TDL and TDS attractions strategy help please

Nick6300

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 3, 2017
Please critique my attractions notes. Just my wife (Sam) and I, park days for next Mon, Tue, and part of Wed. Will have park hopper. We haven't decided on whether we're doing 2 days at either park and 1 in the other yet. But I was kind of thinking since Mon is generally busier than Tue/Wed, that it might be better to go to TDL 1st since there are more attractions for crowd disbursement, and we might get to the entrance very early since we have to go to the ticket pickup 1st (opens at 8). Thank you for any suggestions you may have.

TDL FP priorities:
1) Monsters
2) Pooh
3) Buzz
4) Big Thunder
5) Space
6) Small World
7) Mansion
8) Star Tours
Pooh is walk on at end of night

Strategy:
1) Nick Get Monsters FP #125 (go through World Bazaar and take right U-Turn, possibly an immediate right shortcut in Bazaar?), Sam go to Standby Pooh 1st #84 (head towards Castle and take right spoke immediately right of castle). Nick to meet Sam at Pooh.
2) Back the same way towards Tomorrowland to Buzz #119, Space (consider single rider if busy), Star Tours #116, Monsters FP (early as allowed on FP)
3) Thunder #54 in Westernland (obtain FP if wait times high)
4) Mansion #85, Small World #77, Pinnocchio #83, Pan #82
5) Jungle Cruise #26, Pirates #25, Tiki #28, Country Bears #51
6) Snow White #79, PhilarMagic #86, Castlewalk #80 (night, when not crowded)
7) Near park close: Pooh, Monsters, Space
· Get every lottery except One Man’s Dream (skip). Also skip Stitch (won’t understand it at all).
· Dine at Grandma Sara’s Kitchen near Splash in Critter Country. Snack throughout day saves time vs. meals.
· If very busy during mid/late afternoon, watch Country Bear or Tiki.
· Celebrate! TDL fireworks 30 min before. Go to 1st show since 2nd show will be during low ride waits.

DisneySea FP runs out
1) TSM (Ask for English translator)
2) ToT
3) Journey
4) Indy (Use Single Rider for nearly no wait)
5) Nemo
6) Raging Spirits (Single Rider, late at night)
7) 20,000 (FP avail into evening, 15min waits at night)

Strategy:
1) Both go left towards Tower: Nick to ToT obtain FP #27, Sam to line up at TSM #30. If TSM >70min, we both go to Tower and skip TSM. If before entering park it looks like both Tower and TSM are too long, Sam head to Journey while Nick FP Tower. Head to Journey (get 2nd FP when time before or after standby).
2) Only go on 20,000 if 15min, then return to Tower return FP or Go to Indy #63 (single rider if long waits), Raging Spirits #65 (single rider if long waits).
3) Tower return FP (if haven’t already). Nemo #56, Aquatopia #54, Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage, Gondolas,
· Big Band Beat lottery at Biglietteria in Mediterranean Harbor on way back to ToT FP (standby 20-30min before show). King Triton/Out of Shadowland have mixed reviews.
· Eat at Vulcania #105 by 20,000.
· Can skip Mermaid Lagoon, skip Turtle Talk.
· Do Aquatopia and Nemo at night if waits are >30min.
 

gelatoni fan

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 18, 2018
You underestimate TDR crowds and seem to have outdated information. 8AM is not really early for a 9AM opening and there is no way that TSM will be less than 70 min.
Celebrate TDL and Out of Shadowland no longer exist. Space Mountain also does not have Single Rider.

Assuming you actually get onto Pooh in the morning with less than 30 minutes wait, you will probably want to use FP for Buzz, Space and Big Thunder by grabbing whatever one seems to run out first. Put Pinocchio, Snow White and Mansion right after Pooh and then Peter Pan and Small World after fireworks so you aren't hitting them when lines are at their longest. Pooh is not a walk on at the end of the night. It has maybe 30% chance of being 10 minutes or less but often is still at 30 minutes or more. With this rearrangement, you should wait 30 minutes for Jungle Cruise but everything else should be less than that.

