Discussion in 'UK Trip Reports Board' started by dolphingirl47, Jan 31, 2018.
OMG, I NEED to go to Tokyo. The resort is beautiful!
Jill in CO
It is definitely beautiful, but it can not even begin to compete with Shanghai Disneyland.
Sounds like a lovely day in TDS. You really had very low crowds!! ToyvStory never had less than 120 minutes wait when we were there!
However, I cannot agree with your preference for Shanghai over Tokyo!!
I've heard that Tokyo Sea is the most amazing Disney park! The rides look interesting and ToT even looks like it should be ToT even though the building is so different. Nice that you enjoyed F! and got to do just about everything you intended!
That just shows how utterly spoiled I am. I found the crowd level to be very miserable. I have been at Walt Disney World for 4th July and Thanksgiving, at Disneyland for Thanksgiving and Disneyland Paris for Christmas on a number of occasions and the crowds during those peak times were nowhere near as bad as the were in Tokyo on a supposedly low crowd day.
Fortunately we are all different. Shanghai Disneyland is my new favourite park. I was seriously tempted to go back in June, but there is more unfinished business in Beijing than there is in Shanghai so this won out. At least I will get to see the final Disney park that I have not been to yet on this trip p.
It is definitely a very unique and beautiful park.
This day we had a slightly earlier start as Graham was going in search of Mount Fuji. I was heading for Tokyo Disney Resort again and this time I was checking out Tokyo Disneyland. We got up at 7:30 and got ready. We then headed down for breakfast. On the way, Graham picked up and interesting leaflet. It turned out that there is an airport express bus to Haneda that picks up right in front of the hotel. That took care of how we would get to the airport the next day. Then it was time for breakfast. Graham got some scrambled egg, sausage and bacon again, but I headed straight to the good stuff, the Pho. I was a bit more adventurous and added some chicken and beansprouts to me noodles and broth. I also topped it with roast onions again. I had some more of the lovely acerola soda and got Graham some orange juice while I was there. Graham had some pastries and some more of the macadamia cream. I decided to try this as well as I lover anything macadamia. This one was not a hit with me though as it had tapioca pearls in it and I hated the texture. The coconut cream eclairs that I picked out at the same time were a hit though. I had a second helping of Pho. I really fancied some of the Vietnamese chicken curry, but did not want rice. So, I boiled some noodles to go with it and that actually worked really well.
After breakfast, we went back to the room to get what we needed for the day. We went downstairs together and then went our separate ways. I was earlier that morning and hit peak rush hour. The train was pretty full when it got there, but there was definitely space to get on and at that stage, it was comparable to rush hour traffic in the UK. At the next station, more people got on and I was thinking that you could not even fit a piece of paper in amongst the people. Then another half a dozen or so people got on. I was actually lifted of my feet by the people crowding in. Fortunately, the train started to empty out shortly afterwards and the train heading towards Tokyo Disney Resort was not busy at all.
Pretty much as soon as I got on the platform at the Resort Gateway station, the monorail pulled in. Disneyland is the next stop and I actually made it to the entrance just before opening. They do not let anybody in even a second early and there were a lot of people waiting at the entrance. There were cast members there directing people to turnstiles that were less busy, but it still took a little while to get in once the park opened. They had a nice Christmas scene set up near the entrance and I had every intention to come back later to have a proper look at this and take some photos, but I never did.
I just walked through World Bazaar, but in this case, I came back to explore later. For now, I had business at Tomorrowland. My wait time app showed a 15-minute wait time for Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. I have always had a soft spot for this ride. I could not imagine being in a park that features it and not riding. 15 minutes sounded good to me. I don’t think the ride was operating yet when I got there, and the wait was definitely longer than 15 minutes, but I am still glad I did it. As I was at Tomorrowland anyway, I thought I may as well do a ride that is totally unique to Tokyo Disneyland and was one of the 4 must do attractions for this day. Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek! is kind of a similar concept to Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. There you have torches and you use them to find hidden monsters. I had to wait about 30 minutes for this, but it was well worth it. Once we were inside the building, there was also quite a lot to see so it did not feel as long. It is a very cute ride and I wish that they would include this in some of the other parks around the world.
