Tokyo Disney Resort – Getting There and Around

Narita Airport - Arrival Hall

So you’ve finally landed in Japan. How do you get to Tokyo Disney Resort? Here is a photo report on how I got to the resort and traveled around the parks.

Tokyo Disney Resort is located at Urayasu, Chiba – outside of the Tokyo Metropolis area. So despite the branding, it’s not really in Tokyo itself. Good thing is, it really doesn’t matter. The resort is very accessible and the English Tokyo Disney Resort website offers all the information you need to get to the parks, including train routes.

Narita Airport Terminal 1 → Tokyo Disney Resort

Let me just cut to the chase. While I made preparations to take the train to the resort, I ended up using the Airport Limousine Bus service. I couldn’t sleep on the 7-hour flight to Japan. My economy seat on ANA’s 767 was way too cramped and rigid.

Rail is of course, cheaper, but the walking distances between platforms can be very long and tiring. Not to mention waiting and getting to the correct platform and the right train.

Airport Limousine buses are available from both airports at Haneda and Narita. These are very convenient and comfortable methods of getting to the resort. Despite the name, are more like shuttle buses. There are comfortable reclining seats and a small toilet at the back.

The bus fare for one-way trip from/to Narita airport is ¥2,400 per adult and ¥1,200 per child. This page has all the details on the Limousine Bus service for Narita Airport → Tokyo Disney Resort, including bus timings. The service from Haneda Airport is cheaper, and has more frequent departure times for the domestic terminals.

Where to buy your tickets

At Narita airport, tickets can be purchased from these counters. Just look out for the orange logos. It’ll be best to buy the tickets once you exit customs. Just in case you forget (and to avoid a mad rush and potential queues later)!

Narita Airport - Airport Limousine Ticketing Counters

How to buy your tickets

First tell the counter staff which area you’re headed to. So “Tokyo Disney Resort”. Then a specific location: Either the parks’ bus stop or hotel.

The bus will make several stops along the route: Disney’s parks and hotels first, then the Official Hotels – roughly in this order:

Tokyo Disneyland Hotel
Tokyo Disneyland
Tokyo Ambassador Hotel
Tokyo DisneySea
Tokyo Disneysea Hotel Miracosta
Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel
Hotel Okura Tokyo Bay
Hilton Tokyo Bay
Sunroute Plaza Tokyo
Tokyo Bay Maihama Hotel
Tokyo Bay Maihama Hotel Club Resort

When purchasing tickets, make sure that the tickets printed have the right destination printed. Why? The bus does not stop at every point along the route – only to places where tickets are sold for. This makes the journey a lot more efficient.

Narita Airport - Airport Limousine Bus Stop

Waiting for the bus

The bus stop (Number 7) is just right outside the ticketing counters for Narita Airport Terminal 1 (South Wing). You just need to be here about 10-15 minutes before the bus departure time. While waiting for the bus to arrive, the airport staff would check tickets (to make sure you’re waiting at the right place). The staff would also tag your luggage and hand out claim checks.

Narita Airport - Airport Limousine Bus Boarding

The bus captain checks every passenger’s tickets before boarding – and by collecting ticket stubs, he plans the bus route. Later, he will only retrieve the right luggage when a passenger is leaving the bus. It’s very efficient and quite reliable – he is quite serious about the claim checks.

Narita Airport - Airport Limousine Baggage handling

Although the Airport Limousine website said the journey will take up to 90 minutes, we arrived at our hotel in almost exactly an hour.

Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel

Tokyo Disney Resort - Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel

Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel – our hotel for this trip. I don’t have a lot of photos of this hotel, because the only time we were at the hotel is either: 1. Breakfast rush or 2. Going back to shower and sleep after an exhausting day at the parks.

Short Review on Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel

This is a nice hotel that has been on the resort for about 25+ years (according to their banners). Some people on Tripadvisor said the hotel is aging, but I think there was a recent renovation. Our room was very spacious (frankly, this is like a single-room suite) which will be a pleasant surprise if you’ve stayed in the any hotels in Tokyo city.

