The Disney Theme Park Where Trash Cans Are Strangely Scarce

Fans of Disney's theme parks know that the magic is in the details. There are "Hidden Mickeys," Easter eggs in the ride decor, and other subtle features that help bring the fictional Disney world to life.

Similarly, the trash cans at Disney parks are often embellished with paint, fun shapes, and plaques that reflect the ride or area in which they're located. Leave it to Disney to make throwing away a churro wrapper an exciting experience.

With that said, there are a couple of Disney theme parks where these quirky trash receptacles are hard to find: Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. These Japanese parks, located next to each other at Tokyo Disney Resort, have far fewer trash cans than many of the other Disney theme parks around the world. This can be a shock for Disney visitors who are used to having trash cans around every corner. However, there's an important reason for Tokyo Disney's lack of waste bins.

Why you won't easily find trash cans in Tokyo Disney parks

The shortage of trash cans at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea didn't happen by accident. Tokyo Disney Resort likely chose to limit its waste bins for the same reason you'll have trouble finding public trash cans across Japan. In 1995, a cult organized a series of deadly terrorist attacks in the Tokyo subway system, using toxic sarin gas. In response to the tragic event, public trash receptacles were removed or taped up to prevent copycats from hiding dangerous chemicals and bombs inside the bins.

Today, trash cans remain a rare sight on streets and in train stations across Japan, with the exception of small bins for bottles placed next to vending machines and clear containers sometimes found near train ticket gates. You may also find a few trash bins inside large parks. That said, just like at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, it's common to have to walk a while to find them.

With the post-pandemic influx of international tourists, some popular spots in Japan have decided to install additional trash cans to prevent litter. However, it's unclear if the country's Disney parks will follow suit.

Where to put your trash at Tokyo Disney Resort

If you're a first-timer at Tokyo Disney Resort, note that public trash cans do exist on park grounds, but they can take some effort to locate. When in doubt, head to one of the restaurants or food stands. You'll often find trash receptacles nearby.

In some cases, the trash cans may be overflowing, an issue that parkgoer @ktnmata highlighted in a viral post on X (formerly known as Twitter). In the tweet, the visitor complained that garbage was piled on top of the cans, and when she tried to place her waste on top, the trash fell and got on her clothes.

If you can't find a bin that's not overflowing — and you don't want to risk staining your shirt — consider bringing your trash home with you. While the idea may seem strange to some, it's customary for many locals who live in Japan. Stash a plastic bag in your purse or backpack and use it to store your litter until you arrive home or to your hotel. Alternatively, find a Disney employee and let them know you can't find a usable trash can. Sometimes, they'll offer to dispose of the trash for you.