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  1. #1

    • Main Street Maniac
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    Trip report and pics

    Hi everybody!

    Finally I get some extra time to say a big CIAO to all and start a post expressely dedicated to my really really amazing trip in Japan and stay in Tokyo Disney Resort . I planed safely back home last sunday and started to work the following day. Now that the first week-end approaches, I'll finally start and post my impressions and pictures.
    Expecte more in the evening!

    In the meantime, ciao ciao
    Visit my blog at

    2008: Disneyland (15 years after the 1st visit!)
    2007: World of Disney New York City
    2006 Disneyland Resort Paris
    1992: Euro Disney Resort
    2005: Tokyo Disney Resort
    1998-2005: Disneyland Paris
    1997: Walt Disney World
    1993: Disneyland

  2. #2

    • MiceChat News Team
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    Re: Trip report and pics

    welcome home, can't wait for the next installment!
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  3. #3

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    Re: Trip report and pics

    Looking foward to your report.

  4. #4

    • That's Hawt
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    Re: Trip report and pics

    Welcome Home! Can't wait to see your pictures and hear about your trip!
    Quote Originally Posted by drunkmom
    this is my first buzzed post in the DMCA -- I'm really in this club because I'm a bitch more than anything. I've only had to hit the backspace 4 (oops, make that 5) times in (now 7) in this (now 9) (now 15) in this post! Damn, now I'm up to 18! Our neighbors were (19) (20) making tequilla sunrises. I thought I couldn't do tequilla (22) anymore but (24) this stuff (26) was good! It started (27) with an s



  5. #5

    • Minion FOREVER!
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    Re: Trip report and pics

    Welcome home, Massimo! Definitely can't wait till your report!

  6. #6

    • Main Street Maniac
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    Lightbulb Trip Report Part I + Mediterranean Harbor pics

    You can find my picture gallery of Mediterranean Harbor here

    http://homepage.mac.com/massimo.poti/PhotoAlbum29.html

    And now, my trip report!

    MY DISNEY BACKGROUND
    What I really like about Disney theme parks is the overall sense of displacement that only very well themed environment can give you. I love strolling the parks, paying attention to architecture and landscaping and enjoying the details scattered throughout the parks by imagineering. I tend to prefer heavily-themed attractions to roller-coasters and live entertainment but I love to watch the night shows like Fantasmic! and the fireworks.
    Since I live in Italy, my home-park is DLRP so keep in mind while reading my comments that most of my disney experience come from that resort. I visited though Disneyland California in 1993 and Walt Disney World in 1997, when I worked as cast member in Epcot.
    I'm not really that good iin writing those incredibly detailed trip report, so I organised mine in more like a collection of thoughts. Hope you understand that.

    MY TRIP TO TDR
    I bought a four-day passport. The whole passport thing is very different from DLRP. In Paris you can buy a four-day passport and park-hop from day one. In Tokyo when you buy a multi-day passport you must choose the first day of use and the park you'be visiting each day. So I bought a 4-day ticket but I had to do TDL on day 1, TDS on day 2, and finally be able to park-hop on days 3 and 4.

    OVERALL IMPRESSIONS
    I spent one full day and a half in TDL and two full days and a half in TDS. The resort looked to me very impressive, even though I always had the feeling that the different parts of the resort were not really forming a consisten environment, like if each hotel or park was a world of its own. Always keep in mind that my touchstone is DLRP where parks, hotels and entertainment are all very close to each other and easily reachable by foot. That said I suggest all disney fan out there to save money and visit Tokyo Disney Resort: I found the attractions of TDL very innovative and entertaining and then... TOKYO DISNEY SEA ...that's just pure perfect disney magic in everything! Really, if you like themed environment and great attractions you just HAVE to visit TDS one day!

    ABOUT CAST MEMBERS
    TDR cast members are probably the kindest I have ever met during my disney experiences. Even though only a few of them speak English, they always proved useful and willing to help a clueless stranger!
    I noticed thought cast members often looked like they were repeating again and again the same spiel and very often they did stand on the main pathway in front of the attraction and kind of invited people to visit the attraction. To my eye that was very unusual and kind of lousy and un-disney but after 10 days in Japan I realised that this behaviour was very common in Japan so I think we're just talking about cultural adjustment here.

