Tokyo Journals

Tokyo Disney Sea - Tour the Seven Ports of Call

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A June 2003 trip to Tokyo by AgedToPerfection

Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel Photo, Tokyo, Japan More Photos
Quote: Everything you wanted to know about exploring Disney's most elaborate and impressive theme park.

Tokyo Disney Sea - Tour the Seven Ports of Call

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Overview

Tokyo DisneySea Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
Tokyo Disney Sea (“TDS”), the second theme park at the Tokyo Disney Resort, is now the best Disney theme park in the world. I say this without having visited Disneyland Paris or Hong Kong Disneyland but considering that Disney’s Animal Kingdom had been my recent favorite, TDS must have something special in order to dethrone my former champion.And indeed it has. The only attraction at TDS that is remotely similar to anything else in the Disney empire is Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Crystal Skull (essentially the same attraction as Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye in Disneyland but with different themes). Everything else in TDS is brand new, never replicated in any o...Read More

Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel

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Hotel | "Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay"

Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
The Sheraton Grande, located on the Tokyo Disney Resort property, is considered one of the nicer hotels in the area. Price-wise, expect to pay over $269 per night. However, if you are a member of the Starwood Preferred Guest program, you can redeem points for this Category 4 resort.On one side of the hotel, each room features a sweeping view of Tokyo Bay. On the other side, guests are treated to a bird's eye view of the Tokyo Disney Resort parks: Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea. Fireworks shows are often a perk of a park-side room.This resort features a spectacular pool area, complete with waterfalls and pool bar. Keep in mind, the pool's operation is seasonal and does no...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 11, 2006

Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel
1-9 MAIHAMA
Tokyo, Japan 279 0031
8147-3555555

Cafe Portofino

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Restaurant

Tokyo DisneySea Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
Did you know that there is a difference between Italian food found in the US and Italian food found in Japan? There is and the two types of Italian food are very different from each other. So starts my review of Café Portofino.In true Disney form, this restaurant buffeteria hustles guests through the food line with trays, allowing guests to select their choices and pay at the end of the line. While at Disneyland a roll and butter are usually included in your meal, keep in mind that at Tokyo Disney Resort, everything, and I mean everything, is a la carte. This includes the roll and butter. Skip the roll and butter. You’ll be able to afford a loaf and a block of butter back in the US for the p...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Cafe Portofino
Tokyo Disney Sea
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo DisneySea

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Attraction | "Popcorn Vendors"

Quote:
Disney theme parks are known for outdoor vending carts. After all, most kids will make a beeline for the churro or cotton candy carts at Disneyland. At Tokyo Disney Sea, you must try the popcorn from each port of call. I should note that the popcorn at the Tokyo Disney Resort is mostly fashioned after the Kettlecorn/Carmelcorn style of popcorn. You will not find the traditional buttered popcorn that is so prevalent at Disneyland or Walt Disney World.Mediterranean Harbor features cappuccino-flavored popcorn. While we did not try this particular flavor, the smell was intriguing, and we think it would be worth a try the next time we visit. American Waterfront popcorn carts sold straw...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Tokyo DisneySea
1-1 Maihama
Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, Japan 279-8511
81 (0)45 683 3333

Magellan's

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Restaurant

Magellan's Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
Tokyo Disney Sea has only a few fine dining options. If Disneyland has the Blue Bayou, and Disney MGM Studios has the Brown Derby, then Tokyo Disney Sea beats them all with Magellan's.Set inside Explorer's Landing, Magellan's entrance is in the Fortress Explorations part of the area. The grand entrance is located on the second floor of the restaurant, with an open area looking down into the dining room. In the center is a huge old world globe.The ambiance is decidedly old-world exploration decor, complete with architectural ornamentation and a secret door. Ask to be seated in the secret chamber and your host will push a button to reveal a sliding library wall. Beyond it is another ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Magellan's
Tokyo Disney Sea
Tokyo, Japan

Quote:
The best dining deal in the park was at the Refreshment Station in Mysterious Island. What was even more difficult to believe was the line extending from the counter. Truly, this is the longest line in the entire park, and for good reason. This station sold giant gyozas.A gyoza is a dumpling filled with pork, onion, garlic, and seasonings. Covered in a rice flour wrapping, the dumpling is steamed to perfection and usually measures about 2 inches.Not these.The giant gyozas at Tokyo Disney Sea are about the size of a hot dog. These tasty morsels are perfect handheld meals. Two of these gyozas filled me up for dinner and then some. Priced around $6 to $7, eating here is not only c...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Mysterious Island Refreshment Station
Tokyo Disney Sea
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo DisneySea