On the way out of Tomorrowland, I stopped by Tomorrowland Terrace to try another unique snack. I had read before the trip that they had a melon soda sugar churro there and curiosity got the better of me. It looked rather strange but was actually pretty tasty. I wandered around for a bit to get a feel of this land. I have to say with the exception of Disneyland Paris, I have never really rated Tomorrowland as it always seems a bit bland to me. Well, Tokyo Disneyland seems to be taking this to another extreme. After being treated to all the stunning attention to detail at Tokyo Disney Sea the day before, this was doubly disappointing.
I retraced my steps back towards World Bazaar and stopped at the hub to take a photo of the castle. I also found a couple that looked like they may speak English to ask them if they could take a photo of me and Flat Jacob. They were happy to help me out. Flat Jacob came to me from a special needs class in the USA to be my companion on some of my travels. Then I crossed into Adventureland.
Adventureland at Tokyo Disneyland is a two-part affair. The part closest to World Bazaar is very similar to New Orleans Square at Disneyland. The names of most of the venues is identical to the Disneyland version, but the menus are very different. I stopped by Royal Street Veranda to get myself a drink and drinks was pretty much all they had apart from a couple of seasonal sweet snacks. I tried the Kirin apple tea soda, which was very unusual, but tasty and refreshing. I had a wander around the New Orleans Square area while I enjoyed my drink. I had to smile when I came past number 33 Royal Street and there was something missing. Instead of Club 33, there was a shop in that location. There is a Club 33 in Tokyo Disneyland, but that is in an entirely different location.
As I walked past Pirates of the Caribbean, there was an advertised waiting time of 10 minutes. Although I had not planned to ride this, with a waiting time like this, it was too good to pass up. The ride is housed inside a New Orleans mansion and part of the line reflects this as this takes you through the lobby of the mansion where various portraits are displayed. The ride itself is pretty similar to the Disneyland version, but it is shorter and only has one drop. The main difference apart from the length and number of drops is that once you clear Blue Bayou, you came to the treasure chamber with the skeleton before you enter to ride proper. I am pleased to report; the redhead is still alive and well here.
Once I had finished the ride, I had a quick look around the shops and then I entered the second half of Adventureland. This is pretty similar to the US parks. I was for a second considering giving Jungle Cruise a try as the waiting time was pretty reasonable, but I figured that this would probably be pretty boring if you cannot understand the corny jokes. So, I moved on to The Enchanted Tiki Room: Stitch Presents "Aloha E Komo Mai!”. Now, I have to say that I am not exactly a fan of The Enchanted Tiki Room. This is taking corny a little bit too far for my liking. Normally the closest I get to this is the Dole Whip counter nearby. There is no Dole Whip to be had at Tokyo Disneyland, but as this features Stitch and am a huge Stitch fan, this had a certain appeal. The fact that it was indoors in a headed building also had a certain appeal. There was a show in progress when I got there so I had a short wait. It was a lovely surprise that the stone benches in the waiting area were heated. Pretty much as soon as I had sat down, a cast member approached me and passed me a laminated piece of paper. This introduced a device that would provide English subtitles for the show. She gave me some time to read and then she collected the laminate and handed me the device. Shortly afterwards, the door opened and we could go in. The device did not offer a word by word translation, but the subtitles translated the key parts so that you could follow what was happening. I don’t know if it was the addition of Stitch or if it is actually a blessing not being able to understand everything, but I actually quite enjoyed the show. I handed the gadget to the cast member at the exit and then I was on my way again.
When I left the attraction, I checked out the two nearby popcorn carts in the hope that they had a Stitch popcorn bucket. Popcorn is a huge thing at Tokyo Disney Resort. Every location has special novelty popcorn buckets and there are a bunch of unusual flavours. I had seen Stitch popcorn buckets before the trip and also around the parks, but unfortunately, I did not find one for sale. The thing is, I don’t even like popcorn, but due to the combination on how cute the Stitch popcorn bucket is and the unusual flavours, I was seriously tempted. Sure, you can get the usual salted and caramel popcorn, but there are a bunch of other options. Both parks offer curry and milk chocolate popcorn. Tokyo Disney Sea also offers black pepper, herb-tomato, garlic shrimp and blueberry options and Tokyo Disneyland features soy sauce and butter, barbecue and honey versions. I was the most tempted by the soy sauce and butter or the honey version even though I normally don’t even like honey.
