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A tour of Tokyo DisneySea: Mermaid Lagoon

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Published: December 28, 2011 at 7:19 AM

Today, we continue our look at Tokyo DisneySea with a visit to Mermaid Lagoon.

Approaching Mermaid Lagoon from Mysterious Island, I saw another impressive mountain-like facade, inspired by King Tritron's undersea kingdom from the film that revived Disney's animated film division: "The Little Mermaid."

Ariel and Flounder, at the entrance to Mermaid Lagoon.

All I knew about Mermaid Lagoon before visiting Tokyo was that one of its rides - Jumpin' Jellyfish - was also at California Adventure, and it was one of my daughter's favorite rides when she was younger. So when I saw the facade for Mermaid Lagoon, I expected to walk through it and see another California Adventure-like outdoor setting for Jumpin' Jellyfish and its accompanying rides.

Not even close.

Immediately inside the passageway stands King Triton, on his way to a royal proclamation:

Triton's royal proclamation in Mermaid Lagoon, with a Christmas twist.

And just in case you didn't yet know where you were heading, a sign proclaims:

Sign at the entrance to Triton's Kingdom at Mermaid Lagoon.

Triton's Kingdom isn't just some kiddie land. It's a wildly themed underwater world. That's right - a complete indoor theme park land.

Inside Triton's Kingdom at Mermaid Lagoon.

Take a look at the ceiling detail.

Ceiling detail in Triton's Kingdom at Mermaid Lagoon.

The rides inside Triton's Kingdom are kiddie fare, sure. But in such an imaginative setting, who cares? Go for a spin in The Whirlpool:

The Whirlpool

Or fly by in the Blowfish Balloon Race:

Blowfish Balloon Race

And, of course, you can't forget a ride on the Jumpin' Jellyfish:

Jumpin' Jellyfish

If your kids want to burn off some excess energy after waiting in line for those rides, take them to Ariel's Playground:

Ariel's Playground

For grown-ups, the only attraction beyond watching your children play is the Mermaid Lagoon Theater, featuring Ariel and friends in "Under the Sea."

Mermaid Lagoon Theater

I'd mistakenly thought that this would be similar to the Little Mermaid show at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida. Wrong again. Tokyo's Little Mermaid show replaces Florida's puppets with a Cirque du Soleil-style aerial acrobatic show, performing popular tunes from "The Little Mermaid." Here's a clip I found after I spaced recording the show:

Hungry yet? Given that The Little Mermaid features one of Disney's best songs about food ("Les Poissons," second only to "Be My Guest," I'd vote), you'd expect a themed restaurant down here, and - as usual - Tokyo DisneySea delivers. But it's not Chef Louis' restaurant, it's Sebastian's Calypso Kitchen:

Sebastian's Calypso Kitchen

Sebastian's Calypso Kitchen

As far as I could see, the Seafood Pizza does not appear to include crab. Sebastian is safe! :^)

Mermaid Lagoon extends "above water," outside Triton's Kingdom, with Flounder's Flying Fish Coaster and the Himalaya-like Scuttle's Scooters, though - let's face it - darling it's better down where it's wetter, under the sea.

Tomorrow, we'll cross the water again, over to Arabian Coast.

Also on the tour: History, layout and Mediterranean Harbor, Mysterious Island, Lost River Delta, Port Discovery, American Waterfront

Readers' Opinions

From 184.91.242.123 on December 28, 2011 at 8:28 AM
I was in Tokyo but unable to visit this. I have friends who worked there as the characters too. The reason I like this write up is because I also perform as a Realistic Mermaid. Love, MermaidMelissa dot com
From David Sutter on December 29, 2011 at 5:48 AM
Ok Im inpressed.
From Tim Hillman on December 29, 2011 at 8:17 AM
What's got you impressed, David?

Is it Mermaid Lagoon? or

Is it Robert's article about Mermaid Lagoon? or

Is it MermaidMelissa's use of this article for shameless self-promotion? ;>)

From Joshua Counsil on December 29, 2011 at 9:08 AM
So... basically, Tokyo DisneySea is the brainchild of Imagineers without budget constraints. Even their cheesy mermaid show looks better than ours.
From Tim Hillman on December 29, 2011 at 12:12 PM
I think the Imagineers are pretty proud of DisneySea, Joshua.

When I visited the park a few years ago, I ran into one of the members of the development team and his wife, and had a very pleasant conversation with them. (In a park filled with thousands of asians, the few westerners tend to gravitate towards each other, and you have conversations that you would never have in American parks.) They were on their 108th visit (or something close to that number) to the park since it had opened and were just as enthusiastic as the first time.

By the way, they were also very aware of Theme Park Insider.

From James Rao on December 29, 2011 at 11:01 AM
The setting is truly amazing, but the rides are too "midway" for my taste. Add in some attractions befitting of the environment, and you have themed perfection (perhaps Pandora will fill that bill?).

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Previous article: Theme Park Insider's 2011 Year In Review - March



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