Whether you speak Japanese or not, that special Disney Magic won’t need translation at the extraordinary Tokyo DisneySea ®, a unique Disney park with seven exquisitely themed ports inspired by the myths, legends and lore of the sea.
Said by some to be the very best Disney Park in the World, Tokyo DisneySea is a completely immersive Disney experience with imaginative rides, character meet and greets, dazzling parades and state-of-the-art attractions that appeal to kids of every age and stage. There’s also great food and even better entertainment, including the dazzling Fantasmic!, a breathtaking, edge-of-your-seat extravaganza that brings some of Disney’s most beloved characters to life through the clever use of giant water screens, projections and laser lights.
Kids, and their parents, can take on Disney favourite rides like Toy Story Mania! as well as experiences totally unique to Tokyo DisneySea, including the Jules-Verne inspired thrills of Journey to the Center of the Earth and the utterly enchanting Sindbad’s Storybook Voyage.
But don’t just take my word on visiting Tokyo DisneySea with kids. Here, Raffles (10) and Sugarpuff (7) don their mouse ears to share their favourite Tokyo DisneySea moments.
MEDITERRANEAN HARBOR FOR KIDS
The gateway to Tokyo DisneySea sees visitors stepping through a vortex of Disney Magic into fictional Italian port city Porto Paradiso, a painstakingly authentic full-scale replica of the canals of Venice. It’s a jaw-dropping introduction to the wonders that await at Tokyo DisneySea, and a gondola ride and educational adventures in Fortress Explorations provide an extraordinary start to a Disney day for kids.
He said: “Mediterranean Harbor was our first stop on arrival at Tokyo DisneySea, at least it was after we’d stocked up on gear at the Emporio and Galleria Disney, so we could look suitably Disney for our day of adventures. My jaw hit the floor when we walked through a stone gateway into a replica of Venice. When we boarded a gondola to cruise through its canals I could have believed we were actually in Italy and not in Japan. Shouting ciao to passers-by as we floated along, it really got us in to the spirit of happiness that Disney is all about.”
She said: “I was so excited that I got to go shopping as soon as we arrived. There were so many awesome things to choose from, but I decided to get a Minnie Mouse skirt and two sets of ears, one was sparkly to use as evening ears. We rode a Gondola on the water between all the old buildings and the gondolier sang Italian songs. After our ride we got to gobble a big bucket of caramel popcorn. Yum.”
AMERICAN WATERFRONT FOR KIDS
Step back in time to the New York and New England of the 1920s, book-ended by the Tower of Terror and the S.S. Columbia, a luxury ocean liner. Families will enjoy the awesome Toy Story Mania! ride, dining at a choice of great restaurants including the sprawling Dockside Diner and tapping their toes along with the Big Band Beat show.
He said: “This area looked amazing, like a scene from a movie or something, only better because nothing sank! The Tower of Terror loomed above us but no matter how much it beckoned there was no way I was taking it on! It’s a bit too scary for me. But on the other hand, you couldn’t keep me away from the Toy Story Mania! ride. It’s kind of a 4D laser tag shooting game ride and I beat my mum, of course! It was super fun and I would have gone on this one at least another five times if there wasn’t so much else to see, and mum hadn’t mentioned lunch! So instead we filled up on crispy fried chicken and waffles at the Dockside Diner before catching the DisneySea Electric Railway to Port Discovery and more fun adventures.”
She said: “I loved Toy Story Mania! It was my favourite ride in the whole Park. We got to blast things as we spun around in our little carriages and I laughed and laughed and laughed with mama. After the ride I played the Blazin’ Buckaroo game and had to run really, really fast to see how high I could score. I was super speedy, but I got so hot I was able to use it as an excuse to get mama to buy me a raspberry and peach-flavoured Minnie Mouse ice block! It was so yummy.”
PORT DISCOVERY FOR KIDS
Like stepping into a scene from Disney Pixar’s Finding Dory, kids will recognise the Marine Life Institute which provides the backdrop for this futuristic marine park. There are two fabulous rides unique to Tokyo DisneySea, including Aquatopia, which is a bit like a watery bumper car that doesn’t bump, but which has both my kids giggling with dizzy glee.
He said: “Port Discovery was like nowhere I’ve ever seen. I loved that it includes the Marine Life Institute from Finding Dory. Inside that was the awesome Nemo & Friends SeaRider, a ride where you enter a vehicle which is reduced in size so you can swim with Nemo, Dory and Hank. It’s multi sensory and full of so many surprises. I loved it.”
She said: “This place was so cool because it was all blue which is my favourite colour. We got to ride Aquatopia. It was like a tea cup ride only on hovercrafts on the water and it was so much fun. Mummy came with us and we had so much fun whirling and twirling.”
LOST RIVER DELTA
The ultimate destination for my little adventurers, the Lost River Delta ventures into the depths of the jungle. My little explorers find great food, enjoy meetings with Mickey Mouse and Goofy as they take a break on their way to an excavation and brave wild rides including the utterly awesome Indiana Jones – Temple of the Crystal Skull.
