Trip for August (right after Olympics)

HikingBelle

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Hello TDR experts! I’ve just found out I have a work trip to Japan immediately following the Olympics. I’m a huge Disney fan, and so hoping to visit Tokyo Disneyland after the trip. I know this is going to be CRAZY because of the Olympics, but I’m setting that as my expectations and trying to figure out how to enjoy this opportunity.

I’ve spent some time reading various blogs and also this forum posts—so thank you to everyone who has shared trip reports and insights! I have a few specific questions that I’m hoping you all can help with.

I have some flexibility on dates, August 13-19. My thought was to arrive TDR on Sunday August 16, and spend Sunday/Monday-Wednesday in the park, thus putting myself on weekdays and also further away from the Olympics (ending August 9).

Assuming that Tokyo Disneyland will be incredibly crowded, is the best bet to book a package with FastPasses included? My preferred option would be to stay at the Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay (on points) and then get a 3 or 4-day park pass. Even booking Sheraton on their website and then buying park tickets separately, versus a package, would save around $1000. That said, I am worried that if I am staying outside the TDR packages, I won’t get the Happy 15 or the FP possibilities. Additionally, I’ve read that guests at the Disney resorts have better luck with dining reservations, etc.

So, my questions are...
—Would staying at one of the 3 big Disneyland hotels (Tokyo Disneyland, Ambassador, or MiraCosta) improve my experience during a heavily crowded time?
—If you are staying at a Disney Resort Hotel (like Sheraton) but not ON PACKAGE, do you still get the Happy 15 and guaranteed park entry? Or do you have to book the hotel + tickets through Disney to get that benefit?
—Anything else I’m missing?

Thank you!
 

gelatoni fan

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 18, 2018
You only get Happy 15 if you stay at a Disney hotel. Even vacation packages involving the Sheraton do not include Happy 15. You do get guaranteed park entry at the Sheraton regardless of how you book.

In my opinion, if shows are a major priority, you should book the vacation package for reserved seating and tickets to shows that you may not win the lottery for. If rides are a priority, you'll want to book a Disney Hotel for Happy 15. If both shows and rides are important to you, you will want to book a vacation package at the Disney hotels.

During extremely packed days, 200+ minute waits are expected for all E-tickets (Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Big Thunder Mountain, etc). Even single rider can get into the 30 minute range. Since fastpasses exist, you likely won't be in those 200 minute waits though. The week right after the Olympics will likely see these types of waits but on the 17th I imagine the waits will drop back down closer to the 180 minute range although Toy Story Mania and Soaring will likely still be in the 200 minute range. The main issue is that rides like Pooh, Nemo and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea won't decrease to low waits at the end of the day like they would on lighter crowd days.

Whether it's worth it to you depends on how much you value various things.
 

HikingBelle

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Thank you
You only get Happy 15 if you stay at a Disney hotel. Even vacation packages involving the Sheraton do not include Happy 15. You do get guaranteed park entry at the Sheraton regardless of how you book.
Thank you - missed this critical piece of information.

... The week right after the Olympics will likely see these types of waits but on the 17th I imagine the waits will drop back down closer to the 180 minute range although Toy Story Mania and Soaring will likely still be in the 200 minute range.
Again, really helpful. Thank you so much.
 

Aussie Wendy

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 4, 2008
I've been crunching figures for mid September and more or less decided that for us, without Sheraton points, the cost of staying our 2 nights at an 'official' hotel (like the Sheraton) using a Disney vacation package (standard for 5 FP not the shows one) will be about the same cost as staying at the cheaper of the Disney Hotels aka Ambassador, room only plus purchase of tickets, so we get Happy 15 (this is with Aussie exchange rates). I figure getting 5 'free' FP each will offset the slight advantage of Happy15 which would still entail queuing one hour prior to maximise that 15 mins of entry to nab the first FP and queue for one popular ride. I keep crunching numbers as if we forego a package and just stayed at an 'official' hotel to get guaranteed entry if parks are full, once we bought 3 day passport tix plus monorail pass, this will save us around Aus$290 but in order to get a chance at riding some of the popular rides I think I am prepared to pay this extra amount. We have been to these parks before, back in 2012 when it was a lot less busy, and like you even with us visiting a month later, I think the fallout from the Olympics (plus our visit partly overlaps with the end of a 4 day long weekend) will mean the parks will be crazy (and presume COVID19 will be over the panic by then though it will be the end of Aussie flu season....).
 





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