5 Tips for Saving Money at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea

Mareike Dornhege

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

Tokyo DisneySea
Photo by Luke, Ma used under CC

Where 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. And if you want a hassle-free trip to Tokyo Disney (which is actually located quite a way outside of Tokyo), check out these private taxi and Disneyland/Sea one-day passport deals, which can be good value for groups.

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 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 ¥7,400, a junior ¥6,400 and a child ¥4,800, while senior tickets cost ¥6,700. The prices are the same for both Tokyo DisneySea and Disneyland.

tokyo disneysea
If you are mainly coming for the shows and parades, late passes are a way to save money. | Photo by ume-y used under CC

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.

Late Passes

Starlight Pass: Available after 3pm on weekends and holidays, the price drops down to ¥5,400 for adults, ¥4,700 for juniors and ¥3,500 for kids.
After-6pm Pass: Available on (most) weekdays from 6pm, this ticket costs ¥4,200 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!

Multi-day Passes

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.

tokyo disney parade
Photo by Wetmount used under CC

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.

tokyo disneysea and disneyland snacks
Save some cash on your lunch with our tips and instead splurge out on the crazy popcorn flavors. | Photo by Sam Howzit used under CC

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!

Tokyo DisneySea food
Don’t be tempted by the main appeal of the meals—which is the cute presentation, not the quality of the food itself. | Photo by e_chaya used under CC

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 ¥1,010 while the Dockside Diner (DS) has sets from ¥1,050, 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 ¥2,000 per person, but this is only offered on weekdays and in limited quantities.

2. Budget for some clever treats—the turkey legs are ¥500 and will give you a better energy boost than sugary snacks, for example.

tokyo disney resort band
Grab the English version of the event schedule at the entrance and plan ahead for the best seats. | Photo by Andi Halim used under CC

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.

tokyo disney donald duck
Take snaps with the characters at Tokyo DisneySea and Disneyland. | Photo by gwaar used under CC

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!

tokyo disney treats
Cute but not cheap … | Photo by ume-y used under CC

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.

Name: Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea Resorts
Address: 1-1 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, Japan
Location(s): Maihama,
Access: Maihama Station
Web: https://www.klook.com/activity/9945-tokyo-disneyla...
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 DisneySea”

  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 October 27, 2014

      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 November 7, 2014

      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 November 22, 2014

      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 November 22, 2014

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

  5. Charmaine Chew December 27, 2014

    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 January 11, 2015

      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 January 18, 2015

    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 January 21, 2015

      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 February 10, 2015

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

  9. Bmeerkat March 3, 2015

    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 May 20, 2015

    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 September 16, 2015

      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 September 16, 2015

        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 September 16, 2015

    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 September 19, 2015

    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 July 28, 2016

    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 September 25, 2016

    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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