Best Disney theme park? DisneySea. It’s the unanimous response from the Disney community. Any time the mention of a 5th Walt Disney World theme park comes up; Disneyphiles usually go one of the two directions, a Villains Park or DisneySea. We’ve said before, it’s not a matter if, more a matter of when Disney will build another park. Could we see DisneySea at Walt Disney World? We’re slipping on our boat shoes, let’s set sail and explore the possibility!
What Is DisneySea?
Built around 7 ports of call (soon to be 8), Disney Sea is the second theme park at the Tokyo Disneyland Resort. Run by the Oriental Land Company, the “water” themed park is designed around notable ports of call. The park sits along Tokyo Bay, bringing the sea theme to a new level. From a full-size cruise ship to the largest of Disney built mountain, the park delivers on all levels, especially with its attractions.
Passholder Insights: Any expansions, changes, or updates to either Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea have to be approved by the Oriental Land Company.
Dubbed the best Disney attraction, Journey to the Center of the Earth is the flagship attraction at DisneySea. Built into the park’s icon, the mountain, Journey to the Center of the Earth leverages the same ride concept at Test Track at Epcot. It’s the must ride of all must rides.
The noteworthy attractions don’t end with Journey to the Center of the Earth. We may recognize one building as it’s one of the DVC Duo’s favorite Hollywood Studios rides, The Tower of Terror, but it’s far from the same. At DisneySea the Oriental Land Company redid the overall story of the attraction for it fit better with Japanese culture. The end product is one of the more intriguing and intricate Disney attraction stories.
DisneySea brings together a lot of the famous attractions from around the different parks, from Toy Story Mania to Indiana Jones Adventure, and even a new take of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and puts a truly unique spin on them.
Passholder Insights: The Oriental Land Company licenses the attraction ride systems and Intellectual Propriety’s (IP) from Disney.
DisneySea at Disney World
It’s why we’re all here. The question a lot of Disneyphiles ask themselves is why wouldn’t Disney World want to replicate DisneySea? On the surface, we couldn’t agree more. The park is beloved by everyone and has a theme not used at Walt Disney World.
When we start to peel back the layers, it becomes more obvious as to why DisneySea may not work in Florida. First and foremost, many of the ride systems used at DisneySea already exists at Walt Disney World just with different IPs associated with them. Journey to the Center of the Earth is Test Track, Indiana Jones is Dinosaur, and the Tower of Terror is the Tower of Terror, and the list goes on from there.
The second key aspect is how the Oriental Land Company factors into the equation. Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea are two of the only parks not owned and operated by the Disney Company. Yes, they use Disney IP and ride systems, but the Oriental Land Company owns the final ride design (unless it’s a clone of an attraction, like Toy Story Mania). What this means is Disney World could not reuse the ride concepts from DisneySea, they would have to create everything from scratch to make sure they do not violate their agreement with the Oriental Land Company.
Passholder Insights: The same will hold true with the new Peter Pan attraction and Frozen attraction being built at in the 8th port of call at DisneySea called Fantasy Springs.
What Could We See?
The Oriental Land Company does not own the sea concept. Disney World could reuse the theme on a 5th park. However, they would have to create all-new attractions and lands built around the sea concept. A sea concept could work and be a great compliment to the other Disney World parks and would bring a concept that Disney World has yet to see.
More than likely what we will see, and what we are already seeing is smaller aspects of the Tokyo Disneyland Resort making their way into Walt Disney World parks. From the one of a kind merchandise to the OMG that’s amazing flavored popcorn (if you like popcorn, definitely check out the popcorn cart outside of the Imagination Pavilion at Epcot, you can thank us later!)
What makes the DisneySea so great is how it’s the only one. Similar to Epcot, Disneyphiles can only experience the park in Tokyo. When Disney World gives the thumbs up to build another park, we’re guessing they’ll go a whole new direction. Each time Walt Disney World has expanded in Florida we’ve seen a brand new concept, from Epcot and Hollywood Studios in the 80’s, to the Animal Kingdom in 90’s. For now, we’ll have to point the compass due west (or is it, far east?), and set sail for Japan!