Tokyo DisneySea: Exploring the Only DisneySea Park in the World

Written by Katherine

March 19, 2013
Last Updated on March 5, 2024

After a night at the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel, it was time to get ready for our adventure at the one and only Tokyo DisneySea! Since Tokyo DisneySea is the only DisneySea in the world, we are looking forward to what we can see and do there. Join me as I share with you what we did at Tokyo DisneySea! (o´ω`o)ノ

Christmas & Tokyo DisneySea 10th Anniversary

When we reached Tokyo Disneyland, we were pleasantly surprised to see the theme park decked out in Christmas decorations. All the exhibits were also having a Christmas theme! This was totally unplanned since we were in Japan for our honeymoon. So when we headed over to Tokyo DisneySea, we had another surprise. Tokyo DisneySea was having its 10th anniversary! So besides Christmas decorations, there were also anniversary-themed decorations around the whole theme park. Talk about being lucky! (❤ω❤)

I spent so much time taking photos outside the DisneySea entrance as they had a huge anniversary-theme decoration there. As with our experience at Tokyo Disneyland, there were also a lot of people going to Tokyo DisneySea, although it felt less crowded as compared to Disneyland. (´• ω •`)

Activities You MUST Do in Tokyo DisneySea

In case you have not read my Disneyland post, a quick heads-up that since we had limited time in the theme park, we chose to do more exploration than queuing for rides. We also tried to watch as many shows as possible. So we ended up NOT taking any rides at all. (*/▽\*)

Harbour Show: Christmas Wrapped in Ribbons

UPDATE (2023): This is a Christmas-themed harbour show. The latest harbour show is now “Minnie, I Love You!” and the Christmas-themed one is Disney Christmas Greetings. You can find out all the parades and shows at Tokyo DisneySea HERE.

You are now supposed to use the Tokyo Disney Resort App to attempt to get an entry request to those performances that need them. Check out this link from Tokyo Disney Resort for more details.

When we entered the theme park, we spotted a crowd gathering around the Mediterranean Harbour and realised that a performance was taking place on the waters of the harbour. Sadly, it seemed to be coming to an end as the characters on board the float were waving goodbye.

Upon checking, we realised there was a second show for the day, so we headed there to grab a spot when the time was near, although not early enough. Haha! There were already so many people standing around waiting for it to start. But at least we got to watch the whole performance this time, and it was great! I always love watching Disney characters come to life~! (´ ω `♡)

Stage Show: Christmas Wishes

UPDATE (2023): This is a Christmas-themed stage show. I don’t know what the latest stage show but the Christmas-theme one seems to be Christmas Time With You at the Hanger Stage. You can find out all the parades and shows at Tokyo DisneySea HERE.

You are now supposed to use the Tokyo Disney Resort App to attempt to get an entry request to those performances that need them. Check out this link from Tokyo Disney Resort for more details.

As we were exploring the theme park, we came across a long queue. Not knowing what it was, we decided to just join the queue. Haha! This was such a Singaporean behaviour since our assumption is that whenever there is a queue, there should be something good. (´・ᴗ・ ` ) And we were not wrong!

Apparently, the queue was for visitors to use a lottery system to get a ticket to an upcoming performance at the Waterfront Park. We got lucky and got quite a good pair of seats for the performance. ٩(。•́‿•̀。)۶ Similar to Tokyo Disneyland, the language used in the performance is the Japanese language. I took so many photos during the showtime again. So do check out my gallery at the end to see the selective number of photos! (´• ω •`) ♡

After the stage show, we spotted a duckie fan! Feng and I were amazed at the number of Donald Duck and Daisy soft toys pinned on her bag. She was even hugging Daisy and walking around! Honestly, I am so envious of people who have a Disneyland in their country, as I would definitely be visiting ever so often! (★ω★)

Broadway-themed Stage Show: Big Band Beat

UPDATE (2023): Big Band Beat has ended its run. The latest stage show is Big Band Beat: A Special Treat, an altered version of the original. You can find out all the parades and shows at Tokyo DisneySea HERE.

