June 20, 2024

We Did 20+ Rides on Opening Day of Fantasy Springs via ‘Unlimited FastPass’

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We debated long and hard about how we’d approach the debut of Fantasy Springs. It was a day we’ve dreamed of for 5 years, and had every intention of being there to experience. But we




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We debated long and hard about how we’d approach the debut of Fantasy Springs. It was a day we’ve dreamed of for 5 years, and had every intention of being there to experience. But we also planned on attending opening day of Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast as well as the Tokyo Olympics, and life had other plans.

Once again, life had other plans that made us second-guess doing the opening of Fantasy Springs. In the past, we would’ve simply gotten up early, rope dropped the new port-of-call, and accomplished as much as possible that way. However, there were two issues with this approach when it came to Fantasy Springs.

The first is that TDR fans are rabid (non-derogatory) and only seem to be dialing that up in their period of pent-up demand. We’ve attended many an opening day festivity there in the parks, and the Japanese locals make Disneyland fans seem tame. They are up at the crack of dawn for even fairly mundane things, willing to wait hours—all night and all day, if necessary. This has gotten worse since 2019, and it seemed Fantasy Springs would take it to an entirely new level.

The second and much bigger way that life has had other plans, for us at least, is that we now are parents. Responsible adults (allegedly) who can’t just get up at 3 a.m. or whatever ridiculous time to camp out for the opening of a new theme park land. We move at a slower pace and babies are unpredictable. Hard to believe, I know.

There have been so many times we’ve wanted to get out the door by a certain time, but that just wasn’t feasible “because baby,” which has become shorthand for us. (On the plus side, it’s also a convenient excuse when we just don’t want to do something!) We’ve already learned this when visiting Walt Disney World and Disneyland, and figured throwing in the ‘minor’ wildcard of a 16-hour time difference might exacerbate matters.

When Tokyo Disney Resort announced that guests of Fantasy Springs Hotel or Vacation Packages would be able to purchase a special Fantasy Springs Magic ticket, that had us intrigued. This is one of three options for accessing the new port-of-call, and by far the “easiest” option. (See our Guide to Fantasy Springs at Tokyo DisneySea for full explanation of free vs. paid access–we’ll be updating that very soon as there’s a ton more to know now that we have firsthand experience spending several days in the new land.)

Well, the Fantasy Springs Magic Ticket is the “easiest” option once you manage to get it booked. Minor detail. It took spending over a dozen hours on the Tokyo Disney Resort site (technically ~8 hours of that was spent in virtual queues) just to book in the first place.

For a number of reasons, we’ve been vehemently anti-Vacation Packages for years. Readers occasionally ask about them, and our advice has always been that they’re a waste of money and offer nothing you can’t do yourself for cheaper. In my view, that was the correct perspective at the time.

The opening of Fantasy Springs has changed the game. We’ll have a full review and tips for making the most of the Tokyo Disney Resort Vacation Packages in the coming weeks, but this post more or less answers the question of whether they’re worth it.

The Fantasy Springs Magic Ticket is more than double the cost of a normal Tokyo DisneySea ticket, but it offered tremendous peace of mind. Once announced, we knew that the Fantasy Springs Magic ticket was going to be the key for us to getting into the new port-of-call at Tokyo DisneySea. So we begrudgingly waited untold hours in virtual queues, booking and rebooking Vacation Packages as better options opened up.

Our fear was that without this ticket, it would take multiple days to full experience Fantasy Springs. That the best case scenario would be getting a Standby Pass for one ride and Premier Access for another. The worst case scenario would be arriving too late and being shut out completely. Given the whole baby thing, we feared the latter playing out repeatedly.

Even after buying the Vacation Package, we weren’t 100% sure how the Magic Passport would work. While the official TDR website states “there is no limit to the number of times guests can experience attractions,” we were still somewhat skeptical. Their Vacation Packages are fairly stingy with access, and the Tokyo parks tend to take a more egalitarian approach to attraction capacity allocation. This felt very much like the opposite of that. So we wondered whether it would work as advertised, or if there would be a catch of some sort.

Fast-forward to the night before the opening of Fantasy Springs. Sure enough, it was the roughest of our trip. Things had been going so great prior to then. Too good to be true, in fact. It felt like there had to be a bump in the road…and I guess this was it.

At around 3 a.m. during that marathon night, I turned my alarm off. Keep in mind that this is the time we probably would’ve been getting up to head to camp out for park opening but for the Fantasy Springs Magic Passport. Thankfully, it was the last time we’d wake up until morning proper.

We finally left Toy Story Hotel and arrived inside Tokyo DisneySea shortly after 8:40 a.m. This was still technically early, but to borrow a phrase from my military-man father, “if you’re technically early to an opening at Tokyo Disney Resort, you’re late.” By the time ~20 minutes before park opening rolled around, the turnstiles had been open for a while. We encountered no crowd whatsoever to enter.

