Epic Tokyo Disneyland Trip Report Part Three: DisneySea

Written by Rick Wright. Posted in Disney Parks, Features, Tokyo Disney Resort, Weekend Update

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ChrisNJ-Part-Three

Published on April 13, 2013 at 3:59 am with 28 Comments

I’m pleased to present Part Three of ChrisNJ’s incredible report on his trip to the Tokyo Disney Resort. In case you missed the first two parts, I suggest that you read them in order. Part One is here: Epic Tokyo Disneyland Trip Report and Part Two is here: Epic Tokyo Disneyland Trip Report, Day Two. In today’s installment of this great report, ChrisNJ takes us along on a trip around the lands and seas of Tokyo DisneySea. ~~Rick

Tuesday and I woke up at 6 am. Looked at the beautiful view of Tokyo Disneyland and my heart sank – the buses were back and in greater numbers. I used my camera’s zoom to see that these were day guests all arriving early to avoid Tokyo rush hour traffic. These early arrivers would wait for three hours to get into TDL. There is no way I could outwait these people. I was doomed, so I thought.

The monorail to DisneySea was packed. I went to my inner happy place and didn’t think about it. Arrived at the entrance to DisneySea to find the plaza packed. I fortunately found a line that was a bit hidden behind some bushes and was in the park about 15 minutes after the official 8:30 am opening. Getting into either park is an efficient process as there aren’t many strollers/wheelchairs or people unfamiliar with how to use a ticket. Once through the turnstile the running began. The kids behind me started running and I felt it was safer to try to keep up with everyone rather than not. My goal was to get a FastPass first.

The run took me to the American Waterfront section of DisneySea and the Tower of Terror. The crowd was beyond what I have ever experienced. There was no clear indication of what line was for what. After wasting about 10 minutes spinning, I found the start of the FastPass line and waited 30 minutes in a crowded pushing mess of a line. This was the only time I experienced pushing. Fortunately the pushing was gentle pushing, not scary, but strange. I went with the experience and got the FastPass.

Now to get to my other must-see, Journey to the Center of the Earth in the Mysterious Island section. Finding the start of the line was difficult. People line up for everything. At times I thought people were waiting for attractions when they were actually lined up fifty long for popcorn. I found Journey’s entrance and the standby line was at an hour and forty minutes. Knowing this was a must-see, I waited.

The line begins in a cave and keeps going further and further into this cave space – swinging around and back in a way that made it impossible for me to see where it actually was going. At times I couldn’t tell if I had gone through a section of the line or not. Fortunately there are some Jules Verne displays that tell the story of the ride. Once you think you have reached the actual ride vehicles you learn that you have only made it to elevators that take you deeper into the earth (FYI, I’m pretty sure the elevators go up a level or two, not down). After the very well themed elevator trip you are deposited into a large cavern where you see the ride vehicles and more of the line. This space is perfectly themed and really makes you believe you are underground and about to see the interior of the earth.

Journey to the Center of the Earth is an unusual ride. The ride vehicles seem to be similar to those used at Test Track and Radiator Springs Racers. In fact, it rained for a bit and the ride had to shut down as part of the track is exposed to the outside weather. The ride itself is a bit of a mix of great rock formations (very realistic) and some animatronic elements that blow US Disney parks out of the water. There is also an aspect of Test Track about the ride when it speeds up and becomes rollercoaster-like without the steep drops. It was wild and weird, but worth the wait. After leaving the ride the line was over 4 hours long. FastPass were gone by mid-morning.

The rest of the day, the park was more crowded than I could ever imagine. While most walkways were wide and easy to navigate, the attractions and the areas right next to waiting areas were overloaded with people. Often the start of a line was nowhere near the ride itself – but to solve this problem Disney had a staff person with a sign at the start of the line. Without this staff person there would be no way to know where to go. The most crowded sections of the park were Lost River Delta, where the line for Indiana Jones was 5 hours, and the Trolley Park for Toy Story Mania – the line was 4 hours and I could never get a FastPass for either.

Knowing how the restaurants fill up, I went to lunch at Ristorente di Canalleto at 10:30 am. I know, lunch at that time is crazy. As I have learned from other trips – if everyone is zigging – I must zag. At WDW and DL I eat lunch at 11:30 am and dinner at 5pm and don’t have problems. At TDR lunch begins at 10:30 – get used to it and enjoy the service which is excellent.

