There’s no real need to introduce any Disney Kingdom – the name alone implies a magical experience complete with thrilling action rides, live entertainment and lots of characters to meet. Tokyo Disney was the first Disney Kingdom to exist outside the United States, and pays fantastic homage to those original parks. Two themed parks and three hotels comprise the complex.
Tokyo Disney is the first park, and the place most visitors head first. The entrance gates lead straight onto the World Bazaar, primarily a shopping area but also the main intersection leading to different sections of the park. One direction leads to Adventureland, a jungle themed land hosting the famous Pirates of the Caribbean attractions. The other leads to Tomorrowland, home to the gleaming white Space Mountain, where visitors will be launched into the land of the future. Straight in front is Fantasyland, home to the iconic Cinderella Castle. Other key attractions are Big Thunder Mountain, where a driverless train takes visitors on a thrilling and chilling ride through an abandoned mine; and Splash Mountain, where a hollowed out logs takes adventure-seekers on a ride down a 16-metre waterfall.
The second theme park is Tokyo DisneySea, an ocean-themed park. Despite the themeing, only a few of the rides are water-based, so don’t expect to get drenched. A reproduction of Venice tempts is a key attraction, where gondoliers propel visitors through lifelike Venetian canals. Mermaid Lagoon is another favourite, based on Disney’s The Little Mermaid. This section of the park is more geared to young kids, with gentle rides and lots of friendly characters roaming around. Most of the attractions in DisneySea are unique to Japan, making it a completely new experience no matter how many Disney parks you have visited in the past.
The third section of Tokyo Disney is the resorts. Three Disney-branded resorts are on offer: the Disney Ambassador Hotel, the Tokyo DisneySea Hotel and the Disneyland Hotel, all linked to the theme parks – and each other – by monorail. Visitors can get to Tokyo Disney quite easily by train from Tokyo – the ride to Maihama Station takes about 15 minutes on an express train.