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    A Dutch couple in Tokyo

    A Dutch couple in Tokyo.
    Arrival May 18th - departure May 25th 2009


    After numerous visits to Paris, Orlando and Anaheim it was time for another Disney trip.
    This time to Tokyo Disneyresort.
    Sandra always was hesitant to visit because of the language barrier and different culture but after seeing a DVD that I bought on the Japanese Amazon about the park she was convinced we had to visit.
    We booked our flight and hotel via internet. We decided to stay at the Sheraton Tokyo bay because everyone recommends this hotel and because it was, well, the cheapest. We opted to stay at the Mira Costa but the rates were sky high.
    We love Disney hotels but this was just too much for seven nights.

    We arrived on Monday May 18th, customs was a breeze and the bus service to the resort was excellent.
    Sandra and I felt right at home in Japan. Boy those folks are friendly !
    That makes me think what I am still doing here in Europe ?
    Europeans can be such nasty folk, you only have to visit Disneyland Paris to notice the difference between an American and a Japanese audience. Heck I can even notice the difference in my own back yard !

    I digress, the Sheraton is a great resort. Friendly staff, friendly maybe is not the right word, they treat you like royalty.
    My back still hurts from all the bowing. We were upgraded to the club level. Great room !! Even the curtains close automatically !
    And those toilets, what a hoot !!!
    We bought tickets for the parks at the counter in the hotel. And after a little nap ( jet lag kicking in ) we got on our way to Ikspiari.
    Bought tickets for the monorail ( I nearly peed my pants when we passed DisneySea )
    We thought Ikspiari was great ! Nice shops and great restaurants !

    I don’t want to tell too much because otherwise you will fall asleep.
    I will skip everything and tell you my, or our, thoughts of the resort and parks.

    Disneysea:
    This is hands down the best Disney park in the world !!
    Nothing can describe the feeling when you pass the turnstiles and enter this magnificent park.
    The meticulous attention to detail grabs you by the throat and still haunts you when you lie in bed at night.
    This park really is a work of art !!!!!!

    It was spring carnival and the entrance was decorated with fairies and flowers it was just beautiful.
    The displays, carts and special flower arrangements are exquisite.

    When we entered the park, rather late I must confess, the fairies primavera show was starting. It was an impressive start of our day at the park. We worked our way through the Mediterranean harbor to Mysterious Island.

    Mysterious Island:
    Our favorite place in the park, just unbelievable all that detail, the rockwork, smoke and attractions.
    When we pulled ourselves together we decided that our first ride was going to be Yourney to the center of the earth.
    Oh boy what a ride !! We rode it seven times on our two visits to the park.
    On both visits the park was un-crowded, there were a lot of people but it was relaxed and the lines were very short or
    non-existent.
    We also liked the 20.000 leagues under the sea attraction. We thought it was original and delightful in execution.
    Time for the famous Gyoza snack !! Yippy only a few people in line.
    First bite……..hmmmmm…….interesting……..soggy……..strange texture…….did we like it, NO !

    Mermaid Lagoon:
    One of the most beautiful pieces of Imagineering I have ever seen, if only the attractions were worthwhile.
    The detail is incredible but this is really a kids place.
    Even the Little Mermaid show was not to our liking. Nice innovative staging but it is way too short and very odd.
    The Sleepy whale shop is hilarious.

    Arabian Coast:
    Again gorgeous in landscaping, architecture and detail.
    We loved the place ! Especially the Magic lamp theater and the Sindbad storybook voyage. Both were so cute.
    We were glad they had translation devices at the theater, good job !
    It was a treat to wander around this part of the park. Beautiful flower displays because of the spring carnival.

