HOW TO STRATEGIZE YOUR TRIP TO TOKYO DISNEY SEA

7:49 PM



You cannot miss Tokyo Disney Resort when you’re travelling to Tokyo! This Disney Resort is comprised of two theme parks – Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea. Tourists and locals frequent the latter because this is the ONLY DISNEY SEA in the World. This Disney Resort is, indeed, the happiest place on Earth.


Tokyo Disneyland is your typical Disneyland, wherein the rides are almost similar with the one in Hong Kong. Tokyo DISNEY SEA, on the other hand, is for mature (yet fun and adventurous) individuals. There are 7 areas inside the theme park; each area takes you to a whole new world. Instead of having a castle as the center of the park, Tokyo Disney Sea has a giant volcano that erupts from time to time. The theme park is entirely different from your typical Disneyland parks around the world. This is why Tokyo Disney Sea is the 5th Most Visited Theme Park in the world in 2016.


When it comes to theme parks, I usually come up with a very strategic plan to maximize the day. We all know that one day is not enough to ride all the attractions for most cases in theme parks. But with these ultimate guide and fool-proof hacks, you can surely maximize your day in Tokyo Disney Sea. 


01  |  BUY TICKETS ONLINE
To have a hassle-free and smooth trip to Tokyo Disney Sea, it is best to buy your tickets online in the official Tokyo Disney Resort website. Make sure to specify which park you are planning to visit. You can also have the option of visiting both parks by clicking ‘Multi-Day Passport’, which gives you a minimum of 2 days to visit both theme parks – Tokyo Disney Sea and Disneyland.

After purchasing the ticket online, you will be given a QR code that you need to print on A-4 size paper. After that, you just need to present your printed QR code at the park’s entrance and you’re all set!


02  |  AVOID THE WEEKENDS AND HOLIDAYS
When selecting a date, avoid the long queues by selecting off-peak days on the calendar. But just to warn you, even the off-peak days seemed too crowded for me when I went there. I just can’t imagine how long the lines are on weekends and holidays.



03  |  ARRIVE EARLY
You might have seen this in other theme park hacks - Arrive early so you can maximize the day. The park usually opens at 8:00AM, and closes at around 10:00PM. The schedule varies, so better check the park’s schedule in this website


04  |  TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE FASTPASS
FastPasses are like your Golden Ticket that can save you from the long waits. It is 100% free but you have to follow certain rules. Here are some of the rides that offer FastPasses:
§  Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull
§  Journey to the Center of the Earth
§  20k Leagues Under the Sea
§  Raging Spirit
§  Tower of Terror
§  The Magic Lamp Theater
§  Mermaid Lagoon Theater
§  Toy Story Mania
§  Nemo and Friends SeaRider
There are FastPass machines located in each of the rides mentioned, wherein the machine will scan your QR code. MAKE SURE your printed ticket is always with you. Take note of the return time indicated in your FastPass ticket because that’s the only time you can enter the FastPass lane. This can save you hours of waiting in the line.

The rule is that you can get another FastPass after the return time indicated in your previous FastPass, OR after 2 hours from getting the previous FastPass. For example, you got your first FastPass at 9:00AM that indicates 4:00PM return time, you can claim your next Fastpass at 11:00AM.

PRO TIP: Have the fastest runner in your group to collect all the tickets and run to your desired attraction. She can scan each of the tickets, and then you guys can just meet to your next desired attraction.


05  |  CONSIDER THE SINGLE RIDERS LANE
The Single Riders Lane can save you an hour or two of long waits. I’m not saying that you should ditch your companion, but most rides with Single Riders Lane are not ideal for a social ride. For example, the Raging Spirit roller coaster, it’s not like you’re going to chat with your friend in the middle of the ride while everyone else is screaming. You can share your experience with the ride after. Plus, there’s a good chance that your companion will be on the same batch as you.


