If it's DisneySea, of course it's worth it. But, seriously, Disney World I'd like to talk about some things.
The question at stake here: Are the Disney theme parks worth their hefty ticket price? In my opinion, it's completely dependent upon what you're looking for in a park, and which park you're planning on going to.
Before I go any further, I want to make it absolutely clear that I have been to the following parks only, so I have a limited scope of knowledge:
Disneyland Anaheim, California , U.S.A.
Disney World, Florida, U.S.A.
Disney Sea, Tokyo JP (2 times)
Disney Land, Anaheim
My first time ever visiting a Disney themed park was when my middle-school orchestra performed in Anaheim. I, having never been to Disneyland before, was SO excited to have the chance to go with some of my best friends, and it was an absolute blast. I will never forget the day we were sitting in the airport playing a card game called "B.S."- a game based around placing cards in numerical order or trying to lie and 'B.S.' that you have said card- on the airport floor. When it got to one of my fellow classmates turns, he asked what card and someone cleverly said "11", flustered and clearly not paying attention, he put down a card and said "one 11"... being that there is no 11 in a card deck that was impossible. We all yelled out "B.S." at the same time, I'm quite fond of that memory.
Throughout that trip, I was surrounded by my closest friends and constant chaperoning (I was only 14 years old at the time!), but to say I had fun would be an understatement. What more could a middle-schooler ask for than sweets, their friends, sleepovers in a hotel and Disney! I'll attach a photo below here.
I'm forever thankful for my first ever Disney experience, but truth be told more than anything it was the people that made it so great.
Now onto Disney Sea, Japan
To say I had no idea what I was walking into? A massive understatement.
When my Aunt first told me of Disney land and Disney Sea, I had only ever heard her when talking about it. So, me not knowing anything assumed it was Disney "C", i.e. the first Disney being A? Something else- of what I had no idea- being B, and thus my options were Disney A or C. I thought that until we went and actually bought the tickets at a shop in Sunshine City, Ikebukuro that the tickets were actually supposed to be for the Disney C...not my brightest moment.
Disney Sea is the kind of magical place, I imagine when I think of what Disneyland should be. The park is different in so many ways from Disneyland, they are like day and night.
At DisneySea, the park is spaced out brilliantly, in a way that hardly ever makes it feel overcrowded. This of course is a huge difference if you've ever visited a Disney park and been shoulder to shoulder with a total stranger. Some people may not mind that, but I don't like to be in large crowds or feel boxed in so this was a plus for me.
Another HUGE difference is the FOOD! If you've done any research around visiting the Disney Parks in Japan, make sure that you know the food options ahead of time so that you can grab the best snacks. From chili flavored popcorn to sweet, mochi creme-filled monsters, they really do have something for everyone to enjoy.
Check out this article for the BEST DisneySea Snacks
Something else I love about Japan are the single rider lines. If you don't mind riding separately from your friends, you can often skip lines of upwards of 120+ minutes, and breeze through them in as little as ten. Plus, how often do you really talk to your friends when you're on the ride? So naturally being a slightly impatient person, I opted to go through the single-rider lines my second time visiting Disney Sea and in hindsight, it really was the best decision. By choosing the single-rider lines, you save time, giving you more opportunities to explore other parts of the park and food.
Last, and certainly least, DisneyWorld.
To be 100% honest, a lot of what prompted me to write this post in the first place was my negative experience at DisneyWorld.
Being that I had already attended multiple other Disney parks, I assumed that I would love DisneyWorld. I had colleagues who told me it was their favorite park, so I was really looking forward to it and prepared to be blown away. Needless to say, I wasn't blown away by anything other than how inferior Disney World was to my other three experiences.
On the way into DisneyWorld you have two options, either to ride the tram or to take the ferry. I opted to take the tram firstly, and after waiting a few moments we got onboard and were transported away to DisneyWorld.
My experience at Disney World was sub-par at best, the food options were far and few in comparison to the creative- and delicious- ones available in Japan. However, to be honest most food options everywhere in the States in my opinion aren't typically as tasty as those in Japan so maybe I'm a bit biased.
However, the queues were IN-SANE. I'm talking almost every ride aside from the Winnie the Pooh having a line of over 90 minutes. Often times we would get in the line and wait a few minutes realizing just how long we would be waiting, and would leave. After already paying so much for a ticket, you hope to at least experience a few of the major rides the park is known for. Unfortunately, we really only got to ride one- Space Mountain. Admittedly, this ride was wicked cool, but still didn't makeup for our inability to really experience the park.
After arriving at Disney World, I thought it was rather odd that we needed to take a special lift into the park, but the thought of how we would leave the park didn't even cross my mind. This is where my nightmare started. If you hate crowds like me, when you know something is about to end you probably make a beeline for the closest exit. Well, with Disney World being it's own separate place, the only way back are the two options you were given when you came in: tram or ferry. As thousands of people headed towards the exits, my experience quickly turned downhill. As you can probably imagine, every person there is trying to make the next ferry or the next train. However, purely due to capacity issues, the park isn't able to deal with the amount of people attempting to leave all at once.
That's why the chaos ensues, from a lack of planning on Disney's part for a more efficient system that doesn't have you waiting shoulder to shoulder for a boat for an hour. How do we know this? Well, because Disney has other parks were you can leave without being physically being stuck. For someone who get's anxious in crowds, this was really my worst nightmare, sponsored by Disney.
Overall, I believe that DisneySea is the best value for what you will pay. The food, lines, and park are all well thought out beyond that of the Original U.S. Disney parks.
(On a young professional's budget)