View Full Version : Anyone been to the parks in Japan???
03-22-2003, 09:22 PM
My DH and I want to go to the Disney parks in Japan next year. We can speak English, Cantonese, and Mandarin......but not Japanese! Has anyone here who also can't speak Japanese been to these parks? How easy/difficult was it for you to get to the parks from the airport? And how was your trip overall? Of course not only do I want to go to the parks but I also want to go shopping in Tokyo and I just don't see how I am going to be able to get around and not get lost! tongue.gif I may just have to learn Japanese! ;)
03-22-2003, 11:18 PM
Well, I've worked on projects at the Tokyo parks for Imagineering, and I don't speak Japanese at all! :D It is very easy to reach the parks from the Airport, as there's a train line that goes right out there (now, figuring out the train turnstyles and getting oriented to the right platform can be difficult) but, really you shouldn't have any problems navigating your way around.
As for the parks themselves, it's very easy to get around as all the parks have their signage in multiple languages, and a frequent comment i hear from other guests from the US that have visited is that the park really doesn't feel that "foreign" to an American visitor. If you happen to spot some of the face characters, you can certainly stop and take a moment to chat with them as I'm sure they'll be happy to speak with anyone from the US. Also, look for the Tokyo CMs that have a pin that indicates that they speak English if you happen to have any problems.
Just beware that the way the admission media works over there is different (yes, there's something like a park hopper, but there are certain restrictions) so definitely keep this in mind as having a touring plan is pretty important when you're going around the parks. But prepare yourself for some very, very cool attractions and be sure to post a trip report or something for others here at Intercot that can only dream of visiting the Tokyo parks one day.
03-23-2003, 10:09 AM
1) We have spent time on various business visits.
2) I enjoy Tokyo-Disneyland
3) My favorite is Disney-Sea Park.
4) As to getting around, signs are multi-lingual.
5) Additionally (it felt like) most CM's speak English.
6) I do speak a little Japanese (but not read).
7) We found that using Japanese was not necessary.
NOTE: As for getting around Japan, in general most police and MANY shop clerks understand English. They are usually quite willing to help. (This is pretty much the opposite of the French, although the CM's at Disney-Paris are OK.)
I would love to go there! I dont speak Japanese though. dont know if I would come back if I went though lol. If I could afford it (what kind of $ would i need?) I would like to see what it's like.
I'd like to go there too, but MAN was airfare expensive! The cheapest I could find with flexible travel dates on Expedia was like $650 per person! That's $1,300 just to get there. Kinda steep ...
Anyone have any cost saving ideas for airfare?
03-24-2003, 07:33 PM
Thanks for the info guys. I think we would find our way to the parks ok, and once there we'd be fine. I'm still not certain if I want to stroll through Tokyo though! I get lost easy enough here let alone in a totally different country! I soooo want to go shopping though! We'll see what happens I guess! tongue.gif
03-24-2003, 08:11 PM
Here's some more information for those of you considering a trip to visit the Tokyo Disney resort (and if you do make it over there you'll be able to see some of the attractions that I had a hand in working on too!) :D
First, how long does it take to reach the resort from the Airport? Plan about an hour and a half for the trip. The easiest way is definitely by rail, and chances are you'll be arriving into Narita airport, which is about an hour ride into Downtown Toyko's central railway station via the Narita Express train (the airport is about 45 miles from downtown Toyko).
Once you get to the main Tokyo station, you'll want to transfer and get on the Japan Rail- Keiyo line to Maihama station and the resorts (where Tokyo Disney is located). If I remember right it's about 6 or 7 stops on that line, and it can be nuts around rush hour as it's a heavy commuter line.
Once you get to Maihama, there's a visitor's welcome center for the Tokyo Disney resorts where you can actually go and drop off your luggage and do a pre check-in for your hotel if you're staying at the resort (you'll have to pick up your keys later and give a claim check to the bell stand to get your luggage, but it's one less thing to worry about). After you've checked in here, you'll get your passes to use for the resort-liner (monorail)- where you have to present a pass (included if you're a resort guest, otherwise you have to buy a ticket just like any other train/subway to ride it).
Nearby you'll find the shopping district called Ikispiari- think of it like a Downtown Disney. It's a neat place, but I'd still just plan some time into your itineary back in Tokyo to hit Akihabara (the electronics district) and check out all the cool toys there. In Ikispiari you'll find a lot of stuff you'll find back in the states (J. Crew, Gap, etc).
If you can, by all means stay at the Hotel MiraCosta- even if you're not staying there, check it out. It's a beautiful hotel, with some rooms that look right into Tokyo DisneySea. A good portion of the staff are very fluent in English.
Now I mentioned that the tickets are different (park hoppers with restrictions)- the way the tickets work at Tokyo Disney is different from the US, so this is important. Single Day and 2-day passes are not park hoppers. Only the 3 and 4 day passes offer some park hopping options, but with restrictions- you have to declare which park you'll be visiting on your first and second day when you buy your tickets. (then with the 3 or 4 day pass, the additional one or two days act as a park hopper, where you're free to visit either park or both parks on the same day). You can't park hop on your first or second day. It's just the way they do things in Japan.
Even as an Imagineer with a silver "main gate", I don't get complimentary park admission privileges into the Tokyo resort (but every time i've gone has been to work on something at the resort, so i haven't had to worry about park admission). The last time my girlfriend did accompany me on a trip though, and we spent some time discussing, and coordinating an itineary, but that's when my hosts with the Tokyo resort stepped in and we had our own guest relations host who treated us like VIPs and took care of our park hopping privileges.
If you think of any questions, please feel free to ask here.
[ March 24, 2003, 08:14 PM: Message edited by: Mufasa ]
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