He said: “I felt like an old-world explorer when I entered the deep jungles of the Lost River Delta with its ruins and ancient Aztec pyramid. After enjoying dinner of smoked pork and chicken and a chocolate cheesecake at the Yucatan Base Camp Grill I decided to brave the Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull. This one was a little scary for my little sister, but I had to go to hold mum’s hand, because she would have been afraid without me. Or something like that. This ride was full of skeletons, scarabs and vengeful spirit, the Crystal Skull, and we zoomed in and out of darkness into exploding flames and ginormous traps. It was the most epic ride ever. I give this one a ten out of ten.”
She said: “This place was like exploring ancient jungles and I was a bit scared to go on the rides with mama and Raffles, but I still loved it here so much because I got to meet Mickey Mouse and have loads of cuddles and snuggles with him. He’s the funnest and I love him.”
MYSTERIOUS ISLAND FOR KIDS
The stunning steam punk centrepiece of Tokyo DisneySea is Mysterious Island’s steaming volcanic masterpiece Mount Prometheus. Inspired by the novels of Jules Verne, Mysterious Island allows guests to immerse themselves in the excitement of both 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Journey to the Center of the Earth.
He said: “This place was so amazing. It was also centred around an enormous active volcano that actually spewed flames. The rides here – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Journey to the Center of the Earth – looked insane and were probably the scariest in the park after The Tower of Terror. I decided to give them a miss because my knees were knocking too loudly! OK, I’m a chicken. Next time though, I’m taking them on. Honest!”
She said: “I loved the volcano because it had flames and there was a crazy looking submarine at the bottom of it. But the best thing here was the taps because when I washed my hands and pushed the soap dispenser the soap came out looking like Mickey Mouse. I wanted to keep washing my hands over and over, so I could see Mickey Mouse in the soap.”
ARABIAN COAST WITH KIDS
Climb aboard your magic carpets to ride through Aladdin’s Agrabah. Chock full of minarets,casbahs and Arabian magic, this architectural masterpiece includes several fabulously immersive rides for families including the marvellous Sindbad’s Storybook Voyage.
He said: “This was my favourite of all the ports to look at because it was so authentic it swept me up like a magical carpet ride through Aladdin’s homeland. Actually, more of a genie ride, because I got to ride one on the Caravan Carousel. There were other great rides here, but I loved exploring the casbahs and alleyways and soaking up the Arabian vibe.”
She said: “I got to see lots of people dressed up like the characters from Aladdin, and I loved the Caravan Carousel because I got to ride a little camel, but the very best bit was Sindbad’s Storybook Voyage. It reminded me of It’s a Small World at Tokyo Disneyland, but was so much cuter because there was a little tiger called Chandu who was hiding in bananas and falling into treasure and doing funny things.”
MERMAID LAGOON WITH KIDS
Swim to the dazzling depths of the ocean with Ariel and her friends, without the need of a snorkel, at the enchanting Mermaid Lagoon. With a fantastical facade inspired by King Triton’s undersea kingdom in The Little Mermaid, Mermaid Lagoon is spectacular inside and out and little ones will especially enjoy all the gently thrilling rides and entertainment in the underwater inspired world. If they’re lucky they may even bump into Ariel herself.
He said: “This place was like an underwater fantasy land and though I was told this area was mostly for younger kids I had a blast here. Along with a whole heap of rides like Flounder’s Flying Fish Coaster, which was super-fast but not as scary as some roller coasters, The Whirlpool and the Blowfish Balloon Race, which I rode to keep my little sister company, there was a pretty cool playground with ropes and swinging bridges where we played while we waited for snacks at Sebastian’s Calypso Kitchen.”
She said: “Mermaid Lagoon was really pretty and made me want to live under the sea forever. There were loads of rides including one that was called Jumpin’ Jellyfish that looked so cool because I love jellyfish and the Blowfish Balloon Race where we rode Blowfish that went high and swung over the coral in the lagoon. After we had a bite to eat we went into a shop through a whale’s mouth and played for ages in the playground which I super loved. I think this was my favourite port because I love the sea and coral and shells and mermaids.”
FANTASMIC! FOR KIDS
Fantasmic! is a captivating night time extravaganza of music, dancing water, lasers, fireworks that brings some of the kids’ favourite characters to life and it proves to be the perfect finale to a perfect Disney day.
He Said: “The sound and light show is utterly epic. Mickey Mouse stars as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice and conjures up awesome characters and scenes from the very depths of his imagination with lasers, lights, fire and water. There’s even a fire breathing dragon that Mickey Mouse battles with fireworks and magic. It meant our day ended as magically as it began, and I seriously can’t imagine there’s a Disney anywhere in the world that’s better than this for kids. I can’t wait to come back for more.”
She said: “The night time show had me jiggling up and down because I didn’t know what would happen next. Mickey Mouse was a magician and Stitch played classic rock ’n’ roll songs. There were boats with Simba from the Lion King, and Baloo from the Jungle Book and all the Disney Princesses and they were singing and dancing, and I got so, so excited I nearly burst. But then a mean dragon came, and Mickey Mouse battled him, then everything exploded. And it was the actual best thing ever. I love Tokyo DisneySea so much I want to visit every day.”
Disclosure: Our visit to Tokyo was supported by Tokyo Disney Resort but as always, all opinions are our own.