After lunch it was time to get a new FastPass. The key is to always have a FastPass if possible. This means a lot of back and forth through the parks but it is essential. At other Disney parks you can just wait in line for an hour or so and be fine – not so at TDR – you must use FastPass or suffer the severe wait times.

At 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea the FastPass were still available. Grabbed them and headed over to the Tower of Terror. The FastPass line was about 30 minutes and winded through the lobby area of the beautifully decorated area of the hotel. Know that this Tower Hotel is not themed to the Twilight Zone – oh no, this is all new. The story of this hotel is about world traveler Harrison Hightower who has collected items from around the globe and is storing them in the hotel. Unfortunately Hightower has gone missing after encountering a carved idol. Guests of the hotel now are touring his collection and will encounter that idol – who I guess likes making people fall from the top floor of the hotel. It is mostly the same trip as on the DCA version with a different story overlay and a bit of a different drop sequence. I could be wrong on that so don’t get angry if I’m off on it. The hotel looks more like a hotel at DS with the ride drop windows blasted out. The interior is not designed to appear as haunted as the Hollywood Tower Hotel. The artwork in the lobby depicts Harrison Hightower’s travels.

I then walked DisneySea allowing myself to really experience this masterpiece. As I mentioned earlier I have been to DL, DCA, DL Paris, WDW, Universal Orlando, Islands of Adventure and Universal Hollywood multiple times. Recently I got to experience all of the MK’s new Fantasyland attractions and restaurants. I have also been to the Walt Disney Family Museum. You could say I’m a bit of a Disney fan with a collection of theme park related souvenirs and maps. Through all of my theme park adventures I have never experienced anything like Tokyo DisneySea. This is more than a theme park, it is a work of art. More accurately it is many works of art that come together to make a truly magical experience. It is much more than attractions. I believe a person could walk the park and not go into a single building and still feel as if they got their money’s worth. I’m not sure how to accurately describe DisneySea’s attention to detail. Imagine if all of a theme park’s detail was to the level of Carsland – that is what they had done at DisneySea. Perhaps Disney proper is trying to duplicate that detail level and is showing it with Carsland and New Fantasyland? I hope so. DisneySea is in my opinion the most beautiful Disney park. DisneySea is the ideal and other parks should study it for how perfect it is. Yes, I said Perfect.

The entrance is Mediterranean Harbor, a recreation of an Italian village on the water. It is inspired by Portofino, Italy. Some have compared it to Universal Orlando’s Portofino Bay Resort but that is not exactly fair as they both serve different purposes. In Florida the hotel is seen mostly by people staying there. At DS, their hotel is part of the park and houses many shops and restaurants. DisneySeas’s Mediterranean Harbor and the Mira Costa need the extra detail. Within Mediterranean Harbor is a section themed to Venice with a canal and canal boats. Having visited Venice, I can attest that it does look more like Venice than the EPCOT Italy pavilion. The entire MH section feels otherworldly in a calming way. This area houses mostly stores like Main Street and a few restaurants. There is a park-like section on either side of the main plaza that is often empty. The designers incorporated areas to explore like somewhat hidden walk ways and green areas. It could be very romantic at night. It is mostly crowd-free except during the opening running of the park guests and during the parks water based shows.

American Waterfront is the best recreation of what people imagine NYC to be. I grew up with NYC as my playground and felt at home in this area. I just wanted to hug the designers for putting so much detail into the signs decorating this area. The two main streets in this area have stores/restaurants but you will just want to linger and feel how much effort went into the details. On the top floor of one of the buildings is a rehearsal hall – if you listen you will hear a woman rehearsing. Down to the left side of AW is Toy Story Trolley Park which is home to Toy Story Mania. This Trolley Park is themed like the long gone Luna Park which was in NY. It is drop dead gorgeous at night and despite some early criticism fits perfectly into a NY themed section. There are only three things to do in the Trolley Park – TSM, a TS shopping cart, and the animatronic Mr. Potato Head. In DS Florida he is part of the ride queue but here he is in a spot where anyone can watch and there are shows rather than having him always performing. He speaks in Japanese and the crowd loves him. Further up is the Tower Hotel and beyond the Columbia. I have read the Columbia is not actually a ship, but a building – you still fooled me, it looks and feels like a ship. I’ve gone on way too many cruise ships so I know a bit about them (I sound like I’m bragging – sorry about that – I love to travel and it’s my major expense in life, I highly recommend travelling and starting young – it’s a big beautiful world, get out there!). Ok, back to the Columbia – inside this ship is a lounge, an upscale restaurant and Turtle Talk. I don’t get why Crush is there, but it didn’t ruin a thing. You can wander the ship a little bit and it is definitely worth touring as it is never crowded. There is a sit down restaurant and a lounge on the ship. Both appeared to be very upscale but casual dress is accepted.

