Tokyo, Japan is home to not one, but two Disney parks; DisneySea and Disneyland! While there is no option (currently anyway) to buy a day pass and park hop across the two in the same day, means you have to pick between the two parks to visit.
During my trip to Tokyo, I couldn’t decide which Disney Park I wanted to visit and so I opted for a two day pass and experienced what both had to offer!
So which park is the better one?!
So what is DisneySea? Well DisneySea was inspired by the myths and legends of the sea, hence it being an ocean/water themed park. Unlike Disneyland which features the magical castle (like all other Disneylands) as the centrepoint to each park, Disneysea instead features Mount Prometheus, a volcano that surrounds sea and can be seen ‘erupting’ throughout the day.
There are several different ‘lands’ featured here and these are; Arabian Coast, Lost River Delta, Port Discovery, Mediterranean Harbor, Mermaid Lagoon, Mysterious Island and American Waterfront.
Reasons to like?
1. More thrill rides – I noticed there was more thrill and adrenaline pumping rides available here than at Disneyland, and far fewer little kids rides here.
2. Food – I was utterly surprised at how great the food was and how each themed ‘land’ had cuisine suited to the land!
3. More adult orientated – as previously mentioned with the rides and there being less kids rides, I did notice the park was more pitched at adults, teenagers and also couples.
4. Great atmosphere – Disneysea have done a great job of making each of the several lands feel ridicoiulsy real…I couldn’t believe I was still in Tokyo!
5 Unique Transport – in the form of steam boat, venetian gondolas, big city vehicles or perhaps train…Disneysea have the options readily available for use to get around the park!
Eating my way around the theme park at each of the different lands! The Arabian was a standout with their warm curries, desserts and very ambient atmosphere.
Tower of Terror – this ride was crazy!
Venetian Gondola Ride – Although not exactly the same experience you would have over in Venice, it certainly feels like it with the beautiful Italian backdrop and singing boat drivers, and without the hefty price too! I had so much fun doing this so I would definitely recommend it!
Storm Rider – riding through the centre of a storm aboard a flying weather laboratory that gets struck by lightning.
Raging Spirits Coaster – the roller coaster takes you on a high speed ride through the ruins of an ancient ceremonial site.
Journey to the centre of the Earth – this ride is based around the volcano Mount Prometheus and is arguably one of the best rides at the park. After riding it, I have to agree it was loads of fun! Get here quickly or use a fast pass for this ride as it is very popular.
Tokyo Disneyland is made up of seven themed lands such as Adventureland, Westernland, Toontown, Fantasyland, Critter Country , Tomorrowland and World Bazaar.
Reasons to like?
Family focused – I found Disneyland had a lot more attractions suitable for younger kids making it great for families with small children. Many of the different ‘lands’ the kids will love e.g. Toontown and Critter Country!
Ultimate happy place – Disneyland makes you feel like you are really in the happiest place on earth! Disneysea on the other hand was slightly less bright, colourful and was lacking somewhat character – maybe because there were less over excited Disney costume characters walking around! Oh, and I lost count of how many Minnie mouse ears I saw visitors sporting around – souvenir shopping is great here!
Firework displays – Disneyland have a spectacular firework display at night by the big Cinderella castle. They are usually held before closing around 10pm, so you will have to hang around for them.
Disneyland features the beautiful Cinderella castle! Featured at all Disneyland’s around the world, making it a trademark feature, and one that deserves that touristy photograph that you know you want to get!
The parades and shows- you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy these!
The food in general is so good, but you can’t miss the churros and variety of unique popcorn flavours!
Go karting – I had some serious fun on this low speed but highly entertaining go karting track!
Splash Mountain – is thought to be one of the steepest and wettest rides at Disneyland! It is a log ride which follows the cartoon tricks of Brer Rabbit. I would also say this may be one of most popular rides, so get in quickly to avoid waiting in line for hours and hours.
Haunted Mansion – scary and slighty amusing, the Haunted Mansion is a lot of fun.
Big Thunder Mountain – this coaster was a fun little ride, riding though a rocky desert and an old abandoned mine at high speed on a runaway train.
Pirates of the Caribbean – I love pirates of the Caribbean so I thoroughly enjoyed cruising on a boat through the dark and dimly lit tunnel full of the movies’ characters and sets!
Jungle Cruise – this ride is suitable for all ages. Its runs through tropical rain forests and waterfalls with lots of jungle wildlife and Indians.
Fast pass may become your best friend while visiting Disney Sea and Disneyland!
The idea of fast pass is to reduce the wait in lines as some you can spend hours waiting, especially for the popular ones!!! A fastpass allows you to skip the line for a specific ride during an assigned one-hour time slot by using a priority lane. Everyone is able to get a fastpass for free by inserting your park ticket into a fastpass machine in front of the attraction. The fastpass will display the time slot during which it can be used. One thing I learned about these fast passes is that you should try and go for the popular rides first as these get booked out the quickest!
Operation hours and fees
Open: Disney Sea and Disneyland are both open for business everyday
Hours: Hours vary slightly from weekdays to weekends.
Weekdays open at 9am and weekends 8am and closes 10pm each night.
Ticket Fees and passes available: There are a variety of tickets that can be purchased.
1 day pass is ¥6,900
2 day pass is ¥12, 400 (must be used on 2 consecutive days)
3 day pass is ¥16, 600 (must be used on 3 consecutive days)
4 day pass ¥20, 800 (must be used on 4 consecutive days)
*note these prices are for Adult Tickets (ages 18 + and will be slightly cheaper for kids prices)
You can may purchase tickets on the day of entry at the park gates if you wish, however if you want to pre buy them this is certainly a very smart option. You can purchase these in advance at designated ticket booths at the resort, through the resort’s official website or at Disney Stores and also through Japanese travel agencies, JR ticket counters and convenience stores. If you are purchasing through these vendor though, just note that you will be given a voucher that must be exchanged at a park ticket booth for the actual ticket.
When to go?
Disneysea and Disneyland are popular all year round, however Winter sees less crowds than the Summer months and Spring and Autumn being the most pleasant times to visit. Also if you want to avoid heavy crowds try to avoid long weekends, national holidays and school holidays!
It had been my first time ever to any Disneyland so I was super excited, and I can say I thoroughly enjoyed my two full days of exploring both Disney Parks. I wouldn’t hesitate to return to either of them in the future as each had there own characteristics that I loved which makes it difficult to pick my favourite! I loved DisneySea for their bigger and slightly scarier thrill rides but also loved the smaller and feel good rides at Disneyland! Disneyland may have had more of a Disney feel, with more costume characters, shows and kids Disney featured rides (whinny the Pooh, Looney tunes etc), whereas DisneySea catered ever so slighty more for an older age group, in both the rides and attractions.
You can check my Gallery posts on Disney Sea here