All images by Aleney de Winter © Disney
10 reasons Tokyo DisneySea is fab for families
Said by many to be the best Disney Park in the World, Tokyo DisneySea is a stunning one-of-a-kind Disney experience that cleverly combines high tech Japanese wizardry with the
celebrated hospitality that Disney is so famous for. Along with some iconic Disney favourite
attractions, visitors will find unique, immersive rides plus sparkling show and shows that will
appeal to everyone. Here, in no particular order, are 10 reasons we think DisneySea is fantastic for families.
1. It’s a one-of-a-kind
Celebrating 15 fabulous years this year, Tokyo DisneySea is unlike any Disney park you’ll
find anywhere else in the world. Tokyo DisneySea is a fully realised concept park inspired by
the magical myths and legends of the sea. Boasting seven themed ports: Mediterranean
Harbor, Mermaid Lagoon, Arabian Coast, Lost River Delta, Port Discovery and American
Waterfront and Mysterious Island, complete with erupting volcano, visitors of every age will
find an exciting and unique experience that still packs plenty of that essential Disney magic.
2. The gear is great
The first stop on any Disney Park adventure has to be to the boutiques to stock up on all the
essentials like mouse ears, hats and headbands and all that irresistibly Disney themed gear
that is a must for any Disney Day. But Tokyo DisneySea appears to have more hats and ears
than any park I’ve visited with so many wildly different variations of Minnie Mouse’s ears
that my daughter Marlo (7) ended up with three pairs! And my son did pretty well too with a
Goofy hat that suited him down to the ground. The shopping doesn’t stop at the entrance with
themed gear specific to each and every zone. My tip is to keep an eye out for the cute Woody
and Jessie hats in American Waterfront’s Toy Storey Mania!
3. The attention to detail is incredible
Our jaws literally hit the floor at the first sight of this extraordinary park. So authentic is the
classical Italian theming of the Mediterranean Coast, our first of the seven ports of call, that
we wondered if we’d taken the wrong train at Tokyo Station and had miraculously ended up
in Venice. From the fire-breathing volcano at the Park’s centre to the hulking S.S. Columbia
in American Waterfront and the Middle Eastern maze that is Arabian Coast, Tokyo
DisneySea uses incredible detail to achieve the utmost authenticity and clever design tricks to
separate each port of call into its own spectacularly immersive world.
4. There’s something for kids of every age
Despite its reputation as a park for older visitors, and they will love it, DisneySea has
something for kids of every age. From the gently cute rides and entertainment of Mermaid
Lagoon, where lucky littlies may even get to meet the radiant Ariel herself, to the divine
double-decker Caravan Carousel and enchanting Sindbad’s Storybook Voyage in the Arabian
Coast, there are plenty of rides and shows suitable for even the littlest guests. School age
children will also enjoy the twirling, whirling fun of Aquatopia and underwater adventures on
the Nemo and Friends SeaRider. And Toy Story Mania! in the American Waterfront is a ride
that’s awesome for all ages. Braver kids can take on epic thrill rides including the iconic
Tower of Terror, the Jules Verne-Inspired 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Journey to the
Center of the Earth, and the rollicking Raging Spirits coaster. But no matter what age, there’s
so much to see, do and experience that you couldn’t possibly fit it all in one day.
5. Getting around is half the fun
Tokyo DisneySea takes transport seriously. To start with, getting here is a cinch on the monorail that links the two Tokyo Disney parks, as well as its incredible collection of hotels, to JR Maihama Station. And once you enter the gates you can explore the park’s waterways
by Venetian Gondola and the DisneySea Transit Steamer Line, or on four wheels in one of
the American Waterfront’s vintage Big City Vehicles. And, given Walt Disney’s fondness for
trains, it should come as no surprise that there’s also the elevated Tokyo DisneySea Electric
Railway, which transports tired little (and big) feet between The American Waterfront and
6. It’s educational as well as fun
Fortress Explorations was one of my history loving son’s favourite attractions in the park.
The interactive play area is more “edutainment” than ride and showcases some of the iconinc
inventions of some of the greatest thinkers in history. As he bounced in out of each of the ten
rooms he was able to learn about the earth’s rotation in the Chamber of Planets, visit an
alchemy laboratory and even got to eyeball an incredibly detailed replica of Leonardo’s
Flying Machine as he played.
7.The entertainment is next level
Visitors young and old will be dazzled by Tokyo DisneySea’s mesmerising shows and live
performances. There are mesmerising street performers and the Arabian Coast’s Magic Lamp
Theater, a cute magic show that blends live action with a 3D movie. And the 1930’s jazz and
show tunes of American Waterfront’s toe-tapping Big Band Beat along with the mind-
blowing extravaganza of light, water, music and pyrotechnics that is Fantasmic! simply
cannot be missed.
8. The characters are as cuddly as can be
If it is princesses you seek, you’re better off heading next door to Tokyo Disneyland. But like
every Disney park around the world there are plenty of opportunities for character meet and
greets at Tokyo DisneySea. Mermaid loving littlies can get face to fin with Ariel in her grotto
at Mermaid Lagoon, where we also spotted Donald Duck and Goofy heading off for a splash.
We also got crazy with Timon from The Lion King, saw Stitch doing his glitchy thing in the
Arabian Coast and of course got up close and personal with Mickey Mouse on the Mickey &
Friends Greeting Trails.
9. The food is fabulous
Tokyo DisneySea has to be the best Disney theme park in the world for food choices with
almost 40 dining venues serving up everything from sandwiches, fried chicken, hot dogs, and
burgers to mouth-watering Japanese cuisine, Italian specialities and fine dining. If your kids
have a sweet tooth they’ll find cream filled pastries, churros, soft serve ice cream, Mickey
and Minnie inspired ice treats and more. But by far our favourite Tokyo DisneySea delight is
the amazing popcorn. Not only are there a variety of flavours including sea salt, black pepper,
curry and garlic-shrimp (my personal fave) as well as sweeter versions including chocolate
and caramel, there are as many varieties of popcorn buckets to carry it in. The kids proudly
toted their Mickey Mouse bucket, overflowing with caramel popcorn for the best part of the
day. And the bucket made for a great souvenir of our visit. Oh, and unlike Tokyo Disneyland
next door, Tokyo DisneySea is licensed, so mum and dad can have a tipple or two.
10. It will make your kids’ feet itch for more adventures
With its authentically and intricately themed ports of call representing so many parts of the
world, DisneySea will have your kids hankering to explore the world, or at the very least a
return visit to Tokyo for more of DisneySea’s unique take on the wonderful world of Disney.
For more information or to book, visit the Tokyo DisneySea website.
When she’s not treading on Lego, Aleney de Winter is a travel, food and parenting writer. She shares tales of travelling and eating along with the hilarious antics of her globetrotting nine-year old foodie son and delicious six-year old daughter on her blog, Boy Eats World.