American Waterfront continues over a bridge into what appears to be a small town in Cape Cod. I have never been to Cape Cod (I know it’s weird), but it looked beautiful with its lighthouse and mini harbor. Interestingly Tokyo Bay is close by this section just behind some rocks, a wall and a road. While the monorail passes directly near here as well, its track is designed to dip down below the sight line. Great Design! American Waterfront is home to Duffy the Disney bear. Duffy is everywhere in toy form. You have a better chance of finding a Duffy than a Mickey Mouse.

Port Discovery is next up as we continue around the park clockwise. This section is themed to a future time – the Tomorrowland of DS. Does it work? Well, sort of. It is probably the section of the park I enjoyed the least. The Aquatopia was closed (think of it as Luigi’s Tires on water) so everyone was at StormRider. I was able to get a FastPass and am glad I did not have to wait long. StormRider is a flight simulator into the center of a storm. I won’t ruin it for anyone, but imagine the original Star Tours in a larger theater with more effects. The pre-show was more entertaining as they kept referring to Captain Davies about a million times. Fortunately there are English sub-titles on the pre-show videos screens so you will be able to keep up. Nearby is a station for the Electric Railway here that goes to AW. A short but nice trip that I imagine Walt Disney would love.

Lost River Delta should be called party in the jungle as it was always jumping with tons of people. I’m not sure how they fit all of the visitors into that section of the park. Since only one ride was operating in this section, the crowd should have been light – but that one ride was Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Crystal Skull. The line for Indian Jones was the longest line I have ever seen anywhere. I’m not sure how anyone could wait 5 hours in line for an attraction, but that was the line. I never saw it get below 3 hours. At one point I was nearby and asked for the single rider line (there is one here and Raging Spirits which was closed. Raging Spirits looks like DL Paris’ Indiana Jones coaster). The single rider line winded through along the regular line and I was able to experience the queue. What this attraction has that DL does not is the queue – it is a bit gross at parts in that there is a pit of skeletons. I loved it. From what I can tell the attraction itself is similar to the DL ride before the recent update (which I haven’t experienced). Is the ride wait worth 3+ hours? I don’t think so.

Lost River Delta is also home to the most popular food carts in the park. The lines wrapped around and around making the entire section feel cramped. At night this section was much more authentic feeling as all the crowds were in the Indiana Jones line. The theming is once again beyond anything I have seen at other Disney parks. It is what I wish they would bring to DL’s Adventureland. Oh please!

Next up is Arabian Coast which takes Aladdin and makes it one big land. DL and Paris’ Flying Carpets spinner is here but themed to greater detail. Also there is a Sinbad (not the comedy guy) based boat ride that is like It’s A Small World but with a much more pleasing song (sorry but It’s A Small World is the only attraction I can no longer go on – it irritates me in that it’s such a long boat ride). Ok, back to Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage: the story is told in Japanese but you get the idea based on the different animatronic characters that it is the story of his journey. The song is very nice and I wish I understood the lyrics, and for Alan Menken fans – he wrote the music!After the fact I learned there is an English translation card available for the ride so ask if you are interested. The rest of Arabian Coast is stunning. There is a marketplace with a fake camel for photos. What is great about the Camel? Well, as you walk through this area you smell the Camel. Seriously – it was wonderful in a stinky way and added to the authentic feel of the area. The show in The Magic Lamp Theater is 3D and live action at the same time. It was cute but I must admit the theater and the waiting area theming interested me more than the show which featured a Japanese speaking Genie from Aladdin. The two-story carousel was beautiful but its placement is odd as it is more inside than not and doesn’t bring a wow to the area.

