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Smart Strategies for Beating Tokyo Disney’s Long Lines

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My family doesn’t do long lines on Disney vacations. When we began planning a trip to Japan to visit Tokyo Disney Resort, we knew we were facing our biggest Disney line challenge yet.

Tokyo Disney is notorious for its huge crowds and long queues. Wait times for some of the most popular attractions are regularly 2-3 hours or more, even on moderate crowd days.

Apparently, the average Japanese visitor is quite patient. But I’m not! As an international guest with a very limited window of time to spend in the parks during my family’s week in Tokyo, 120+ minute lines were not going to cut it for us. I made it my mission to really understand all the tools and tricks for bypassing long waits at both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea parks.

Tokyo Disneyland Entrance Sign

I was surprised to find there is very little current information on the English-speaking web for visitors to Tokyo Disney like me – the ones devoted to (obsessed with?) maximizing every minute in the parks and getting to ride as many attractions as possible with minimal waits. Part of the reason for that dearth of information is that Tokyo Disney tweaked its various cut-the-line systems after Japan’s full reopening to international visitors. (Note: a few more additions to these systems are coming soon when the new land Fantasy Springs opens at Tokyo DisneySea on June 6, 2024.)

If you have minimal time to make the most of a Tokyo Disney vacation too, here is all the information you need to build your own optimized touring plan for both parks.

Line-Cutting Methods Available at Tokyo Disney

Tokyo DisneySea Edna Mode Character Meet and Greet

Before I devised our park touring strategy, I dove deeply into understanding each and every tool available to shortcut queues and book attraction reservations at Tokyo Disney Resort. Some of the fine print on Tokyo Disney’s website doesn’t translate perfectly, which makes understanding these tools confusing. And unlike at Walt Disney World or Disneyland, you can’t preview these systems in action in advance of your trip because many functions of the Tokyo Disney app only work when you are physically in the parks.

Here are the tools that Tokyo Disney guests have at their disposal and precisely how they work:

Disney Premier Access

Priority Access Entrance Tokyo Disneyland Beauty and the Beast Ride

Disney Premier Access is a paid way to access a Fastpass-style priority queue for a limited number of attractions at the Tokyo Disney parks. Using the resort’s official app, guests use it to book and redeem a 1 hour reservation window for a specific single attraction.

Most Disney Premier Access attractions cost 1500-2000 Japanese yen ($10-13) per person.

Premier Access at Tokyo Disney is highly similar to paid Lightning Lane at Disneyland in California, but with a few elements of Walt Disney World’s paid Lightning Lane thrown in just to make it extra confusing.

Like at Disneyland in California (but not at Walt Disney World), you can only book Premier Access attractions after your park ticket is scanned when you enter a park for the day. Booking is open even during early entry times (more on early entry below).

Like at Walt Disney World (but not at Disneyland), guests can choose their own return time from a selection of time windows throughout the day. One booked, the time window cannot be modified or canceled.

Also similar to Walt Disney World, the most popular attractions sell out of Premier Access time slots within an hour or so of park opening, and most of them tend to be sold out by lunch time. Understanding which ones tend to sell out first is key to devising a smart touring strategy.

Practically speaking, you can likely expect to be able to purchase at least two Disney Premier Access passes in a Tokyo Disney park before they sell out, but purchasing three or even theoretically four (in Tokyo Disney Sea at least) is possible on lower crowd days. Guests are not limited to a maximum number like they are at Disney World and Disneyland which have a cap of just two paid Lightning Lane purchases per day per ticket.

How quickly in succession can you book Disney Premier Access attractions? You can book one Disney Premier Access ride at least every 60 minutes. If you book a Disney Premier Access attraction with a return window that is less than 60 minutes away, however, you are immediately eligible to book another one at the start of your return time window. (Note: you do NOT need to have physically redeemed your earlier one to be eligible to book another attraction!)

Tokyo Disney Premier Access Screenshots

Attractions that currently offer Disney Premier Access at Tokyo Disneyland:

  • Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast
  • The Happy Ride with Baymax
  • Splash Mountain

Attractions that currently offer Disney Premier Access at Tokyo DisneySea:

  • Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • Soaring: Fantastic Flight
  • Tower of Terror
  • Toy Story Mania!
  • Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Journey (opening June 6, 2024 in Fantasy Springs)
  • Rapunzel’s Lantern Festival (opening June 6, 2024 in Fantasy Springs)
  • Peter Pan’s Never Land Adventure (opening June 6, 2024 in Fantasy Springs)

Disney Premier Access is also available for select parades and shows. Although the terminology used is the same, the two are not part of the same system. Guests are permitted to buy Premier Access for an attraction AND a parade/show at the same time – a parade/show purchase does not count against you when it comes to attraction eligibility.

