I love Disneyland. I may be a 37-year old woman who's chosen a ridiculously straitlaced career in law, but boy do I love my Disney-everything. I mean, it IS the happiest place on earth. And tbh, I don't think you ever really grow up and out of Disney. Just ask the grown-ass men who frequent Tokyo's Disneyland. Besides, I'm all for doing whatever makes you happy (as long as it's within society's constrains of the law, morality and ethics, and whatever you do doesn't hurt anyone else, of course). And Disneyland makes me happy. I love it so much I can stay a whole week at Disneyland, and not get sick of it all. It's the magic that is Disney. In fact, I've spent 5 whole days at Tokyo's Disneyland/Disneysea parks, and I still descend into a fit of giggles whenever I hug my favourite characters. (and if you think that's weird AF, lemme just say, in my defence, that I once saw an full-grown adult man cry while hugging Eeyore. Obviously, he was an Eeyore fan, but all that weeping and blubbering was tough to watch without sniggering. And, in comparison, I think that should make me look "normal", yes?)
While Maihama (that's where the Tokyo Disney Resort is located) has a fair number of hotels easily accessible to the two Disney parks, I would recommend all Disney fans stay in an official Tokyo Disney Resort hotel. And while I wouldn't go so far as to say any of the official Disney hotels are actually 5*-worthy luxury (they're really more akin to 4.5* kitsch-filled deluxe accommodations), and while the Disneyland Hotel is by far the most overpriced hotel I've ever stayed in, the fact is, there aren't any more luxurious options in Maihama.
Also, staying at an official Tokyo Disney Resort hotels grants you the Happy 15 Entry privilege. This allows you entry into the Disney parks 15 minutes before the official opening times, which can cut down waiting times for the popular attractions by a lot. Because we're late risers, that was completely wasted on us...we didn't even get to use those entry passes once.
A warning for the non-Japanese speaking: navigating the website (reservations for Tokyo Disney Resort hotels are exclusive to the TDR's website and no other) was a freaking nightmare, so maybe have a swig of whisky before you begin booking your accommodations. I don't understand how the Japanese can be so systematic and organised and neat as a people, but the Tokyo Disney Resort website was a convoluted mess of a labyrinth. Allow at least two hours, conservatively, to look through your options, book your rooms, and ancillary frills. The Hubs spent 3 agonizing hours on the phone, on a three-way conversation with a translator, just to arrange for 5 dinners at the various meet-the-character theatre shows. Ironically, he had thought calling them directly would be more efficient.
The Disneyland Hotel is the first of the four official Tokyo Disney Resort's hotels to have been constructed. It's a little dated compared to DisneySea's MiraCosta, but it still is incredibly well-maintained. It's located a stone's throw from Disneyland, with the Disneyland station of the Disney Resort Line rail sandwiched between.
The bronze statutes of Mickey and Minnie are a welcome sight at the grand foyer once past the main entrance at the drop off. We'd requested an airport transfer through the hotel, but were told they didn't offer such a service. Yeah, seriously. We thought it was shocking a hotel, which rooms started at S$650 per night, had no airport transfers.
The main reception where you process your check in and out.
The lobby, littered with guests a-plenty resting their weary legs and/or taking a respite from the Tokyo winter. If you only take a good look, you'll find there's Disney easter eggs EVERYWHERE. A Disney-nut like me went nuts spotting Mickey motifs all around the hotel.
One of the wrought-iron lifts overlooking the main lobby.
Disney's Magic Kingdom Suite
We stayed in the Magic Kingdom Suite, a sprawling 99sqm room with a separate lounge that started at 255,000JPY per night. The bedroom had separate alcove twin beds. I don't know what it is about the Japanese, but save for the top-tier Walt Disney Suite, the rest of the accommodations in Disneyland Hotel only had separate twin-sized beds. The beds, in spite of its dreamy embellishments, were functional and far less comfortable than what we're used to, but at least we didn't end up with backaches.
