Best Theme Parks in Japan: Disneyland vs DisneySea vs Universal Studios?

Best Theme Park in Japan Disneyland vs DisneySea vs Universal Studios

You are facinga delimma – Disneyland vs DisneySea vs Universal Studios. These three theme parks are so popular that they attract many visitors every year, both foreigners and locals. So which is the best theme park in Japan? If you are tight on budget or you don’t have time to visit all, this guide is for you.

Depending on what are you looking for, I compare these three theme parks in 5 categories.

Disneyland vs DisneySea vs Universal Studios – For Thrill Seeker

If you are someone who is looking for some exciting rides, awesome roller coasters and free fall experience, DisneySea is the best. The most well-received ride, Journey to the Center of the Earth, claims its place as a roller coaster masterpiece. Follow Captain Nemo on an exhilarating exploration through caves and forests, where you will arrive to the volcano pits to encounter the giant monster. The rides’ detailed artwork leaves riders in awe, naming this ride as one of DisneySea’s best attractions.

Best Theme Parks in Japan Journey to the Center of the Earth

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Disneyland vs DisneySea vs Universal Studios – For Beautiful Parade

Not a fan of exciting rides, but love to see the beautiful parade? Disneyland is your cup of tea. When Calvin and I went to Disneyland, it happened to be on Christmas Eve. In total, we witnessed two amazing parades, one in the day and one at night. In my opinion, the day parade is a lot more beautiful as you get to see every detail clearly.

Disneyland vs DisneySea vs Universal Studios day parade fun

Best Theme Parks in Japan disneyland parade 2

Disneyland vs DisneySea vs Universal Studios day parade

Oh yes, if you are bringing your children there, they will love Disneyland. The theme park is the most family friendly and there are so many rides the children can do.

Disneyland vs DisneySea vs Universal Studios parade night

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Disneyland vs DisneySea vs Universal Studios – For a Mix of Everything

If you are looking for a mix of thrill rides and lovely parade, Universal Studios Japan (USS) is the right theme park for you. Since the theme park opened its Harry Potter attraction – Wizarding World of Harry Potter, it has become even more popular. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter welcomes all fans to experience the well known magic fiction in real life. Although there is another wizarding world in Orlando, Harry Potter enthusiasts in Asia flock to visit this attraction.

Inside Universal Studios Japan Theme Park And USJ Co. Chief Executive Officer Glenn Gumpel Interview


Apart from the awesome attractions, USS also has very beautiful and decorative parade.

Disneyland vs DisneySea vs Universal Studios night parade

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Disneyland vs DisneySea vs Universal Studios – For Budget Goer

Believe it or not – the standard costs for these theme parks are almost the same! Each ticket costs around 7500 JPY ($70 USD), so you can really forget about saving money on the tickets. If you don’t have the budget to go for all three, at least go for one of them! Trust me, it’s the experience that matters, which makes everything worth it.

Best Theme Parks in Japan budget

Should you decide to go for both Disneyland and DisneySea, there will be a slight discount. The 2-day Passports which you can use to enter both parks cost 13,200 JPY ($120 USD).

Disneyland vs DisneySea vs Universal Studios – For Crowd Avoider

Oh well, I know it sounds lame, as avoiding crowd is the ultimate mission impossible. From my experience, the most horrible crowd appears in DisneySea. For one ride, we nearly waited for 3 hours! Luckily it was winter when we were there. If not the summer heat can really kill us!

Disneyland vs DisneySea vs Universal Studios

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Comparing to both DisneySea and DisneyLand, crowd in USS was a lot lesser when we were there a few years back. That was before the launch of the Harry Potter attraction though. So the crowd in USS could be a lot more nowadays.

Anyhow, don’t let the crowd deters you from visiting the best theme parks in Japan! It’s YOLO thing to do and the fond memories stay with you for the rest of your life. So have you made up your mind, which theme park you are going?



  • Never heard of Disney sea, but it looks so cool. I need to go to Japan, as soon as possible. I’m a big fan of attractions like these.

  • Francesca

    Honestly, I had no idea there is Universal Studios in Japan, and I’d never even heard of DisneySea! As an American who’s been to theme parks in the U.S. only, I think it would be an experience to visit any theme park – especially of the Disney variety – in another country. Add that to your assessment, I think I’d first opt for Disneyland.

    • Thanks for sharing! Yeah Disneyland is different in every country. I’ve never been to the one in US, I can’t wait too!

  • One of my favourite things to do at a theme park was to watch the US Disneyland electric light parade. Looking at your photos, I think I would love the Universal Studios parade (which is reminiscent of the old Disney parade). The Disneyland parade also looks interesting. I am not too much into the thrill rides, though.

    • Yes the Universal Studio parade is pretty old school like you said. And I love it very much too! Can’t wait to see the US Disneyland parade now 🙂

  • I had no idea about Disney Sea! Looks like Japan offers a lot of really awesome amusement parks to visit. We went through Tivoli which was the inspiration for Disney last month…but these ones blow it out of the water 🙂

    • I’m glad you had so much fun at Disney. You will enjoy your time at Disney Sea!

    • Yes Disney Sea is really quite something and I had no idea about it before going to Japan. Heard that they are building another Disney called Disney Sky or something

  • Nicole LaBarge

    I’ve always wanted to visit a theme park overseas. I didn’t get a chance to go when I lived in Japan. This is really useful and will check it out when I’m there next year.