Mermaid Lagoon is all about Ariel and her friends. All but two rides were inside an ìunderseaî complex that was beautifully themed to the Little Mermaid. The rides inside are for the little ones but I explored every bit of it (besides the rides themselves). Ariel’s Playground is a must see for mermaid fans (me!) – this kids-run-around-zone is full of hidden caves with interactive elements. The best cave is the one that stores Ariel’s stuff – I must admit I got a bit weepy here as it was unexpected and this movie has special meaning to my family. Also a must see is the Mermaid Lagoon Theater which is entered through the back of a ship. This show is odd in a mostly great way. It is theater in the round but there are some great seats (at the entrance doors walk halfway around the theater and sit in the back rows). The show takes place in front and above with large scale puppets. This is what the Little Mermaid shows should be at the other parks if people allowed to be creative. The one negative is that the show seems to end suddenly. While I didn’t understand the language, I did notice that I wasn’t the only person at the end not knowing it was over – most of the audience had to be told it was over and to leave. Otherwise it was great.

I have left my favorite port for last – Mysterious Island. Mount Prometheus is the center of DisneySea and can be seen from almost everywhere. This man-made volcano erupts with smoke constantly, and makes even more noise when it does a complete eruption with fire shooting 20+ feet into the sky. The sounds of the eruption can be heard through the park and it is powerful, beautiful and a little bit weird. I am a huge fan of Paris’ Discoveryland and this port at DS felt like its sister. All attractions are within or at the base of Mount Prometheus. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is within the crater next to the eerily beautiful Nautilus submarine. You can walk on a boardwalk near the Nautilus and I must admit the bubbling water and green lights gave me the creeps. The 20,000 Leagues attraction is a bit of a mix of Peter Pan’s Flight in vehicles that are mini-subs. The effect is nice but those who don’t like cramped spaces and sharing six seat ride cars with strangers may want to pass it up. I’m not a fan of small spaces but did not have any issues so be your own judge if you should ride. There is Fortress Explorations to discover on the edge of Prometheus that is worth your time. Part of the fortress displays are for a mystery hunt that is only in Japanese – but you can explore the area on your own without waiting. The views are great. The displays within the fortress are so beyond expectations that you will want to see them. This area is also great to explore when the crowds are overpowering at the major attractions.

The Japanese take their shows seriously and you should too. If you plan to see the lake show The Legend of Mythica arrive early. If you want to see Fantasmic on the same lake arrive very early. The Japanese use plastic mats to mark their viewing spot. Disney sells them. You do not need one, but be respectful of others that do use them. I did not watch any shows. Why? Well, I have seen Fantasmic at DL from the Orleans Square balcony and that was so special I don’t want to have another memory of the show. Mythica did not interest me from what I saw online. I’m not a parade or show fan. Will admit that I didn’t even watch all of the Electrical Parade Dreamlights because I had the chance to see the Main Street Electrical parade run down Fifth Avenue in NYC for the Hercules premier – can’t top hearing that wonderful song blasting in NYC. Sorry, but that’s just how I feel.

In the interest of time I have combined my days a bit. To see many attractions it took four days and many fast passes. The longest I waited in line was for 1hour and 40 minutes for Journey to the Center of the Earth. I missed many familiar attractions as there was no FastPass available or the lines were so long that I wouldn’t enjoy the ride after waiting. I’m a somewhat practical person and often have more fun just watching people having fun than trying to find fun. A vacation is what you make it.

Check back next week as we wrap up this epic trip report and hear ChrisNJ’s final thoughts on his whirlwind trip to Tokyo Disneyland.

About Rick Wright

Rick has been a long term MiceChat author and co-founder of the Weekend Update. You will often find Rick in the position of "Greeter" at official events due to his warm and welcoming spirit. If you've got photos, news or trip reports to share, Rick would love to hear from you: [email protected]

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  • indianajack

    Great TR, thanks so much for posting!

    I was thinking of taking the family to Japan this summer to see the DL parks and the other great places to see in Japan. But it just looks tooooooo crowded to contemplate a visit. I imagine it’s even worse in the summer. The flights, hotels and other expenses of a trip to Japan for four is not worth it if the parks are this overcrowded with 3 hour lines for each attraction. It just looks frustrating and exasperating especially with two elementary age children in tow. Was this past March just a particularly crazy busy week and the summer is not this bad, or is the summer even worse?

