Is This Really the Best Disney Park on Earth?

in Disney Parks, Theme Parks, Tokyo Disneyland

Walt Disney ushered in a new day of entertainment and experiences for families in the United States when Disneyland Resort opened in 1955. Walt Disney World Resort, the largest of Disney Resorts around the world, opened in Orlando, Florida in October 1971, and Guests have been flocking to Orlando, Florida, and Anaheim, California to experience the magic ever since.

Mickey Mouse sits on Walt Disney's shoulder
Credit: Disney

Wondering where are all the Disney Parks are located around the world? Disney fans worldwide can enjoy visiting Parks in Tokyo, Japan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, China and in Paris, France. We can’t forget about the largest Disney Resort in the world, Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, or the original Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.

But what Disney Park is the best? Many fans worldwide say Tokyo Disney Resort, specifically Tokyo DisneySea is the best Disney Park in the world. I had the chance to visit Tokyo, DisneySea earlier this month, and I’m ready to share my thoughts on this Park. Is Tokyo DisneySea really the best Disney Park on earth?

Tickets and Transportation

Tokyo Disney Monorail Line
Credit: Katie Chapman

We added a visit to Tokyo Disney Resort to our vacation in Tokyo, Japan. If you’re wondering how to get to DisneySea from Tokyo, plenty of helpful guides on touring sites exist. Google Maps has great turn-by-turn train instructions in English that make navigating simple. We quickly caught a train in Shinjuku and after two transfers, made it to Tokyo Disney Resort within an hour.

Tokyo Disney Monorail Station
Credit: Katie Chapman

If you’re wondering how to purchase DisneySea tickets, the answer is you’ll need to purchase them online before your vacation. Don’t believe any information you see about purchasing tickets in Disney Stores or convenience stores in Tokyo. While this was the protocol before the global pandemic, ticket sales in these locations have not resumed. The only place to purchase Tokyo DisneySea or Tokyo Disneyland tickets now is on the Tokyo Disney website.

Park Theming Details

Tokyo DisneySea Entrance
Credit: Katie Chapman

Tokyo Disneyland Resort opened on April 15, 1983. The president of Oriental Land Company and the Chairman of the Disney Company officially opened the Park in Urayasa, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. Tokyo, DisneySea was the second Park at Tokyo Disney Resort, having opened in September 4, 2001. If you’re wondering, what is Tokyo DisneySea? You probably have questions about the theming. I was a little confused about the Tokyo DisneySea rides in this Park and how it all fit together around the theme of- water.

Tokyo, DisneySea is themed around the water, very appropriate since the location of Tokyo Disney Resort is near the ocean. When Guests walk past the giant globe, and into the Park, they are met with a beautiful view of a Mediterranean Harbor. The Tokyo DisneySea Hotel MiraCosta surrounds the front of the Park so a look back over your shoulder reveals a beautiful Resort that fits seamlessly in the theming of the Park.

DisneySea Mediterranean Harbor
Credit: Katie Chapman

Tokyo DisneySea is divided into sections and include the Mediterranean Harbor, Mysterious Island, where you’ll find Journey to the Center of the Earth, Mermaid Lagoon, the Arabian Coast, Lost River Delta, Port Discovery, and finally the American Waterfront.

Related: Who Did It Better? Tokyo Disney Resort or Disney World?

Charming Park Theming

In seeing photos of this Park, I continued to imagine the Mediterranean Harbor and forget about the other sections of the Park. I was not expecting the magic Tokyo DisneySea dished out. The Mediterranean Harbor is a beautiful Park entrance that not surprisingly, is reminiscent of portions of EPCOT World Showcase. The beautiful landscaping and winding alleys and corridors lead to shops and restaurants in a way reminiscent of Tuscany.

My husband David and I, were continually amazed at just how detailed this section of the Park was. Rides like Soaring: Fantastic Flight were located in this section of the Park, along with some Italian and Japanese eateries. The DisneySea Transit Steamer Line, and the beautiful Venetian Gondolas run through canals in this section of the Park.

Tokyo DisneySea Mysterious Island
Credit: Katie Chapman

Mysterious Island is an interesting center of the Park that houses one of our favorite snacks- a sausage steamed bun that was on our must-eat DisneySea list. It did not disappoint! The most thrilling ride in the Park, Journey To The Center Of The Earth, is located on Mysterious Island. This ride has Guests explore via a subterranean vehicle and experience some surprises in the dark caverns. I lived my Jules Verne fantasy on another Mysterious Island attraction, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I loved that this classic story was told through a storybook ride that felt so real instead of a walk-through attraction like the Nautilus experience at Disneyland Paris.

Under the Sea Wonderland

Tokyo DisneySea Mermaid Lagoon
Credit: Katie Chapman

No way could we pass up a visit to Mermaid Lagoon. You can explore King Triton’s Kingdom at this indoor attraction space. Ride whirlpools, spin in blowfish balloons, and bounce on adorable jumping jellyfish. Ariel’s playground was nearby for the little ones. While exploring King Triton’s Kingdom, we enjoyed a delicious sea salt caramel shell dessert with a raspberry swirl. Outside, Scuttle’s Scooters and Flounder’s Flying Fish Coaster are provided under the sea-themed entertainment. Mermaid Lagoon was fun to see as a Disney Princess fan, but it does cater to younger Guests.