Notable things:
1. The wash basin and mirrors are outside the bathroom. Very convenient because someone can shower while another can do her make-up (haha).
2. Our room had twin beds, and being a resort/family hotel – the beds are really huge and could actually accommodate two people each.
3. There’s the usual water boiler, plus a coffee machine (!)
4. Nice selection of instant drinks and ground coffee powder. Free bottles of water daily.
5. Full HD Television!

Hotel Breakfast
My hotel stay came with buffet breakfast, so we were given a choice of the hotel’s four restaurants every morning. The Grand Cafe is the most popular choice as it has the widest range of food, but be there within 20 minutes of opening (usually 6:30AM) or there’s going to be a line that moves REALLY slowly. The breakfast package, which at first seemed like a luxury, became somewhat important – we didn’t have to worry about getting breakfast (we would, if we stayed elsewhere) and the early opening time got us on track for the morning. We just went down 10 minutes after they opened, gobble whatever we can for 30 minutes, and set off for the parks. No mess, no fuss.

Benefits of staying on-site
There are some benefits of staying at an ” Tokyo Disney Resort Official Hotel” – a term to describe Hotels that are in the Tokyo Disney Resort vicinity but not operated or owned by Tokyo Disney Resort (Oriental Land Co.):

1. You can buy park tickets from the hotel, or exchange ticket vouchers from a travel agency there. We did this as we checked in.

2. Apparently tickets issued by Official Hotels (and Disney Hotels) are guaranteed admission to the parks even if the gates are closed when the parks are reaching maximum capacity.

3. Disney Resort Cruiser is offered for free. This is a shuttle bus service between the Hotels and the nearest Monorail station, Bayside Station.

4. Some Official Hotels may offer their own complimentary shuttle bus service to certain places around the resort area (such as Hilton Tokyo Bay Hotel → JR Maihama Station) which could also save time and energy.

Apart from “Official” and “Disney” Hotels, there are also “Partner” and “Good Neighbor”. The last two categories offer their own complimentary shuttle bus service (some may require reservations), but nothing is as good as staying at the resort.

Getting around Tokyo Disney Resort

If you stay within the Resort, both theme parks are just 10-15 minutes away, thanks to the monorail.

Tokyo Disney Resort - Disney Resort Line Bayside Station road

This is the “Hotels” station of the Tokyo Disney Resort line. If you’re at any of these hotels: Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay, Hotel Okura Tokyo Bay or Hilton Tokyo Bay Hotel. You’re in luck – the station is within walking distance, and by that I mean it takes you only 3 minutes (!) from the Hotel lobby to the station.

Tokyo Disney Resort - Disney Resort Line Bayside Station

Tokyo Disney Resort - Disney Resort Cruiser

Of course if you want to save your energy (or ran out of it), wait for the Disney Resort Cruiser.

Tokyo Disney Resort - Disney Resort Cruiser

These are very cool themed buses, with a lot of Mickeys, hidden or not, inside. There is usually a line for the buses back to the hotel at night – the one for Sheraton Grande being surprisingly long. It is faster to just walk back.

Tokyo Disney Resort - Disney Resort Line Bayside Station Bus stops

Chirpy and iconic Disney music plays around the station. To get you into the mood.

Tokyo Disney Resort - Disney Resort Line Ticketing

Tickets for the Disney Resort Line are sold via these fancy machines. Quite self explanatory, but always find and hit the English button first. There are multi-day (up to 4 days) passes and the 11 Single-Trip option.

You can also use Suica and Pasmo cards, or even the JR Rail Pass at the Tokyo Disney Resort Line.

After buying the tickets, you just need to insert them into the ticket gantries and walk through. Remember to collect your ticket when it pops out at the other end.

Tokyo Disney Resort - Disney Resort Line Bayside Station Platform

At the platform, find a less-crowded place to stand and wait, or just join a line.

Tokyo Disney Resort - Station Platform ticketing gantries

There are bottlenecks when getting out at the Disney Parks’ stations. So do be patient!