40th Anniversary Priority Pass

Disney Premier Access Priority Pass Scanners at Tokyo Disney

If Disney Premier Access is Tokyo Disney’s version of paid Lightning Lane, then 40th Anniversary Priority Pass is Tokyo Disney’s version of Genie+. But unlike Genie+, Priority Pass is FREE!

Related: Tips for Using Genie+ at Walt Disney World

Once guests enter a park for the day, they use the Tokyo Disney app to book 1 hour reservation windows for Priority Pass attractions for a time when they may enter through an express queue. Like Genie+ at the U.S. parks, guests cannot choose the return time for these attractions and are instead given the next available return window. This time may be close to immediate (especially first thing in the morning) but is often many hours later (as the day progresses).

Guests can cancel Priority Pass attraction reservations and re-book for the same or a different ride, but cannot directly modify a reservation to another ride or another time.

How quickly in succession can you book Priority Pass attractions? You can book one Priority Pass ride at least every 120 minutes (like Genie+). If you book a Priority Pass attraction with a return window that is less than 120 minutes away, however, you are eligible to book another Priority Pass as soon as you physically scan in to the attraction and redeem the previously-booked reservation.

As the name suggests, 40th Anniversary Priority Pass was a special offering unveiled for Tokyo Disney’s 40th Anniversary celebration, which ended in March 2024. The resort decided to extend this offering past the end date of the event but may choose to sunset it at any time.

Rides that offer free Priority Pass do not offer paid Disney Premier Access and vice versa. Additionally, the systems are not tied to each other in any way. Savvy guests should plan to treat these booking processes as two totally separate silos and book rides using them both simultaneously!

Tokyo Disney Nemo SeaRider Priority Pass Screenshots

Attractions that currently offer 40th Anniversary Priority Pass at Tokyo Disneyland:

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

Attractions that currently offer 40th Anniversary Priority Pass at Tokyo DisneySea:

  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  • Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull
  • The Magic Lamp Theatre
  • Nemo & Friends SeaRider
  • Raging Spirits
  • Turtle Talk
  • Aquatopia (not typically, but will offer Priority Pass from July 2 through Sept. 18, 2024 only)

Happy Entry

Happy Entry to Tokyo DisneySea park
Entering Tokyo Disney Sea with Happy Entry – the queue is on the very far right (ask cast members to direct you!)

Happy Entry is Tokyo Disney’s early entry privilege available to select guests of on-site Disney-branded hotels. Happy Entry gives guests of eligible hotels a 15 minute head start on everyone else, scanning their tickets at separate turnstiles in front of each park before the others open. So if the parks open at 9:00am, Happy Entry guests can expect to enter starting at 8:45am. Happy Entry is available to guests every day of their stay, except on check-in day.

Happy Entry is much shorter than early entry at the U.S. and Paris parks, and guests should not expect to get multiple rides completed. Tokyo Disney doesn’t even begin scanning guests in to the gates until exactly 15 minutes prior to official park opening. So it may take several minutes to get into the parks (depending on how deep you are in the crowd), much less walk all the way to a ride.

Tokyo Disneyland Happy Entry Crowds
We arrived later and experienced larger crowds at Tokyo Disneyland Happy Entry on a Saturday.

So what’s the point? We were pleasantly surprised to find that what a guest can accomplish during 15 minutes of Happy Entry can be quite clutch. You can make a beeline to one popular attraction to experience it with a short standby wait (perhaps avoiding the need to make a Disney Premier Access purchase for it).

You can also begin making your first Disney Premier Access, 40th Anniversary Priority Pass, and other bookings before anyone else. That head start makes you eligible to make your second bookings before anyone else too – and likely before sell-outs start cascading through the system.

Additionally, because Tokyo Disney doesn’t have a “rope drop” within the park, it takes regular guests a little longer to begin entering the parks en masse all the way from the park entrance turnstiles. We found, for example, that Fantasyland remained quite empty in Tokyo Disneyland park until at least 9:30am (on the day of a 9:00am park opening) before many regular visitors made their way back there. This enabled us to ride several shorter dark rides there before standby lines got long even though the Happy Entry period had technically expired.