You should grab TSM FP and then try to ride TOT, not the other way around. Even if you arrive at 8AM, there's a chance that TSM waits are 2 hours or more. On the day you go, Journey FP will probably run out faster than TOT and 20,000 leagues under the sea probably won't have FP. If Big Band Beat is something you must see, do the lottery after that and if you lose, make sure you line up for the first show around 45 minutes to an hour before. Also check with Indy and Raging Spirits earlier in the day because on 9AM opening days, they sometimes don't have single rider or stop single rider once it's dark.
 

Nick6300

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 3, 2017
Assuming you actually get onto Pooh in the morning with less than 30 minutes wait, you will probably want to use FP for Buzz, Space and Big Thunder by grabbing whatever one seems to run out first. Put Pinocchio, Snow White and Mansion right after Pooh and then Peter Pan and Small World after fireworks so you aren't hitting them when lines are at their longest. Pooh is not a walk on at the end of the night. It has maybe 30% chance of being 10 minutes or less but often is still at 30 minutes or more. With this rearrangement, you should wait 30 minutes for Jungle Cruise but everything else should be less than that.

You should grab TSM FP and then try to ride TOT, not the other way around. Even if you arrive at 8AM, there's a chance that TSM waits are 2 hours or more. On the day you go, Journey FP will probably run out faster than TOT and 20,000 leagues under the sea probably won't have FP. If Big Band Beat is something you must see, do the lottery after that and if you lose, make sure you line up for the first show around 45 minutes to an hour before. Also check with Indy and Raging Spirits earlier in the day because on 9AM opening days, they sometimes don't have single rider or stop single rider once it's dark.
Thank you for the help, I really should have planned better!
 
  • Hannah nz

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2015
    Hi
    My husband and I just got back from Tokyo. We did DisneySea on the 7th and 9th and Disneyland on the 8th.
    For DisneySea the first day we arrived around 8.10 and went straight to grab a FP for Journey as about 70% of the crowd go to TSM and you can barely walk as its shoulder to shoulder.
    After getting a 9.50am return time we went on 20,000 leagues (walk on - everytime we saw line it was 5min), Indy (walk on), Raging Spirits ( 5 min, only me as husband was too tall), then went back to our Journey FP. Around 10.30 we went to TSM, the crowd has dispersed and we got a 8.50PM FP return time - wait time was about 70 min so we skipped it and waited 15 for TOT. Nemo was a 15 min wait at 11ish and we too went to Vulcania for lunch - it was amazing. Journey was about 45 - 60 min wait during the midday period but was giving FP with return times in an hour. We also managed to grab a FP for Indy with a return time only an hour away. We won the lottery for the 1.45 show about 45 before the show started and there were still a few seats in the reserved section. We did flying carpets and Sinbad and then went back to our hotel ( Hilton Tokyo Bay) for dinner and a rest. Came back for Fantasmic and as we are tall easily stood 1-2 rows back in the standing area and were able to see clearly. We finished the night by hopping in TSM line with a 45 min wait at about 9.45.
    Overall the crowds were not as bad as we thought and we easily ticked off all our list.

    On the 9th we wanted to do DisneySea again for TSM and Journey. Sent the Hubby to get FP and we would then do standby if short enough. This was a mistake. Cast members were directing people with signs and ropes. The FP queue was about 3/4 of the road wide and backed up to the Electric Railway entrance. Hubby was in the first 1/4 of the queue but the FP times were already 11.50 and we had to leave early this day. Standby was 70 Min so we gave up and went to Journey and walked on. We also got a 10.10 FP. We then did all of the rides in mermaid area as walk ons and walked into King Triton's theater. We liked the show but it is all Japanese even the songs. Rode Journey with our FP and was back at the hotel at 11.15 to check out.