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Attraction | "Sea Salt Ice Cream Outdoor Vendor"

Quote:
“Gross!” was my first reaction. My husband pointed to an outdoor vending cart that sold Sea Salt Ice Cream. What on earth could the Japanese see in ice cream flavored with salt? My husband, who certainly surprised me with his sudden willingness to try odd Asian food, bought a container.Housed in a plastic iridescent seashell container with the Tokyo Disney Sea (“TDS”) logo was a small round tub, approximately an inch and a half tall. The sea-salt ice cream looked like nothing more than just plain vanilla ice cream. But it was much more than just vanilla. My husband will tell you that it was refreshing, and he is looking forward to his next treat when we return to TDS, but I will te...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Tokyo DisneySea
1-1 Maihama
Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, Japan 279-8511
81 (0)45 683 3333

Tokyo DisneySea

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Attraction | "Mediterranean Harbor - Venetian Gondolas"

Tokyo DisneySea Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
Who says this trip can’t be romantic? I was serenaded by a Japanese gondolier while gliding past a sunlit Portofino. Granted, there were 10 other people in the boat with me, all of whom were also being lavished this indulgent attention. Ah well, such is the Venetian Gondolas attraction in Mediterranean Harbor.One quick note, this attraction will close early in preparation of the night time show on the Porto Paradiso lagoon. This is because the gondolas explore the main lagoon, where the performances usually occur. In addition, the vessels sail along Ponte Vecchio and back into the canals of Venice.This 11 minute boat ride features talented gondoliers who will break into song. ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Tokyo DisneySea
1-1 Maihama
Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, Japan 279-8511
81 (0)45 683 3333

American Waterfront: Cape Cod

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Attraction

Hurricane Harbor Lighthouse Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
Continuing on our journey through American Waterfront, we arrived in Hurricane Harbor, the name of the seafront village in the Cape Cod section.The Cape Cod area does not feature any rides but does house Donald’s Boat Builders show in the Cape Cod Cook-Off building. This show is entertaining for youngsters and alternates between classic animated shorts and a live show featuring Donald Duck.We chose to eat at Cape Cod Cook-Off one evening after having our fill of Asian food and Japanese style European food. We figured in Cape Cod, we could grab a simple, American classic: a burger. The food was average and left us hankering for a char-broiled double decker but it served its purp...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Arabian Coast - Caravan Carousel

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Attraction

Tokyo DisneySea Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
If you haven’t ridden a double-decker carousel, then here is your chance to do so. In the Arabian Coast courtyard stands a beautiful domed building which houses the double-decker Caravan Carousel. Of course, the top floor boasts the best views of the area but riding on the lower floor requires less effort (think climbing stairs).The carousel features some unique animals on which you can ride: elephants, camels, horses, griffins and blue Genies! While all of the guests riding Disneyland’s King Arthur’s Carousel can mount a white horse to prevent anyone from feeling excluded, the Caravan Carousel only has a few Genies, and only one which is the correct shade of blue featured in the animate...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Arabian Coast - Caravan Carousel

Tokyo, Japan

American Waterfront: New York

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Attraction

American Waterfront: New York Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
American Waterfront is divided into two distinct districts: New York City (circa 1900) and Cape Cod. Reminiscent of the turn-of-the-century, New York features red brick buildings with elaborate facades. Shopping in New York is an event at McDuck’s Department store, where Scrooge McDuck has opened a retail establishment. Piles of gold coins rise to the roof and a statue of the proprietor sits atop a mound of money.The imposing S.S. Columbia (which closely resembles the Queen Mary docked in Long Beach, California) is actually dry docked and serves as an area to explore rather than ride. It features the Teddy Roosevelt lounge and acts as a stage for a show, which is changed out from time to tim...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