What hotels are eligible for Happy Entry? It’s complicated. When we visited, all guests of the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel, Hotel MiraCosta, and the Disney Ambassador Hotel had Happy Entry privileges into either park daily. Additionally, guests of the Toy Story Hotel and Tokyo Disney Celebration Hotel had Happy Entry privileges into Tokyo Disneyland park only. But that’s all about to change.

Tokyo Disneyland Hotel Entrance
We stayed at the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel which had Happy Entry into both parks during our stay – but that will change soon.

When Fantasy Springs opens (along with the new Fantasy Springs Hotel connected to Tokyo DisneySea), the Happy Entry unfortunately isn’t fully the benefit it was before. Hotels in the vicinity of Tokyo DisneySea will have Happy Entry privileges into DisneySea, but other deluxe hotels won’t. Conversely, hotels in the vicinity of Tokyo Disneyland will have Tokyo Disneyland Happy Entry privileges, but some Tokyo DisneySea area hotels won’t – at least on certain dates.

The best way to navigate this is to double-check the dates and fine print directly on Tokyo Disney’s website here. Happy Entry schedule and rule changes are announced about 3 months in advance, so you may need to check for rule changes applicable to your travel dates after you’ve already made a hotel reservation (hotel-only reservations open 4 months in advance).

Standby Pass

Fantasy Springs Preview Tokyo Disneyland
Fantasy Springs rides will utilize a different queue system – Standby Pass.

That’s already a whole lot of systems and shortcuts to manage, but Tokyo Disney doesn’t stop there. The resort also offers another system called Standby Pass – but only for select attractions and experiences and not necessarily on a reliable schedule.

Standby Pass essentially functions as a virtual queue. It’s used for experiences where the physical standby line would just get too long to manage. It has been mostly used for stores in recent times (and we didn’t find we needed to use it at all during our own trip).

When Fantasy Springs opens, however, the four new attractions in the land will offer Standby Pass for their physical queues (note: there will not be regular standby lines at all, although three of these attractions will also sell Disney Premier Access). Guests will only be able to enter the land when their Standby Pass time starts, so it’s being used as a way to gate both attractions and the land itself.

(Check out TDR Explorer’s Guide to Fantasy Springs with even more detail on how everything Fantasy Springs will work. Note especially that guests of the Fantasy Springs Hotel are eligible to purchase a pricey 1 Day Fantasy Springs Magic Passport which gives them access to the Premier Access line for Fantasy Springs rides without needing to obtain a Standby Pass or make a separate Disney Premier Access purchase. This is another line-cutting hack, but the hard part is actually successfully booking a Fantasy Springs Hotel reservation – they are selling out nearly instantaneously so far!)

Entry Request

Tokyo Disney Entry Request Big Band Beat
Use Entry Request for shows like Big Band Beat.

Sorry, still not done yet. Tokyo Disney also offers another system that guests devising touring plans need to know about – Entry Request. Using the app once they’ve entered the park for the day, guests use Entry Request to make a request for a particular experience – usually a character greeting or a show. Spots for that experience are then distributed via lottery, with no (or very little) standby availability.

When using Entry Request, you make a request for a particular time so it’s important to think about what will fit around your ride plans and dining reservation times. We made an Entry Request for the Big Band Beat show for a 2:20pm time because it was after our lunch plans and also when we expected standby ride lines to be long.

I’m not entirely convinced that Entry Request is a pure lottery – I strongly suspect that on-property hotel guests get some sort of preference in the system. And if you aren’t interested in shows or characters, you won’t need to use it at all. But if you are trying to devise a touring plan that includes some of the best entertainment in the Tokyo Disney parks (which even I recommend – and I tend to be all about the rides!), you’ll probably need to use it once or twice.

Single Rider Lines

Last and actually least, one more tool Disney visitors from around the world tend to rely upon is the Single Rider service. Disney uses a separate and usually shorter queue of guests willing to ride solo to fill in extra single seats on rides.

Visitors to Tokyo Disney should know, however, that single rider lines aren’t really a thing there to the same extent they are in the U.S. parks. Currently, only two attractions in Tokyo Disney Sea offer it: Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull and Raging Spirits.

Still, if you are interested in riding these attractions, this offering can save you from having to use a precious Priority Pass slot on one or both of these rides and help optimize your overall strategy. Note that as in the U.S. parks, children must be at least 7 years old to use Single Rider.

