I am going stir crazy over here in Pittsburgh, where there are no amusement parks open within a 5 hour radius until like April or May. I want so badly to go somewhere during spring break – not for like an entire week but maybe for TWO DAYS – but Henry keeps frowning at me because we have the big trip in August and I apparently am PUSHING IT and ASKING FOR TOO MUCH.
So to stay entertained, I’ve been perusing some of our past park recaps and…now I am even more anxious to put these winter mths behind us! Reposting one of the Toyko DisneySea blog posts from 2019 because this was the prettiest park I’ve ever been to in my whole dumb life.
Friends, foes, family, foresters: I am here to tell you that I have nothing bad to say about DisneySea. Honestly. It was the one day from our vacation where we didn’t fight ONE SINGLE TIME. The park opened, we walked in, and it was like the air was being pumped with happy gas because even though it was 100 degrees, we genuinely liked each other that day.
We’re not Disney people but this park had a huge impact on us! And this might sound like a cop-out, but there is really no way I can illustrate just how magical this place is, aside from sharing photos. So let’s peruse my collection together, shall we?
DisneySea is built next to the Tokyo Bay and has seven themed “ports of call” areas. I’ve heard that this park is billed as the Disney for adults, and even though there is a huge (and BEAUTIFUL) indoor kids area, I can definitely see how this is true. There is one area that made me feel like I was in Cape May and I loved it which is hilarious because when I was a kid, we always took a day trip to Cape May during our Wildwood family vacations, and I was always so miserable about that. I hated Cape May as a kid! All my grandma wanted to do was shop and all I could think about was how I missing out on prime time riding rides on the boardwalk. (Morey’s Piers ftw.)
I mentioned in my last Tokyo post that DisneySea doesn’t use an app for Fast Pass, so when the gates opened, we had to walk-run (there are friendly Disney employees everywhere reminding you politely not to run and I already knew this from watching videos so I speed-walked like a good girl because maybe you don’t know this about me BUT I HATE BEING YELLED AT even if it’s someone just kindly reminding me not to do something I’m doing, I will take this and escalate it in my head and get totally butt-hurt and then I will keep replaying the moment until I’m convinced that I was yelled at.
I’m insane and my issues are plentiful.
Anyway, our plan was to pass up Toy Story because it’s identical to the one in the US, grab a Tower of Terror fast pass, and then speedwalk to Journey to the Center of the Earth for stand-by. This plan worked wonderfully!
Mysterious Island was amazing!! The theming blew us all away.
I was prepared for Journey’s line to be outrageous but stand-by was about 30-45 minutes! That ride was goddamn amazing but my favorite part was when Henry ripped his shorts when he was getting into the car!
(Unfortunetely, his rip wasn’t as disastrous as it could have been, and even though it was large, it was still unnoticeable. Ugh.)
I will have a separate post to talk about the rides and food, so let’s just keep looking at the glorious scenery, shall we?
Seriously, would you look at this area? I think we just ooh’d and ahh’d over everything for the first 8 hours of the day.
I’m not sure where all the people went that we saw when the park opened, because it didn’t seem very crowded that day. Don’t get me wrong, some of the bigger rides had really long standby wait times as the day went on (Toy Story and the brand new Soaring were basically big no’s if you didn’t have a fast pass, and we didn’t want a fast pass for any of them), but we weren’t fighting our way through hoards of people on the paths or in the restaurants. It was actually pretty weird.
And whenever we did have to stand in line, it was pleasant because people in Japan are polite and orderly. It really was like being in an Utopian amusement park.
Even though we were able to ride all the rides we wanted to, this park could still easily be a 2-day park, because there is so much to see and eat. The facades were so detailed and the shops in each port of call had different merch. Also, we didn’t see any of the shows because that’s not important to us, but if we had been there for a second day, I definitely would have penciled that in because this park inspired me to care about these things!
…and then we found out where all the people were, lol. There’s a big pirate show that happens several times in the main entrance area and people seemed to just loiter there all day. Also, it was August 1st when we were there, and that was the day when the new theme and merch came out, so I think the enthusiasts were there just for that. We walked past a lot of people who were hanging out in that area with like 8 bags of merch!
