If you’ve had the chance to read our post “Tokyo Disneyland® vs Anaheim Disneyland®” then you would’ve seen how incredibly beautiful and wonderful Tokyo Disneyland® is, but did you know there is actually a second Disney® park right next to Tokyo Disneyland® called “Tokyo DisneySea®?”
Similar to the Anaheim, California Disney® parks which include the original Disneyland Resort® and Disney California Adventure®, Tokyo DisneySea® and Tokyo Disneyland® are located next door to one another. Though on a much larger scale than the Disney® parks in Anaheim, the Tokyo Disney® parks were built alongside the beautiful Tokyo Bay. If you talk to anyone who has been lucky enough to visit Tokyo DisneySea®, I can confidently say that just about any one of them will agree that Tokyo DisneySea® is by far the BEST Disney® Park ever created and here are 7 reasons why I think you might agree. So if you have ever wondered if it is worth the visit, the answer is yes. If you’re still not convinced, keep reading and hopefully if not the words then the photos should do the trick!
1. MERMAID LAGOON
My absolute FAVORITE “land” inside of Tokyo DisneySea® is Mermaid Lagoon and it’s not too hard to see why. The Mermaid Lagoon is a world of Ariel, The Little Mermaid, and her aquatic friends that is filled with tons of fun attractions for guests of all ages. With numerous photo ops inside and out, this land is like no other. Outside you will find Ariel’s Greeting Grotto where you can take a private photo with the mermaid version of Ariel, sitting in a seashell. Plan ahead, because Ariel’s line always tends to have a minimum wait of 40 minutes.
There are two outdoor rides at the Mermaid Lagoon that include a mini roller coaster called “Flounders Flying Fish Coaster” and “Scuttles Scooters.” After taking in the gorgeous views of the exterior of Mermaid Lagoon, be sure to go under the sea as you step inside to Triton’s Kingdom. Triton’s Kingdom is an underwater-feel type of facility that includes three more ocean themed rides along with Ariel’s Playground, with caverns and treasures for all ages, a restaurant, a few shops and the Mermaid Lagoon Theater. I highly recommend taking a journey to the Mermaid Lagoon Theater to catch a newer “Under the Sea” musical show with Ariel and her friends from the Disney® film The Little Mermaid. This show also has a FastPass® option so if the line is too long, be sure to grab a FastPass® and return at a later time to catch one of the cutest underwater themed shows that you will ever see, with Ariel swimming high above the audience heads. There is so much to see and do at this area of DisneySea®, so give yourself plenty of time to take in everything and grab a few souvenirs, like the Flounder cup that can only be purchased at Sebastian’s Calypso Kitchen. You may also get lucky and find Prince Eric and Max, the dog, wandering down below.
2. MEDITERRANEAN HARBOR
Located at the front of the park, after you pass through the entrance plaza, is the Mediterranean Harbor. This area boasts some of the most magnificent views Tokyo DisneySea® has to offer where Mount Prometheus can been seen in the far distance and on the opposite side of the harbor, at the entrance, sits the best (as many will agree) Disney® Hotel ever created known as Hotel MiraCosta. MiraCosta is actually inside of the park! How incredible is that?! Of course it comes with a hefty price tag, but it’s absolutely worth it (so I’ve been told).
The Mediterranean Harbor is one of the larger areas of the park and one of the most unique with romantic Southern European charm that includes the main shopping and dining areas with about 14 shop options and 8 restaurant and refreshment locations. This is where the majority of your shopping will probably take place as you will find everything from Duffy & Friends merchandise at “Galleria Disney” to the largest confectionery shop called “Valentina’s Sweets” and “Emporio” which is the parks largest selection of Tokyo DisneySea® merchandise. There is even a store dedicated to the original Angry Bird himself, Donald Duck, called “Villa Donaldo Home Shop.” Anyone who is familiar with Tokyo Disney® knows that this is where all of the super cute Disney® merchandise can be found, so be sure to bring an empty suitcase to fit all of your adorable findings. And if you can’t make it there yourself you can always hop over to TSUMthing.com/shop who pick up gifts for guests in Tokyo in May and October and ship from the US.
