A little bit of planning goes a long way
It is important to get to the park before it opens and preferably with pre-booked tickets. Once you get through the park gates, the first thing you should do is get a Fast Pass for one of the popular rides. These include Journey to the Center of the Earth, Tower of Terror, Toy Story Mania and Indiana Jones: Temple of the Crystal Skull. Which ones you prioritize will depend on what you like to enjoy.
Journey to the Center of the Earth is the park’s star attraction, complete with underground tunnels, giant mushrooms, earthquakes, a lava monster and a fiery volcano. The ride lasts just a couple of minutes and the wait can be painfully long because it is so popular.
If brief moments of extreme fear is your thing, the Tower of Terror is an excellent ride to go on and actually gives you a great view of the park for a split second, before it plunges you straight down into darkness. It will be sure to get your palms sweating and heart racing!
For something a lot more colorful, make sure to go to Toy Story Mania. The ride is essentially a bunch of carnival games presented using 3D and 4D technology and effects. There is a lot of shooting, noise and laughter! The fun factor easily makes this attraction one of the most popular in the park, so be prepared to wait a long time or sprint for a Fast Pass first thing in the morning!
At the back of the park is the Indiana Jones ride, which is one of the only attractions with a single rider line. If you don’t mind being split up for the short duration of the ride, then make the most of this option to cut down on waiting time – time you can use better exploring the other areas of the park or going on other attractions! If you don’t want to split up, go to this ride early in the morning after getting your first Fast Pass.
Enjoying the full DisneySea experience
DisneySea is beautifully themed and there is exceptional attention to detail, so once you have all the main rides sorted, you should take the chance to fully appreciate the finer details of the park.
Wander through the meticulously designed Mediterranean Harbor, where you really feel as if you have been transported to Italy. Relax on the Venetian gondola ride and make the most of the romantic scenery. Indulge in some Italian food or have fun discovering what’s down all the little alleyways.
Next to little Italy is the American Waterfront, complete with American-style restaurants, a steamboat and the Broadway Music Theatre. Visitors can watch the Big Band Beat, a 30-minute jazz show featuring tap dancing and appearances by Disney characters that is performed at the theatre. Tickets to all shows except the first one of the day are given out through a lottery system, which you can register for at Biglietteria at the Mediterranean Harbor. There are also a limited number of open seats per performance.
Lost River Delta provides a luscious and exotic setting to walk around in, making you really feel as if you were in a tropical rainforest. Around the corner, a real feast for the eyes awaits at the Arabian Coast, which draws inspiration from Aladdin. This is where you and your date can experience the Caravan Carousel, a beautiful and ornate double level carousel that will make all other carousel rides pale in comparison.
The bright colors of Mermaid Lagoon will bring a smile to your faces before you walk through the tunnels of Mysterious Island, where you can hop on the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride. If you still have the energy, make your way back to Mediterranean Harbor for the Fantasmic show. Dramatic music, fire, lights, a battle between good and evil and a dragon make this one a must-see – but get there early if you want to secure a good viewing spot.
How to get there
Both the JR Keiyo and Musashino lines go to Maihama Station from Tokyo Station. From there, take the Disney Resort Monorail to Tokyo DisneySea Station.
Get there early: it can’t be stressed enough – get to the park early, ideally around one hour before it opens. You don’t want to start your DisneySea adventure waiting a long time just to get inside the park.
Make the most of the snacks: Popcorn is a major feature of Disney theme parks and it can turn into a fun game to try and find all the different flavors sold around the park. Get a bucket and snack while you wait in line for rides!
Don’t be afraid to dress up: it’s normal to see couples and friends wearing the same outfits at both Tokyo DisneySea and Disneyland and it is incredibly cute! It makes for fun photos, too.
Avoid extra crowded days: this is a no-brainer, but days you want to try and avoid in particular include weekends and Japanese public holidays, particularly Golden Week at the end of April, Obon in July/August and New Year’s Eve and Day. When school holidays are on, it really doesn’t matter which day you go because they will all be crowded.