Ranked: Maxon’s Top 20 Tokyo Disney Resort Attractions

Join me as we conquer another Disney resort ranked article here on Laughing Place. With a bucket list visit to the Tokyo Disney Resort now complete, I finally got to experience some of the amazing attractions exclusive to the resort as well as some of Disney’s classics. Between Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, Tokyo Disney Resort is easily my second favorite Disney resort behind only Walt Disney World. The resort feels very similar to the Seven Seas Lagoon area surrounding the Magic Kingdom. It has the convenience factor with a monorail connecting the major hotels with the theme parks, however, it is far more compact and easy to navigate in comparison. The hotels, minus their value resort, are on the monorail loop making transport to the parks a breeze. Efficiency was also a plus, with monorails coming as quickly as every 3 minutes. I do hope they bring back park hopping sometime in the future as there were rides I wish I could’ve experienced more. Let’s jump into my top 20 attractions at the resort!

While I had several days at the resort, I was not able to experience every ride and attraction. A few were down for refurbishment, while others I skipped prioritizing the Japan exclusives. Those attractions include:

  • Tokyo Disneyland
  • Tokyo DisneySea
    • DisneySea Transit Steamer Line
    • Venetian Gondolas
    • Turtle Talk
    • DisneySea Electric Railway
    • Toy Story Mania!
    • Caravan Carousel
    • Jasmine’s Flying Carpets
    • Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage (Closed For Refurbishment. I did not skip this on purpose.)
    • Magic Lamp Theatre
    • All Mermaid Lagoon attractions except Flounder’s Flying Fish Coaster
    • Fortress Explorations (Unfortunately, I tried to do this one, but it was entirely in Japanese so I don’t feel like it’s fair to include it on the list)

20. Snow White’s Adventures

Located in Fantasyland at Tokyo Disneyland, Snow White’s Adventures is a clone of the former Magic Kingdom attraction Snow White’s Scary Adventures. After over 13 years since its closure, it was great to relive the memories of being horrified by the Fantasyland dark ride as a kid. While definitely a blast to the past, it was a nice reminder that Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a far superior representation of Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs.

19. “It’s a small world

This fully updated rendition of the Disneyland classic was incredibly colorful, energetic, and wonderfully taken care of. While I am not the biggest “it's a small world” fan, this was an undeniably well done version of the attraction. The Disney characters were perfectly integrated, and I really look forward to seeing what the Marvel overlay coming to the attraction will entail.

18. Raging Spirits

This clone of Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril was much smoother than the French counterpart. While on the short side, this tiny coaster packs a significant punch especially for being a Disney coaster. I would compare the ride to Goofy’s Sky School with a loop. This is, by far, the most thrilling of the coasters at Tokyo Disney Resort. With a manageable wait time and a single rider line, this ride was really easy to get on in comparison to some of the headliners at Tokyo DisneySea.

17. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Located in the Mysterious Island area of Tokyo DisneySea, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a modern take on the classic Disneyland and Magic Kingdom attractions. I had previously only ridden the rethemed Finding Nemo: Submarine Voyage, and I was really looking forward to this ride. As a tall person, I’ve always struggled with Nemo, having to lean forward to see out the tiny porthole on the submarines. Unfortunately, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea didn’t solve that problem for me. It was intricately detailed and impressively immersive, but spending the entire experience hunched over did put the attraction lower on my list.

16. Monsters Inc Ride & Go Seek!

This Tomorrowland “shooter” style attraction was one of the big surprises for me. Located in Tokyo Disneyland, Ride & Go Seek! was a great interactive family dark ride. I would describe it as a less competitive and more whimsical version of Men in Black at Universal Studios Florida. Using a flashlight, riders aim at hidden monsters and targets throughout the attraction. I think this would be higher on the list if you were given some sort of score at the end of the attraction, however, the game aspect of the ride is really fun and intuitive.

15. Fairy Tinker Bell’s Busy Buggies

Busy Buggies, located in the new Fantasy Springs area of Tokyo DisneySea, was an adorable supporting attraction. Riding it had the same charm as Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train in the former a bugs land at Disney California Adventure with the oversized sets making you feel fairy-sized. The story of the ride centers around Tinkerbell as she prepares to celebrate Cheese the mouse’s birthday. Ending with a large animatronic of the adorable rodent, Busy Buggies is a really sweet little ride.

