Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea: Which Park to Visit?

One question that I get quite a bit is “If I can only choose one park should I visit Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea?” There are a few reasons for this type of question:

  • Limited time in Tokyo (layover or weekend trip)
  • Japan itinerary only allows one day
  • Limited budget

Let’s take the stress out of this decision for you. I’ll give you excellent reasons to choose one over the other (if you can only visit one). Once you know which park you’re going to, study our best trip planning articles.

Before we get to the reasons to choose one over the other, I know how to visit both parks in one day. Let’s take a look at that first.

Why Not Both?

It is possible to visit both parks on the same day, but it’ll take some planning. Tokyo Disney Resort doesn’t offer a 1-Day Park Hopper (read more about park tickets in our guide), but there is a way around this.

  • Buy a “1-Day Passport” for Tokyo DisneySea
  • Buy an “After 6 Passport” (weekdays only) for Tokyo Disneyland
    • Buy at the park on the same day or beforehand at a Disney Store in Tokyo, Ticket Center in Ikspiari, or Official Website

This way you’re able to enjoy everything Tokyo DisneySea has to offer during the day, then head over to Tokyo Disneyland after 18:00 (6 PM). Tokyo Disneyland has more in terms of entertainment in the evening with Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights (usually at 19:30) and the nighttime castle show.

After the shows at Tokyo Disneyland, ride Pooh’s Hunny Hunt at least once (depends on crowds). A lot of the attraction wait times are lower when it reaches close to park closing.

Here’s the cost breakdown:

  • 1-Day Passport (Adult): ¥7,400 ($66USD)
  • After 6 Passport (Adult): ¥4,200 ($37USD)
  • Total: ¥11,600 ($103USD)

To give you a reference for this method costs less than a Regular 1-Day Park Hopper at Disneyland Resort ($165USD) or Walt Disney World ($170USD). Even if you bought two 1-Day Passports (Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea) the cost is still cheaper at $132USD, but I wouldn’t bother doing that.

If cost doesn’t bother you, then this is an excellent option to see both parks in one day.

There’s a “Starlight Passport” for after 15:00 on weekends and holidays (there is no After 6 Passport), but I wouldn’t suggest doing that as the weekends and holidays are busy in most cases and I don’t believe the cost justifies the little you’ll be able to do.

Tokyo Disneyland

Tokyo Disneyland World Bazaar

Tokyo Disneyland is the first Disney Park that opened outside the US in 1983 which takes the best of both the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World and the original Disneyland in Anaheim to create a unique yet familiar experience.

You should choose Tokyo Disneyland if you:

  • Never visited a Disney Park before (start with the classic to get familiar)
  • You’re a fan of the classic attractions
  • Have small children who are fans of the classic Disney Characters (or you’re one yourself)
  • Are on a budget as the park is a quick walk from the train station (no need to pay for the monorail)
  • Want to experience one of the best shows at Tokyo Disney Resort — Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights
  • Want to experience one of their best attractions — Pooh’s Hunny Hunt

If you go with Tokyo Disneyland then read our recommendations for restaurants, entertainment, attractions, itinerary, and our list of must-see things at the park.

Tokyo DisneySea

Tokyo DisneySea Mount Prometheus

Tokyo DisneySea is the second gate at Tokyo Disney Resort that opened in 2001 and is often called the best Disney Park in the world. It’s the only one of its kind in the world and offers an experience you’ll only find in Japan.

You should choose Tokyo DisneySea if you:

  • Want a one of a kind experience you won’t find anywhere else
  • Have visited most of the other “Magic Kingdom” type parks (meaning skipping Tokyo Disneyland is OK)
  • Are a foodie and want to try all the delicious snacks and outstanding restaurants
  • Are a photographer and want those gorgeous photos you always see on Instagram
  • Are taking that special someone on a date
  • Want to experience their best attraction — Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • Want to see one of the best shows at any Disney Park — Big Band Beat

If you decide on Tokyo DisneySea then read our recommendations for restaurants, entertainment, attractions, itinerary, and our list of must-see things at the park.

Explorer Thoughts

What do my fellow Explorers think? Could you add any more items to the list?

More Things to Do in Tokyo

My recommendations for things to do in and around Tokyo! Plan a day at the Hello Kitty theme park, Sanrio Puroland, and an afternoon at the popular TeamLab Planets TOKYO. Take a tour around Tokyo with the convenient hop-on and-off bus. Spend a rainy afternoon inside Japan’s largest indoor theme park, Tokyo Joyoplis, near Tokyo Disney!

More on Tokyo Disney Resort

Tokyo Disney Resort Guidebook

Are you planning a trip to Tokyo Disney Resort? If so, you need our digital guidebook! Our guidebook is the most comprehensive resource available, covering everything you need to know about the park, including tickets, hotels, restaurants, attractions, shows, seasonal events, and more! With our guidebook, you’ll be an expert on Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea before you even set foot in the Parks. You’ll know what to expect, where to go, and what to do. You’ll also be able to avoid the crowds and make the most of your time.

TDR Explorer Guide to Tokyo Disney Resort 2024 CoverGET YOUR GUIDEBOOK NOW

Get tickets for Tokyo Disney Resort

Buying your tickets for Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea ahead of time is vital. Read our comprehensive guide on tickets to learn how to purchase tickets. For recommendations on SIM cards, portable Wi-Fi devices, travel insurance, cheap flights, and hotel bookings, read our travel resources page.

Learn more about Tokyo Disney Resort

Want more Tokyo Disney content? Browse our dedicated page for everything about Tokyo Disney Resort!

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1 comment

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  1. Samantha

    Hello! I will be attempting to visit both parks in one day! Hoping that going early on a tuesday, (first at Disney Sea) will make a little difference. I have the afternoon ticket for Disney Land and I am just wanting to ask for advice on if there are rides I can attempt to go for at that time? Thank you!

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