Our Strategy for Tokyo Disney Sea

Tokyo DisneySea Mediterranean Harbor View

So how did we do using and combining these many tools in the parks? We started our trip at Tokyo Disney Sea, so I’ll start there. While we wanted to do as many rides at possible, we also wanted to prioritize the attractions that are truly unique to Tokyo Disney.

My youngest child also is not into thrill rides, so we also wanted to start the morning with an attraction that would be of interest to him that our family could do all together. Our general plan was to go all-in on rides in the morning. Then we’d take it a bit easier in the afternoon and evening, mixing in time for shopping, shows, dining, and exploring.

I quickly discovered that the first Disney Premier Access likely to sell out is Soaring: Fantastic Flight. Journey to the Center of the Earth and Tower of Terror tending to run out next somewhere around the same time. Once Fantasy Springs opens, expect the three attractions in that land offering Disney Premier Access to sell out super-duper fast (during the current previews of the land, they are selling out in less than a hour).

The most popular Priority Pass attraction in DisneySea tends to be Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull, followed by 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and then everything else.

Indiana Jones Tokyo DisneySea
Indiana Jones tends to be the most popular Priority Pass attraction in Tokyo DisneySea.

Here is how our day progressed:

  • 8:00am: Queued up for Happy Entry – we were maybe only a dozen people deep at the gates at that hour and were scanned in pretty instantaneously
  • 8:46am: Enter Tokyo DisneySea. While making a speedy walk to our first attraction (Soaring: Fantastic Flight), we made multiple bookings in the app, as follows:
  • Buy Disney Premier Access for Journey to the Center of the Earth (selected 10:00-11:00am time)
  • Book Priority Pass for Indiana Jones (were given a 9:05-10:05am time)
  • Make (successful) Entry Request for Big Band Beat’s 2:20pm show (while in line for Soaring)
  • Buy Disney Premier Access for Believe! Sea of Dreams night time show (while in line for Soaring)
  • 9:10am Ride Soaring: Fantastic Flight
  • 9:40am: Ride Indiana Jones with Priority Pass
  • Book Priority Pass for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (were given a 11:10am-12:10pm time)
  • 10:00am: Buy Disney Premier Access for Tower of Terror (lots of times still were available but we selected 4:15-5:15pm around our dining plans)
  • Watch some characters & grab some popcorn
  • 10:25am Ride Journey to the Center of the Earth with Premier Access
  • 11:00am Ride Caravan Carousel in Arabian Coast via standby line (wait: none)
  • 11:20am: Ride 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with Priority Pass
  • Book Priority Pass for Nemo & Friends SeaRider (were given a 1:30-2:30pm time)
  • 11:50am: Lunch at Magellan’s
  • 1:40pm Ride Nemo & Friends SeaRider with Priority Pass
  • 2:20pm Watch Big Band Beat
  • 2:55pm Ride DisneySea Electric Railway via standby line (wait: about 15-20 mins)
  • 3:30pm Ride Aquatopia via standby line (wait: about 20 minutes with a posted wait time of 30)
  • Shop & explore
  • 4:25pm Ride Venetian gondolas via standby line (wait: about 15 minutes with a posted wait time of 20)
  • 4:45pm Ride Tower of Terror with Premier Access
  • 5:20pm: Snacks/drinks at Teddy Roosevelt Lounge
  • Load up on popcorn, churros, & a turkey leg to watch evening show
  • 7:15pm: Watch Believe! Sea of Dreams in Disney Premier Access reserve viewing area (arrived 7:00pm for 7:15 show)
  • 8:00pm: Monorail back to the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

The TLDR on our day at Tokyo Disney Sea? We experienced all the must-dos on our list as well as many of the “would like to do.”

We were easily able to use Happy Entry to ride one of the Disney Premier Access attractions with a short wait (Soaring). We purchased and rode the other two available Premier Access rides, Journey to the Center of the Earth and Tower of Terror (the fourth, Toy Story Mania, was closed for refurbishments during our visit). We also booked three rides with Priority Pass, rode a number of other attractions via short standby lines, had two table service meals, and saw one stage show and one nighttime spectacular. I consider that a very successful Disney day!

Other Tokyo DisneySea Strategies & Tips

Tokyo DisneySea Mount Prometheus and Ship

There are, of course, a lot of other touring plan iterations that guests could execute. For guests who don’t mind starting the morning with a more thrilling ride than we did, you could choose to ride either Journey to the Center of the Earth or Tower of Terror at Happy Entry and instead make Soaring: Fantastic Flight your first Disney Premier Access purchase.

