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Tokyo Disneyland vs DisneySea: Which Theme Park Should You Visit?

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Cheng Sim  •  Oct 10, 2019

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Spending a day at the theme park is probably the best way to brighten up your day. If you're heading to Japan in the upcoming months, we have a feeling that you'll be visiting the famous Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea!
Credit: Giphy If you're a first-timer to Japan and only have a day to spend, it'll be tough to choose between purchasing a ticket to Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea. But that's okay! We're breaking down the awesome things you'll find at these theme parks and decide which one you should absolutely visit!
Getting there
Credit: gwaar on Flickr Tokyo Disneyland By train: Alight at Maihama Station on JR (Japan Railway) Keiyo Line / Musashino Line. Then, take a 3-minute train ride on the Disney Resort Line to Tokyo Disneyland station. Walk for 1 minute to the main entrance of Tokyo Disneyland Tokyo DisneySea By train: Alight at Maihama Station on JR (Japan Railway) Keiyo Line / Musashino Line. Then, take a 10-minute train ride on the Disney Resort Line to Tokyo DisneySea station. Walk for 1 minute to the main entrance of Tokyo DisneySea
1. Ticket Prices
Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea
Credit: @miss.rachelroxy on Flickr
 Both Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea have the same ticket prices across all tiers. We show you a cost breakdown that might be helpful for your trip planning. 1-Day Passport Spend one day at Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea
  • 7,500 yen for adults above 18 (RM293 / SGD96)
  • 6,500 yen for juniors aged 12 to 17 (RM254 / SGD83)
  • 4,900 yen for children aged 4 to 11 (RM191 / SGD63)
2-Day Passport Spend one day each at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. It's not valid for same-day admission to both theme parks.
  • 13,400 yen for adults above 18 (RM523 / SGD172)
  • 11,800 yen for juniors aged 12 to 17 (RM460 / SGD151)
  • 8,800 yen for children aged 4 to 11 (RM343 / SGD113)
3-Day Magic Passport Spend three consecutive days at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. Admission to both theme parks is allowed on the third day.
  • 18,100 yen for adults above 18 (RM706 / SGD232)
  • 15,800 yen for juniors aged 12 to 17 (RM617 / SGD203)
  • 11,800 yen for children aged 4 to 11 (RM461 / SGD152)
After 6 Passport Spend your evening at Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea on weekdays after 6PM
  • 4,300 yen for adults above 18 (RM168 / SGD55)
  •  4,300 yen for juniors aged 12 to 17 (RM168 / SGD55) 
  • 4,300 yen for children aged 4 to 11 (RM168 / SGD55)
2. The Ultimate Experience
Tokyo Disneyland
Credit: @73mimimima73 on Instagram There's something magical about stepping into one of the happiest places on earth. If you're a first-timer to the truly spectacular Disneyland experience, Tokyo Disneyland is perfect for you. While exploring the theme park and seeking joy from themed rides and attractions, you'll get to bump into Mickey and friends who will be happy to take pictures with you. Besides that, Donald and Daisy Duck may be around to cheekily steal the spotlight too. But that's fine, there's enough space in the theme park for everyone to make new friends at Tokyo Disneyland. Tokyo DisneySea
Credit: @lat_duffy on Instagram Just when you think that exploring Tokyo Disneyland will be an experience unlike any other, here comes Tokyo DisneySea. Did you know that it's the only DisneySea in the world? Now that's a one-of-a-kind experience right there. Besides waving at Mickey and Minnie, you'll also meet characters that are exclusive to DisneySea. There's Duffy (Mickey's stuffed bear) and her awesome friends, Stella Lou, ShellieMay and Gelatoni!
3. Famous landmark
Tokyo Disneyland
Credit: Eugune Phoen on Instagram Taking a picture in front of the Disneyland castle is a must. While Hong Kong Disneyland has its Sleeping Beauty Castle and Shanghai Disneyland has its Enchanted Storybook Castle, Tokyo Disneyland has its very own Cinderella Castle. Step into the castle and you'll be surrounded by an immersive tale of Cinderella and more importantly, catch a glimpse of the Disney princess' famous glass slipper. Tokyo DisneySea
Credit: Vinit Panchal on Flickr While DisneySea is short of a Disney castle, one of their popular landmarks is the Mysterious Island that has an 'active volcano' that stands over the visitors in the theme park. This island is also where two of their well-loved attractions are located namely Journey To The Center Of The Earth and 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.