    For Disneyland we did a similar plan to yours. Had no problem getting a monsters FP for 10.30 ish. 15 min wait for Pooh after this. 25 min wait for Space after that. Star Tours was always a walk on during the day. Buzz was 30-45 min but seemed to be giving FPs for the next hour. Jungle Cruise, Pirates and Mansion were always a 5 - 15 min wait during the day. Small Word was 15-20 min. We got 2 big thunder FPs easily during the day - one for lunch time and one at 7 ish.
    We did Pooh right after the electrical parade and the queue was only 15 min. Did lottery too late so didn't win but easily walked into One Mans Dream 2 minute before it started ( standing room).

    I think you should be ok.

    Hope you have a great time!
     

    OldSchoolReasons

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 24, 2014
    Backing what Gelatoni fan has said - have an alternate plan for Pooh as all 3 days we tried it was down on opening. We queued 30 mins for it very late in the evening. I'd do Monsters Inc FP then the Fantasyland dark rides + dumbo then move onto Tomorrowland, you can probably squeeze in Star Wars before your Monsters FP opens.
     

    Nick6300

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2017
    Hi Hannah,
    Thanks for sharing! We actually stayed at the Hilton and left Wed.

    It sounds like you had a lot of success at TDS. We didn’t do as well but we still got to most of what we wanted between 2 days there and using the hotel package 5 FPs for the last day at TDS.

    We arrived 7:30 ish for 9am TDS on Tue, about 5th in regular line, and raced to TSM against my better judgement- being its a clone to WDW, and we go annually. I grabbed an 11:50 FP, and the SB line was stated 10, but a walk on briefly, being that I beat all of the non happy 15 people. However I waited for DW to catch-up and by then, the line was 70 min in a matter of a few min. Wasn’t happy but given ToT was already getting long too, we still SB TSM, and afterwards, everything was a long wait, at least 45 for Raging, Indy, Journey, ToT. And this was on a Tue, with off and on rain all day. We didn’t make it to any of the shows... lost the big band beats lottery, the line was horrendous even an hr before. Was a little dissappointed in Journey, Raging, nemo, Tower... but it could have been partially due to the RD miscue. The queues and park theming are undoubtedly exceptional however. We ended up skipping ToT after TSM because wait times were really high already, went to Journey instead hoping to somewhat catchup to the front of the crowds. It was 45 or 50 but believe it was longer than an hr. We went on 20,000 Leagues at 15. Thought it was about what I expected after having been on the old WDW version and at DL. Wife didn’t like that we don’t actually go in water. We went to nemo and Aquatopia next. Raging the queue was decent, ride not so much. I’m glad I tried it but the ride was short, provided no thrill, and just flat out could have been better. Your husband is taller than 6-8? At 6-1.5 I had a tight squeeze on many of the attractions given they’re made for smaller people. I got stuck trying to exit Journey.

    We had a better luck by going to TDL first on Wed, getting through everything with ease, then exclusively using our saved up package 5 FPs ToT and Journey (excludes TSM). We also went on Aquatopia, DW loves it, Indy single rider, and caught back half of Fantasmic as we were walking out.

    Hope you had a good trip!
     

    Nick6300

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2017
    Backing what Gelatoni fan has said - have an alternate plan for Pooh as all 3 days we tried it was down on opening. We queued 30 mins for it very late in the evening. I'd do Monsters Inc FP then the Fantasyland dark rides + dumbo then move onto Tomorrowland, you can probably squeeze in Star Wars before your Monsters FP opens.
    Thank you and to Gelatoni again. First day (Last Mon) we arrived to late to be near the front (820ish) because we had to pick up our tickets and monorail passes at 8am at the ticket center first. We were middle of the reg line.

