One of the unique park experiences you can’t find anywhere else, Tokyo DisneySea has a lot to offer and some unique quirks for a Disney park. I was fortunate enough to visit there during some off time and have some tips and recommendations I’d like to pass on to any other intrepid international Disney explorers!
First, DisneySea is much more popular than big brother Tokyo Disney Land. For whatever reason, Japanese tourists (who make up a bulk of visitors) gravitate more towards DisneySea than Disney Land. When I went to DisneySea, the park was near half capacity, while Disney Land hovered around 30% capacity. On many capacity-tracking websites, you’ll see DisneySea edge out Disney Land nearly every day.
With that, expect crowds. Big crowds. Don’t let capacity numbers fool you: the comparatively smaller offering of rides means that wait times will soar, and very quickly. You’ll want to get a fast pass for the big E-ticket ride you want to see when you first arrive. I had to queue up for about 25 minutes to get a fast pass for Toy Story Midway Mania and my return time was 8 PM. This was maybe 25 minutes after the park opened, mind you! Fast passes go, well, fast! Also, be prepared to wait upwards of 3-4 hours for the more popular rides: the aforementioned Toy Story, the new Finding Nemo attraction, Tower of Terror, Turtle Talk with Crush, and Journey to the Center of the Earth get lengthy real fast, so be prepared!
Attractions at DisneySea
I want to do a quick rundown of some attractions unique to DisneySea that I was able to ride on. Apologies if they are not, in fact, unique to DisneySea!
What is it? Think Autotopia, but in boats. Boats you don’t pilot. And they spin!
Worth the Wait? For younger kids, it’ll please, but after spending close to an hour and a half waiting in line, I can’t say I was richer for the experience. I was entertained but I don’t think I’d go out of my way to ride it again.
What is it? A “rollercoaster-type ride” that had a 360-degree loop. It’s also on of the most compact coasters I’ve ever seen!
Worth the Wait? If you want to ease a kid into roller coasters, this one is amazing for that. If you’re a speed junky and are expecting huge things, look elsewhere. A very friendly Disney coaster, to be sure! I’m glad I rode it, even with the nearly two-hour wait.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls
What is it? A copy-paste of Indiana Jones Adventure (formerly Temple of the Forbidden Eye).
Worth the Wait? I don’t know what they call this ride system, but it’s great! I was lucky enough to get a fast pass for this one, so my wait was negligible. I’d wait in standby for this one if you’ve never been to the original in Disneyland (Anaheim).
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
What is it? Remember the original version at Disney Land/Magic Kingdom? Where you sat in a cramped, claustrophobic chamber? All that has been reimagined with new animatronics and a fresh coat of steam punk.
Worth the Wait? It’s not an intense ride, but the convex windows you look out might give you a bit of motion sickness. I also used a fast pass for this one. Not sure I would go again in a standby line. That being said, it’s a really creative and fun re-imagine of the original. I’d say do it at least once!
Journey to the Center of the Earth
What is it? Fast ride through a mountain, plus more steam punk.
Worth the Wait? I never got onto this one. The ride shut down before I could wait the 2 hours and 20 minutes asked of me at the back of the line. Had I stayed, I was looking at an additional two hours before the ride started running again. If I go again, I’d probably start at this attraction first before the lines got too bad.
And those are my opinions on DisneySea! I’d definitely give yourself more than one day to see everything, especially if you visit during a high-capacity day. I hope you all enjoyed my thoughts and if you’re ever out in the Chiba area, definitely hit up DisneySea for some fun!