The internet is filled with lists and itineraries of what you should do at Disney Parks, including the itineraries we’ve created on this blog. Many of those plans mirror each other to a degree but it can still be overwhelming to have so many factors pulling in different directions. Most itineraries (again, including ours) pack park days to the brim with activities. We realize that isn’t everyone’s preferred route when it comes to going on vacation. With that in mind, we’ve started this series in which we give our top five things to do in each Disney Park that we’ve been to. Essentially, it’s a ‘can’t miss’ guide.
If you missed any of the previous installments from this series you can click here to catch up. We wrap up this series with Tokyo DisneySea, the best theme park in the world. DisneySea opened a few months after California Adventure as Tokyo’s second park. After Tokyo Disneyland’s popularity and success, adding a second park seemed like an obvious move for the Oriental Land Company (who owns and runs Tokyo Disney Resort). They did just that and absolutely hit it out of the park.
DisneySea’s theme revolves around how the water connects us (get it? Sea?) and has different ports instead of lands. These ports are absolutely gorgeous and worth exploring before we even get into the the rides, restaurants and shows. That’s not to say there aren’t quality attractions. DisneySea boasts an excellent attraction roster with a nice mix of thrill and dark rides. The shows and dining scene are top notch, as well.
My top five for all of these posts consists of attractions, shows, dining, or anything else I think of (it will mainly be in those first three categories). The main caveat is that these lists have to consist of tangible things to go and do. That doesn’t mean we recommend a checklist based approach to DisneySea. In fact, meandering around the park is one of the things we recommend most in this case. Each and every port (land) has something worth exploring especially the American Waterfront, Mysterious Island, Arabian Coast, and Mediterranean Harbor. Yes, that’s over half of DisneySea’s ports.
While it’d be easy to just pick the park’s top five rides, that’s not the route we’ll go here. Frankly, that’s not a problem at DisneySea due to excellent dining and shows. I know this is technically a ‘top five’ but I am writing this so I will happily bend the rules to fit my picks. The whole ‘top five’ is just a guideline really. Let’s get to it!
Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage
First on the list is one of the best and most underappreciated dark rides in the world, Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage. The attraction is my favorite in DisneySea and a personal favorite in the entire world. Having said that, Sinbad is fairly unassuming and appears to be just a slow boat ride at first blush. But after a ride through, or two or three, the plot of this young man going to find food for his homeland is sweet and beautiful. On top of that, the attraction boasts one of the best theme park songs around. While it’s not the marquee attraction of DisneySea, there’s a strong case that it is the park’s best. Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage embodies the hopeful and inspiring spirit of DisneySea. Don’t miss it!
Exploring With Magellan!
DisneySea has one of the best theme park restaurants, sitting at the base of Mount Promytheus. Magellan’s is a table-service restaurant themed to exploration. It’s an absolutely gorgeous restaurant with a giant globe in the center, a hidden room, and details around every turn. On top of that, the food is excellent and not at the extreme prices we see in the states for top-notch restaurants.
Right outside of the restaurant there is more exploring to do. Fortress Explorations is like Tom Sawyer Island mixed with a science museum. There are gorgeous exhibits to enjoy, including a planetarium. There’s a ship that acts almost as a playground. All of this is built within a gorgeous castle setting. This might be slightly under the radar but both Fortress Explorations and Magellan’s should be must-do’s.
All of DisneySea’s thrill rides have one thing in common – they’re mysterious. Whether it’s delving deep inside of the park’s iconic volcano or exploring why the Tower of Terror is haunted, DisneySea’s thrill rides all have a level of mystery. Is this a cheeky way of saying that you should ride Tower of Terror and Journey to the Center of the Earth? Absolutely. But I warned you that I’d bend the rules.
Both of those rides are fantastic and unique. Tower of Terror has no connection to Twilight Zone but is instead a well told plot about greed. Along those lines, Journey to the Center of the Earth has an intricate plot about exploring territories that aren’t our own. These two attractions are absolutely must-do’s. On top of that, Indiana Jones Adventure is kind of mysterious too and you should probably go on that, as well 😉
It’s a little strange that the best bit of Americana seen in theme parks can be found in a park in Tokyo but that’s exactly the case here. The American Waterfront is themed to Industrial-Aged New York and executes that theme nearly flawlessly. Two standouts in this area are Big Band Beat and the Teddy Roosevelt Lounge.
Big Band Beat is the best stage show I’ve ever seen in a Disney Park. The whole show is done in English and is a Broadway-style big band musical revue. There are a few surprises along the way and the the whole show is done with the utmost quality. Teddy Roosevelt Lounge is a hyper detailed lounge themed to, you guessed it, Teddy Roosevelt. With deep wood tones and outstanding details showcasing the former president, this is a great place to have a drink and snack. Teddy Roosevelt Lounge sits inside the giant ship, S.S. Columbia. Is it weird that there’s a bar themed to an American president in the middle of a Japanese theme park? Yeah. But the attention to detail makes it perfect.
Traveling Through Mediterranean Harbor
There’s a number of options that I could have chose for this number five spot. I opted to go with the beautiful Mediterranean Harbor and a few of the routes you can travel through it on. One of those options is the Venetian Gondolas. This is the most relaxing and serene theme park attraction I’ve ever been on. Go around sunset for your gondola ride for an even more beautiful experience. The other transportation option actually goes from the American Waterfront to Port Discovery, but the views of Mediterranean Harbor are what make the DisneySea Electric Railway worth doing. Moving high above the rest of the park, the Railway offers gorgeous views of the park and beyond and is well worth doing.
Apologies to the new Soarin’, Toy Story Mania, a variety of excellent restaurants and some crazy harbor shows for not making the list. As you may have been able to tell, this was a hard one to narrow down. We highly recommend traveling to Tokyo Disney Resort, it’s our favorite place in the world.
What would be in your Tokyo DisneySea Top Five? Let us know in the comments below. Interested in taking a trip to Tokyo Disney Resort? Check out our Tokyo Disney Trip Planning Guide! If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends, as well as like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!
Categories: Top Fives
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