    We split up where I grabbed FPs to monsters and met my wife at Pooh, but I also didn’t study the map well enough and walked all the way back to the castle from Monsters and around to the right spoke towards Fantasyland. Still beat my wife, 15 min wait for Pooh. We went to pan, Snow White, Pinocchio, all with little to no waiting, before a 50 min wait at Space, got FP for Buzz, star tours, Monsters FP return, and back to Fantasyland for small world and mansion. This worked really really well with just the Space 50 min being an outlier to a short wait to everything, and the whole park completed with some time to space before the evening parade and fireworks (canceled for wind). The reason I purposely skipped small world and mansion early, despite the low wait times, is because I knew the queue/attraction themselves would take too long, and Tomorrowland would have built up more.

    Tried my original plan on Wed, just to test. We split up again for Monsters FP first, headed to Pooh, fortunately in session for us - and in evenings. Pooh was stated 10, felt shorter. Instead of going to Pan SW Pinnochio (in order, to head back to Tomorrowland) again, we went back to Space to try to cut out that wait. That worked but Buzz was still 30 once we got off Space. We did Star Tours and Monsters return FP (grabbed another FP to Monsters), before going back to Fantasyland. Wait times for Fantasyland were still short but I felt the prior days plan was more efficient. While Tomorrowland builds up quicker, Fantasyland has the bigger cluster of close proximity of rides that you can save 15-20 min each on, vs trying to get to Space and Buzz standby early. Splash was down for refurb, and so Thunder is too far out on its own. Pirates is not popular there, and I’ve never really liked jungle cruise. It of course matters what attractions are preferred but for General disney fanatics like me who want at least try everything first, I think how we did it on Mon worked well. We still got through the whole park with ease by mid afternoon (skipping a couple we didn’t want to again like Pan- since inferior to WDW version in my opinion). We took our time at Grandma Sara’s before using our saved up 5 package FPs for TDS.

    TDS garnered much more wait times - with the fewer attractions. The rain didn’t help us out with the wait times there. Even on Wed afternoon in mid May many of the wait times were 80-120 for all 5 of the big attractions. But with our FPs we rode ToT and Journey several times quickly and used single rider for Indy and got a taste of TDS again, despite getting our fill at TDL earlier in the day.
     
  • Nick6300

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2017
    We had a hard time finding quality shirts or hats that stated TDL on it. Despite few people here warning of that, it was still surprising how bad the selection is. Monsters has a decent white attraction shirt which we bought. The Monsters hat was nice but a flat bill prevented us from buying it. We scoured through many of the stores in both parks and found very little to buy, other than Duffy and friends stuffed animals.

    HKDL merch selection wasn’t great either but the shirts at Mystic were awesome.
     

    Hannah nz

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2015
    Hi Hannah,
    Thanks for sharing! We actually stayed at the Hilton and left Wed.

    It sounds like you had a lot of success at TDS. We didn’t do as well but we still got to most of what we wanted between 2 days there and using the hotel package 5 FPs for the last day at TDS.

    We arrived 7:30 ish for 9am TDS on Tue, about 5th in regular line, and raced to TSM against my better judgement- being its a clone to WDW, and we go annually. I grabbed an 11:50 FP, and the SB line was stated 10, but a walk on briefly, being that I beat all of the non happy 15 people. However I waited for DW to catch-up and by then, the line was 70 min in a matter of a few min. Wasn’t happy but given ToT was already getting long too, we still SB TSM, and afterwards, everything was a long wait, at least 45 for Raging, Indy, Journey, ToT. And this was on a Tue, with off and on rain all day. We didn’t make it to any of the shows... lost the big band beats lottery, the line was horrendous even an hr before. Was a little dissappointed in Journey, Raging, nemo, Tower... but it could have been partially due to the RD miscue. The queues and park theming are undoubtedly exceptional however. We ended up skipping ToT after TSM because wait times were really high already, went to Journey instead hoping to somewhat catchup to the front of the crowds. It was 45 or 50 but believe it was longer than an hr. We went on 20,000 Leagues at 15. Thought it was about what I expected after having been on the old WDW version and at DL. Wife didn’t like that we don’t actually go in water. We went to nemo and Aquatopia next. Raging the queue was decent, ride not so much. I’m glad I tried it but the ride was short, provided no thrill, and just flat out could have been better. Your husband is taller than 6-8? At 6-1.5 I had a tight squeeze on many of the attractions given they’re made for smaller people. I got stuck trying to exit Journey.

