Taking a Toddler to Tokyo Disneyland

Tokyo Disneyland Entrance

Tokyo Disney

Disney is something of a running joke in our family. MBH grew up not far from Anaheim, home to the OG Disneyland, and I grew up not far from Orlando, home to the best one. When we first began dating and I lived in Los Angeles, we double-dated with two Disney-obsessed friends to both parks, starting with the California version. All we did, all day long, was mock it incessantly. The castle was so tiny, the rides were ‘quaint,’ and even the restrooms at Disney World were far, far superior.

A year or so later, home for a visit to Orlando, we went to Disney World, intent on proving how much better it was.

And every. ride. broke.

To this day, it’s one of the clearest examples of karma I’ve ever experienced.

Taking a Toddler to Tokyo Disney

One of the things we were most excited about moving to Tokyo with a toddler was that each of our family members would have a different ‘first’ Disney experience. We’re strongly considering traveling to Shanghai or Hong Kong just to give our new daughter another Disney first, in a bout of nerdiness I never expected.

We’d been advised by friends that Disneyland offered more for toddlers than Tokyo DisneySea, so we happily went along on a rainy Monday. We had no idea though, that the Disney experience was so similar to Disneyland in America. The same rides, the same general feel. It was comforting to have that experience of home.

There were some notable exceptions… such as the snacks.

Japanese Snacks

We spent the morning introducing our son to the classic rides: Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, and It’s a Small World.

Pirates turned out to be a rough and scary choice for a toddler’s first Disney ride, the combination of the dark and the cannons and the superimposed octopus-beard Davy Jones being a bit much for him. By the end of Jungle Cruise, our son looked us and definitely declared that he was ‘Done Boats.’

By the time we came up to It’s a Small World, this was his face upon entering boat rides.

Tokyo Disney

So we took a break from rides, went to get some lunch, and somewhere along the way, a lovely young Japanese couple decided to ruin our day by gifting our son with an enormous Mickey Mouse balloon.

HE LOVED IT.

Taking a Toddler to Tokyo Disneyland

He loved running with it.

Disney Tokyo

He loved fighting with it.

Tokyo Disney

He loved waving it in the air.

Tokyo Disneyland

He loved bopping it toward the ground.

Tokyo Disney

But mostly he loved bopping toward other people.

Especially their faces.

Which caused one heck of a power struggle when we tried to stop him.

So, when he took off toward Toontown with his balloon in tow, we were on the hunt for the next people to pass off this cursed wonderful gift to.

Tokyo Disneyland

No balloon in the below photo! We took complete and terrible advantage of his distraction and found another family with a smaller toddler to enjoy it instead.

Toddler at Tokyo Disney

Toontown was a huge hit for our son. He spent a legit ten minutes trying to lift this dumbbell, to the absolute delight of all the Japanese guests.

Tokyo Disney with a Toddler

An aspect of Tokyo Disneyland I hadn’t expected at all was the fashion. It was SPECTACULAR.

Couples dressed alike from head to toe. Some folks had the most outlandish Disney character costumes, and looked like they’d walked out of one of the merchandise stores wearing every single thing they’d had for sale.

My favorite couple, which I was too nervous to ask for a photo since it was early on in the day, was dressed simply. Yellow Keds, red pants for the guy, a red & white polka dot skirt paired with black tights for the girl, white t-shirts, black cardigans, and cute mouse ear headbands. They were the PERFECT Mickey & Minnie, and it was obvious so much thought had gone into their outfits.

By the end of the day, I was getting braver about asking for sneaking photos of cool Disney fashions.

Fashion at Tokyo Disney

Until I finally just gave up caring and began asking outright, which I’m sure came across super creepily, in my rain poncho. But totally worth documenting, because the fashions were just so kawaii.

Tokyo Disney FashionFashion Tokyo Disney

Next time we go, we’ll be wearing matching outfits for sure.

Tokyo Disneyland Castle

For more information on Tokyo Disneyland, click here

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