I pushed on towards Westernland, which is their version of Frontierland. Big Thunder Mountain was one of the rides I had intended to do, but with a 110-minute posted waiting time, I passed. I like this ride, but I was not going to wait nearly two hours for a ride that I have done a lot at multiple parks. I had also read before the trip that the version here is very similar to the one at Magic Kingdom, which is my least favourite version. I pushed on towards the Country Bear Theatre. Now, discounting the out and out thrill rides, there is only one attraction that I dislike more than The Enchanted Tiki Room and that is The Country Bear Jamboree. To me, this has gone the wrong side of corny and is downright embarrassing. So normally, I would have given this a very wide berth. However, they have a Christmas version of the show called Jingle Bell Jamboree, which was recommended to me. It also took place in a heated theatre and I could rest my feet for a while so what is not to like. I have to admit that I did enjoy it. I think that is another show that benefits from not being able to understand most of what is going on. It was also kind of amusing to listen to familiar Christmas songs in Japanese.
By then, it was nearly time for the main parade, which was shown at a very unusual time of 13:20. There was just one issue: I had no idea where the parade route was. On the entertainment guide, it just stated that this would take place along the parade route, but this was not marked on the map. I was studying this in the lobby of the Country Bear Theatre seeing if there was any hint at all. I must have looked thoroughly confused as a cast member approached me to see if she could help me. I told her that I was looking for the parade route. She beckoned me to follow her and pointed me in the right direction. It turned out that I was not far from the parade route at all. I found a pretty sweet spot as well and the parade started only a few minutes after I got there.
The main daytime parade is called Happiness is Here and is a combination of a very catchy song, amazing floats, interesting smaller vehicles and amazing costumes. The whole parade is a riot of colour and has a real upbeat vibe about it. Unfortunately, this will end next month and will be replaced by a new parade. I just hope that the new offering will be as good as the present parade.
While I was waiting for the parade, something really bothered me, but I could not put my finger on it. It was not the insane crowds although they did not exactly make me happy either. According to the crowd forecast, the two days I was there were supposed to be amongst the lowest crowds all year with 33 and 36 out of a hundred respectively. Well, I would hate to see the parks on a high crowd day. I have been to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World for Thanksgiving and multiple times at Disneyland Paris on Christmas and neither of them were anywhere near as busy then as Tokyo Disney Resort was on a supposedly low crowd day. Still, I had planned this from the start as a kind of “take time to smell the roses” visit so the crowds did not affect me to badly. Even with heavy crowds, my planned four rides per park did not present a challenge.
I was so captivated by the parade that I kind of forgot all about it. Once the parade had passed through, I decided to do something about lunch. I crossed back over to the exit to Country Bear Theatre. Right next to it is the Hungry Bear Restaurant. Unlike the restaurant by the same name at Disneyland, there is not a burger in sight here. Hungry Bears in Tokyo favour curries and I had a lovely pork katsu curry with rice and some iced oolong tea for my lunch. For a quick service meal, this was absolutely delicious and even the tea was nice. After lunch, I crossed over into Fantasyland. At that stage, I realized what had bothered me earlier. There was a building that obviously belonged to Westernland right next to a building that obviously belonged into Fantasyland with no transition whatsoever. In all the other Disney parks I have been to, they managed to somehow make them blend in. This really stuck out like a sore thumb.
