A long time has passed since we’ve done a Land Exit Survey, so we’re getting back on that boat and sailing across the ocean to DisneySea’s Mediterranean Harbor. This port acts as the entrance to the world’s best theme park and includes several attractions and restaurants. Theme parks are made up of sub-sections, generally called lands but in DisneySea’s case are called Ports of Call. Get it, because it’s based around the sea? Since you’re reading a theme parks blog, I’m guessing you probably know about lands and all of that. Many of these lands are spectacular, some are far from it. In this series, we cover individual lands one post at a time and answer some questions about them.
While we won’t be diving incredibly deep into these lands, I’ll provide the basic information about the area and we’ll add in some of our opinions. We’ll also use these posts to talk about theme both throughout the land and within the park. All of the posts will use the same questions. Let us know in the comments if there are questions that we should add!
So far in this series we’ve covered:
- Disney California Adventure: Grizzly Peak and Buena Vista Street
- Disneyland: Mickey’s Toontown, New Orleans Square, and Critter Country
- Magic Kingdom: Fantasyland
- Epcot: Future World West
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Sunset Boulevard and Toy Story Land
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Asia
- Tokyo DisneySea: Mysterious Island
- Tokyo Disneyland: World Bazaar
Tokyo DisneySea has one other entry in this series (Mysterious Island) that is equally as impressive, if not more, than Mediterranean Harbor. Since Michaela hasn’t been (unfortunately!), I’ll be answering the questions on my own on this one. It’s just me and the wonderful, singing Gondoliers.
What is your short(ish) review of Tokyo DisneySea’s Mediterranean Harbor?
A massive theme park land that is full of extravagance and beauty. Serving as the gateway to DisneySea, Mediterranean Harbor strives to be jaw-dropping and achieves it thanks to the small details mixed with views that look better than any other theme park in the world.
What’s in the port?
So much! This is probably the biggest land/port that we’ve ever covered in the Land Exit Survey series.
- DisneySea Transit Steamer Line – A boat system that offers in park transportation to different ports of call through the waterways.
- Venetian Gondolas – A beautiful boat ride through the port’s canals before opening up to the grand view of the park’s volcano. The Gondoliers even sing!
- Fortress Explorations – Part playground, part science center, this walkthrough attraction goes through the castle at the foot of Mount Prometheus and is perfect.
- Soaring: Fantastic Flight – The usual Soarin’ but with a few nice surprises and a totally different setup, inside of a flight museum.
- Harbor Show – Depending on the time of year, DisneySea traditionally has a grand scale harbor show both during the day and night. That is in flux after COVID.
- DisneySea Maritime Band – A marching band that plays near the park entrance.
- Special Characters – The port is full of characters that fit the setting, guests may happen upon them.
- Cafe Portofino – A counter-service restaurant themed to an Italian seaside eatery serving pasta and chicken.
- Zambini Brothers’ Ristorante – Counter-service restaurant serving pasta and pizza.
- Mamma Biscotti’s Bakery – A bakery serving sweets and pastries.
- Risorante di Canaletto – A table-service restaurant overlooking the Venetian Gondolas, serving pasta and pizza.
- Gondolier Snacks – Snack stand near the Gondolas that serves coffee and pastries.
- Magellan’s – One of the best theme park restaurants in the world, full of theme and elegant food.
- Magellan’s Lounge – The upstairs lounge to Magellan’s, overlooking the giant globe in the middle.
- Refrescos – Snack stand serving turkey legs and drinks.
- Valentina’s Sweets – A confectionary serving candy and other sweets.
- Emporio – The largest gift shop in Tokyo DisneySea.
- Galleria Disney – A store full of Duffy merchandise and other plushes.
- Fotografica – DisneySea’s shop for photo services.
- Il Postino Stationary – Gift shop that specializes in stationary, books and DVD’s.
- Nicolo’s Workshop – A glasswork and artsy giftshop.
- Figaro’s Clothiers – DisneySea’s largest apparel store.
- Merchant of Venice Confections – Confectionary with chocolates, cookies and other treats.
- Venetian Carnival Market – A store with tableware and kitchen items.
- Miramare – Wagon with Mickey Ears and other hats.
- Piccolo Mercato – Wagon with ears, light up items and cases.
- Splendido – A cart, or wagon, with hats and hairbands.
- Rimembranze – Another wagon with headbands, ears, caps and other crazy light up things!
- Bella Minni – A cute little gift store with accessories.
- Villa Donaldo Home Shop – A shop to get home goods with beautiful paintings on the ceiling.
- Hotel MiraCosta – For the first time ever, we’ll include a hotel in the list. This hotel is in the theme park and adds to the buzz of the port as guests are out and about on their balconies and enjoying the view.
What is Mediterranean Harbor’s backstory and theme?
Mediterranean Harbor is themed to an Italian fictional city named Porto Paradiso. The architecture matches that, with Hotel MiraCosta acting as the backdrop to the land. Having the facade be a functional building makes the area feel more alive. Like a European coastal city, there are broad sweeping views of the water in front but also little alleys to walk through. All of the shops, restaurants and attractions play into that seaside theme with all of the entities having an independent story that fits into the broader one.
The actual entrance to the park is also a part of Mediterranean Harbor, featuring the iconic Aquasphere. Similar to a castle park’s town square, guests will head around the corner down the main path until Mount Prometheus is framed in an archway and then the area fully opens up. Mediterranean Harbor perfectly balances extravagant walkways and views with a sense of exploration. That’s a bit of a thesis for the entire park.
What is your favorite part of the port? What’s the most memorable aspect of it?
There are so many choices here. Choosing between the Mount Prometheus view, Venetian Gondolas, Magellan’s and Fortress Explorations is incredibly difficult and a task that they don’t pay me enough for. I’ll just say that looking around is my favorite aspect of the port. Whether on a ride, in a restaurant or even in a little shop that most theme parks wouldn’t think twice about, there’s something absolutely beautiful to see.
In that same vein, the most memorable aspect of Mediterranean Harbor is that view when you walk out from under the arch and DisneySea opens up. It’s the most majestic view a theme park has ever created and likely won’t ever be topped. No matter how amazing everything else is, that’s the part that will stick with you.
Are there parts of Mediterranean Harbor that you don’t like?
No, not really. If I had to pick something, I wish the actual Soarin’ film was completely unique to the park but it’s still a solid addition and the building it’s in is glorious. Nothing else about the area comes to mind, especially when it’s running at full speed and there’s a nighttime show added to the harbor.
How does the land coincide and transition with the rest of the park? Does Mediterranean Harbor make the park better or worse?
There’s no doubt that it makes the park better, as it’s one of the best theme park lands/ports in the world. Being the entrance land to the rest of the park, Mediterranean Harbor is in a different shape than the typical Main Street. Instead of a road leading to a hub where you can go all different directions, this port is in a V-shape with side alleys and other areas to explore. It does finally loop around the harbor so maybe a V isn’t fully accurate in describing the port. I do think this makes the transition into other lands seamless because there’s so much room to explore and play with.
Where would you rank the port in relation to the others in the park?
As I said in the Mysterious Island Land Exit Survey, there’s four DisneySea ports vying for the top spot and that includes Mediterranean Harbor. I ranked Mysterious Island first in that one so I’ll stick with that continuity. I think I’ll go with Mediterranean Harbor in 3rd place of the 7 lands in the park, just narrowly behind American Waterfront and Mysterious Island.
What do you think of Tokyo DisneySea’s Mediterranean Harbor? Do you like our Land Exit Surveys? Would you add anything? Let us know, along with any questions you might have, in the comments below. Interested in a trip to Tokyo Disney Resort? Check out our Planning Guide to help you along the way! 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: Land Exit Survey