IKSPIARI at Tokyo Disney Resort
Most of us grew up loving the wonderful movies of Walt Disney, and visiting one of the Disney parks to have a magical day is on many kids’ and adults’ wish list. Whether you have gone to a Disney park already or if it is your very first time, the two Tokyo Disney parks in Japan are sure to delight young and old. The rides are so impressive, whole worlds from the Disney movies you love the best have been faithfully recreated, the shows are of Broadway-quality, and every little detail in the park and everyone who works in the park will make your trip to a Disney park unforgettable.
Tokyo Disney Resort History
The Tokyo Disney Resort is made up of two separate parks: Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. Tokyo Disneyland opened in 1983 and is operated by the Japanese company Oriental Land, which obtained the necessary license from The Walt Disney Company. At that time, Tokyo Disneyland was the only Disney park outside the US. It is also the only Disney park that was not invested in by the American company. The Tokyo Disney Resort is located in Maihama in Chiba Prefecture, which is not Tokyo city itself, but it is only a short 16-minute train ride away from the centrally located Tokyo Station.
Besides the official Tokyo Disneyland Hotels, there are many other hotels in the area that are a perfect starting point for a trip to one or both of the parks. We can help you find the best deals for these hotels.
The two Disney parks are not the only ways to enjoy the Tokyo Disney Resort; those who love to shop top brands for discounted prices will definitely love nearby shopping mall IKSPIARI that opened in 2000. The mall is one of the official facilities of the Tokyo Disney Resort, but it is not operated under the license of the Walt Disney Company. It is operated by the IKSPIARI Co., Ltd. subsidiary company of Oriental Land who operates the two Disney parks in Tokyo. Because of this division, they don’t use Disney characters in the mall and the shops don’t sell Disney character goods except for the official Disney Store. But there are a lot of other great items for sale, so it is a great place to combine a visit to one of the Disney parks with.
The theme of the shopping mall is ‘A Town filled with Stories and Entertainment’. The name IKSPIARI was created out of two words, ‘Experience’ and ‘Peri’, who is a fairy in Persian mythology. There are about 140 shops, restaurants, and movie theaters in the mall. You can enjoy these facilities with their unique atmosphere, and it does feel a bit like it is a part of the Disney Resort. Even if you are not interested in shopping, you may get excited just walking around the semi-outdoor beautiful buildings.
So what kind of shops can you find here? There are many kinds of stores such as fashion, fashion goods, jewelry, accessories, hobby, books, household goods, health products, cosmetics, photo studios, travel agencies, beauty salons, a massage parlor, and a supermarket.
It is a good idea to come a bit before lunch or dinner time and satisfy your hunger after shopping, as there are plenty of nice restaurants to choose from. There are Japanese restaurants that serve foods including sushi, sukiyaki, shabushabu, ramen, udon, soba, Okinawa food, okonomiyaki (Japanese-style pancake), takoyaki, Western, Chinese, Asian, coffee shops, bakery, desserts such as ice cream, donuts, and crepe, fast foods such as hamburgers, and bars.
There is a cinema complex with 16 screens, so there are many choices of movies, including Disney movies if they are out. You can buy popcorn, hot dogs, and drinks before entering the theater room.
Are you in IKSPIARI around New Year’s time? They start to sell fukubukuro or lucky bags from midnight of January first. It is always the very first fukubukuro that goes on sale in Japan. A fukubukuro is a bag that contains all kinds of goodies, and many larger and smaller stores give them out. The fun part is that you have no idea what you are buying, as the contents are often a surprise and all you can see is a price tag. What you do know, though, is that it will always be a (very) good deal. A bag that costs 3,000 yen can easily contain 10,000 yen worth of goodies.
Tokyo Disney Hotels
There are many hotels around the resort’s area. There are four official hotels of Tokyo Disney Resort; the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel, Disney Ambassador Hotel which is next to IKSPIARI, Tokyo DisneySea Hotel Miracosta, and Tokyo Disney Celebration Hotel. These hotels are completely in the style of Disney characters and movies, making them especially interesting for families. Some rooms even have special themes such as Cinderella, Beauty and Beast, and Mickey Mouse. A great benefit of staying in one of these hotels is you can choose a plan with special benefits such as getting fast passes and show tickets.
There are more hotels in the area, many of which are also very comfortable to stay at. For example, Grand Nikko Tokyo Bay Maihama, Hotel Okura Tokyo Bay, Hilton Tokyo Bay, Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay, and many more. You can use the free shuttle bus service between the hotel and the monorail Bayside Station that stops at the entrance gate of Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea.
Tokyo Disney Resort Numbers
About 780 million guests in total have already visited Disneyland and DisneySea as of December 2020, this is how successful the parks are. It is said that Michael Eisner, the CEO of the Walt Disney Company, mentioned it was a big mistake that the company hasn’t managed Tokyo Disneyland directly after seeing its great success. The number of guests per year is over 30 million for both parks together. This means that about 82,000 guests per day go to Disneyland or DisneySea, and that there are always queues for popular attractions. It is good to know that you may have to line up for two hours in the peak season for the popular attractions.
Your Japan Tour
As seasoned Japan experts, we can help you create your perfect Japan tour including a visit to Tokyo Disney Resort. Contact us to start planning your unforgettable holiday to this fascinating country full of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, culture, history, nature, and delicious food!
Access : 1-minute walk from Maihama Station of the Keio Line. You can see the entrance of the mall once you exit the station.
Hours: 10 am – 11 pm (actual opening hours differ per shop)