Tokyo Disney Resort - Inside the Disney Resort Line train

It’s quite colourful inside the train, but I didn’t have photos of the seats since the train cabins were cramped with people. There are some small display cases showing park merchandise, posters and of course, The Happiness Year decorations.

Tokyo Disney Resort - Views from the Disney Resort Line train

I became more interested in something else: Views of the park. Mostly backstage, too!

Tokyo Disney Resort - Views from the Disney Resort Line train 2

Think you know your theme parks well? Here are some backstage views of Tokyo DisneySea.
If you think you know what they are, feel free to post your answers.

Tokyo Disney Resort - Views from the Disney Resort Line train 4

Tokyo Disney Resort - Views from the Disney Resort Line train 3

Tokyo Disney Resort - Views from the Disney Resort Line train 5

Tokyo Disney Resort - Views from the Disney Resort Line train 6

Can you spot the cast member waving back?

The monorail is quite fast, taking about 3-4 minutes to reach the next station. The loop goes:

Bayside Station → Tokyo DisneySea → Resort Gateway → Tokyo Disneyland

Resort Gateway is closest to the JR Maihama station, Disney Ambassador Hotel and Ikspiari (Downtown Disney).

Tokyo Disney Resort - Disney Resort Line - Tokyo Disneyland Station

Tokyo Disneyland Station

And there we are. This is the Tokyo Disneyland station. With the more dramatic Disney music playing, you know you’re at Asia’s Happiest Place on Earth.

An Introduction | Getting There and Around | Pocket Wi-Fi | Tips and Tricks

Tokyo DisneySea

Mediterranean Harbor | Mediterranean Harbor at night | Fortress Explorations
Magellan's | American Waterfront | Tower of Terror | Toy Story Mania!
Port Discovery | Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull
Lost River Delta & Raging Spirits | Sindbad's Storybook Voyage
Arabian Coast | Arabian Coast at night | Mermaid Lagoon
Mysterious Island | Journey to the Center of the Earth
Mysterious Island at night & 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Tokyo Disneyland

World Bazaar | World Bazaar at night | Adventureland | Pirates of the Caribbean
Westernland & Big Thunder Mountain Railroad | Splash Mountain
Haunted Mansion | Pooh's Hunny Hunt | Fantasyland | Fantasyland at night
Cinderella's Fairy Tale Hall | Toon Town | Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek | Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
Tomorrowland & Space Mountain | Happiness is Here Parade

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12 Responses to Tokyo Disney Resort – Getting There and Around

  1. alienlover August 5, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    erm another thing you might like to take note is that some hotels (hilton tokyo bay has this) might offer a shuttle bus service to maihama station, whereby you can just walk over to disneyland without having to spend money on the monorail. 🙂

    ps. we might have actually been at tokyo disney at the same time hahaha man i would have loved to hear yr personal opinions of USS. (grins)

    • Dejiki August 5, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

      That’s a great tip! Thanks!

      I was at the parks 2 weeks ago. Did you visit both parks too? 🙂

      • alienlover August 5, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

        ahh i was there in june. was it hotter when you went? the wind was freezing in june and because of the weather the parades were cancelled( or changed in the case of disneysea) on the days i went.
        yes i did! n personally i loved disneysea better wouldn’t you agree?

        • Dejiki August 5, 2013 at 7:57 pm #

          It’s a lot hotter in July – almost like Singapore if there are no winds. It was very nice for my first day at the park (19~22’C) and really cooling when the breeze comes. The next few days however, was more humid and stuffy, with temps going up to 33’C. It’s still more tolerable than USS, though.

          I love DisneySea more too!

          • alienlover August 5, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

            i think it’s because it has the more exciting rides. 🙂

            • Dejiki August 20, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

              Hi there, just wish to let you know that I received your comment on the other entry (won’t publish as requested 😉 ). Will keep a lookout on it in a few weeks. I don’t know everything that happens at the park, so I’m grateful for all these little tips that were sent in 😀

  2. Wee-Sen August 5, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

    Dejiki, the answers are:

    1) Indiana Jones and the temple of the Crystal Skull
    2) Behind Waterworks toilet between Tower of Terror and Toyville Trolley Park
    3 and 4 ) Behind Toyville Trolley Park aka Toystory Midway Mania!

