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  1. #1

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    Malin's TDR Trip Report May 2009

    So unlike previous Trip Reports Iíve written, this time Iím going to change the format a bit and not offer the usual step by step guide to what I did, and instead I plan to list various items I wish to talk about and give my views on this. Iím going to start with my arrival into Tokyo.

    The Flight
    I ended up flying with JAL (Japan Airlines) as it was about $70 - $80 Dollars cheaper than other United Kingdom carriers like BA and Virgin. I was very impressed with the service offered here and would happily fly with the Airline again at some point in the future. Iím not a lover of the food served of flights and usually refuse it, which I did this time too, but what I did find interesting is that I usually get an odd look and the Stewardess carries on with his or her job. Not on this Airline as the reply was would you like to eat later instead and if your hungry let us know. The food by the way was a mixture of western and Japanese food with two options given out. The entertainment was one of these on demand services and offered a wide range in entertainment including moves and audio, both offered it in both English and Japanese. A new procedure was that everyone on board had to fill out a short questionnaire regarding the H1 N1 Flu outbreak, asking questions like have you been to either Mexico or the United States or been in contact with anyone from the infected area. The Japanese passengers on board as well as people in general seem to take this latest outbreak very seriously and face mask were being worn by a lot, especially by everyone at Narita Airport.

    Narita Airport
    Upon Arrival passport control and customs were very quick and organised and even the extra time it took to hand in your questionnaire didnít seem to take to long here. Western Countries should take note on how its done. Arriving into the terminal I found the Friendly Airport Limousine Counter right in front of me and got a ticket for the next coach to Shinjuku Station. I did consider taking the train but after much discussion online it worked out at not really making much difference.

    The Hotel
    I booked the flight and hotel though the Expedia website and found some good rates and reviews for the Sunroute Plaza Hotel, which is located about a 5 minute walk from the South Exit of the Shinjuku Station. The hotel was in a fantastic location only a short walk from McDonalds and KFC, and had a AM PM store right opposite the street to the hotel. The hotel had a couple of Restaurants one Japanese and another Italian, and the room offered only one English TV Channel CNN Worldwide. The hotel staff all spoke some English, although very broken. It must be a hit with Western Guest anyway because the hotel was full of them.

    Next time I will start reflecting on my thoughts on what you all want to read about Tokyo Disneyland, before moving on to my thoughts on Mt Fuji, Tokyo and Zed. Before finishing the Trip Report with Tokyo Disney Sea. Oh and photo's to come too!
    Follow me on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/malin1804


  2. #2

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    Re: Malin's TDR Trip Report May 2009

    WOW Thanks for pre-report. I also reserved a room at the Sunroute Plaza in Shinjuku for my next trip to Japan in august. I found very good reviews for that hotel too.

  3. #3

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    Re: Malin's TDR Trip Report May 2009

    Oh cool its a good choice, if you have any questions regarding the Hotel feel free to ask?
    Follow me on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/malin1804


  4. #4

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    Re: Malin's TDR Trip Report May 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by Malin View Post
    Oh cool its a good choice, if you have any questions regarding the Hotel feel free to ask?
    Thanks. Currently preparing my trip. I'll PM you if I have question!

  5. #5

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    Re: Malin's TDR Trip Report May 2009

    Tokyo Disneyland













    Crowds
    Granted I only visited on Weekdays but crowds were not too bad, obviously Monsters Inc had the longest wait time at about 220 minutes, but the longest I personally waited was only 65 minutes, so the wait times posted like previously stated on message boards were not accurate here. A tip I found is to hit this attraction first thing and skip the FastPass queue and head straight for the stand by line which usually reaches Space Mountain first thing in the morning. But hereís the thing with out FastPass being used that queue moves very quickly and the wait time is only about 30 - 40 minutes. My longest wait the whole trip was about 90 minutes for Splash Mountain, but as the weather was rather beautiful and hot, so I think a lot of people were using Splash Mountain as a way to cool off. While lines were still posting long waits at 120 minutes on average. These were manageable compare to the wait times I have encountered in September during the popular Halloween Events.





    Monsters Inc
    Iím not quite sure what to make of this new attraction. First the location is a bit odd with it kind of being located between both World Bazaar and Tomorrowland, as it doesnít belong in either land and kind of doesnít as its in its own mini Monstropolis land. The queue starts outside the Monsters Inc building where the slogan that featured in the movie has changed from Weíre Scare Because We Care, to Its Laughter Weíre After. A short video in Japanese is shown explaining the attractionís storyline. Before we enter the main show building, which is an exact replica from the movie including Roz reception desk. The attraction vehicle I think may cause a bit of trouble for anyone over a certain height as leg room was on the premium bit is not as bad as the knee scraping you get on Journey to the Centre of the Earth.

    Ok on to the ride itself, and we are shown in my opinion some impressive show scenes and AAís though out the short ride. The facades during the Monstropolis scenes gave you the impression you were really in the world of Monsters Inc. But the flashlight given to look for the Monsters is very repetitive after a while and does distract from the overall enjoyment of the ride. I would prefer if the ride was slower too as its hard to take in all the details of this well themed environment. So if it was up to me I would take away the silly tag system which serves no real purpose apart from distracting you from enjoying the ride, and to be fair after about three trips on the attraction you would of seen all the Rockyís, BLTís and what ever other Monsters are hidden. I also would of prefer if the likes of Rocky were given more of a backstory here as I didnít feel the need to go searching for the character with my flashlight, as I have no connection or feel for the Character in anyway, not like I do with Mike and Sulley. Its my understanding Pixar were heavily involved in the character development of the new characters, so there could of done more in creating back storyís for the new characters. So my recommendation is to scrap the flashlight and enjoy what is a beautiful and well themed dark ride that the entire family can enjoy together.
    Leaving the attraction a Cast Members was handing out the Monsters Eye Newsletter which is a promotional tool to help push the various Monster Inc related merchandise and food items currently on sale. You than end up in the Gift shop where a ton of Monsters Inc related items can be found on sale, including much of it devoted to Rocky. Unfortunately if the Resort is trying to make Rocky the next Duffy, I think there have there work cut out here, as I found no one walking around with Rocky soft toys. I predict within a years time the role of Rocky will be downplayed within the attraction, and a tip from me is to buy your Rocky pins and phone straps now as I donít see them being around forever.

