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Ultimate DisneySea Guide – 22 Tips to make the most out of your trip

Ultimate DisneySea Guide - 22 Tips to make the most out of your trip

You are most likely here because you’re going to Japan soon and you’re looking for a DisneySea Guide, or you can’t decide if you will go to Tokyo Dinseyland or DisneySea. It’s always better to see both especially that the parks are very different from each other in many ways. But in case you can only pick one, here’s why you should choose to go to DisneySea and some tips on how you can maximize your visit.

 

7 Reasons why you should go to Tokyo DisneySea

Reason 1: There’s only one DisneySea in the world. Really. Everybody can say they’ve gone to Disneyland but few can say that they’ve gone to DisneySea,

Reason 2: Unique attractions. This is the only Disney park that doesn’t have a Disney castle in the middle of the park, instead, they have a volcano that explodes every few minutes. How badass is that? And if you love Ariel like me, you’ll find a section dedicated to her here.

Reason 3: Meet Rare Disney Characters, like Duffy! If you don’t know who he is, Duffy is Mickey’s teddy bear companion that Minnie gave him before he set on an adventure to see the world. Duffy’s girlfriend, Shellie May is also here and they’re DisneySea’s official mascots.

Reason 4: DisneySea is more for an older crowd. There are quite a few thrill rides here that older kids (and their parents) can enjoy. So, no “It’s a small world” ride.

DisneySea Curry Popcorn

Reason 5: Booze. Yes, you can purchase alcoholic beverages from almost any food stalls and restaurants which you can’t do at Disneyland.

Reason 6: Curry Popcorn. Have you ever tried curry popcorn? If you haven’t, you should! You can also find other interesting flavors including, black pepper, milk chocolate, milk tea, caramel, garlic shrimp, tomato and herb, blueberry, and sea salt.

Reason 7: Japanese cosplayers. Aside from the amazing details of the park itself, The Japanese cosplayers are also so fun to watch especially if you’re going during Halloween when everyone is all dressed up in amazing cosplays. You can even approach them and nicely ask for a photo with them, if you want to.


If you don’t have a Japan visa yet, learn how to get approved here.


 

DisneySea Guide – 22 Must-Read Tips

This DisneySea guide will help you maximize your visit to Tokyo DisneySea by sharing with you some useful insider tips and tricks on how you can save time, how you can skip lines, a FastPass strategy, the Tokyo DisneySea map, a recommended route, where to stay, what to eat and what to expect at Tokyo DisneySea.

1. Buy your DisneySea tickets in advance.

You can buy them directly at the front gate but be aware that the lines could be really long and would take up a lot of time from your visit. Good thing is that you can get tickets in advance through Klook.

2. Be there before the DisneySea opening hours.

The park is open from 9am to 10pm on weekdays 8am-10pm on weekends. It’s best to be at the park at least 30 minutes before the gates open so you can get into the park early. Every minute counts when you’re at Disney Sea.

3. Dates to avoid/ When to go

Since the park is one of a kind, expect that you there will be a lot of people visiting especially during weekends and holidays. Here are the general dates to avoid:

School holidays

  • Summer: July 20 – August 31
  • Winter: December 26- January 6
  • Spring: March 25- April 5

Japanese Holidays

  •   Golden Week: April 29 to May 5
  •   Obon Obon: Mid July or Mid August (Depending on the Solar Calendar)
  •   New Year: December 31 to January 2

4. Check the DisneySea Crowd Calendar before you visit

The crowd calendar is the ultimate time-saving weapon you can have. It tells you when the best (and worst) days are to visit. Even if you’re not going on any of the dates above, we recommend still checking the crowd calendar to find out what the best days are for you.

PRO TIP: Tuesdays are usually the least crowded days.

5. Use the DisneySea Fastpass

What is a Fastpass? A Fastpass is like a reservation ticket to a certain ride or show. It gives you schedule for the ride or show which allows you to bypass the long waiting line. The best part is that it’s completely free! But, it’s not available for all the rides and you can only get one every after 2 hours.

 
 
 
 
 
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Where to get a fast pass? The fastpass stations are usually located near the attraction itself.

How to get a fastpass? Scan the QR code on your park tickets to get a pass for the schedule indicated on the machine.

Why is the fastpass important? It allows you to hours and hours of idly waiting in line for a ride or show. Some attractions can have a waiting time of 2 hours, sometimes even longer on peak days. But if you have a fastpass, you can walk straight in, skip the long wait and have more time to enjoy Disney sea.

It’s important to note that there’s a limited number of fastpasses issued per day and it’s possible to run out of tickets which brings us to the next tip.

6. Choose the fastest runner in your group

As soon as the park opens, people will be running to the fastpass machines. And so should you! Well, at least one of you. Ask the fastest person to run to the machine and get the passes for everyone.