American Waterfront: New York

Tokyo, Japan

Arabian Coast - Sindbad's Seven Voyages

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Attraction

Tokyo DisneySea Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
Housed in the Arabian Coast section of Tokyo Disney Sea, Sindbad’s Seven Voyages is one of the main attractions in this section. It proves to be a great respite from the weather, as it is completely indoors and air-conditioned.This attraction evokes memories of Pirates of the Caribbean and It’s a Small World, all rolled together. Boasting the highest number of Audio-Animatronic figures (topping at 163), Sindbad’s story starts with pictorial descriptions of how he squandered his inheritance and now embarks on a voyage to regain his wealth and stature.Guests board boats similar to It’s a Small World vessels and cruise through scenes, accompanying Sindbad through his adventures. There...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Arabian Coast - Sindbad's Seven Voyages

Tokyo, Japan

Lost River Delta

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Attraction | "Lost River Delta - Mystic Rhythms"

Quote:
Now, my husband and I diverge when it comes to our opinions of this show. He truly enjoyed Mystic Rhythms and continued to hum the songs a good hour after we left the show. I, on the other hand, felt that it was trying too hard to copy Cirque Du Soleil. Perhaps I’m being too hard on the show, considering that this is a theme park, after all. However, given the quality of entertainment that Tokyo Disney Resort provides to its guests, I expected a bit more storyline and less corniness. Still, I believe that Tokyo Disney Resort has the entertainment formula, as a whole, solved and leaves behind the other Disney theme parks in the dust.Mystic Rhythms is located in Lost River Delta, inside an aba...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Lost River Delta
Indiana Jones & the Temple of the Crystal Skull
Tokyo, Japan

Mermaid Lagoon

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Attraction | "Mermaid Lagoon Exterior"

Tokyo DisneySea Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
I have to divide my review of Mermaid Lagoon into two sections, one devoted to the exterior of the area and one to the interior. The exterior of the pavilion is so exquisite that it deserves special mention. Almost the entire first level of Mermaid Lagoon is covered in small mosaic tiles. Like Galleria Disney in Mediterranean Harbor, each tile is adorned with an imprint of a Disney character or a related symbol of the sea. Look closely and you’ll see Flounder, Sebastian, Ariel, and other familiar characters from the film “The Little Mermaid.” In the evening, Mermaid Lagoon transforms into a fairy-like image, complete with colored spots and fiber optic sparkling lights. I keep mentioning this...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Mermaid Lagoon

Tokyo, Japan

Mediterranean Harbor

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Attraction | "Mediterranean Harbor - Fortress Explorations"

Tokyo DisneySea Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
I have to hand it to Walt Disney Imagineering. When I first heard of the Fortress Explorations attraction, I thought, “Now, that’s not going to be too interesting.” Was I ever wrong. Kids and adults alike could spend hours searching through every nook and cranny in this rambling complex, which consists of the Fortress, Explorer’s Landing, and the Galleon docked at the front of the attraction.Technically, Fortress Explorations is listed as a Mediterranean Harbor attraction, but you must access it once you cross over onto Mysterious Island. The most dramatic entrance is on the Mysterious Island side, closest to aqueduct that leads to Café Portofino. The Fortress front gate harkens directly fro...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Mediterranean Harbor
Fortress Explorations
Tokyo, Japan

Lost River Delta

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Attraction | "Lost River Delta - Indiana Jones & the Temple of the Crystal Skull "

Tokyo DisneySea Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
There is only one attraction in Tokyo Disney Sea (“TDS”) that resembles an attraction at another Disney theme park. Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Crystal Skull has the same ride layout, the same vehicles, and almost the same storyline as Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye at Disneyland. The only difference is that the Disneyland version has an Asian theme and the TDS version has a Latin American theme.This time, the artifact of power is not the eye of an idol but a crystal skull statue. Riders are cautioned not to look at the statue, or else they will be stricken with a curse. Of course, some idiot in the vehicle will look straight at the thing and you’re off to a rocky,...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Lost River Delta
Indiana Jones & the Temple of the Crystal Skull
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo DisneySea Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
If 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea is the most popular ride in Tokyo Disney Sea, then Aladdin’s Magic Lamp Theatre (“MLT”) captures the title of most popular show (although the Under The Sea show in Mermaid Lagoon runs a close second). A mixture of live action, 3-D film, and mechanical props, this 10-minute show covers the stage performance spectrum. Unfortunately, during the time of our visit, MLT did not provide English-speaking visitors translating headphones.The pre-show area tells the story of a magician and his meek assistant who finds the magic lamp, with the Genie trapped inside. Our storyteller, a cobra in his woven basket, has unique personality, which is conveyed through his eyes. Up...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Arabian Coast - Aladdin's Magic Lamp Theatre