4. Rides and attractions
Tokyo Disneyland
Credit: Ruth Hartnup on Flickr Tokyo Disneyland is perfect for first-timers to the Disneyland experience as well as family with young children. That's because it has way more relaxing and slow-paced kid-friendly rides compared to DisneySea, so your little ones can enjoy every single ride with ease. Tokyo Disneyland has 49 rides, and they definitely win in terms of quantity.
Credit: Joel on Flickr Top rides in Tokyo Disneyland
  • Big Thunder Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Star Tours: The Adventure Continues
  •  Haunted Mansion 
  • Monster's Inc
Tokyo DisneySea
Credit: @mt87ao on Instagram Tokyo DisneySea is a great theme park for families with older children, thrill-seeking couples and adults who are young at heart. The theme park has faster rides and attractions compared to Tokyo Disneyland, so prepare yourself for some heart-pumping adrenaline. DisneySea has slightly lesser attractions than Tokyo Disneyland - with 37 rides in total.
Credit: Tosh Chiang on Flickr Top rides in Tokyo DisneySea
  • Toy Story Mania!
  • Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple Of The Crystal Skull
  • Journey To The Center Of The Earth
  • Tower Of Terror
  • 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
5. FASTPASS Attractions
 Here's the reality, you're going to queue a lot at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea! FASTPASS is great if you hate waiting in line and want to save your precious time. Visitors can get a FASTPASS from the ticketing machine at certain attractions in the theme park. Each pass will state a fixed timing where you can return to enjoy the ride. With the picture below as an example, you can use the FASTPASS to visit Space Mountain between 10.15AM and 11.15AM. There will be a designated lane that'll help you to skip the long lines. Remember, you're only able to take next ride after you've completed your first ride. That means, you can collect your second FASTPASS from a different ride after you've completed Space Mountain at 11.15AM. Tokyo Disneyland
There are 8 FASTPASS attractions at Tokyo Disneyland
  • Big Thunder Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Pooh's Hunny Hunt
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
  • Space Mountain
  • Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters
  • Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek!
#HHWT Tip: All Tokyo Disneyland rides are equally awesome. If you're visiting with your kids, we suggest getting the FASTPASS for Pooh's Hunny Hunt first! Tokyo DisneySea
Credit: @fendi_gan on Instagram There are 10 FASTPASS attractions at Tokyo DisneySea
  • Toy Story Mania!
  • Soaring: Fantastic Flight
  • Tower of Terror
  • Nemo & Friends SeaRider
  • Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull
  • Raging Spirits
  • The Magic Lamp Theater
  • Mermaid Lagoon Theater (King Triton's Concert)
  • 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
  • Journey To The Center Of The Earth
#HHWT Tip: Toy Story Mania! is one of the most popular rides in Tokyo DisneySea, and we recommend getting a FASTPASS for this ride first!
6. Lottery tickets to special shows
Credit: @coro0118 on Instagram Both Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea have special shows where you can get reserved seats. You can queue up for the first show, but winning a reserved seat to the show's other timings can help you to make the most of your day. What's about great about this reserved seat is that they're located at the front row, so you can have a better view of the show! Head over to the lottery ticketing machine (in the locations below) and try your luck! It's okay if you don't win any ticket, you can still camp out at various spots before the show starts. Tokyo Disneyland
Credit: @subaru_922 on Instagram Tokyo Disneyland has three special shows that provide reserved seats by lottery:
  • One Man's Dream II – The Magic Lives On
  • Let's Party Gras!
  • Spooky "Boo!" Parade (for a limited time only: 10 Sep - 31 Oct 2019)
Tokyo DisneySea
Credit: @yoch1008 on Instagram Tokyo DisneySea has five special shows that provide reserved seats by lottery:
  • It's Christmas Time
  • Hello, New York!
  • Big Band Beat
  • Song of Mirage
  • Festival Of Mystique (for a limited time only: 10 Sep - 31 Oct 2019)
7. Parades and shows
Tokyo Disneyland
Credit: @nacl0911 on Instagram Another spectacular thing about Tokyo Disneyland is the vibrant parades and shows! This theme park has more entertainment up their sleeves than DisneySea. One of the main highlights is the Dreaming Up! daytime parade where you'll see Mickey and his Disney friends waving to the crowd. There's also a nighttime parade called Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights, if you decide to come with your After 6 Passport. 
