So I'm back in the states from my 2 week Japan travels, and tbh, I really wish I wasn't because Japan really was just that AMAZING!!
But on to the main topic of Fuji-Q, I visited the park just this past Friday, May 24th and had an absolutely FABULOUS visit!!!
I won't do a full play by play of our visit, but I'll try to keep it to just the main points...
We stayed at the Highland Resort right next to the park for just a single night stay. They're in the midst of a full renovation/expansion, but we stayed in 1 of their freshly renovated rooms on one of the top floors offering a stunning view over the entire park below. The room itself was extremely nice. Fancy Bvlgari branded shampoos/soaps and all if you're into those sort of boujee details. Ate at 1 of the new restaurants which was also great. Bell hops will carry your luggage to your room and go through a full rundown of all the features of the room and resort in as best English as they can. Our stay also included vouchers to the Onsen next door. As a hotel guest, you do get early access to the park in the morning by 15 mins. While that may seem short, those few minutes can be crucial to obtaining the priority fast passes should it be a busy day. Overall would recommend staying here for sure. If you're not staying at the hotel though, it's super easy to get to the park from Tokyo by bus from the Shinjuku station. I would recommend that over taking the trains for sure. Trains you have to transfer a couple times and it takes about 2.5/3 hours. Bus is about the same price and gets you there quicker with obviously no transfers.
Moving on however, the weather was CRYSTAL CLEAR for the day of our visit to the park. We purchased our tickets to the park at the front desk the morning of and they directed us downstairs to the private entry into the park from the hotel. Everything uses a facial recognition system for the park. They take a photo of your face upon initial entry into the park and then every ride has the same system once you enter ride stations. To my friend and I, we thought it was pretty cool and it was super quick and efficient, some conspiracy theorists heads may explode over it though. Whatever, we didn't care.
Entry from the hotel lead us through a garden into the new Parisian style area up to the main park entry gate where there was a separate entrance for hotel guests, Once they let us in for the early entry, I personally opted to just make a beeline to the main Priority fast pass ticket booth next to the carousel as I thought that would be more efficient to just buy all my fast pass tickets for all rides at the same time versus running ride to to ride to the designated automated machines outside each entrance. This specific fast pass booth didn't open until 5 mins before park opening, but I was first in line so I had no issue getting the tickets I wanted. A lady came out and marked down how many tickets I requested for which rides and for which hour I wanted. Like it's been stated, you can only choose 1 ride for each hour time slot, but you can get multiple tickets for that certain ride. I opted for 2 tickets each for Eejanika and Do-dodonpa and 1 ticket each for Fujiyama and Takabisha. Earliest time slot you can choose however is 1 hour after the park opens, so for us, the park opened at 9am so the first time slot we could choose was 10a, then 11a, and so on. Whole process was finished and paid for by the time the park opened so we were basically set for the day after that.
The fast passes are ABSOLUTELY worth the price. They get you pretty much immediate access to the station with no more than a couple train wait I would say. However, I do recommend purchasing no more than 3 tickets for each hour time slot, maybe even no more than 2. If your time slot is over and you still have a ticket left, you're basically SOL as no refunds or exchanges are offered. The line for the fast pass booth was longer later in the day, probably because guests wanted to make sure they got on the major rides before the park closed at 5pm.
You don't get to choose your row on all the major coasters, and if you're using fast passes, they will assign you to anything but the first row. I didn't mind though. LOVED the fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo system they utilize where they're all free and the key is just on an elastic wristlet that you wear during your ride.
Overall operations were actually pretty decent... at least way better than what I had expected from years of reading about how they were horrible. Eejainaka was going super quick, at least in terms of a 4D coaster, and IMO was actually going quicker than I've noticed X2 operations at times. Was running both trains. ABSOLUTELY BONKERS coaster though!!! Blew X2 WAYYYYY out of the water. Glass smooth for me on both inside and outside seats which I thought was shocking! Just blew me away all together
Dodonpa's launch was absurdly ridiculous and really does live up to its title of having the worlds most powerful launch. Rest of the ride was just sorta meh to me though. Nothing crazy, a few jerky moments, but still unique and fun nonetheless.
Fujiyama was the surprise hit for me and I wish I bought more fast pass tickets for it. The ride attendant assigned us to the back row and my friend and I LOVED every second of the ride. GREAT airtime down every drop and hill, was mostly pretty smooth except for a couple jerky-jerky moments, but nothing painful whatsoever. The funky curvy finale had us laughing the entire way
. We came off LOVING it, which yes, I know, shocking from a Togo.
Takabisha was our last coaster. Unique coaster for sure. Definitely had the slowest operations of the day, but was a super smooth coaster for us, quite forceful, loved the launch, but I've never really found Eurofighters to really get me going. Just my opinion though. Nothing bad to say, but nothing that made me go "OMG WOAH!" either.
Overall, again, it was a fabulous visit for us to Fuji-Q! Definitely didn't experience ANY of the horror stories I've heard and read about over the last decade of knowing about this place, but maybe that's because we lucked out with crystal clear weather and went into the park with a clear plan of attack, or they're trying to turn things around since they're in the midst of celebrating their 50th anniversary of the park... who knows. For us though, things were *mostly* pretty efficient, the park vibe and atmosphere was super friendly, the ride ops were all happy and energetic (and were wearing super cute 50th anniversary birthday cake hats too), food was good, and yea... not many, or really any "bad" things we could say about our visit at all