The restaurants in the Mediterranean Harbor serve Italian cuisines such as pasta, rotisserie chicken, pizza, smoked turkey legs and desserts such as Gelato, which can be found at the “Gondolier Snacks” counter. Tokyo DisneySea® is also the only park of the two Tokyo Disney® parks that serves alcohol (besides at Club 33) so you will find wine, beer and fruit cocktails at a few of the restaurants and cafes as well as beer carts. The prices for alcohol in Tokyo DisneySea® are pretty reasonable at around $5-7 USD.
The attractions at the Mediterranean Harbor include a transit steamer line that will take guests on a voyage all the way around the park. It’s a nice way to sit back, relax and view almost the entire park. Also, you can board a romantic gondola ride via the “Venetian Gondolas” that takes guests for a short ride through the canals on real Gondolas! The Castmembers will even sing at one point, which is a nice touch. The Gondolas fit about 11-15 guests so it’s not a romantic ride for 2, but it’s still a beautiful experience to enjoy at least once.
As you head towards Mount Prometheus, which is located on Mysterious Island, you can also encounter the “Fortress Explorations” which is an interactive attraction for all ages. For those who speak and read Japanese, you can also go on a mission called “The Leonardo Challenge” where you follow clues at this location to complete a fun, interactive game.
3. AMERICAN WATERFRONT
While walking through the American Waterfront you will find both the excitement of the big city and the charms of a New England fishing village in this vibrant themed port. As I personally venture through each area of the park, I find myself saying “Oh I love this area so much!” for each one just about equally because every inch of this park is that unique and beautiful and the American Waterfront is yet another one of those areas. Whether you choose to shop, visit attractions, eat, drink or even take photos with unique characters, this area offers some of the best of each of those things for guests of all ages to enjoy.
Let’s start off with attractions. The Tower of Terror at this park was designed so immaculately that I could literally sit and look at it all day. It’s an absolute stunning, breathtaking masterpiece! The ride itself is a different storyline than that in Florida and the old (Rest in Peace) attraction at Disney California Adventure® in Anaheim, but with the same fun drops. You will also find Toy Story Mania tucked away in a corner at Toyville Trolley Park, but keep in mind, this is one of the most popular attractions for the Japanese guests at Tokyo DisneySea®, so the lines here tend to get incredibly long in a very short time. Though I have yet to try it, I’ve been told it is exactly the same as the one in Disney California Adventure®.
Other attractions at the American Waterfront include Big City Vehicles, the DisneySea® Electric Railway, the Transit Steamer Line and Turtle Talk with Crush, which is all in Japanese and located inside of the S.S. Columbia.
You will find a variety of food throughout the American Waterfront that include American and Japanese dishes. For those picky eaters, the most American-like food can be found in Cape Cod at the “Cape Cod Cookoff.” That is where you will find hamburgers and Mickey shaped chicken nuggets, french fries and Coca-Cola™. You can also catch a show while you dine here that is of Duffy and his friends like Gelatoni, Mickey and Minnie. It’s an adorable way to sit and dine without the extra cost of “Character Dining” that is found in other locations. You are given a card with an expiration time on it and that is the time you have to finish eating. You can also choose to forgo a show and sit wherever you choose in the other dining room, plus it’s less of a wait.
There is fancier dining inside of the S.S. Columbia as well as a really nice lounge to sip an array of cocktails in, called “The Teddy Roosevelt Lounge.” If you are the rightful age of 20 or older while in Japan, I highly recommend indulging in a cocktail at the lounge! It is a really beautiful spot that makes you feel like you are inside an old fashioned cruise ship in a fancy lounge while wearing your regular, casual park attire.
If you are a big fan of taking photos of the characters, this is one of the best locations to do so. If you hang out in the Waterfront Park, you will eventually see a bunch of rare characters wandering the area and stopping for photos like Marie and her brothers from the Aristocats! You can also meet and greet Duffy and Friends in the “Village Greeting Place” in Cape Cod.
4. PORT DISCOVERY
Port Discovery is located on the far left corner of the park. It is surrounded by water and contains my personal favorite attraction called “Aquatopia” which is a magnetic track watercraft ride that has unexpected turns and movements and is typically a very short wait. This ride is absolutely stunning at nighttime and fun to ride any time of the day.
