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Hi All

So we've bit the bullet and booked our first overseas family trip! It's been a long time coming (i haven't left our shores since 2000).

Despite saying i wouldn't take my wife and son to any other Disney park for their first taste of the magic until they had been to Disneyland itself, i went back on that given the ridiculous Aussie dollar, and the opportunity to travel with friends in a large group which is great for the adults, and the kids.

It's also my first trip to Japan.

We are in the country for 2 weeks, starting off with 3 days in Osaka - 2 of which will be spent at USJ. Already booked the 7 attraction express pass for one of the days (hello to a $1000 day out for 3 people). We're staying at the Universal Park Front hotel right on the doorstep which will make the early start a little easier. We'll be doing the aquarium one night too as cant pass up the chance to see Whale Sharks in the flesh.

We're then off to the snow for 2 days in Hakuba (again something none of us have experienced)

Before heading to Tokyo for 9 nights.

We're staying at Hilton Tokyo Bay, so not an official disney hotel, but a partner hotel not far from the park. I've penciled in 4 Disney days (2 at land, 2 at sea). Open to another day at one of them if need be. My partner has a mild disability so being on her feet all day wont be an option, so there will be plenty of resting time, potential hire of a wheelchair etc, so we may not be as quick around the parks as others. Bummed they dont offer multi day hopper passes like DL/CA do, you can only buy single day tickets to one or the other park.

We have a heap of other things we want to cover off while there - Harry Potter Studio Tour, TeamLabs, animal cafes, pokemon centre/cafe, shopping etc

BUT would love some suggestions on some theme park/rides/attractions in Tokyo itself, or any other must see's if people have anything they'd like to personally recommend.

I'd love to get out to Fuji Q if we can score a free day, but it's not the highest on the priority list given the travel needed.

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53 minutes ago, Vidgamer said:

My family are I are in a similar boat, America is just too expensive. Can i ask how you are transporting around the country from USJ to Disney? I am always surprised by the scope of the distance from Disneyland to USJ.

I’m not the transport planner in our group, as we have one friend who has lived in Japan with some better knowledge of the transport systems so kind of just falling in line with what he sees best. 

we fly into Narita and then head straight for Osaka (assuming via Tokyo but could be wrong). I know this journey is via train (Shinkansen/bullet train) which will be an experience in itself.

we then fly from Osaka to nagano, with a train connection to Hakuba. Then we train it back to Tokyo

44 minutes ago, New display name said:

If your partner has trouble standing in queues or using a wheelchair don't forget to pre-register before going to the park to access Disney's disability services.

Cheers for this. I’ve tried to do some reading up on this and from all I’ve found I haven’t seen anywhere to pre-register, just that you have to shown a disability certificate (or I guess a letter from your doctor) when you arrive and then you are given some form of pass

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1 hour ago, Brad2912 said:

Cheers for this. I’ve tried to do some reading up on this and from all I’ve found I haven’t seen anywhere to pre-register, just that you have to shown a disability certificate (or I guess a letter from your doctor) when you arrive and then you are given some form of pass

I did it when I purchased the tickets but this stuff changes all the time.

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I went in December, it’ll be like Hobart/Melbourne in winter, crowds aren’t too bad.


For Fuji Q, you can get a bus from Shinjuku up to the park. The bus is faster than train because it’s more or less motorway the whole way versus a train that winds through the mountains.

I got a Q pack ticket from here. At Fuji Q. I didn’t mind the place, and you can purchase fast track tickets from vending machines in front of each ride.



As for rides in Tokyo…Thunder Dolphin / Panic Coaster at Tokyo Dome are both very centralised and easy to access. When I was in Tokyo I spotted them for the first time by chance on my way to something else.


You can make the trek out to Yokohama for Diving Coaster: Vanish but the coaster sucks and doesn’t run in rain. Good for pics and that’s about it.


I quite liked Yomiuriland, has a couple of indoor Gerstlauer coasters, and Bandit, the Togo Hypercoaster, plus a rapids ride themed to instant noodles, and a thing at the exit where could make and seal your own custom flavour of cup noodles.


Tobu Zoo has an Intamin Mega Lite (Kawasemi) and a decent GCI (Regina)


Joypolis is great if you want a bit of that Japanese youth/electronic culture, and its launched spinning coaster is pretty fun too. Head here on an evening ticket.

In terms of other activities, Skytree or the old Tokyo Tower would be on my list too.

Edited by Gazza
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We did the same trip 5 or so years ago in December with a large group (ages 4-50yrs) we just broke up our days a bit different.

6 days Tokyo (2 at land, 2 at sea and 1 at Tokyodome) 3 days at Hakuba and 5 Osaka (2 at USJ) no fast passes and didn't stay on site.

We are replanning this trip for 2025 and the changes I'm making are

No side trip to Hakuba. No TokyoDome. No Osaka castle. No Skytree. No Zoo (was depressing) 

Staying on site for USJ and adding a extra day. 

Staying on a partner property for Disney and adding a extra day or 2. 

Adding in Sanrioland, Ghibli Studio Park, Pokemon Cafe. 

Last time the size of our group made it difficult for everyone to see what they wanted so this time round our group will be larger but we will split up more so everyone can focus on the activities they really want to do. And also to have some down time as last time it was go, go, go. I needed a holiday when we got home. 

JR rail pass is good for the train, make Sure you have roaming or a local sim card to help with directions, help with translation and to get in touch with your group when needed. If your with a large group make a plan/schedule. 

Have a great holiday! Look forward to reading your trip report.

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  • 1 month later...

Just finished up our 2nd and final day at USJ.

Wow. Wow. Wow.

Wish we had another day or two, as despite ticking off all the major rides, SNW and WWoHP - so much left uncovered. 

Will put a trip report together down the track when I get home, but can only say it will be hard to look at and be excited by much of what our local parks have to offer now. 

Biggest shoutouts go to The Flying Dinosaur and HP & the Forbidden Journey who’ve firmly smashed their way my top 5 rides of all time. 

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