    ---
    That shoud do it for today. In the following days I'll talk about TDS and its attraction roster. By now, ciao ciao!
    Last edited by massimo; 08-27-2005 at 08:04 AM.
    Visit my blog at

    2008: Disneyland (15 years after the 1st visit!)
    2007: World of Disney New York City
    2006 Disneyland Resort Paris
    1992: Euro Disney Resort
    2005: Tokyo Disney Resort
    1998-2005: Disneyland Paris
    1997: Walt Disney World
    1993: Disneyland

  7. #7

    • Rock The World
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    Re: Trip report and pics

    Thanks for the pics massimo! They're great. They remind me of my own trip to TDS a few years ago. I'm already saving to go back!

  8. #8

    • Minion FOREVER!
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    Re: Trip report and pics

    Massimo, Very nice to read your first installment and pics. Esp. coming from
    an Italian! Read your itiniary. Surprised that you decided to visit Koya-san
    instead of Kyoto & Nara. But I've heard that it's very peaceful there.

    Eagerly waiting your next installment!

  9. #9

    • Main Street Maniac
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    I posted two new pics galleries:
    Lost River Delta
    http://homepage.mac.com/massimo.poti/PhotoAlbum30.html

    Mysterious Island
    http://homepage.mac.com/massimo.poti/PhotoAlbum31.html

    MY ARRIVAL
    I arrived there at 7am sharp and there already were queues at the front gates. It always amazed me to see how japanese wait in line. It's very different from the Italian and, generally speaking, the American and European (Italian not included :-). As you probably know Italians tend to gather in a groups rather than in line while Americans tend to organise very rigid queues. In Japan queues are very well organised but the funny thing is that is absolutely normal for a group of friends or a family to send one or more member of the group to buy something to eat and drink and then kindly sneak into the queue again. Japanese took these behaviour as normal whereas in Europe they would probably be taken as just people trying to do some queue-cutting. Amazing Japan!

    I was quietly waiting in line when a cast member asked me to participate at the opening ceremony: I was so happy! She kindly made me sit down in a small living room and five minutes before 8:30am I happened to be between Minnie and Mickey greetings guests. What a welcome for my first time at Tokyo DisneySea!

    THE BEGINNING
    I was in a coomplete state of shock. The park is stunning and simply mouth-shutting. The Porto Paradiso area is very impressive and you really don't know where to look and where to start. I must say that I was not the only one in evident state of shock but others reacted rushing faster than a ray of light to other areas of the park to grab a fastpass. I had different priorities so I stayed there for a while and then after taking some 50 pictures (no kidding!) I decided to visit Capt. Nemo's quarters and se sail to Mysterious Island.

    MYSTERIOUS ISLAND
    I'm a huge fan of Jules Verne and his characters and if you're too, you're probably going to sit down like I did and silently cry with happiness: Mysterious Island is breathtaking, you're surrounded by sounds of an erupting volcano and far away engines and sometime you here a distant gull flying over the edge of the crater. The rockwork is impressive and everything from sounds to colors consistently add to the sense of displacement.

    20000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA
    The first attraction I rode was 20KLUTS and it really set the standard for the whole stay. The queueing area is themed so well I wish the queue was a little slower so that I could better enjoy the details. I rode this attractions several times in the following days and if you like immersive and heavily themed attraction you must ride 20K at least once in your life. For more information visit the official website of Scott Sherman http://www.scottshermandesign.com , who designed the ride, at and choose "ride & show design". As I realised after a full day at the park, all TDS attractions with only a few exceptions share the same great design element e.g. stunning queueing areas as gorgeous as the attractions themselves and great repetiveness value.

    JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH
    After having explored and survided the depthnesses of the sea I was looking forward to exploring the bowels of the earth so I moved to JTTCOTE. This attraction thrilled me so much that I took a fastpass for it just after the first ride! Fort those of you who don't know, you explore the wonders hidden under the ground like the giant mushroom forest and the lake of fire when something goes wrong and you face a BIG trouble. Luckily you manage to survive and thanks to the forces of the earth you're literally shot to the surface and safely come back home. After this attraction I had a few (sad) thoughts about the (once) wonderful Discoveryland in DLRP which I want to share with you...

