When to Visit Tokyo Disneyland in 2024

There are good & bad times to visit Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea for the rest of this year and in 2024. Some days have low crowds, while others have 45 minute wait times just for popcorn! Extremes in weather and seasonal entertainment are other important factors to consider when planning your Japan trip. (Updated December 11, 2023.)

In our latest update to this guide to the best times to visit Tokyo Disney Resort, we’re looking forward to 2024. This follows quite a bit of news and changes, including that Fantasy Springs will open in June 2024. That blockbuster new $2 billion expansion is the eighth themed port of call at Tokyo Disneysea, and is sure to draw massive crowds upon opening. As we explain below, it could even disrupt attendance patterns even before it debuts, during the first ~5 months of 2024!

For now, there’s still a huge amount of pent-up demand among domestic visitors in Japan. The downgrading of COVID earlier in 2023 “removed psychological barriers” to travel for the Japanese, according to economists. On top of that, inbound tourists who been shut out of Japan for the last two-plus years have returned in full force. All of this is hardly surprising, as Walt Disney World and Disneyland have seen this exact scenario play out in the U.S. parks. The only difference is the timeline being delayed due to Japan’s slower and more cautious approach to reopening.

With that said, it’s possible that pent-up demand is starting to turn a corner in Japan as a whole. According to government data, Japan’s real wages just declined for a 17th straight month due to persistent price hikes and inflation outpacing salary gains. The result of this has been slowing consumer spending, which has now decreased for several consecutive months as consumers’ purchasing power is squeezed.

Economists at the Bank of Japan are now forecasting that economic growth is “highly likely to decelerate” due to a slow-down of pent-up demand spending, as well as to a waning of the effects of the government’s economic measures. However, that’s the big-picture economic outlook from the Bank of Japan. Oddly enough, they don’t have a specific section about guest spending at Tokyo Disney Resort. Just because there’s a broader pullback does not mean the parks will experience the same.

How ‘revenge travel’ continues among the Japanese is the biggest variable on 2024 crowd levels at Tokyo Disney Resort. Despite the existence of English-language sites like this one, Japanese visitors make up the vast majority of visitors to TDR in normal years. In 2019, international visitors only accounted for 9.6% of all guests at Tokyo Disney Resort. While that was the fastest-growing demographic, it was still a small percentage of all park attendees.

As mentioned above, the other big wildcard is whether Japanese guests postpone trips while waiting for Fantasy Springs. In normal times, we’d view this as pretty close to a non-factor, as the ubiquity of Annual Passes and seasonal events used to maintain relatively stable attendance throughout the year.

Obviously, there was seasonality to attendance–if not, a guide like this would be practically pointless. Annual Passholders didn’t make up a majority of visitors at Tokyo Disney Resort on the vast majority of days. But they did help buoy attendance at times when tourism was slow, and helped establish a floor of sorts for crowd levels.

With Annual Pass sales still paused–and highly unlikely to resume until after Fantasy Springs opens (unless there are significant blockout dates)–that dynamic is different. Pair that with slowing pent-up demand and more cautious consumer spending, and our view is that it’s highly likely that tourists and even local diehard Japanese Disney fans will postpone visits to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea in the first 5 months of 2024.

Right now, it seems like a very safe bet that attendance numbers in April and May 2024 will be lower than they were this year. To a lesser extent, the same should be true for January through March 2024. (We far less confident about those months, as a grand finale for Tokyo Disneyland’s 40th Anniversary and/or a surprise seasonal event could spike crowds.)

Of course, there will be exceptions to this. Golden Week will still be bonkers. Weekends and other holidays will likewise see healthy crowds. But barring a brand-new seasonal event or parade (which honestly seems possible or probable given this potential pre-Fantasy Springs slump), it’s likely that a lot of Japanese guests will wait until the new Peter Pan, Tangled and Frozen port-of-call opens.

One final, less significant wild card is that park capacity is still below 2019 levels. We experienced this first hand with our last trip to Tokyo Disney Resort. The parks were packed with some of the worst ‘feels like’ crowds we’ve ever encountered. This was for a handful of reasons, including pent-up demand and travel subsidies.

It was also due to the closed restaurants and retail that still have not reopened in the past ~3 years following the closure of the parks. While individually minor, these significantly impact retail and restaurant capacity in aggregate. The end result is crowded shops and very long lines for dining options, especially at peak times. There are also a number of entertainment options that have yet to reopen, which also reduced available park capacity. (Again, a very similar dynamic to the U.S. parks in 2020 and 2021.)

Our sincere hope is that this capacity is restored in short order, as it will be needed if attendance continues to increase. Already, large strides have been made in the last year or so, with the debut of “Believe! Sea of Dreams” nighttime spectacular at Tokyo DisneySea and start of Tokyo Disneyland’s 40th Anniversary celebration. This is a step in the right direction, but it’s just a start. More is needed before Fantasy Springs opens in Summer 2024.

