We had the pleasure of visiting Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea during a month-long trip to Japan. As avid Disney fans, we were incredibly excited to visit both of the parks. However, we appreciate that not everyone will have the two-days that visiting both of the parks require and will have to decide which one to visit.
Tokyo Disneyland is traditionally Disney and best for families and young children with rides such as Its A Small World and Castle Carousel. Meanwhile, DisneySea is more experimental and better suited to teenagers and young adults with rides such as 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and Raging Spirits.
The cost of a one day ticket to either Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea is the same; 7,400 yen for adults, 6,400 yen for juniors and 4,800 yen for children, as are the parks opening hours so these factors shouldn’t affect your decision.
Both parks have at least one Character Dining experience and offer a similar range of food with a mix of traditional Japanese dishes and western meals such as; fried chicken, burgers and hot dogs. However as DisneySea is catered to young adults the park serves some alcoholic drinks, on the otherhand no alcohol is served inside Tokyo Disneyland.
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Factors To Look At When Choosing Tokyo Disneyland Or Disney Sea
I wanted to break up the reasonings behind picking one or the other of the parks. If you have only one day to be able to spare for Tokyo Disneyland I want to make sure you are going to the park which is best suited to you.
If you are simply looking at which park to start with this may also give you a good direction on where to start. Below are the main reasons and factors when looking at choosing between Tokyo Disneyland or Disney Sea.
If you yourself, your family or children are big character meets nerds this can be a deciding factor. There are totally different characters to meet at Tokyo Disney compared to Walt Disney World and Disneyland California.
The rides are significantly different between the parks, with rides that don’t belong to any other of the Disney parks in the world. This is something that could really help you decide between the parks of Tokyo Disneyland or Disney sea.
The rides within Disneyland reflect many of the favourites and classics are known to Disney fans whereas Disney Sea has new and exciting rides to try.
There are of course different foods to try at each park and if you are a foodie you will love exploring the culinary delights. There is a mix of sit down dining, quick service and carts, and stands. These are highlighted later on which will hopefully help you decide between Tokyo Disneyland or Disney sea.
One of the most popular dining experiences in Tokyo Disney is actually the flavoured popcorn. It is raved about and so much people flock back to try new flavours frequently. Don’t even get me started on the amazingly cute popcorn buckets you can collect.
The atmosphere in both parks is wonderful, but depending on who is visiting, you may want to choose one park over the other. The atmosphere in Disneyland is much lighter as it is whimsical, enchanted and magical.
Whereas Disney Sea is a little more exciting with the different Ports making you feel you are in Epcot. The shopping experiences are a little different and the rides are much more exciting.
I wanted to start by explaining what the park is like. Disneyland is very much like the traditional Disneyland parks over in California, Paris and Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. This means this park has the classic Cinderella castle, family fun vibe and whimsical feel.
These are some of the main factors that determine whether you visit Tokyo Disneyland or Disney sea.
- First of all Tokyo Disneyland is the traditional classic Disney park, much like Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. There are full enchanting and magical feelings and displays to make anyone feel small again.
- Secondly, Tokyo Disneyland is much more suited to families and smaller children. With rides such as Its A Small World, Castle Carousel and Alice’s Tea Party. There is also plenty of fun shows such as Enchanted Tiki Room, Country Bear Theatre and Mickey’s Philharmagic.
- Last, of all the parade, the parades are always spectacular no matter what Disney park you are at. This one like the traditional parades stroll through the streets of the park giving you the opportunity to sit and watch and sing along.
If you are looking to have the classic and traditional Disney experience this is the park for you.
I decided to add in the most popular rides here.
Rides at Disneyland include:
- Pirates Of The Caribbean
- Jungle Cruise
- Enchanted Tiki Room
- Big Thunder Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Alice’s Tea Party
- It’s A Small World
- Snow Whites Adventures
- Dumbo The Flying Elephant
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Pooh’s Hunny Hunt
- Haunted Mansion
- Space Mountain
- Buzz Lightyears Astro Blasters
For a full list of the Disneyland attractions click here. There are more rides, shows and attractions to see.
There is so much to see and buy at Tokyo Disney that you might struggle to leave it behind. Disneyland has plenty to offer from the largest merchandise shop, the biggest toy shop and confectionery shops.
Disneyland has some unique shops which are a Magic Shop, Bibbidi Bobidi Boutique, glasswork shop and Winnie The Pooh merchandise. These are unique to the park and won’t be found in Disney Sea, if you are looking at any of these shops this may persuade you to choose Tokyo Disneyland or Disney sea.
DisneySea is a complete different style of park than any other I have seen before. The areas are much more split into themes which remind me of Epcot but they are ports. There are traces of Steam Punk within the Mysterious land. It is widely fun as you change scenery, style and atmosphere as you move around the park.
Disney Sea Strengths
- Firstly Disney Sea caters to the older generations and teens that are looking to hit the big thrill rides. There are also rides that are new and unique to Tokyo Disney as a whole which is exciting for any avid Disney fan.
- Secondly, if you are an adult looking to really enjoy your holiday and have a cheeky alcoholic drink, you can do. Disney Sea sells alcohol but Disneyland doesn’t.
- There are special areas and shops dedicated to Duffy bear, ShellieMay and friends. Duffy bear is a big thing over in Tokyo and is widely loved, celebrated and displayed. If you are looking to also immerse yourself into the world of Duffy bear this is the park for you.
- Last thing, the parade they do, is primarily and mostly on water. The giant port that is in the middle is where the action takes place, it can be hard to watch if you have small children and prams as the edges get very busy and crowded.
If you are looking for a completely new Disney experience I would choose to head to Disney Sea.
Disney Sea Rides
I decided to add in the most popular rides here.
Rides at Disney Sea include :
- Soaring- Fantastic Flight
- Turtle Talk
- Tower Of Terror
- Toy Story Mania
- Indiana Jones Adventure – Temple of the Crystal Skull
- Raging Spirits
- Sinbads Storybook Voyage
- Jasmine’s Flying Carpets
- 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
- Journey To The Center Of The Earth
- Ariels Playground – which features so many child-friendly rides and activities.
For a full list of the Disney Sea attractions click here. There are more rides, shows and attractions to see.
Disney Sea Shopping
There are a number of things that you can buy at Tokyo Disney, Disney Sea have some unique items that are themed to the areas of the parks. Some of the stands, carts and shops are unique to the rides such as Tower of Terror, Toy Story Mania and Little Mermaid areas.
There are also the largest confectionery shop, Duffy Bear merchandise shops and Oswald the lucky rabbit merchandise.
If you have smaller children and are looking to enjoy more of the whimsical family friendly rides and shoes head to Tokyo Disneyland park.
Alternatively, if you are with older children that are looking to get on the big rides for the big thrills head to DisneySea.
If you are in the area and can afford to use the time for Disney but not the funds check out this little nugget. Please check the dates you are in the area, Tokyo and if you match the calendar. This way you can save money on your ticket and hopefully see more than you originally thought.
In my honest opinion, I think anyone visiting Tokyo Disney should experience both parks. Both parks are very unique and has something to offer everyone from shopping experiences, different dining experiences, rides and atmosphere.
I hope you have found this helpful and has helped you decide whether you want to visit Tokyo Disneyland or Disney Sea. If you have been before to either park and have some helpful tips, tricks and ideas please share them in the comments.