    We had a better luck by going to TDL first on Wed, getting through everything with ease, then exclusively using our saved up package 5 FPs ToT and Journey (excludes TSM). We also went on Aquatopia, DW loves it, Indy single rider, and caught back half of Fantasmic as we were walking out.

    Hope you had a good trip!
    Sounds like you had a great time still. We must have been really lucky with crowds and wait times. We prepared for the worst having been in Japan all golden week. I think we just got lucky with times as the crowds really love the parades and we didn't stop for any.

    Yes my husband is 199cm (depending on his hair haha) not sure about feet as we are in NZ, and the restriction was 195cm or under. But like you said the ride isn't that great so he didn't miss much. We are both taller and larger than Japanese people but didn't have too much trouble on rides. The cast members often pulled us aside for front row seats (Journey) or gave us a row to ourselves (Sinbad, Small Word) for more room. Hubby was surprised a few times in ride where the front of the ride car and safety bar comes up to restrain you in the seats like on Haunted Mansion and he got his knees banged a few times. We only got a bit stuck on Journey as we tangled with our bags in the storage pouch.

    We wanted the Slinky Dog and Duffy/Shellie May ears but they were all sold out. Did you go to Uniqlo at all? I got a few good Disney shirts but none are resort specific. Got a cool one that says Tokyo with Mickey on.

    We loved our trip - I am almost planning another haha.
     

    Nick6300

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2017
    Sounds like you had a great time still. We must have been really lucky with crowds and wait times. We prepared for the worst having been in Japan all golden week. I think we just got lucky with times as the crowds really love the parades and we didn't stop for any.

    Yes my husband is 199cm (depending on his hair haha) not sure about feet as we are in NZ, and the restriction was 195cm or under. But like you said the ride isn't that great so he didn't miss much. We are both taller and larger than Japanese people but didn't have too much trouble on rides. The cast members often pulled us aside for front row seats (Journey) or gave us a row to ourselves (Sinbad, Small Word) for more room. Hubby was surprised a few times in ride where the front of the ride car and safety bar comes up to restrain you in the seats like on Haunted Mansion and he got his knees banged a few times. We only got a bit stuck on Journey as we tangled with our bags in the storage pouch.

    We wanted the Slinky Dog and Duffy/Shellie May ears but they were all sold out. Did you go to Uniqlo at all? I got a few good Disney shirts but none are resort specific. Got a cool one that says Tokyo with Mickey on.

    We loved our trip - I am almost planning another haha.
    We unfortunately didn’t venture out in Tokyo. Our main trip is to Seoul to visit my birth mom, and HKDL and TDL/TDS were pit stops with limited time. Was disappointed not to find decent resort specific shirts / hats, but we bought the Monsters ride shirt, several items such as magnets and phone stands, bags for gifts.

    I’m not as tall but had trouble fitting into many of the rides and did get stuck trying to get out of Journey - sort of embarrassing.

    I don’t blame you for already thinking about another trip. I’m pretty satisfied with how it turned out for us...scared to see how crowds get on wknds and peak months/holidays. But we have a Disney world trip on Thanksgiving hat we have been neglecting to plan until after we returned from this one (still in Seoul now). Some WDW trips, I’ve spent nearly a year planning (mostly dining and casual blogs) despite about 100 trips there. I need Paris now to complete the Disney parks set. But that’s not likely until 2022, our 10 yr anniversary Europe trip. Our current jobs only allow 15 days per yr, and our families live out of state for holidays, which makes big trips a challenge. I’m hopeful for DL (only been once), Aulani, Seoul trip next yr.
     