You are now supposed to use the Tokyo Disney Resort App to attempt to get an entry request to those performances that need them. Check out this link from Tokyo Disney Resort for more details.

Do you know what happens when you go to a theme park unprepared? Missing out on signature stage shows like the Big Band Beat at Tokyo DisneySea. (T_T) By the time we saw it, we already missed all the showtime. So I am telling you, if you are going to a theme park, ALWAYS plan your schedule so you would be able to watch all the performances and take all the rides!

Every blog that we have come by recommended the Tower of Terror ride, but unfortunately, we had to give it a miss. I was tempted to try, but since I am prone to motion sickness, I decided not to risk it. For anyone who does not have this problem, just know that once the motion sickness kicks in, it will take a long time to go away. I did not want to risk having the rest of our Tokyo DisneySea adventure come to an abrupt stop, so no terror ride. (´-ω-`)

UPDATE (2023): My buddies and their family just went to Japan this year and totally enjoyed this ride. For some reason, even though he has motion sickness as well, he was okay after the ride! So those with motion sickness, if you are adventurous, give it a go!

Trying Out Different Modes of Transportation

Even though we did not try them, we saw so many people enjoying the many different modes of transportation at Tokyo DisneySea. The gondola and big city vehicle looked so fun! But once again, Feng and I were such boring people that we preferred to walk around to explore the theme park than try these. (*/ω\)

Nighttime Harbour Show: Fantasmic!

UPDATE (2023): “Fantasmic!” ended its run on 29 February 2020. The latest stage show is “Believe! Sea of Dreams”. You can find out all the parades and shows at Tokyo DisneySea HERE.

Knowing that there was a night harbour show called “Fantasmic!”, we decided to be early to pick a spot to wait for the performance to start. WRONG MOVE. We stayed at the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel with a small subset of our clothes and DID NOT bring our thick jackets with us. So we were totally not prepared for the cold night at Tokyo DisneySea. We did not know that once the sun set, it could get so cold in the theme park in November. (つω`。)

Feng ended up buying us a set of towels as well as a hot chocolate for us to keep warm while we waited for the show to start. We also took turns visiting the washroom as well as going into the nearby shop to get some warmth. Haha! It was so silly, but such things made a trip more memorable, right? (´・ᴗ・ ` ) Anyway, our spot was really good, and it was all worth it as we caught a great view of the show!

If you are staying at one of the hotels at Tokyo Disney Resort, and do not mind spending more, you can consider staying at Tokyo DisneySea Hotel MiraCosta as it is located in the theme park. The best if you are staying at a harbour-view room as you can enjoy the night harbour show in the comfort of your room!

Fireworks Show: Starbright Christmas

UPDATE (2023): This is a Christmas-themed fireworks show. The latest fireworks show is called Disney Light the Night. You can find out all the parades and shows at Tokyo DisneySea HERE.

After the night harbour show was the nightly fireworks show. As with all fireworks, it was beautiful and lasted for about 5 minutes, similar to that at Tokyo Disneyland.

Things You MUST Get in Tokyo DisneySea

DisneySea-themed Accessories to Make Your Blend In

Similar to what we did at Tokyo Disneyland, we each got a Mickey Mouse magician hairband to wear around! I had my hairband from Disneyland but thought that I should fit into DisneySea with something more related. Or just another reason to spend money in a theme park. Haha! ( ´ ω ` )

Duffy and Friends’ Merchandise

The Disney bear, known as Duffy, only appears in Tokyo DisneySea, so you cannot miss out on buying merchandise related to it on a trip to DisneySea! And no, they are NOT sold in Tokyo Disneyland, so if you really want Duffy and Friends, you have to visit DisneySea to buy them. Since Duffy and Shellie are a couple, we obviously have to buy them both. Haha! (´ ω `♡)

Things Worth Mentioning about Tokyo DisneySea

A Unique Anniversary-themed Activity

I don’t know if this is a thing if you visit Tokyo DisneySea on a normal day in a normal year, but the theme park had this special activity when we visited. Basically, we had to buy a wand and go around Tokyo DisneySea to look for the respective Disney characters to scan our wand. Once the wand has been scanned at a specific Disney character checkpoint, the wand will register it. Each character has its own colour, and upon collecting all the colours on your wand, you will be able to exchange for a “gold” coin!