    Do I get a prize if I get them correct?

  3. Allan August 6, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    I took the train from Narita to Maihama. It was only about JPY 1,200, half the price of the bus.

    We went from Narita Airport by Keisei Sky Access Line to Higashi Matsudo, then change for the JR Musashino Line to Maihama. We left the airport at 16:04 and arrived at Maihama at 17:16.

    Yes, we had to take your luggage up/down escalators but I think there were lifts at Higashi Matsudo, just that we didn’t use them.

    Anyway if you have lots of luggage I guess using the limousine bus is easier. For us with just one suitcase we found the train much more economical and it got us to Maihama, so no problem.

  4. Phil Iannitti August 8, 2013 at 12:19 am #

    My flight arrived into Narita hours after the final Airport Limousine bus, so I took the Narita Express straight to Tokyo Station. There is a really great ticketing option that JR East offers to non-Japanese visitors. It’s called the SUICA and Narita Expess pass, and it includes either a one-way or roundtrip ticket on a Narita Express train, as well as a ¥2000 SUICA train pass, which is valid on basically every train line in the Kanto area, including the Tokyo Disney Resort Line! In total, it’s ¥3500 for a one-way or ¥5500 for a roundtrip pass. You can only purchase it at the airport.

    I highly recommend it, especially for travelers coming to Japan for the first time on with late flights. It was such a relief to purchase one pass that would get us directly to the Hilton Tokyo Bay with no hassles whatsoever. I only brought a backpack and a smaller sized piece of rolling luggage, so it wasn’t too bad getting through the stations. It’s very, very simple to follow the signs (in English!) to the Keiyo train line. As I said, after nearly 22 hours of flight from NYC, simplicity was so important!

  5. SWW August 8, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    Really liked your HKDL series as you pay attention to the design elements, so I’m looking forward to this.

    Did you get photos of the mural panels on Resort Line station (one for each land)? I thought those were well done.

    Will be interesting to see your opinion on DisneySea of 2002 versus today. I much preferred the original version of Sinbad and am a little unhappy at the continuous “kiddyfying” of what was designed as a more adult-oriented companion park to TDL (EPCOT syndrome). Will be interesting to see/read when you get to those sections.

    • Dejiki August 8, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

      Hi there!

      Oh no, I missed the murals at the station. I did spot a few beautiful murals at the Disneyland Station but did not return to capture. Regrettably, this trip was more focused on the rides, so I have glossed over a lot of things, plus a lot of time was spent standing in line. I do have a lot of photos of the incredible queue areas (Journey, Hotel Hightower, Indiana Jones, Star Tours) which I’m most excited to share.

      I agree with you on Sinbad. I also prefer the original version, because it felt more in line with the entire park. While I often listen to the new soundtrack “Compass to your Heart”, I hoped it was just a seasonal overlay (of course in reality it’s more complicated than that). I feel that the original Sinbad AA looked a lot better than the redesigned character – he now looks like a boy travelling around with his pet tiger; and not a legendary sailor. The story is also awkward, now that it’s less of a perilous adventure into exotic lands, but a journey of song and dance (and bringing back musical instruments and bananas).

      While the park is still amazing and probably the world’s best; 10 years later, the original spirit seems to be bleak at some places. The changes did make the park more accessible for a younger audience. Still, I can’t appreciate the new Mickey & Friends greeting area at Lost River Delta – operations wise it make sense to draw people to the back of the park, but it kills the exotic atmosphere of the area. I also don’t want to walk into a store at Mysterious Island (or exit Tower of Terror) only to find Mickey & Friends items (which is sold everywhere, including Tokyo Disneyland). Most/All the themed, unique merchandise are all gone. Apparently they didn’t sell as well.

  6. Adam August 9, 2013 at 2:37 am #

    I reather to take the bus than a Train

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