Suffice to say, if you’re visiting after June 6, 2024, hopefully this won’t be an issue at all. However, it’s possible staffing shortages and other woes will persist, and exacerbate how crowded the parks feel.

With that rather significant preface out of the way, we’ll do our best to predict crowd trends here based on past precedent in a normal year. All things being equal, these general patterns should repeat themselves again in 2024 and beyond.

Narrowing things down to the season during which you want to visit is a crucial first step from our perspective. This isn’t California or even Florida. The differences between January and April, for example, are significant. In January, you will certainly find cold weather and might even be greeted by snow in different parts of Japan, including Tokyo Disneyland. In April, weather is mild, the cherry blossoms start blooming, and the parks are celebrating spring.

To that end, let’s start by taking a month-by-month look at what you can encounter in terms of seasonal offerings, crowds, and weather. Let’s start with the special events, which are shaping up to be different in 2024 than previous years…

2024 Special Events at Tokyo Disney Resort

  • 40th Anniversary “Dream-Go-Round” (Tokyo Disneyland) – Now to March 31, 2024
  • New Year’s at Tokyo Disney Resort (Both Parks) – January 1-8, 2024
  • Disney Pal-Palooza: Minnie’s Funderland (Tokyo Disneyland) – January 10, 2024 to March 19, 2024
  • Disney Pal-Palooza: Second Event (Tokyo Disneyland) – April 9, 2024 to June 30, 2024
  • Space Mountain: The Final Ignition (Tokyo Disneyland) – April 9, 2024 to July 31, 2024
  • Dreaming of Fantasy Springs (Tokyo DisneySea) – April 9, 2024 to June 30, 2024
  • Food & Wine Festival (Tokyo DisneySea) – April 9, 2024 to June 30, 2024

As compared to a normal (2019 and earlier) year, this lineup of 2024 special events is still rather meager. There’s no winter event at Tokyo DisneySea and no Easter at either park. While the Disney Pal-Palooza Minnie’s Funderland event appears that it’ll be fairly robust, some of the other offerings may be substantively lacking.

We’re both surprised and unsurprised by this. As compared to the last few years, this is a marked increase. There’s also the practical reality that Tokyo Disney Resort is way behind the curve in resuming operations, getting back to normal almost 2 years behind the U.S. parks. That has meant health safety protocol and constraints, both onstage and off, as well as staffing shortages.

That’s not to excuse this lineup or what’s been offered the last few years. The slow pace of getting back to normal is consistent with Japan as a whole, but it’s also an easy pretense for cost-cutting. It’s also to be expected that entertainment would be reduced as capital investments (new rides and lands) increases; that’s the Disney playbook.

Nevertheless, we’re slightly surprised to see Tokyo Disney Resort not doing more in Spring 2024 to entice locals to return to the parks ahead of the opening of Fantasy Springs. As noted above, there’s likely to be a lull in the first half of the year, and it’s unlikely anything on that calendar is going to move the needle for Tokyo DisneySea, except with the most diehard of fans.

big-al-jingle-bell-jamboree-country-bears

Here’s a rundown of what to expect each month. Note that these are normal trends with past special events preserved so you can see what would typically be offered:

January

  • Seasonal Event: New Year’s at Both Parks
  • Seasonal Event: Minnie Bestie Bash at Tokyo Disneyland
  • Seasonal Event: Duffy’s Heartwarming Days at Tokyo DisneySea
  • Weather: 35-50° F with mostly sunny days and little precipitation.
  • Crowds: Low after New Year’s week.

February

  • Seasonal Event: Minnie Bestie Bash at Tokyo Disneyland
  • Seasonal Event: Duffy’s Heartwarming Days at Tokyo DisneySea
  • Weather: 35-50° F with mostly sunny days and little precipitation.
  • Crowds: Low to moderate, increasing towards the end of the month.

March

  • Special Event: Minnie Bestie Bash at Tokyo Disneyland
  • Seasonal Event: Duffy’s Heartwarming Days at Tokyo DisneySea
  • Seasonal Event: Disney’s Easter at Both Parks
  • Weather: 40-55° F with mostly sunny days and light precipitation.
  • Crowds: Moderate crowds the entire month getting worse towards the end of the month, both in Tokyo Disneyland and Japan in general (blossom season).

April

  • Seasonal Event: Disney’s Easter at Both Parks
  • Weather: 50-65° F with moderate sunny days and light precipitation
  • Crowds: Low outside of potential holidays at the end of the month (avoid days around Golden Week).

