Rainbow Cake

Tokyo DisneySea: A Magic Sea of Japanese Perfection and Disney Dreams

Alexis Ibarra-Ibarra

NOTE: I decided to not include pictures, because I did not want to spoil anything for you (at least visually).

When my sister and I embarked on our first journey to the far and majestic lands of Japan, she insisted on taking me to Tokyo Disneyland. I was not thrilled about this idea, considering we were going to Japan: a country full of imposing temples, fascinating festivals and traditions, delicious food, as well as extravagant pop culture.

Disneyland sounded too American for a trip to Japan, so I rejected the idea immediately.

I have to admit that, since then, I have seen pictures of Tokyo Disneyland special attractions, and now I am dying to go!

My sister then found an alternative that would satisfy both of us: Tokyo DisneySea. This amusement park is totally unique in the world. This wonderland encompasses the ocean and sea Disney stories that did not make it to Disneyland/Disneyworld (and a few popular ocean stories to please the most mainstream public).

Japan has a special connection with the sea, so it is not a surprise that if Disney was to build a park with this kind of theme, it would do it on this beautiful island. I had no real expectations about the place: at the time, I would have preferred to go to the Ghibli Museum, but you have to buy tickets like… one year in advance, and my sister planned the trip on a rush (yes, my sister… I was kind of busy with my thesis… sorry and thank you for planning an awesome tour, sis!).

We had to wake up early, so I was not on my best mood… What? I am a Sleeping Beauty trapped inside a Snow White looking body (geeky sickish pale and the darkest natural hair possible). Basically, I need my 12-to-14-hour beauty sleep to survive, and, on top, I was jetlagged. The day was kind of cloudy as well, and I hate when the sky is white. However, that was probably better than the scolding Japanese Summer Sun (it can disintegrate you). Half asleep and after taking a couple of trains in Tokyo, we hurried to take the first train with Mickey Mouse shaped windows that took us to DisneySea.

When we finally crossed the entrance, I could not but say: WOW!

Just by crossing the portal, we went from Japan to Italy. A perfect Japanese replica of the Mediterranean country revealed itself by only walking a few steps into the place. I have only visited Italy on Assassin’s Creed, movies, documentaries, and tv shows, so I actually saved a lot of money: 2X1! I still want to go to Italy, though. They even took into consideration the ware of time on the buildings: Japanese perfection, of course.

We followed the not-so-big crowd (it was Tuesday) towards a massive volcano (Yes! A VOLCANO with fumaroles and everything!). The stream of people guided us to a cave that revealed a steampunk area right in the middle of the volcano crater called Mysterious Island. It was dedicated to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, but, of course, as a gamer, I could not prevent myself from thinking about BioShock. The ride was so great: I felt like I was inside the Bathysphere that would take me to Rapture. I know it was about Julio Verne’s story, but I could not help it.

With our spirits up after the first two surprises, we made it to the Mermaid Lagoon. Inside a Gaudi’s style building decorated with starfish prints, pretty glasses of all colors, and seashells, there was an amazing area dedicated to The Little Mermaid. Even if the attractions were simple and bearable for the littlest babies, it was utterly STUNNING, so we ride on everything we could (including jellyfishes!).

I was so excited! All this child-like wonder and bright spark on my anime eyes and my enormous smile attracted a lot of glances from Japanese visitors that also seemed hyped and high as hell.

We waited for the main attraction, The Little Mermaid Show. After hearing a lot of things in Japanese that ended up in Onegaishimasu! We entered the Auditorium and watched an outstanding performance of The Little Mermaid. It was in Japanese, but it did not matter it was WONDERFUL. They had one weird stuff though on the area, though: shrimp flavored popcorn… I skipped on that one…

Everyone was wearing something on their heads, and we did not want to fall behind. We really wanted to have the full Japanese Disney experience. Therefore, after the show, I bought this beautiful MASSIVE Minnie Mouse’s Red Bow, and my sister got a set of Minnie’s ears with a pretty bow.

Later we realized the Japanese Disney experience consisted of buying the same props as the rest of your group (like in many other places in Japan). Still, we were undeniably satisfied with our choices. It is interesting that in a strongly gendered country like Japan, the norm was to see guys wearing female character props. So, NO PREJUDICES HERE! Just buy and wear whatever you want! Disney bringing everyone together without question!

Right in front of The Mermaid Lagoon was The Arabian Coast, which was so beautiful it looked like an otherworldly vision. We walked through the market that reminded me of Assassin’s Creed Revelations. Istanbul is probably my favorite AC setting I have played so far, so I was living the dream. It looked so authentic that I could say I saved money on another trip: 3X1! Yay! Aladdin and Sinbad were obviously present. Aladdin is always good, but I highly recommend you check the Sinbad attraction!

Next, we realized how much Japanese love Mexico. The Lost River Delta comprised a large jungle-like area full of Mayan and Mexica (Aztec) Pyramids, ruins, and mines. There were colorful piñatas, tons of “Mexican” food (it had curry as a spice), and fiestas. The area was surprisingly large and was dedicated entirely to Mexico. Please read the first paragraph on: ,………… There we tried the Pepper popcorn, and I must say they were pretty good.

After that, we arrived at The Port Discovery, which was probably my least favorite part of the park, but still had its futuristic charm. I think I could have enjoyed it more, but I was already getting tired because the park is massive. Later, we reached The American Waterfront that included an ocean liner that resembled the Queen Mary. It was a nice area that looked like old New York/Boston Ports, but I think it was my second least favorite part of the park. Still, I saved money on another trip: 4X1.

Later on, we went to the impressive main show in the Mediterranean Harbour: the most recognizable Disney characters saluted everyone and danced on a big boat with fireworks and all those flashy kind of stuff Disney likes to do. We checked the area and found a castle dedicated to Da Vinci and Magellan, as well as a pirate ship!!!! We played with the canyons and solved the Da Vinci’s mystery, and, after a while, it started getting dark.

We decided to check the areas we liked the most, they were just as beautiful, yet absolutely different under the starry night. The Lost River Delta, The Arabian Coast, and The Journey to the Center of the Earth were just magical under the moonlight. We obviously came back to check The Mermaid Lagoon, and, when we could not walk anymore, we stopped for some Italian pizza. We were exhausted as hell, but happier than the happiest kid at Disney. We finally exited the fairy-like park through the gorgeous Venetian road we did not even notice on the map. We barely made it to the hotel (we were staying in the city, not in a Disney hotel, so it took a while to get there). Our entire body hurt, but IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT.

If you happen to go to Tokyo, DO NOT DISMISS DISNEYSEA (or Disneyland).

It is a fantastic park, full of Japanese precision. Besides, you will have six trips in just one day: Italy, the Arabian coast, Mexico, the US, and, of course, Japan and Disney! Plus, you can have some gamer excitement feeling inside of some of your favorite videogames! Moreover, it is a great place to observe some fascinating features of Japanese society, so you are not wasting your time in Japan.  

A little piece of advice be sure to be prepared to eat Japanese curry in every single meal, including snacks, or only eat pizza.

This place will bring back the faith in humanity that you may have lost lately, so, after the quarantine is over and if you still have money on your bank account, go to this marvelous place.


Feature image recovered from Wikipedia.

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