One of the attractions I never want to miss whenever I travel is the amusement park. Maybe because I didn’t grow up in a place where they are built, or I just love the thrill, excitement and the happiness I felt whenever I enter one. It may be best suited for kids, but I still believe you are never too old to have fun.
Not a long while ago this year, I went on a business trip with my officemates in Tokyo, Japan. Since we were there for almost 3 months, I thought we might as well explore and uncover the beauty of Japan. We decided to go to Tokyo DisneySea.
Tokyo DisneySea is the only one of its kind in the world. It is a franchise of the Walt Disney Company theme parks which can only be found and experienced in Japan. Of course, Tokyo Disneyland is just right around the corner but we opted for DisneySea. It is located in Chiba Prefecture, which is quite far from where we were staying (Kanagawa Prefecture) so we had to ride and transfer to different lines and trains for a couple of times in about an hour or so.
You know you’re headed to the right direction when you see Disney pictures and hear music playing around while you wait for the train. The image below is in Oimachi Station, the Rinkai Line going to Shinkiba Station. FYI, this subway is 5 or 6 floors down. Too deep, huh?
At long last, we arrived at the Maihama Station, just a short walk going to the Resort Gateway Station.
It’s my first time to visit a Disney theme park so I was really amazed and happy to see the cute trains, its windows, and hanging straps with Mickey Mouse-shaped handles!
Tokyo DisneySea is similar to Tokyo Disneyland. Same magical place but with a nautical exploration twist. This is because it is composed of 7 Happiness sharing spots.
First of which, where the door to the magical place is located, is the Mediterranean Harbor – a romantic Southern European port town with lots of shops and restaurants.
Second is the American Waterfront where we experienced both the big city and the charms of a New England fishing village.
The first ride that we tried was The Tower of Terror. We thought that since it is winter season, there won’t be a lot of people, but we were wrong. The very cold and chill atmosphere did not stop them, and even us. The long lines to the rides, as expected in any amusement park, greeted us. Good thing there were FastPass ticketing machines (for free). Not all rides have this so you better get one as soon as possible. The trick about the FastPass is that once you have used it, you can still use it again for another ride in another period of time. The FastPass ticket shows the time when you can ride without having to join the long queue. If you don’t want to have to go through this time-dependent pass, you can buy FastPass ahead of time or online. The thing is you just have to be smart and choose the rides that really need a FastPass. But I guess almost all rides need it. Haha!
Third spot is the Mysterious Island where you can discover the secrets within the Earth and under the sea at Captain Nemo’s hidden base. This is where the most popular ride in DisneySea is located, the Journey to the Center of the Earth.
This is the longest queue we had to endure just to experience its thrill. So while waiting, I took some photos of the displays along the way.
After our journey to the center of the earth, we explored the Mysterious Island more before we lined up for the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride.
This has a quite short line compared to the one we had previously!
We were really lucky because right after our under the sea ride, one of the live entertainments in DisneySea (the Legend of Mythica at the Mediterranean Harbor) just started. Disney characters meet fabulous creatures such as dragons and unicorns. The synchronized kite-flying was my favorite part! 😉
Next, the fourth spot is the Port Discovery where the Center for Weather Control in a futuristic marina across the horizons of time is located. We didn’t really spend a lot of time in this area because its famous ride, the Storm Rider, has a long queue too and it’s already in the middle of the afternoon and we still have 3 spots to go. Pressured? I know right!
So on to the fifth spot. The Lost River Delta where within the Central American jungles, the ruins of an ancient civilization, awaits. The same with Port Discovery, we only did some sightseeing around this spot and enjoyed the characters entertaining everyone along the way.
Time to go under the sea with the sixth spot, the Mermaid Lagoon – the world of Ariel and her aquatic friends. This has the most beautiful structure of all, the Triton’s Kingdom.
Entering Triton’s Kingdom, the feel of under the sea awaits you. From Jumpin’ Jellyfish ride, Blowfish Balloon Race to Ariel’s Playground.
The only live show we’ve ever seen was at the Mermaid Lagoon Theater. It is a live musical production, “Under the Sea,” featuring Ariel of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Photos and videos were not allowed inside so the entrance sign of the theater was all I had. And since this is in Tokyo, the language used was Japanese, you need to inform and ask the Cast Member for the captioning system equipment which translates the script to English and Chinese only.
After a long, fun afternoon, our stomachs called to re-energize. So we headed to Sebastian’s Calypso Kitchen, where pizzas and sandwiches are served together with Calypso music playing.
The night is slowly creeping in and so we headed to the seventh and last spot, the Arabian Coast. The world of The Arabian Nights filled with magic and mystery. And since we were in Arabia, I had to look for Aladdin characters!
We wanted to watch the live show at The Magic Lamp Theater but the lines were, as usual, very long so we decided to ride the Caravan Carousel instead.
We needed to get back to the American Waterfront for our Tower of Terror FastPass time ride, the fastest way across the sea is through the DisneySea Transit Steamer Line located at the Lost River Delta.
The closing Live Entertainment at Tokyo DisneySea is the Fantasmic! at the Mediterranean Harbor, featuring Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice who creates the world of wonder and imagination.
Celebrating Tokyo Disney Resort’s 30th year brought my kid-self back. One day is not enough to experience all the attractions the Tokyo DisneySea has to offer.
You may be wondering why I didn’t describe the feeling of all the rides we have tried. It is because I think the thrill is better felt and experienced personally so as not to spoil those who have yet to try. Asked if I would want to return? YES, OF COURSE!
Guest post by: Maria Johanna Ybañez