We also encountered a sign warning guests that all Standby Passes had been distributed and all Premier Access slots sold out for Fantasy Springs. At least according to this sign, there was no way to enter Fantasy Springs on that day if you were entering “only” 20 minutes before official park opening. (The sign was wrong–that’s not how distribution actually works.)

After breezing through the front gate and stopping for a couple of quick photos, we made a beeline for Fantasy Springs. Strategically, this was a mistake—after all, we had the Fantasy Springs Magic Passport that allowed for open access. But strategy is another topic for another day.

During our long walk (guests of Toy Story Hotel cannot use the Fantasy Springs entrance to enter or exit the park, meaning a ~5 minute commute with minimal walking turns into a monorail ride plus a mile-plus walk) from the front entrance, we made our first Mobile Order of the day.

As Vacation Package guests, we would not need Mobile Orders to enter the restaurants…but we made them anyway. Part of the process was figuring out how everything would work, and I was curious how fast the slots would fill up.

We entered Fantasy Springs with ease and—since Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Journey was down—opted for Rapunzel’s Lantern Festival. Even with an extended queue spilling out the attraction’s front entrance for standby, the Premier Access line was virtually empty. We were on the attraction within 5 minutes of entering the line.

Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Journey was back up, so we did that next. Same story, with a less than 5 minute wait in the Premier Access line. This attraction blew Sarah’s mind, so we looped it. There’s a lot going on in this attraction that’s easy to miss–more than one ride is definitely ideal. In the span of under 20 minutes, we had done Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Journey twice. Without this ticket, I would’ve been happy to just do it once all day.

From there, we knocked out the two attractions in Peter Pan’s Never Land. Once again, it was less than a 5 minute wait from the time our ticket QR codes were scanned until we were on the ride or in the pre-show. In a nutshell, this was basically the story of our day.

All told, we did at least 20 attractions in Fantasy Springs on opening day. I’m not sure of the precise number, as we weren’t keeping close count. I do know that we did the following:

  • Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Journey – 10 times
  • Fairy Tinker Bell’s Busy Buggies – 5 times
  • Peter Pan’s Never Land Adventure – 2 times

So it really comes down to how many times we did Rapunzel’s Lantern Festival, and I know the answer to that is more than 3 times. (At least 5 that I can recall.) I also did a couple of attractions outside Fantasy Springs using our anytime Priority Passes.

In addition to this, we also dined at Royal Banquet of Arendelle, The Snuggly Duckling, and Lookout Cookout. That’s all three of the main restaurants in Fantasy Springs—I mention this both because it’s an accomplishment (all require Mobile Order, which we succeeded in obtaining) and because eating takes time—more than a ride.

A few things to note before you make any potentially erroneous assumptions about replicating our success. First, you’ll notice that Peter Pan’s Never Land Adventure is only on here twice. That’s because it’s the one ride with a height requirement, making it the one we can’t do together because baby.

Peter Pan’s Never Land Adventure is also the longest total minimum time commitment since it’s the only ride of the bunch with a pre-show. Had we wanted to do this more, it would’ve taken more time, eating into what else we could accomplish.

Second, we had already spent multiple days at Tokyo DisneySea, which included soft openings of Fantasy Springs and time in the rest of the park. We already bought merchandise and got a ton of photos.

Accordingly, the Fantasy Springs rides and restaurants were our focus on opening day. While we had the chance to do them previously, we hadn’t gotten our “fill” of them. I’d never say that I’ve gotten my “fill” of the rest of Tokyo DisneySea…but closer to it on this trip up until this point than Fantasy Springs. Point being—photos, shopping, and enjoying the rest of the park all would’ve eaten into our ride count.

Finally, we don’t know how operations for Fantasy Springs will continue to evolve. A few friends thought it was crazy of us to go opening day—and it definitely was a gamble! But we wanted to be there for the spectacle and excitement, even if there were issues along the way.

And as I told them at the time, I thought it was equally likely that Oriental Land Company would gradually ramp up capacity for Fantasy Springs, making opening day the best time to visit—not the worst. With the benefit of hindsight, I think this perspective was correct. I have a hard time imagining that OLC doesn’t increase capacity—making attraction lines longer—in the coming weeks and months.

Honestly, I hope this happens. It felt a little unfair for us to be doing attractions on loop as we saw other guests camped out at restaurants playing the “refresh game” in the Tokyo Disney Resort app for hours. And they were the lucky ones, who managed to enter Fantasy Springs in the first place. Ride capacity is a zero-sum game, and more of it should be allocated to regular guests.

Regardless, the Fantasy Springs Magic Passport should still be fantastic–still essentially an unlimited FastPass—but the stats you could’ve put up on opening day might not be possible in a few months or sometime in 2025.

With that said, we were not singularly focused on pumping up our numbers. (If we were, I’d have an exact ride count!) As mentioned, we’re parents now and operate on Baby Time. She demands certain things of us at certain times, and that slowed us down.