Credit: @chidepon83 on Instagram Tokyo Disneyland also has 6 amazing shows where various Disney characters take the stage. You can spot Lilo and Stitch dancing to the beat at Lilo's Luau & Fun or catch Mickey and the Chipmunks keeping you entertained at Mickey's Rainbow Luau. Tokyo DisneySea
Credit: @alyfrancis88 on Instagram While Tokyo DisneySea organises the seasonal daytime parade, the shows are spectacular nonetheless. As we speak, they have a limited-time Festival of Mystique parade where the Disney characters revive the Porto Paradiso celebration. Come in the evening to see a spell-binding nighttime performance named Fantasmic! that takes place on the waters of the Mediterranean Harbour. They also have their version of Disney Light The Night complete with massive fireworks display against the volcanic backdrop of the Mysterious Island.
Credit: @ayapandaaaaaa on Instagram Tokyo DisneySea has 3 main shows that also shines the spotlight on Disney and Duffy characters. Say hello to Duffy and her pals at My Friend Duffy or follow the adventure of Mickey and friends at the city of gold in Song of Mirage. 
8. Disney character greetings
Tokyo Disneyland
Credit: @yukkkky21 on Instagram Half the fun of exploring Tokyo Disneyland is the chance to bump into your favourite Disney characters. Mickey, Minnie and friends are always roaming the theme park to take pictures with the kids and greet their fans, so find them in the location below. Tokyo Disneyland has 4 locations for Disney character greetings:
  • Tokyo Disneyland main entrance  - Mickey, Minnie and friends
  • Woodchuck Greeting Trail - Donald and Daisy Duck
  • In front of Plaza Pavilion Bandstand - Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde from Zootopia
  • Mickey's House - Mickey Mouse
Tokyo DisneySea
Credit: _22_0905 on Instagram Another reason to be excited about Tokyo DisneySea is meeting the theme park's exclusive characters besides Mickey, Donald and the gang. Tokyo DisneySea offers more locations to meet your favourite characters than Tokyo Disneyland. Tokyo DisneySea has 7 locations for Disney character greetings:
  • Tokyo DisneySea main entrance, Waterfront Park and Arabian Coast - Find out the surprise guest on the day of your visit!
  • Village Greeting Place - ShellieMay
  • Saludos Amigos Greeting Dock - Duffy
  •  Mickey & Friends Greeting Trails - Mickey, Minnie and Donald Duck 
  • Ariel's Greeting Grotto - Ariel from Little Mermaid
9. Seafood and vegetarian dining options
Tokyo Disneyland While finding Muslim-friendly meals is challenging at Tokyo Disneyland, there are seafood and vegetarian dining options to look out for. Tokyo Disneyland has 3 seafood and vegetarian food options:
  • Pan Galactic Pizza Port - Seafood cream calzone
  • Eastside Cafe - Vegetarian course
Halal status: While these eateries serve seafood and vegetarian options, do note that cross-contamination may occur since it's prepared in the same kitchen as non-halal meals. Dining utensils used are also the same as non-halal meals. We recommend that you dine at your discretion. Tokyo DisneySea It's also equally challenging to find Muslim-friendly meals at Tokyo DisneySea, but it has more seafood and vegetarian dining options compared to Tokyo Disneyland. Tokyo DisneySea has 5 seafood and vegetarian food options:
  • Sebastian Calypso Kitchen - Seafood pizza
  • Ristorante Di Canaletto - Seafood pizza and pasta
  • Cafe Portofino - Seafood pasta
  • Cape Cod Cook-Off - Cod Fish burger set
  • New York Deli - Smoked salmon and shrimp bagel
Halal status : While these eateries serve seafood and vegetarian options, do note that cross-contamination may occur since it's prepared in the same kitchen as non-halal meals. Dining utensils used are also the same as non-halal meals. We recommend that you dine at your discretion. BONUS! Red Lobster At Tokyo Disney Resort
Credit: Food Diversity  Much to the delight of Muslim travellers, Red Lobster at Tokyo Disney Resort is now offering a Muslim-friendly menu. Situated at Ikspiari, a shopping mall located between Maihama Station and the Disney Ambassador Hotel, diners can choose from these Muslim-friendly set menu! Muslim-friendly menu at Red Lobster, Tokyo Disney Resort
  • Beef Bowl (1,080 yen)
  • Butter Chicken Curry (1,280 yen)
  • Vegetable Penne (1,280 yen)
#HHWT Tip: Check out our latest article about the Muslim-friendly menu available at Red Lobster, Tokyo Disney Resort! Halal status: Muslim-friendly menu available. All ingredients in Muslim-friendly menu are from halal-certified suppliers and although it’s prepared in the same kitchen as non-halal meals, separate kitchenware is used to prepare the meals. Do note that dining utensils are the same as non-halal meals but you can request for disposable utensils.