    CanoeRower

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 5, 2018
    TDS garnered much more wait times - with the fewer attractions. The rain didn’t help us out with the wait times there. Even on Wed afternoon in mid May many of the wait times were 80-120 for all 5 of the big attractions. But with our FPs we rode ToT and Journey several times quickly and used single rider for Indy and got a taste of TDS again, despite getting our fill at TDL earlier in the day.
    The crowds were probably bad Wed at Disneysea because of the rain on Tues. Everyone who wanted to go Tues then showed up on Wed
     
  • Nick6300

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2017
    The crowds were probably bad Wed at Disneysea because of the rain on Tues. Everyone who wanted to go Tues then showed up on Wed
    Yes, I didn’t think of that because the crowds seemed to be high on Tue too when it was raining (but not as bad as Wed). I’m sure TDL gets busy too but it sure seemed like TDS was more popular and with the lesser amount of attractions to disperse crowds, it was much easier to get around TDL.
     

    gelatoni fan

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 18, 2018
    Yes, I didn’t think of that because the crowds seemed to be high on Tue too when it was raining (but not as bad as Wed). I’m sure TDL gets busy too but it sure seemed like TDS was more popular and with the lesser amount of attractions to disperse crowds, it was much easier to get around TDL.
    During a weekday in slow season (after Golden Week, May is slow season), wait times for the popular attractions at TDL would be 45 to 60 minutes while wait times at TDS would be 60 to 90 minutes (Toy Story Mania probably more like 90 to 120). The rain probably pushed TDS up to slow season weekend levels (90 to 120). I don't think of crowds at TDR as high until there's lines at all restrooms and the wait times for all restaurants + snack carts exceeds 20 minutes.
     

    Nick6300

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2017
    During a weekday in slow season (after Golden Week, May is slow season), wait times for the popular attractions at TDL would be 45 to 60 minutes while wait times at TDS would be 60 to 90 minutes (Toy Story Mania probably more like 90 to 120). The rain probably pushed TDS up to slow season weekend levels (90 to 120). I don't think of crowds at TDR as high until there's lines at all restrooms and the wait times for all restaurants + snack carts exceeds 20 minutes.
    I enjoyed myself for my first visit but I’d probably want to stick to mid May or whenever the lowest crowds are. Is there a better time of year to go for lower crowds? I would rather go to WDW if there’s going to be long lines for bathrooms and snack carts (more than I already experienced). I definitely did have lines at some of the bathrooms like at the entrance and had 20 min wait for a snack cart last week. And I love Toy Story Mania, But it’s crazy how popular it is in Tokyo. I like being able to ride it 3-5x in a row in the first hr or so at WDW.

    It was a good trip, and I hope to go again someday. But we can now turn our attn to our WDW Thanksgiving Star Wars trip.
     

    gelatoni fan

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 18, 2018
    I enjoyed myself for my first visit but I’d probably want to stick to mid May or whenever the lowest crowds are. Is there a better time of year to go for lower crowds? I would rather go to WDW if there’s going to be long lines for bathrooms and snack carts (more than I already experienced). I definitely did have lines at some of the bathrooms like at the entrance and had 20 min wait for a snack cart last week. And I love Toy Story Mania, But it’s crazy how popular it is in Tokyo. I like being able to ride it 3-5x in a row in the first hr or so at WDW.
    I think late January/early February actually has the lowest crowds. Especially if there was snow in the morning (but this means risk of show cancellations). April/May isn't consistent. Some days are "miracle" days where Pooh is a walk on at night and FP attractions are in the 30 minute range while other days are "normal" days where FP attractions are above an hour for most of the day.

    I haven't been on Toy Story Mania in WDW for many years so I can't compare but Toy Story Mania in TDS is better than Midway Mania in California Adventure. The game is more or less the same but the decorations, screen resolution and vehicle responsiveness are better at TDS. With Japanese patience and dedication, you get the longer lines.
     

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