This is my favorite Disney park ever! It is so well-designed and so well-themed, it feels like you’re IN a living Disney movie. If you decide to go all the way to Japan for just this one park, it will be worth every penny. It’s just such an impressive place and unique among all Disney theme parks. You’ll find more unique rides here than anywhere else. And the creativity and innovation that went into the development of the park is evident everywhere.
Instead of a castle, the park has a mountain at its center – Mt. Prometheus! As well as being massive, the volcano spews steam and seems about to erupt about every hour. It is also the home to two of the parks premiere attractions – Journey to the Center of the Earth and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Situated in Mysterious Island (the official name of the land), both are unique and incredibly fun. “Journey” is similar to Radiator Springs Racers at Cars Land utilizing similar technology (but was developed for Tokyo before coming to California). 20,000 Leagues is a dark ride mix between Peter Pan and it’s overhead track and Submarine Voyage. This ride has a twist as you can control the light which illuminates the ride path.
Interestingly, Disney Sea is host to a number of unique rides that are not Disney-themed at all – meaning they have no ties to a character or movie in the Disney pantheon. They are still incredibly fun, nonetheless and in some ways add to the unique character of the park. Raging Spirits set in the Lost River Delta is a highly popular ride as it features a 360 looping roller coaster. Port Discovery hosts two unique attractions, StormRider (which is similar to Star Tours but on a much bigger scale as the ride vehicle seats an entire room full of people) and Aquatopia. Sadly, StormRider is closing in May 2016 to make way for a new Finding Nemo attraction (which I’m sure will be fun and still unique to Disney Sea). Personally, I LOVE Aquatopia. It isn’t all that exciting, but I love riding around seemingly randomly on the little floating boats. At certain times during the day, you can choose between the regular ride and the really wet ride – and the really wet ride is truly really wet! Another favorite of mine is Sindbad’s Storybook Voyage. This attraction is a blend between the cuteness of It’s A Small World and the storytelling of Pirates of the Carribean and details the voyages of Sindbad. Other than the impressive storytelling and great audio-animatronics, what makes it such a fun ride is the unique Alan Menken song “Compass of Your Heart.” Sung mostly in Japanese, it is such a catchy tune I found myself going on this ride again and again.
Beyond those attractions, they also have unique Disney-themed attractions also! Wow. One of my favorites is Scuttle’s Scooters. Again, not terribly thrilling, but a unique spin on the familiar carnival rides that go around and around. Another innovative attraction is The Magic Lamp Theater which blends 3D technology and live action into a fun and funny show (you can get a translator for the attraction but it’s funny even in Japanese). I even enjoyed the pre-show. A step up from the common “video on a screen.” Instead an audio-animatronic snake pops up and talks to the audience waiting to enter the theater. And we loved Flounder’s Flying Fish Coaster! A little tamer for the young ones, it’s still plenty fast and fun. The entire Mermaid Lagoon section is exceptionally well done.
But I couldn’t leave out the Disney Sea version of Tower of Terror. The entire mythology behind it is different, focused not on the Twilight Zone but instead around a rich explorer named Harrison Hightower who brings back an idol that is said to be cursed. He disappears one night as the elevator he is in crashes to the ground and only the idol and his hat are left behind. The ride itself is a lot like the Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure, but its the mythology and all the technical elements in the waiting room leading up to the ride that made me a fan. There was one trick in particular when the idol known as Shiriki Utundu suddenly disappears that I can’t explain at all! Where does it go? It seems like magic!
Some of my love of Tokyo Disney Sea is because it is so different from all of the other parks. But the differences only enhance the experience. The Imagineers have created such an encompassing mythology it is captivating! I hope one day you’ll check it out and if you do, then be sure to come back and share your experiences with us! Next we’ll talk about the FOOD at the resort. Yum!
- For more about the attractions at Tokyo Disneyland click on the link.
- To read about meals and snacks at the Tokyo Disneyland Resort click on these links.
- To read about the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel click here.
- Want to learn about the basics of Tokyo Disneyland Resort?
- For more information about parades, Fantasmic, and the culture click here!