06  |  DO NOT HAVE LUNCH / SNACK DURING PEAK HOURS
Before going to the park, treat yourself with a heavy breakfast because you will need all the energy if you’re going to spend the entire day inside the theme park. This will save you more time because instead of lining up to get that famous popcorn, you can use that time to line up in other attraction.

Have your lunch after 1:00PM when everyone just finished their lunch. You can order a nice meal in these restaurants and cafes:
§  Café Portofino
§  Zambini Brothers’ Ristorante
§  Magellan’s
§  Ristorante di Canaletto
§  S.S. Columbia Dining Room
§  Sailing Day Buffet
§  New York Deli
§  Restaurant Sakura
§  Horizon Bay Restaurant
§  Miguel’s El Dorado Cantina
§  Yucatan Base Camp Grill
§  Casbah Food Court
§  Sebastian Calypso’s Kitchen
§  Vulcania Restaurant


07  |  SKIP THE THEATER SHOWS
If you don’t know how to speak, nor understand the Japanese language, then skip the theater shows like My friend Duffy, Out of Shadowland and King Triton’s Concert. I included King Triton’s Concert in my schedule because I love the Little Mermaid movies since I was a kid. I had no idea that the songs will be in Japanese language.

It is, also, advisable to ride attractions during scheduled shows. When everyone is trying a good position for the show, you just go straight to the rides to enjoy less crowded attractions. 


08  |  DOWNLOAD TDRNOW APP
The TDRNow App will provide you real-time updates on each ride. This app will tell you the waiting time, even for Single Riders Lane. The app will come in handy in choosing which attraction to ride with lesser waiting time.


09  |  HAVE A STRATEGIC SCHEDULE
Prepare a strategic schedule that includes all the rides that you want to prioritize. I will share with you below how I managed to ride all my favorites in just one day. This strat schedule, however, can only happen in a perfect and ideal world, of course. You still need adjust to the situation, depending on the volume of the people inside the park. So here you go!


STRAT SCHED

8:00 AM – Enter the park and get good photos of the park’s façade

Upon entering the park, allow yourself to be mesmerized by the park’s façade. You are in the happiest place on Earth, after all. Take a selfie, or a group photo, with the rotating globe as your background.


8:30 AM – GET FAST PASS: Journey to the Center of the Earth – RIDE: Indiana Jones Adventure – TOUR: Lost Worlds Delta

Indiana Jones Adventure ★★★✩✩
It took us more than 2 hours to ride this particular attraction; probably the longest queue we have encountered inside the theme park. But don’t fret; there are special effects in different parts of the line that will entertain you while waiting. As for the ride, it did not disappoint us, nor did it not amaze us that much. There were sharp turns inside the dark tunnel, which makes the ride totally unpredictable. But I was still longing for that extreme climax that it deserves. It felt like the whole ride seemed flat from beginning to end. What I really love about it though, is that the park took effort in every detail; down from its detailed surroundings up to the lighting and sound effects. Definitely a must ride!

Photo from blog.livedoor.jp

Touring Lost World Delta

10:30 AM – SINGLE RIDE: Raging Spirit – Brunch

Raging Spirit ★★★✩✩
Since I was the only one brave enough to try this roller coaster, I took advantage of the Single Riders Lane. I lined up for about 45 minutes. Since I am a big fan of extreme roller coasters, I was looking for that ride that will give me adrenaline rush. Upon seeing this ride, I was really not that thrilled, hence I did not expect too much. What you see is what you get. But I’d still give it 3 stars because it has all the essential parts I needed to feel – the sudden falls and the 360-degree turn. Raging Spirits is still not for the faint of heart.


