There’s something about a Disney theme park that can’t be explained. If you’ve never been before, then you couldn’t possibly have a grasp on how magical this place truly is. Simply put, it just makes you happy. I don’t know how and I don’t know why, but it just does. As soon as I surrendered my 6800 yen ($75 AUD) in exchange for a ticket and guide map, and was told to “Have a magical day!” I knew the humungous grin on my face wasn’t going anywhere.
Tokyo Disney Resort is made up of nine hotels and two theme parks. The first park is known simply as “Disney Land”, and is modelled off the American original. Exclusive to Japan, the second park, “Disney Sea”, is a clever add on, paying tribute to Japan’s fascination with the ocean and providing some out of the ordinairy rides and attractions. I’ve visited Hong Kong Disney Land before, so I decided that whilst in Tokyo I would visit Disney Sea. Now, if you’re thinking that Disney Sea is just a smaller, crappier version of Disney Land with a bit of a Sea World influence, then stop right there. I hate Sea World type places where all you do is sit around and watch dolphins do flips and people pay to have seals press their gross slippery lips onto their cheeks. Disney Sea was none of that. It was totally awesome with heaps of rides, really cool shows and all the Disney magic you could ever need. And not a seal or dolphin in sight.
As I walked through the gates, I felt every tiny travel stress that had been bugging me melt away. I completely forgot about anything I had to book, plan or pack that night. Every thought of a budget or schedule vanished. Even my heavy backpack felt lighter on my shoulders. Giddy with excitement, I headed straight to the souvenir shop to buy my Mickey Mouse ears. A completely essential purchase. Keeping in line with the whole sea theme, I chose the ones with Captain Mickey and the cutest of sailor hats.
I was lucky enough to run into two of the characters, Donald and Daisy Duck! Unfortunately I wasn’t willing enough to queue for an hour to see Minnie or Mickey though.
My favourite thing about Disney Sea is the extraordinary amount of detail that goes into all of the restaurants, shops and general surroundings. Each area of the park is so perfectly themed and not one single detail is spared. The section of the park called the Arabian Coast was definitely a standout. It was so big and beautiful, I almost felt like I was hanging out in Aladdin’s home town. There was even an Aladdin themed carousel. It was such a cute little ride!
Scattered all over the park are little popcorn carts that can be smelt from a mile away by the tantalising caramel scent. I wondered why on earth so many people were waiting in such long lines just for popcorn. Like really, how good could it be? Well the answer my friends, is very damn good! Perfect combination of light, crisp, crunchy, sweet and slightly salty. Yummmmm! Totally worth my 300 yen.
The one and only thing that sucked about Disney Sea was the waiting times for all the rides. Any of the larger and more exciting rides were a 3-4 hour wait. Yes, 3-4 HOURS. To me, that seems totally insane! I don’t think I’ve ever waited longer than an hour for a ride at a theme park back home. Because of this, I only went on one real ride, which was The River Rapids. I waited in line for over two hours for this damn thing, and it pains me to say that I was slightly underwhelmed. It’s one of the biggest rollercoasters in the park, and whilst it is certainly fun, it could have been a little bit faster or a little bit longer. Aside from that I went on a few kiddies rides because they had the shortest queues and rode the jungle boat cruise and the scenic railway around the park which was really nice!
Devastatingly, the fireworks show was cancelled due to wind! Such a shame, since I had heard that it is really spectacular. Nevertheless, I still left Tokyo Disney Sea with a smile; completely exhausted yet still buzzing from such a wonderful day.