    DIGRESSION: DLRP's DISCOVERYLAND
    I'm a huge fan of the Paris MK and Discoveryland used to be one of my favorite lands. As you probably know Walt Disney always felt uncomfortable about how fast and bad Tomorrowland aged. WDI successfully faced this issue when they shifted from trying to portray the real future to portraying the future that never was. For the European park this looked like a smart shift from the classic Tomorrowland theme also because it allowed a wide hommage to French writer Jules Verne, whose visions had inspired so much Disney in the past years. And so Discoveryland was born.
    The visual and conceptual center of Discoveryland was Space Mountain, whose theme clearly spelled the core values of the land: exploration, adventure, optimism.
    When SM: M2 opened all of the above got lost forever. The music embedded to the ride is kind of electronic and the effects inside the attraction would be perfect for the SM's of the 70's (wich I love btw!) but perform very poorly in what used to be an incarnation of Jules Verne's From The Eart To The Moon book. What I'm saying here is that the Discoveryland original theme was strong and could set the background for such wonderful expansions like 20KLUTS and JTTCOTE while keeping intact and consistent the theme of the land. But we all know what happened: Le Visionarium closed, SM lost its theme turn-of-the-century theme in favor of a terribly bland futuristic look & feel and the all land lost it soul. I know most European don't share my attitude about theme parks and prefer thrills to theming, so probably the overall retheming of Discoveryland will appeal many, but IMO after the opening of SM:M2 the land is cursed and has lost its soul. I visited DLRP last July and rode SM only once (it used to be one of my favorites)...

    End of Part II
    Next time, I'll be talking about the wonderful shops of Mediterranean Harbor and the attractions of the American Waterfront and Lost River Delta, with a few (sad again, I fear) thoughts about DLRP.

    By now, ciao ciao!
    Visit my blog at

    2008: Disneyland (15 years after the 1st visit!)
    2007: World of Disney New York City
    2006 Disneyland Resort Paris
    1992: Euro Disney Resort
    2005: Tokyo Disney Resort
    1998-2005: Disneyland Paris
    1997: Walt Disney World
    1993: Disneyland

  10. #10

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    Re: Trip report and pics

    nice photos and TR info...

  11. #11

    • Main Street Maniac
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    Thanks Figment and to all who are reading my stuff. I'll keep posting my updates...
    Visit my blog at

    2008: Disneyland (15 years after the 1st visit!)
    2007: World of Disney New York City
    2006 Disneyland Resort Paris
    1992: Euro Disney Resort
    2005: Tokyo Disney Resort
    1998-2005: Disneyland Paris
    1997: Walt Disney World
    1993: Disneyland

  12. #12

    • Minion FOREVER!
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    Re: Trip report and pics

    Nice work, Massimo! Love your eye for detail in your pics and writing.
    BTW. although I've never been to DLRP, overall I agree w/ your objection
    to SM:M2. From all descriptions, it does seem to dilute the Discoveryland
    (and Jules Verne) theme.

  13. #13

    • Main Street Maniac
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    Re: Trip report and pics

    Here are the new picture galleries!

    American Waterfront:
    http://homepage.mac.com/massimo.poti/PhotoAlbum35.html

    Mermaid Lagoon:
    http://homepage.mac.com/massimo.poti/PhotoAlbum36.html

    Port Discovery:
    http://homepage.mac.com/massimo.poti/PhotoAlbum37.html

    SHOPS
    The nice thing about Tokyo Disneysea is that shops are so well themed, and each selling so many different items that they really are attractions in themselves and deserve time to enjoy them.
    Merchandising here is very different form what you usually find in a disney theme park elsewhere in the world. If you look for very japanese souvenirs, then look for face towels, fans or tin boxes: they all seem very common items as men and women usually carry with them a small towel to dry the sweat from the face, a small fan to get some fresh air while waiting in the hot sun and seems to buy candy to bring home and give as gift to relatives and friends.
    Each shop sells items you can find in that store only and the quality is usually very high: candy-boxes are all made of tin and are very well designed. But you can find stationeries, toys, books, everything. One thing that surprised me is the almost total lack of interest towards pins and pin-trading. Japanese guests seem not to like this kind of merchandising as I barely spotted no more that 20-30 different pins in both parks. On the other hand, watches seemed a very much appreciated item. Book-lovers will find the available items a little disappointing maybe: you have a lot of guidebooks about dining in the resort or attractions but they are full of japanese text and designed with a very japanese layout (I mean lots of boxes, flashy characters, noisy colors and SMALL pictures) that can be quite disappointing if you're looking for coffee-table-like books. I couldn't find any souvenir book, but there's plenty of dvd's and they all deserve your money. Music seems much appreciated too as I found cd's of almost every special event available to buy.