Tokyo, Japan

Mediterranean Harbor

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Attraction | "Mediterranean Harbor - Il Postino"

Quote:
I’ve highlighted the most popular ride (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea), the most popular show (Aladdin’s Magic Lamp Theatre), but I’ve also got a review of the most popular store in Tokyo Disney Sea.Yes, there is a most popular store, and it is not filled with cute dolls or edibles but with stationery. Il Postino, located in Mediterranean Harbor, sells paper products ranging from postcards to letter writing kits. Shaped like a small post office, Il Postino caters to the paper product-loving Japanese public. One can find all sorts of items made of paper at this crowded store.Towards the front of the store is a wooden desk with a rubber stamp chained to it. Stamp your postcards with a...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Mediterranean Harbor
Fortress Explorations
Tokyo, Japan

Mediterranean Harbor

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Attraction | "Mediterranean Harbor Overview"

Tokyo DisneySea Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
Like every Disney theme park, Tokyo Disney Sea (“TDS”) has the requisite retail and restaurant area in the form of Mediterranean Harbor. The anchor store, Emporio, serves as the equivalent to Main Street USA’s Emporium. One can find a mass of souvenirs, gifts, and last-minute treasures in Emporio. But another similarity to the US parks, the Emporio gets mighty busy at closing so do your shopping during the day.Do not miss Galleria Disney, to the left of the TDS entrance. While the merchandise is pretty standard, the atmosphere will take your breath away. At first glance, the store’s walls seemed adorned simply with colorful mosaic tiles. But at closer look, you will notice that each small ti...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Mediterranean Harbor
Fortress Explorations
Tokyo, Japan

Mermaid Lagoon

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Attraction | "Mermaid Lagoon - Under The Sea"

Tokyo DisneySea Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
Running a close second for the most popular show in Tokyo Disney Sea is the Under the Sea show located in the Mermaid Lagoon Theatre. Probably one of the best hidden attractions, this 14-minute show is nestled way in the back of the Mermaid Lagoon pavilion. But its loyal fans know exactly how to get there and which seats sport the best view of the action.Beware, we saw little Japanese grandmothers run at Mach Two, bowling over grown men, to reserve the best seats for their families. I stood back and allowed the stampede to pass me by before we selected seats toward the back of this circular theatre. In all honesty, not a single seat would be considered one with a bad view. The theatre is wel...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Mermaid Lagoon

Tokyo, Japan

Mount Prometheus

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Attraction

Tokyo DisneySea Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
A note to pyros everywhere: Mount Prometheus (the centerpiece of Tokyo Disney Sea) is a man-made, working volcano, complete with loud sound effects and real heat-producing flames. Walt Disney Imagineering set off to create an impressive icon for Tokyo Disney Sea and ended up with one of the largest rockwork projects they had ever created. Inside the mountain are burners that fire periodically into the air. Flames leap out of the volcano’s crater and guests feel the resulting surge of heat.While I’m sure this is a welcome effect in the winter, where temperatures in Tokyo can dip below my comfort level, it’s not so entertaining in the summer heat and humidity. Still, the show impres...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Mount Prometheus

Tokyo, Japan

Mysterious Island

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Attraction | "Mysterious Island - 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea"

Tokyo DisneySea Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
Hands down the most popular attraction in Tokyo Disney Sea, this ride can sport waits of well over 2 hours on a crowded day. The queue for the FastPasses alone lasted over 10 minutes! You can find the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction by looking for a strange, square, rivet-covered vehicle, suspended overhead by a crane. This vehicle is a preview of what riders embark. Guests descend a spiral walkway down to the loading area.While we thoroughly enjoyed 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, one of the more frustrating elements was not so much the long lines, but the entirely English-free Japanese narration. I had no idea what was going on.Never fear, my buddy with me had the...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Mysterious Island

Tokyo, Japan

Mysterious Island

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Attraction | "Mysterious Island - Center of the Earth"