    • ChrisNJ

      Hi Indianajack – others on here will be able to tell you the best times to visit so please don’t get discouraged. DisneySea is an incredible park. You can save money by staying at an Official Hotel and they even have themed rooms at the Hilton Tokyo Bay called Happy Magic rooms.

      Remember, I had to go at a specific time for a business trip. You can plan on a better time and not have the same crazy lines (hopefully). People have reported on here being at the parks when they were fairly empty so it is possible.

      Japan has so much more to offer than just TDR so a trip would be worthwhile. If you are into amusement parks – there are a lot to visit while there. I’m already dreaming of my next trip when I’ll get to see even more.

  • timsales

    I think the author visited during Japan’s spring break, thus the extreme conditions. I’ve been to TDR parks twice during fall (mid-Sept and late Nov) and the parks were very slow. Both parks are worthwhile destinations for serious Disney fans and Tokyo is an amazing place to visit as well. Japanese are extremely nice and welcoming to visitors, and Japan is much safer than USA. Cost is similar to going to NYC. I’m going back in October at the end of a regional trip to vietman and Cambodia. Yeah!

    Lastly, I will add my opinion that TDS is truly a masterpiece and the absolute finest themepark experience in the world. I describe it as “relentlessly emmerisive”. That’s a good thing! In the USA the only thing that comes close is CarsLand at DCA. These types of environments transport you immediately to another place and tricking your senses with a visual overload of both scale and detail.

    Chris thanks for sharing your experience.

    • ChrisNJ

      Hi timsales. thanks! Have fun on your adventure. I have friends who visit Cambodia and Vietnam and they rave about the people and history.

      “relentlessly immersive” is the perfect description. Good one. I’m hoping that New Fantasyland is that once the mine train is completed. Fingers crossed. WDW needs that level of magic.

  • choco choco

    Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage is one of the best rides Disney has ever done. Just so much activity and detail, amazing staging and variety to its setpieces, and over a hundred of the most fluid animatronics I have ever seen. I’ve never understood why it is so underrated.

    I still contend that Journey to the Center of the World is a disappointment (I’ve commented on it before). Too short, too uneventful, and no wow showstopper.

    • ChrisNJ

      Hi choco choco. I must confess that I have watched the youtube videos of Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage many times since my return. Even found a clip of Alan Menken performing part of the song at an event. Do a search for Menken Compass of Your Heart. While waiting for the ride I expected it to be just another boat based dark ride – and it is that but so much more. The animatronics are exactly as you described – fluid. No jerky motions. I may have to go back just for this ride. I’m a huge Alan Menken fan. The only thing the ride might be missing is a thrilling element like the Pirates drop or the storm part of Maelstrom – that would keep people coming back.

      Journey is probably a little bit overrated. I get why some my not be thrilled with it. It’s a huge time investment. I’m thinking I liked it so much because is it felt very authentic. From the location, to the cave queue, the elevators, and the lower queue. It was disorienting and that helps with making the ride itself believable. It isn’t as detailed as Radiator Springs Racers but it is also a bit older. It still beats out most attractions at WDW. (my opinion. ha!)

  • jcruise86

    Chris, THANK YOU for creating such an excellent trip report!
    You’ve increased my desire to return to Tokyo, but when the parks are less crowded. They weren’t bad at all when I went long ago.

    I wish Disney Cruise line had a cruise in between Tokyo and Hong Kong with two or three nights docked in each port so Disney fans could have a place to stay in each great city.

    As I wrote last week, those who go to Disney World every year should skip that for two or three years and instead go to Japan or Paris & London and visit the Disney parks there. (Well maybe not the awful studios park at Paris Disneyland, unless the new Ratatouille attraction is extraordinary.) I defend visiting Disney parks in other countries to my snobbier friends because the constant (the Disney park) helps one study the variable (the people.)

    • jcruise86

      Actually, I haven’t been to the Sea park yet.

      I wish the Oriental Land Company would buy Walt Disney World. They’d improve it.

