I am not embarrassed to say that I am a huge Disney fan. I loved visiting Disney World as a child, and still go to Disneyland on occasion even now. So needless to say, the idea of Tokyo DisneySea was incredibly exciting! We only had one day to see Disney, so we chose to visit DisneySea over Disneyland, since we have one of those back at home.
We took the metro to Maihama Station, where we transferred to the Disney Monorail. The attention to detail is noticeable right away.
Don’t forget to buy yourself a pair of Mickey ears! While you can find all of the Universal “Mickey Ears”, they also have a good collection of hats that are only found in Japan. A lot of the girls’ hats feature giant bows.
DisneySea has a nautical theme to it, with different “Ports of Call”. The layout is very similar to EPCOT, with different themes surrounding a large, central lagoon.
The American Waterfront
DisneySea has Tower of Terror, which is a free-fall thrill ride. The ride can be found at several Disney Parks.
Even though we arrived on a Wednesday around 10AM, the Tower of Terror had already reached a 2 hour wait time. We had been to the Tower of Terror at California Adventure and Hollywood Studios, so we decided we could skip it.
We had never heard of “Duffy” the bear until we got to DisneySea, but he is a huge Disney mascot in Japan. Duffy is really as big of a deal as Mickey Mouse. Duffy and Shellie Mae (his girlfriend) Merchandise can be found all over the park. DisneySea also offers Duffy and Shellie May food. We bought some Cranberry Popcorn that’s served in Shellie Mae buckets. It was so delicious!!
The American Waterfront is the Port of Call where you will find Tower of Terror and the SS Columbia, which is a large ship with a restaurant inside.
From the American Waterfront, we made our way over towards the Mysterious Island.
The Mysterious Island is home to “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” and “Journey to the Center of the Earth”
“20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”
Inside the volcano is the ride “Journey To The Center of the Earth”. It’s a roller coaster ride, and by far the most popular attraction we visited that day.
I know, you’re wondering how “Journey To The Center of the Earth” was….Well, I’m sorry to say I can’t tell you! The line was 4 hours long…yes, FOUR hours!! I am not one to skip out on things, especially at Disney, but this was excessive. Neither of us was feeling that patient, and for the first time in Tokyo, we actually felt overwhelmed by the crowds. People say that Tokyo is a crowded place, but it feels like nothing compared to DisneySea. I’ve been to Disney World on Christmas Day, and it didn’t feel as busy as this!
Even the concession stands had at LEAST a 30 minute wait time. If you see in the picture below, the food stand is underneath the bridge, and I took the picture from the back of the line. At this point, we made the decision to just walk around and explore the park.
Crowds in the Mediterranean Harbor
Ok, enough about the long lines! Just be prepared to wait at least an hour for everything, even the smaller kiddie rides. Now, we did have some luck with food at the Zambini Brothers Ristorante. We were able to find a short food line because there was a show going on in the lagoon. This would be my best piece of advice when visiting DisneySea: grab some food during the showtimes! The food itself was pretty good, and it was nice to just sit down for a bit after walking around!
We left the park after lunch, having been there for a grand total of three hours.On our way out, we spotted Mickey! I noticed that the “main” Disney characters only show up near the entrance to the park, right inside the ticket gate. I’m not sure why this is, but we were able to see Mickey, Daisy, and Goofy in this spot. In case you’re wondering, yes, there was a line to see them too! Haha
While we had planned on spending the entire day at Tokyo DisneySea, I’m sad to say that we didn’t want to stay after getting there. I’m really glad we got to see it, but we were not prepared for the lines. I don’t know if I’d personally go back, but it’s still Disney, and if you don’t mind enormous wait times it’s still a cool park. The tricky thing for us is that we are fortunate enough to live semi-close to a Disney Park. Therefore, a lot of the rides and experiences were the same as ones we have back at home and it wasn’t worth waiting in line for hours at a time. But for most people, visiting Disney is a once in a lifetime experience, or at least a pretty rare one. And in that case, a visit to DisneySea would definitely be worth it.