I had just visited for my first time in November (<-- please consider reading that post first if you're looking for more information about the park!), but I had such a good time that I wanted my parents to experience it too! (My bf has been to DisneySea in the past during a school trip, and he wasn't overly keen on it but since all of us were going, he decided to tag along.)
We were aiming to be at the park by 07:30am, so we tried to make it a point to leave the hotel by around 06:15am. It wasn't easy to wake up early with the long day we had on Day 5 lol.
This was one of the "set outfits" I packed that I knew I wanted to wear on this particular day. I'm glad the Ank Rouge shoes ended up being a really great pair and matched well with the Liz Lisa margaret cherry OP. I also used a hair barrette I had just purchased the day before from Daiso.
Somehow we were all ready exactly on time and got to the tracks earlier than expected. We were able to catch a JR Tokaido line train to Tokyo station 10 minutes earlier than our original target train.
We got off the train and headed towards the Disney Resort Line station.
Since we were a bit earlier than anticipated, we didn't mind stopping for a few photos.
Purchased our one way tickets and waited for the next monorail. The 15th anniversary Crystal Wishes theming is already prevalent!
Three stops later, we arrived at the DisneySea stop and found a line a bit more on the left side to wait in. It was much, much sunnier this time than the last time I visited and there were also a good deal more people present, but it wasn't as bad as some other photos I'd seen so I was still hopeful.
We were instructed to stand to be ready to go in at 07:45am and at 08:00am exactly, staff members starting allowing us into the park!
I don't really have any photos from this beginning portion because I told my family to just worry about getting in there, getting the first fast pass and then getting in the first ride line. *Don't pause for photos!*
First stop was Tower of Tower for fass passes. I wasn't quick enough with the tickets and ended up getting two in the 08:45 - 09:45 time slot and two in the 08:50 - 09:50 time slot wtf. But close enough.
Then I ran us over to Journey to the Center of the Earth where luckily there was still only a 5 minute standby wait where we basically just needed time to walk through the queue.
From there, I rushed us to the Lost River Delta
where we got in a 5 minute standby line for Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull.
From there, I knew we needed to slow down a bit. Even though it might not seem like it, these rides aren't exactly close together and I had everyone rushing about. We had ridden the two most priority rides that usually have longer waits at that point and had a fast pass for the third, so there was no need to keep speeding around.
On the way back to Tower of Terror, we stopped at Journey since it was about time to get another set of fast passes. Because of the two different time intervals, we ended up having to wait a little longer to get them but it still worked out lol. Our Journey fast passes were eligible from 09:30 - 10:30 (well actually one was for 09:25 - 10:25 because we messed up a bit earlier lol).
Then we walked all the way back to the American Waterfront and the Tower of Terror.
The wait in the fast pass line was shorter and slightly different than I remembered when I visited with Christa and also marginally faster as far as I can tell. We were definitely right to get the fast pass for this ride first because the standby queue was already very long (whereas the standby lines for Journey and Indy weren't nearly as bad in comparison).
Still trying to slow our pace a bit and recovering from all of the full pace rides, we went to take a quick peek at Toy Story Mania! which is right next to the Tower of Terror. I knew we wouldn't want to try and ride this standby, but luckily there were still fast passes available. Our fast passes were for 18:30 - 19:30. Not too bad considering we didn't try and grab them until 09:30.
From there, we wanted to get something to eat. My dad really wanted to try the flat gyoza he had seen in blog posts and I had eaten last time. So we went back towards Mysterious Island lol.
When I found the shop that had sold us the gyoza previously, I was extremely surprised to see that they were now selling only the "gyoza dog" and not the regular, more traditional gyoza. We had already walked all the way over there, so we got 3 of those anyway.
Our Journey fast passes were more than valid at this point, and we were already in the area, so we decided to do that next.
At this point, it was around 10:15, and I knew that the Crystal Wishes Journey show would be on at 10:30. In fact, we had seen the crowds of people gathering for over an hour. Because I wanted my family to see at least one of these types of shows, I figured it would be easiest to get it out of the way earlier in the day so it wouldn't interfere with anything else. As it was so close to the show time, I knew we wouldn't be getting anything close to a "good seat", but there's a pretty reasonable view (although nothing worth bragging about) from a number of places in the area. My dad and bf weren't overly keen on it and just sat on a bench in the shade looking towards the harbor, but I had my mom find a place closer to the Lido Isle stage and I went to go seek out some Caramel Popcorn.