Give your tickets to him so he can get Fastpasses for everyone. This way, you don’t have to wait for each other to get your Fastpasses.

Getting a fastpass early in the day means you have more chances of maximizing this feature, because as mentioned above, it refreshes every two hours. If you were able to get a fastpass at 9:30am, you can get around 3 to 4 fastpasses for the day which means you can cut in line for 3 to 4 rides. Imagine how much time you’ll save if you do that!

PRO TIP: Assign a person in your group to keep all your tickets together. Place them in a wet-proof pouch you can wear around your neck or in a place where you can easily access them.

Crowd at the Toy Story Mania attraction.

7. Get a Fastpass for Toy Story Mania as soon as you get into the park

The Toy Story Mania attraction is usually the first one to run out of fast passes so make sure to head there first right after getting into the park if you don’t want to spend 2.5 hours waiting in line (just like what happened to us)  to get into the attraction.

When we went, people were literally sprinting to the fastpass machines to reserve a slot for Toy Story Mania. It was sold out 20 minutes after the park opened, that’s how popular this ride is.

8. Have a Fastpass Priority Plan

Aside from Toy Story Mania, you want to get a fastpass for the other rides. Here’s the list according to popularity.

Fastpass priority:

  • Toy Story Mania- aim and shoot at the enemies
  • Tower of Terror- ride to the top of the tower and prepare to be spooked
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth- discover what’s under the volcano
  • Mermaid Lagoon Theater (only during busy days)- musical show with Ariel
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (only during busy days)- explore the sea in a submarine
  • Nemo & Friends Sea Rider- a submarine ride to explore the ocean
  • Magic Lamp Theater- a magic show with Genie
  • Indiana Jones Adventure (single-rider option)- ride the cart and avoid the traps of the Crystal Skull
  • Raging Spirits (single-rider option)- roller coaster with a 360-loop

For the last two, you can opt to not get a fastpass if you’re willing to break the group up because there’s a single-rider option. But if you insist in riding together then fastpass would be the way to go. Speaking of single-rider…

9. Maximize the Single-riders option

If you’re not familiar with single-rider, it’s a separate queue which allows a single person to join another group if they have an odd number of riders. The single-rider queue is normally much shorter than the normal line (imagine 10 minutes instead of 1 hour).

So make sure to take advantage of the single-riders option. The ride may not be as fun as if you are sitting with your friends, but saving time means you can experience more of what Disney Sea has to offer.

PRO TIP: The single rider queue isn’t visible so approach the cast members or the attendant so they can direct you where to go.

10. Choose your top DisneySea rides and shows

A day of visit is barely enough to ride everything Disney Sea has to offer. Even on days when it’s not so crowded, it’s nearly impossible to try everything out. We recommend choosing your top 7 rides and 2 shows. Ask yourself, “What rides do I really want to try that will make my visit worthwhile?”

11. Plan your route ahead of time

Planning is key to maximizing your day at Disney sea because it’s easy to waste your time wandering around the park, not that it’s bad because the park is a beautiful place to wander but you want to maximize your trip if you only allotted one day for your visit.

Here’s the route that we recommend that maximized the rides based on the proximity to each other:

  1. Get a Toy Story Mania Fastpass
  2. Ride the Tower of Terror (just beside Toy Story Mania)
  3. Go to Turtle talk (near Tower of Terror)
  4. Ride 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  5. Get Fast pass for Journey to the Center of the Earth
  6. Watch Ariel’s show at the Mermaid Lagoon Theater
  7. Ride Toy Story Mania
  8. We recommend eating lunch past noon when everyone else is done so you don’t have to wait for your food for too long, and it’s easier to find a vacant table.
  9. Ride Journey to the Center of the Earth or if it’s not your schedule yet,
  10. Watch the show at the Magic Lamp Theater
  11. Ride the Raging Spirits (single-riders)
  12. Ride Indiana Jones Adventure (single-riders)
  13. Ride the Venetian Gondola (we recommend this in the afternoon because the view is more romantic)
  14. Secure a spot in front of the Mediterranean Harbor for the night show
Enjoying the view from across the DisneSea Mediterranean harbor.
Waiting for the night show. We’re smiling but we’re freezing!

PRO TIP: Buy some snacks (we recommend some onigiriis) and drinks before entering the park since the park food can be expensive. While you’re at it, eat a few. You need lots of energy for your visit.

 PRO TIP: Save a spot for the nighttime show at least 45 minutes before it starts. You can also use this time to eat some onigiri “dinner”.

12. Check the Tokyo DisneySea Map

Disney sea is huge! With 176 acres of land, it’s easy to get lost and distracted with all the festivities going around. Familiarizing yourself on the area using the official Disney sea map will save you a lot of time when locating the attractions. You can get a map near the entrance or download it to your phone.

