Despite dividing my Tokyo DisneySea adventure into two, I don’t think I’ve managed to really convey just how big this particular Disney park was. Again, since I haven’t been to Tokyo Disneyland I don’t really have enough to compare the two against each other. But I can tell you honestly that maybe the reason why I didn’t find DisneySea as nostalgic is because none of the characters familiar to me from my childhood are really highlighted here in a way. Except maybe for Ariel.
The rides were just okay for me, but if you take the experience as a whole, there is absolutely no one who could say that this park isn’t spectacular just from appearances. Literally walking through all the different ports of call is teleporting yourself to a completely different magical world. The details are spot on and have the meticulousness I’ve come to appreciate from every Disney park I’ve ever visited.
In this post I’m going to share the two structures in DisneySea that I deem as the most impressive ones– frankly maybe some of the most impressive I’ve seen in any theme park– including the DisneySea counterpart for the usual Beast’s/Sleeping Beauty Castles in the Disneyland parks: King Triton’s Castle at the Mermaid Lagoon.
I think one of the major selling points of the Disney theme parks is how they manage to really capture certain places and concepts and actually turn those ideas into reality. If anything else, I really enjoyed walking around this theme park and looking around at all the buildings, and the people too of course, for the Japanese have a really special love for the Tokyo Disney parks for sure!
You know what I’m thinking as I’m typing this? It’s that maybe if I ever get the chance to visit Tokyo Disneyland, I’ll try going about it the Japanese way: Have at least one piece of Disney-themed article of clothing on me, whether it be a character hat, or a shirt with a Disney print. It’s not so much as fitting in with the trend but I don’t know, it feels like a lot more fun doing it that way!
The Lost River Delta is the land of Indiana Jones. Built among the ruins of an ancient temple pyramid in Central American jungle, the area was steeped in Aztec vibes.
The two main attractions here are are the Raging Spirits Roller Coaster, plus the Indiana Jones Adventure ride, which is one of the big 3 rides in Tokyo DisneySea. I remember seeing a similar location in Disneyland Anaheim, but that one had Tarzan’s jungle as its main concept, with a wooden boat ride as one of its major attractions.
The Indiana Jones ride had lots of special effects and that familiar music (again with Japanese narration), but it’s not actually a roller coaster, but more like a turbulent ride in a dark place where you follow Indiana Jones as he goes through the Temple of the Crystal Skull in search of the Fountain of Youth. I wish we rode the Raging Spirits instead because it’s probably the only looping roller coaster here.
The Arabian Coast was by far the most impressive and also my favourite of all the locations. It was like a piece of the Middle East got thrown off and landed right smack here in Japan.
The narrow alleyways of Agrabah literally brought me into the world of ‘Aladdin’ and ‘1001 Arabian Nights’, and once again I am amazed by the attention to detail because not a single thing was left out of place. It reminds me quite a lot of Dubai actually, being here, and that’s saying a lot! We spent a good deal of time around here taking photos and eating snacks.
We watched Genie’s magic show in the theater, and the only thing that took away from my enjoyment of this is that I don’t understand it. It’s in Japanese! But the mixing of real people and the animated graphics was done superbly. It’s my first time seeing a show of this kind in any Disney Park.
Riding along with Sinbad was another experience suggested by other blogs, and it was a nice way to relax after running around the park for a good part of the day. It’s for children definitely, but the Sinbad caricatures were very cute. Chandu the tiger was even more so! We sat back and listened to mechanical Sinbad’s in different manners of adventure singing Japanese songs in a mesmerizing voice.
We sat down at the Sultan’s Oasis for one of the park’s most popular snacks: Chandu’s Tail. What a great concept this little snack is, plus Chandu’s so cute! It’s basically a soft bread shaped like a tiger’s orange tail, filled with some cream chicken. Costs a hefty ¥450 but food’s always more expensive inside a theme park. The heat also prompted my dad to buy some Maple Cream Balls with Soft Serve (¥450). These soft pancake-like balls filled with cream are best eaten with a spoonful of the ice cream.
I also have to say, The Sultan’s Oasis is a great place to people watch and spot for some Disney characters like this Arabian Daisy, Abu, and Jafar!
So many of the Japanese visitors love collecting signatures in these cute little notebooks, and I’m not even talking about Japanese kids here. The girls would approach the mascots in their cute Disney-themed outfits and ask for a signature, or take kawaii photos, or both.
The “Disney Park culture” in Japan is something they take fairly seriously. It really does add to the fun.
The Mermaid Lagoon is the second most impressive location, boasting a massive palace which belongs to- yep, you guessed it, Ariel of ‘The Little Mermaid’. As I mentioned above, this is DisneySea’s version of the Sleeping Beauty Castle/Beast’s Castle in other Disney Parks, and while I’m more of a fan of medieval castles, this was pretty effing amazing nonetheless. Never seen anything like it really!
The life-sized statue of King Triton will greet you at the entrance.
Going inside takes you into a dark cavern filled with activites and rides for children. What amazed me was the special rippling effects of the lights that made it seem as though the whole place is submerged underwater. Genius!
The rides here are mostly for kids though, and there was supposed to be a Little Mermaid show in the theater here but on the date we arrived it hasn’t started yet. Pretty sure it’ll be a heck of a show though, even though it most probably will also be in Japanese.
If you’re thinking about buying gifts and souvenirs, just head on up to the Mediterranean Harbours numerous shops. The really popular items here are the limited edition Duffy bears which you can basically only find at Tokyo DisneySea. These little head pieces are fairly popular among the Japanese Disney-goers. Most of the guys wear Stitch on their heads while many of the girls opt for Minnie headbands with her signature bow.
So how much did I enjoy my day in DisneySea? I certainly didn’t LOVE it, but it was worth a visit. It does make me wonder about how different Disneyland is though. After my visit to DisneySea some of my friends suddenly told me that I should’ve gone there instead and I was like, ‘Guys, why didn’t you tell me sooner?’
We’ll see if I will indeed find time for Disneyland on my next Japan trip, but I think I would be a lot more appreciative of visiting Studio Ghibli. I’ve always wanted to get a glimpse into the mind of one of my animator idols Hayao Miyakazi. But for now, I’m just going to kind of laugh at this photo of me seemingly breathing in the Tokyo DisneySea air with my eyes closed. (Actually it was just my Dad, taking FOREVER to snap the photo and literally just making me wait until I needed to blink before he actually does.)