The Most Amazing Disney Park Ever? (Part 2)by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 7/23/2009
Last week, we began our tour of Tokyo DisneySea, one of the two theme parks at the Tokyo Disney Resort and the one that always receives rave reviews from visitors.
Having explored Mediterranean Harbour at the park's entrance, the American Waterfront to the left and then Port Discovery, it's now time to continue clockwise through the park. The next area you come to is Lost River Delta and, if you've ever been to Universal's Islands of Adventures in Orlando, you'll instantly feel at home here, as it's got the same feel to it as the Jurassic Park area in that park. This is home to uncharted waters and lost temples, and the theming continues to be superb. You really feel as if you've headed into the deepest of jungles. It's a perfect setting for the Indiana Jones Adventure. There aren't many rides at this park that have come from other Disney theme parks, but this is one of them. It's pretty much a clone of the Disneyland ride, although I found it more intense and jerky.
This area of the park is home to thrill rides, as the other draw here is Raging Spirits, a looped roller coaster. Again, it's a bit reminiscent of Islands of Adventures and their Dueling Dragons coaster with fire and ice, as this features both water and ice.
From an area with thrills aplenty, the next land you find at Tokyo DisneySea is the complete opposite and is designed for families. The theming of the Arabian Coast reminded us of the Morocco pavilion in Epcot, but on a much bigger and more lavish scale. This area really is as if you've stepped from one side of the world to the other, with Middle Eastern influences everywhere you look.
The buildings here are home to some classic Disney rides that are suitable for the whole family. Sinbad's Storybook Voyage is along the same lines as It's A Small World, complete with is own catchy tune. It was pleasant enough and longer than we expected, although let's just say it's not the sort of ride you'd do time and time again! It tells the story of Sinbad's travels and had some lovely characters in it, none of whom I'd ever heard of before, but the whole this is beautifully put together and, as you'd expect from Disney, the story is well told.
There's a 3D movie next door in the Magic Lamp Theatre that tells the story of Aladdin and the Genie, with live action thrown in, in the shape of a live magician who's trying to demonstrate how good he is, although his efforts fail to impress the Genie.
If you've thought that perhaps Tokyo DisneySea doesn't have much for the younger members of the family, you couldn't be more wrong, as the next land proves. Mermaid Lagoon is mostly located in an underground cavern called Triton's Kingdom, with effects that make you feel as if you're underneath the sea. There are a couple of rides outside, including Flounder's Flying Fish Coaster for adventurous young thrill riders and Scuttles Scooters, which circles and spins its occupants around.
Once inside Triton's Kingdom, there are more delights for younger visitors, including another spinning ride, the Balloon Blowfish Ride, the Whirlpool that runs on a track and gives you the effect of being in a whirlpool, hence the name, and Jumpin' Jellyfish, essentially the same ride as you find in Disney's California Adventure. Sadly, the only bit that we would've been interesting in sampling, the Little Mermaid show at the theatre here, was closed for rehab.
The final land at Tokyo DisneySea is perhaps the best that this park has to offer – and that's saying a lot! Mysterious Island is a Jules Verne-style land, complete with a volcano that explodes without warning, futuristic machinery scattered around, and sound effects that make you feel as if you've entered a working seaport. In the center is a lagoon with the Nautilus submarine beneath you – a fine sight for anyone who loved that ride from the American parks.
Indeed, they do have a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride and it's a submarine voyage, but these are vintage submarines that you board, taking six people each on a trip underwater seeing many delights. The only downside is that the narration is Japanese, but generally, you can get the idea without a translation.
The other attraction here is a real E-ticket one, Journey to the Center of the Earth. Using the same technology as Epcot's Test Track, it's a smooth thrill ride that goes exceptionally fast as you hurtle towards the earth's center. Like Splash Mountain, there's just the one drop, which looks more scary than it is. The rest of the ride is tight turns and speed more than anything else, with some superb theming along the way.
Tokyo DisneySea's special distinction is that it's packed with beautifully unique attractions that you won't find in any other Disney park in the world. That, along with some truly jaw-dropping theming in some beautiful lands, really do combine to be perhaps Disney's best theme park in the world. The praise I heard of this park truly was right and I'm only too happy to add my voice to it. If you are a Disney fan and you have the time and money to do so, a visit to Tokyo DisneySea is an absolute must, as you won't be disappointed by it.
Updated 7/23/2009 - Article #184
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