Theme park hopping in Japan

G'Day Japan! / Entertainment / Theme park hopping in Japan

Leah, her two children and partner visited Japan for the very first time over Easter break 2017. During their holiday they visited Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. And in each city, they visited one theme park: Tokyo DisneySea, Universal Studios Japan and Toei Studio Park

‘Before heading to a travel destination, each member of our family writes up a bucket list which we combine to make our family bucket list. When planning our first trip to Japan we discovered that each member of the family had different theme parks listed as our “ultimate destination”.’

There are tons of opinions and information available on these theme parks, so Leah felt that nothing could surprise her before heading off to Japan. What she found once the family arrived, however, was beyond any of her expectations.

Led by their 8 year-old daughter, the family fully immersed themselves in magic at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios Japan. ‘USJ blew our minds!’ says Leah.

Over at DisneySea, which was Leah’s personal pick, the family was especially surprised at the calibre of food available. ‘If you’ve been to a theme park in Australia or the USA, you probably have an idea in your head about what food will be available. Push all those preconceptions out of your head, as they are likely to be wrong!’ For the ultimate theme park dining experience at Tokyo DisneySea, Leah recommends booking a table at Magellan’s.

The family also visited Toei Studio Park in Kyoto, her 10 year-old son’s suggestion. This park is a real, working studio where many samurai-era films (‘jidai-geki’) are shot, and if you’re lucky, you can even witness the actual production of one.

‘Both our kids loved all three theme parks, and were resistant every afternoon to go home,’ Leah recalls. ‘The parks offered such different experiences that they always felt like what they were doing was new and exciting.’

Needless to say, Leah is sure she will be back at all three parks on the family’s next visit to Japan!


Leah Smileski

Leah is an avid traveller, educator and mother who squeezes adventures into afternoons, weekends and school holidays with her family as they go about fulfilling their Kid Bucket List quest. You can read all about their latest adventure in Japan at