I remember visiting Tokyo Disney Sea when I was eleven and twelve while my family lived in Japan. I remember from the second we stepped foot in the park that it was somehow different and just a bit “special.” Well, going back as a twenty-five year old, former Disneyland Cast Member, I can say it hasn’t lost any of its wonder or magic. Disney Sea is pretty much universally acknowledged as the best Disney park in the world. It is unlike any other park and has no comparable theme and only a handful of attractions found in other parks. And did I mention how stunningly beautiful this park is?
Check out my Tokyo Disneyland post for ticket information and general info about the parks as a whole!
Unfortunately, you cannot walk to this park unless you are staying on property. You have to take the Disney Express. It’s not hard, but its a small expense and a bit time consuming. You have to take it, believe me, I tried and tried to figure out how to walk but it was all blocked off. They’re crafty, those Disney types. Follow the signs to one of the stations and purchase a ticket. Disney Sea is the final stop.
Instead of “Lands,” Disney Sea is made up of “Ports” to stay in tuned with the nautical theme. So, if you hear anyone referring to “Ports,” that’s what they are referring too. Fast passes are available for all the main rides (Journey, Tower of Terror, Indiana Jones, Raging Spirits etc ) but sadly single rider is only available on Indian Jones and Raging Spirits. Major bummer.
This park has so many shows and special events that it’s impossible to tell you about all of them. Check out the website before you go or ask a Guest Relations cast member upon arriving at the park. The two big stage shows are Big Band Beat and Shadowland. The evening offers Fantasmic and Wishes. The daily “parade” type event (on Mediterranean Harbor) always seems to be changing, so check out what is showing at the time of your visit.
The shows in the park are so popular that a lottery system is in place in order for you to score a seat. Near the entrance to the park, in Mediterranean Harbor, you’ll find the lottery machines. At the machine you insert your ticket, choose a show and time and how many seats you need and then wait to see if you’ve been selected. You can try for each show once. Obviously if you have a group of five that may be a challenge, but you get five chances, one on each ticket. I ended winning once for the Big Band Beat show, but lost out on Shadowlands. It’s a major bummer if you only have one day and you lose, but sadly there’s not much to be done about it; although Big Band Beat offers some standby seats and there is no lottery for the first showing of Shadowland. I even went to a Shadowlands showing and asked if I could attend if there would were any extra seats and was turned away. If you really want to see a show try picking a showtime while a parade or other big event is happening, less people will choose the show for that time and your chances will be greater. Apparently there is also a lottery app for your phone, I didn’t use it, but look into it if you’re heading to Disney Sea.
This is the Port by which you enter the park. This is a good spot for photos, snacks, and shopping. Here you can admire all the detail and even go for a gondola ride, Venice style. This is also where you will watch Fantasmic in the evening and any special events throughout the day.
This is the central Port and the one you will most likely head towards at the start of you day. It is home to the massive volcano that periodically erupts throughout the day. This area is home to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, an underwater submarine ride where you are faced with terrifying creatures that call the depths of the ocean home. This ride isn’t typically a favorite of most, due to many labeling it “boring,” although I thoroughly enjoyed it both times I rode it! I definitely suggest making time for this attraction. The Journey to the Center of the Earth is by far the most popular attraction in this port, and the whole park, really. The line will always be atrociously long so make this a fast pass priority. On the ride you board an excavation vehicle which takes you through a number of other worldly scenes, it’s kind of Indiana Jones meets Splash Mountain. The creature you meet at the end before being shot up through the volcano is honestly the best animatronic I’ve ever seen. Journey is one of the best Disney rides in the world.
This area is so well done that it honestly made me homesick walking through it. It is based on 1920s New England sea ports and is astonishingly detailed, complete with ocean liner. This is a great place to catch shows and grab a snack of White Chocolate popcorn. You’ll also find The Tower of Terror which is the same in all the other parks, apart from the storyline is different, and in my opinion, kind of stupid. Big Band Beat is found here and I highly recommend the show if you can get tickets, it’s one of the best Disney shows I’ve ever seen. Also walk through the small but adorably charming “Cape Cod” area. I could’ve sat there all day. Sigh, America.
On of my most vivid memories as a young person visiting this park was the Mermaid Lagoon. I was to big for the rides at that point because it is the small children’s section, but oh how I wanted to be that young again. Needless to say, it lived up to my romanticized memories. Truly, if you are a six year old, count yourself lucky to experience this part. Photos and video don’t do it justice. Upon entering you immediately feel as though you have sunk deep beneath the waves and are soon to be met by Ariel and Sebastian. Apart from a plethora of kiddie rides you can also meet Ariel herself, grab a bite to eat at the seafood restaurant (ironic?), and make a stop in the whale mouth shop, the best gift shop in the park.
This Port is my favorite area in the whole park. Honestly, I think you could pin point the Arabian Coast as the reason why Disney Sea is regarded as the best Disney park. It is astounding. It is like you were dropped into Aladdin and yet is still authentically beautiful to Morocco itself. Remember how I felt homesick in the American Waterfront? I think a Moroccan would feel the same as they walked through this area. I vividly remember being here as a kid and while my family and I were admiring some baskets for sale, Jafar walked through the area. He was tall and ominous and had such presence. The whole area went totally silent as he glided through. Although I didn’t see him on this most recent trip, the Arabian Coast is where you can meet Aladdin, Jasmine, and the Gene. Curry is my favorite food in the world, and I got some delicious curry in the restaurant in this Port, keep an eye out for that. Also make sure to ride The Seven Voyages of Sinbad, the much cooler cousin of It’s a Small World. Really, Sinbad is a fantastic attraction and not one to be missed. Oh, and there’s a two story merry go round!
Lost River Delta
Here is where you’ll find some of the bigger thrill rides. First off, Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Crystal Skull. It’s the same ride as in Anaheim but much better! Make sure you make this a priority, it is one of the best theme park attractions I’ve ever been on! I can’t pinpoint why it’s better than the one in California, because they are quite similar, but it just is. It has everything a good ride should have, it is not to be missed! Next door you’ll find Raging Spirits, one of the only Disney coasters that goes upside-down! It’s pretty short and not that impressive to a dollar coaster conosuir, but it’s a great starter coaster for the slightly nervous. If you get tickets to Shadowland, this is also where you’ll find the theatre.
Port Discovery is probably the smallest of all the ports and unfortunately when I was there, most of the attractions were being renovated or redone. Here you can go into the steam punk future and go on some floating bumper cars or go into the eye of a storm. I’m not sure where they’re taking this Port because, as I said, it seemed like much of it was being remade into new attractions. I guess this area is a bit of a mystery!
I could probably go on and on about how wonderful this place is, but I urge you to visit if you find yourself in Tokyo! It is truly spectacular and takes Disney Parks to another level. You could easily, easily spend two days here or more!