10 Tips for Those Who are Going to Tokyo Disney Sea

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Planning on visiting Tokyo Disney Sea? Unique to Japan, the park has a variety of attractions that can’t be found anywhere else in the world; the atmosphere is also completely different from Disneyland Park and Walt Disney World. If you’re a Disney fan, you’ll definitely want to check it out at least once—trust me, you won’t regret it.

For those who have never been to Disney Sea, we’ve compiled a list of tips that you might find helpful.

1. Go Before the Park Opens

Getting off the train to Tokyo Disney Resort.

Tokyo Disney Sea can be pretty crowded, even more so than the U.S. parks. If you want to minimize wait times, your best bet is to go before opening. Even then, there will be a big line up of people waiting to go in. It’s worth it, though—if you’re quick enough, you’ll be able to grab a FastPass for one of the major rides right off the bat. Personally, I would recommend that you go for Journey to the Center of the Earth or Tower of Terror first, as they always have huge lines later in the day.

2. Buy Your Admission Tickets Head of Time

Each of the admission tickets features a different Disney character.

Once the park opens, it’s a mad dash for Fastpasses. If that’s your game plan, you’ll want to buy tickets beforehand (that way, you won’t have to wait in line for admission). As for where, you can get them at select Disney Stores in Tokyo (they have special counters where you can buy them); you can also buy them at convenience stores such as Lawson and Family Mart, however, you’d need to be able to speak Japanese.

3. Take Lots of Photos When You’re There

One of the park’s many ships can be seen in this photo.

The park is incredibly scenic. As a matter of fact, there are many designated photo spots scattered throughout the different sections (you’ll know when you see them, there will be big signs). If you happen to see a cast member nearby, you can ask them to take a picture for you. 

4. Try their Exclusive Snacks

Their garlic shrimp popcorn—yum!

There are many snacks that you can only find at Tokyo Disney Sea. Some of my personal favorites include the alien mochi, gyoza dogs, and steamed buns; their soy sauce and butter flavored popcorn is also amazing. From my experience, you can kind of tell whether or not the food will be good depending on how long the line is.

5. Take Advantage of Fast Passes

The FastPass tickets are both in English and Japanese.

Wait times can be crazy. To give you a better idea, we waited nearly two hours for the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad last summer. If you want to go on all of the rides (the major ones at least), FastPasses are a must.

The whole process is pretty straightforward. Assuming that FastPasses are available for the attraction, there will be machines adjacent to the entrance, from which you can get a ticket. Pay attention to the time that’s on the ticket—that’s when you want to return to the ride. At the bottom, it will also tell you when you can get your next FastPass.

6. Be Sure to Bring Cash

Keep in mind that the food kiosks only accept cash.

For the best experience, you’ll want to bring cash. Sure, many of the stores and restaurants will accept credit card, but you’ll need actual bills and coins for the kiosks. While there are ATM machines at the park, they only take Japanese cards. In terms of how much cash to bring, that really depends on how much you plan on buying and eating. To be safe, you might want to bring a little more than usual.

7. Avoid Weekends and Holidays if you can

Crowds are significantly worse on weekends and holidays.

Tokyo Disney Sea is guaranteed to be packed on weekends and holidays. If possible, you’ll want to go on a weekday (Tuesdays and Wednesdays tend to be better). Don’t get me wrong—there will still be a lot of people, but it’ll be much more bearable. You might also want to check out a crowd calculator such as this one, as that will give you an estimate on when the park will be busiest.

8. Make Reservations for Dinner

The sit-in restaurants were full so we opted for a cafeteria-style dinner.

There are several sit-down restaurants at Tokyo Disney Sea. Nine times out of ten, though, they will be fully booked by dinner time—you’d have to be really lucky to walk in and get a table. Considering this, you should always make reservations. To do so, you can either go on their website (Japanese only) or go in person.

9. You Might Want to Skip Toy Story Mania

The Toy Story Mania entrance is different from the ones in the U.S.

If you’ve gone on Toy Story Mania before, you might want to skip the one in Tokyo as it’s pretty much the same as the ones in the U.S. There’s no doubt that it’s an awesome ride, but the line is just way too long (the wait is often over two hours).

Having said that, you should probably still check it out. For one thing, the entire area is pretty with lots of lights at night.

10. You Can Buy Twilight Passes for Nearly Half Price

Tokyo Disney sea can be quite peaceful during the evening.

Tokyo Disney Sea is unique in that they offer Twilight Passes—these allow you to enter the park after 6 pm. Compared to regular admission, they’re also a lot cheaper. As opposed to 7,200 yen for a 1-day adult passport, it only costs 4,200 yen for a single ticket (it’s the same for all age groups).

If you’re lucky, the park might even be a bit emptier (some groups tend to leave during the evening).

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