Disney’s hidden gem is weird, wild, and one-of-a-kind.
There are Disney parks all over the world–and while the two in America might be in the spotlight right now thanks to the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, there are plenty of new and totally unique things to experience right here on planet Earth–if you’re willing to book a very real and not at all interstellar flight, that is. And that’s exactly what we did when we traveled all the way to Tokyo to visit Tokyo DisneySea, Japan’s one-of-a-kind Disney park.
Massive and packed to the proverbial gills with original Japanese rides and attractions spread across seven unique lands, DisneySea is maybe the only Disney park in the world that, well, doesn’t feel like a Disney park at all. In fact, you’re likely to forget you’re in the Mouse’s house entirely until you step into a gift shop and spot the decorative mouse-eared headbands and Mickey and Minnie logo t-shirts. There’s no Star Wars or Marvel to be seen, no Disney staples like Splash or Space Mountain–for those, you’ll need to hop on the monorail over to Tokyo’s Disneyland, a close duplicate of the Disneyland you’ll find in Anaheim, California. Instead, at DisneySea things are a whole lot weirder.
Situated around a massive water feature (the “sea” part of the name) DisneySea is an exercise in atmosphere and set design. Themed areas that look like the Mediterranean give way to steampunk sci-fi cave systems and then into Indiana Jones flavored wilderness exploration with anything you can imagine in between. The rides are almost entirely kept hidden behind walls and buried deep within the scenery to keep the illusion of endlessness going–and trust us when we say this park really does feel endless.
It may not be a galaxy far, far away but DisneySea is still one of the world’s best theme parks, and well worth a visit to anyone planning on making it to the Tokyo area. To prove it, we compiled a list of 15 of DisneySea’s totally original features, from snacks to theatrical productions to rides.