Travel

2016 Tokyo Day 8: First Visit to Tokyo DisneySea

April 1, 2017

Having only been to Hong Kong Disneyland, I had been looking forward to visiting other Disneyland (or DisneySea) around the world. So when I knew that I’d be going to Tokyo, Tokyo DisneySea naturally came up at the top of my list of places to go in Tokyo.

I’ve been looking forward to visiting DisneySea since the day we arrived in Tokyo, and it was all very exciting when the fiancé and I finally made it there on Day 8 of our trip! Thought it would be best to avoid the crowd on weekends, so we ended up going there on a Monday.

Since we only purchase a one-day pass, we tried our best to head there as early as possible; even if that means we had to wake up as early as 06:30!

Like most theme parks, Disneyland and DisneySea aren’t the most convenient places to get to. From Nishi-sugamo Station (where we were staying), we had to take a train to Sugamo Station, before switching over to the Yamanote line to get to Tokyo Station.

From Tokyo Station, we then have to take another train to Maihama Station, before finally changing to the Disney Resort line to get to the theme park.

We each paid JPY260 for the Disney Resort Line (one-way).

I was happy to find out that Tokyo DisneySea was celebrating their 15th Anniversary from 15 April 2016 to 17 March 2017, with the theme “The Year of Wishes”. So when we saw this backdrop at the train station, we decided to get a staff to help us snap a picture.

Since it was nearing Halloween, they also have this setup. So pretty! Such a pity we were rushing to get to DisneySea; hence we didn’t wait around to snap a picture with this.

Even their trains were nicely decorated for Halloween!

Ticket Booth! So surprise to see that there wasn’t any long queues.

Maybe everyone else was like us who had already bought our tickets beforehand.

📍 Disney Plaza

Spotted Daisy right after we entered the theme park. Everyone (adults and kids) were crowding around her wanting to snap a picture.

One of the popular photo taking spot at Disney Plaza.

By the way, I brought along the Minnie Mouse headband that I got few years back from Hong Kong Disneyland.

For those who like to get headband / head gears, they can get them from the push carts near the Mediterranean Harbor.

There were so many different characters to choose from. Certainly way more than what Hong Kong Disneyland carries.

I was comparing their Minnie Mouse headbands to the one I got from Hong Kong Disneyland, and somehow I find that the one I got was better? The bow on mine was made of a satin like material, while those at Tokyo DisneySea were either made of cloth or covered with sequins.

Quite common to see people walking around with these character’s sling bag/pouch, especially the Duffy and ShellieMay ones. To be honest, I was tempted to get one too.

Spotted one of the “Duffy Photo Point”. Apparently, there are designated photo spots like this around the theme park meant for people to take pictures of their Duffy bear. They even mark the spot to show them where they should place their Duffy to best capture the scenery.

Before coming to Tokyo DisneySea, I managed to do some research online to find out what are the recommended must-visit attractions within the theme park. Since we were only there for a day, it was impossible to go to every single attraction. Hence I shortlisted a few based on the recommendations I gathered online and the first one on my list was “Journey to the Center of the Earth” found at Mysterious Island. Decided to head straight to that right after we passed the Mediterranean Harbor.

Unfortunately, we were later told by the staff that the attraction was closed for the day.

Since we were already at Mysterious Island, we decided to head for the other attraction which was “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”. The queue for the ride was insanely long, but luckily, FASTPASS was available for this attraction. Immediately went to collect ours using the FASTPASS ticketing machines found near to the attraction entrance.

According to our FASTPASS ticket, we have to return between 10:05 ~ 11:05, and our next FASTPASS ticket for another attraction will only be available after 10:05.

For those who don’t know what a FASTPASS is, it’s basically like an express ticket for you to skip the regular queue and went in through the express lane.

Disney FASTPASS are available for selected attractions in Tokyo DisneySea, namely:
– Tower of Terror
– Toy Story Mania!
– Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull
– Raging Spirits
– The Magic Lamp Theater
– Mermaid Lagoon Theater
– Journey to the Center of the Earth
– 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

To collect your FASTPASS ticket, simply place your park ticket into the ticketing machine. The machine will then dispense one FASTPASS ticket with an allocated return time. It’s important not to miss the timing assign as the ticket will become invalid after the designated time frame, even if it has not been used. Also, a second FASTPASS ticket for the same attraction can only be issued after the period designated on the first ticket was over.

I think it’s useful to know what are the attractions available for FASTPASS before coming to the theme park as it helps to plan your time and route better. Info like this can also be found in the Guide Map.

Based on experience, I would recommend you to collect your FASTPASS based on the popularity of the attraction and your personal preference. It’s common for the FASTPASS ticket to get completely given out for the popular attractions.

While waiting for our designated time for “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, we took some pictures at Mysterious Island and went into Nautilus Gifts shop.

