Cast Members are usually stationed all over this square; to discourage running when it opens and get people seated for the shows. Snag one for help with a photo!
THIS is what we truly came for! Tokyo Disneyland was wonderful, but more or less a copy of Disneyland California. Tokyo DisneySea is the more unique of the two parks; it is based around the “Society of Explorers & Adventurers”.
This park is also literally on the sea… There’s a huge sea wall surrounding it to separate the park from the water of Tokyo Bay. Each of the seven lands in the park is a sea port too!
Atlantica (or Mermaid Lagoon) was one of the incredible sea ports of this park!
The lands of DisneySea:
- Mediterranean Harbor – You access the park through this land, and it’s on this sea where Fantastic & The Pirates show takes place. We did a lot of shopping here and picked up some of our favorite foods at the bakery!
- Mysterious Island – This is the main “weenie” of the park, the giant volcano acts as the park centerpiece and contains two of the unique rides. We could not wait to ride “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “20,000 Leagues“. The former was much more thrilling!
- Mermaid Lagoon – This is where my inner child dies and goes to Heaven. Mermaid Lagoon is Atlantica come to life, and is a cotton candy colored dreamworld full of all things Ariel!
- Lost River Delta – This is the other land my husband was most excited for at DisneySea. It is home to the Crystal Skull version of Indiana Jones and “Raging Spirits” a tightly constructed traditional outdoor coaster with a loop. Raging Spirits is best ridden at night!
- Arabian Coast – Have you seen the new live action Aladdin? This land made me feel like I had stepped in to that movie! It’s home to a magic show, double decker carousel, gorgeous photo spots, and it is of course where I won my giant Chip plush.
- Port Discovery – I would describe this land as the “Tomorrowland” Port. This is where we got absolutely SOAKED on Aquatopia, rode a reskinned Nemo version of “Body Wars” (anyone else remember that ride?!), rode the railway that crosses the park, and tried some delicious snacks!
- American Waterfront – This is home to a giant steam ship, “Turtle Talk with Crush”, “Tower of Terror” (which has a totally unique backstory), and is the main land for the characters, “Duffy and Friends”. We didn’t spend a ton of time in this land, but my husband did enjoy Tower of Terror a few times. I opt out of that ride, the unpredictability and falling sensation is too much for me!
DisneySea is the more popular of the two parks. The previous morning our train completely emptied at this stop, so we were prepared to go early and battle crowds. Fortunately, “Fantastic Flight” opened just a couple weeks before our trip, so most people were going straight to that ride and waiting as long as FOUR HOURS. Fantastic Flight is DisneySea’s version of “Soarin'”. Aside from a unique preshow story about a victorian era inventor and her falcon, the ride is exactly the same with opening and closing shots that focus on DisneySea instead of Disneyland California. We opted to grab a FastPass for it first thing, which meant we could ride it at 8:30pm, passes went fast!
The giant tunnel network in the volcano gets you to different parks of the park, and is the entrance for this ride and 20,000 Leagues!
After our mad dash for a fast pass, we went over to “Journey to the Center of the Earth”. This ride was very cool! The line theming is very steam punk, and you ride an elevator underground to board the unique cars. The first time we rode this we were in the back of a full car. The last time we rode it my husband was trying to swap with another couple so we could be in front… Ride personnel spotted him and realized we wanted to be “Ichiban” (first). They had us step aside and then put us in the front of the next car. It wasn’t until the ride began we realized, they hadn’t just put the weird foreigners in front, we were the ONLY people in the car! Unfortunately this ride doesn’t take a photo, or we totally would have bought it. That was such a fun memory!
Next we grabbed another FASTPASS, and tackled 20,000 Leagues. This attraction also has a unique ride vehicle, but was kind of underwhelming. The most unique part of this ride is that you have a little flashlight control in front of your seat, so it is fun to shine your spotlight on different creatures and treasure as you float by them.
We left the volcano, and found ourselves in Port Discovery. The two major attractions here are Aquatopia and Nemo & Friend SeaRider. This is where we took a gamble and rode Aquatopia… We were throughly soaked afterwards, I definitely recommend you learn from us and wear your ponchos on this ride! We had left ours back at the hotel that day.
The water really is this fun teal color; it’s dyed like other Disney Parks!
After getting soaked, Isaac headed back to the hotel for a change of clothes, while I decided to explore and air dry. I wandered the park, picking up a few souvenirs and this seashell treat! This is a Sea Salt Ice Cream Monaka. Monaka is a traditional Japanese treat that they have put a spin on for the park. It’s two pink seashell wafer cookies that contain sea salt ice cream with a bit of sweet raspberry syrup on top. Can you tell it was one of my favorite things?!
Brush up on your military time; it’s used all over Japan!
While Isaac was gone I also managed to procure a dinner reservation at Magellan’s. This restaurant is recommended as a must do when at DisneySea, so it fills up fast! I was pretty proud of myself for navigating the language barrier and setting this up. The food was excellent (though pricey, this is a fine dining spot), and the ambience was a nice quiet break from the park.
Once Isaac returned we caught part of the “Summer of Pirates” show from atop the fortress. This is a great spot to watch the show from because it was not crowded, and we didn’t get wet. One of the pirates in front of the audience seriously brings out a garden hose and just douses the entire audience, it was quite the sight!
Port Discovery is a blend of futuristic and steam punk architecture. The Marine Life Institute was very cool!
After exploring the fortress (more on that in part 2!), we went back to Port Discovery and made the wiser choice to ride Nemo’s Sea Rider. This is a simulator ride where you are shrunk down to fit in a fish size, super adorable submarine. You end up playing hide and seek with Nemo’s friends, and naturally spend most of your time looking for Dory. It has a few splash effects too!
It’s hard to believe, but we packed even more into our 14 hour day! Since this post is getting long, come back next week for Part 2 of our DisneySea Adventure!