As the sea breeze kissed the little frog prince, it turned into a handsome king – Mickey, with his own majestic kingdom by the seaside. Well it’s Imagination. Let your imagination give shape to your site. Let it be your company as you step into the kingdom by the sea side. “Imagination” is the theme of Disney Sea.
Disney sea shares its borders with the Pacific at one side and the city of Tokyo at the other. High speed rail connection from Tokyo station will drop you at Maihama station, the point where Tokyo’s reign ends. Then the kingdom will let you board its royal Mickey themed Monorail to reach its grand entrance. Past the tickets gates, well it’s a world where Italian Riviera, and the New York streets meet right at the base of the roaring volcano at center. Let us begin from the beginning.
Disney sea is the little brother of the reigning king Disney land. Set up right next to the elder Disney, it is a short walk or a monorail ride from the entrance of the Disney Resorts gate. The entrance opens to a wide Italian Piazza.flanked on the two sides by Venetian villas. Gondolas pass through narrow watery canals, heading into a lake. Restaurants on the two sides, chandeliers hanging from marbled facades, arched pontes all take one back to the golden era of Venice. The mellow afternoon sun from across the Tokyo Harbour adds an orange tinge all around to the red brick tiled cafeterias.
Past the Italian riviera, an alley on the left leads to the American harbour. Busy busy busy it is. The large red brick storehouses and trading quarters seem familiar to those who have been to New York. Tram lines criss cross the old cobbled streets. Pizzerias and hamburger joints jostle for space. Billboards advertise about latest musicals. It’s New York alright, but perhaps the one a few decades past into the last century. So it is when the industrial revolution in the new world was still picking its pace, accompanied by a steady arrival of refugees from Europe. Gleaming regal carriages of the rich and famous careened up the streets. The Ford Model T was yet to make four wheelers a household item. The old fire engine, the green saloon car, the rickety truck are all there to ferry the people down the memory lanes of American Harbour. One may just get in and click a few selfies, as so many people reminiscent of the good old days do. Then there is Broadway theater as well that hosts regular musicals. Feet tapping suavely dressed artists are joined by Mickey, Minnie, Donald and other famous personalities of Disney kingdom . Enjoy you must, as Imagination is what is in order here. Dreams are occasionally broken by the sound of the overhead rail steaming into the Wild West, Some may argue though that perhaps the rails overhead add to the dreamy ambience. Whatever it is, for the true-blue amusement park viewers there are the expected “rides” in the form of Toy Story adventure, the Haunted house, and a highly engaging Talking Turtle! If one follows Japanese then the talking swimming grimacing turtle in a hall aboard the USS Columbia ship will be a memorable experience. If language is a constraint then the other rides should take precedence. After all ghosts in a dark haunted mansion on a stormy night usually communicate well without any language barrier, Try it yourself. The ride is worth it.
Back out from the American Harbour, one may continue on towards Port discovery or get back to the Riviera. Next the way right from Italian Riviera leads to Arabian desert. Not quite just a dessert, but one with a palace and bazaar attached. The courtyard within the palace hosts regular magic shows. A two storied carousel inside the palace complex suitably keeps the royal tenderlings occupied. In another part the Middle East themed Indian curry outlet keeps the royal palates served. But the real draw in this complex is probably the 3D Aladdin theatre. A real human magician steps onto the podium, opens up his hatful of magic. but somewhere in course of things the formula is botched up and the magician himself vanishes away into the world of magic. He lands into the company of his slave Aladdin, who then starts playing with things real and unreal.
Outside the palace complex a cavernous road through the traditional bazaar leads to another Arabic theme – the Sinbad’s journey. You get to follow Sindbad as he launches his lone cruise through the unknown seas. On the way he comes across the monster, the monkeys, the dangerous storms, and on the positive size, cache of gold. Despite all trouble he manages to reach home safely, Hollywood style, to a tumultuous welcome. Fireworks, music and all. Not to mention that all the characters human or animals are robots where you the rider are the only real being riding on a dinghy. Imagination is on a roll here.
The kids, or rather the kids in heart do get one more chance to bask in the Arabian flavour through the next exhibit the flying carpet. A common village fair regular item, but covered in Disney finesse, this ride is surprisingly ordinary but hardly missed by any.
Moving on from the Arabian land, you get a choice. You get to choose between the beautiful all pink and purple mermaid lagoon, safe for toddlers and above. Or the Lost river delta, the land of Indiana Jones. The latter is a draw for the thrill seeking bull taming ride mongers who can try the 360 degree roller coaster or the rough and tumble caravan trip through Indiana Jones cave. Though it’s a roller coaster, running through misty jungles of Amazon past lit fires, the ride is suitable for a wide range of guests.
By the way, right in the center of the park stands a live volcano. Situated in an island, It roars, belches fire and smoke every so often. You Disney guest you can feel safe though. You can approach the volcano through a narrow path connecting the American Waterfront with Lost River Delta. You can in fact go down the depths into the center of the earth, a ride fairly popular with visitors. If that is not enough then dive down 20000 leagues under the sea in a submersible. Jules Verne will be happy.
Right at the extreme corner opposite the entrance there is Port Discovery. Approachable from American waterfront, Lost river delta and the central Mysterious island. Kids will like the motorised faux boat ride named Aquatopia. But for the real heroes the charm lies in the Stormrider. A so called 4d experience in the form of vibrating titling chairs and big screen immersive visuals. Fearless pilots that you are you arm stein breaker missiles and fly into the eye of a vicious storm. On the way there are a few near misses with high cliffs and such so you get to swerve and jump up at high speed. Not bad for would be adrenalin junkies.
All through the rides and exhibits running deep into the entrails of earth and the seas, one thing assuring is that you are never alone. No way. Rather you get to stand in company of guests for hours on. Queues run into double Qs, or triple QQQs. If you want to avoid the queue you can opt for fast passes. It’s a facility for reserved entry at specified time. But then you have to be really fast to secure your fast passes for the popular rides otherwise the passes soon run out.
The park opens at 8 am, closes at 10 pm. Time long enough for a memorable experience. To make it extra memorable you can buy Disney themed items at every little street corner, from T shirts to goggles to bubble makers to popcorn boxes. Then there are the themed cafeterias in each zone to match the food with local mood.
Last but not the least is Fantasmic, special effects show and highlight of the day in Disney sea. Throughout the day at appointed times there are a few more shows in the area in front of the Mediterranean. But this one in the evening is far more gorgeous. In a synchronous presentation of laser, fireworks, dance and music, Disney characters parade around on top of lavishly decorated boats in the Venetian lagoon. Based on the theme of good versus evil, Micky is tormented by the dragon which is ultimately defeated and it does in a ball of fire. The whole show is hosted on water and is a perfectly synchronized display of pyrotechnics with light and sound. Facts that make one feel in awe and doubles up the sense of a fulfilled day.
For more details on location, time, tickets and offers please refer to the website
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