’ entries for 8 attractions plus two shows, including the terrific fireworks nighttime spectacular, Momentous.

Please note that — when available — guests may also purchase Premier Access on the day of their visit, within the Hong Kong Disneyland app. It’s available for specific attractions, shows, character shows and experiences, like the new Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs or the Anna & Elsa Playhouse in the Woods interactive show.

WHERE SHOULD I STAY AT HONG KONG DISNEYLAND?

Some guests stay in Hong Kong for their visit, and simply catch the train (or a taxi) out to Disneyland for the day. If you only anticipate a one-day visit to Hong Kong Disneyland — and if Disney isn’t really the reason for your visit — that may be the easiest way to go. Just buy a ticket for the day and have a great time.

Most Wishful Thinking clients, however, are big Disney fans and want the full immersive experience. If that’s what you’re wishing for, stay in a Disney hotel.

There are three Disney-owned hotels at Hong Kong Disneyland. They’re all right beside one another, along a coastline avenue about a 5-minute drive from the theme park entrance. All three properties are Deluxe-level hotels with similar levels of amenities, accommodations, and pricing. A walkway connects the three hotels to an oceanside jogging path. None of the hotels have a walking path to reach the theme parks. There are no Moderate or Value hotels at Hong Kong Disneyland resort.

Resort Hotel Transportation between the hotels and the theme park is complimentary aboard Disney’s own resort buses. Disney does not offer transportation to / from the Hong Kong Airport. (See our recommendations below.) 

Hotel bedding and amenities are nearly identical to what you’d expect at Disneyland or Walt Disney World; most rooms feature two standard queen-size beds, air conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi, and you’ll find conversational English-speaking Cast Members at the Front Desk. 

Because the location, transportation, and offerings of the three Disney hotels are nearly identical, what makes each one distinct is each hotel’s theme and design.

The Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel | Looks and feels very similar to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at Walt Disney World. Inspired by the Hotel del Coronado near San Diego, it’s a Victorian-era, elegant, classy resort hotel with a beautiful multi-story atrium. Accommodations include rooms with water views and the Kingdom Club, upscale club-level rooms with enhanced amenities and an on-site concierge. The Enchanted Garden restaurant offers an elaborate buffet at breakfast, lunch, and dinner with character dining table-side visits from Mickey, Minnie & pals. It’s a beautiful, elaborate hotel. Get pricing ▸ 

Disney Explorers Lodge | Looks and feels almost identical to the Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World. With wings and guest rooms themed to different areas on the globe, you’ll encounter whimsical maps, artifacts, sights and sounds from Asia, Oceania, South America and Africa. It’s stylish and tremendously fun, as if you’re in an upscale lodge along a safari route or tropical rainforest getaway. Highly recommended. Get pricing ▸ 

Disney’s Hollywood Hotel | Looks and feels very similar to Tokyo Disney Resort’s Ambassador Hotel, but instead of a nautical / air travel theme, the hotel’s inspired by Disney Hollywood history and art deco décor. Rrecent lobby renovations (in 2023 / 2024) have added style and panache with new art, upgraded furnishings and a swanky new lounge inspired by MARVEL characters, The Archivist. You’ll find a newly-renovated buffet with terrific illustrations and paint-bucket splashes of color at Ink & Paint. Rooms are still being renovated; we recommend waiting to book this property until those room renovations are complete. 

Get pricing and expert insights for the Hong Kong Disneyland resort hotels ▸ 

WHAT ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS OF HONG KONG DISNEYLAND?

Many first-time visitors have heard that Hong Kong is the smallest Disney theme park, but are surprised by just how much originality is found inside. This is a true gem of a park, and Disney fans are sure to be charmed.

Grizzly Gulch | You could imagine this fun, interactive land as as a cross between Frontierland and Grizzly Peak in DCA. Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars is far more fun than it looks on a map; the long lengths of its coaster tracks allows for some super fun momentum!

Mystic Manor |  Easily a contender for the title of Walt Disney Imagineering’s greatest dark ride, this fully original one-of-a-kind spook house is a whimsical, comic delight. Meet Lord Henry Mystic, a member of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers and his adorable, mischievous monkey, Albert. With a score by Danny Elfman and an incredibly immersive atmosphere, this is one attraction you’ll want to ride back-to-back.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Nano Battle and The Iron Man Experience | Hong Kong Disneyland’s Tomorrowland features a number of MARVEL-themed attractions, restaurants & super hero character meet & greets, but these two attractions are must-sees. The former is similar to Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters, but far cooler. The Iron Man Experience is a motion-simulator attraction — similar to Star Tours — that brings you on board Stark Technology transport for an exhilarating flight through the skies of Hong Kong.

Duffy & Friends Play House | You’ve heard about the Asian Disney Parks obsession with Mickey Mouse’s teddy bear, Duffy, and all his adorable friends — but here’s your chance to meet them all. 