Tokyo DisneySea Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
One thing about exploring Tokyo Disney Sea (“TDS”) is if you don’t speak Japanese, you will have a tough time figuring out the attractions’ story lines. However, Journey to the Center of the Earth was not as difficult to decipher. Guests take a ride down a terravator (an elevator that travels to the earth’s core), board drilling vehicles, and explore the mysterious caverns hidden below.A major thrill ride, Journey to the Center of the Earth starts in the center of Mount Prometheus in Mysterious Island, propels you out of the volcano, and ends as you speed around the island’s perimeter. Perhaps one of the most innovative attractions in TDS, Journey to the Center of the Earth rapidly became m...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Mysterious Island

Tokyo, Japan

Port Discovery

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Attraction | "Port Discovery - Aquatopia"

Tokyo DisneySea Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
Before I start reviewing this fun attraction, I must interject a brief lesson of what crossed arms mean in Japan. While we could not speak Japanese and most of the Japanese cast members could not express the more complex explanations in English, when we were forbidden to do something, the cast members would raise their crossed arms in the form of an X. We saw this a lot at the Aquatopia.The Aquatopia is an aquatic version of the popular Autopia at Disneyland or Grand Prix Raceway at the Magic Kingdom. While you might be fooled into thinking the water’s depth reaches 10 to 12 feet, in actuality, the water only skims the surface of the attraction’s floor.There are two sides to this a...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Port Discovery

Tokyo, Japan

Port Discovery

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Attraction | "Port Discovery - Stormrider"

Tokyo DisneySea Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
When you visit a theme park and you’re the only female, keep in mind that occasionally, what you want to do will be overridden by the geek gene residing in all men. The geek gene surfaced when we traipsed through Port Discovery and came upon Stormrider. My companions, both male, insisted that we take a gander at this unique motion simulator attraction, whose premise was to take guests on a weather research mission and ride through the center of a storm.The geek gene seemed to be drawn to the scientific aspect of this attraction. A research facility that sought to understand how to dissipate a storm in mid-air sponsored the dangerous trip into the unknown. “COOL!” said the geeks. We...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Port Discovery

Tokyo, Japan

Mermaid Lagoon

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Attraction | "Mermaid Lagoon Interior"

Tokyo DisneySea Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
While the exterior of Mermaid Lagoon enchants, the interior appeals to the child in all of us. At the entrance of the pavilion, a statue of King Triton, riding his chariot, greets you. As you descend down the walkway, past dioramas of undersea dwellings, the view below of Mermaid Lagoon is that of an undersea playground. The open area is made to look as if you have submerged and are now part of the sea life below. The entire pavilion is covered and protected from weather. During the summer, take your time, as the air-conditioning will be a welcome respite from the humid and hot Tokyo weather.Mermaid Lagoon Theatre, located at the back of the pavilion, is the home of the Under The Sea show, w...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Mermaid Lagoon

Tokyo, Japan

Transit Steamer

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Attraction

Tokyo DisneySea Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
In most Disney theme parks, there is a form of transportation that allows guests to get an overview of the park and transports them from one end to another. In Disneyland, it’s the Disneyland Railroad. In Tokyo Disney Sea, the Transit Steamer serves as the main transportation service.Guests need to make sure they don’t get the two Transit Steamer lines confused. There is an express line that makes a nonstop round-trip journey around the entire park. Guests board at the dock in American Waterfront and travel around the waterways. Note that guests are not permitted to disembark anywhere along this route and the journey ends right where it starts, in American Waterfront. This line starts servic...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Transit Steamer

Tokyo, Japan

Aqua Sphere

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Attraction | "Aquasphere"

Tokyo DisneySea Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
While I mentioned that every Disney theme park has its icon, and I identified Mount Prometheus as Tokyo Disney Sea’s icon, some would argue that the park has two icons, and that I’ve forgotten the Aquasphere.Nope, I haven’t forgotten it, but I’ve saved it for its own entry, because it truly is spectacular and jaw-droppingly impressive. Walt Disney Imagineering spent much time perfecting this fountain, and the effect is intentionally extraordinary.As guests enter the turnstiles, they are greeted by an immense rotating globe which also happens to be a fountain. The globe seems to sit on churning white waters, as if a geyser is propping the sphere up for all to view. Upon closer look,...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 4, 2006

Aqua Sphere
Tokyo DisneySEA
Tokyo, Japan