Exploring Tokyo DisneySea

With only four days to explore the sprawling metropolis that is Tokyo, we were undecided about dedicating a half day to visit Disney right up until the day we went. But, being a huge Disney fan since my wee little whippersnapper days, I knew I’d regret not visiting Disney while in Japan.

Choosing to visit DisneySea over Disneyland was an easy decision. Tokyo Disneyland is very similar to other Magic Kingdom style parks in Florida, California and Hong Kong. If you’ve never been to Disneyland, checking it out may be worth it, but the seven theme lands are almost an exact replica of the ones in Walt Disney World.

DisneySea, on the other hand, is an ocean-themed park, unique to Japan. There may not be a castle in DisneySea, but it’s no less magical than Disneyland.

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Even though I only spent a half day in DisneySea, it quickly became one of my favorite parks- the decor and attention to detail is next level incredible. As you’re walking through the themed lands, you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to another country.

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We didn’t have time for too many rides, but I did notice the attractions seemed to be more thrill based. Tower of Terror, Indiana Jones Adventure, The Center of the Earth and Raging Spirits roller coaster are a guaranteed good time.

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Another unique aspect of DisneySea is Duffy the Bear. Duffy is very popular in Japan and his home is none other than DisneySea. From Duffy merchandise to designated photo spots, you’ll see Duffy’s presence all over the park.

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Snacking in DisneySea was just as exciting as visiting the different lands, with so many unique options to the park. My top picks from the day:

  • Donald Duck Eukiwa Buns from Seaside Snacks: These steamed shrimp buns are well loved for good reason- they’re thick, delicious and loaded with shrimp
  • Sea Salt Ice Cream Monaka: Adorable packaging and a delicious snack, you can find these at any of the ice cream vendors in the park. It’s essentially two seashell shaped wafers with salted caramel ice cream in between
  • Sultan’s Sundae from Sultan’s Oasis: Another sweet treat perfect for hot days, this coconut ice cream with mango and red jelly sundae is tropical tasty
  • Popcorn: Tokyo Disney is known for its bizarre multiple popcorn flavors. From honey to soy sauce, to milk tea, to white chocolate, to strawberry, and curry- there are some seriously inventive flavors

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Check DisneySea’s website for its opening hours- we came around 11 am on a Thursday and stayed until 5 pm. Perhaps its the size of the park, but it didn’t feel very crowded. If we were there for a full day, we would’ve had more than enough time to check out all of the rides and attractions.

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Because we were short on time (came straight to DisneySea from Kyoto, and had to hurry back to city center for a reservation at the Robot Restaurant), we took a taxi to/from DisneySea.

This was the only time we took taxis in Tokyo, and I wouldn’t advise doing so unless you’re prepared for expensive cab rides. Alternatively, you can take the JR Keiyo Line (Local or Rapid) to Maihama Station. From there, you’ll catch a Disney shuttle to the theme park.

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