We did not know about this until much later when we saw people doing it. Since it was such a coincidence that we came during DisneySea’s anniversary, we decided to try it out. The wand was obviously not cheap, so we only bought one for the experience. It also gave us a purpose to walk around the whole theme park. (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ

Limited Number of Mascots

When in Tokyo DisneySea, you definitely have to try to spot Duffy or Shellie. If I am not wrong, there was a greeting session with Duffy in the restaurant, and it was SO CROWDED that we ended up not wanting to dine in there. Haha! But we did spot Shellie outdoors. So cuddly, I wanted to hug it. (≧◡≦) ♡

But it does feel like Tokyo DisneySea has fewer signature mascots as compared to Disneyland. Either that, or we have been missing them out during our walkabout. Anyway, we also spotted Stitch, and Feng asked if I wanted a photo with it since it is my favourite Disney character. I gave it a hard pass because Stitch DOES NOT look smol in real life. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

Shuttle Bus Experience back to Shinjuku

After the fireworks show, it was time for us to head back to Shinjuku. We went to the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel to collect our one piece of baggage and took a shuttle bus back to Shinjuku. The bus experience was yet another experience, an embarrassing one, so to speak. (*/ω\)

We boarded the bus and realised all the seats were taken. So we thought we might have to stand all the way to Shinjuku, which would be terrible as it was a long ride there. So the locals on the bus were telling us to sit down in the Japanese language. Since we didn’t understand what they were saying, we thought they wanted us to sit on the floor! I was like, wow, I didn’t know we had to do this in an urban city. w(°o°)w

Eventually, someone realised we didn’t know what they were saying and pulled out a foldable chair from the side of the fixed seat. OH MY GOODNESS. I swear I was so embarrassed! Hahaha! Sorry if I thought you guys wanted me to sit on the floor. So don’t say I never share with you! I get embarrassed, so you don’t need to! (//▽//)

Overall Experience at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea

Personally, I felt that Tokyo DisneySea definitely caters more to adults as their rides felt more adult-ish as compared to those in Disneyland. I also think I enjoyed it more at Disneyland as those characters were literally part of my childhood (80s kid here!).

That being said, since Tokyo DisneySea is the ONLY ONE in the world, a visit to Disneyland only does not feel justified unless you have already been to DisneySea. So yeah, if it is your first time in Tokyo, definitely visit both of the theme parks. I would just like to say that giving one day for each theme park is DEFINITELY not enough if you are queuing normally and want to explore the whole place at the same time. If possible, probably plan for more days for exploration, shows and rides.

Another thing I liked about our experience was the opportunity to experience something unique during our visits to both theme parks. Not only was it having a Christmas theme, but it was also DisneySea’s anniversary! All these gave us some unique experiences that people do not typically have if they visit during normal days or years. So if possible, try planning it around the special period.

Lastly, I think you should ALWAYS do your homework and plan your schedule for each theme park so that you don’t miss out on anything! (´• ω •`)ノ

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Useful Travel Resources

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💰 BEST Cards to Use for Your Overseas Spending

Want to enjoy seamless spending overseas without the pesky fees? Check out my post on the best card to bring overseas – the Trust Bank and YouTrip cards!

🥶 Tips on Packing for 10 – 20 Degrees Celsius Weather

Winter packing woes got you stressed? My guide will turn your “Gaaaah!” into a smooth vacay in 10 to 20 degrees Celsius weather!

Want to travel light without the luggage hassle? Well, I’ve got a handy tip for you: luggage storage and Yamato Transport’s reliable luggage delivery service! If you’re flying into Narita or Haneda Airport, the Japan Airport Limousine Bus is a fantastic option for getting to your accommodation. Plus, check out our other Tokyo-related posts – there’s a lot more to explore! ⸜( ´ ꒳ ` )⸝

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