5 Tips for Saving Money at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea

Grace Buchele Mineta

Visiting Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo Disney Sea is an affordable dream, believe it or not. But wait, you might say, with tickets upwards of 6,900 yen for a single day and meals ranging from 1,500 yen to 2,000 yen, the side-by-side Disneyland resorts seem like a rather expensive place to spend the afternoon. And you would be right. Disneyland resorts are expensive. There is (almost) no way around it!

You can buy tickets one of two ways, either the day of at the park or online. We recommend using this booking site for Tokyo Disney tickets, with their eticket you go straight in without lining up. Also if you’re planning on seeing both Disney Sea and Tokyo Disneyland then get the 2 day pass combo to save yourself about ¥1,000. And if you want an easy hassle free trip to Tokyo Disney (which is actually located quite a way outside of Tokyo!), check out these (not quite so cheap) private taxi + disneyland/sea one day passort deals.

And read on for some additional tips to help you save more money…

Tokyo Disney Sea
Photo by gwaar used under CC

1. Buy an “After 6” or “Starlight” Passport.

  • The Starlight Passport cost 5,400 yen for Adults (18+), 4,700 yen for Junior (12 – 17), and 3,500 yen for Children (11 and under). It is valid after 3pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays. To check the validity of days, click here.
  • The After 6 Passport goes for a flat fee of 4,200 yen for Adults, Juniors, and Children. It is valid after 6pm, Monday – Friday (except national holidays). To check the validity of days, click here.

The regular tickets are 7,400 yen for Adults, 6,400 yen for Juniors, and 4,800 yen for Children (as of Jan 2017). They grant you all day access in one of the parks. However, if you don’t necessarily want to spend all day in the park, try getting one of the evening passes. There are less crowds at night, so you can get through the attractions much quicker.

Also, you can occasionally get special discounts on regular priced tickets from January to April with a student ID. If you’re over 60, you can get a discounted ticket (with ID). Entrance is free for children under the age of 3.

Tokyo Disney Sea
Photo by Ryan Scott used under CC

2. Borrow stuff from friends:

I know you think you’re probably the kind of person who can avoid temptation. Maybe you are. But if you’re like most of us and get easily tempted by fancy Disney apparel, it is best to borrow, beg, or otherwise acquire Disney hats, shirts, bags, and souvenir popcorn buckets before you get to the park.

Borrow a Disney hat from a friend. I feel like the Disney parks are designed to make you want to buy an overpriced hat that you wear proudly for the day, then never touch again. Trust me, your friends probably have silly hats and Disney shirts hiding in their closets. Ask around; you might be surprised what people will let you borrow. Last time I went I borrowed two matching shirts and a Stitch hat.

Borrow a souvenir bucket from a friend. Refills for souvenir buckets is quite a bit cheaper (for more popcorn) than buying a paper bag. You can get twice the popcorn for nearly the same price. Plus, the souvenir bucket hangs nicely around your neck. You can get a couple refills of delicious Disney caramel popcorn without paying too much.

3. Bring your own food and water to Disney Sea.

Every time I got to Disneyland, I bring a couple onigiri rice balls, a bento box, and a couple bottles of water. The tea and water bottles inside of the park are typically 500 yen for 500mL, or 300 yen for 250mL. It’s expensive…

Tokyo Disney Sea

One warning: be careful with alcohol inside the park.

I accidentally brought in two cans of beer last time I went. While my friend and I were eating our smuggled bento lunch boxes sipping beers, we realized that alcohol is not served in Tokyo Disneyland, only in Tokyo DisneySea.

So bring your own food and water, but don’t bring alcohol. Or if you do, disguise it well.

4. Eat lunch at the Disneyland park.

I know this contradicts what number 3 says, but you really should eat a “late” lunch at the Disneyland resorts. The lunch dishes are about half the cost of the dinner menu. If you’re staying the whole day, I’ve found the easiest way to cut costs and stay full is to pack a bento box lunch, a couple water bottles, and snacks–and lock them in a locker (along with your coats) until the evening. By then, your older beverages should be depleted, you will be hungry, and you will be cold.

The dinner dishes at the Disney parks are much more expensive than the lunch dishes.

5. Avoid “busy” days.

This won’t actually save money (technically), but will allow you to get the most out of your yen.  Try to avoid: weekends, New Year’s rush (December 31st, January 1st – 5th), Golden Week (April 29th – May 5th), Obon (August 13th – 15th), and any of the other Japanese national holidays. For a full list of holidays, click here.

Bonus Tip: Cheap Hotels Nearby

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay we’ve got that covered too—see our article: cheap hotels near Tokyo Disneyland.

Bonus Tip #2: Coming Straight From Tokyo Narita Airport

If you’ve planned to come to disney (or a nearby hotel) direct from Narita airport, save some money and hassle on your airport transfer, read our guide on getting from Narita Airport to Tokyo Disneyland.

Tokyo Disney Sea
DisneySea Tokyo | Photo by Masao Mutoh used under CC
Name: Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea Resorts
Pricing info: 4,200 yen - 6,900 yen for adults
Address: 1-1 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, Japan
Access: Maihama Station
Web: http://www.tokyodisneyresort.co.jp/en/
Phone: +81 45-330-5211 +81 45-330-5211
Business hours: 8:00am - 10:00pm
Places Mentioned

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32 Responses to “5 Tips for Saving Money at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea”

  1. Great ideas! I’ll be sure to try the onigiri and lunch ideas. Unfortunately, I’ll only be there in for smack in the middle of the New Year’s holiday.

