September 4th, 2015 marks 14 years since Tokyo DisneySea first opened its gates back in 2001. Often referred to as one of the best theme parks in the world, we celebrate the 14th anniversary with our 14 reasons why we think so.
1. Undeniably Cute and Photogenic Food
If you have poked around on Twitter or Instagram, you’ve undoubtedly seen photos of all the unique, cute, and delicious snack food options. From the deliciously adorable Green Alien Mochi to the Ukiwa Steamed Bun and the Black Sausage Hot Dog, there is no shortage of inventive ideas! The seasonal offerings are what keep us going back. Each season, something new arrives (or a beloved favourite returns) for us to hand over our money so we can stuff our faces. Oishii!
2. Everything About the Magnificent Magellan’s Restaurant
Speaking of food, one of the pinnacles of Disney Dining anywhere in the world is Magellan’s Restaurant in Mysterious Island. Located at the foot of Mount Prometheus, this beautifully designed restaurant isn’t cheap, but is worth every yen. Add it to your list of restaurants when you visit.
3. Cocktails at the Teddy Roosevelt Lounge
Located on the S.S. Columbia in the American Waterfront, this flawlessly themed lounge and restaurant makes you feel as if you are back in a time when elegance and sophistication was the norm. This is the best place to grab a cocktail and get out of the crowds. The atmosphere and selection are unmatched.
4. Viewing Two Volcanoes from the S.S. Columbia
Speaking of the S.S. Columbia, where else can you re-create that infamous scene from Titanic?! The grand ship also houses two restaurants (S.S. Columbia Dining Room and Teddy Roosevelt Lounge), one attraction (Turtle Talk with Crush), and is the main stage for A Table is Waiting. It’s the perfect anchor for an amazingly well themed port.
The deck on the ship is a great place to take in the view of not only the American Waterfront, but something else pretty unique. If you time is just right (early morning is best), you can see both Mt. Prometheus and the famous Mt. Fuji. Where else can you see such a spectacular view?
5. Spice Girls Live on in the American Waterfront
You read that correctly – the Spice Girls infamous song “Spice Up Your Life” is part of the live show “A Table is Waiting.” While most of the world has moved on from the 90s British sensation, Tokyo DisneySea has embraced the spice in their live show and Daisy Duck shakes her tail feathers for guests to enjoy.
6. Home to the Best Disney Attraction: Journey to the Center of the Earth
If you could only experience one ride at Tokyo DisneySea, this would be it. The queue itself is worth waiting in the stand-by line for at least once. The Imagineering behind this attraction is top-notch and it shows. Grab FastPasses for this attraction first (if you do not want to get Toy Story Mania ones).
7. Painstaking Details
Mount Prometheus is not the only spot in Tokyo DisneySea which is painstakingly detailed. Every single port within the theme park is meticulously themed , which results in stunning photos even if you are not a professional. With this level of detail, you feel immersed in a completely different world each time you enter a different port.
If you are a fan of Carsland at California Adventure or Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World, then take that level of detail and multiply it by 3. The results are Tokyo DisneySea. Each and every time you visit a new detail presents itself to you.
8. Pure Bliss Aboard the Gondolas
Speaking of detail, the Gondolas are one of those “not so hidden gems” of Tokyo DisneySea. Take a relaxing ride into the Mediterranean Harbor while being serenaded, and capture that perfect unobstructed view of Mount Prometheus. This small, yet crucial, detail brings together everything that makes the Medditerean Harbor worthy of being your port of entry into Tokyo DisneySea. One phrase sums up this attraction: “Pure Bliss”. Do not miss this on your next visit.
Photo provided by Satoshi-san.
9. Get Completely Soaking Wet During the Summer
Japan is famous for it’s four distinct seasons and after living in Japan for a while we can honestly say you really do take note of them.
Summer is unbearably hot and humid and the best (and fun) way to cool down is taking part in Minnie’s Tropical Splash. As upbeat music plays on, water shoots out of cannons onto guests brave enough to stand in the “you will get completely soaking wet” zone. Seriously, this is an over the top harbor show and you cannot help it but jump and dance along!
10. Broadway Quality Stage Show: Big Band Beat
Speaking of entertainment, we just love Big Band Beat. As the curtain rises on this great show, you are transported back to the time of swing music and big band orchestras. It’s a Broadway quality show, right inside the park! It is a little tricky to get to see this treasure, though as you’ll need to win a seat lottery to see most shows. Be sure to check out our lottery guide to find out how to secure your spot.
Photo by Duy Phan Photography.
11. Over the Top Outfits for Purchase
Much like the seasonal entertainment, merchandise at the resort changes not only seasonally, but almost every month – so there’s always something new to buy. I absolutely love the merchandise as there is always something new to look forward to. If you do not like something one month, just wait until the following month and something new may catch your eye. The seasonal merchandise (and Chip N Dale of course) is my weak point.
The best part of the seasonal merchandise is the over the top outfits available for purchase. As you can see above, Chip N Dale along with Clarice are featured in this colourful outfit for you to wear in the parks. Wearing this in the park makes you fit in with everyone else showing off their fun outfits!
12. Duffy the Disney Bear Rules Tokyo DisneySea
To put it simply – Duffy is a rock star at Tokyo DisneySea.
Released in 2005 (and celebrated his 10th Anniversary in 2015), Duffy the Disney Bear is the poster child for Tokyo DisneySea. Cape Cod (or referred to by some as Duffyland) is the home of Duffy, his girlfriend Shellie May, and their newfound friend Gelatoni.
Duffy fans flock to Tokyo DisneySea to take advantage of all the spectacular theming around their favourite little bear. From seasonal outfits to themed desserts and even his own stage show, Duffy is here to stay.
One of the first things you notice upon entering the park is the numerous guests with their Duffy, Shellie May, and/or Gelatoni hanging off their arm or in a Disney themed bag. It is almost to the point as if you feel you need to buy your own. Which is a slippery slope, because next thing you know you own more outfits for Duffy than you have for yourself! (Umm… not that I would know anything about that!)
Duffy has had a major impact on Tokyo DisneySea and makes for a phenomenon that is best explained as “unique”. Only those that have visited DisneySea truly understand why.
Photo by Duy Phan Photography.
13. Enthusiastic Park Guests
Not only do you notice guests carrying around Duffy in his latest seasonal outfit, you notice how much guests love Disney. From custom-made Duffy costumes to school groups (of 10 or more) in completely coordinated outfits and amazing costume days for Halloween – guests who visit this park absolutely, without a doubt, love Disney to the nth degree, and it shows.
Not only do you notice the level of fandom, but also the organization to the chaos. The crowd levels are no joke at DisneySea. However, the level of courtesy and (seemingly natural) self-organization which most guests have makes for a lovely experience.
15. World Class Cast Members
These hardworking individuals bring everything together in a way which makes Tokyo DisneySea (as well as Disneyland) a truly world-class theme park. Japan is famous for its outstanding customer service, and Cast Members take that aspect and amplify it. These individuals love what they do and it shows in the work they do “on stage” every day.
While not every one of them can speak English, they ensure everyone is well taken care of. These dedicated Cast Members are the bow on top of an already beautifully packaged theme park that is Tokyo DisneySea.
What aspects of Tokyo DisneySea make you simply go “Wow!”? Let us know in the comments!
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