12:00 NN – GET FAST PASS: Toy Story Mania – SHOW: Mermaid Lagoon Theater “King Triton’s Concert”

King Triton’s Concert ★★✩✩✩
As I mentioned before, I was not aware that the entire show will be in Japanese language, even the songs. Ever since I was little, The Little Mermaid has been my favorite Disney movie. I included this in my priority list because I’ve read somewhere that the entire show will be done overhead, like all the mermaids will be “swimming” overhead. But I was kinda disappointed when they started singing in Japanese language. I love the production, the actors, the sounds and effects. It’s just that I can’t understand what they were saying. 


1:30 PM – RIDE: Journey to the Center of the Earth – TOUR: Arabian Coast – Magic Lamp Theater*

Journey to the Center of the Earth ★★★★★
This ride probably has the longest queue in Tokyo Disney Sea. Good thing there’s a FastPass machine so we took this chance to escape more than 3 hours of waiting. The ride is basically an indoor roller coaster with a twist. Pay attention to the details during the entire ride because it tells the story. The ride builds up till you reach the top of the volcano, and then unexpectedly, it will release you to an “almost” 90-degree roller coaster fall. I did not see that one coming. I was trying to catch my breath because the fall just came out of nowhere. For all adrenaline junkies out there, you will definitely love this ride.



Arabian Coast

3:00 PM – GET FASTPASS: Tower of Terror – RIDE: 20k Leagues Under the Sea

            20k Leagues Under the Sea ★★✩✩✩
For someone who’s a thrill-seeking adrenaline junkie like me, this ride will not excite you. The entire ride seemed flat and slow. But props to Tokyo Disney Sea for making it realistic with all the details and effects. It made me wonder; we’re we really underwater the whole time?



4:30 PM – SNACKS – RIDE: Tower of Terror

Tower of Terror ★★★★★
I consider Tower of Terror as the BEST ride in Tokyo Disney Sea. True to its name; this thrill ride is not for the faint hearted. Even before queuing in the line, there’s a warning that riders must be in good condition and free from high blood pressure or heart attacks. 

This ride consists of seven high speed free falls. The sudden free falls were very unpredictable; I had a hard time timing my breathing. When riding this attraction, I suggest you scream as loud as you can – it helps. During the sudden falls, I can feel my hair going all over the places. In the middle of the ride, the window at the very top of the tower opens and gives you an awesome view of the entire park. It was already after sunset when I rode this so I had a chance to see a spectacular night view of the park. 

This is the kind of rush I was longing among other attractions in Tokyo Disney Sea. The ride is truly exhilarating!

“In New York, 1912, stands the hotel known as the "Tower of Terror," so called after the mysterious disappearance of its owner in 1899. Now, the New York City Preservation Society has finished restoring the infamous hotel, and started giving tours to the public. But what happens when you take the elevator to the top floor…”



5:30 PM – RIDE: Venetian Gondola – Shopping

Photo from disneytouristblog.com

Unfortunately, I was not able to ride the Venetian Gondola attraction because they stopped the ride to give way for the Fantasmic Show.


7:00 PM – TOUR: American Waterfront – DINNER

Cape Cod in American Waterfront


Toyville Trolley Park in American Waterfront


It was already dark when I finished riding Tower of Terror. When I was heading out of the Tower’s garden, I was fascinated by the night scene in Toyville Trolley Park.  I was not able to ride Toy Story Mania because it indicated a 210-minute waiting time; I might miss the Fantasmic Show in Mediterranean Harbor. Instead, I just wandered around the area and did my shopping.




8:00 PM – SHOW: Fantasmic

The Fantasmic show caps off a good night at Tokyo Disney Sea. This nighttime spectacular takes place in the Mediterranean Harbor at 8:00PM. I cannot express how much I was fascinated by this spectacular show. This is where all the main characters and villains come in one full-blown water show. The theme of the show is about the villains in different stories that made our favorite characters stories become colorful and powerful. Complete with lazer lights, dramatic effects, full-blown props and all your favorite Disney Movie Soundtracks, this show is so much better than your typical happy ending fireworks that you often see among Disneyland parks.

 Photo from disneytouristblog.com



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