Did you know Tokyo Disneyland received over 16 million visitors in 2017? Opened in April 1983, Tokyo Disney Resort has been a family favorite for 35 years. Drawing in millions of local and foreign tourists each year, Tokyo Disney Resort has earned it’s reputation of the most crowded Disney Park in the world.
If the thought of waiting in line after line from opening to close sounds closer to torture than a fun family day out- then I have a suggestion for you!
How about trying the Tokyo Disney Resort Starlight Passport?
What is the Starlight Passport?
The Starlight Passport is a lower-cost alternative to the full-day passport offered at Tokyo Disney Resorts. With this ticket, you can enter either Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo Disney Sea after 3 PM on weekends and holidays. Currently both parks close at 10 PM, so the Starlight Passport gives you seven hours to enjoy the park of your choice.
Costing ¥5400 compared to the full day price of ¥7400, this ticket is popular with students and young working people.
Why use a Starlight Passport?
Weekends and holidays at Tokyo Disney Resort can be painfully crowded, and the majority of people tend to arrive at the park just as it opens at 8 AM. After the initial rush in the morning, the afternoons and evenings tend to slow down as families with young children slowly run out of energy.
Entering the park at 3 PM gives you the chance to enjoy the park just as the crowds begin to dip slightly.
If you’re a Disneyland frequenter, such as myself, you may not need a full day to see and do all you want to do. Having the option to strategically enter the park at a later time; beat the morning rush, watch the evening shows, and maybe ride a few of my favorite rides sounds like a great day out to me!
But, what are the downsides?
Of course, only having seven hours can severely limit just what you can do throughout your day. On weekends and holidays, fast passes (or FP) for the most popular attractions tend to run out by 12 PM. Then those for the less popular attractions will be finished by about 3 PM at the absolute latest. So entering the park at 3 PM may severely limit the amount of attractions you are able to ride in your evening.
The upside is, by the evening most of the wait times for the popular attractions (such as Pooh’s Hunny Hunt or Space Mountain) have dropped from 120 minutes plus, down to about 50 minutes. Still quite a long wait for an attraction, but it is certainly better than the morning rush.
The best advice I have for the Starlight Passport is to be prepared with a plan of action. Those seven hours always fly by, and waiting 50 minutes for an attraction will eat up a lot of your precious time! So take a look at the map before you go, chart out where and when you want to do want, and be ready to run!
Who should use the Starlight Passport?
I absolutely recommend the Starlight Passport to any foreign visitors coming to Tokyo Disney Resort who are already familiar with either of the American Disney Resorts. Having grown up on the West Coast of America, I’ve had my fair share of Disneyland vacations. Tokyo Disneyland has a lot of the same shows and attractions that you can enjoy in California, so if you have a goal to only experience the uniquely Japanese aspects of Tokyo Disney Resort, I’d say skip the crowds, and enjoy a more relaxing afternoon and evening experience with the Starlight Passport.
Where can I buy a Starlight Passport?
You can buy a Starlight Passport wherever Tokyo Disney Resort tickets are sold. Including at the park gate, online, at Disney Stores across Japan, or at the convenience store. You can only use the Starlight Passport at the park listed on the ticket, just like any other Tokyo Disney Resort ticket, so be careful when you buy!
For the busiest weekends, buying ahead of time is your best bet. Tokyo Disney Resort tickets have been known to sell out weeks in advance!
Currently, Tokyo Disney Resort only sells a limited number of tickets online and in convenience stores, so if they are sold out when you try to buy, you can try a Disney Store or the park gates itself.
What about weekdays?
Currently the Starlight Passport is only available on weekends and holidays. However there is a similar ticket, the After 6-Passport available on weekdays in either park. The After 6-Passport gives visitors only four hours to enjoy the park of their choice, but weekend evenings are the least crowded time to visit Tokyo Disney Resort, so you’ll usually be quite lucky with the amount you are able to see and do!