Subsequently, we also went to board the “DisneySea Electric Railway” (since the queue wasn’t too long) and ended up being back at American Waterfront.

📍 McDuck’s Department Store

We took a quick look around some of the gift shops before hurrying back to Mysterious Island for “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”.

Seeing that it was the first attraction I went on that day (exclude “DisneySea Electric Railway”), I was utterly disappointed. I didn’t expect the ride to be so kiddy! The ride was supposed to look like we were under the sea in a small submarine. While it does look that way, I don’t see the fun in it. It was so boring! I would never have go and collected the FASTPASS ticket if I knew how boring the ride is.

Once is enough and I don’t think I would ever take the ride again, especially if I’ve to queue for it. Trust me when I say the time could be better spend on other attractions.

We left Mysterious Island right after our ride and went straight to Toyville Trolley Park to collect the FASTPASS ticket for “Toy Story Mania!”. According to what I read online, “Toy Story Mania!” was one of the top attractions in Tokyo DisneySea. Even though I knew it was a popular attraction, I guessed I didn’t expect the FASTPASS tickets to be completely given out before 10:30! They were fully redeemed by the time we arrived.

The waiting time for the regular queue was estimated to be more than two hours, and there’s no way I would stand in line for two hours for an attraction that would probably last only 5 to 10 minutes. The fiancé and I both decided not to queue, and so we ended up going next door to collect our FASTPASS tickets for “Tower of Terror”.

It was only 10:31 when we arrived but the designated timing given for our FASTPASS ticket was between 17:40 ~ 18:40.

Went back to Toyville Trolley Park to snap some pictures.

Spot the long line for the regular queue!

I can never understand why people would choose to spend their time queuing when the time can be dedicated to other attractions.

Spotted the cart that sells the Little Green Dumplings right outside Toyville Trolley Park and of course, I got the fiancé to queue for it.

It cost JPY360 (approx SGD4.50) for three pieces of the Little Green Dumplings. Each dumpling comes in a different flavour. There’s chocolate, strawberry and vanilla.

So adorable!!!

Plus, they taste as good as they look!

📍 Il Postino Stationery

Dropped by Refreshment Station at Mysterious Island to get potato churros.

It costs JPY380 for one.

It was my first time having a potato churro and to be honest; it tastes a little weird. Guess I still prefer the usual churros coated with cinnamon sugar.

We eventually made our way over to Mermaid Lagoon. I was dying to visit Mermaid Lagoon after seeing all the beautiful pictures online.

It certainly didn’t disappoint.

Aww.. The setup was so pretty!

Don’t be fooled by the above picture because the entire place was packed with people. It was so difficult to find a spot to take a picture without being photobombed. We tried our best but still failed.

Somehow, we couldn’t locate the entrance to the Mermaid Lagoon (where all the attractions were), so we decided to skip that and went to Arabian Coast.

📍 Agrabah Marketplace

Over at Arabian Coast, we went to queue for “Caravan Carousel”. The line wasn’t that bad. Took us approximately 15 minutes? Thereafter, we also spent another 30 minutes to queue for “Jasmine’s Flying Carpets”.

Right after our ride, we immediately went over to Lost River Delta and managed to successfully get our FASTPASS tickets for “Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull”.

The timing given to us was 21:10 ~ 22:00! If we were to come later, I supposed all the FASTPASS tickets would be completely given out.

Subsequently, we made our way back to Mermaid Lagoon and this time round managed to find our way inside. The entire place looks so beautiful and magical from the inside!

Went to queue for “Jumpin’ Jellyfish” since the estimated waiting time was only 15 minutes.

By then it was around 13:45 when we joined the queue for the “Mermaid Lagoon Theater”. I was contemplating if we should queue as the estimated waiting time was 80 minutes.

We would love to get the FASTPASS for this but we could only collect our next FASTPASS after 14:55 and I figured there is a high possibility that all the FASTPASS would be given out by then. Hence we decided to go ahead and queue for the show.

Well, at least the show turns out to be well worth the time spent on queuing. The (musical) show features Ariel and her friends from the Disney film The Little Mermaid with the usage of props and animation. Overall, quite interesting and different.

No filming was allowed during the show so I only managed to take one picture of the theatre.

It was close to 15:00 by the time we left Mermaid Lagoon. Hungry, we went to get Smoked Turkey Leg right after that.

Probably shouldn’t have bought two because I could hardly finish half of the Turkey Leg on my own.

Weather was also starting to get colder, so the fiancé asked for a hot coffee to go along with his Turkey Leg.

📍 “Aquatopia” found at Port Discovery.

Slowly making our way down to American Waterfront.

📍 Cape Cod

📍 Aunt Peg’s Village Store

The first thing I spotted upon entering the shop were these two (Duffy and ShellieMay), dressed up in their Halloween costumes.