Instead of booking Indiana Jones as your first Priority Pass attraction, you could plan to experience that via the Single Rider line, starting with selecting 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and making a more of a “morning mad dash” through Priority Pass attractions by booking, redeeming, and booking them again in close succession (this strategy works well at Disneyland and in Magic Kingdom).

Once Fantasy Springs opens, its new attractions MUST be your first pick for Disney Premier Access to even have a chance at making a purchase. The good news is that Standby Pass (offered on all four Fantasy Springs rides) is a totally different system. You can and should use it concurrently for a shot at Fantasy Springs ride (all while using Priority Pass for many non-Fantasy Springs rides). I expect summer 2024 to be pretty wild for executing a strategy in Tokyo DisneySea, but knowing all the tools certainly gives you a head start!

Our Strategy for Tokyo Disneyland

Tokyo Disneyland World Bazaar Entrance

We had an equally ambitious plan for our Tokyo Disneyland day the following morning. The additional challenge is that we were up against a 5:00pm departure time from the parks to be able to make a 9:30pm flight home out of Narita Airport.

Little did we expect one more challenge to be thrown into our Disneyland park day – a sick kid! My husband and I traded off taking care of him and letting him rest at the hotel until checkout time, so we definitely had to throw our perfect strategy out of the window a bit. That said, we still managed to accomplish a lot.

In Tokyo Disneyland, the first Disney Premier Access sell out is always Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast – and that’s by a long shot. If you want to buy it to avoid its 120+ minute line, you need to purchase Premier Access for it ASAP. The next most popular Premier Access attraction is The Happy Ride with Baymax, followed by Splash Mountain (which can sometimes remain available into the mid-afternoon as it was during our visit).

The Happy Ride with Baymax at Tokyo Disneyland

The most popular Priority Pass booking to make is Pooh’s Hunny Hunt (which was closed during our visit), so plan to book that first as well. After that, the rides next most likely to sell out early are Space Mountain (which will close permanently later this summer) and Monsters Inc. Ride and Go Seek!, followed by everything else.

Here’s what we did (or at least what the portion of our family in the park at any given moment did):

  • 8:25am: Queued up for Happy Entry – we were pretty deep in the large Saturday crowd by this point
  • 8:50am: Enter Tokyo Disneyland. While making a speedy walk to our first attraction (The Happy Ride with Baymax), we made multiple bookings in the app, as follows:
  • Buy Premier Access for Beauty & the Beast (selected 10:00-11:00am time)
  • Book Priority Pass for Monsters Inc. (were given 9:25-10:25am time)
  • 9:13am: Ride The Happy Ride with Baymax via standby line
  • 9:18am: Ride Pinocchio via standby line (wait: none)
  • 9:23am: Ride Snow White via standby line (wait: minimal)
  • 9:30am: Ride Peter Pan via Standby line (wait: <15 minutes!)
  • 9:50am: Ride Monsters Inc. with Priority Pass
  • Book Priority Pass for Space Mountain (were given 4:30-5:30pm time)
  • Book Premier Access for Splash Mountain (selected 1:10-2:10pm time)
  • 10:10am Ride Beauty & the Beast with Premier Access (10:10am entered queue, finished ride by 10:40)
  • 10:49am: Ride Pirates of the Caribbean via standby line (wait: >20 mins)
  • Shopping
  • 11:45am: Lunch at Mickey’s Rainbow Luau
  • Book Priority Pass for Haunted Mansion (were given 4:45-5:45 pm window)
  • 1:25pm Watch Country Bear Jamboree via standby line (wait: none)
  • 2:00pm Ride Splash with Premier Access
  • After this point, we had to abandon all strategy to cover the sick kid, but my daughter and I were also ultimately able to ride “it’s a small world” through a very short standby line, redeem our Space Mountain Priority Pass, and grab multiple souvenirs on our way out of the park to catch our shuttle to the airport.

The TLDR on our day at Tokyo Disneyland? It wasn’t enough time to do all of the attractions in the park by a long shot, but we experienced all of the truly unique ones that were open during our visit.