    Lost River delta:
    Great theming ! We liked the Raging Spirits coaster, despite all the balking on the net about the mediocrity of this ride.
    Actually Sandra wanted to ride it three times in a row, and she is not a coaster fan !!
    Probably because it was smoother and a little slower than the average coaster with loops.
    It thought the ride made great eye candy.
    The Indiana Jones attraction is very similar to the one in Anaheim but with some changes in theming. The ride is great but we think Dinosaur is better……I know what most of you think but that is our opinion. The temple structure is very impressive and lavish in detail, what else is new ?
    Mystic rhythms was one of the weirdest park shows I have ever seen. Sort of Cirque meets experimental theater-ish and everything in between. Not really our thing, just a lot of noise. It is nice to look at but we thought it was weird. We liked the smoke at the end of the show, or was it maybe that it meant the show was over? Anyway weird, I keep repeating myself, did I say it was weird ?

    Port Discovery:
    Our least favorite land in the park. It was nice to look at but we thought it really missed that “IT” factor the rest of the sections have, pardon my french, I must call them “ Ports” and not lands or sections. My sincere apologies.
    Aquatopia was the lamest ride in the park. I know it is original……..technically advanced, blah blah blah, we thought it sucked.
    Stormrider was great ! Wow that is one big simulator even Sandra was impressed and she doesn’t really like simulators. She lets me ride Star tours once a year to keep me happy, isn’t she a doll ?
    We thought the “ leak” in the wall that separates the park from the outside world was hilarious.

    American waterfront:
    Gorgeous, Gorgeous and again GORGEOUS !
    It is one big showplace !
    The Tower of Terror is a jewel in the crown of Imagineering. The illusion in the pre-show room with the shiriki statue is very cool, how does it work, is it a projection ? The ride is not as spectacular as the American and European towers. The Japanese screamed their lungs out but we talked about where to have lunch and the color of my underwear. No just kidding…..the ride is great but not as “wild” as the other towers.
    The Big band beat show was a showstopper, best show in the park !! And that theater, wow, just like the real thing.
    The Columbia ship is fabulous to look at and it really ads to the atmosphere. I can go on and on about the details in this park.
    The Cape cod section was lovely, a perfect little slice of heaven in the midst of this gorgeous bustling park.
    In the Aunt Peg’s store they sell Duffy the Disney bear !......who knew ?............we didn’t …heck Sandra didn’t even know that it existed ! Very cute and she instantly fell in love.

    Mediterranean harbor:
    Again what a place ! Beautiful in all its glory.
    Great shops and great restaurants. The palazzo canals were just like Venice but cleaner, friendlier and without the smell.
    We visited the real thing and we do not have great memories about the place but this really reawakened the romance deep down inside of us. The fortress is a work of art with all those beautiful exhibits. Especially the chamber of planets, it is a masterpiece.

    Legend of Mythica:
    One of the most overwhelming shows I have ever seen. Sandra was a bigger fan of the parades at the Tokyo Disneyland park but this was my favorite. Dazzling isn’t the right word for it. It gave me goosebumps seeing the unicorn and the dragon glide through the water on that stunning score. I have to note that all the performers in all the shows at the park were top notch ! Amazing energy in every performance.

    Braviseamo:
    Better than expected !
    I have seen some clips and it never really klicked with me but seeing the live performance was another experience.
    Beautiful music and great effects. Albeit the weirdness of the plot it is a visually stunning piece.

    Food:
    Ristorante di Canaletto is a treasure. New York deli and Zambini Brothers have great selections and everything is tasty.
    Great care has been taken to treat guests to delicious food all around. Definitely a notch better than other themeparks.
    But that Gyoza thingy……………

    Like I said before this place is opulent and stunning in every corner and every detail.
    My new favorite Disney park, this one kicks Disneyland park in Paris and Animal Kingdom from the top position for me.

