Tokyo Disney Sea TR, Thu, August 6, 2009
Disney Sea is amazing. The scope and size are impressive. You will be astonished. Here is my report to help you understand the park a little bit before you go. (I visited with my DS, 14)
It's hard to know where to begin. We were there midweek in August during the high season. When we arrived about 40 minutes before park opening, there were already a lot of folks waiting for the park to open. But the park is so huge that the crowd disperses quickly. Many teenagers started running to their rides of choice. I don't know where they ran to, though I guess to the centerpiece of the park, Mysterious Island and the big ride, Journey to the Center of the Earth.
We went first to Indiana Jones and Raging Spirit in the back of the park. These rides are close together and we figured they would be difficult to get to later on. IJ is like in California, so if you are a Disneyland person, it should not be a priority. But we are from the East Coast, so we wanted to do it. Great, of course. Raging Spirit is next. A short, rather slow roller coaster. Hardly worth doing. Not a priority. The only real disappointment of Disney Sea.
We next went to Journey to get an FP. Turns out the ride was down. They gave out an FP anyway, for 1:50pm. Not bad.
Backtracked to Sindbad. IASW-like theme with an elaborate storyline. Highly entertaining. Then saw our first long line at Magic Lamp Theatre. Decided to postpone that and have an early lunch. Curries served cafeteria-style in Arabian Coast at the big dining hall between Sindbad and Magic Lamp. OK, a bit salty, but better than you should expect at a theme park.
Went on to Storm Rider. No need for FP. This was a surprise and a delight. As with all the attractions at Disney Sea, the inside is really impressive. Pre show is great.
Went to do the Fortress Exploration. This is a must-do as it has the best views in all of Disney and the theme is again impressive. We didn't know there was an introductory presentation (japanese only) at which they give you a map and explain how to use your map interactively, so we just explored on our own. The attractions within the Fortress Exploration are Davinci inspired creations. Don't miss the planetarium!
Got an FP for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for 1:20pm. So we could do that just before Journey.
Went to Magic Lamp Theatre. VERY long lines. We waited. Hardest line to wait on because there is no shade from the summer sun. Toward the end of the wait, I finally whipped out my umbrella. Only women were using their parasols/umbrellas for shade. The men were sticking it out.
We really could have used FP for this. As it turns out, we would have been let in immediately. Instead, we waited past one showing, and then we got cut off from another showing because we were the first not to get in for the next one. Bummer.
Magic Lamp Theatre is an unusual combination of 3-D movie and live action magic show with a pre-show presentation. Good stuff, but figure a way to do this without waiting so long.
20,000 Leagues: Again, great, great themeing, an ok ride.
Journey. Before riding Journey, we got an FP to ride a second time. Got the FP at 1:50pm for a 7pm window. BraviSEAmo, the nighttime show is at 8pm, so this worked out well. At Journey, I think the ride is MUCH BETTER sitting in the front. Definitely ask for this. Each ride vehicle contains three rows of two. Get the front row. Also, although the ride is mostly indoors, it actually works better at night. For the brief time you flash outdoors, the nighttime makes this ride even more mysterious. Even though I had already ridden the ride once, the second time was like a 'first time experience' for me. Wow.
Tower of Terror. No lines late afternoon. No need for FP. Excellent theme, a bit different from US version.
Aquatopia. Although this is an outdoor ride easily visible from the walkway, the experience of riding this is wonderful. It uses a 'new' technology that you can't fully appreciate until you ride it. This is a short ride. There are at least two and possibly three routes the vehicles can take, and I think this is worth doing at least twice and maybe three times. This is a silly, fun ride that seems improvised. A new kind of Disney magic. The same technology is used for the Pooh ride in Tokyo Disneyland, and that is normally the most popular ride in Tokyo. For a reason.
Boat Ride around the park. A non-stop trip on a boat. The boat goes surprisingly quickly, and takes a bit less than ten minutes around the park. Different and beautiful views.
Donald's Boat Builders Show. In the Cape Cod area. Here you can eat and rest plus see a show, The show is like a cartoon come to life, so although it is in Japanese, it is easily understood. This is great and so much fun to see. Features Donald Duck, Goofy, Mickey. There are actually two different shows with a very brief intermission. The second show features Chip n' Dale.
