View Full Version : Is half a day at DisneySea enough?

04-07-2012, 12:44 AM
We're thinking of going to Japan this year, and we're looking at some tour packages. One is particularly interesting to us and it suits us budget as well, but it only features DisneySea for half a day because in the afternoon we'll need to move on to another town. Is half a day enough? We've never been to Japan before, so we've never been to any disney park there.

04-07-2012, 04:58 AM
No, DisneySea requires a minimum of 1.5-2 days in my opinion, and even then you probably wouldn't be able to do everything. However it depends what you mean by "enough", and whether you get there early (as in, before park opening) and how crowded it is.

Half a day is certainly better than nothing, but you'd have to think REALLY carefully about what to do in that time - you don't want to waste half of it in lines. Depending what you were interested in, I would try to hit a few of the highlights - Journey to the Centre of the Earth, 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, Tower of Terror, Indiana Jones, Sinbad - but only using Fastpass, Single Rider or if the lines are short. Definitely leave time just to wander around all of the park taking in the atmosphere and theming.

04-07-2012, 07:45 AM
I thought so :( I'm looking at the other package which gives us one full day at Disneyland and another at DisneySea, but this one is slightly over our budget. I've only been to HKDL actually, living in Asia and all. So I would love to get the most of it. At what time does the park open and close, and is it crowded in late June/early July?

04-07-2012, 01:00 PM
Can you maybe add on a few days at TDR before or after whatever tour you take? If you're a real Disney nut, you're not going to be satisfied with the time provided for TDR through a package tour.

04-07-2012, 01:11 PM
I think it really depends on what you want to do. I was there last Friday, March 30 (SUPER busy). I got there an hour before park opening, but did not get through the turnstiles until about half an hour after the park opened because of the thousands of people lined up to get in ahead of me.

I went straight for Journey to the Center of the Earth. Posted wait: 120 minutes. Actual wait I endured: 2 hours, 45 minutes. I should have looked harder for the FP machines there, but there were SO MANY people in the waiting area, and it's kind of dark--I couldn't find the FP machines (though I saw them when I exited!). The ride was good, but not worth that type of waiti IMHO. So it was nearly noon by the time I got off that ride, and by that time, most FPs were gone, and lines for other attractions were even worse.

So, yes, if you want to ride a lot of stuff, you need a full day or more. If you want to experience the beauty of the park and maybe ride one or two things, you can do that in half a day.

My experience was not typical though because I was there during the Japanese kids' spring break.

Oh, and see Big Band Beat and the Little Mermaid show. They're both really good and unique to TDS. Ask for the English translator for Little Mermaid. They have one--you just have to ask.

04-08-2012, 01:44 AM
1/2 day is not enough cause part of the problem is the crowd. Disney Sea is quieter than TDL but still best done with a rope drop in the morning to get fast passes and do a few things before the crowd becomes huge. And you want to stay in the evening to see the volcano and port area all lit up!

04-08-2012, 10:49 AM
I would love to extend but this trip already costs about US$ 2,000 per person for the one with half a day at Disneysea and about US$ 2,500 for the other one. We're a family of four, and I'll be traveling with my brother and both my parents, who might not be interested that much in theme parks. Actually they do enjoy rides that aren't too thrilling, and they even enjoyed that Transformer ride and Jurassic at Universal Singapore when we went there last month but when I mentioned to them the idea of spending more than 2 days in theme parks they didn't look too interested.

If it were up to me trust me I'd be spending more days in the parks lol I considered going there on our own without the tour but we don't speak Japanese at all and we concluded we're not that adventurous yet ;)

Anyway, thanks for the advices, I really appreciate it. I have several more questions though, can you take fastpass of multiple rides before using them? I mean, like do you have to use each fastpass before taking another?

Also, does anyone have any idea on how crowded would the park be around late June/early July?

04-08-2012, 11:40 AM
When you get a Fastpass, towards the bottom of it it tells you what time you can get another fastpass. This is usually either 2 hours after you got the Fastpass (if I remember correctly), or the time when your return window opens, whichever is sooner. You don't have to use a Fastpass before collecting another - so you can hold multiple Fastpasses at a time.

However, if you hold a Fastpass for a particular attraction, you cannot get another Fastpass for the SAME attraction until your return window ends, even though you may be able to get a Fastpass for a different attraction sooner.
(This is different to the other parks, and caught me out when I visited Tokyo). Details are here: http://www.tokyodisneyresort.co.jp/en/tds/guest/service/fastpass/index.html

As far as crowds, there is a crowd calendar here: http://www15.plala.or.jp/gcap/disney/. It's in Japanese so you'll have to use Google Translate or your browser's translate function to try to work it out. It shows that the crowds do not look too bad during the week, but they are obviously higher at the weekend.