    AMERICAN WATERFRONT
    Here's another example of great theming. The area is divided in two sections: a New-York-in-the-1920's and a New-England-like village. As this area of the park doesn't still have many attractions, it is usually not flooded with crowds so it can be very useful if you need to escape the thick crowds of areas like Mysterious Island or Lost River Delta. Moreover, this is ove of the seas that face the real sea, so a gentle breeze was always blowing when I was there and you could really smell the sea! I enjoyed this area very much because, as you already know, I like strolling and sipping the atmosphere more than anything, but also because it's weirdly related to DLRP.

    AN ALTERNATE MAIN STREET
    In the early sketches for the European Main Street U.S.A. imagineering thought it could be a nice idea for the European audience to use Main Street to portrait American cities during the 1920's as that was the time Europeans started to be fascinated by American cultures. It was intended to be a much confusing environment with lightpoles, big billboards, gangsters strolling the street and jazz club hidden behind a fake facade. Eisner thought the idea, though wonderful, was to far away from the original Main Street so we ended up having our wonderfully detailed turn-of-the century theming, wich I love.
    So, strolling by the American Waterfront, I couldn't help but think that our Main Street could have looked just like that!

    LOST RIVER DELTA
    This area of the park is very nice, even though the theme is not that evocative to me. Japanese seemed to love this area though (or at least the attractions in it), because it was very crowded all the times I was there. I rode Indiana Jones and Raging Spirits and my judjment about these two attractions could be far. While Indiana is just amazing, Raging Spirits was a huge disappointment: adding new themed rocks and some smoke effects (I couldn't spot any fire effects during my ride ) didn't improve the mediocre ride I have already rode several times in Paris. I must say though Japanese guests seemed thrilled by this attractions as stand-by lines usually were 100 minutes long and Fastpass were sold-out in the first hours of the day.

    ARABIAN COAST, MERMAID LAGOON and PORT DISCOVERY
    I have to say very little about these areas of the park. They are really wonderful as the rest and I really suggest you have a look at them, especially at Tritons Castle. Attractions were though a little bit disappointing maybe because I couldn't speak Japanese. The 3D movie in Arabian coast seemed very unimpressive to me as much as the movie in Port Discovery called Stormrider. I must say this didn't come as a surprise to me as I find very hard for the eye of the average guest to believe what they see is real... it used to be different in the mid 80's when Star Tours came out (I used to lvoe that attraction!) but now it's really hard to play a movie and make people believe what they see is real. I think the average person is too much aware now of the technology involved (3d movies and simulators like stormriders are in fact quite common nowadays...)

    Mermaid Lagoon is wonderfully themed, but the attraction rooster is aimed at families basically.

    This ends my report. I hope you liked that! Enjoy the pics and see you soon!
    Visit my blog at

    2008: Disneyland (15 years after the 1st visit!)
    2007: World of Disney New York City
    2006 Disneyland Resort Paris
    1992: Euro Disney Resort
    2005: Tokyo Disney Resort
    1998-2005: Disneyland Paris
    1997: Walt Disney World
    1993: Disneyland

  14. #14

    • Internet.Serious Business
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    Re: Trip report and pics

    Wow Mermaid Lagoon looks really faded compared to photos from 2001.

  15. #15

    • Main Street Maniac
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    I wasn't there when it opened so I can't make a fair comparison. I can only say August is the worst season to take pictures in Japan because of the sharp shadows and whitish light reflexes. I had to trash a lot of pictures because my camera couldn't adjust to light conditions and burned them.

    Nonetheless time and sun surely took their toll on the building.
    Visit my blog at

    2008: Disneyland (15 years after the 1st visit!)
    2007: World of Disney New York City
    2006 Disneyland Resort Paris
    1992: Euro Disney Resort
    2005: Tokyo Disney Resort
    1998-2005: Disneyland Paris
    1997: Walt Disney World
    1993: Disneyland

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