Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tokyo Disney Sea

Tokyo Disney Sea is a theme park located outside of Tokyo with a nautical theme. Unique to Disney parks worldwide with it's water exploration concept, Tokyo Disney Sea is not actually owned by Disney but by The Oriental Land Company, who licenses characters and themes from Disney. When my daughters and I traveled to Tokyo, I was pretty sure that Tokyo Disney Sea would be on the itinerary. Being the only one like it in the world, it piqued my interest to see it,and that it has Ariel's Mermaid Lagoon, I knew my oldest daughter would have it at the top of her list. (My youngest daughter is more of a thrill ride seeker than a Disney aficionado but I knew she would go along)



Tokyo Disney Sea is accessible by public transportation so we started our day early at Shinagawa Station (and witnessed Tokyo rush hour and the white glove pushers first hand - but more on that in another post) taking the JR Yamanote Line to Tokyo Station where we transferred to the Keiyo Line to Mahaima Station where Tokyo Disneyland is located. (Be prepared for a very long walk at Tokyo Station when you transfer trains - Tokyo Station is huge and you will think you've gone too far but you haven't. We followed the signs and all the other Disney wearing passengers to our train.) You arrive right at Disneyland and pay a small fee for your monorail ticket - in a few minutes you are at the entrance to Tokyo Disney Sea. (In total, I think it took us about an hour from Shinagawa to the entrance to Disney Sea)














Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea tickets are less expensive than their US counterparts - a one day ticket cost 7,400 yen or about 72.00 USD. The first thing you see upon entering is the large world fountain.







And the crowds. I had been following the Disney crowd calendar online and it was stating that the Monday we would be there was at about a 6 until a few days before, when it went up to an 8. So it was a tad crowded. Our hotel didn't have breakfast and we all were a bit hungry so we headed into a restaurant first and had some delicious pasta - I mean really good pasta, especially for a theme park. Then we were ready to explore.









There are seven areas of exploration at Tokyo Disney Sea and we had started in the Mediterranean Harbor (hence, the pasta) with it's gondola ride and view of Mysterious Island. It was time to get some fast passes and the girls wanted to go on the Tower of Terror. But the fast passes were for 10pm that night - and we wouldn't be there then. And so it went with the fast passes - sometimes standing in long lines for the passes. We discussed just standing in the hours long lines for the rides but decided we wanted to see the park more. If we found a shorter line, we would do that ride. I strongly suggest you run for the fast passes if you want to ride anything on a crowd calendar 8 day!


So....we moved on. As one does. We still had a whole theme park ahead of us. We then walked through the American Waterfront seeing a replica of the SS Columbia and enjoying the Cape Cod area, especially it's unique signage.






We stopped for a quick snack at Port Discovery and the girls were able to get a fast pass for the Stormrider simulator ride. We headed on through the Lost River Delta area and turned the corner to the star of the show (for us), Mermaid Lagoon. My oldest daughter had seen a photo of Mermaid Lagoon awhile ago and  added it to her travel wish list. We took lots - and lots - of photos and got in line to ride Flounders Flying Fish Coaster. Twenty minutes later we were on the ride.




Then, surprise - we realized that you could go inside the Mermaid Lagoon! Made to seem like you are underwater, it's a delightful area with a few rides, gift shops and a large food court. We enjoyed lunch there and were on our way again.



A quick stop at the Arabian Coast area and then the girls were off to the simulator for their ride. I waited in a small park area and enjoyed people watching. Since this was my first time to visit a Disney park outside of the US, I noticed a few differences. For one, many of the visitors dress up in Disney costumes, especially the teens. The food offerings are different, also, with flavored popcorns being very popular. And Duffy the Bear and his sweetheart Shelly were the most popular characters in the park with long lines for meet and greets.( Duffy and Shelly are virtually unheard of in US parks.)This was also the first time I had ever worn a coat to a Disney park even though the day became much warmer and we stowed our coats in a locker.






We still had one area of the park to see - Mysterious Island which we walked through and then rode the monorail/train to Port Discovery. We walked through a few of the shops and then decided it was time for us to leave. The girls had plans to go out that night and we still had two train rides to get back to the hotel. So we said goodbye to Tokyo Disney Sea.







Having been to Tokyo Disney Sea only once, and not even for a full day, I couldn't pretend to be an expert on it. This blog post is more of a travel diary than a travel guide but I can recommend one blog, Travel Caffeine, written by Tom Bricker who is an expert on  Disney parks. He has written comprehensive guides on all Disney parks which I relied heavily upon for visiting this theme park.


How about you? Have you been to Tokyo Disneyland or Disney Sea?  I will say it was a real dilemma for me to decide to give up a day of touring or sightseeing to do a day at Disney. But in the end, we went with Disney and I'm glad we did. It was a new and different experience for all of us - which is my favorite part of travel!


This post is part of a link-up with: Weekend Wanderlust at A Brit and A Southerner, Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox , Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute and The Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes and Beyond!










12 comments:

  1. This looks like a really fun park to check out as a family when traveling to Tokyo. Thanks for sharing and the tips. #weekendwanderlust

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    1. Thanks Jo - and thanks for visiting!

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  2. Wow, I've never been anywhere Disney and I was surprised by this one in Tokyo. I like how it has the Venice district. I think I would like this Disney.

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    1. It's definitely unique! My favorite Disney is the World Showcase in EPCOT because I like visiting all the countries - which is no surprise!

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  3. From your pictures, this park looks empty compared to the times I've gone to Disneyland. It looks like you had a great time.

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    1. It really does look empty - but most of the photos were taken right when we arrived or I cropped people out. Though I do have to say that the crowds weren't really when we were walking, just long ride lines. Thanks for stopping by, Rhonda!

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  4. Wow! This place looks cool! I am not a fan of theme parks but I can't deny it is fun to walk around and feel like a kid again. I want to walk and jump around!

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    1. It definitely was a fun day, Ruth - and you're right, it's just a fun day to feel like a kid again! Thanks for visiting, Ruth!

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  5. Both of our daughter's have been to Disneyland Sea but Jim and I have not. One of them still lives in Japan, so maybe we'll add it to our next visit.

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    1. To me, it was just so uniquely Japan - and it was neat to contrast and compare Disney World and Disney Sea. I think I would like to do the Disneyland park next time to compare the same park. Thanks for visiting!

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  6. I am surprised to see a Disney themed park in Tokyo, but I probably shouldn't be since there is one in Europe too. Looks like a great place to bring your children.

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    1. There were lots of children - and teenagers there! It was a very fun day. Thanks for visiting!

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