This summer, take a wild ride on Soaring: Fantastic Flight and dance till the dawn with new stage show Song of Mirage.
Photographs by Samantha Francis.
It’s not just the happiest place in the world—Tokyo DisneySea is perhaps the most unique Disney park you’ll find in Asia and beyond.
As a start, the nautical-themed park located in Japan’s Chiba Prefecture is the unofficial home of Duffy, an adorable Disney Parks stuffed bear clad in a sailor’s suit. Originally created in 2002, the character was later aggressively marketed in DisneySea, resulting in its enduring popularity in Japan.
While Mickey and gang reigns in most Disney theme parks, Duffy is king here. Walk around and you’ll find visitors effortlessly coordinating their outfits to Duffy’s brown fur, alongside furry ears and colorful keychains.
Inspired by the tales and legends of the ocean, the park features a romantic Southern European port town, an Arabian coast, and a dreamy mermaid lagoon—home to Princess Ariel and her marine friends, and plenty more.
This summer, visitors are in for a treat thanks to newly launched attractions, programs, merchandise, and snacks across the 71-hectare park’s seven themed ports. In addition, an overarching theme of sparring Disney pirates ensures plenty of splashing good fun for warm days.
Here’s what to check out:
Ride Soaring: Fantastic Flight
The history of aviation may span more than two thousand years, but the Soaring: Fantastic Flight ride will take you on a journey of flight in just five minutes. Based on Disney Parks’ Soarin’ Around the World attraction, a flight motion-simulator found in Disney California Adventure, Epcot, and Shanghai Disneyland, DisneySea’s version offers Japan-exclusive scenes and visuals.
Designed to mimic the fictional Museum of Fantastic Flight, the ride’s waiting zone showcases murals depicting hot air balloons, bird-inspired wings, and plane designs. Watch as visionary innovator Camellia Falco invites one and all to take a ride on her latest invention, the Dream Flyer. Expect plenty of stunning visuals (think: the misty peaks of Mount Everest) and the realistic sensation of soaring through the skies.
Watch Song of Mirage
Energetic song and dance, topped with a generous dashing of gold at the end of the rainbow, is essentially what Song of Mirage is about. Replacing the now-defunct Out of Shadowland performance at DisneySea’s Hangar Stage, the new stage show follows Mickey Mouse and his friends as they embark on an adventure to Rio Dorado (Spanish for “golden river”).
The backdrop of the legendary gold city, coupled with the performers’ powerful vocals, resulted in a rousing live performance worth watching twice. Thanks to skillful projection mapping, the stage instantly transformed from an old garage to various magical landscapes in faraway lands.
Savor special snacks
Mala, the oily and numbingly spicy sauce, typically made with Sichuanese peppercorn, is the latest popcorn flavor available at DisneySea. While the spices used here are admittedly rather mild, the popcorn makes a yummy snack on-the-go, especially when placed in the eye-catching Soaring: Fantastic Flight-themed container. A small, translucent window at the cover reveals a tiny Dream Flyer plane soaring through the sky.
For mid-day munchies, make a beeline for the pineapple churros. Best eaten fresh, the piping hot fried-dough sticks were crunchy on the outside and soft within, with a tangy aftertaste.
Bubble tea fans won’t be disappointed by the the pineapple cooler with lychee and lemon pearls, which was refreshing and citrusy.
Other perennial park favorites include Toy Story’s Little Green Men mochi and smoked turkey leg.
When night falls, the spectacular Fantasmic! light show takes place on the waters of the park’s Mediterranean Harbor. Featuring Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, the world of Disney is recreated through his imagination, featuring characters like Aladdin and Cinderella. Gigantic water screens, lasers, lights, and even fire come together to bring these visuals to life for a show that’s truly photo-worthy.
Want to enter the park 15 minutes earlier than most park-goers? Consider booking a stay at any one of Tokyo Disney Resorts’ themed-hotels, namely Tokyo Disney Celebration Hotel, Tokyo Disney Sea Hotel MiraCosta, Tokyo Disneyland Hotel, and Disney Ambassador Hotel, for that special privilege.
To avoid crowds, try to buy your souvenirs before the end of the day, and consider queueing for rides at non-peak timings such as during lunch or dinner. Finally, don’t forget to grab the park map, so that you can plan your activities around the show timings, which are fixed on a daily basis.
More information here.