I find that FastPasses are the biggest source of frustration to first-time or infrequent park goers. Many people don’t know what FastPasses are, how to use them, or what to use them on. With this in mind, we’ve written FastPass Guides to all of the U.S. parks and Tokyo Disneyland, now moving on to Tokyo DisneySea.
Tokyo DisneySea is a park full of incredible experiences. Whether exploring the park, watching shows, eating delicious snacks or riding attractions, there’s no shortage of great choices. Fitting DisneySea’s essentials into a couple of days is incredibly difficult, especially if at the resort during a busy season. That’s why we’re back with another FastPass Guide to our favorite park in the world.
Like our Tokyo Disneyland FastPass Guide, this will be skewed towards those that have been to the American Parks. We will rank original attractions a little higher than replicas of attractions stateside. I’ll be sure to mention the reasoning behind it just in case this is the first Disney Park you have been to.
What FastPass system does Tokyo Disney Resort use?
Just like Tokyo Disneyland, DisneySea uses a paper FastPass system. This means that there is no reserving FastPasses at Tokyo DisneySea, outside of special packages. Without reserving FastPasses ahead of time like guests do at Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disney Resort’s system is pretty easy to navigate. Along with not worrying about what to reserve in advance, Tokyo Disney Resort also has fewer options to FastPass. That means there is less decision-making and strategy involved.
The way to obtain FastPasses at Tokyo DisneySea is to go to the attraction (at least in most cases) that you want to obtain a FastPass for and insert your park ticket at a machine. Generally, the machines will be right next to the attraction and they will be clearly marked. A paper ticket will pop out. That pass will have two times on it with an hour between them. You have to return to that attraction within that hour-long window and then you’ll be able to enter the FastPass line after showing your ticket to a Cast Member. The pass will have smaller font on it, as well. That smaller font will tell you when you can get your next FastPass. There is both English and Japanese texts on Tokyo Disney Resort FastPasses.
Tokyo Disney Resort has recently launched a section of their app that will have guests be able to get FastPasses over the app. At this point, the app is only in Japanese making it fairly difficult for those that don’t speak the language. There are ways around this and the app will save time if you are able to make this work via Google translate or through other instructions.
As I said, guests aren’t allowed to get another FastPass until that time in the small font says. Aside from that restriction, you can get as many FastPasses as you please. FastPasses are only available during standard park hours.
Now what is that about a lottery?
Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea both utilize a lottery system for popular shows. In no way does it affect getting FastPasses even though the process is similar. For a more thorough look at the lottery system, check out our Tokyo Disneyland FastPass Guide.
Tokyo DisneySea FastPass Strategy and Rankings
On to the main part of this post, a breakdown of DisneySea’s FastPass options. Much like the Country Bears at Tokyo Disneyland, I wouldn’t be opposed to just riding Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage all day. If you want to do more than that then here are the attractions that offer FastPass:
- Soaring: Fantastic Flight
- Nemo & Friends SeaRider
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
- Raging Spirits
- The Magic Lamp Theater
- Mermaid Lagoon Theater (King Triton’s Concert)
- Toy Story Mania!
- Tower of Terror
- Journey to the Center of the Earth
- Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull
With no shortage of options at Tokyo DisneySea, utilizing FastPass is important. Tokyo Disney Resort sees big swings in crowds, with busy seasons being incredibly crowded and low crowd seasons emptier than anywhere stateside. FastPasses will run out pretty quickly when the crowd levels are high and you’ll want to be there at park opening, starting your FastPass strategy immediately.
DisneySea has ten attractions with FastPass capability and they aren’t all equals. We’ll start with the two shows on the list, Mermaid Lagoon Theater and Magic Lamp Theater. Neither of these are worth a FastPass. They’re both fine attractions, with Magic Lamp Theater being one of the weirder shows I’ve seen in a park, but everything else on this list is more worthy of a FastPass.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Raging Spirits also fall pretty low on this list for entirely different reasons. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a great take on a classic Disney attraction but often has pretty low wait times especially in the morning or late at night. Go for the standby line there. Raging Spirits, on the other hand, does draw longer waits sometimes but is simply not worth a FastPass. Although it’s an original attraction, this roller coaster is pretty lame. Save this for late at night when the crowds thin out and there is not a long wait. Or just skip it.
Nemo & Friends SeaRider is currently popular at Tokyo DisneySea, in large part because the attraction is fairly new. While we like some of the other attractions already mentioned here, SeaRider can have long waits with an uninteresting queue. Get a FastPass in the afternoon here if they’re available.
Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull is great, albeit pretty similar to the Disneyland version. The queue is great and the attraction has a high capacity so the line moves fairly fast. This isn’t a bad use of a FastPass but there are others more popular.