    • CheapoGreg

      Ooh, that’s going to be really busy!

      • Yeah, and combine that with the fact that nearly everything’s closed. Sucks, since it’ll be my very first trip to Japan (I don’t count getting stuck in Kansai airport a decade ago).

        I’ll go to Disney for three days, hopefully that third day will compensate for whatever hordes that will descend upon Chiba.

  2. Do you have to pay for the rides too, or do you only pay at the entrance and it’s “nori-hodai”?

    • CheapoGreg

      Sorry for the slow reply! It’s ‘nori-hodai’ once you’re in. Unfortunately it’s not nomihodai or tabehodai! If you need to eat or drink it’s quite pricey – and not very good unless you’re 9 years old.

  3. Two things: One-day tickets for adults are now 6400 yen, and it’s forbidden to bring in your own food and drink. We had attendants coming up to us and telling us to go outside the park if we wanted to eat it.

    • CheapoGreg

      Thanks for the info! The prices must have gone up after the consumption tax rise. With your own food and drink you’ve just got to be discrete. It’s not like it’s illegal or disrespectful, they just make a little less profit out of you!

      • That’s true! Oh, and you can leave the park and come in again if you get a stamp on your hand and keep your ticket, even with one-day tickets.

  4. i went oon sat last week. never thought of gigantic human sea . the rush was unbleivable. it was no special day or any special event at resort. could hardly get to abail a ride or view the Cinderella castle or parade 🙁

    • CheapoGreg

      That’s the weekend for you. Weekdays are crowded enough, but weekends are insane!

  5. Charmaine Chew

    I was wondering if the student ID discounted price applies to tourists who are students from another country as well? 🙂

  6. I’m going to be in Tokyo for my first time this May, during and after
    Golden Week, and I’m trying to figure out which would be a better plan
    of attack: a) stay in a resort-area hotel May 6-7, hit Disney Sea on Thu
    May 7 (the day after the last holiday of Golden Week) and maybe do a
    Starlight Passport after 6pm on May 6, or b) go sometime bet May 11-13,
    when 20k Under the Sea will be closed for refurb. I hate the thought of
    missing that ride!

    • CheapoGreg

      You know why it’s called Golden Week right? Because lots of people take off the WHOLE week. If you go the day after the last official holiday of Golden Week you’re going to find it insanely crowded. I’d go from May 11 to 13 if I were you.

      • I’ll be going to Tokyo exactly the same time as Keith, thanks for your advice or I would’ve went with the same plan!

  7. Scottb721

    We’ve booked a family holiday for late May and will hit DL on a Thurs and Fri staying at the local Hilton for the night. Should be fun

    • CheapoGreg

      That’s a great time of year to visit. Weekdays are much better than the weekend too. Have fun!

  8. Despite all of this, the Disneyland tickets and refreshments are still cheaper than Universal Studios at Osaka….Apparently there, children over 11 qualify as adults (can someone explain that to my 16YO daughter..?) and seniors only qualify as seniors when they are 65+…tsk, tsk.

    http://www.usj.co.jp/e/ticket/

    Cheers,

    Rick
    Cairns

    • CheapoGreg

      Didn’t know that. I guess USJ isn’t going to make it into Japan Cheapo then!

  9. Bmeerkat

    You cannot bring food into Disneysea so must be the same rules for Disneyland

  10. Hi, is it advisable to purchase tickets online in advance during cherry blossom season? I heard that if there’s so many people, they wont sell you tickets. thanks

  11. Ashley Shiba

    Another reason it is good to bring your own food and drinks are the line ups you could be standing for half an hour and or more to buy your food and when you got hungry kids that is not fun. For the US military families only you can also buy your tickets at the New Sanno Hotel.

    • Patricia Maniquis

      Hi guys, i am a retired US military, me and my family are planning to go to tokyo disneyland this coming november, i just want to ask about the military discount. Where can i buy the discounted ticket and how much each? Thank you so much

      • Ashley Shiba

        The New Sanno Hotel has a travel desk check there they may have discount tickets
        and they also have some package plans from time to time for soldiers, sailors and army again check at the New Sanno.

  12. Patricia Maniquis

    Hi guys, i am a retired US military, me and my family are planning to go to tokyo disneyland this coming november, i just want to ask about the military discount. Where can i buy the discounted ticket and how much?

  13. Vladimir Medio Sentosa

    Hi, if i buy the 2-days ticket, can i use it for disneyland dan disneysea? or i have to buy separately; 1-day ticket for each park?

  14. Rafael Zapparoli Câmara

    At what time does this park close? Because if it’s to get after 6pm, I’d pay a bit more to arrive way earlier!

  15. Danzaemon

    Sounds neurotic to me. Desperately planning ahead with prepared lunches and thermoses full of tea. Worried about spending an extra 300 yen on snacks. Showing up late to save a bit of cash. Maybe you should just relax, spend a bit more and enjoy yourself, instead of constantly being a cheapskate miser Gaijin Scrooge!


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