Thursday, 10 December 2015

Tokyo Prep (Part 1): Booking a Character Room in Tokyo Disneyland

I'm thrilled to say that although we spent a fortune in doing so, I managed to book the Beauty and the Beast character room at Tokyo Disneyland Hotel on Christmas Eve for our upcoming trip to Tokyo this year! Believe me it wasn't easy at all, as most of the character rooms are usually fully booked months in advance.

Character rooms are reeaaallly expensive but they provide you with an awesome experience (at least I hope so)!

Here's a list of the different character/themed rooms available in all three of the Disney Hotels:

(1) Mickey / Minnie / Donald Character Rooms @ Disney Ambassador Hotel

Mickey Mouse / Minnie Mouse / Donald Duck Character rooms
(click here for more information)

(2) Disney's Classic Character Rooms @ Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

Clockwise from top left: Beauty and the Beast character room (the one we booked!);
Cinderella character room;
Tinkerbell character room;
Alice in the Wonderland character room;
(click here for more information)

(3) Italian-Themed Rooms @ Tokyo Disneysea Hotel Miracosta

This Italian-themed hotel is almost always fully booked because it is the only hotel in Tokyo Disneyland that is located within the park itself.

The different Italian-themed rooms
(click here for more information)

Most people don't manage to book the character rooms because they are almost always fully booked (especially the more popular hotels like Miracosta and Tokyo Disneyland Hotel). Hence, here's sharing my tips on how to ensure you can book a character room in one of the Disney Hotels =)

STEPS to BOOKING A CHARACTER ROOM in TOKYO DISNEY HOTELS:

Step 1: Set Your Alarm to Book a Room 6 Months Before Your Stay

Book a room via Tokyo Disney Resort Online Reservation and Tickets

Tokyo Disney Resort Online Reservation is open for booking at 9am (Japan time) on the same date 6 months before your stay. For example, if you are like me and want to book a room on 24th December, you should be logging into the system to book on 24th June, 8am (Singapore time).

Make sure that you don't delay, especially for super peak periods (e.g. in December), because the popular rooms can be fully booked just 1-2 hours after rooms are opened for booking! True story.

Step 2: Create an Account

You will need to create an account in order to book. To aid your booking process, you may want to create an account days before you are due to book so that it's easier on the day that you are booking.

Step 3: Choose Your Room

As you can see, most of the rooms are usually occupied if you book too late
We clicked on our preferred Beauty and the Beast Character room to reserve!
We chose the one that could accommodate 4 adults (as shown in the picture above)
Photo Credit: Tokyo Disneyland Hotel
Beautiful living area
Photo Credit: Tokyo Disneyland Hotel
Study table decked out to look just like the enchanted castle!
Photo Credit: Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

TIP: You may want to read up on the different rooms, their capacities, views, amenities, prices, etc before the actual day of booking because you may not have time to think about it once the system is open for reservation (yup, it can be that crazy for super peak periods).

Step 4: Book!

That's it! You don't have to pay for it until closer to the date so you can still cancel your reservation (not later than 14 days before your stay) if you:
  1. Realised that the price is simply too high (like I did but its too late for us now!)
  2. Found a better alternative (although I find that quite hard to believe).
For bookings made after 1 April 2016, all guests will have to pay a deposit of 30,000 yen, which is chargeable during your reservation (more information on deposits here). The deposits will be used to offset your room charges or cancellation fees if any.

And there you have it!

If character rooms are not your thing and you can afford it, the suites of all three Disney Hotels are usually still available because it is simply waaay out of budget. The ordinary rooms of the Disney Ambassador Hotel are also usually still available.

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Some Common FAQs on Disney Hotels:

How are the Disney Hotels (i.e. Tokyo Disneyland Hotel, Disney Ambassador Hotel and Tokyo Disneysea Hotel Miracosta) different from the Tokyo Disney Resort Official Hotels (e.g. Sheraton Grand Tokyo Bay Hotel, Hilton Tokyo Bay, etc)?
  1. From what I understand, Disney Hotels are managed directly by Tokyo Disney Resorts while the Tokyo Disney Resort Official Hotels are their partners.
  2. Disney Hotels are the only hotels that bear the Disney name.
  3. Disney Hotels are located either within or right next to Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo Disneysea while the Official Disneyland Hotels are usually farther away (though still easily accessible by monorail).
Why book a Disney Hotel when the Tokyo Disney Resort Official Hotels are more affordable?
  1. Disney Hotels are located within or right next to Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo Disneysea. Because it is so nearby, you can go back to your hotel to rest anytime you feel tired or if for example you need to bathe your child because he spilled milk all over his clothes (with kids, you know that is very likely!).
  2. You do not have to prebook your tickets to Disneyland if you do not want to. Tickets are guaranteed for all Disney Hotel guests.
  3. There are special entrances for Disney Hotel guests depending on which hotel that you stay. For example, there is a special entrance to Tokyo Disneysea for guests staying at Tokyo Disneysea Hotel Miracosta. 
  4. Guests of Disney Hotels are allowed to enter Disneyland or Disneysea 15 minutes before the park opens! That means you have some time to rush and grab fast passes!
  5. Because there is nothing like staying in a Disney Character Room in my big-fat-Disney-fan opinion *grin*
These are just a few of the many benefits of the Disney Hotels. You can read up on the full benefits of Disney Hotels for more information.

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I'm soooo looking forward to our epic trip where I will finally set foot in Disneyland for the first time (I know, it's incredible that I have never been to Disneyland before despite being a big Disney fan)! Mickey and Minnie, here I come!!! *super grin*


Continue to >> Tokyo Prep (Part 2): Places to Visit in Tokyo


This post is part of my series on Travel Tips for the Wanderlust Parent.
Follow me as I share my tips for planning your next family vacation


Head on over to My Travel Page for a whole list of our travel itineraries!
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