Japan houses 2 Disney parks – DisneySea and Disneyland – that are located near each other but offers a completely different experience. So the most common questions I keep hearing are where should they go and which park is better.
Tourists from all over the world (that includes me) would most probably include Disney in their itinerary, but most of them would only choose one due to various reasons: (1) they have limited time; (2) their budget is only limited to one; (3) or they are not much of a Disney fan.
Well, I am a Disney fan! I grew up watching Disney movies. I lost count on how many times I watched Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, etc. I memorized “A Whole New World”, “Part Of Your World”, and other musical pieces of Disney. That being said, I knew I had to visit the 2 Disney parks.
So which among the two is better?
Let me lay it down for you because my answer will depend on what you want to get from your visit to Disney. It really depends on your goal and your reason why you would go to Disney in the first place.
1. “I want something unique.”
If you want a unique experience, then DisneySea is your best bet. It is the only DisneySea in the world. You won’t find it anywhere else so don’t pass the opportunity to visit it. It’s not every day you get to fly in and out of Tokyo.
2. “I want the best parades and shows.”
Although DisneySea offers unique shows on water, I have to say Disneyland wins this feature by a storm. Oh my gosh! They have the best parades and shows I’ve seen so far. I also love the feeling that the parades were nearer to me (compared to those in DisneySea) because they happened on land.
I was so blessed that the park has 2 special events – 35th anniversary celebration and Christmas celebration – at the time of my visit. I was able to watch 3 parades – Disney Christmas Stories, Dreaming Up!, and Tokyo Disneyland Electric Parade Dreamlights – and 3 shows – Celebrate! Tokyo Disneyland 35 at the Castle forecourt, Brand New Dream fireworks, and the Bear Christmas Special. The kid in me was screaming inside! It was so magical, so dreamy, so enchanting, so fascinating, so everything!! If I lost all the videos I took, I will cry. 😂
3. “I want the best rides.”
I’m neutral here. Both theme parks offer good rides My favorites were Raging Spirits from DisneySea and Space Mountain from Disneyland. When you get to ride these, keep your eyes open. You don’t want to miss the fun part.
So aside from the best rides, what else do you want from Disney? If this is your only criteria, then you can choose either of the two.
4. “I want the most beautiful park.”
Beauty is relative. What might be beautiful for me not not be for you and vise versa.
I think DisneySea was patterned after the architectural layout of Venice, Italy. The canals, bridges, and buildings give off a European vibe. The color scheme definitely brings the whole theme to life. And since it is DisneySea, some areas definitely gave a nautical feel. Although every section has its own designs, they all have the same common denominator.
Disneyland, on the other hand, looks like your typical Disney park where there is a different theme per section – World Bazaar (where most of the stores are located), Tomorrowland, Toontown, Fantasyland, Adventureland, and Critter Country. The castle stands on the middle of the park as expected.
I believe both parks are beautiful in a different way. It’s up to you on what kind of beauty you want.
5. “I want to see as many Disney characters as possible.”
Are you familiar with Duffy, ShellieMay, and Gelatoni? I honestly haven’t heard of them until I came to DisneySea. I did a bit of research and found out that these characters did not originate from a movie. Well, I guess that’s why I never heard of them. The craze of these furry stuff animals in DisneySea was so surprising! People were wearing their merchandise. If you like these cute stuff animals, then DisneySea is for you.
My fandom was built on movies so I enjoyed Disneyland better. I saw all my favorite Disney princesses. I even saw Hiro and Baymax! If you want the classic Disney characters, Disneyland is your best option.
If you will ask me which among the two is better, I will choose Disneyland in a heartbeat. DisneySea is unique, but Disneyland is a classic. You know what they say, you can never beat a classic!
But then again, my answer is solely my opinion. Whatever you choose, just make sure you’ll have fun. After all, you will be at the happiest place on earth! 😂