      • DisWedWay

        I wish Oriental Land Company would invest or buy into Paris Disneyland, which was done by a lot of the same Great WED and later WDI Imagineers who did Tokyo Disney Seas and Tokyo Disneyland. The same detail is in both parks, but Paris needs some financial support to bring it out. I remember the gentle pushing which Chris reminded me of in Japan. Chris I love that you see all the details in TDS, and like me wonder about Turtle Talk in the SS Columbia? I still don’t see why they don’t have night time dancing on the top stern of the ship or have special banquets with dancing inside the lower part of the ship. The stern is close to the outsidepublic street so limos could drive guests right up for entry with a short walk to the boarding gantry, instead of having to go through the park in full dress apparel. Lets keep that thought going. PD

    • daveyjones

      “I defend visiting Disney parks in other countries to my snobbier friends because the constant (the Disney park) helps one study the variable (the people.)’

      so, so so, TRUE. that was the basis of my MFA thesis on theme park design, themerica.org

      comparing WDW with DLP allows you to actually see the people of europe through the common lens of a beautifully conceived, tightly controlled and predicable environment. the process can be extremely rewarding if you’re keen on observing it.

      • ChrisNJ

        You all got me laughing out loud with defending visiting disney to snobbier friends. ha! I might have left the snobbier part out, but agree with the sentiment completely. Whenever I tell people where I am off to they first ask if there is a Disney park there. I have to explain all of the time that I am a super fan of entertainment architecture and design. I still get eye rolls. I get the biggest thrill out of seeing man-made rock work, fantasy interiors, and restaurant design (from architecture to the service).

        my passion is design so it makes perfect sense that Disney and Universal’s Island of Adventure are on the top of my vacation list most of the time. Let haters hate – I’m gonna go to Disneyland.

  • MainSt1993

    “Getting into either park is an efficient process as there aren’t many strollers/wheelchairs or people unfamiliar with how to use a ticket.”

    ROFL! I remain shocked at how many Americans struggle with simple technology, like the pin pad at the grocery store checkout. I live in DC, and expect tourists to be unfamiliar with how our Metro system fare gates work. But locals with their SmartTrip card, which you only have to wave over the SmartTrip symbol to get the gate to open? You’d think they were being asked to design the system! But I digress…

    Thanks for the trip report! Your story does give me pause on pursuing my own Tokyo adventure though.

    • ChrisNJ

      hi MainSt1993. Glad you got a laugh. About your own trip – pause then go. Use what others have posted and pick the best time. At the very least you will be amazed by how efficiently the front gates of each park are run. :)

  • Haven

    So, if a people eater rider processes say 1,800 people per hour and it has a five hour wait, that means there are 9,000 people in line. Maybe Disney needed to build a second Disneyland park in Japan rather than expanding to Shanghai.

  • BC_DisneyGeek

    Great report.

    I’m actually not impressed with the queue times, if guests are waiting five hours for an attraction, you’ve let too many people in.

    • ChrisNJ

      Hi BC_DisneyGeek

      There was a benefit to having so many people waiting in line – they weren’t just wandering the park. So walking about after 11am was not difficult for the most part.

  • WesternMouse

    The Japanese do Disney better than Disney itself.

    • DisWedWay

      OLC spends the money where it counts is all as in TDS. Disney spent it on PDL originally before the big change and loss of Frank Wells Same Disney Imagineers doing the designing. .

    • QPerth

      Yes. THIS! Sadly it’s the truth.

  • daveyjones

    “Through all of my theme park adventures I have never experienced anything like Tokyo DisneySea. This is more than a theme park, it is a work of art.”

    EXACTLY. i’ve been to all 11 disney parks around the world, and this one absolutely takes the cake. why? simply put, the resort’s owners aren’t disney. they’re japanese (the oriental land company). and the japanese firmly believe in long term investment over short term profit. the practice of “accountaneering” is different over there.

    the imagineers were able to present their most expensive, expressive, detailed and immersive plans for disneysea with a guaranteed green light. not a single budget was reduced, not a single corner cut. in fact, when the tower of terror was being discussed, OLC requested that the budget be INCREASED beyond what WDI presented.

    same goes for things like pooh’s honey hunt and the new monsters inc. ride. OLC repeatedly has said, “don’t just give us a copy of an existing ride, give us something no one else has.”

    • DisWedWay

      In some cases OLC requested even more than they were given and paid well for it.

    • QPerth

      well, it shows, and it so worth it. It’s truly the pinnacle of Imagineering and design, they got their moneys worth in every way, and are rewarded with huge crowds and profits. Disney – take note.

      • ChrisNJ

        Hope TDL gets more of the over the top treatment as found at TDS. I didn’t think of it until now, but I bet the reason TDL isn’t as magical is because OLC wanted to copy aspects of the US parks. They would have been better having their own DL park, designed from the bottom up.

