Japan: Tokyo Disney Sea | Simply Me / Karen Jardeleza

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Japan: Tokyo Disney Sea



Tokyo DisneySea is a theme park at the Tokyo Disney Resort located in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan, just outside Tokyo. It opened on September 4, 2001. It is owned by The Oriental Land Company, which licenses the theme from The Walt Disney Company.

Tokyo DisneySea was the second theme park to open at the Tokyo Disney Resort and the ninth park of the eleven worldwide Disney theme parks to open. Tokyo DisneySea was the fastest theme park in the world to reach the milestone of 10 million guests, having done so in 307 days after its grand opening. 

Tokyo DisneySea is also the most expensive theme park ever built, estimated to have cost over U.S. $4 billion. Tokyo DisneySea and its companion park Tokyo Disneyland are the only Disney parks in the world not owned by The Walt Disney Company.

There are seven uniquely themed areas or "ports of call". The entrance to the park is Mediterranean Harbor, which opens up to six more nautically themed ports: American Waterfront, Lost River Delta, Port Discovery, Mermaid Lagoon, Arabian Coast, and Mysterious Island.

Mediterranean Harbor

Mediterranean Harbor is the entrance "port-of-call" and themed as an Italian port city, complete with Venetian gondolas that guests can board and ride. Littered throughout the port are various shops and restaurants. Mediterranean Harbor's layout differs from the entry "lands" of other Disney parks as it is a large "V" shape rather than a main street that leads to a hub (as found in Disneyland's Main Street, U.S.A. or Disney's Hollywood Studios' Hollywood Boulevard").

Mysterious Island

Mysterious Island is a "port-of-call" within Mount Prometheus, the giant volcano that is the Park's centerpiece and most prominent feature. It relies heavily on the storytelling of Jules Verne and, specifically, the mythology of the volcano fortress mentioned several times in the books called "Vulcania". The smallest "port of call", it nevertheless holds two of the more popular attractions: "Journey to the Center of the Earth", a thrill ride, and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", a dark ride. 

Mermaid Lagoon

Mermaid Lagoon is home to the characters of The Little Mermaid. The facade is made to look like the Palace of King Triton and features fanciful seashell-inspired architecture. This "port of call" is unique in that it is mostly indoors and recreates the feeling of being underwater. Most of the rides in this area are geared towards younger children. Attractions in this "port of call" include Flounder's Flying Fish Coaster; Scuttle's Scooters; Jumpin' Jellyfish; Blowfish Balloon Race; The Whirlpool; all of which are meticulously themed children's rides. Also in this area are Ariel's Playground which is a children's playground and extensive walk-through attraction that recreates the various settings in the movie; and the Mermaid Lagoon Theater which is home to 'Under the Sea', a musical show featuring live actors, large-scale puppetry and Audio-Animatronics that recreate the story of The Little Mermaid.

Arabian Coast

This "port of call", like Mermaid Lagoon, is themed after a popular Disney animated film, this time Aladdin. It recreates an exotic Arabian harbor combined with an "enchanted world from 1001 Arabian Nights". There are three attractions in the land: Sindbad's Storybook Voyage, have a full range of movement just like Pirates of the Caribbean's life-size figures) ends up even surpassing the technical accomplishment of the classic Pirates of the Caribbean; Caravan Carousel, a double-decker carousel that can hold over 190 passengers; and the Magic Lamp Theater, which houses a combined live-action/animatronic based magic show with a 3D movie featuring the Genie. A large eatery serving Middle-Eastern, Indian, and Japanese style curry, is at the center.

Lost River Delta

Located at the back of the park, the dominant structure in this "port of call" is a huge, ruined Central American Aztec pyramid which houses the E.M.V. attraction Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull. Also located in the Lost River Delta is the DisneySea Steamer Line which transports guests back to Mediterranean Harbor, 'Mystic Rhythms' a live theatrical show that takes place in an abandoned hangar that has been reclaimed by the jungle, and Raging Spirits, a looping roller coaster situated in the ruins of an ancient ceremonial site.

Port Discovery

This "port of call" is hailed as "the marina of the future". It is sometimes called the "Tomorrowland" of Tokyo DisneySea and is somewhat of a cross between the never-built Discovery Bay concept for Disneyland and Discoveryland in Disneyland Park (Paris). Home to the fictional 'Center for Weather Control', Port Discovery is home to three attractions: StormRider, a large-scale simulator ride; Aquatopia, a boat ride that uses LPS tracking (the 'trackless' technology also used in Tokyo Disneyland's Pooh's Hunny Hunt) to move and spin through a lagoon amid waterfalls and whirlpools, and the DisneySea Electric Railway, an overhead electric 'trolley' that transports riders to and from the American Waterfront.


American Waterfront

This "port of call" represents the northeastern seaboard of the United States in the early 20th century. It features two themed areas, an "Old Cape Cod" section, and a "New York Harbor" section with an elaborate backstory. This land is dominated by the large passenger ship, SS Columbia, which is usually the site for various shows and events. A restaurant is also located within the ship. Guests have the option of riding the area's "Big City Vehicles" which roam the streets of this area. It also features the "DisneySea Electric Railway" which takes passengers from The American Waterfront to nearby Port Discovery. This port is the site for many of the park's live entertainment, among them are the shows staged at the Broadway-themed theater which currently plays the show "Big Band Beat". The port's most popular attraction is a Japanese version of Tower of Terror.



Previous: Tokyo Disneyland
Next: Japan: Narita


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