14. Big Thunder Mountain

Who doesn’t love Big Thunder Mountain? Located in the Westernland area of Tokyo Disneyland, the runaway mine train coaster is a Disney classic. While this one has some slight layout changes compared to the other versions of the attraction, it is still the rickety and thrilling “wildest ride in the wilderness.” The queue did get very steamy so make sure you bring water with you into the line.

13. Space Mountain

While an identical layout of Disneyland’s Space Mountain, the Tomorrowland classic holds up in Japan. Tokyo’s version of the attraction has a more sci-fi feel to it than the retro futurism vibes of the California clone, and it also doesn’t have any onboard audio. While the Michael Giacchino score is some of my favorite Disney Parks music, the darker nature of the theming in Tokyo Disneyland’s version made the roller coaster feel like an entirely different experience. To me, it almost felt like getting to ride Ghost Galaxy again with how eerie some of the lighting choices were. That being said, this version of Space Mountain will be closing forever in July, and I am very excited to see what Tokyo Disney dreamt up with their entirely new, entirely rebuilt version of the attraction coming in 2027.

12. Repunzal’s Lantern Festival

Repunzal’s Lantern Festival is a part of the new Fantasy Springs expansion of Tokyo DisneySea. While the ride is filled with impressive audio animatronics, it was disappointingly short and anticlimactic. With only a handful of show scenes, the ride never really lets you settle into the story. But with the well crafted “I See the Light” scene, it is hard not to want to ride the attraction again. I would compare Lantern Festival to Na’vi River Journey. I do prefer the latter attraction.

11. Splash Mountain

Located in the Westernland area of Tokyo Disneyland lies the last remaining Splash Mountain. It was very strange getting to ride this attraction again. While very similar to the flume ride formerly at Magic Kingdom, there were slight differences that made me prefer the Florida variant to this one. It is hard to ignore the history of this attraction while riding it, which is why it isn’t higher on my list. But this is still one of Disney’s best executed thrilling dark rides, and it made me even more excited to get to experience Tiana’s Bayou Adventure later this year.

10. Soaring: Fantastic Flight

This is easily the best themed version of Soarin’. Situated in the Mediterranean Harbor area of Tokyo DisneySea, this version of the flying theatre attraction takes on a new identity in the Society of Explorers and Adventurers. Inspired by Davinci’s flying machine, Soaring: Fantastic Flight immerses you farther than the American versions of this attraction. While simply a variation of the Soarin’ Around the World film, this version contains really great preshows and no banana Eiffel Tower. The attraction soars above the rest.

9. Aquatopia

Aquatopia is so weird and so fun. Planted in the waters of Port Discovery in Tokyo DisneySea, this take on the Disney Parks classic Autopia is a zippy journey to nowhere. It feels as if Luigi’s Rollickin Roadsters were set free to roam about all of Carsland. It uses trackless ride technology in the water, making it hard to tell where you are going to spin off next. Rockwork waterfalls and water jets make this synchronized swimming-like attraction so beautiful to look at. I would love to have something like this brought to other Disney Parks.

8. Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull

Tokyo DisneySea’s Indiana Jones Adventure is very similar to its sibling in Anaheim, CA. With a slight story change, guests are tormentanted by the artifact known as the crystal skull. This version of the attraction contains some really great effects, including a steam tornado, a smoke ring, and some really impressive lighting. Temple of the Crystal Skull also has superior detailing in the dart hallway and doesn’t suffer from dead space or strange pacing moments like Disneyland’s version does. It is a highlight of Tokyo Disney Resort.

7. Tower of Terror

This version of Tower of Terror is not themed to the Twilight Zone. With an original story designed for Tokyo DisneySea and situated in the S.E.A. universe, the theming on this version of tower was the best out of any version of the attraction. The story brings guests into the Hightower Hotel, where they are told the story of Shiriki, a cursed and stolen artifact collected by Harrison Hightower. Shiriki comes to life, plummeting Hightower down the elevator of his hotel causing him to meet his demise. The preshow and the attraction are far scarier than other variants of Disney’s iconic drop ride. Being a thrill ride enthusiast, I was expecting this ride to blow me away. However, it was not in my top 3 for two reasons. The first were the awful restraints that go over your shoulder like a car seatbelt, and the second was the ride profile. The drops are shockingly tame. If you have been on any other version of this attraction, it’ll be hard not to walk away feeling less than thrilled.

