Guide to staying in a wheelchair at Tokyo Disneyland & Tokyo DisneySea

In 2020, I spent a day at Tokyo Disneyland and a day at Tokyo DisneySea. I had visited Tokyo DisneySea twice previously in 2014 & 2019. This is my guide to what’s possible while staying in a wheelchair. I use a manual wheelchair and was travelling with my Mum. It was a cold being winter and it rained on the second day.  Which is better?

Accommodation

I would recommend staying at a hotel nearby. There are hotels inside both resorts, a Disney Ambassador Hotel & hotels in the Bay Area.

I stayed at Hilton Tokyo Bay. There are elevators inside. The room was spacious. The bed height lined up nicely with my wheelchair. There are also cafes and restaurants inside, a convenient store & a store to buy Disney merchandise.

Getting there, buying tickets & entering the park

We bought Disney Resort Line Tickets at the station. Resort tickets were purchased from our hotel. You can choose which park you want and for how many days.

There is the Disney Resort Line. A one-way monorail that loops and stops at four different stations. It’s Disney themed with Mickey Mouse shaped windows and grab rails. A single ticket can be purchased for one loop or day passes allow for unlimited use for a specified number of days.

  • Tokyo Disneyland Station for Tokyo Disneyland Park
  • Bayside Station for Tokyo Disney Resort Offical Hotels
  • Tokyo DisneySea Station for Tokyo DisneySea Park
  • Resort Gateway Station for Disney Ambassador Hotel & JR Maihama Station

To use the monorail, ask a staff member for a slope. They will assist you to get on the monorail and call ahead to your destination where another staff member will be waiting with a slope. There is a designated seated section for a wheelchair.

Restaurants

There are many different restaurants inside the parks. The system seems to be order at a counter, go a metre forward, collect & take to a table to eat. The barrier is skinny and a wheelchair has trouble fitting. Restaurants can get crowded with long lines and getting around can be tricky.

The food seems similar in both parks. Snack foods include flavoured popcorn (curry, caramel, matcha & white chocolate, salted), churros (Spanish donuts), ice-cream. Restaurant menus include pizza, curry and fries.

I preferred the restaurant at Disneyland. The vegetable curry was delicious at insert name of restaurant.

Attractions – rides and shows

Rides are characterised on your ability to stay in own wheelchair, transfer to a resort wheelchair or use step out of your wheelchair and into the ride. I only opted for those that I can remain in my own wheelchair.

The shows at Disneyland and DisneySea are wheelchair accessible. There is dedicated seating in theatres. It’s best in an outside show to sit behind a seated section. At Disneyland we watched a 3D show (inside) and an outside parade. At Tokyo DisneySea we watched King Tritons Concert (inside).

DisneySea has more accessible rides where I can stay in my wheelchair. It helps that I have a small, manual wheelchair.

At Disneyland we rode on the Mark Twain River Cruise.  A slope is put out and it’s short push to board. Can’t go upstairs but it’s enjoyable downstairs with less people.

Toy Story Mania is my favourite at Tokyo DisneySea. We rode this three times in one day. You can go and get a time to ride without having to wait in line. You can go back to your hotel or explore the resort while you wait. You are given 3D glasses and are wheeled into a cart. You are strapped in. A buddy can sit next to you. The aim is the hit targets and have a high score. The accessible trigger can either be pulled or a button can be pushed. It’s a lot of fun.

IMG_0425
Waiting for my turn. I am very competitive and ready to beat my Mum! PHOTO: Heather Swain

The magic carpet ride is also accessible. A ramp is pulled out and you roll up. You are strapped in and block prevents you from moving. The carpet goes around and up and down. A travel buddy can sit beside you.

I also enjoyed the the carousel. I am wheeled up a ramp and into position. I am strapped in and block prevents the wheelchair from moving. It goes around and around. A travel buddy can sit beside.

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Enjoying the carousel PHOTO: Heather Swain

Character meet and greets

I didn’t meet any characters this trip. Previously I’ve met other characters. Be prepared for long lines. My brother and I once waited 90 minutes to have our picture taken with Mickey Mouse!

Shopping & other facilities

There are many shops in both resorts selling a variety of merchandise. All are wheelchair accessible. It can get crowded.

Which is better?

I prefer Tokyo DisneySea. There are more barrier free rides where I can stay in my wheelchair.

 

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