I had a wander around Fantasyland and was not overly impressed, but the main reason for this was that there were building fences all over the place. Again, they did not even try to make them blend in. However, there were two specific reasons for being in Fantasyland and I was soon heading towards the first one. Pooh's Hunny Hunt was one of the main reasons why I always wanted to visit Tokyo Disneyland. This is a truly unique attraction and I had only heard good things about it. The posted waiting time was 50 minutes and for this ride, I was more than willing to wait. The line was quite interesting as well. The outside was themed like a garden and once you got inside, you went through Christopher Robin’s bedroom before being literally in the book. While I was still in the garden part, I got a sudden coughing fit and somebody who was just in front of me kindly gave me a couch sweet. This did the trick. In the end,I did not wait anywhere near 50 minutes. I think it was just over half an hour. The ride was every bit as amazing as I had expected. It uses the same trackless technology that has since been introduced at Walt Disney Studios in Paris for the Ratatouille ride. However, unlike Ratatouille, this ride has physical sets rather than using 3D technology. It also has some cool special effects. At one stage, you actually bounce with Tigger.
Once I came out of the ride, I still had some time until the Christmas parade, which is called Disney Christmas Stories. They do like strange starting times at Tokyo Disneyland. The afternoon parade had started at 13:20 and this was due to start at 15:40. So I decided to have a look around the shops. I had been asked to bring back some magnets for somebody back home and I wanted the same pins that I had got at Tokyo Disney Sea for Tokyo Disneyland as well. I did not have any luck on either count. I was once again amused how many different snacks they had in the shops. About 15:30, I went to find a viewing spot for the parade. I got lucky again and found a great spot just outside the Haunted Mansion. That meant that once the parade was finished, I was in precisely the right spot.
The official description is that the characters tell 7 stories of Christmas. I did not get this at all from the parade, but it is a very cute parade with a great soundtrack, some really nice floats, a lot of characters in Christmas outfits and dancers in very elaborate costumes. I really enjoyed watching it, but Happiness Is Here still had the edge for me.
My cunning plan paid off. While most people spread out across Fantasyland once the parade was finished, I just turned around and headed towards the Haunted Mansion. Now, I am a huge fan of everything Haunted Mansion and I like all its versions. For most of the year, Haunted Mansion at Tokyo Disneyland is supposed to be very similar to the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom. Although I still love it, this is my least favourite version. However, during the Halloween and Christmas seasons, this is transformed into Haunted Mansion Holiday. Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland is my absolute favourite version of Haunted Mansion and I have to admit that I have planned trips to Disneyland around the time of year when Haunted Mansion Holiday is operating. When I found out a month or so before this trip that Tokyo Disneyland has Haunted Mansion Holiday, I let out a happy little yelp. This made my shortlist of rides very quickly.
I headed towards the entrance to find out that there was a barrier between the path and the entrance. I followed the barrier and came to the beginning of the line. Essentially, they had turned the graveyard into a holding pen. I did not mind this at all as this gave me time to check out all the pumpkin decorations including pumpkin snowmen. People were released from this area in groups and then walked inside the barrier to the actual entrance of the attraction. Once you were there, the waiting time was very short. Soon I was outside the entrance to the mansion itself and this was when I noticed that the ride here is called Haunted Mansion Holiday Nightmare according to the plague by the door. The ride is very similar to the one at Disneyland. The main difference is that the gingerbread house in the ballroom scene is missing and they do not have the Hatbox Ghost. I thoroughly enjoyed this.
I would have loved to go around again, but I figured that this would be cutting things a little fine for the next show I wanted to see. I walked away and headed towards the hub. I had a wander around this area, which had various Christmas decorations including a quite elaborate Christmas scene. Then I went to stake out a spot in from of the castle. Tokyo Disneyland really likes their strange timings. Disney Gifts of Christmas was due to start at 17:35. I wonder what is wrong with 17:30. Disney Gifts of Christmas used projection mapping technology on the castle and is themed around Disney characters bringing Christmas gifts. It is a very cute show and I was so captivated by it that I did not even think to get my phone out to take photos. This was the first year the show was shown in Tokyo Disneyland and it will be introduced to Magic Kingdom for the next holiday season. I would definitely recommend it.