May

  • Seasonal Event: Disney’s Easter at Both Parks
  • Weather: 60-75° F with moderate sunny days and light precipitation.
  • Crowds: Low after Golden Week travel concludes.

June

  • Special Event: Duffy Sunny Fun at Tokyo DisneySea
  • Seasonal Event: Disney’s Easter at Both Parks
  • Weather: 65-75° F with some sunny days and moderate precipitation.
  • Crowds: Normally low. In 2024, low until Fantasy Springs opens, then CRAZY.

July

  • Seasonal Event: Duffy Sunny Fun & Pirates Summer in Tokyo DisneySea
  • Weather: 75-85° F with some sunny days, some precipitation, and high humidity.
  • Crowds: Moderate until the last week, which is heavy.

August

  • Seasonal Event: Duffy Sunny Fun & Pirates Summer in Tokyo DisneySea
  • Weather: 75-90° F with moderate sunny days, light precipitation, and high humidity.
  • Crowds: Heavy.

September

  • Special Event: Halloween in both parks
  • Weather: 70-80° F with moderate sunny days and some precipitation.
  • Crowds: Low at the beginning of the month, increasing to heavy at the end.

October

  • Special Event: Halloween in both parks
  • Weather: 60-70° F with moderate sunny days and light precipitation.
  • Crowds: Heavy.

November

  • Special Event: Christmas in both parks
  • Weather: 50-65° F with mostly sunny days and light precipitation.
  • Crowds: Moderate.

December

  • Special Event: Christmas in both parks
  • Weather: 40-55° F with mostly sunny days and light precipitation.
  • Crowds: Low until Christmas week; heavy thereafter.

Note that this month by month look is a high level overview, and makes generalizations about crowds and weather. For exact dates of Tokyo Disney Resort seasonal events, consult their official monthly calendar.

In addition to the events on this calendar and that official one, Tokyo Disneyland has opened its massive expansion that includes the new Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast attraction and the indoor Fantasyland Forest Theatre. In Toontown, the new Disney Character greeting facility Minnie’s Style Studio is also open, and the Happy Ride with Baymax has debuted in Tomorrowland.

In terms of weather, it gets cold in the winter and then increasingly warmer until peaking during the spring months. Late-June through early-August are the worst times to visit from a weather perspective terms of both precipitation and debilitating humidity.

Pre-closure, we visited during several times of year. Most noteworthy for the purposes of this post were our summer visits. While we enjoyed the summer festivities, the weather bordered on miserable. Japan’s sweltering temperatures made world news due to temperatures over 100F and a record-breaking heat wave that has killed dozens. Obviously, temperatures this intense are not normal for the summer in Japan, but this type of weather is possible, and that’s something to consider when planning.

Around September, the weather starts to cool again in the fall leading to colder weather again in the winter. From September through November, things are generally pleasant. December through February are once again “weather wild cards” with freezing temperatures and even snow possible. If you’re averse to cold weather, you should avoid these months.

Weather once again becomes more temperate in the spring, with April and May being quite nice. Our calendar above covers in-park crowds, and indicates that April is generally low season for Tokyo Disney Resort. Note that April is cherry blossom season in Japan, so you are likely to encounter heavier crowds outside the parks during peak sakura times. (Ditto that with mid to late November and fall colors season.)

As for crowds, you definitely want to consult something more precise than our overview. Japanese national holidays and to a lesser extent national holidays in China and South Korea (the largest demographics of overseas visitors to Japan) can have impact crowds on certain dates, and crowds can turn on a dime from being light to heavy when school is out of session.

For a bit more precision, we recommend consulting Crowd Calendars for Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. These are incredibly great resources for choosing which days to visit the parks once you’ve narrowed down your rough travel dates based upon the season or special events you want to experience. There’s a lot of info in the crowd calendars, and they have never steered us wrong.

One thing to note is that crowds fluctuate more at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea more than any other parks in the world. We’ve been on “low” days in the middle of the weeks that are lighter than mid-January at Disneyland, and we’ve been on weekends that feel like New Year’s Eve in Magic Kingdom.

A lot of people of apprehensive about visiting Tokyo Disneyland due to photos that circulate of humongous lines to get into the park and crazy congestion, and while the former is true every day (the Japanese like to show up early!) the latter is only true on the busiest days of the year. I want to underscore this because the perception of crowds in these parks has taken on a life of its own and is, frankly, overblown.

With that said, it is very important to choose your travel dates wisely to avoid weekends and holidays, otherwise you risk being caught in one of these ‘crazy congestion’ times. Our 3 favorite times to visit the parks are mid-May, early to mid-September, and early-November.

If you go in mid-May, you avoid the the Golden Week crowds, get better weather than earlier in the year, and will be able to see Disney’s Easter, which is awesome. In our experience, this is the sweet spot in terms of weather, crowds, and seasonal events.

