One of the biggest attractions that Tokyo, Japan can claim is having not one, but two Disney theme parks; DisneySea and Disneyland. I personally am a gigantic Disney lover, a fact I was happy to spend an hour explaining to the lovely British lady I met on the Shinkansen (Mulan Rules!), and for this reason, two days of the Tokyo trip were designated to Disney loving!
The first thing to note is that the online reviews for these parks don’t paint them in the best light, it seems that westerners cannot handle the idea of masses of people having fun. I chose to ignore the reviews and went into the parks with a can-do attitude. That and a DisneySea plan (click for advice) that made the whole day so much easier.
The second thing to note is that there are going to be an inordinate amount of people everywhere, but they Japanese are polite and the other tourists/expats seem to follow this example well.
Upon entering DisneySea, visitors will see the famous ship and globe alight with golds and blues. It really is a magical opening to the worlds most beautiful theme park. The park is enormous and is split into seven areas, Mediterranean Harbour, American Waterfront, Port Discovery, Lost River Delta, Arabian Coast, Mermaid Lagoon and Mysterious Island. Each area is designed flawlessly with the attention to detail being so on point that it’s not difficult to lose yourself in the areas.
The rides in each area are phenomenal with a good mix of magical rides, bigger rollercoasters, ride experiences and shows. The Jolly Bear Jamboree was particularly hilarious, even while half in Japanese. Fast passes are essential if you want to go on all the best rides at DisneySea but if you plan well, the fast pass system is easily manipulated to ensure you have the best day ever. On top of everything else DisneySea had to offer, visitors can get beer, giant turkey legs and a variety of flavours of popcorn including White Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Curry, Soy Sauce and Salted!
As if all this wasn’t enough, on top of the usual parades, DisneySea ends its day with Fantasmic! This open water show is loud, bright and innovative with Maleficent transforming into a dragon right there in the water. The show is around twenty minutes and just keeps getting better and better. Every viewer at the waterfront was in awe of the performance!
My biggest advice for a day at DisneySea is to ignore the negative reviews, use or make a day plan and don’t be put off by the big crowds. Arriving two hours before opening is essential and most of all, have fun! My day at DisneySea is without a doubt the best day out I’ve had in my entire adult life and I’ve had some pretty good days so far!
An antithesis to the wonder that is DisneySea, Tokyo Disneyland is less fantastical. It’s certainly not from a lack of trying, the park is exactly how you’d expect a Disneyland to look in the 90’s. This is the issue with this park, it’s outdated. Tomorrowland looks more like Yesterdayland but with the updating of the Star Tours ride, it’s easy to put these issues aside.
Disneyland has seven areas, World Bazaar, Adventureland, Westernland, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Toontown and Tomorrowland. Fortunately for Disneyland, what it lacks in up to date themes, it makes up for in amazing rides. Monsters Inc. is easily the most popular ride and it’s not difficult to see why. Riders use a torch to locate the various monsters in the Monster Incorporated complex.
The Haunted Mansion of course stands its ground in the park and Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain and The Pirates of the Caribbean ride are all amazing! Again, use of the fast pass system is essential if you want to go on all of the rides. It may be necessary to stay in the park till quite late in order to go on Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain but why not?! You’re only there once!
The food here is similar, with the turkey and the popcorn all being available. Being more child focused, Disneyland does not have beer which is fine, but the hourly beers in DisneySea certainly made the day even better.
Overall, the Disney experiences in Tokyo are definitely a must when visiting this capital (technically the parks are in Chiba but still) and I cannot rave about them both, even in DisneySea was my personal favourite. I would definitely advise doing Sea over Land if you only plan to do one of the parks but at 13000 JPY for a two day pass, it is totally and utterly worth the money to do both sites on any trip.
If you want any more information about the parks or you plain old want to talk Disney, then contact me! or comment below, and please, feel free to use the plan I’ve linked three times (it’s super important to have!)