    Tokyo Disneyland:
    The original park of the resort is a big bag of mixed feelings for me.
    On the one hand it is great with good rides (Pooh, Splash, Monsters) and on the other hand it is sometimes, I do not know how to put this, well it does not have the cozy feeling that I experience when visiting the other Magic Kingdoms in the world.
    Maybe it is because of the big slabs of painted pavement in the park or that there are no real transition areas between the different lands. I knew that other people mentioned this but it surprised me to see that this was actually a bit of a downer for me in the beginning. I did not have that magical feeling of being transported to other destinations like I have in other Magic Kingdoms. It is very weird to stand in line for Pooh and to your right is the Astro Orbiter, Orbitron or how do they call it there ? And exiting World Bazaar and standing right in front of Pirates of the Caribbean. Coming from Critter Country and looking straight into Fantasyland. Why bothering calling them lands if there are no real borders ?
    Sometimes attractions felt out of place, Haunted Mansion in Fantasyland ? I know that the argument is that Japanese see ghost stories more like fairytales but it was out of place for me.
    Monsters in Tomorrowland ? Well it was actually the only attraction we really liked in that land. The rest of Tomorrowland is, some call it retro, but I call it ugly. A far cry from the rest of the park.
    Don’t get me wrong we had a great time at this park, we actually visited three times, but it took some getting used too.

    World Bazaar:
    Definitely not the same experience as Main Street USA. It felt weird to us and because of the crowds that we experienced in this park it was very noisy. Like I said before when we got used to it we sort of liked it for what it was but we prefer the openness of the original Main Streets at the other parks.

    Adventureland:
    Aside from the awkward placement of Pirates of the Caribbean the land is beautifully landscaped and feels the most secluded of all the lands in the park.
    Pirates of the Caribbean is a great ride with those fabulous new additions. Very similar to the one in Anaheim, the best version for us is still the Paris version of Pirates. Jungle cruise is just not the same when you can’t understand a word what the skipper is saying. Tiki Room is a nice try but not great, the Stitch animatronic is amazing but the rest is mediocre, maybe because of the language barrier. We prefer the Anaheim version……….surprised ?

    Frontierland:
    The rivers of America section is just gorgeous with BTM on the left and Splash on the other side and the island in the middle.
    It is a shame that they opted for those big slabs of painted pavement. Can’t they break this up and put some landscaping in it ?
    BTM is great but not as wild as the other mountains, the Paris version is still our favorite. The Country bear jamboree, I think it is cute but Sandra feels like hibernating when she sees the show. I love all the riverboats and this Mark Twain was no exception. Beautiful surroundings and I liked it that the canoes were up and running.

    Critter Country:
    Our favorite land in the park. Sooooo cute with all the little details hidden everywhere. Splash Mountain is our favorite attraction of the park, it is just awesome. I was only a bit disappointed that we could see the device that makes brer rabbit hop. I never noticed that in Orlando ? And yes we actually saw it up and running in Orlando !
    All the nooks and crannies in this land are so much fun.

    Fantasyland:
    Again that ugly painted pavement stuff.
    Haunted mansion is a great ride but in some scenes it is outdated. Time runs out for those ugly spiders and that attic scene.
    The Dumbo ride is just plain ugly if you compare it to other versions of the ride.
    The Mickey Mouse revue was the surprise hit of the trip. What a cute show and it will be missed. We even visited on the last day of operation. We saw it three times and Sandra could not get enough of it. It’s a small world is basically the same as the Orlando ride but it is less elaborate and the loading area needs an extensive update. Pooh is a delightful ride, if only the other versions of Pooh were as good as this ride.

    Tomorrowland:
    We thought this land was most in need of an extensive remodeling. It is not retro, it is ugly and it needs to be demolished. Monsters inc, oh the ride from hell. Always more than 140 minutes waiting time, constant breakdowns. We wanted to ride it three times but it broke down three times. But on our last day we wanted to ride so badly that we waited and waited and it again broke down…………I wanted to go elsewhere but Sandra wanted to wait it out, luckily we did because they got it up and running in 20 minutes. It was really worth it. We thought it was fantastic ! I am not a big fan of those so called interactive “shoot em up - blast them down” kind of rides but this one was right up my alley. The only other thing we experienced in Tomorrowland was the show one man’s dream, again a great colorful show with great performers and high energy.

    We did not visit Toon Town, Roger Rabbit was closed and we are not really interested in the other offerings of that part of the park.

    Parades:
    Wow, wow triple WOW. Again they wowed us with the most elaborate parades we have ever seen.
    Jubilation was a dream, we visited the park three times and we saw it three times, we thought it was that good.
    Dreamlights was drop dead gorgeous. What a spectacle !!! Do not miss this, it is really the best nighttime parade anywhere.