The newest attraction at Tokyo DisneySea® is “Nemo and Friends SeaRider” which is a 4D simulator ride. They offer the FastPass™ system for SeaRider, which I highly recommend grabbing one if you can. This small area of the park has some of the cutest Nemo and Friends SeaRider themed treats and snacks outside of the “Horizon Bay Restaurant” (which is a character dining restaurant). Don’t forget to pick up an adorable Nemo popcorn bucket, as seen below, at the Aquatopia popcorn cart.
5. MYSTERIOUS ISLAND
Just beyond the Mediterranean Coast sits the incredible and visually appealing “Mysterious Island” where you can discover the secrets deep within the Earth and under the sea at Captain Nemo’s hidden base. Here you will find “Nautilus Gifts” and the “Vulcania Restaurant” which offers Chinese cuisine and cocktails as well as Nautilus Galley where you will find Gyoza sausage buns and other food and beverage items. This entire area of the park is Steampunk themed. How cool is that!?
There are two must-do attractions in “Mysterious Island” which include a one of a kind ride (that is my absolute personal favorite ride by far at this park) called “Journey to the Center of the Earth” which is a subterranean vehicle ride that blasts you through the caverns and out of the volcano. It is definitely a fun experience that if you were only allowed to ride one ride at this park, this is the one you should pick.
The only other attraction in this area is “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” which is a submarine-like ride that takes you below the surface to explore the underground world. I must admit, though it is not a “real” submarine, and they only board six guests per vehicle, this is not a good ride for anyone with claustrophobia. It gets very stuffy and the air that is piped in is very minimal.
6. ARABIAN COAST
Tucked along the right furthest part of the park is the astonishing Arabian Coast, filled with magic and mystery. The architecture in this area was done to perfection. Its large, stunning palace walls that surround a relaxing and inviting courtyard hold a two level carousel, The Magic Lamp Theater and the “Casbah Food Court” that serves curries with rice and naan.
As you walk through the Arabian streets, keep your eyes out for Aladdin, Princess Jasmine and Abu along with a few other special characters and make sure to step inside the “Agrabah Marketplace” shop to pick up some special items that aren’t sold in other stores around the park.
Outside of the palace walls, you will find “Jasmine’s Flying Carpet’s” ride along with one of the cutest, one of a kind rides, similar to “It’s a Small World,” called “Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage.” Sinbad’s Voyage is absolutely adorable and another must-do attraction that typically has a super short wait time of around 5 minutes. Everyone who goes on this ride for their first time immediately falls in love with Sinbad’s tiger, Chandu. He is the cutest tiger ever though most people mix up Chandu for Princess Jasmine’s tiger, Rajah. Perhaps Chandu is a descendant of Rajah? Just a thought.
7. LOST RIVER DELTA
Deep in the back of the park is the “Lost River Delta” which is themed to look like Central American jungles with ruins of ancient civilization. Tokyo DisneySea® is quite large, so keep in mind it take’s a good hike to get to this area of the park. If you prefer to sit and not walk, you can always take the DisneySea® Transit Steamer Line from the Mediterranean Harbor and exit at the Lost River Delta, though it may take you a pretty long time if you go that route.
“Indiana Jones® Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull” and “Raging Spirits” are the two attractions in this area and the only attractions in the entire park that offer the Single Rider option! Both rides also offer the Disney FastPass® option as well. Indiana Jones® is very similar to the one at the Anaheim Disneyland Resort® with a few minor differences, since it is a different story, but still feels the same. “Raging Spirits” is a fun, small roller coaster with a loop and fits perfectly with the ancient ruin theme.
If you head on over to the Hangar Stage, which is a little hidden so be sure to locate it on a map, you will find a newer show called “Out of Shadowland.” This show is unlike any other show you’ve seen before, so if you get a chance to view it, I recommend you do.
While in that area, you will find a few restaurants including a Mexican restaurant called “Miguel’s El Dorado Cantina” which serves tacos, tortillas and other Mexican cuisines. Miguel’s is where you can find the collectible Donald Duck souvenir cup which comes with Flan. They also have specialty drink options that come in themed cups as well.
Now that you have seen some incredible (and cute) photos of just a tiny bit of what Tokyo DisneySea® has to offer, and read some of my personal thoughts and facts on the park, I am pretty sure I have convinced you to start planning your next vacation there, right? Well to help you do just that, head on over to TDRexplorer.com. You will find the most accurate, up-to-date information about all of the Disney® Parks in Asia and how to get around, plan your trip, buy your tickets, book your hotel, everything!