13. Know that the shows are in Japanese

Yes, the shows are in Japanese and most of them do not have translations or subtitles. If you don’t know any Japanese, you might have a hard time appreciating the story. We still suggest watching them because they are very festive and still fun to watch even with the language barrier. It’s up to you if you will skip them and enjoy the other attractions instead.

14. Approach any Cast Member for free stickers

The Cast Members or park attendants always have stickers with them. Simply approach them and ask for one. They usually personalize it by writing your name and a simple dedication if it is your first time to visit or if it is your birthday. A pretty sweet souvenir! And it’s FREE.

 
 
 
 
 
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15. Bring your own food

Yes, that’s right. You can bring your own food, but you are only allowed to consume them at designated eating areas outside the park near the entrance. Make sure to get your hand stamped before you exit so you can get back in without any hassle (or else, you might have to purchase new tickets again). You can also buy food inside, of course, but the lines are usually long and it’s hard to find a vacant table. For us, we bought some onigiri before entering the park which is way cheaper and more convenient.

PRO TIP: We ate our onigiriis while waiting in line. Though there are designated eating areas to consume outside food, we ate ours while waiting in line very discretely making sure that we do not disturb other guests and that we made zero mess.

16. Bring a refillable water bottle

There are several refilling stations in the park. Japan’s tap water is potable, so you don’t need to buy bottled water. However, cans and glass bottles of any kind are not allowed. The guards thoroughly check your things before letting you enter so best to bring a reusable plastic container instead.

PRO TIP: For cold water, you can refill your containers from the water fountains inside the restaurants.

17. Bring your own pocket wifi

Tokyo Disney sea does not have free wifi so it’s best to bring your own. Staying connected with your group is very important. You can rent a pocket wifi here.

18. Leave your selfie-sticks at home

Monopods, tripods, selfie-sticks are not allowed because they can be an inconvenience to other park-goers. We are not sure if you can leave it in a locker or a baggage counter if ever you did bring one, or if they confiscate it so just leave it in your hotel so you don’t have to worry about what to do with it. You can also check the other park rules and regulations for a hassle-free visit.

19. No animals allowed at DisneySea

You might think of bringing your adorable tea-cup pig in her cute tote bag carrier so she can get a photo op with Mickey and friends but sorry to disappoint that pets and animals are not allowed in the park except for assistance dogs. Unlike in Disney World, Tokyo Disney Sea does not offer the service Best Friends Pet Care (yet).

20. Rent a locker

Lockers can be the most convenient thing you can have when visiting theme parks. Lucky for us, they’re everywhere in Japan! The lockers inside the park usually fills out really quick (another reason why you should come early), because they are the most accessible ones. Just in case you run out of lockers inside the park, there are plenty lockers at the DisneySea Station that you can rent.

Locker Fees for the Whole Day

  • Super-Extra Large ¥700
  • Extra Large ¥700
  • Large ¥500
  • Medium ¥400
  • Small ¥300

21. Check the weather forecast before you go

Japan’s weather forecast is on point. It’s probably the most accurate forecast in the world. If it says it will rain at 3:02 pm, no matter how sunny it was in the morning, it will rain at 3:02 pm. So dressing appropriately in key. You can bring an umbrella or buy one inside the park. You can use it when it gets too hot or when it suddenly rains. Some people opt to wear a raincoat.

PRO TIP: If it gets too hot or it suddenly rains, you can enjoy the indoor places like Triton’s Palace, Fortress Explorations and Turtle Talk.

22. Try the unique DisneySea food

Aside from the different flavored popcorn we mentioned as a reason to go to DisneySea, the park has a lot of other food items that are cute, yummy and definitely worth a try.

  • Toy Story’s alien mochi at Toy Story Mania- adorable and plump mochi with chocolate, strawberry and custard filling (unfortunately we weren’t able to try this because we didn’t know that the store closes at 5 pm)
  • Churros at Nemo and Friends- refreshing orange-flavored churros perfect for walking and eating
  • Chandu’s Tail at Sultan’s Oasis- with delicious chicken curry and cheese filling
  • Ukiwaman at Port Discovery- a bun filled with juicy shrimp
  • Gyoza Dog at Mysterious Island- fluffy and steamy bun with mouth-watering gyoza pork filling
  • Mickey Ice Pop at Lost River Delta- cool down on a hot day with these cute and refreshing treats
  • Duffy Desserts at Cape Cod- Duffey-shaped snacks which come with a souvenir plate or cup
  • Frozen Beer at Mysterious Island- because why not? Disney Sea is so cool!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How do we get there?