The entire store was also full of other Duffy merchandise! While I didn’t get anything from there, I got something from Cape Cod Confections instead.

Here’s what I bought:

Happy Friends (chocolate and blueberry ice cream shaped as Duffy and ShellieMay.

A mini Duffy snack case (comes with a pack of colourful chocolates).

And lastly, milk chocolate popcorn with Duffy popcorn bucket (found at the cart located in front of Cape Cod Cook-Off).

I actually went around the theme park looking for the various popcorn buckets and popcorn flavours. According to the Guide Map, the available flavours include caramel, black pepper, white chocolate, milk chocolate, salt, curry and cappuccino.

While the Guide Map indicate what flavours are available and where to find them, it didn’t indicate the design for the popcorn bucket. As far as I know, each location only carries one or two designs. Hence I decided to walk around the theme park looking at the available designs and pick one that I like the most. Eventually, I decided to go with the Duffy one that comes with milk chocolate popcorn. Paid JPY2,500 (approximately SGD31) for the popcorn + popcorn bucket.

📍 Village Greeting Place – The venue where you meet and greet Duffy.

📍 Cape Cod Cook-Off

“My Friend Duffy” is another attraction rank high on my list as one of my must-visit attractions. The main selling point for “My Friend Duffy” is that you get to have your meal while enjoying a mini stage show starring Duffy (in one of the dining areas inside Cape Cod Cook-Off). The show is available in two parts: one tells how Mickey and Duffy first set sail and the other tells how Duffy’s friend, ShellieMay, came to be.

To view the show, we first have to order our food and drinks from the counter. Pay and collect our food, then wait at the entrance to the dining area. One of the staff will then come over and direct you to your seats. (We were not allowed to choose our seats and tables in the dining areas are shared.)

Guess we were lucky to have gotten a place quite near to the stage. The show was on-going when we enter. Each show only lasted for a short period, and then there will be an intermission before they continue with the next show. While guests can leave as and when they like (even when it’s half way through the show), there is a time limited for how long each person can stay in the dining area.

I got a New England Seafood Chowder (JPY360), while the fiancé got the chicken nuggets (JPY330). The seafood chowder was one of the best I ever had. Probably also the best thing I have eaten that day in the theme park.

The first set.

Took some pictures during intermission.

We were allow to stay in the dining area until 17:15.

The second set.

Leaving Cape Cod Cook-Off, we went to board the DisneySea Transit Steamer Line since it was just right next door.

If I’m not mistaken, we eventually dropped off at Lost River Delta where we did some shoppings and got ourselves a Mickey jacket each. The weather was getting colder, and we were both freezing. So an extra jacket was exactly what we need at that time.

Seeing it was about time, we made our way back to “Tower of Terror”. The ride was so fun! We basically got seated in an elevator, and the elevator will bring us go all the way up before dropping down. It was quite thrilling, and we both enjoyed the ride! For those yet to try it, I highly recommend you to give it a try when you visit Tokyo DisneySea!

The ride was thrilling yet wasn’t as scary like a roller coaster.

Back at Toyville Trolley Park to capture some night scene.

Got a Olaf pressed coin for my sister. JPY100 for one.

Subsequently, we also went into several gift shops while waiting for the “Fantasmic!” show at 20:00.

Fantasmic!“Mickey Mouse as the sorcerer’s apprentice uses his powers of imagination to create a magical world of fantasy on the waters of Mediterranean Harbor.”

The entire show lasted for only about 20 minutes. After that, we just continue to hang around Mediterranean Harbor while waiting for the fireworks (titled “Sky High Wishes”) at 20:30. The fireworks were okay I supposed? Didn’t leave much impression.

Once the fireworks ended, we immediately went over to the S.S. Columbia. They were two restaurants inside S.S. Columbia – the S.S. Columbia Dining Room and The Teddy Roosevelt Lounge. Since we weren’t looking at dining, we went straight up to the deck to enjoy the view and snap some pictures.

The purple building you saw behind is the “Tower of Terror”.

Coming out from S.S. Columbia, we then made our way up to Lost River Delta for “Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull” using the FASTPASS ticket that we obtained earlier.

The ride reminds me of Universal Studios Singapore’s Revenge of the Mummy ride, only that the pace was significantly slower.

We eventually left the theme park at slightly before 22:00. Took the Disney Resort line back to Maihama Station, before taking the train to Tokyo Station, then to Sugamo Station, before being back to Nishi-sugamo Station. We were both exhausted by the time we reached back at Nishi-sugamo Station. Since we didn’t eat much for dinner, I suggested dropping by the 松屋 located opposite our Airbnb to have a quick meal before we went back. It was a simple dinner, but enough to fill our tummy.

We were leaving our Airbnb on the following morning and checking into our third and final accommodation for this trip.

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