Triton's Kingdom. We almost missed this place. It is one of the visual highlights in a park filled with highlights. Completely spectacular. An underwater (actually underground) version of Fantasyland. We didn't do any of the kiddie rides, but just being inside was breathtaking. We walked through Ariel's Playgorund, which is a lot of fun. Highly recommended.
BraviSEAmo. A beautiful, poetic show. Not a lot of flash, but a gentle beauty. My son liked it much more than Fantasmic. Contains a surprise. We saw this show after a nighttime ride on Journey. We were way too tired to move another step, so we plopped ourselved down on the walkway heading left as you come out of Mysterious Island. Maybe not the best view, but we loved the show anyway.
Tips: I would not take the route we took. At Magic Kingdom, I prefer Fantasyland first because I love the dark rides, but they are too short for me to wait on line, so I like to knock those out early. At Disney Sea, I would be tempted to do Aquatopia two or three times first thing. We did it once (waited 25 minutes), but wanted to do it again. No FP for this. Another strategy would be to get to Magic Lamp Theatre before lines build. Or use FP for that. Probably a more important FP than 20,000 Leagues, which never seemed to build a substantial line, despite the fact it is near Journey.
At Tokyo Disney, FP really, really works. It gets you in IMMEDIATELY. No waiting at all. It is truly Front of the Line. You must take advantage of this. On many rides, the FP line does not merge with the Standby line! it takes you to a different area sometimes or merges at the last moment, so you really bypass everybody. You can get an FP every two hours at Disney Sea, regardless of the FP window.
The summer heat is impressive. Take and use an umbrella. We usually do WDW commando, but in Tokyo our energy level was sapped by 3pm.
You don't need more than one day for Disneysea. All the areas are impressive, so try not to miss anything. I wasn't expecting much from the Amercian Waterfront, but it too is astonishing.
I hope this is helpful to somebody.
Re: Tokyo Disney Sea TR, Thu, August 6, 2009
to add to my post: I did not stay onsite. Too expensive for my blood. I stayed in a pretty close neighborhood, Nishikasei, at a hotel called the Park Lane Nishikasei. The hotel is in a very cute neighborhood with lots of convenient shops right near a metro stop. But the metro stop is not an easy connection to the Japan Rail line which services Tokyo Disney.
I planned on using the hotel shuttle service to get to Disney. The first morning we went to Disney Sea. The park opening was 10am, and the shuttle was scheduled for 8:30am, so we would get there in plenty of time. The driver did not show up, however, and the hotel was nice enough to put everyone in taxis at their expense!!!
In the evening, we took a taxi back. Getting the shuttle back in the evening is only ok if you are not dead tired. Plus it is a bit complicated to get back via the shuttle, as you have to take the Japan Rail Line which circles the Disney property, transfer to the JR line that gets to Disney, go one stop, then take the shuttle back to the hotel. Normally, taxi rides in Tokyo are way too expensive, but the hotel was close enough so that it cost us *only* about $23 (for a very short cab ride). For us, this was well worth the money, since staying on site costs at least $200 more per night for the hotel. Wherever you stay, always keep a business card from the hotel with you as taxi drivers will not understand English.
The next day we went to Tokyo Disneyland. The hotel had a shuttle at 7:30 and 9:30am for a 9am park opening. We decided on the 9:30am shuttle because we were way too tired to get up so early. The summer heat is exhausting. Disneyland is much more crowded than Disney Sea. Already huge, huge crowds. But we did very well for ourselves despite the huge crowds. Will post on another thread about Disneyland. At night, we took another taxi back to our hotel. This time it cost more like $32. Still, a big saving over staying onsite.
The hotel was convenient for visiting Tokyo. Pretty close in. Also being so close to a Metro stop is great. This is much easier than being near a Japan Rail stop. Railway stations are VERY big and the schedules confusing. Metro stops are small, easy to maneuver, and the system is very easily marked in English. A hotel near a Rail station can still mean a very long walk to the station and also a long walk once you are in the station. This will only inconvenience you if you are planning on visiting Tokyo from the same hotel as visiting Disney.
Re: Tokyo Disney Sea TR, Thu, August 6, 2009
Thanks for the info:thumbs: