For my birthday this year, I decided to go back to Tokyo and spend my birthday in another Disney park. The first time I did this was back in 2013, when I was in Europe for exchange. I don’t really remember how I decided to spend my 19th birthday in Disneyland Paris, but I did. I don’t regret it at all – it was one of my happiest birthdays!
Disneyland Paris was celebrating its 20th anniversary when we went. They were running a show called Disney Dreams and it was magical:
Watching that video is always an instant mood boost – it takes me back to when I was witnessing it live!
Having been to Tokyo Disneyland when I first went to Japan, I went to Tokyo DisneySea this time!
It is definitely not your regular Disney park – it doesn’t even look like one! Being inspired by the sea, its legends and myths, Tokyo DisneySea houses seven themed ports of call that are designed so well, you’d forget you’re in Tokyo and feel like you’ve visited Italy, the U.S., the middle east, and more. Just walking around the park is a delight in itself. Upon entering the park, you’ll set foot to the Mediterranean Harbor. Looking around was nostalgic for me – I felt like I was back in Italy! The details are amazing:
Mom and I immediately got headbands from an outdoor stall. Upon seeing us, my dad and brothers went inside a store and came out with silly hats. Haha! Since it was my birthday, one of the personnels gave me a birthday sticker, which I put on one of my Minnie Mouse ears. Whenever they see the sticker, the personnels clap their hands and greet me a happy birthday!
Kyle definitely enjoyed his first visit to a Disney park. We rode a handful of rides despite arriving at 10AM and leaving at 6PM. We were the only ones in the family who rode the Tower of Terror!
Some tips for when you visit Tokyo DisneySea:
- After securing your tickets online, read up. Disney Tourist Blog will be your best friend. I found their blog a day or two before my birthday, and I was able to read enough about Tokyo DisneySea to know what to expect. They even have a 1-day itinerary you can follow!
- If you want to dine at one of their table restaurants, make a reservation ahead of time. I researched about where we could eat the night before my birthday and wanted to dine at Magellan’s or Ristorante di Cannaletto, but they were already full. If you don’t make a reservation, obviously, you’d have to wait in line – and you wouldn’t want that. In case you’re wondering, we ended up eating at New York Deli, which wasn’t so bad.
- Don’t go on a weekend. Go on a weekday, arrive early and get a bunch of fast passes. The park opens at 8:30AM. Ideally you should be there at least half an hour early if you’re serious about riding as much attractions as you can, but arriving at 9:30AM on a weekday isn’t so bad, too. We only got a fast pass to Tower of Terror and lined up for the rest of the rides (20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, Flounder’s Flying Fish Coaster and Raging Spirits) because the wait time was below 40 minutes anyway. We were able to ride four attractions by 4PM!
- Know what time the shows/parades run. If it’s no big deal for you to not see it, use the time to ride the popular attractions and avoid long lines! We weren’t able to do this because I only thought of it when the villain’s show was almost done lol so do this for me!
- Wander around the entire park at least once during the day, and if you can, at least once at night, too. I am not kidding when I say that Tokyo DisneySea is beautiful. Those Imagineers’ attention to detail is impressive! We loved roaming around and taking it all in. We had to leave early, though, because of another commitment. I would’ve loved to stay longer, roam around at night and catch the fireworks!
Disneyland Paris’ Disney Dreams may be my most favorite fireworks display to date (I searched for DisneySea’s fireworks display upon coming home that night, it was meh,) but if you ask me which Disney park is my favorite, I’d say it’s Tokyo DisneySea.
I would definitely, definitely come back!