Why Tokyo DisneySea Is A Must-See
Did you know that there are actually TWO Disney parks in Tokyo? I admit that I learned this after booking our last trip to Asia. If you are visiting Tokyo with kids, it’s worth dedicating a separate day to each Tokyo Disney Resort park. This is a strategy that was recommended to us by the concierge at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi and I’m so glad we listened. We picked up our courtesy tickets and started at Tokyo DisneySea, the focus of this post.
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Getting to Tokyo Disney Resort
From Tokyo Station, we took the KeiyÅ Line (red on the map) to Maihama Station, where Tokyo Disney Resort is located. Once you’re on the train, it’s about a 15 minute ride. We traveled on summer weekdays, but did not have trouble finding a seat on the train. Unlike Tokyo Station, Maihama is very easy to navigate with signs guiding you through the station and to the Disney Resort Line (monorail).
The Disney Resort Line stops in four places: the Resort Gateway Station, Tokyo Disneyland Station, Bayside Station (where the resort’s official hotels are), and Tokyo DisneySea. There’s a small fee for the monorail. We bought 2-day passes which were ¥1200 (¥800 for adults and ¥400 for children) total. At the time of this writing, this equals about $15 USD. The transition from Tokyo Station to Tokyo Disney Resort Line is very easy and fast, making even a half-day visit doable.
Tokyo Disney Resort Ticket Information
Ticket prices for a one-day passport to one park are:
- Adults ages 18 and over: ¥6,200 ($77 USD)
- Kids ages 12-17: ¥5,300 ($66 USD)
- Kids ages 4-11: ¥4,100 ($51 USD)
A two-day pass can get you into both parks for roughly 50% more. I would highly recommend this if you plan to visit both parks. Check the Tokyo Disney Resort ticket page for current pricing and use a currency converter.
About Tokyo DisneySea
Tokyo DisneySea, located on the shores of Tokyo Bay, is a park unique to Tokyo featuring seven different ports of call. Guests enter the park through the Mediterranean Harbor, which leads to six more nautically themed ports: American Waterfront, Lost River Delta, Port Discovery, Mermaid Lagoon, Arabian Coast, and Mysterious Island.
The attention to detail all the way around this park is impressive. Perhaps because so much Disney is cartoon-like, the rides, buildings and exhibits stood out as extraordinarily life-like from a small version of the Queen Mary to authentic Mediterranean-style buildings. We truly felt as it we were stepping into a different part of the world upon entering each port. Here is a picture of our map, just to give you a quick feel for the park.
Tokyo DisneySea is the the fifth-most-visited theme park in the world.
Exploring The Tokyo DisneySea Ports Of Call
As Princess Ariel is a favorite, we set off for Mermaid Lagoon first. Several character greeting areas are spread around the park, but Princess Ariel is available for photographs (yours and professional ones) in her grotto. Next door is Triton’s Kingdom, an indoor underwater-like amusement park in it’s own right.
After riding the Blowfish Balloon Race, we walked over to the Arabian Coast port, in search of Princess Jasmine. Though we didn’t see her, we enjoyed a nice curry lunch and enjoyed a show at The Magic Lamp Theater.
From the Lost River Delta next door, we caught the DisneySea Transit Steamer Line back to the Mediterranean Harbor, passing by Mysterious Island Port along the way.
I knew her legs were tired but we had to see the American Harbor, touring it mostly via DisneySea Electric Railway and walking back down to the exit. We were there for about 5 fun-filled hours.
For those who would like to spend a night in the park, the Tokyo DisneySea Hotel MiraCosta is cleverly built into the architecture of Mediterranean Harbor.
It also happens to be where the balloon lady is. Yes, we bought one.
Tokyo DisneySea Dining and Restaurants
Study the map in advance and plan your day according to where you might eat. The curry restaurant didn’t offer much other than curry, just as the Sebastian’s Calypso Kitchen in Mermaid Lagoon didn’t offer much other than seafood sandwiches and seafood pizza. The restaurant options are diverse and plentiful so you will certainly find what you’re looking for, just plan it in advance. Alcohol is also served at some restaurants, unlike Tokyo Disneyland next door. Character dining is located at the Horizon Bay Restaurant in Port Discovery.
Popcorn is a big deal. Initially, I couldn’t figure out why people of all ages were wearing Disney-themed buckets around their necks. Well, it’s because there are popcorn carts scattered around the park, each serving up a different flavor.
Choose from curry, sea salt, strawberry, milk tea, black pepper, caramel and more.
Things To Know
We loved this park! It’s less hectic and offers larger variety of dining options than Tokyo Disneyland. Perhaps, this is why I’m told that teenagers and adults prefer it. There are more adult (faster) rides here, too.
You probably noticed an absence of rides in our itinerary above. Interestingly enough, La Jolla Girl (age 5) was content to just walk around and take in the sights. I was prepared for lines. We visited on a summer weekday and the average wait seemed to be 45 minutes, with almost no lines at the DisneySea Transit Steamer Line or the DisneySea Electric Railway.
There is a lot to see here. However, because you have to walk around the park and can’t cut through it easily (due to the water), you should plan out your day in advance. It’s a lot of walking, but well worth it. We ran into a handful of characters walking around the park, but not nearly as many as Tokyo Disneyland. And, the nautical-themed characters are here. Princess Ariel is not at Tokyo Disneyland, for example.
My daughter keeps asking to go back. See also our Tokyo Disneyland round-up.
Have you been to Tokyo DisneySea?
*Thanks to Oriental Land Co., LTD for providing our Tokyo Disney Resort tickets.