Tokyo DisneySea, opened in 2001, is a unique theme park occupying 176 acres with 34 attractions, 35 shops, and 35 eateries. Inspired by oceanic tales and legends, it boasts areas like Mediterranean Harbor, American Waterfront, and Mysterious Island. It’s renowned for its immersive experiences, making it one of the world’s most visited theme parks.
Introduction to Tokyo DisneySea
Michael Eisner, then Chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, was on hand to dedicate the park. Tokyo DisneySea is estimated to have cost more than $4 billion to construct – making it the most expensive theme park on the planet. The park quickly became one of the most visited theme parks in the world.
Initially was conceptualized as a park to be built along the ocean in Long Beach, California.
At its center were to be huge glass domes that would allow guests to experience the wonders of the sea.
Outside was to feature nautically themed attractions including an adventure ride through the center of an underwater volcano.
Instead, Disney acquired land near Disneyland and built Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort while the initial ideas for DisneySea were used as the basis for Tokyo’s new park.
Let’s take a journey through this Disney Resort Tokyo and all of its special lands and attractions.
- Mediterranean Harbor
- The American Waterfront
- Port Discovery
- The Lost River Delta
- The Arabian Coast
Mediterranean Harbor of Disneyland Tokyo
Mediterranean Harbor is an Old World port town.
Guests are immediately immersed into the setting from the charming “old” buildings to boats cruising the waterways, a docked 16th century Galleon and the towering centerpiece of Tokyo DisneySea just across the water – Mount Prometheus.
Everywhere guests look, they will see the opportunity for adventure – whether it is boarding a ship, walking through the fishing village or exploring a Venice–like area complete with canals, to the incredible shows staged in the harbor including The Legend of Mythica and Fantasmic!
There are five attractions in Mediterranean Harbor, DisneySea Transit Steamer Line which is similar to the boats that transport guests around the World Showcase at Epcot.
They are used for transportation and sightseeing.
It also has Venetian Gondolas, Fortress Explorations, The Legend of Mythica, and Fantasmic! an imaginative, colorful, and stunning event that combines music from Disney films and all the characters (and villains); it is a must see show.
There are eight restaurants, Magellans is a table service restaurant serving Mediterranean food, Café Portofino has delicious Italian fare, Gondolier Snacks serving gelato, coffee and snacks.
Within the other five restaurants you will enjoy pizza, risotto, pasta, bread and pastries and drinks galore.
TIP: If you are not careful, you can burn a lot of time in this area as other guests sprint to the attractions.
Given the uniqueness of Mediterranean Harbor, many guests will stop and explore this area first and will not have the time to see some of the other attractions.
Make sure you work time into your day to really explore the wonders of Mediterranean Harbor, but do so much later in the day to avoid long lines elsewhere.
The American Waterfront of Disneyland Tokyo
The American Waterfront Built alongside Tokyo Bay to help enhance the illusion of being in a port city, this depicts the Northeastern United States in the early 1900s.
From New York to New England, this port celebrates the impact of the sea on America. American Waterfront is essentially split into two areas.
The Cape Cod side is a New England-style town sporting authentic looking buildings and the brick sidewalks found in this part of the U.S. New York circa 1912 is the theme for the other portion of American Waterfront.
Anchored by the Liberty Fish Market, this area features many charming buildings and an old and “terror–fying” hotel.
Theater shows are the mainstay in New York as is one of Tokyo DisneySea’s best attractions – Tower of Terror.
The American Waterfront is spectacularly themed and boasts ten attractions it must be noted that of the ten, only two are rides – three are forms of transportations, four are shows and one is a character greeting area.
However, the two rides in this port – Toy Story Mania! and Tower of Terror are among the best Disney has to offer.
At the Tower of Terror the New York Preservation Society has recently restored the hotel, there is an eerie feel in the courtyard that all is not right with this building.
Public tours of the hotel are available and as guests wind their way through the queue, the music and the screams heard overhead set the dramatic tone for this hair–raising attraction. The ride is exhilarating and unmatched in its theming and storytelling.
This attraction is an absolute must–see.
TIP: In Toy Story Mania! in order to score the most points possible, fire your cannon as fast as possible and at as many targets as possible.
Accuracy, while measured, does not factor into your score.
The appropriate for the design restaurants New York Deli Eats include traditional sandwiches like sliced turkey on ciabatta and grilled Reuben to smoked salmon on a soft bagel.
The food is good and New York Deli is a nice alternative to “fast food” or the slow pace of a table service restaurant.
Liberty Landing Diner offers a great “quick” option for guests on the go and High Tide Treats is a kiosk offering delicious brownies.
You’ll also find many other sweets, treats, drinks and snacks in the other eight available restaurant options.
Port Discovery of Disneyland Tokyo
Our next land is Port Discovery “marina of the future” where scientists and researchers are celebrating the completion of their latest inventions.
The festivities are open to guests from around the world who have been invited to sample these adventures firsthand.
Port Discovery is a relatively small, futuristically themed port. It shows the future as an ultra–modern area filled with fantastical transportation concepts.
The port’s colors inject this same feeling into the area as deep reds, gold and patina greens dominate the palette.
Port Discovery has three attractions, Aquatopia, DisneySea Electric Railway and Stormrider. In Stormrider the dialogue is in Japanese, but the suspense translates in all languages.
The ride is thrilling, bumpy and noisy – and a fantastic Disney attraction.
The food here is out of this world.
At Horizon Bay Restaurant you’ll be immersed in a futuristic nightclub that serves seafood, soups and salads.