From there, we walked back to Mysterious Island and got in the standby queue for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea which we had intended to do right after our second Journey ride due to their proximity, but I dragged us all out to the show. The line was a bit longer than the "5 minute wait" advertised, but only marginally. I'm sure this was probably because a number of people left from the show as we did and just got in line before us.
Having done much of what we wanted to accomplish at this point, we wanted to explore the parts of the park that we hadn't yet seen. On our way to the Arabian Coast, we walked through the Lost River Delta and got fast passes for Indiana Jones (12:20 - 13:20). I got a sausage dog from the Expedition Eats cart.
We arrived at the Arabian Coast!
My dad wanted to eat at the Casbah Food Court, so this is where we stopped for "lunch".
|My Shellie May pouch which held our tickets and fast passes|
Once we were done eating and recuperating/resting a bit, we headed back out into the Arabian Coast area. Look at all the gorgeous details!
The feature ride in this part of the park is Sindbad's Storybook Voyage which was another "must do" for us.
By this time, our Indy fast passes were valid, so we backtracked to the Lost River Delta. On our way there, we got fast passes for Raging Spirits (14:10 - 15:10).
We entered the Indy fast pass queue with no issue but it was definitely more crowded than this morning since we had experienced pretty much zero wait earlier lol. With the fast pass, I think we waited maybe 15 minutes or so which was nothing compared to the standby wait.
Aaaaaand then we walked back to the Arabian Coast, so we could stop at Sultan's Oasis.
And eat Chandu's Tail and a few other treats!
We continued through the Arabian Coast until we got to Mermaid Lagoon!
Having felt that we had seen enough of what Mermaid Lagoon had to offer, we started making our way back down towards the bottom of the park. My mom stopped to get a Mickey popsicle that she had enviously seen a few other people with earlier in the day.
Once again, we found ourselves walking through Mysterious Island
And through to Mediterranean Harbor where I sought out Biglitteria.
This is where we hoped to "win" the lottery to get reserved seats for the 16:00 Big Band Beat show! I wasn't extremely familiar with the process since Christa had entered on her own during the last trip, but it was simple to follow the instructions on the screen.
After exiting Biglitteria, we got held up by the 14:30 show of Crystal Wishes Journey and were able to see some of the dancers pass right in front of us.
My bf and I headed (once again) back to the Lost River Delta so we could use our Raging Spirits fast passes. My mom wasn't interested in riding it, so she and my father stayed in the Mediterranean Harbor area.
We still had two other fast passes (I got all 4 earlier and obviously my parents didn't need theirs), but since we didn't really feel like riding it again ourselves, we found a couple in the area to give them to. It was kind of hard to explain the situation (and actually, I didn't even try to use Japanese to do it), but they seemed happy to take them.
Wanting to meet up with my parents again and not having any other rides we wanted to get fast passes for (wtf already done at like 14:30), we walked to Fortress Explorations. This is technically part of the Mediterranean Harbor area but one of the entrances really seems like it's more part of Mysterious Island.
There is this large ship which has many different interactive components which my dad really liked. You can basically climb all over it and it's right at the edge of the harbor! If you can "fire" the canons by pulling their trigger string.
We spent a lot of time by the ship, but there are also so many other exhibits and parts of the Fortress to explore.
We had "killed time" at Fortress Explorations for as long as possible, and if my dad had his way, we probably could have stayed longer since we didn't nearly get to see every part of it, but soon enough, it was time to get to the American Waterfront and the Broadway Music Theatre, so we could get seated for our 16:00 showing of Big Band Beat!
Even thought it was only about 16:30 when the show was over, we were hungry so we decided to try a nearby restaurant that my parents had peeked at earlier when we were riding Raging Spirits - Ristorante di Canaletto.
As we exited the restaurant, we passed by the final showing of Crystal Wishes Journey with yet another large crowd of people!
In lieu of the fancy course dinner, we went to Café Portofino instead.
In contrast, it's more like cafeteria style where you move a tray along and pick what you want. I just ordered a regular (hot) dish, so I was given a coin to represent it for payment until it was ready. The service here was also more than expected though. Once we paid, a crew member would take our tray and put the necessary utensils on it based on what we ordered and then placed our dish when it was available. From there, we were responsible for our own tray picked our own seating (very much like a cafeteria lol).
By the time we were done, the crowd in front of Mediterranean Harbor was gone completely, and we had an unobstructed shot of Mount Prometheus!
