Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea are bucket-list destinations for many, and while prices will always be high, there are some easy methods to save some yen—maybe for a second helping of that delicious caramel popcorn. Japan isn’t exactly a deal-a-minute, but with some wily ways and a few tricks up your sleeve, you can get the full Tokyo Disney experience with money to spare.
1. Tricks for Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea tickets
Where and how to buy tickets
You can buy tickets one of two ways: either on the day at the park, or online. We recommend using this authorized booking site for Tokyo Disney tickets—with their easy e-ticket you can go straight in without having to line up.
You can also buy e-tickets via the Tokyo Disney resort website. One benefit of this is that Disney allows free changes to be made online for e-tickets, including last-minute ones, while other sites may charge for changes. Wherever you buy it, your “e-ticket” should be printed out before you arrive (apparently the “e” part was lost on that one).
Date-specific or open tickets?
Disney provides two e-ticket options—a date-specific ticket or an open ticket. Date-specific tickets guarantee you entry on your chosen date, even if there are restrictions in place, and are valid for three months. Open tickets don’t guarantee entry, but are valid for one year. Since you can change the date on e-tickets online for free (as long as it’s still in the validity period of three months) it’s usually better to select the date-specific ticket if possible.
Buying tickets at the gate
If you decide to buy tickets at the gate, you will want to arrive early as they can sell out or entry may be restricted for other reasons. Regular ticket prices are fixed, so an adult one-day entry pass at the gate will cost you ¥8,200, a junior ¥6,900 and a child ¥4,900, while senior tickets cost ¥7,600. The prices are the same for both Tokyo DisneySea and Disneyland.
Ways to save money on Tokyo Disney tickets
There are a few ways to reduce entry prices if you avoid prime-time slots or opt for multi-day entry.
Starlight Pass: Available after 3pm on weekends and holidays, the price drops down to ¥6,000 for adults, ¥5,100 for juniors and ¥3,600 for kids.
After-6pm Pass: Available on (most) weekdays from 6pm, this ticket costs ¥4,700 for all ages, so is definitely better value for adults. Since some dates can be excluded, be sure to check the Park Operating Calendar.
If you go for the late tickets, this usually means that all the Fast Passes (which allow you to come back at a fixed time slot without queueing) for the most popular rides will be gone and the waiting time at these attractions increases the later it gets. So the late tickets are only really an option for those of you that come for the shows, parades and general atmosphere but won’t be disappointed if the Fast Pass Option for Big Thunder Mountain has closed for the day and the regular waiting time has crept up to 100 minutes.
Also, make sure to check the Disney crowd calendar (in Japanese but fairly easy to understand) before you head over to the Magical Kingdom. It gives you a surprisingly accurate forecast of how many visitors are expected to Tokyo DisneySea and Disneyland on a given day. If you are lucky and it’s a fairly empty one, this could mean all the attractions will still be yours—even after 3pm!
2-Day Pass: Allows entry to both parks on two consecutive days, saving adults ¥1,600, juniors ¥1,200 and children ¥1,000 compared to two full-price day tickets.
3-Day Magic Pass: Allows entry to both parks on three consecutive days, saving adults ¥4,400, juniors ¥3,700 and children ¥2,900 compared to three full-price day tickets.
4-Day Magic Pass: Allows entry to both parks on four consecutive days, saving adults ¥7,200, juniors ¥6,200 and children ¥4,800 compared to four full-price day tickets.
Pro tip: Skip the monorail and walk between Tokyo DisneySea and Disneyland. It takes 10 minutes.
Discounts on Tokyo Disney tickets
While usually not much, it is certainly better than nothing.
On the resort website
Tokyo Disney sometimes offers discounts, e.g. during the (hot and sweltering) summer period or if you buy multiple tickets beforehand, or if you are a student. Discounts are around ¥500 to max. ¥1,000 and only apply to off-season periods, but keep your eyes peeled—when they are on, ads are often sprawled all over Tokyo’s Metro Lines and promoted on the Tokyo Disney Resort website.
At convenience stores
7-11 or FamilyMart sometimes have discount deals on park tickets, usually outside of the main seasons at Disney, like the Halloween and Christmas period. The discount is usually just ¥500, but it all adds up. You need to be able to read Japanese to use the ticket machine in the convenience store, but staff are often happy to help.
2. Pack some snacks for Tokyo DisneySea and Disneyland
Much like Disney parks across the world, food and drink is priced pretty high inside the gates, but surprisingly you can bring in your own, with a few restrictions. We’re not saying don’t have any popcorn, we’re just saying have it after an onigiri or two …
Ways to save money
1. Buy breakfast at a convenience store before you go. Tokyo Disneyland Hotel has a convenience store well-stocked with breakfast-type foods. And at Maihama Station, there is a NewDays convenience store with a good selection of ready-to-go breakfast items, some even hot, that will be much cheaper than what’s on offer in the park.
