Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea?

When going to Tokyo for the first time, a Disneyland Resort visit is almost always included in the itinerary. If you have only one day allocated for the Happiest Place on Earth in Tokyo though, would you choose Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea?

Whether with friends or family or by myself, 
Disneyland will always be one of my happy places on earth.

I had the opportunity to visit both and based on those two first impressions, I would tell you that the ideal is to allocate two days and get a 2-Day Multi-Day passport, especially if you haven’t been to any Disneyland anywhere in the world. Why a 2-Day Multi-Day passport in Disney Resorts Japan? Because you can only enter one park per day on a 2-Day passport unless you want to pay double for two 1-Day passes.

Here's a statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse 
near the Cinderella Castle at Tokyo Disneyland.

If you really must choose only one, here are some similarities and differences between the two.

You'll find Japanese girls in similar costumes posing for the camera. 
Only in Tokyo Disney Resorts Japan.

  • Train Exit JR Maihama station – can walk to Tokyo Disneyland, walk opposite direction for Tokyo DisneySea or take the connecting Disney line
  • 1-Day Passport or Multi-Day passport – 1 park per day, you pay the same rates for Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea
  • Starlight passport (3 p.m. onwards weekends) or After 6 passport (Monday to Friday) – cheaper, may not be available on some days
  • English map – you can ask from park attendants for these, although I heard the Japanese ones are more detailed and have special offers
  • FASTPASS – allows you to skip the line or take my suggestion: look for rides that have a single-rider line
  • Japanese – is the primary language for shows and attractions so accept that you really can’t make the most out of it if you don’t know some Nihonggo
  • Mickey Mouse - there is a Mickey & a Minnie in both Disneyland and DisneySea
  • Trivia
    • Disneyland opened in1983. It is the oldest Disneyland outside the US and one of the most visited among all the Disneylands in the world.
    • DisneySea opened in 2001. There is no other DisneySea anywhere in the whole world.
  • Famous Landmarks and Characters
    Tokyo Disneyland icon Cinderella Castle
      • Cinderella Castle in Disneyland vs. Mt. Prometheus Volcano in DisneySea - same height
        Tokyo DisneySea icon exploding Mt. Prometheus
        • Electrical Parade in Disneyland vs. Water Parade in DisneySea
        • Classic Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse wardrobe in Tokyo Disneyland vs. Mickey and Minnie dressed differently in DisneySea
        • Disney princesses in Disneyland vs. Ariel and Aladdin highlighted in DisneySea
      • Attractions and Installations

        Outdoor DisneySea Ride
          • Seven theme lands in Tokyo DisneyLand – focus on Disney Princesses and Buzz Lightyear
          • Attractions such as Space Mountain can be found in Disneylands all over the world
          • Seven ports of call in Tokyo DisneySea – focus on Aladdin and The Little Mermaid
          The Columbia is docked in Tokyo DisneySea.
            • Tower of Terror found in the US and Paris, Indiana Jones Adventure you can find in US, Other Attractions are unique to Tokyo DisneySea
            • Very watery scene at DisneySea
                    Water Everywhere at Tokyo DisneySea
                So what will it be,

                I visited Tokyo DisneySea last May 2010. I went there with my family. It was raining and not a good time to be in all that water. I give it credit for its uniqueness and focus on Ariel’s World. It has an underground playground unlike Cinderella’s castle where it’s all tall and you can’t go in. The show is also held in the water so you can find numerous spots and view it from the top (Your view is from the top at DisneySea). 


                I don’t think all the other characters are from Disney so you’ll find a scarcity of characters or Disney characters not in their signature outfits (like Mickey Mouse on stripes). It’s very refreshing to see an ocean-themed park though where you’ll get the same welcome and quality as the Disneyland we know.

                I visited Tokyo Disneyland last February 2012. I went there with friends. It was so cold and being outside that long is not a good idea. I fall in love all over again every time I visit a Disneyland. It doesn’t matter if I’ve been to other Disneylands all over the world, I find myself wanting to chase after characters and ask for their autograph.


                Here you’ll find Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and other Disney characters more often. Disneyland’s Electrical Parade brings you closer to the characters than DisneySea but you have to be taller than everybody else or secure a seat where they will pass (Your view is from the bottom in Disneyland). 


                I heard the Western River Railroad is unique to Tokyo Disneyland. I also know my way in Disneyland so I know I will never get tired of Space Mountain. This Disneyland is also bigger than Hong Kong Disneyland so it’s probably the closest Asians get to the US version where it all started.

                I like both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. For a first-timer in Japan and only a day reserved for Disneyland in Tokyo though and like my first time in Tokyo, I would still choose DisneySea. Only because it’s the only one of its kind in the world and you happen to be going in Japan.

                Here are some useful sites for you to help you plan your Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea trip:

                Time to try out:
                Say “Tick” if you see Captain Hook and see if he will run away in fear!

                How I Got to Disneyland - Flew from Clark (Philippines) to Kuala Lumpur via AirAsia, Flew from Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo via AirAsia X

                How about you - would you go to Tokyo Disneyland or Disneysea? Feel free to tell me below!