10 Things from Tokyo Disney Resort that would “Plus” WDW

Stephanie ShusterBlog, Resorts

Recently, I visited Tokyo Disney Resort and I couldn’t wait to share my experiences with you—whether you’re planning an international trip or just dreaming of the global Disney parks!  There were a lot of difference and similarities between TDR and WDW, but a few things stood out… so here are my top 10 Things from Tokyo Disney Resort that would “Plus” WDW!

Mickey chicken nuggets at Tokyo Disneyland! Photo by Stephanie Shuster.

1 – MICKEY SHAPED EVERYTHING!

From churros to pastries to hand soap, there is no end to Mickey-shaped stuff at TDR. Most of these are everyday things given a Mickey makeover—it seems like a simple way to add more magic!

Nemo & Friends SeaRider at Tokyo DisneySea! Photo by Stephanie Shuster.

2 – NEMO & FRIENDS SEARIDER!

This ride was my surprise hit at TDR—and it would fit in perfectly at Epcot’s The Seas with Nemo & Friends to give that pavilion an e-Ticket attraction on like The Land has with Soarin’ Around the World.

3 – ROAMING CHARACTERS!

At TDR, a few very popular characters have designated meet-and-greets but everyone else just roams around—this adds atmosphere to the land, spontaneity to your visit, and gives the option to meet someone new every me! On our trip, there was virtually no wait to meet most of these characters.

Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights at Tokyo Disneyland! Photo by Stephanie Shuster.

4 – NIGHTTIME PARADE!

Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights was even better than The Main Street Electrical Parade and it made me homesick more than ever for my beloved nightime parade.

Mermaid Lagoon at Tokyo DisneySea! Photo by Stephanie Shuster.

5 – AN INDOOR LAND!

Mermaid Lagoon is almost entirely indoors (2 rides are outside but all others—plus a show, playground, shop, and restaurant—are inside). This is perfect for taking a break from the heat, the cold, or the rain—and allows impressive, immersive theming around the clock. I originally theorized Pandora would be built this way to allow for a permanent nigh me- glowing-plants experience.

Pooh’s Hunny Hunt at Tokyo Disneyland! Photo by Stephanie Shuster.

6 – TRACKLESS RIDES!

Pooh’s Hunny Hunt really is all it’s cracked up to be—this groundbreaking trackless attraction is an incredible upgrade to the dark ride concept.  Luckily, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is coming to Epcot in 2021 and uses the same type of system.

Nightmare Before Christmas overlay on The Haunted Mansion at Tokyo Disneyland! Photo by Stephanie Shuster.

7 – NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS!

Tokyo Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion is a clone of Magic Kingdom’s and they have the Halloween/Christmas overlay made popular at Disneyland in California. There’s no reason not to bring it to Florida too!

Journey to the Center of the Earth at Tokyo Disneyland! Photo by Stephanie Shuster.

8 – MORE RIDES!

Magic Kingdom is jam-packed with rides. The other parks at WDW … not so much. As exciting as Pandora, Toy Story Land, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge are, they only add two measly rides to their respetive parks. I miss lands with 4–7 rides like in the good old days—and TDR really delivers on that front with as many rides in two parks as we have in four.

Moana on it’s a small world at Tokyo Disneyland! Photo by Stephanie Shuster.

9 – CHARACTERS ON “IT’S A SMALL WORLD”!

Disneyland added characters into their appropriate countries on “it’s a small world” in 2008 and TDR followed suit in 2018. I hope it doesn’t take a decade for those adorable dolls to arrive in Magic Kingdom!

Limited time merch – including SnoSnows! – at Tokyo Disneyland! Photo courtesy of Stephanie Shuster.

10 – LIMITED TIME MERCH AND FOOD!

TDR excels at creating loads of limited time merch and food selections.  We’ve seen a bit of this with the rose gold/millennial pink/iridescent/potion purple craze at WDW but at TDR there’s always something new and special to mark your trips, and zero chance of gift shop fatigue with so much new to see and buy!

Read my full recap of our experience at Tokyo Disney Resort (including Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, Ikspiari, and The Hilton Tokyo Bay) in our March 2019 issue, available now!

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Check out my companion blog on Shanghai Disney Resort here.
About the Author

Stephanie Shuster

I’m a life-long Disney devotee, living in Hamilton, Canada and dreaming of WDW every day. For me, Disney is more than a vacation destination – it’s my home away from home, a place to create treasured memories, and a lifestyle. As the Director of Operations for WDW Magazine, Dad’s Guide to WDW, WDW Discount Club, and The Best of WDW, I have the best job in the world – sharing Disney love, all day every day! I’m also a co-founder at It’s A FanGirl World!