2. Bring enough snacks and drinks to last the day. The park has picnic areas to eat in and the only prohibited items are alcoholic drinks and drinks in cans or glass bottles. You can leave food in lockers and pick it up later too.
3. Bring a refillable water bottle or reuse a plastic one. Both Tokyo DisneySea and Disneyland have water fountains dotted throughout the grounds—good for your wallet and the environment!
3. Opt for a late lunch at Tokyo DisneySea or Disneyland
While the meals can be a big part of the Tokyo Disney experience, thanks to Japanese portion sizes they may not be a big enough part for hungry travelers. The answer to this is the golden rule of choosing lunch over dinner, which is always much cheaper in Japan.
Ways to save money on meals
1. Check out some restaurant menus beforehand—China Voyager (DL), for example, has bowls of noodles for ¥1,030 while the Dockside Diner (DS) has sets from ¥1,070, which is not bad. Grandma Sara’s and Hungry Bear Restaurant at Tokyo Disneyland or Miguel’s in Tokyo DisneySea offer decent portions. The set meals are big enough for two people if you do not need to eat much and are about ¥1,500. Silk Road Restaurant at the MiraCosta Hotel in DisneySea has a tasting menu for ¥2,040 per person, but this is only offered on weekdays and in limited quantities.
2. Budget for some clever treats—the turkey legs are ¥510 and will give you a better energy boost than sugary snacks, for example.
4. Get lucky with the lottery and cheat the crowds
While it isn’t exactly saving you money, there are some ways to make sure you get the most out of your day, which is kind of the same thing; maybe? With very little effort, you can secure some seats to the big shows and get on more rides, if you know the secrets.
Ways to save time
1. Try your luck on the lottery systems available for Big Band Beat in Tokyo DisneySea and One Man’s Dream II in Disneyland. You simply present your ticket barcode at the machine scanner and will be told immediately if you have won a seat for the show—if not, unfortunately you cannot try again for that show, but can try in the other park.
2. Check schedules and plan around the performances: if you want to see the shows, then be in the right place and be there early to get a seat. If you’re not too bothered, take advantage of the (slightly) shorter queue times while everyone else is busy. The evening fireworks displays and day parades are also a great time for shorter queues. This hack is most helpful on emptier days, so …
3. Avoid the busiest days of the year and thus lots of the people: this includes Christmas Eve/Day, New Year’s Eve/Day, Obon and Golden Week as well as Saturdays, which are often the busiest day of the week—and long weekends. Again, the Disney crowd calendar will help a lot with making your experience truly magical instead of one long waiting game.
5. Sacrifice those souvenirs
Matching outfits are the done thing in Japan for dates, friends and families too, and even the most steadfast of haters may find themselves tempted to join in after a day of people-watching. The Disney souvenirs are bright, fun and … well, pricey, so they can be an easy way to cut costs, especially since you’ll probably never wear them again.
Ways to save on souvenirs at Tokyo Disney
1. If you have friends in Tokyo, see if you can borrow a hat or t-shirt they’ve had since their last Disney trip, or bring your own not-quite-official version from home.
2. Make the most of the photo-opportunity areas, e.g. sticking your face into a Mickey-shaped hole or posing with a character, which is free—you’ll get the photos and can spend on something else.
3. Consider something practical, like a water bottle—cute and money-saving is the best, right?
4. Disney Stores throughout Japan, e.g. the one in Shibuya (on the third floor), often have discounted merchandise corners. Here you find goods that are sometimes only a few months old at 20-70% off the regular price.
5. The Bon Voyage Store on the way from Maihama Station to the resort also sometimes has a “Value Section”. This merchandise is discounted up to 50% off.
6. The stores in the park also have discounted goods. The sections aren’t really advertised, but, you guessed it, check in the corners and at the back of the stores for goods with red stickers.
7. Nakano Broadway in Tokyo has a secondhand store for Disney Merchandise. Go before your big day and save some serious cash!
Bonus tip #1: Cheap hotels near Tokyo DisneySea and Disneyland
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, we’ve got that covered too—see our article on affordable hotels near Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea.
Bonus tip #2: Coming straight from Narita Airport
Save some money and hassle on your airport transfer with our guide on getting from Narita Airport to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea.
While we do our best to make sure it is correct, all information in this post is subject to change. First published in November, 2015. Last updated October, 2018, with the help of Lily Crossley-Baxter.