The last item on my dad's wishlist was the Venetian Gondolas - another "ride" I hadn't done before. Imo, this one is a bit tricky because it constantly has to shut down between shows in the harbor and there aren't a ton of gondolas so the wait can be long. We went to check out the wait time, but once we saw how long the line was, we immediately dismissed it. Considering that the Crystal Wishes Journey show must have just ended, the line wasn't surprising though. I'm sure there were probably some people who were already waiting before the show even started (when the ride was shut down). In lieu of that, we decided to check out Port Discovery instead. [At this point, my bf had decided he had enough Disney magic for the day and just dug out to do his own thing outside the park for the rest of the day lmao.] We decided to catch the Electric Railway as we were getting too lazy to walk and there was just a short standby wait of 5 minutes.
We stepped foot in Port Discovery for the first time that day just a short while later and headed straight for remaining main attraction there - Aquatopia. (StormRider had closed a few days prior to our visit.)
The line splits in two and there are two separate areas of the ride. Honestly I had no idea what this ride was as it was temporarily closed during my last visit and didn't have high reviews. I actually thought it was like a water version of Autotopia with like a bumper car component where you could control the vehicle yourself.
There was hardly any wait, so my mom and I decided to get in line again immediately and we took one more quick ride.
Having had our fill of Port Discovery, we caught the Electric Railway (again with a short 5 minute wait) in the opposite direction.
We exited at American Waterfront where we planned to end our night.
These (Disney version of a sextant) statues were placed throughout the park in each of the different ports, each with a different character and color for the Crystal Wishes 15th anniversary celebration. There was a wand you could purchase that activated the lights, but you can also just place your hands at the correct point on both sides of the character to see the same affect for free. (Best seen at night!)
We had some time to kill before our final fast pass eligibility, so we went to check out the S.S. Columbia - another part of the park I hadn't seen during my last visit. It's a large ship at the edge of the American Waterfront with a restaurant and bar.
Having never been inside before, I didn't know exactly where to go and we ended up walking up and down the stairs looking for what you could "do" there besides eat and drink.
Actually, you want to check out the exterior of the ship. As you are approaching the stairs to go in, instead, turn to your right and walk down the "hall" to get to the deck area.
There's an additional level reached by exterior stairs. Our timing was great and we had a fantastic view of the park at sunset! I'm surprised I didn't see more people there.
Once we had had our fill, we left the boat and headed for the Toyville Trolley Park section.
and it was time for Toy Story Mania!
Toy Story Mania! has one of the best fast pass lines IMO and you get on the ride very quickly. My parents weren't all that excited about it and didn't know what the big deal was/why there was such a long queue. According to them, they had been on the ride previously at Disneyland and was eh about it.
That being said, after accomplishing that, we felt pretty much done, especially since the sun had set.
All that was left was a little shopping!
It was mostly my mom and I who were shopping actually. My dad just waited outside on a bench lol. We went through a few stores and made our way towards the exit as we looked for omiyage. By the time we were done, it was around 19:40 and although it was just 20 minutes until Fantasmic! (which I do recommend staying for if possible), we decided to call it a night, especially since we still had a few trains to catch before making it back to the hotel.
However, the way out, we had to stop to check out the ship near the globe at the entrance for the 15th anniversary!
And then we exited the park!
We went back to the railway to catch the Disney Resort Line and bought another one-way ticket.
We rode it one stop to get back to the "Resort Gateway Station" which is where you transfer to get to the JR lines at Maihama station.
(And we actually stopped briefly in Tokyo station on our way back to Shinagawa to pick up this Tokyo omiyage that my mom really likes.)
By the time we got back, it was close to 21:00 and not super late considering it took us around 40 minutes to get back, but I think we were all a bit exhausted and still had some packing to do, so the day didn't just end there lol. I would have liked to stay for Fantasmic! since it doesn't really involve anything except standing and watching, but we were able to beat the crowds out and were able to get back to the hotel 1/2 hour earlier.
All in all, another very full day, and the morning and even early afternoon involved so much walking back and forth throughout the park due to the fast passes. I was really happy that we were able to do many of the tasks on our wishlist and even could have left earlier in the day and probably still have been satisfied. Although there were still fast passes available and we had eligibility at 14:30, we just didn't feel the need to re-ride any of the fast pass rides, so we just stopped! That's really kind of amazing IMO lol.
Luckily, the crowds and weather were relatively mild. It didn't end up raining like many of the early weather reports claimed when we first started doing research, and I actually got a pretty bad sunburn on one of my exposed shoulders lol. We had no issues with our e-tickets and aside from a few very minor misunderstandings throughout the day, our entire park experience was pretty good!