  • MrTour

    INCREDIBLE! Thanks for sharing!

    • ChrisNJ

      I first read your name as MrToad and thought “WOW, I got a response from Mr Toad himself”. I guess that gives away that one of my all-time favorites is Mr Toad’s Wild Ride. I want to live in Toad Hall at DL. Ok, I’m back to reality.

      thanks. Glad you enjoyed the report. Seriously the great Disney fans have been making my weekends.

  • QPerth

    Another trip report already, wow, that came quick, thanks so much ChrisNJ and Micechat team!!!

    From my experience on my last visit, the entry queues were truly daunting before Park Opening. If you can try and pre-buy your tickets before going, do it. The ticket lines are beyond insane, and the entry lines are long enough. But like ChrisNJ, look around, and you may find a slightly hidden line which is shorter. And it makes for great people watching!
    So glad you got to experience Journey to the Centre of the Earth! It is an amazing attraction, with a terrific story and detail. Same as the Indy attraction. The show building is so gorgeous and impressive, and the inside queue is so wonderfully detailed.
    Tower of Terror at DisSea is the best themed in the world. The building is beyond well themed. The detail is just incredible. As is the story and effects. Just amazing.
    What you said about the Park being a Work of Art is so true. It truly is. The designers, Imagineers and OLC went above and beyond, and raised the bar so high even Disney struggle to reach it.
    I too have been blessed to visit Venice, and the DisSea Venice is just as incredible. I had a hard time picking the real from the ‘un-real’ in my photos. Just gorgeous. I really wanted to ride in the gondolas, but sadly the queue was always too long.
    American Waterfront is just amazing. So well themed and a joy to be in. Sadly I didnt’ go aboard the Columbia. Next time! And Cape Cod, as simple as it is, is one of my Disney Parks happy places, it just enchanted and transported me. I fell in love with it.
    The Electric Railway is wonderful, and would have made a great addition to Disneyland Paris. And could still be worked into many of the other parks.
    I loved Mermaid Lagoon, a wonderful place (sadly didn’t explore the caves), and a terrific show! I had one of the handheld translation devices, which was great. If you ever go to a show there, ask the Cast Members if one is available. And a Story Card for ANY attraction. They are works of art in themselves, and the Cast Members are so eager to help us foreigners.
    And what can be said about Mysterious Island and Mount Prometheus? Just amazing design and terrific attractions. I wrote about it over at DesigningDisney.com under the Japan parks header. Truly a sight to behold.
    Thanks so much for sharing again ChrisNJ, these have really been wonderful to read, and revisit happy memories for those of us who have experienced this remarkable place. It truly is worth the long trip for any Disney Park fan, and Japan is a truly wonderful place, with such friendly and respectful people. And not knowing Japanese is NO excuse, they are always eager to help regardless, signage in major places is always in English also, and the Japanese are happy to try out their English skills with us tourists! You will never regret a visit there.

    • ChrisNJ

      Hi QPerth. Thanks.

      You are so right – English speaking guests should ask for the translators at the Little Mermaid show and for translation cards. I actually knew about these ahead of time and then forgot in all of the excitement of being in the parks. I’m such a little kid sometimes. And then once I remembered about the translators/cards I thought it might be fun to just be there not really understanding every word to see if I could get the story visually. And hearing some English words or proper character names dropped into Japanese is funny to me. Just imagine hearing: ” 3rarieauid reuairou reuarou ahgouer Ursula reuair arueoure rehari”. ha! That always makes me laugh for some reason.

      You are right about the Tower of Terror. Not sure if I wrote it in the article (it’s been a few weeks now)… I would just stare at the Tower Hotel admiring the detail. I was in love with the architecture of it. My opinion but it is the Tower that looks most like a hotel. And it is in the perfect “land” for it too.

      thanks for the info on the DesigningDisney site. That is now my next read! I didn’t know about it. Thank you!

  • Aotphks

    What a disappointing end to a very informative report. The reporter commented on how extraordinary DisneySea is but didn’t see any of the regular lagoon shows (two of the most complex lagoon shows ever attempted by Disney) which are integral to the total experience. Plus missing the best electrical parade ever presented by Disney as well, just because of personal or sentimental reasons?
    Major letdown.