These money-saving tips for discount tickets to Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea in 2023 will help you find deals and buy the best tickets for Disney’s parks in Japan. This will prevent you from having issues on the days when Tokyo Disney Resort tickets sell-out, avoiding potential headaches and frustration. (Updated November 1, 2022.)
Before we get to all that, let’s start with the latest news. Suffice to say, a lot has changed in the last couple of years, but now that Japan’s border has reopened to individual tourists as of late 2022, you might be planning a trip to Tokyo Disney Resort at the end of this year or in 2023.
Once you start planning, you’ll realize that a lot has changed. Tokyo Disney Resort is still in ‘phased reopening’ mode, and that process is about a year behind the Disney theme parks in the United States and Europe. This is mostly due to Japan taking a more cautious and conservative approach to resuming normalcy (hence the border reopening in late 2022–over a year after most western countries).
This impacts myriad aspects of operations, including theme park tickets for Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. The biggest change is that only single-day tickets are currently being sold, which includes a variety of late-arrival passports. All of these are date-based, with pricing that varies based upon projected demand.
Multi-day tickets are not being sold, nor are Annual Passes. This is due to Tokyo Disney Resort continuing to limit capacity, likely with the expectation of more pent-up demand going forward. To the latter point, 1-day tickets were via lotto at one point and sold out quickly following that. That ceased to be the case a while ago, but a recent “Wakuwari” discount that runs through January 31, 2023 once again caused a spike in demand. Our expectation is that multi-day ticket sales will resume at some point in Winter 2023, but honestly, we expected them to return months ago. So who knows!
Another new wrinkle is that the vast majority of credit cards issued in the United States (and perhaps beyond, but I can only speak to the US) do not work on the Tokyo Disney Resort website.
According to Tokyo Disney Resort, credit cards are required to have 3-D Secure Authentication, which includes Verified by Visa or American Express SafeKey. This is a service that might require you to input the credit card password that you registered through the card company’s website. It helps prevent fraudulent use of your credit card when making payments through the Tokyo Disney Resort Online Reservations & Tickets website. This is how the system works in theory.
In practice, we attempted to purchase tickets with over a dozen different US-issued credit cards, all of which have 3-D Secure Authentication enabled. Despite the card issuers accepting the transactions, Tokyo Disney Resort denied them. We called multiple different issuing banks, all of which indicated the problem was on TDR’s end and not theirs–that they did not block the transaction. (This was corroborated by online banking, which showed the transactions going through before immediately being refunded by TDR.)
We spent days trying to sort this out, even contacting Tokyo Disney Resort to no avail. We have had multiple other friends attempt the same, all “achieving” identical results. To make a long story short, it is not currently possible to book on Tokyo Disney Resort’s official website with a U.S. issued credit card. (Or at least, any of the few dozen we and others we know have tried.)
This leaves you with a couple of alternatives. First, you can roll the dice and hope that tickets for your dates do not sell out prior to your arrival in Japan. Once you get there, you can either purchase from convenience stores or at the on-site hotels (Disney-branded or third party). All of these hotels supposedly set aside tickets for on-site guests.
Alternatively, you can purchase Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea park tickets in advance from Klook. This is what we strongly recommend doing. Currently, these are the exact same price as buying directly from Tokyo Disney Resort (they used to be discounted by a slight amount). However, the big difference–and huge advantage–is that you can actually buy them with a U.S. credit card. While the convenience store and on-site hotel routes will work, that’s only if tickets don’t totally sell out. Not worth the gamble when flying halfway around the world, in our estimation.
Once you purchase tickets from Klook (or wherever), you’ll want to link them to the official Tokyo Disney Resort app in order to use them for features like Standby Pass (to access select attractions and shops) and Disney Premier Access (paid FastPass). While the official website indicates that you need to print tickets on a certain size of paper for entry, the digital version works just fine.
Even though you’ll have to purchase single day tickets exclusively, Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea park tickets are cheaper than the U.S. parks. Thanks to the weak yen, 1-day tickets are currently ~$55 to $65, which is still significantly cheaper than the least-expensive ticket to Walt Disney World or Disneyland.
Please note that everything else that follows in this guide is (temporarily?) obsolete for those visiting Tokyo Disneyland in late 2022 or early 2023. Our hope is that things return to normal to varying degrees by the start of Tokyo Disneyland’s 40th Anniversary in April 2023, so we’re retaining a lot of this in anticipation of that.
In the meantime, we have multiple visits to Tokyo Disney Resort scheduled over the next several months. We will be doing further on-the-ground research and monitoring for changes, keeping you updated on future developments!