Other Tokyo Disneyland Strategies

Tokyo Disneyland World Bazaar

We noticed that the most popular Happy Entry strategy for Tokyo Disneyland is to head straight to Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast. While this will save a bit of money not having to buy the most expensive Premier Access pass in the park, it won’t save you time. There are too many people competing for this ride. Unless you are at the very front of the Happy Entry crowds (which requires queuing super early), you’ll still wait awhile for it, especially if you consider time that its pre-show takes. You won’t be off of it very fast and that means you’ll miss out on other ride lines that can be short early in the morning. It’s a bit like rope dropping Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland – yes, it saves you money, but it comes with a major morning opportunity cost.

I think it’s much smarter to use Happy Entry for Monsters, Inc., Baymax (like we did), or Space Mountain (at least until it closes). You’ll be done with your first ride earlier. Then hop over to Fantasyland to ride dark rides back-to-back without a wait.

Additional Tips for Devising the Perfect Touring Strategy

its a small world Final Ride Scene Tokyo Disneyland

As you can see, we had a very successful trip with very limited time in both Tokyo Disney parks. Here are a few final tips we picked up that will hopefully serve you well as you assemble a Tokyo Disney touring plan of your own:

  1. Check ride closures. When key Disney Premier Access and Priority Pass attractions are closed for refurbishment, that can change the crowd patterns quite a bit as demand shifts towards other attractions. Make sure you know what rides will be down during your visit! For example, the very popular Pooh’s Hunny Hunt was closed when we visited, meaning that many more guests chose to start their morning riding Beauty and the Beast.
  2. Write out a plan in advance. If you’ve gone to the trouble to fly all the way to Japan, you probably want to have a productive visit. You don’t need to plan every second of your day, but you do need to plan the first part of your morning. Make a list of what you need to book first under which system as you immediately enter the park. Then have a rough set of priorities for your next subsequent pick for each system – Disney Premier Access, Priority Pass, Standby Pass etc. Of course, you want to be flexible and have room to experience things on the fly. But having a plan helps prevent overwhelm and the real chance that you will forget to select something at a crucial moment.
  3. Spend all the money. Again, if you’ve gone all the way to fly to Japan, you’ve probably dropped some big bucks on the vacation. Assuming your budget has even the slightest bit of additional flexibility, spend a little bit more to shortcut lines at Tokyo Disney. With current exchange rates, Disney Premier Access prices are a steal (especially when combined with cheap park ticket prices). If you are a family of four who purchases 2 of them per person per day, you’ll spend less than $100 extra in total per day – well worth it to save literally hours in line.
  4. Expect to have your face in your phone. One thing that may be hard for Tokyo Disney first timers is that you want to be taking in the parks as you enter for the first time. But if you want an optimized strategy, you need to have your face in your phone to book three or four different things as you enter, all while making a fast walk to something else. Not ideal. Plan to backtrack later and see the park entrances to take it all in. Maybe also try to divide and conquer if you have two or more responsible adults in your party to get the bookings done quickly so you can enjoy the park ambiance a bit too.
  5. Have multiple credit cards at the ready. Tokyo Disney’s app and non-Japanese credit cards don’t always play nice with one another. Thankfully, my Chase Sapphire Reserve – which I linked in advance – worked well (I have friends who had similar success with an American Express Platinum). Have backup credit cards (ideally without those pesky foreign transaction fees!) you can try if one doesn’t work for Premier Access purchases out of the gate.
  6. Set phone alarms. With multiple ride line systems to track, it’s pretty easy to forget when you are next eligible to book a Premier Access or Priority Pass ride. Set phone alarms as a reminder. In the morning when Priority Pass rides offer return times less than 120 minutes in advance, be prepared to book a Priority Pass as soon as you scan into a ride to redeem an earlier one.

Want to beat the lines at other Disney parks around the world? Here are my other guides which have my best line-hacking tips:

Acknowledgements and other helpful resources: Special thanks to Nathan Firesheets (the guy who did every ride in all 12 Disney parks around the world!) who helped me game out some of this strategy in advance of my trip. Also indebted to several contributors on this Tokyo DisneySea Reddit thread (probably the only time I’ll ever give Reddit any praise here). Finally, much appreciation to Tom and Sarah Bricker who always set the gold standard when it comes to information about the Asia parks (see Disney Tourist Blog’s Tokyo Disney Guide), TDR Explorer who has an in-depth Tokyo Disney e-book I highly recommend for first time visitors, and Carlye Wisel who helped prepare me with her epic three part Tokyo Disney podcast series.

Visiting Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan? All the tips for beating the long lines at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea: Disney Premier Access, 40th Anniversary Priority Pass, Standby Pass for Fantasy Springs, Happy Entry, Entry Request and more!

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