Incredible live shows | It’s probably fair to say that Hong Kong Disneyland’s live performers are the highest caliber performing arts ensemble of any Disney park worldwide. Mickey & the Wondrous Book is an absolute must-see, featuring a terrific medley of Disney music favorites, sung by Broadway-level musical theatre performers. Hong Kong’s Festival of the Lion King has an elevated artistry that puts other parks’ versions to shame — another must-see. Moana: A Homecoming Celebration is a children’s-theatre style re-telling of the tale, with zany antics, creative props and lots of laughs. 

Arendelle – the World of Frozen | Is the park’s newest area, and it’s a visual stunner. Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs is a simple, quick coaster aimed at kids (with a thrill level on par with Goofy’s Barnstormer or Gadget’s Go-Coaster). Frozen Ever After is a ‘plussed’ version of the attraction in EPCOT. Far more unique / original is the Playhouse In the Woods, an interactive show where you’ll come face-to-face with Anna & Elsa as they introduce you to the spirits of the forest. You’ll find very good Scandinavian and American cuisine at the Golden Crocus Inn

WHAT IS THERE TO DO BEYOND DISNEY?

Hong Kong is a fascinating, dynamic city that could easily fill two days of sightseeing fun. You’ll want to zip up to Victoria Peak for jaw-dropping city views — the topography of the region is stunning. At night, you must meander through the bustling stalls of Temple Street Night Market and sample the astonishing array of street food delicacies — the kind of flavors you simply can’t find back home. Don’t miss the chance to catch a ferry ride across Victoria Harbour. See more things to do in Hong Kong ▸ 

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO SCHEDULE / COMBINE A VISIT WITH SHANGHAI DISNEY RESORT?

Many of our clients ask for advice about which to do first. There’s no one obvious ‘best way’ to do this, but here are a few helpful things to keep in mind:

  • Flights between Shanghai and Hong Kong are plentiful and affordable. | Typical flight time is about 2 hours and 45 minutes. Wishful Thinking does not quote or book air travel, but you may find the best price if you book a multi-city / multi-destination ticket all on one carrier. (That also typically saves you money on baggage allowances.)
  • Hong Kong qualifies as a “non-China” destination when you’re departing mainland China. | If you’re opting for the 144-hour visit (see above under Shanghai), Hong Kong qualifies as a next destination under the visa-waiver program.
  • From most cities, there are more flights into Shanghai than Hong Kong. | That’s especially true if you’re flying from North America. 

Some folks like to plan “the best for last,” but it’s probably a bit too simplistic to say that Hong Kong Disneyland vs. Shanghai Disneyland are better or worse. They’re each absolutely lovely. (That said, Tokyo Disney Resort undeniably has the best Disney parks on earth.)

We highly recommend the Adventures by Disney trip through China, which includes an unforgettable visit to both Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland. Get pricing and dates for an Adventures by Disney trip ▸ 

DO I NEED A VISA TO VISIT HONG KONG DISNEYLAND?

Unlike mainland China, most visitors do not need to apply for a tourist visa to enter Hong Kong, and most may remain within the territory anywhere from 7 days all the way up to 6 months. Check your own country’s criteria, here. 

As we note above, if you intend to visit Shanghai as well, but plan to stay in Shanghai for less than 144 hours, most international travelers will not need a visa for China before arrival. 

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO REACH HONG KONG DISNEYLAND FROM HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT?

Although Disney does not offer their own transportation, the airport has plentiful taxis and ride share services for easy access to and from the Hong Kong Disneyland area. Taxi services throughout Hong Kong are restricted on where they can travel; taxis that serve Lantau Island are blue and are located in specific pickup locations. Learn more ▸ 

LET’S START PLANNING YOUR ASIA DISNEY TRIP

The sooner we start, the better prepared you’ll be for the adventure of a lifetime.

Start planning your trip here ▸ 

BRILLIANT GUIDES FOR WALT DISNEY WORLD

Walt Disney World in 2024 & 2025

When is the best time to visit? How busy will it be in the theme parks?

Why should I book a hotel on-property vs. off-property?

What’s located at each theme park? What’s a must at Disney Springs?

What rides, dining, & experiences are most popular & need reservations?

How can I combine park tickets, dining, and hotel stays to save money?

What are realistic tips for transportation and getting places on time?

How much do park tickets cost? Which ticket options save money?

When & where do I use the smartphone app, Genie+ and MagicBand?

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Disney pays us to help plan your trip, from your first wish list until your departure. We’ll even assist you during your vacation until you’re happily back home.

Our trip planning is free. When you book a Disney vacation through us, you’ll pay the same price as if you booked it on your own, yet enjoy the bliss of a talented Wishful Thinking travel planner.

A Wishful Thinking travel planner is:

  • Bright. We’re nerd-level experts on Disney’s past, present and future.
  • Talented. We’ve been designing travel itineraries around the globe for 15 years.
  • Realistic. We help you prepare for everything and set honest expectations.
  • Whimsical. Spontaneous fun often produces our most treasured memories.
  • Inspiring. We’re still kids at heart who believe in the power of dreams.

It’s never too early to start planning!

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