The railway system in Japan is very efficient so getting there is quite easy. Just remember to factor in how far you will be traveling so can get to the park early. The travel time can be as quick as a 10-minute train-ride to a whole hour of commute, depending on where you are at. Wherever you will be coming from, the easiest way to get there is to:

  • Go to Tokyo Station
  • Ride the JR (Japan Railway) Keiyo Line / Musashino Line
  • Get off at JR Maihama Station
  • Go to Disney Resort Monorail
  • Get off at DisneySea Station
  • Walk to the main entrance

2. How much are the tickets?

These are the ticket prices as of this writing.

TicketAdult
(18 and above)
Junior
(12-17 years old)
Child
(4-11 years old)
Senior
(65 and above)
1-Day Passport
Enjoy Tokyo Disneyland or
DisneySea for a day
¥ 7,400¥ 6,400¥ 4,800¥ 6,700
2-Day Passport
Enjoy Tokyo Disneyland and
DisneySea for 2 consecutive
days
¥ 13,200¥ 11,600¥ 8,600 
3-Day Magic Passport
Enjoy Tokyo Disneyland and
DisneySea for 3 consecutive
days
¥ 17,800¥ 15, 500¥ 11,500 
4-Day Magic Passport
Enjoy Tokyo Disneyland
and DisneySea for 4consecutive days
¥ 22,400¥ 19,400¥ 14,400 
Starlight Passport
For use from 3pm onweekends and holidays
¥ 5,400¥ 4,700¥ 3,500 
After 6 Passport For use from 6pm on weekdays¥ 4,200¥ 4,200¥ 4,200 
2-Park Annual Passport  ¥ 89,000¥ 89,000¥ 56,000¥ 75,000
Tokyo Disneyland Annual Passport¥ 61,000¥ 61,000¥ 39,000¥ 51,000
Tokyo DisneySea Annual Passport¥ 61,000¥ 61,000¥ 39,000¥ 51,000

3. What are the attractions at Tokyo DisneySea?

Aside from the Fastpass attractions mentioned above, there are other several attractions that you can enjoy during your visit.

  • Disney Sea transit Streamer Line- ride a steamboat across the lake
  • Fortress Exploration- interactive play area (indoors)
  • Venetian Gondolas- ride the boat and enjoy the view while the boatmen sing to you
  • Turtle Talk- chat with the famous sea turtle, Crush from Finding Nemo (indoors)
  • Disney Sea Electric Railway- ride the trolley to Port Discovery
  • Big City Vehicles- take a ride around American Waterfront
  • Aquatopia- ride whirling boats and expect to get splashed
  • Caravan Carousel- two-level carousel
  • Jasmine’s Flying Carpets- experience a magic carpet ride over Jasmine’s garden
  • Sinbad’s Story Book Voyage- go on an adventure with Sinbad and Chandu (indoors)
  • Ariel’s Playground- explore Ariel’s treasures (indoors)
  • Jumpin’ Jellyfish- ride up and down colorful jellyfish (indoors)
  • Scuttle’s Scooters- spin and fly around with Ariel’s friend, Scuttle
  • Flounder’s Flying Fish Coaster- mini roller coaster over a pool

 

PRO TIP: The indoor attractions are perfect when you want to hide from a sudden rain shower or escape the noontime summer heat to a cooler air-conditioned place.

4. What should I wear?

It depends on the date of your visit. As mentioned above, the weather forecast in Japan is very accurate, so checking before you go will help you big time in deciding your OOTD. But no matter the weather or season, wearing your most comfortable shoes is the best thing you can do for yourself since you’ll be walking and running the whole day.

5. What should I bring?

For summer visits, bring an umbrella, body wipes, a face towel so you can freshen up as needed. During colder months, a pocket fire could be a life saver. They are small pocket-sized heaters that you can hold to warm your hands. You can also stick them on your clothes and place them on your nape so you could warm up. You can buy them from convenience stores.

6. Can I use my credit card at DisneySea?

Yes, major credit cards are accepted at Tokyo Disney sea. They don’t, however, accept overseas debit cards. Almost all convenience stores in Japan have ATMs so when in need of cash, go to 7-11.

7. Where should I stay?

Disney-themed hotels are a whole new experience on its own, but they can be quite expensive. To give you an idea, these are the rate for their standard rooms per night of stay as of May 2019.

  • Tokyo DisneySea Hotel MiraCosta 49, 600 yen (23,700)
  • Tokyo Disneyland Hotel 40, 000 yen (19,100)
  • Disney Ambassador Hotel 33, 400 yen (16,000)
  • Tokyo Disney Celebration Hotel 20, 000 yen (9,500)

More Budget-friendly options:

Capsule Hotels

You might also want to consider a capsule hotel which is another interesting experience. We have some cool recommendations for you.


If you haven’t stayed in a capsule hotel yet, check out our Guide to Capsule Hotels.


What do you think? Let's discuss!

Is there anything else you want to know about DisneySea? What are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments.

 

 

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