6. Country Bear Theatre Presents Vacation Jamboree

I was enthralled to hear that Vacation Jamboree would be playing during my trip to Tokyo. The overlay of the classic attraction happens every summer at Tokyo Disneyland, and has been the only place to experience this version of the show since 2001. While the show is mostly in Japanese, it didn’t stop me from having an incredible time getting down with the bears. I think I might have liked it more than the original Country Bear Jamboree. With the new version of Country Bears coming to Magic Kingdom this summer, this is now the only place guests can experience the original show as well.

5. Peter Pan’s Never Land Adventure

Peter Pan’s Never Land Adventure was my most anticipated attraction in Fantasy Springs. Located in Tokyo DisneySea, this experience uses a very similar ride system to Spider-Man and Transformers at Universal Studios. The 3D, motion-based dark ride is a screen-filled journey through Neverland. If I’m honest, I was let down after my first ride through. The preshow and ride have beautifully clear visuals, effective 3D, and it was impeccably designed. However, I didn’t feel like the ride had much of a story. After experiencing it a few more times, the attraction really grew on me. The flight scenes are exhilarating, the nostalgia of Peter Pan is overpowering, and I hope that Disney continues to build family thrill rides themed to their animated classics. Be aware, if you have motion sickness, this ride might make you sick.

4. Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Journey

Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Journey turned out to be my favorite attraction in Fantasy Springs. The show scenes were gorgeous, the animatronics were flawless, and I love a good boat ride. I will say, I was expecting this ride to blow Frozen Ever After out of the water. In some ways, Frozen Journey far exceeded Disney’s previous Frozen attraction with scale and animatronics being two very large factors. However, I found that Frozen Ever After utilized the turntable boat ride system more organically than this new iteration with the drops being a tad disappointing. There is a scene towards the end of the ride that skips over a huge chunk of the story that was reminiscent of the rushed ending of The Little Mermaid rides at the US Disney Parks. In some ways, I think this is a reminder that size and budget doesn’t necessarily make a ride better, but that’s not to say that Frozen Journey isn’t incredible. It is an undeniably well executed attraction with some of the most breathtaking show scenes in the World. Specifically that lift hill scene!

3. Enchanted Tales Of Beauty and The Beast

Enchanted Tales of Beauty and The Beast at Tokyo Disneyland blew me away. In what should be the modern standard for a trackless dark ride, this extravagantly immersive trip through the Oscar-nominated Disney classic can only be described as awe-inspiring. The preshow welcomes guests into the castle with two of the most realistic walking animatronics Disney has ever created. Immediately after, riders are welcomed into tea cups where they dance through the music of the film. Getting to spend so much time in each show scene was an incredible way to let guests sit in the events of the story. The transformation scene is even more impressive in person. It definitely leaves you choked up with nostalgia and Disney magic.

2. Pooh’s Hunny Hunt

Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, another Fantasyland trackless dark ride, is the epitome of fun. The fact that this ride wasn’t cloned to every Disney resort is a crime. The quaint, yet detailed attraction has riders spinning, dancing and smiling with all of the characters of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. With so many things to see, this experience was so much fun to re-ride. And it never got old. This was another highly anticipated attraction for me, and it absolutely lived up to the hype.

1. Journey to the Center of the Earth

Finally, my number one attraction in all of Tokyo Disney Resort is Journey to the Center of the Earth. The headliner of Tokyo DisneySea uses the same ride system as Test Track and Radiator Springs racers as it takes you through the fantastical places inspired by Jules Verne’s iconic novel. Riders will experience the sci-fi world of creatures that exist deep below the Earth’s crust. Climaxing with an encounter with the lava monster, the attraction zooms through the volcano, providing terrifying thrills and even a pop of airtime. It also has a gorgeously crafted score by Buddy Baker. With a very immersive queue, elevator preshow, and ride experience, Journey to the Center of the Earth succeeds at showcasing a world you never thought you’d see. It exceeded my expectations of what types of attractions Disney is capable of creating. With the attraction being 23 years old, I really hope Disney can return to what might be the best attraction ever created as a point of inspiration for the future.

I hope you enjoyed my recap and ranking of Tokyo Disney Resort. I highly recommend taking a trip out to Japan to check out this amazing vacation destination.

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Maxon Faber
Based in Los Angeles, California, Maxon is roller coaster and musical theatre nerd. His favorite dinosaur is the parasaurolophus, specifically the one in Jurassic World: The Ride.