Summary of the rides/shows from our day at DisneySea:
Arrive at DisneySea gates 1/2 hour prior to opening hours
Get Fast Pass - Tower of Terror - 08:50 to 09:50
RIDE - Journey to the Center of the Earth - 5 minute standby
RIDE - Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull - 5 minute standby
Get Fast Pass - Journey to the Center of the Earth - 09:30 to 10:30
RIDE - Tower of Terror - use fast pass
Get Fast Pass - Toy Story Mania! - 18:30 to 19:30
RIDE - Journey to the Center of the Earth - use fast pass
Watch Crystal Wishes Journey - 10:30 show
RIDE - 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - 5 minute standby
Get Fast Pass - Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull - 12:20 to 13:20
RIDE - Sindbad's Storybook Voyage - 5 minute standby
Get Fast Pass - Raging Spirits - 14:10 to 15:10
RIDE - Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull - use fast pass
Get Lottery Seat - Big Band Beat - 16:00 show
RIDE - Raging Spirits - use fast pass
Explore Fortress Explorations - no standby wait
Watch Big Band Beat show at 16:00
RIDE - Electric Railway - 5 minute standby
RIDE - Aquatopia - 5 minute standby
RIDE again - Aquatopia - 5 minute standby
RIDE - Electric Railway - 5 minute standby
Explore S.S. Columbia
RIDE - Toy Story Mania! - use fast pass
My (brief) top recommendations -
For rides, Journey and Indiana Jones are must do's. My dad really enjoyed Fortress Explorations (even being one of his most favorite parts of the park) and if you're into that kind of thing, definitely set aside a block of time for it. If you've never done Toy Story Mania! before, grab a fast pass if they're still available after you get your top priorities out of the way first.
Although they didn't wow-omg-blow-me-away, I would still highly recommend the Crystal Wishes Journey show (or whatever day time parade-ish show is available during your visit) and Big Band Beat. And please do stay for Fantasmic! if you have time. 20:00 was just a bit too late for us.
We didn't have any particularly great food experiences during our visit unfortunately and I'm not much of a food person myself anyway, but I do recommend understanding the menu before being seated at a fancy restaurant lol.
In general, have a plan for what you want to do! Arrive at least 1/2 hour before the park opens to be in a good position for entering the park and getting your first fast passes and top choice standby rides in. And use your fast passes frequently and strategically! Bring a water bottle and stay hydrated the best you can throughout the day.
I mentioned it a lot in this post and I didn't want things to be too repetitive but much of what was said (or wasn't said here) is probably due to what was included in my post about my November 2015 visit to DisneySea (and related: Planning for DisneySea)! Check it out to see my initial thoughts about the rides and shows including ratings, our schedule for the day and also an overview about ticketing, fast passes, the lottery, etc. I aimed to make that post particularly thorough since I wasn't anticipating blogging about DisneySea again any time soon, so it's a much better resource for general information!
Japan trip Spring 2016 posts
Part 1: Packing (Liz Lisa outfits) for Hokkaido to Osaka in May
Part 2: Arrival to CTS & Day 1 - Curb Market, Shiroi Koibito Park and shopping in Sapporo
Part 3: Day 2 - Nijo Market, Sapporo Beer Museum & Tanukikoji in Sapporo
Part 4: Day 3 - Exploring Otaru & experiencing the Hakodate Liner
Part 5: Day 4 - Morning Market, Red Brick Warehouses & Mt Hakodate in Hakodate
Part 6: Day 5 - Hokkaido Shinkansen & shopping in Tokyo and Funabashi
Part 7: Day 6 - Tokyo DisneySea
Part 8: Day 7 - Last minute shopping in Omiya and Tokyo & Tokaido Shinkansen to Osaka
Part 9: Day 8 - Kinkakuji in Kyoto & shopping in Osaka
Part 10: Day 9 - Utsubo Park Rose Festival, Namba/Shinsaibashi & departure from KIX in Osaka
Part 11: Liz Lisa shopping, purchases & coordinates
Part 12: Other shopping, purchase & coordinates
Part 13: Travel notes - Hotels, Luggage forwarding & Pocket wifi
✦ Japan trip Autumn 2015 posts
✦ Japan trip Summer 2015 posts
✦ Japan trip Spring 2015 posts
✦ Japan trip Summer 2014 posts