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Tokyo Disneyland vs. DisneySea? 10 Things You Need to Know Before You Go

Travel to Tokyo Cherry Blossom Budget 1

Official Website: Tokyo Disneyland | Tokyo DisneySea
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Access: How to Get to Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea

Tokyo Disneyland vs. DisneySea? 10 Things You Need to Know Before You Go

I was also in the same pair of shoes as you’re wearing. I couldn’t decide which theme park to visit.

First time travelers to Tokyo will always be befuddled with this mind-boggling question: Should I go to Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea? It’s likely you have already gone to Hong Kong’s popular theme park Disneyland, and decided you wanted to try a theme park that is new. Tokyo DisneySea is a theme park that is one of its kind and can only be found in Japan. If you have that much budget, some would purchase the two-day pass for 12,400 yen and visit both theme parks, but for most of us, we don’t have the liberty of time to do so. This blog will help you decide whether to visit Tokyo Disneyland or try Tokyo DisneySea.

10 Things to Know Before You Go

1. If you’re traveling with children, go for Tokyo Disneyland.

I only realized this when I visited Tokyo Disneyland. Sure, I had so much fun mingling with locals at DisneySea, which probably comprised of 90% of the theme park’s crowd. But I pictured myself as a kid: Which theme park will I mostly likely enjoy? Tokyo Disneyland is just as basic theme park as you can get, while DisneySea’s rides are more geared towards adults. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is best suited for teenagers and those 20-30’s of age.

Tokyo Disneysea 4

2. If you’re bringing food inside the theme park, Tokyo DisneySea has a more welcoming atmosphere for picnic baskets.

Tokyo Disneysea 4

Tokyo Disneysea 4

It’s definitely given that theme parks have expensive food. This tonkatsu set will cost you around 1500 yen.

Tokyo Disneysea 4

While bringing of food is not allowed by park rules, many would pack a bento, or onigiri basket just to save money. I bet that most locals have already gone to the theme park several times in a year, so not many would love to line up just to eat decorative Mickey Mouse-shaped food.

Tokyo Disneysea 4

Tokyo Disneysea 4

Tokyo Disneysea 4

Tokyo Disneysea 4

3. Wild parades? You’ll love Tokyo DisneySea.

Tokyo Disneysea 4

Theme park parades are a huge part of Tokyo’s most popular theme parks. While Tokyo Disneyland has the traditional Main Street theme park parade that everyone grew up with, Tokyo DisneySea has an incredible twist of having Mickey Mouse and his friends in floating boat parade. What’s more? Prepare your poncho as they blast fountains of water at you. No escape!

4. Can you speak Japanese? Tokyo DisneySea’s shows are more engaging.

If you love to mingle with the local community, participating in Nemo’s Turtle Talk with Crush show is witty, kawaii, and loads of fun. Kids love the adorable Crush as he teaches moaning sounds across the ocean, complete with audience participation.

If you don’t know how to speak Japanese, skip the shows. They are a waste of time.

5. If you love fast rides, Tokyo Disneyland’s Grand Circuit Raceway makes your wheels hot.

Tokyo Disneyland 11

But prepare also for long lines. This beautiful ride comes with an option to take left hand drive or right hand drive, depending on where you’re most comfortable.

Tokyo Disneysea 4

6. Are you looking for the legendary popcorn? Choose Tokyo Disneyland.

Tokyo Disneyland 11

It took me an hour just to buy Minnie Mouse’s glorious hair bow-shaped popcorn container. While Tokyo DisneySea also has its own version of popcorn buckets, Tokyo Disneyland’s collection is classically Disney and less modern in design. But you can also bring your popcorn bucket in either theme parks, and grab a refill.

7. It all depends on when you’re traveling to Tokyo.

Tokyo Disneysea 4

If you’re going to Tokyo during summer, you must go to Tokyo DisneySea. Tokyo DisneySea heats up the summer with its water rides and Under the Sea Blowfish Balloon Race. If you’re traveling to Tokyo during the cherry blossom season, Tokyo DisneySea is breathtakingly beautiful, filled with Sakura trees in full bloom.

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8. You won’t find any souvenir T-Shirts branded as Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea.

Tokyo Disneysea 4

Unlike Hong Kong Disneyland, there are shirts that indeed spell out “Hong Kong Disneyland” at front. But you’ll definitely buy one-of-a-kind shirts that even locals would buy and immediately wear on the spot.

9. If you love Duffy and Gelatoni, you can only find them at Tokyo DisneySea.

Tokyo Disneysea 4

As Tokyo DisneySea features characters that are related to the sea, you’ll find Duffy in his Venetian hat and ride his gondolas. Gelatoni, the cat appearing at Mediterranean harbor in Tokyo DisneySea, would love for you to buy his merchandise items.

Tokyo Disneysea 4

10. If you’re looking for a completely different experience, try Tokyo DisneySea.

Tokyo Disneysea 4

Nope it’s not child labor. But these little tykes look so cute in sailor outfits. Maybe forget what I said in #1.

Whether you choose to visit Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea, both theme parks will make your vacation the best it will ever be. Remember that Tokyo Disneyland tends to be traditional while Tokyo DisneySea dares to be different and unique, and aims to give tourists an experience one can only have in Japan. Tokyo DisneySea is iconic, mixing elements of Agrabah, Temple of Doom, and Indiana Jones, with the Canals of Venice touch as taken from Duffy’s character.

Tokyo Disneysea 4

Tokyo Disneysea 4

Bonus Tip: The most convenient way to get to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea is by BUS.

Tokyo Disneyland 11

Both theme parks are situated within Disney Resort, so you don’t have to worry about transportation. While some prefer riding the train towards JR Maihama train station from Tokyo Marunouchi station, I would recommend riding the dedicated bus service that goes all the way to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea from the JR Shinjuku Highway Bus Terminal in just 50 minutes. It’s more convenient, less the hassles of switching trains, and a one-way ticket only costs 820 yen per adult, and 410 yen per child. For schedules of the bus service, visit this link.

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