If you are in Tokyo for just 1 or 2 days and you are with kids, I suggest that you make a detour to visit Tokyo DisneySea. It is a one of a kind attraction that you will not find anywhere else in the world and it is sure to delight both kids and adults. There is so much to see and do! You could easily skip going to the Tokyo Disneyland and instead reserve your energies and money for DisneySea.
As with the neighbouring Disneyland park, DisneySea is not owned by the Walt Disney Company, but by The Oriental Land Corporation. It was constructed in 2001.
Besides the rides, the amusements, the shows, the food and everything else Disney, what will really impress you most is the attention to detail in every aspect of the park. From the Inca temple in the Lost River Delta to the lighthouse at the American waterfront. From the Gondola rides in the Mediterranean harbour to the back streets of Venice. From the two level carousel in the Arabian Coast to the underwater Ariel’s playground in the Mermaid lagoon. There is a level of craftsmanship on display here that will leave you breathless. Each area within the park leaves you wanting more. Our kids could have spent the whole two days in the underground Mermaid lagoon area itself. There was so much to do and so much to play with.
For convenience, I will divide this review into the thematic areas within the park:
* Entrance/Mediterranean harbour – you don’t need to go to Venice after being here. The front façade of DisneySea represents the most authentic recreation of the Venetian cities that you could every imagine. But more than that, these are real living areas which are converted into an actual hotel – the hotel Mira Costa. This facade continues as you go inside, with Gondola rides, various shop fronts, cafes that mimic the Italian way of life.
* Mysterious Island – If you continue right from Mediterranean harbour, you land into Jules Verne’s styled themed area with two rides which may not be suitable for little ones (but older ones will love them). 20000 leagues under the sea ride takes you on a submarine ride to explore creatures underwater, and the Journey to the centre of the earth take you through the flagship DisneySea mountain for a thrill ride. Both these rides are a must see/do, but you should plan in advance using the fast pass system.
* Mermaid Lagoon – An underwater sea area (with two rides outside), this is a veritable goldmine for little ones. If you are fortunate enough to have little ones in your group, you could lose them here for a day or two :). There is a lot to do here, so plan your times accordingly. One tip is to make your way here when the sun is likely to be hottest, as you can shelter from the elements at the harshest times. All rides are little kid friendly, however the show might not suit those afraid of the dark.
* Arabian Coast – Amazing architecture on display! The authenticity of the domes and the thematic recreation of the back streets of Morocco are without compare. The double storey carousel ride is a must see and do! The flying carpet ride will thrill the little ones and so will the Sindbad ride (which is comparable to the It’s a small world ride). You should check out the magic shows and the dining areas.
* Lost River Delta – The Raging Spirits roller coaster ride was closed while we were there, but the Indiana Jones attraction was open and the lines for fast pass were longer than the ones to get in. This is one popular ride, so I suggest that if you intend to go on it, go on a quiet day (Tuesday to Thursday) and even then make sure to fast pass it as soon as you can. There is a show in an abandoned hangar here as well which may not suit little ones.
* Port Discovery – Is the TomorrowLand of DisneySea. It contains two rides – Stormrider (not suitable for little ones) and Aquatopia (very suitable for little ones and grown ups alike!). Of all the rides in both Disneyland and DisneySea, our kids went on Aquatopia the most number of times. It is a pointless, adventure free, three person ride which ends up being loads of fun because it goes off in different directions with what seems like an undetermined trajectory. It is even more fun at night time.
* American Waterfront – rounds up the different themed areas and is pretty extensive. It replicates the New York harbour and the eastern seafront of United States from early 20th century very authentically. It also features a very popular sit down lunch and dinner show with Duffy the bear. Even though we couldn’t understand anything, it makes for an interesting watch. Not to be missed are the SS Columbia (an original ocean going liner) and the show that is held in front of it, and the talk with the Turtle. The Turtle talk was a highlight for our children, even though the whole conversation was in Japanese.
* Besides this, in the centre of the park is a huge fort that somehow doesn’t seem to fit into any of the themed areas, but is medieval themed. It also has a pirate ship (with live canons that children can play with for sound and effects) . The castle itself has a map because there is so much to explore, and we were completely blown away by the various artefacts and things we could actually play with (the chamber of planets, the remote controlled ships, the pendulum room and heaps more).
This concludes part 2 of our three part series reviewing Tokyo Disneyland Resort. If you haven’t read part 1, read the review of Tokyo Disneyland here. In the third and final part tomorrow, I will list the points where I think Tokyo Disneyland Resort can do better (in short, that is the part where I list some criticism of Tokyo Disney Resort).
* Disclosure: CraftGossip received complimentary admission to Tokyo DisneySea for one day.