Visiting Tokyo Disney and DisneySea was something I was not sure I wanted. Sean wanted to go but I know that previous experiences with Disneyland in California have always ended with me feeling like the idea of going was better than the actual experience.
I was even more hesitant knowing that the population in Japan and specifically in Tokyo is one of the largest and these parks must get very crowded. After doing some research, I agreed to at least go to DisneySea as it appeared to be much different than the parks in the US. Many people also kept saying DisneySea is the best amusement park in the world. But from what we had read, Tokyo Disney was similar to Disneyland in California.
Well I was wrong and Sean was right. Both Tokyo Disney and DisneySea are amazing! Let’s start with our experience with DisneySea. But keep in mind that we visited at a time of year that seemed to be between peak times, April 2023.
If you’re deciding between Tokyo Disney and DisneySea, I would recommend DisneySea. This park is specific to Japan and has attractions you can’t find anywhere else in the world. We bought the tickets for DisneySea via Klook for around $66 USD per person.
Two of the most popular rides are Journey to the Center of the Earth and Soaring: Fantastic Flight. These are two that you can buy premier passes for at the cost of around $15. You can do this via the Disney app and it is recommended you do it early in the morning before they sell out.
Anyway, Sean and I did not go on Journey to the Center of the Earth, despite it being labeled the best ride there because neither of us enjoys roller coaster types rides. We did buy passes for Soaring because it did not seem to have less than over an hour wait time.
When we got to the park we started with Indiana Jones. Then made our way around to the Arabian Coast to see Agrabah Marketplace and go on Sinbad’s Storybook Adventure (which we did about 3 times). Then we went to Mysterious Island for 20,000 League’s Under the Sea and then headed to Soaring.
All of the rides we did had no longer than 20 minutes of wait time. For lunch we ate at Vulcania Restaurant which serves Chinese food. Then dinner we ate at Casbah Food Court for curries. Both were delicious. Disney in Japan has some wonderful food. Definitely check out the fun churro and popcorn flavors.
We spent the whole day at DisneySea spending no less then 20 minutes in every line we went to. There were way less people in the park than we had anticipated. At the end of the night we watched the Believe! Sea of Dreams show and then took the train back to our Airbnb. It was a wonderful experience!
If you find the time, you can definitely enjoy Tokyo Disney and DisneySea. After our experience at DisneySea, Sean convinced me to go to Disneyland. This was also after finding a crowd calendar that estimated the amount of people expected at each park per day. For a good article on how to use the crowd calendar, check out this blog. So, for my birthday, April 26th, we booked tickets. It happened to be a Wednesday, was anticipated to be quite empty, and was expected to rain.
This was absolutely the right decision. Though it did rain, that did not stop us from enjoying the day. The two most popular rides are The Happy Ride with Baymax and The Beauty and the Beast ride. These are special to Tokyo Disneyland. You can buy the premier passes for these rides, but since we had purchased these for Soaring for about $15 USD per person, we decided to wait and check wait times throughout the day.
We started with The Haunted Mansion ride and made our way around the park. We rode several of the rides for less than 20 minutes wait before making it to Pooh’s Hunny Hunt (which happened to be one of the best rides).
After a few hours we decided to check out the wait time for Beauty and The Beast, which said 50 minutes on the app. That didn’t seem terrible so we decided to just go wait. Well we happened to get lucky because after about 20 minutes, we were already at the front of the line. Like Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, this ride is amazing. The animatronics and magnetic track make these rides so much fun!
If you’re planning on seeing a show, make sure you request tickets as soon as you can. These are free but require you to reserve. We got tickets to see Mickey’s Magical Music World.
Favorite Rides and Food
Anyway, I won’t go through all the rides we went on, as we got to ride many. But our favorites were Beauty and The Beast, Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Rodger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin. We did not do the Baymax ride as the wait did not seem worth it.
For lunch we ate at The Queen of Heart’s Banquet Hall and for dinner Grandma Sara’s Kitchen. Both were delicious. We also ate the caramel apple churros from LeFou’s and the alien mochi in TomorrowLand. Both are recommended!
Recommendations for Visiting Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea
- Check out the crowd calendar and book early. Go through Klook if you cannot get tickets directly from Tokyo Disney’s website (they don’t seem to take foreign credit cards)
- Arrive as early as possible (before opening is best)
- Go off season (we found that the middle of April seemed to be a good time. Just be aware of Japan’s Golden Week. This seems to be at the end of April)
- Plan out what rides you want to get on the most.
- If you really want one of the premier pass rides, buy them as soon as you enter the park via the Disney app.
- Enjoy and have fun!