The bedroom had its own tv, which was the only good thing because there weren't any international channels. For a tv fanatic as moi, it was real depressing. Double closets are to the right of the beds.
The bathroom with an air-jet bath, which we used every night to soothe our poor aching backs and legs (we're such fossils!), and a separate shower booth. A couple of bath beads, no bath salts, but there was a cute itsy bitsy towel bunny.
Double sinks but I really disliked that double tap system, it wasn't easy getting the temperature just right, especially in the dead of winter where just the slightest centimeter made the water freezing cold or scalding hot.
The toiletries aren't the most fancy, but because they were mostly wrapped in Disney packaging, we took them home anyway for our favourite kids Soph & her brother.
The living room is housed at one of the two turrets of the Disneyland Hotel, so it afforded the most expansive view of Disneyland. We got to watch the fireworks from the comfort of our room, and could actually see which characters were out at the main entrance of Disneyland. Really. One day, I was dilly dallying about, and saw Pluto out (and I'd been hankering to see him for a couple of days already right) so I ran down into the park and managed to catch him! How's that for convenient.
See. Best view ever of the park. You can even see the Tower of Terror at Disneysea in a distance.
An unexpected surprise was the bronzed Mickey paperweight that was complimentary from the hotel. The platter of fruits, less so.
The entryway foyer to the suite, with the dressing table and mini bar to the right.
And a powder room to the left.
Disney hotels provide complimentary use of pyjamas. I thought the Disney Ambassador Hotel's pyjamas were more comfy, but these were adequate.
I'll start with the good: room service was available till midnight, which was a bonus coz that's when the munchies kick in. And the food was pretty good. Well, better than the junk at Disneyland at least. The bad: placing our orders was a pain-in-the-@ss. Big time. The staff didn't speak English so trying to tell them to hold off the parsley/coriander leaves/cilantro/spring onions required a translator, which took a good half an hour just to order two dishes. The second night we called for room service, we decided to risk it and not inform our particular aversions. It was just way too much trouble to have to have that back-and-forth with a translator.
On this note, we'd also called the concierge to assist in making dinner reservations at Sheraton's Maihama Teppanyaki, and after a 25 minute 3-way call, with a translator of course, they told us they "cannot make those reservations". Like, huh, what was that about????? What's the point of a concierge if they couldn't even make dinner reservations for us???
We liked the Chicken Curry Udon (2370JPY), thick and substantive, and choc-a-bloc with diced chicken and beancurd sponge. This was served with a poached egg, fresh fruits and a surprisingly good pickled burdock root and carrots.
The Tempura Udon (2680JPY) was just ok but unmemorable. The tempura batter was a little too heavy, but the udon was lovely.
The Crabmeat & Egg Porridge (JPY2370) was scrumptious though. Comforting and tasty, this was generously chunked with sweet crabmeat.
The Beef Curry (JPY2780) didn't look like much but it was delicious. This was served with Japanese rice, pearl onions and pickled radish.
We opted for in-room breakfast (JPY4120) because we like to eat in pantless comfort. You can a choice of eggs, which we got scrambled.
And fried. They were served with hashbrowns, a couple of almost raw broccoli florets, and a choice of breakfast meats like ham.
And we had a choice of pancakes,
Or a trio of baked confection, which was pretty decent.
Finally, we had a salad with a tangy Japanese vinaigrette for some fibre
And fresh fruits to really get the excretory system going
Access to the lounge is exclusive to guests staying in a concierge room or suite. Check-ins-and-outs are processed here as well.
The loungers are very much more comfy than those in the public lobby.
And it's got the best view of the park.
It wasn't the most well-stocked of club lounges, but those Winnie the Pooh marshmallows were da bomb. I have to confess, I "tookaway" like a hundred of them.
The hotel doesn't have a gym, but it has a pool, but it's only open during the Summer. There's no spa either, but there's a 24-hour smoking room.
The hotel, all lit up at dusk, was just pretty as a painting.
29-1 Maihama, Urayasu-shi, Chiba-ken, 279-8505, Japan
Tel: +047 305 3333