10. Popcorn
 If you're spending most of your afternoon queuing at Tokyo Disneyland, you may as well munch on some popcorns! Did you know that the popcorn buckets are different across both theme parks? You can buy a Buzz Lightyear-themed bucket at DisneySea and Pooh-themed bucket at Tokyo Disneyland! Tokyo Disneyland
Tokyo Disneyland is famous for its uniquely flavoured snacks ranging from caramel and milk chocolate to curry and barbecue. For Muslim-friendly flavours, you can go for salt or honey flavoured popcorn!
Splurge on a Disney themed popcorn bucket too! Not only will you be able to carry your favourite snack around, but you'll also get to flaunt this quirky and fun design. Some Disneyland fans go as far as collecting them all! Tokyo DisneySea
Credit: sstrieu on Flickr Tokyo DisneySea is just as passionate about their popcorns as their popular neighbour! This theme park has slightly more flavours that'll raise your eyebrow. What do you think about Chinese spice or garlic shrimp popcorns? The safest flavours to try at Tokyo DisneySea are also salt and honey flavoured popcorn.
At Tokyo DisneySea, the refillable popcorn buckets have better variety and nicer designs, thanks to the adorable characters like Duffy and ShellieMay. Walk around with a cute DisneySea popcorn bucket, you might make a Tokyo Disneyland fan go green in envy.
11. Kid-friendly facilities
Tokyo Disneyland
Credit: Tommy Wong on Flickr If you're visiting Tokyo Disneyland with your family, you can trust that they've got you covered. This theme park has a range of facilities for nursing mothers and toddlers. Kid-friendly facilities at Tokyo Disneyland 
  • Hand washing area
  • Stroller rentals
  • Baby centre
  • Toontown baby centre
Tokyo DisneySea
Credit: Tzuhsun Hsu on Flickr Just as family-friendly as their sister theme park, Tokyo DisneySea also looks after the needs of families with kids. There are many hand washing areas if your child enjoys ice cream just a bit too much and stroller rental that'll give you one less thing to carry from your hotel. Kid-friendly facilities at Tokyo DisneySea
  • Hand washing area
  • Stroller rentals
  • Baby centre and nursing mother's lounge
12. Shopping
Tokyo Disneyland
Credit: @fukkura_omamesan on Instagram If you're looking for awesome souvenirs to take home, Tokyo Disneyland is peppered with many shops selling merchandises, t-shirts, soft toys and more. Swipe your credit card at the Grand Emporium (the largest selection of merchandise), shop for clothes at Town Center Fashions (the park's largest apparel shop) and get a plush toy at the Toy Station (the park's biggest toy shop). If you ask us, Tokyo Disneyland wins by having 43 shops across the theme park. Tokyo DisneySea
Credit: @hajimodamoyo on Instagram After spending an awesome day at Tokyo DisneySea, bring home something thoughtful and adorable for your friends and family. With 37 shops across the theme park, shop at Galleria Disney for one-of-a-kind Duffy merchandise, Figaro's Clothiers for a ShellieMay t-shirt, and mini wagons for Mickey headband and light-up items. 
Credit: Hiu Yan Chelsia Choi on Unsplash
Results: You decide!
Just between you and me, it's tough to decide between visiting Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. Whether you're up for the magical experience of Disneyland or the thrilling rides at the world's only DisneySea, YOU decide which theme park you love the most. Cast your votes in the poll below, and let's see what the ultimate result will be!