Meanwhile, all I cared about was getting my ears (the process of choosing a pair is painstaking but I went with Oswald and Chooch got Dumbo ears and then instantly had reGERTS because it was, again, 100 degrees that day and now he was essentially wearing a terry-cloth headband, good job, dingus.
Venice Vibes, Very.
Basically just an excuse to sit down.
I wanted to jump into this water so badly that day. Did I mention it was 100 degrees?
Did I mention we were also in Japan?
You think you know humidity in America, but you don’t.
LOOK AT THIS CHILDREN’S AREA!!! It was inside Ariel’s Castle and majorly air-conditioned. We definitely took our good ol’ time strolling through this piece.
And the gift shop was inside a whale!
Again, I’m not a Disneyphile but shit, I wanted to buy everything I saw.
In all serious though, I couldn’t stop ogling the majesty of this castle. The detail was sickening!
Halfway to heatstroke.
If you looked at those tiny tiles close up, you’d find little Mickey ears, Flounders, and other assorted hidden Disney sundry.
I can’t imagine standing before this and not being totally enchanted.
One of our many “should we jump” contemplations. Also, note that Chooch is wearing his Pie Jesus friendship bracelet!
Some areas of DisneySea are under construction and from what I understand, it’s in preparation for next summer’s Olympics. Getting a bit of a face lift, I guess! Some of the coaster enthusiasts I follow on YouTube were super annoyed about this when they visited a week before us, but it didn’t take very much away from our visit. If Journey to the Center of the Earth had been outright closed, then my tune would be very different!
Henry, reapplying sunscreen.
LOOK AT THIS VIEW! Also, that water was making me hallucinate. Or was it the sun. I don’t know, but I was feeling delirious.
(Don’t worry! We stayed hydrated all day and guess what? It was easy to do so because food and beverage prices were CHEAP there! I was shocked. I mostly kept refilling an empty bottle at various water fountains, but I did get tempted several times to partake in flavored drinks because, Tokyo. There was some fizzy grapefruit sports drink that was SO REFRESHING.)
You know a park is legit when even your kid keeps stopping to take in the views. I’m a very GO-GO-GO type of person at amusement parks, but this place made me want to slow down and relax.
My kimono-thing was protecting my skin big-time, yo.
Obsessed with this tree.
The theme for August was Pirates Summer and we were there for the first day of it, so that was pretty cool! I purposely ordered a dessert at one of the restaurants just so I could get a collectible plate, so I guess I’m a Disney person now.
This fountain is iconic because it’s the first thing you see when you walk through the entrance. Also, we tried to get Henry to buy a pair of ears but he is too much of a lamer, I guess. Now no one will believe that he actually had a good time!
Some Instagram models were doing an amateur photoshoot here so then we had to do one too.
Did I ever tell you about how Chooch despises Chip and Dale because they’re so much more popular than Bambi when it comes to Disney merch and sometimes, from afar, he will think he sees something Bambi-themed only to get closer and see that it’s Chip and Dale. So when he saw this Chip, or Dale?, at DisneySea, he had a moment of rage. I wanted him to get in line for a picture but he was like Chip (or Dale?) can go fuck himself.
(Personally, I love Chip & Dale. I had one of their videos in the 80s and it was the kind that came in the giant padded case. I watched it all the time!)
The Aladdin area was so beautiful, I could have cried.
But Mermaid’s Lagoon had my heart. Those under-the-sea aesthetics really snatched me, you guys.
I wanted Chooch to make friends with all these children but he was like, “I just want to touch the water, not make power moves.”
I’m such a Disney fraud that I didn’t even know who Duffy was until I started researching this park.
SHIT YOU GUYS. JUST OMG THESE LOOKS. If DisneySea was a kpop group, then Mermaid’s Lagoon would be the visuals.
Although the Arabian area wasn’t exactly horse face, either.
DisneySea at night is a big fat mood. My heart was actually fluttering.
We stayed until the park closed and yes, we were fucking BEAT but it was worth every second we were crucified by the sun.
Once we were off Disney-soil, Chooch and Henry were free to argue over directions and fare machines again, so that was fun.