Tickets at Tokyo Disney Resort are incredibly straightforward. The main options are 1-day, 2-day, 3-day, or 4-day park tickets. If you purchase a 1 or 2-day ticket, it is not a park hopper ticket. If you purchase a 3 or 4-day ticket, days 3 and 4 are always hopper days. With all tickets, you need to specify which park you will be visiting on each of the first two days.
That’s pretty much it. No “Magic Your Way,” no “Park Hopper Plus.” No dynamic pricing or date-based price surges. None of that. There are also no hard ticket events like Christmas or Halloween parties. All of Tokyo Disney Resort’s exceptional seasonal entertainment–including Easter, Halloween, and Christmas parades–are included in the cost of that ~$75 ticket.
Of course, there are a few added wrinkles in terms of tickets, like Annual Passports (cost prohibitive unless you’re spending over 16 days in the parks, which is the break-even point), Japanese Disney Fan Clubs (probably not for you if you’re reading an English guide), and discounts for locals during the off-season (ditto the previous parenthetical).
Two other potential things about which you might want to know are that park tickets are sold at the Disney Stores in Japan and Lawson or Family Mart convenience stores. The tickets are full price at Disney Store, so the only advantage there is buying them during your trip but potentially before you arrive at Tokyo Disney Resort.
The tickets at Lawson and Family Mart are sometimes discounted, but only during the off-season, only on 1-2 day tickets, and typically less than $10 off per ticket. These are sold at self-service kiosks in the store, and are only sold in Japanese. You can try to fumble your way through the menus, but unless you speak Japanese, you’re better off not messing with this.
How Many Days?
The big downside to these convenience store ticket kiosks is that they only offer 1 or 2-day tickets. If you’ve read our Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea Planning Guide, you know that we recommend more time in the parks than that.
As we say in that guide, Tokyo DisneySea is the best Disney park in the world and Tokyo Disneyland is also near the top (second or third best, if you ask me). Think of them as “fine moonshine.” You have to sip them slowly enough that you have a nice intoxication, because if you drink them in too quickly, you’re likely to go blind. While that’s a half-joke, we really do spend about 5 days in the parks, on average, per trip.
We also spend about that much time in Tokyo…and that much time in Kyoto. In total, our average trip to Japan is around two weeks long. Not everyone is going to have that much time to allocate to vacation, and if you have less time or are only casually interested in Disney, the park days are the days to cut. While we cannot fathom only spending a day at each park, that’s probably more reasonable for most visitors to Japan.
However, we’re also huge Disney geeks. If you’re just happening to stumble upon this post and only intended upon doing a day in each of Japan’s Disney parks (undoubtedly a more sane approach for the average tourist to Japan), the 2-day ticket from Klook is perfect for you. For hardcore Disney fans like us, it’s not the best option. You definitely want to do at least 3 days.
If you’re going for more than 2 days, you might consider purchasing tickets online via the Tokyo Disney Resort Online Reservation & Tickets website. If you go this route, you’ll print tickets out upon purchasing them. Don’t worry about the warning that they need to be printed on A4 size paper. Unless you’re a serious printing enthusiast, you won’t have that size of paper, nor a printer capable of handling it.
The good news is that it doesn’t matter. While Japanese culture is all about its rules, this is one you can safely ignore. The only reason that size is recommended is so it can be properly folded to fit the FastPass machine scanners. In reality, any size paper (well, within reason), can be folded to fit the FastPass machine readers. We’ve never had any issues.
If you don’t want to hassle with this, just wait until you arrive in Japan to purchase your tickets. Be mindful of the fact that tickets can sell out on the busiest days of the year, so consult our When to Visit Tokyo Disneyland Guide and determine if you’re going during busy season. If so, make arrangements to purchase tickets early in your trip. If not, just buy the morning of your first day in the parks. The vast majority of the time, that’s what we do.
Beyond these 1-4 day ticket options at Tokyo Disney Resort, there are a few ticket quirks…
Park Hopper Tickets?
In terms of park hopping, it’s not an add-on option. If you buy a ticket of 2 days or less, you cannot park hop. If you buy over 2 days, you automatically get hopping on days 3 and 4. We’ve found this to be ideal, as you don’t need to park hop before then. We really only hop on our last day, typically.
With that said, there is a special park hopper ticket sold exclusively to Tokyo Disney Resort hotel guests called the “Multi-Day Passport Special.” This ticket offers park hopping on every day of a 2-4 day ticket at a slight premium. Even though you’re only paying about $15 extra per ticket, we do not recommend this special passport.
