The Happiest Place on Earth: DisneySea
They say money can’t buy happiness, but money sure can buy tickets to the happiest place on Earth: DisneySea. That’s right, Tokyo is home to not just one Disneyland attraction park, but two of them! What’s even better is that DisneySea is specifically designed to be catered to adults rather than children. This place has quite a few more restaurants than Tokyo Disneyland, and also serve alcoholic beverages. And of course, the rides have more “thrill” to them than its counterpart- although not quite your SixFlags rollercoaster ride.
Do you want to hear something better? Tickets are cheaper than in California and Florida! So if you’re around in Tokyo, grab your wallet and visit the happiest place on Earth!
DisneySea is sectioned off into seven different “ports”.
- Mediterranean Harbor
- Mysterious Island
- Mermaid Lagoon
- Arabian Coast
- Lost River Delta
- Port Discovery
- American Waterfront
This place is right at the entrance, and will probably be the first port of your encounter. This themed area is styled after Italy port towns during the Renaissance era, featuring waterfront features, canals, and gondolas.
Although I have never read the books, this Island was inspired by novels about Captain Nemo. If you love the steampunk aesthetic, the Mysterious Island is just the place. When walking around the park, you’ll definitely see the peak of the volcano across ports. This is Mount Prometheus. Before I left for DisneySea, I had read that the volcano is supposed to erupt throughout the day. However, I didn’t notice any. I think maybe it was because it was going under construction. I personally think that the Mysterious Island has the most interesting rides in the park.
This attraction is geared towards little ones where you can play with the Little Mermaid and all her friends. Aesthetically, this one of my favorite places in the park. Although the design of the area is quite pretty, the rides are very underwhelming, as it is aimed at children. The castle is designed to look like King Triton’s Palace, Ariel’s father from The Little Mermaid. Since this area is covered, it is an excellent place to walk around during the rain like my friends and I did- or to escape the heat.
This port is one of the larger attractions and feels like you stepped into the set of Aladdin. Although I explored this area, I didn’t attend any of the shows or rides. I did see that the restaurant served Middle-Eastern and Indian food.
Lost River Delta
Feel like you’ve been transported into the jungles of Central America and explore in the trees and visit the ancient pyramids. Although it is a pretty sight to see, there is not much in this particular port.
Port Discovery is more or less one of the boring places to walk in. One of the rides include a Finding Nemo and Dory themed attraction where you can experience a 4D type ride, depicting an underwater adventure.
This place is styled after New York, New England, and Cape Cod during the early 20th century. When walking around this area, it felt like I was in a village along the seaside. You can see a cruise ship, trolley rail, and many more in this place.
Must See Attractions
Tower of Terror
This attraction can be seen at other Disneyland parks, but from what I remember, the storyline is different. Prepare for your heart to drop.
Journey to the Centre of the Earth
This was my personal favourite ride in DisneySea. I don’t want to say much about this ride except that you might expect to want to ride this twice. If you do end up going, I highly recommend going at night. At one point, you’ll see all of DisneySea for a split second, and it’s truly a beautiful sight. I will say it is disappointing how short and fleeting this ride is.
This is a long ride that explores the temple, guardian spirit and crystal skull.
Find a seat among the Mediterranean Harbour to catch a show full of wonder and lights during the night time. Even then, you don’t have to stick to one place. You can walk around to see the whole show. I think it was in inspiration to Fantasia, one of my favourite Disney pieces. Fantasmic follows a story of Mickey and the fight between good and evil. If you tend to gravitate around Disney villains, this is an excellent show to see some of them- and a dragon too! The show showcases pyrotechnics, boats, and fireworks with Disney characters dancing in beat with the music.
DisneySea opens as early as 8 am. Do not underestimate how long lines and wait could be even at this time- especially if you are going during peak season. You can definitely beat most of the crowd during this time.
Use Fast Passes
Don’t worry, you don’t have to pay for these! The rides with long waits all have FastPasses. However, you can only choose one fast pass every 2 hours, so make the best of it!
Rides with Fast Passes include: Journey to the Center of the Earth, Nemo and Friends SeaRider, Venetian Gondolas, Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage, Raging Spirits, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Aquatopia, and Tower of Terror.
I recommend that if you go right when it opens at 8 am to hurry and aim to get the Fast Pass for Tower of Terror or Toystory first. These are the first to sell out by 10 and even 9 am. I arrived in DisneySea at 11 am, and all of the fast passes were sold out except for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
Find Online Queuing Times
There are many websites and apps out there that display the estimated and average wait time for both Tokyo DisneySea and Disneyland. They are updated in real-time, and I can attest that they are pretty accurate.
Go for Single Rider Line
Not all rides have this line, but many of them do. If you and your group of friends are willing to be separated, you’ll manage to cut down on a lot of time. I and my friends were able to save an hour and a half on one of the rides just by going through the single person line. Often times there won’t be signs for a single ride, so just ask the staff if they have one and they will let you in or tell you it isn’t available.
Matching & Coordinating Outfits
Although not really a tip, it is very common in Japan’s DisneySea and Disneyland for couples, friends, and families to having matching outfits. this is a perfect opportunity for pictures! I don’t know if Tokyo Disney has the same rules as in the states, but be careful dressing like Disney characters. They are not allowed back in America. I would imagine it would be more or less okay in Tokyo, since there aren’t really opportunities to take pictures with Disney Princesses here.
This blog post was written by Jioh and Lena, Seibo Japan/Mobal Japan’s interns from South Korea and Texas.
Author: Declan Somers
Thanks to the people of Japan and the efforts of a UK-based telecoms company Mobell/Mobal am happy to assist in providing a hot school meal daily for kids in Malawi, Africa through a Japanese registered NGO- Seibo.
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