By around late afternoon, we also were starting to have our fill with some of the rides. We stopped looping them, and took a more leisurely approach. We did get a second wind once sunset rolled around—wanting to experience the two attractions with outdoor sections at night. But nighttime also meant more time slowing down to savor the land and take photos.

Point being, even if the Fantasy Springs Magic Passport becomes less attractive due to operational changes or longer lines, you still might be able to put up numbers like this. This count isn’t as great as it sounds—a determined fan probably could’ve clocked 40 rides. (I’d imagine you could do Fairy Tinker Bell’s Busy Buggies or Rapunzel’s Lantern Festival ~8 times in an hour.)

We left Fantasy Springs very satisfied thanks to the Magic Passport. Well, and because the port and its attractions are awesome. That’s probably a not-so-minor detail. If this were an unlimited FastPass for Dino-Rama…let’s just say, we wouldn’t be writing a glowing report about it.

Sarah said that opening day of Fantasy Springs was her best Disney day ever. I’m not quite sure about it being #1 for me (recency bias and all that), but it’s very close—definitely in the running for best Disney day ever. That definitely wouldn’t have been the case if we didn’t have the Fantasy Springs Magic Passport.

Honestly, more than anything else, I was relieved. We had been building up the opening of Fantasy Springs so much over the course of the last 5 years. We began dreaming of this day back in 2019 when walking past the construction site and seeing progress from our hotel window over the course of a couple trips. Then 2020 happened, and watching YouTube videos of Japan is one of the things that got us through the pandemic, as we anxiously awaited being able to return to our happy place.

That didn’t happen until November 2022, just after the country reopened. It was a bittersweet homecoming. We planned to return again last year but cancelled those plans for the best reason ever–finding out we were expecting a baby girl! And now a little over one year after that cancelled trip, we got to take her to Japan for the first time. That itself was mildly terrifying–especially after a much easier and shorter trip to Walt Disney World wasn’t without issues–but it turned out to be the best trip of our lives.

Suffice to say, the opening of Fantasy Springs was a full circle moment for us. My fear going in was that it could never possibly live up to expectations even if things went well, and would be a massive letdown if things went off the rails. And with any new Disney theme park opening of something that draws big crowds, the latter is always a possibility.

Our experience on opening day of Fantasy Springs exceeded expectations, and was one of–if not the–best Disney days we’ve ever had. There was absolutely no friction thanks to the Fantasy Springs Magic Passport–to the felt that it felt like experiencing Tokyo DisneySea with a cheat code (anyone remember GameShark?!)–and it was just a flawless visit.

Seeing this new port-of-call in our favorite theme park in the world was something special. (Especially since, with the exception of Mermaid Lagoon, Tokyo DisneySea has less to offer small children than Tokyo Disneyland.) Her face light up when seeing the spectacular Sven Audio Animatronics and the glow of the lanterns in Rapunzel’s Lantern Festival.

Her wide-eyed excitement when spotting a larger-than-life Cheese, a character I didn’t even know existed until like a month ago but is now one of my favorites. Her uncontrollable giggles in response to the Lost Kids hats, which I guess are hilarious. It was a really special day.

That Golden Ticket didn’t just provide us with unlimited FastPass to do 20+ attractions. Obviously that’s a great ride count but it isn’t really the point. I probably would’ve been satisfied with 4 stress-free rides, and that’s what it gave us–peace of mind. It allowed us to enter the new port-of-call in the first place without worry. It enabled us to sleep in, instead of getting up at the crack of dawn and being zombies all day. It allowed us to have a carefree day, rather than being glued to our phones.

I’m not sure what the value of the Fantasy Springs Magic Passport is to us, but definitely much more than we paid for the Vacation Package. We went from never doing the package to, at this point, never not doing it (at least until the initial excitement of Fantasy Springs dies down…so like for the next decade?). We’re already strategizing about how to use it next trip. If you’re traveling internationally to experience Tokyo DisneySea (presumably anyone reading this), making the splurge is highly recommended.

Planning a trip to Tokyo Disney Resort? For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea Trip Planning Guide! For more specifics, our TDR Hotel Rankings & Reviews page covers accommodations. Our Restaurant Reviews detail where to dine & snack. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money post. Our What to Pack for Disney post takes a unique look at clever items to take. Venturing elsewhere in Japan? Consult our Ultimate Guide to Kyoto, Japan and City Guide to Tokyo, Japan.

YOUR THOUGHTS

Will you be doing the Tokyo Disney Resort Vacation Package to efficiently experience Fantasy Springs? Thoughts on ‘unlimited FastPass’ for Fantasy Springs attractions via the Magic Passport? Wondering how any aspects of visiting work? Curious about crowds or anything else? What do you think of the Peter Pan’s Never Land, Rapunzel’s Forest, and Frozen Kingdom? Excited for this blockbuster addition to Tokyo DisneySea, or do you not care? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!




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