Tower of Terror and Toy Story Mania! are both based off attractions stateside. The former has a completely different story than the Twilight Zone version at Hollywood Studios. Tower of Terror is an excellent attraction at DisneySea, likely my favorite iteration of the attraction, and either comes in second or third on our rankings depending on variables. Toy Story Mania! is a direct replica of the U.S. versions and the most popular attraction in DisneySea. Even just getting a FastPass here is a hassle. I’d probably recommend skipping this attraction if you have done it before, although seeing the facade of the attraction is worth your time. If Toy Story Mania is a necessity for you then it needs to be the second FastPass attained after Soaring and you should plan to get to the park early.
Journey to the Center of the Earth as the last attraction standing that isn’t a replica from the American Parks. Located inside the park’s icon, this roller coaster/dark ride hybrid is brilliant and earns points for being original to the park. If you aren’t getting a FastPass at Toy Story Mania or Soaring then this should be your first stop.
DisneySea’s newest attraction is Soaring: Fantastic Flight and is the most popular attraction in the park. We don’t expect this to last extremely long but for the rest of 2019 we recommend getting a FastPass here right away if you’d like to ride the attraction. While the actual ride is a replica of Soarin’ Around the World (although the last scene is different) the queue for the attraction is very different and extremely well done. This makes the attraction far more intriguing to us than a straight replica like Toy Story Mania.
With any of my advice, all of this depends on personal preference. Different attractions appeal to different folks, this is just my suggestion of what the most popular and useful FastPasses are at Tokyo DisneySea. Here is a ranking of all the options to FastPass at Tokyo Disneyland:
- Soaring: Fantastic Flight – DisneySea’s newest attraction is drawing extremely long lines and will be doing that for the rest of 2019. While it’s a replica, we still recommend seeing the different between the stateside attraction. If you only have one day in the park then maybe this is skippable. If not, get this FastPass first thing.
- Journey to the Center of the Earth – One of the best attractions at the park and completely original. Being inside of the park’s icon makes it even cooler but also more popular. That’s why it will eventually get back to being first on the list with a small caveat (see Toy Story Mania).
- Tower of Terror – An incredible story is told in this attraction and it is one of the more popular rides at the park. Don’t miss it even though it appears to be a replica.
- Toy Story Mania! – This is the same attraction stateside so it falls to number four on this list. If you must go on it then it’s a top priority because it’s the most popular attraction at DisneySea along with Soaring. Otherwise, get a FastPass for one of the top 2 (or both) and then check if there are any Toy Story Mania FastPasses after you’re done. Better yet, go to DisneySea for 2 days and get a FastPass here first thing on one of the days. Although tons of fun, Toy Story Mania! isn’t as high of a priority at DisneySea.
- Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull – An incredible attraction, albeit mostly the same as Disneyland’s Indy ride. If you have never been on that one then this could jump up to the top 3. The queue here is great though and the line moves fairly fast, just try to do it in the morning via standby.
- Nemo & Friends SeaRider – Still benefiting from being new, SeaRider is a popular simulator attraction. I wouldn’t be surprised if this goes down the list in the next year or two though.
- Raging Spirits – If you skip the line here then you miss the best part of Raging Spirits. The actual ride is not very good and probably not worth your time. Still, it’s an original attraction and if you’re like me then you’ll probably want to complete those. Check for FastPasses for this in the early evening after the ones higher on this list.
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – I loved this iteration of the ride but it simply isn’t as popular as the others. There’s no shame in using a FastPass here if everything else has run out or you’ve completed everything. It’s probably easier to just ride this via standby, but don’t skip it!
- Magic Lamp Theater – A very strange show in the Arabian Coast that is fine. It’s a large theater though and not worth a FastPass under many circumstances.
- Mermaid Lagoon Theater (King Triton’s Concert) – Maybe this is slightly more worth a FastPass if you have kids? Even if that’s the case I would put all of the physical rides on here above this option.
That does it for our Tokyo DisneySea FastPass Guide. We will try to keep the post updated as the park changes over the years. If you have any thoughts or questions about this FastPass Guide or Tokyo Disney Resort then let us know in the comments. To hear more about our travels in Japan click here. If you enjoy what you’re reading please subscribe to the blog and like our social media pages which you can find on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!
Categories: FastPass Guides
I’m not gonna lie. I miss the paper fast passes. I’m not a fan of being limited to one 3 a day and only certain rides are available. At least with the old system you could have multiple “bigger” attractions. Lol that being said. I like not having to keep up with all the little papers. Lol
I prefer the paper FastPass system mainly because it lends to a more relaxed and spontaneous day at the parks. FastPass+ does have its advantages but after your third one is completed then the attractions left over are limited and usually not interesting. I’m guessing Disney would like a do over on that whole system just because of the amount of money they poured into it.