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Tokyo DisneySea: Essential Info

Tokyo DisneySea officially opened its doors in 2001 with a theme based on the Seven Seas. Due to cultural differences, there was a huge debate between Japan and the United States over the park’s main symbol. The US wanted a lighthouse, which represents hope in the West and a safe return home, while in Japan it symbolizes loneliness and melancholy. In the end, both sides agreed on a globe called the AquaSphere which displays the Earth as a water planet.

Map of Tokyo DisneySea

All of the seven sections surround a different body of water and are all named after a harbor. Find an interactive map via the Tokyo Disney Resort website.

Opening Hours

Usually, Tokyo DisneySea is open from 9am to 9pm. Depending on the day and number of people, the theme park can open 30 minutes or even an hour earlier. It is located in Chiba Prefecture, which is a 30-minute train ride from Tokyo Station. There are three modes of transportation to get to the theme park: car, train or bus. There are usually scheduled bus rides from various stations to the theme park, which can be reserved beforehand.

How to Get Tickets

Currently, the easiest method of purchasing tickets is via the official Tokyo DisneySea website. Tickets are sold daily from 2pm. The earliest admission would then be on the same date two months later. You can also purchase tickets on the Tokyo Disney Resort App, at most convenience stores, JTB Travel Agents, and Disney Stores with reservations. A park ticket also comes with your Disney Hotel reservation, and there are ticketing websites like Klook, though be extra cautious when using third-party websites. 

The ticketing system has become simplified recently, and Disney parks no longer offer annual passes or multi-day tickets. The current tickets they offer are One Day Passports, with a discounted price for disabled guests, the Weeknight Passports, where guests can enter from 5pm on a weekday, and the Early Evening Passports, where guests can enter the park at 3pm on weekends and holidays.

FastPass Tickets

During Covid, the FastPass ticketing system met its end at Tokyo DisneySea. Now, the park uses Standby Passes, Entry Requests, and Disney Premier Access, all accessible on the Tokyo Disney Resort App. Standby Passes are currently not necessary for any of the attractions but for shops and restaurants. Entry Requests, which are run on a lottery system, are necessary for some shows like Big Band Beat. Disney Premier Access are paid FastPasses that you can purchase in advance to cut long lines and watch parades from designated areas.

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Top 10 Rides at Tokyo DisneySea

According to a recent 2023 questionnaire, these are the ten most popular attractions at Tokyo DisneySea.

Soaring: Fantastic Flight

Since its opening in 2019, this attraction continues to be popular and can be considered an undisputed favorite. Visitors board a ride resembling a paraglider and embark on a magnificent journey through the sky, experiencing the world’s famous landmarks and breathtaking natural wonders, and feeling the wind and scents along the way.

Sindbad’s Storybook Voyage

The relaxing Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage ride is ranked second, surpassing the thrilling rides in popularity multiple times. Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage is a boat-type ride located in the Arabian Coast area.

Visitors set off on an adventure to search for treasures in the vast ocean alongside Sinbad the sailor and the adorable tiger cub, Chandu. The ride proceeds while listening to the beautiful song “Compass of Your Heart,” composed by Alan Menken, who is also behind “A Whole New World.”

This ride has a relatively short waiting time and is a popular attraction among young and elderly visitors who are looking for a mellow coaster.

Toy Story Mania

Disney fans in Japan love the adorable characters from the Toy Story franchise. That may be why the Toy Story Mania ride is the fourth most popular ride at Tokyo DisneySea. This ride is also located on the American Waterfront.

Here, visitors get to ride a tram and play carnival games while hanging out with Woody and the rest of the gang.

Tower of Terror

Tower of Terror is an attraction located on the park’s American Waterfront. It is set in New York in 1912 and explores the secrets of the Tower of Terror, a hotel that has been in ruins since the disappearance of its owner in 1899. The best part of this attraction is the steep descent from a height of about 59 meters in the cursed elevator.

One survey responder said, “I enjoy the thrill of going up and the fear of coming down at once.” Another added, “I can experience a sense of fear I would not normally experience, as well as the exhilaration of falling down.”

Journey to the Center of the Earth

Located on Mysterious Island, the enigmatic genius Captain Nemo has unearthed a heretofore unknown world deep underground. During your journey on board a unique subterranean vehicle, the volcano suddenly shakes and erupts, taking you to places even Captain Nemo has never been before.

Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull

Located at the Lost River Delta, Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull is a ride-based attraction inspired by the iconic franchise. Guests take a tour of the Temple, organized by Dr. Indiana Jones’ assistant, Paco, but when uninvited guests enter, the wrath of the Temple’s guardian god, the Crystal Skull explodes. As traps and curses attack one after another, visitors need to slip through at breakneck speed in an attempt to escape.

In the aforementioned survey, there were comments such as “The decorations and music in the tunnels are nice, and you can enjoy an atmosphere similar to that of the movie,” and, “Not only is it intense as a ride, but everywhere you look, the construction is amazing, and you feel like you are the main character.”

Venetian Gondolas

The Venetian Gondolas is a soothing attraction where visitors ride gondolas and cruise through the picturesque canals of Italy. Led by gondoliers, visitors get to leisurely sail while enjoying the view of DisneySea’s harbor. Among the five bridges you pass under, there is one that’s believed to make wishes come true, known as the “Bridge of Wishes.”

Turtle Talk

Turtle Talk is a show-type attraction where guests can enjoy amusing conversations with Crush, the sea turtle character from Finding Nemo. Crush engages in real-time conversations with randomly selected visitors, sometimes playfully teasing them.

Nemo & Friends SeaRider

Nemo & Friends SeaRider is a flight simulator-style ride that opened in May 2017 where visitors can board a miniaturized submarine that shrinks them down to the size of fish. They embark on an adventure through the worlds of the Pixar films Finding Nemo and Finding Dory.

Meeting sea creatures such as Nemo and his friends, this ride is beloved by both children and adults as a soothing and popular experience.

Mermaid Lagoon Theater

Despite currently being closed, Mermaid Lagoon Theater still ranks at number 10 in popularity.

Mermaid Lagoon Theater is an attraction where guests can experience a theater-style musical show. The highlight is the spectacular scene where Ariel floats gracefully toward the audience using wires. This lavish production is a huge hit with visitors. The theater is located within the Mermaid Lagoon, inspired by Triton’s Kingdom from The Little Mermaid.

Visitors can witness the music and stunning bubble effects from the film up close, creating an emotionally captivating show. With a capacity of approximately 700 people, the large theater ensures high turnover.

Top 5 Snacks at Tokyo DisneySea

Floatie Meat Bun

Looking exactly like the red-striped round floatie, this is a classic Chinese-style meat bun. The floatie meat bun is sold at the Seaside Shack stall in Port Discovery, wrapped in clear packaging with the image of Donald Duck on it. The bun’s dough has a mochi-like glutinous texture, filled with lots of shrimp.

Gyoza Dog

Gyoza dog is a big hot-dog-sized Japanese dumpling. The white fluffy dumpling skin wraps around a hearty gyoza filling. It is perfect to eat while walking.

Little Green Men Rice Cakes

With pictures of this glutinous treat all over Instagram, many people feel this is a must-eat at the park. The small green rice cakes are filled with different flavors and are bite-sized. The three flavors are chocolate, strawberry and cream.

Spicy Smoked Chicken Leg

Another popular takeaway snack is the chicken leg, which is animatedly big and, of course, delicious. It is sold near Mystery Island. A little different from regular turkey leg, the spicy smoked chicken leg is not very expensive, easy to eat even for small children and doesn’t have many bones.

Cinnamon Mickey Mouse Churro

Long Mickey Mouse-shaped churros are found throughout Disney parks, each with their own special flavor and popular for their iconic shape. The most popular flavor at Tokyo DisneySea is the cinnamon-flavored churro stick.

The Resort Line decorated for Tokyo Disney Resort's 40th Anniversary | ⒸDisney

Tokyo DisneySea or Tokyo Disneyland?

Tokyo Disneyland, which opened in April 1983, was the first Disney park built outside of the US. It features themes and attractions you see at Disney parks in the US, including Adventureland and Tomorrowland. Tokyo DisneySea, meanwhile, has a concept that is not seen at other Disney parks. Only one area, the Mermaid Lagoon, is geared towards young children as the other areas feature attractions that are either too fast or dangerous for small kids.

It really depends on what Disney experience visitors want to leave with. For families or those who love the classic, familiar Disneyland experience, Tokyo Disneyland would appear to be the better option. For those who want to try a new Disney park experience, Tokyo DisneySea may be the one for you. It is also more geared towards adults with its alcohol service and more adult-friendly thriller rides.