    Thumper & Mrs Bunny
    Question how long has Thumper from Bambi and his Girlfriend been out doing meet & greets? I was shocked to see both out posing for pictures in Fantasyland during my visit!



    Tiki Room featuring Stitch
    Now just to set the record straight I am not one of these people who hates the characters, and if Disney choose to add characters to every attraction inside the parks Iím not going to loose sleep over it, but I do draw the line when the attractions end up being as terrible as the latest version of the Tiki Room. I donít have a problem with Stitch and was all for them introducing him to the Tiki Room, but sadly the new show sucks. The pre show is gone and the new show is not only a lot shorter but its even missing the main title song. This show had so much potential and the Imagineers totally missed the point and have created a show that makes the Tiki Room Under New Management sound good. The attraction is stuck with some stupid storyline about the birds being concerned over this God who ends up being Stitch. The few songs that are played are incredibly short and appear to be filler to introduce the next hint that the Big Khuna or what ever heís called is actually Stitch. The show is a pile of crap and where were the Elvis songs, at least the AA Stitch saves the day for the female audience who are in love with Stitch and think heís cute. Bring back Get the Fever.







    Iíll continue my Trip Report on Tokyo Disneyland soon including my thoughts on Jubilation!
    Follow me on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/malin1804


  6. #6

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    Re: Malin's TDR Trip Report May 2009

    Thanks for nice pics and commentary. Will be waiting for the rest...
    Down with the Hat


  7. #7

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    Re: Malin's TDR Trip Report May 2009

    Very interesting. I can't wait for to read part 2.

  8. #8

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    Re: Malin's TDR Trip Report May 2009

    Great commentary and nice pictures. I am looking forward to more.

  9. #9

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    Re: Malin's TDR Trip Report May 2009

    Jubilation













    I had spent the last couple of years gathering up as much information as I could on Tokyo Disneylandís 25th Anniversary Parade Jubilation. I knew first hand that the Tokyo Disney Resort knew how to put on a show and parades were there strong point. It was also during my first trip to Japan in 2006 that I was able to watch Legend of Mythica and Dreamlights. The scale of production for both shows/parades were huge and this gave me high hopes that Jubilation would impress me in the same way.































    I am happy to report that despite one or two issues, Jubilation did meet my high expectations. If I talk about the negative bits first, I wasnít that keen on the paradeís soundtrack, donít get me wrong I love how the music altered to reflect the various stages of the Parade and didnít stick to just one loop. It executed this very well, but the music just did not blend in well with what I was watching. The other issue is that some of the floats are very beautiful and elegant and I will go on record to say its Disneyís best work to date. But some of the other floats were in my view just average, and the flow just didnít work for me. Take the circus float for instance, wow I was buzzing after seeing the detail and movement was outstanding, but unfortunately the Pixar floats followed and non of them were able to top what I had just seen previously, so it lowered the mood a little.





























    The scale and scope of Jubilation is massive and there were many moment where my jaw dropped to the floor. Just take a look at the costumes each float had its own unique set of performers wearing some of the most stunning costumes Iíve ever seen inside a Disney park, and each group of performers had there own dance routines. Jubilation is certainly not one of these parades you will find repetitive after a while, as the mood and setting changes with each passing float. 90 % of all Tokyo Disney Resort Guest are repeat visitors and this parade is ideal for this kind of audience because the pace changes so much that its impossible to capture everything thatís happening in just one showing.













    Jubilation is a thumbs up from me, itís a very ambitious parade and one that will be enjoyed Iím sure for years to come, I only wish it was a bit more consistent though out. Every part of a parade in my opinion should be as strong as the one that follows it.


    Follow me on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/malin1804


  10. #10

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    Re: Malin's TDR Trip Report May 2009

    Here are the rest of my Jubilation Pictures








































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  11. #11

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    Re: Malin's TDR Trip Report May 2009

    The parade looks great. So many floats !!!

  12. #12

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    Re: Malin's TDR Trip Report May 2009

    awesome pics! you have no clue how jealous i am that you 1. Went to japan and 2. Went to disneyland while there.

  13. #13

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    Re: Malin's TDR Trip Report May 2009

    Looks like an extensive & awesome parade. Great pics!

  14. #14

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    Re: Malin's TDR Trip Report May 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by Malin View Post
    Thumper & Mrs Bunny
    Question how long has Thumper from Bambi and his Girlfriend been out doing meet & greets? I was shocked to see both out posing for pictures in Fantasyland during my visit!
    They tested Thumper and Miss Bunny back in November a few times before their premiere earlier this month. (The costumes were redesigned.) I'm not sure of the actual date, as they had aimed for April, but by the 2nd week of May they were out.

  15. #15

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    Re: Malin's TDR Trip Report May 2009

    As far as Jubilation goes, great pictures.

    Just wondering, did Jubilation and Pixar Play Parade share the same designs or concepts? The Buzz part of the float seems to have an identical base shape as that of PPP, as well as the Incredibles floatation things, the disinfectant monsters, and the green aliens.

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