A lot of people have asked us about this ticket, some going as far to question whether they should book a Disney hotel just for access to it. We wouldn’t recommend it to someone already staying at Hotel MiraCosta, let alone would we recommend booking an extravagant hotel package just for this type of ticket. Don’t get us wrong, the Disney hotels in Japan are exceptional, but they are also pricey. They are worth booking as a splurge for reasons totally unrelated to tickets.
The reason we don’t recommend paying extra for this park hopper ticket is because it’s totally unnecessary in all but the most extreme scenarios. Both parks have a ton to do, and you can easily spend 2 full days in each park. There is almost no reason to want to park hop on your first day in each park. Put that ~$15 to a few Chandu Buns instead.
Moreover, park hopping is not all that practical. Even though Tokyo DisneySea and Disneyland abut one another, their entrances are not within walking distance of one another. This is not like Disneyland in Anaheim, where an Esplanade and hundred yards or so separates the parks. It takes around 30 minutes and a monorail ride to park hop at Tokyo Disney Resort.
The main exception to this is when an attraction is going down for refurbishment at the very beginning of your trip and you want to park hop just to experience it. This refurbishment scenario is rare, but still easily addressed by doing whichever park on that day instead of park hopping.
A more common scenario is wanting to see a particular piece of entertainment numerous times. Even so, you can still see whatever entertainment that is on 3 of 4 days on your trip. Remember, 4 day tickets have park hopping on days 3 and 4, this means you can theoretically end your night in the same park on three different days.
Let’s say you wanted to see Dreamlights 3 times–you can accomplish that with a normal ticket. See it on your first Tokyo Disneyland day, and then park hop as necessary on days 3 and 4. Even as much as we love Dreamlights, there’s no need to see it 4 times in a single trip.
We know we’re really stressing this ‘skip the park hopper’ bit, but it’s a really common question for us, and we feel it’s important to underscore just how unnecessary the park hopper option is at Tokyo Disney Resort. Readers who are Walt Disney World or Disneyland regulars often have a fondness for park hopping (we do!) in the U.S., but it’s a totally different ballgame in Japan.
Partial Day Tickets
There are a couple of partial day tickets that might be attractive to you. We do not approach these from a money-saving perspective (although you could). Embarrassingly enough, we often take advantage of these with the perspective that 4 days is not enough for us, so how can we add another day?!?
That mentality, coupled with the fact that we almost always arrive at Tokyo Disney Resort on a Sunday afternoon (hotels are expensive Friday and Saturday nights and crowds are heavy, so we usually do Sunday – Friday), at which point we are itching to get into the park.
Enter the ‘After 6’ and ‘Starlight Passport’ tickets. First up is the ‘After 6’ ticket, which is a discounted ticket sold after 6 p.m. on weekdays, except National Holidays. We’ve never purchased this ticket, but it’s similar to the Starlight Passport, except for weekdays. Second, there’s the ‘Starlight Passport,’ which allows entry after 3 p.m. on weekends and National Holidays.
The reason we do not view these tickets from a money-saving perspective is simple: their value is illusory. If you are approaching tickets as a per-hour cost, both of these tickets are actually more expensive than a regular 1-day ticket. You pay less because you get less.
With that said, if you’re arriving late, they can be a suitable option. The reason we’re fans of the Starlight Passport on Sunday afternoons is because it becomes valid right around the precise time weekend crowds are starting to die down (locals need to start catching the JR line back home), which is probably why the ticket is offered in the first place.
One thing we would not recommend is waiting around for this ticket to become valid. If you arrive ~2 hours before this ticket becomes valid, just purchase a full-day ticket. The nominal savings is not worth it, and the wait for the parks to start admitting guests holding these tickets is excruciating. (Trust us–we’ve made that particular mistake before, and will not be making it again!)
Overall, buying tickets for Tokyo Disney Resort is a pretty simple process, so don’t overthink it. If you’re doing 3-4 days, buy from home if you can navigate the Tokyo Disney Resort site. Otherwise, wait until you get to the parks and just purchase from the kiosk. If you’re visiting on the weekend during a busy time of the year, you might want to make an effort to buy your tickets a day or two in advance upon arrival into Japan.
If you’re thinking of visiting Japan for the first time and are overwhelmed with planning, definitely check out our Tokyo Disney Resort Planning Guide. It covers much more than the parks, from getting there to WiFi to currency and much, much more. For more photos and an idea of what we did day-by-day during our first visit, read our Tokyo Disney Resort Trip Report.
Do you agree or disagree with our advice regarding park tickets at Tokyo Disney Resort? Any suggestions of your own to add? Any questions? Hearing feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!