If you visit in early to mid-September, you’ll be able again have milder weather and you will beat the Halloween crowds (which get bad!) while still being able to enjoy the Halloween festivities.

We’ve dubbed going for the last two days of Halloween and the first week of Christmas as “HalloXmas at Tokyo Disney Resort.” This is our absolute favorite time of the year to go thanks to seasonal offerings. Note that Halloween itself is bad crowd-wise, but the following days are light. Weather should be temperate throughout the trip, but you might need a light jacket.

We love Tokyo Disney Resort, but we think it would be sort of extreme (and not EXTREME! in a good way, like chugging a bunch of Mountain Dew and hanging out with Chuck Norris) to visit Japan without seeing other parts of Japan, so you should definitely consult a calendar of happenings around the country before finalizing your dates.

As noted above, cherry blossom and fall colors seasons are going to be busy throughout the country. This is particularly true in Kyoto, Mt. Fuji, and other areas known for seasonal beauty. If you’re just visiting only Tokyo on your first trip to Japan, this shouldn’t be as much of a concern.

Tokyo-Disney-Resort-0036

Once you’ve determined what time of year you want to visit, it’s important to plan the particular days you will be visiting. The most important takeaway you can glean from this article is do not visit Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea on weekends. That’s really important, so let me reiterate with some dramatic emphasis: DO NOT VISIT TOKYO DISNEY RESORT ON WEEKENDS!!!

This is true no matter what time of year you visit, even during the lowest seasons, weekend crowds are bad. Like Times Square on New Year’s Eve (minus the B.O. and vomit) bad. This is because Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea are locals parks more than even Disneyland in California, meaning they get crowded with Annual Passholders on the weekends when they are off school and work.

Saturday is the absolute worst day of the week, with Sunday a close second (until around 5 p.m. when locals start heading home). Friday is the third worst day, especially in the afternoon and evening, as people head to the parks to kick off their weekends.

In terms of the rest of the week, we can’t really say we’ve noticed a significant difference among Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, save for Monday arguably being slightly busier with a few locals doing long weekends and tourists kicking off the start of their vacation head to the parks. This difference is negligible at best, and we would not recommend avoiding Monday as a result.

iPhone-5-mickey-mouse-easter

One final thing to consider is the strength of the yen as compared to the dollar. The yen is hovering around its weakest levels since 1998, with the Japanese currency falling about 25% year-to-date. The strength of the dollar means greater purchasing power when traveling abroad, and to Japan in particular.

The Bank of Japan has intervened by selling dollar-denominated assets to buy the yen in an effort to prop-up the Japanese currency’s free-fall, but that hasn’t done much. The Bank of Japan has reaffirmed a commitment to ultralow monetary policy, whereas the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks in the West have hiked interest rates repeatedly–and have signaled intent to continue doing so.

These divergent approaches will mean the effects of the yen intervention might be limited, unless the BOJ changes its dovish stance. Consult conversion charts while planning your trip to Tokyo Disney Resort to see where things stand prior to your visit, but you should have more purchasing power when it comes to airfare, hotels, park tickets, and outfits for your Duffy plush–you know, all of the essentials.

Planning a trip to Tokyo Disney Resort? For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea Trip Planning Guide! For more specifics, our TDR Hotel Rankings & Reviews page covers accommodations. Our Restaurant Reviews detail where to dine & snack. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money post. Our What to Pack for Disney post takes a unique look at clever items to take. Venturing elsewhere in Japan? Consult our Ultimate Guide to Kyoto, Japan and City Guide to Tokyo, Japan.

Your Thoughts

If you’ve been to Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea, what did you think were the best or worst times to visit? Thinking about visiting at any particular times of year? Other thoughts on avoiding crowds at Tokyo Disneyland? Share your thoughts or questions in the comments below!

86 Responses to “When to Visit Tokyo Disneyland in 2024”
  1. David June 12, 2024
    • Tom Bricker June 12, 2024
  2. Adi May 20, 2024
  3. YY Fung May 13, 2024
  4. GoiofLee December 12, 2023
  5. Doug Ennis November 25, 2023
  6. Sue September 21, 2023
  7. Rebecca January 1, 2023
  8. Kevin W December 12, 2022
  9. Denise October 25, 2022
  10. Bobbie October 3, 2022
    • Tom Bricker October 3, 2022
    • Bob October 3, 2022
    • nate October 6, 2022
  11. Dan October 2, 2022
  12. Diana April 4, 2021
  13. Carl February 20, 2021
  14. Marie June 13, 2020
  15. Alee February 8, 2020
  16. Christina Hansen January 6, 2020
  17. Jeff Spencer October 22, 2019
    • Leah P-G November 17, 2019

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *