Tokyo DisneySea

tokyo tower of terror DisneySea’s Tower of Terror

I’ve always wanted to write a feature about Tokyo Disneyland. It seems like the most mysterious of the Disney Parks because it’s always the one I hear about the least. Its website isn’t as well translated as that for Disneyland Paris or Hong Kong Disneyland, so I can never find its special offers page or really much else substantial about which to write.

Tokyo DisneySea has always intrigued me the most. For all that I say I don’t see a lot written about Tokyo Disneyland, I see the name DisneySea pop up a lot, more than other Disney water parks like Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon.

Of course, that’s because DisneySea isn’t a water park, it’s a theme park along the lines of the Magic Kingdom or California Adventure. Given the name, and that I see so little about Tokyo Disneyland, I always erroneously assumed that it was another water park.

Luckily September marks the 10th anniversary of Tokyo DisneySea, so the official Disney parks blog has a special post all about it. That’s given me the chance to learn more about this unique Disney park that I’ve never had before.

DisneySea is divided into seven sections: Mysterious Island, Mermaid Lagoon, American Waterfront, Mediterranean Harbor, Lost River Delta, Port Discovery, and Arabian Coast. The park’s motto is “where adventure and imagination set sail” and its overall theme is about the adventures one can have when exploring the world by boat, so it makes sense that the park would be divided into sections named after various geographical areas.

Each of these sections contains some rides that fit within the theme’s parameters. For example, the Mediterranean Harbor features Venetian Gondolas, the American Waterfront a river steamer line, and the Arabian Coast a Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage.

Perhaps most intriguing to me of all of DisneySea’s attractions is its own unique Tower of Terror. I have to preface this by saying that I’m not a fan of the ride at all; I don’t like elevator rides on a regular basis, so climbing into one and then going for a sudden breathtaking drop just isn’t my idea of fun. DisneySea puts a spin on the ride, however, with it having a section called 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at Tower of Terror.

How exactly does that work? It’s the parks blog that adds the tidbit about 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, whereas the Tokyo Disneyland site just describes it as the normal Tower of Terror. Perhaps in Tokyo upon reaching the bottom of the drop, guests find themselves the titular amount of leagues under the sea, with all the ocean life that entails.

For all that Walt Disney and the parks he created are known for technological innovation, right now Tokyo Disneyland is really the Disney park that features all the cutting edge technology. For example, for the past two months DisneySea has been celebrating its anniversary with some rather unique celebrations.

DisneySea is currently dotted with giant sorcerer hats that belong to various Disney characters, such as Minnie and Ariel. Each hat is adorned, as one might guess, with decorations that fit the personality of the character. Guests to the park can place their hands on the hats to trigger a light and sound display.

What a cool feature! I admit that if I ever visit Japan taking a Disney trip is low on my tourist list, but attractions like DisneySea make it top a different list, that of the international Disney parks that I’d like to visit.

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*(This image by robertpaulyoung is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.)