As a former Disney cast member and an overall fan, traveling to Tokyo mean that I had to spend at least one day at Tokyo Disneyland Resort! After weeks of Instagram stalking the location tags and searching blogs, I felt prepared to make the most of my visit to Tokyo DisneySea.
In my research, one thing that surprised me was that you could not get a park hopper ticket for just one day. This meant that I had to make the choice between spending my day at Disneyland or DisneySea. Overall, this ended up being an easy decision. While Tokyo Disneyland has its own charms, it is very similar to Disneyland and Magic Kingdom. DisneySea, on the other hand, is unique to Japan. The theming, attractions, shows… everything was new to me! I went ahead and purchased a discounted ticket through Klook, which ended up saving about $10 (just remember to print it before you leave home!), and finally the day came!
On a Monday morning, my friends and I made our way along the JR train system to the Maihama stop. Here we were able to transition to the monorail loop! I could tell from my first interactions with cast members at the station that the friendliness of cast members was universal. We were greeted by smiling faces and waving Mickey hands everywhere we went.
After a short ride, we disembarked and entered Tokyo DisneySea. When you enter the park you see a beautiful boat with all the classic characters, setting the theme for the park. And as you walk inside, the beauty continues. Surrounding a lake, DisneySea has 7 lands, all adding to the water theme. While everything was fun, there were some parts that were more unique to the park than others, which I really enjoyed. Let’s break down my favorites.
Journey to the Center of the Earth – This ride is gorgeous! The ride track itself is similar to Test Track at Epcot, but with a much better story. It starts out as a slow-paced journey, but turns fast and exciting at the end. The music, visuals, etc. all come together for a great experience.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – Despite not being able to understand much of the talk track, I really enjoyed this ride! It’s definitely not a thrill ride, but is truly special. You descend “under water”, and it really does feel like it, to check out the world under the sea. Control your own flashlight to discover different creatures and artifacts.
Ariel’s Playground – This is so. much. fun! While this area is geared toward younger kids, I loved every second of exploring it. Seeing Ariel’s treasures and troves, and even the beloved statue of Prince Eric, made it feel like I stepped into the movie. There was plenty of fun calypso music and details that could take a full day to take in.
Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage – In my mind, this seemed like DisneySea’s answer to It’s a Small World, and I
loved it! Sinbad and his adorable pet tiger, Chandu, take a trip around the world gathering treasure. Just some simple Disney magic.
Aquatopia – This was a little hidden gem! It had basically no line the entire day, and was a nice way to relax while still having fun. It looks like bumper boats, but the ride vehicles are actually on set tracks swirling around the water. Get pulled into whirlpools, see some waterfalls, and enjoy the twists and turns.
Tower of Terror and Indiana Jones also deserve a shout-out for being fun, but they are basically the same as the rides in the states. I was not able to get on Raging Spirits, which was shut down most of the day.
Food and Drink
Pork-Rice Roll – Sold at Liberty Landing Diner, this was my first treat of the day, and probably my favorite! I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but it was basically rice wrapped in bacon. Insert my drooling face here.
Magellan’s – When the group got tired, we sat at Magellan’s for some drinks and to take in the beautiful scenery. It’s got gorgeous decor and a wonderful ambiance. I almost felt like it was too fancy to be in a Disney park!
Teddy Roosevelt Lounge – Located within the S.S. Columbia, this is a beautiful spot! We didn’t get a chance to have drinks here because there was a very long line, but it’s definitely worth at least a peek inside.
I actually didn’t get to try a few of the snacks I was hoping for, including the famous Alien Mochi and Gyoza Dog. I guess I have a reason to go back now! 😉
Character Meet and Greets – Meeting characters is very different here than in the states! Many of the characters just walk around, and it is actually a mob scene around them. People just scream out the character’s name and grab them to get their attention, and then quickly snap a picture, likely with at least 2 other parties at the same time! I was a bit taken aback, but once I realized it was happening it became a fun experience. More popular characters, such as Duffy and Ariel, had actual queues and photographers.
The Outfits – Almost everybody in the park was dressed in Disney attire for the day, and it was fantastic! So many girls were wearing matching Duffy outfits, couples were wearing coordinating character backpacks, and more. The small Duffy bags were everywhere, there were many ears in the crowds, and it felt as though everyone there just embraced feeling like a kid again.
Cats – This is the first time I’ve seen any cats in a Disney park! I’ve heard so much about them, but it warmed my heart a little to see the little fur babies out and about in Tokyo.
I should note that I didn’t mention much entertainment, because I simply didn’t see as much as I wished. Big Band Beat was a fantastic show, but it was the only one I properly saw. Definitely try for lottery tickets early in the day so you don’t miss out on shows! And Fantasmic! was lovely as always.
Overall, my trip to Tokyo DisneySea was fantastic. It was uniquely Japanese and different from any of the other parks I’ve been to. Hong Kong and Shanghai – you’re next!
Have you been to Tokyo Disney Resort? What were your favorite parts of visiting? Look forward to more “disney days” posts in the future. I just booked a last-minute trip to WDW and couldn’t be more excited!
Have a wonderful week! <3