When the show was over, I was essentially done. My feet where hurting and it was a little chilly. However, there was something left on my to do list. I was considering for a moment to use the time I had to hop on the monorail to go to the Bon Voyage shop, which is between resort gateway station and Maihama station. I was still hoping to get my Christmas Shellie May, and this is kind of their version of World of Disney. However, I was not sure if I would come back I left the park and I gave up on this idea. Instead I had a closer look at World Bazaar and browsed in some of the shops. I found a shop selling Pandora charms and found out that there are no Tokyo Disney Resort exclusive charms. I was quite disappointed by this. My Pandora bracelet now includes a Shellie May charm, which is a Disney Parks exclusive rather than a Tokyo Disney Resort exclusive, but I do associate her with Tokyo Disney Resort. I also have a Japanese doll on my bracelet to represent Japan in general. I had more luck finding the pins I wanted and also the magnets I was trying to get for somebody at home. I even managed to find the entrance to Club 33 on my wanders, which is around the back of World Bazaar.
After my tour around World Bazaar, I headed back into Tomorrowland. I decided to get snack and a drink at one of the counter service restaurants there to warm up and take the weight of my feet. I think half the population of the park had the same idea. The place was absolutely packed, and I soon gave up on that idea. I tried to figure out what to do next. With hindsight, I should have circled around to Haunted Mansion Holiday Nightmare. However, this did not even occur to me. Instead I got in line for Stitch Encounter. This is pretty similar to Turtle Talk with Crush. It was all in Japanese, so I did not understand a word, but it was warm, I could sit down for 15 minutes and it involved Stitch. I may not have understood anything, but it was a lot of fun watching people’s reactions while they were interacting with Stitch.
After this, I got myself a green tea ice cream from the ice cream parlour near the entrance to World Bazaar. Unfortunately, all the seats were taken so I found a bench in a sheltered spot outside and sat down for a while. About 19:15, I went to find myself a viewing spot along the parade route near World Bazaar. I intended to make a quick exit as soon as the parade was over. The parade was Main Street Electrical Parade Dreamlights. As a rule, I am not a huge parade fan, but I have always loved the night-time parades. My favourite is Paint the Night and as much as I enjoyed Main Street Electrical Parade Dreamlights, Paint the Night is still my favourite. Main Street Electrical Parade Dreamlights was still absolutely amazing though and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This was the Christmas version and I not sure how different it is from the normal version. I assume that there is not a lot of difference between the two. I will let the photos to the talking.
As soon as the parade was finished, I exited the park and headed for the monorail. The trip back to the hotel worked like clockwork with all trains turning up pretty much as soon as I got to the respective platform. While I was traveling back to the hotel, I realized that this was the first time ever that I was not at least a little bit upset when leaving from a trip to Disney. Part of it was probably down to the fact that I would be a Shanghai Disneyland only two days later. Still, when I did my back to back trips to Disneyland and Walt Disney World in 2015, I was still upset when I left Disneyland on the last evening. Then it came to me. Sure, Tokyo Disney Resort has some truly unique rides and attractions and Tokyo Disney Sea is amazingly beautiful. However, I realized that the parks in Tokyo do not have a soul. I just did not detect the Disney spirit there that I can detect in most parks. I am not sure if this is down to the fact that the parks are not actually Disney owned. I am glad that I had the chance to visit the parks, but I do not feel the need to repeat this experience.
When I got back to the hotel, Graham was already asleep. He woke up briefly and we were chatting about what we had been up to that day. I then packed my suitcase again as we were due to return to China the next morning. Once this was done, I read for a bit and then I settled down for the night.
The parades were marvelous! I had to laugh at the Christmas tiki poles!
The parades in Tokyo are something very special.
What a fabulous day, wow! All those gorgeous parades and different rides. That was one of the best things of going out to DL in California, experiencing different rides. The Pooh ride sounds like so much fun, as well as the Monster’s Inc ride.
Popcorn is one of my favorite things, how wonderful to have all those different popcorn flavors
Glad you were able to find some things you were looking to purchase.
Great pictures. Thanks for the exciting updates.
The parades were truly spectacular and I did really enjoy the unique rides.
I loved both of them. Hong Kong Disneyland has a ride that sounds like a hybrid between Haunted Mansion and Pooh's Hunny Hunt and I can't wait to try this.
I have never really got into popcorn, but I have to admit that some of the flavours called to me.
I was pretty happy with what I got.
Welcome. I am glad you are enjoying it.
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