Here is my Tokyo Disney Sea trip report. We found that, just as on a previous trip, you can do almost everything in the park with no waiting on lines by using FastPass. I will give you the rundown on what we did. Our particular strategy was not important, but here is what we did so you can follow along. I hope this is useful to someone out there.
Cast of Characters from Washington, DC: Me (male, 54) DS 17, DD 13. First time for DD, but DS and I visited TDS 3 years ago, August 6, 2009. We made up our minds beforehand not to do Toy Story Mania. Have done it many times in Florida and twice in California. Had no plans on doing Turtle Talk in Japanese.
Monday, August 20, 2012
Arrived at 7:20am
Park opens at 8:30am
Journey (we did not run, most people running to Toy Story Mania)
DS Got FPs for TOT while we waited for Storm Rider (9:30am FP for 2:20pm entry)
Indiana Jones (Single Rider Line)*
Got FPs for 20,000 (11:30am for 1:35pm entry)
Got FP for Magic Lamp (1:30pm for 1:55pm entry)
20,000 Leagues with FP
Magic Lamp Theatre with FP
Won Lottery for BBB (applied at 3pm)**
Tower of Terror with FP
Big Band Beat (3:30pm show)
Duffy Show at Cape Cod Cookout
Got FP for Raging Spirit (4:50pm for 9pm entry)
Mystic Rythyms (5:20pm show)***
Made Reservation at Magellan (6pm)
Dinner at Magellan (6:30pm)***
Raging Spirit with FP
Leave Park 9:30pm (Park closes at 10pm)
Notes: The TDR Crowd Calendar anticipated a '40' day. The same as 3 years ago for us, but the park seemed much more crowded. 3 years ago we arrived 45 minutes before park opening, and there were fewer people waiting than today, a full 70 minutes before park opening. The summmer sun can be brutal. Bringing and using a parasol can save you a lot of misery. Why is it so important to get their early? In my mind, it means you get to wait in the shade. 45 minutes before the park opens, and you have to wait in the sun.
They were not doing single rider for Raging Spirit today.
*SIngle Rider for Indiana Jones is one of the best tips you can use. They will start you in the FP line, but just before the platform they will peel you off to wait in a special place. This could be a shorter wait than FP, PLUS THEY MAY SEAT YOU TOGETHER ANYWAY. If they see you are grouped together (in our case it was obvious) they probably will. We all rode togehter, so this was walk-on for us despite a 60+ minute standby line.
**Big Band Beat had empty seats. Everybody got in. The lottery was probably not essential, but my guess is you have a better chance by simply waiting to apply 30 minutes before the show. No one else was applying for the lottery at this time. None of the shows we saw were 100% full despite the parks being very crowded. In TDL, the line for the lottery was huge (to see the nighttime summer splash show in the Castle Courtyard). No way were we going to wait in the summer sun just to sign up for a lottery. Again, we waited until 30 minutes befroe showtime, no line whatsoever, and we won the lottery. Maybe we got lucky, but I think waiting in the lottery line is a waste of time and a lot of energy.
***Special props go out to Mystic Rhythyms which is a thoroughly unique, spectacular, and very Japanese (in tone) show. This could and would not exist in the US, as where Big Band Beat is more commonplace though highly entertaining. We got to Mystic Rythyms at 4:55pm, and we were among the first on line. This enabled us to get nice seats in the waiting area.
****So how good is Magellan? Not considering price but only food, this is not a restaurant that could survive in the real world. Where I come from (Washington, DC) it would be considered mediocre. Choice is very limited and service is super slow. It took us 35 minuted to receive our bread, and the entire meal would have taken us much longer if we didn't mention that we needed to see Fantasmic. We enjoyed the experience of sitting down for a long, air-conditioned meal in elegant surroundings after a tiring day of summer sun. But we barely got out of there in time to get a good view for Fantasmic. This is not nearly as good a restaurant as you would find at WDW.
We enjoyed all the attractions, all of them very well worth doing except, as 3 years before, Raging Spirits is missable. The best thing about it is the spectacular architecture which you see from the walkway. Even the queue is disappointing.
So there you have it. A great day in the park despite large crowds and sweltering heat. No waiiting on line, just having a lot of fun and enjoying the magic of Disney.