04-09-2012, 10:46 AM
Be sure to check the school calendars, to make sure there isn't a break while you'll be there. School is year-round, so you don't have the Memorial Day to Labor Day surge we have in the US, but the crowds can be huge when there's finally a week-long school holiday.
We went as non-Japanese speakers, and didn't have a problem. We asked at the door for all the shows for the handheld translator. There's always someone who speaks English who's willing to help.
We were amazing by how spotless the park was, and how courteous the guests were. For the first time ever after visiting a theme park, I had no bruises on my shins from strollers!

04-10-2012, 01:32 AM
Thank you for the fast pass explanation. Looking from that calendar site it seems that it will be pretty vacant when we're there as it's in the middle of the week.

The translator is free, right? And where can I find school calendar?

04-10-2012, 08:46 PM
The last time I was there we we there all day and did not get to see everything. Watch out for golden week, ( of April/beg of May) it's crazy busy.

05-10-2012, 10:04 AM
It does depend on what you would consider 'enough'. I would take the chance to go there, since I think half-day is better than no-day, haha.

The first time I went to TDS (end of July, beginning of August 2009, I believe), my friend and I hadn't planned on going, but decided we couldn't figure out anything else to do, so we went and got a Starlight Pass (which is only valid after 3PM). We probably got there around 4 or so, but we were able to go on "Journey to the Center of the Earth", "20,000 Leagues", "Storm Rider", "Indiana Jones", "Raging Spirits", and "Sinbad", all without FastPasses (though there is no FP for "Sinbad"). I do admit that the ToT line was really long, which was partially why we didn't ride it.

Anyway, I do think it is possible to do half-day in TDR, if you have an idea of what you want to do.

05-16-2012, 07:31 PM
I've posted this before, so I know I'm in the minority (although there are some on my side!).

We visited DisneySea and saw nearly everything in a little more than half a day. It was crowded, but not insanely crowded. The only thing we really missed was the evening water show (can't remember the name off-hand).

That said, we then attempted to go into Disneyland for the second half of the day. It was INSANELY crowded there, and we saw very little.

My advice would be to not try to do both in one day. I do think (always based on crowds, of course) that you could spend a day and a half in Disneyland, and about a half day at DisneySea.

Of course, our goal for the trip was to see Japan. We spend about 2 weeks in the country, and saw incredible things. But we could have spent much more time. Four days in Tokyo didn't even scratch the surface. Disney was an important part of the trip, but it wasn't the only important part. There were other things to see rather than spending four days (which others recommend) at the Parks. I'll likely never get back to Japan, so we had to try to see as much as possible.

05-18-2012, 02:21 AM
If it were up to me trust me I'd be spending more days in the parks lol I considered going there on our own without the tour but we don't speak Japanese at all and we concluded we're not that adventurous yet ;)

I know this is the ugly American in me, but I've never had too much of a problem going anywhere and not speaking the language. Yeah, it is a bit more difficult, but you can pretty much get across what you need to in most situations. You can find out online what places have English translations, subtitles etc. Some of the shows don't, but from what I've read you can get the gist of it either way. Cities like Tokyo, where they've had the Olympics before, tend to be very accommodating to English speakers, because oftentimes they have both the Japanese and English written out at major points of interest, especially public transportation.

It's really up to you though. I've been struggling myself with the concept of spending most of my time in Japan at Disney. Yes, it is most of what I want to see there, as I live in South Korea right now, so I can see similar temples and shrines on day trips from my house, but I don't want to waste a trip to Japan. I know that everywhere has distinct cultures and their own things to offer as travel destinations. Originally, I wanted to go and spend close to 2 weeks in Japan and see quite a bit more, but we ran into some financial trouble and I'm having a hard enough time justifying going at all. As of now, I'm trying to work out a budget under $3000 for 2 adults and a toddler, and it's hard if I plan on traveling outside of Tokyo at all. The only thing that has me continuing to consider it is the fact that I hate jet lag and it will only be more expensive in the future. It would be 10 times easier and likely cheaper to do it from here with one child than it will be in the future from the States with possibly more kids. However, I'm giving up some of the other things I want to do. Maybe one day I'll be able to go back and do those things, but I don't know. It's hard to decide whether I should go now for a glimpse or hold off until I can do it justice. We're not doing a guided tour, because it's more expensive, and can be rough with a toddler.
I didn't make it to Disneyland Paris while I was in Europe and I'm having a hard time letting that happen with Tokyo Disney. At least the Paris park is considered the worst of the Disney parks...it's easier to justify skipping than the best.

Anyways, since you're already planning a trip to Japan, I think it's worth it to only do a half day at DisneySea. If Disney is a huge factor for you, then maybe it would be worth it to save up for a while longer, until you can afford to do more. Who knows? Your glimpse might make you decide that you want to return in the future.

Lynn CC
06-06-2012, 08:37 PM
If you can go midweek that would help with the crowds. The weekends are generally more crowded. I went with my son on Mothers Day 2011 to Disney Sea. They just opened up after the earthquake, we went during the week and the place was empty. So many characters wandering around and so much attention just for us! After we got off the monorail they were taking donations for the earthquake victims and were so grateful that we (foreigners) donated and were in Japan. We met a lot of grateful people while we were there during that trip. It was a very humbling experience.