Seaside Snacks is a kiosk that serves shrimp buns or head to Breezeway Bites for a pastry.
The Lost River Delta of Tokyo Disneyland
Lost River Delta is a port for the adventurous.
The center of this area is an ancient Central American pyramid situated along “El Rio Perdido”, the Lost River, and it can be seen from nearly anywhere within Lost River Delta’s boundaries.
This port is set in the 1930s and is surrounded by the lush landscape of the Central American jungle.
It has six attractions and one of the most exciting in the Disney Resort Tokyo is Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull. Archeologists have clearly been here and have set up lighting and walkways as they explored the inter sanctum of this temple.
The theming could not be more realistic and the queue does an outstanding job setting the stage for this Indiana Jones Adventure.
It also has Mickey & Friends’ Greeting Trails, Raging Spirits, “Saludos Amigos!” Greeting Dock, DisneySea Transit Liner and Mystic Rhythms.
TIP: For Mystic Rhythms, plan to arrive with your entire group at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time (45+ minutes on days of high attendance). The doors close 5 minutes prior to the start time or when the 1,140-seat theatre reaches capacity.
There are five restaurants in Lost River Delta.
It has Miguel’s El Dorado Cantina a counter service Mexican Food stop and Tropic Al’s kiosk serving snacks like cheesecake chimichangas and drinks. You can also find BBQ and chicken legs throughout this land.
The Arabian Coast of Disneyland Tokyo
In the Arabian Coast you’ll feel like you are in a Disney movie. It is heavily influenced from the likes of Disney’s animated classic, Aladdin, the architecture here is stunning.
Expansive and ornate buildings line the waterfront – each with distinctive spires and domes.
Tile archways lead guests in and out of each structure.
The grandeur and style of Arabian Coast is unmatched and it is a masterfully constructed port of call.
Within the Arabian Coast you can experience four attractions.
In Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage you’ll find a very unique Disney experience, it is a blend of It’s a Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean – Pirates of a Small World would be an appropriate title.
It also has The Magic Lamp Theater, Caravan Carousel and Jasmine’s Flying Carpets where 16 magic carpets glide up and down in a circle near the entrance to Sinbad’s Storybook Village.
Once aboard the carpet, guests can control the height and the up-and-down sway depending on whether they are seated in the front or back row, very good for young travelers.
It has three restaurants, one that we love is Sultan’s Oasis, it has counter service pita sandwiches.
You will also find sesame churros and middle eastern dishes in this land.
Mermaid Lagoon of Disneyland Tokyo
In Mermaid Lagoon you’ll enjoy fanciful colors and a design that sets it apart from any other port within Tokyo DisneySea.
Themed to the 1989 Disney Classic The Little Mermaid, this area brings the Disney sea–based classic to life.
King Triton’s castle stands out with its towering coral, giant shells and pink and purple hues; it is the whimsical centerpiece of Mermaid Lagoon.
This land boasts eight attractions Flounder’s Flying Fish Coaster, Scuttle’s Scooters, Jumpin’ Jellyfish, Blowfish Balloon Race, The Whirpool, Ariel’s Playground, Ariel’s Greeting Grotto and Mermaid Lagoon Theater.
This attraction is a sort of Cirque du Soleil meets The Little Mermaid, it is a live stage show that features brightly colored puppetry, performers flying through the air, heart–pounding music and outstanding special effects.
This is definitely an area poised for young visitors, you can enjoy it later in the day for shorter lines.
TIP: A copy of the map may be obtained from a Cast Member and it makes a great, and free, souvenir.
Visit the two restaurants in Mermaid Lagoon, Sebastian’s Calypso Kitchen serving pizza and sandwiches and Grotto Goodies which is a kiosk offering cookies.
Mystery Island of Disneyland Tokyo
Last, but certainly not least in this Disneyland Tokyo, guests cannot help but be immensely curious about Mysterious Island.
At the center of this port sits the marquee landmark of Tokyo DisneySea – Mount Prometheus.
This Jules Verne-inspired industrial-feeling area calls to adventurers.
The patina colored steel bridges, handrails, light posts, and archways leading in and around Mount Prometheus have a decidedly Parisian flare.
Their unique design and placement around the lagoon, where Captain Nemo’s Submarine is docked, provides a retro–futuristic vibe to Mysterious Island.
Nothing like Mysterious Island exists outside of Tokyo DisneySea. It is a one–of–a–kind area built into the park’s most prominent landmark, Mount Prometheus.
It has two attractions, the first Journey to the Center of the Earth, is an expedition that takes guests through crystal–filled caverns where many strange creatures, often resembling gigantic bugs, from Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth can be seen.
The exploration seems benign until a giant monster – half tyrannosaurus rex and half mutant bug – shows up.
The monster is clearly ready to eat the passengers! It has also has the can’t miss, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
If you love Chinese fare this is the place to be. Within its three restaurants you can find gyoza, gyoza sausage buns and other yummy Chinese dishes.
We have taken you to a whole new world and under the sea in this magical Disney Resport Tokyo visit to Tokyo DisneySea! If you want to see how this world is laid out, take a look at the DisneySea map.
If you want to dive deeper into the two Disney Resort Tokyo, you can purchase the Nerds book Travelers Series Guide to Tokyo Disneyland & Tokyo DisneySea 2nd Edition here.
The Nerds and their Nerdlings love to travel and see the world. We truly hope we are inspiring you to want to do the same, especially if it includes Disney Parks!