Tokyo DisneySea King Triton's Kingdom
Credit: Katie Chapman

The Arabian Coast is home to Jasmine’s Flying Carpets, the Caravan Carousel, and my favorite storybook ride in the Park, Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage. Perhaps it’s the fewer daily Guests visiting the Park, but David and I enjoyed the longer ride times at Tokyo Disney. Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage was a detailed and adorable attraction that told the story of Sinbad and his adorable tiger Chandu in ornate detail. The ride was several scenes longer than typical attractions at Walt Disney World Parks, and we really enjoyed the immersive experience to let us engage in the story for longer.

Arabian Coast at Night Tokyo DisneySea
Credit: Disney

Unique Rides and Shows

After exploring the Arabian Coast, it was time to head over to the Lost River Delta to enjoy some mystery. Unfortunately, the Raging Spirits rollercoaster was under construction, so we could not enjoy it on this trip. We rode the DisneySea Transit Steamer Line from the Lost River Delta docking point to the front of the Park. As an Indiana Jones fan, I absolutely loved Indiana Jones Adventure, Temple of the Crystal Skull Ride. It’s a rocky ride that takes Guests on one of Indy’s expeditions to escape with the enchanted crystal skull. The ride felt similar to Dinosaur at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

@ktchapman

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♬ original sound – grungespedup

As fans of Disney Pixar’s movie Finding Nemo, there was no way we could skip Nemo and Friends Sea Rider. We headed over to Port Discovery to meet Dory, Marlin, Nemo, and all their friends as we boarded a submersible simulator ride that took us under the sea. We even floated with sea turtles Crush and Squirt!

Tower of Terror at Tokyo DisneySea
Credit: Tokyo DisneySea

The American Waterfront was one of my favorite sections of the Park. It houses attractions like Toy Story Mania!, The DisneySea Electrical Railway, Turtle Talk, and Tower of Terror. The architecture in this area of the Park was a fun mix, reminiscent of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and areas of Universal Studios Orlando. Again, the details were kicked up a notch with super interesting Cape Cod-style architecture, next-door to San Francisco facades, and a New York harbor scene.

Tokyo DisneySea American Waterfront Toy Story Mania!
Credit: Katie Chapman

We loved wandering the American Waterfront at DisneySea. Tower of Terror was a fun attraction to experience with a different backstory than the ride at Disney World. The mysterious case of the cursed idol that doomed a famed explorer is shared in the storyline of Tokyo DisneySea’s Tower of Terror. We enjoyed the same thrills as we are used to at Walt Disney World Resort’s Hollywood Studios, with a new storyline.

Tokyo DisneySea Toy Story Mania! Entrance Night
Credit: Katie Chapman

If you’re wondering if DisneySea has a FastPass system, the answer is- sort of. The Disney Premier Access Pass is available for purchase. The Disney Premier Access Pass can be purchased in addition to your Park ticket and allows Guests to choose designated times to return for a reduced wait time on the particular attractions. We chose not to add the Disney Premier Access Pass to our tickets, but still saw all the attractions we wanted to experience.

Related: Is Disney World or Disneyland Better? You Decide!

Is a Trip to DisneySea Worth It?

Fab 5 at Tokyo DisneySea
Credit: Disney

The delicious food, fun attractions, and stunning theming of Tokyo, DisneySea made it one of my favorite theme Parks ever. If you’re wondering if DisneySea is worth it during a trip to Tokyo. My answer would be a resounding, yes. The Tokyo Metro ride to Urayasa, Japan, from central Tokyo is easy, and there is so much to see in this Disney Park. While this is not my all-time favorite Disney Park it is in my top three favorite Parks.

Related: Mouthwatering Tokyo Disneyland Snacks We Wish Were at a Park Near Us

Is DisneySea Really The Best Disney Park on Earth?

believe sea of dreams tokyo disneysea peter pan ship
Credit: Disney

The way the theming between Park sections flows effortlessly makes each land feel more immersive than any theme Park I have ever visited. The themed food in each of the sections kept up the magic. We tried delicious Japanese snacks that had character and 40th-anniversary themes. DisneySea rides are detailed, unique and longer than traditional Walt Disney World attractions. The merchandise selection is incredible with so many awesome DisneySea attraction-specific shirts, chopsticks, and plush for shoppers to choose from.

Tokyo DisneySea 40th Anniversary Entrance
Credit: Katie Chapman

 The verdict from a Disney fanatic? DisneySea was unforgettable, and we definitely want to visit again. If you want more details about Disney Parks around the world, remember to browse Inside the Magic for food, Park plans, and special events at Disney Parks around the globe!

in Disney Parks, Theme Parks, Tokyo Disneyland

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