    Despite the reservations we had while visiting Disneyland we began to love it more and more every time we visited.
    But I must say that this is my least favorite Magic Kingdom, despite the original rides, despite the parades and despite that maintenance is maybe a little better in this park if it comes to maintaining show quality.
    Don’t get me wrong we will return in a heartbeat but it had less heart than other magic kingdoms.

    Food:
    East side café is a hidden gem we really loved it and we ate here twice. It is very un-crowded and cheap !!
    We visited a couple of restaurants only to marvel the theming, Grandma Sara’s and Queen of hearts, but we did not eat in these places.

    Overall thought:
    We want to go back !! We had a great time and Japan is a very friendly country.
    The parks are beautiful with DisneySea being Shangri la for us.
    Castmembers are the best in the world !!! So friendly and helpful that it is sometimes frightening.

    I hope you enjoyed my quick recap of the resort, I am sure I enjoyed writing it.
    See ya real soon !!

    Erik and Sandra







  2. #2

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    Re: A Dutch couple in Tokyo

    Great post. Looked a bit long but really kept me interested. No pictures?

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    Re: A Dutch couple in Tokyo

    Thanks for the report. Glad you had a good time. You captured what I think would be many people's appreciation and excitement if and when they get a chance to visit TDR.

    Oh yeah... welcome to the club of Disney fans who know first hand why TDR is hands down the BEST Disney park in the world!

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    Re: A Dutch couple in Tokyo

    ^^You mean.. best Disney resort in the World.

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    Re: A Dutch couple in Tokyo

    Well we don't think it is te best Disney resort in the world. Despite DisneySea being my favorite park we still think Walt Disney World scores more points with us. But Tokyo is a close second. Paris is third and Anaheim is fourth. But who knows maybe this will change in the years to come....

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    Re: A Dutch couple in Tokyo

    Hi, thanks for reading this post. I have a lot of pictures but there are so many posts on this forum with wonderful pictures that I thought I would just keep it with text.

    Bye !!

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    Re: A Dutch couple in Tokyo

    Wow thanks for this report! Sounds like you had a good time!

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    Re: A Dutch couple in Tokyo

    nice share!...thanks!...
    my heart is yours

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    Re: A Dutch couple in Tokyo

    Nice post...Please post some pics...
    Music is my LIFE!!!

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    Re: A Dutch couple in Tokyo

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneySea_Fan View Post
    Wow thanks for this report! Sounds like you had a good time!
    Oh it was wonderful !
    We can not wait to go back.

    Thanks for reading !

  11. #11

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    Re: A Dutch couple in Tokyo

    Please forgive me if this is a negative stereotype of your nationality, but...


    Did you each pay your own way?

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    Talking Re: A Dutch couple in Tokyo

    Quote Originally Posted by PEZZ Lightyear View Post
    Please forgive me if this is a negative stereotype of your nationality, but...


    Did you each pay your own way?
    Well the Dutch are world renowed for their cheapness.
    But to answer your question, no.

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    Re: A Dutch couple in Tokyo

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikM View Post
    Well we don't think it is te best Disney resort in the world. Despite DisneySea being my favorite park we still think Walt Disney World scores more points with us. But Tokyo is a close second. Paris is third and Anaheim is fourth. But who knows maybe this will change in the years to come....
    WDW scores more points? YUK! The Mk is the most outdated park of the DL style ones, The Studios is a thematic mess. EPCOT is a big shopping and dining mall with few attractions that are OK, and Animal Kingdom is probably the best experience because it benefitted from people who cared to do it right... but still needs to grow. What I do not understand is.. why does WDW scores point with you when 75% of the place is just overpriced hotels??? Worst, WDW is not the best maintained or cleanest of the Disney resorts, but being from Europe, maybe you are used to that type of surroundings at DLP?
    Personally, I score TDR as the best because it is well operated in so many levels.. cleanliness, staffing, uniqueness, entertainment, ease of travel within resort... etc etc. none of which WDW scores very high on. I even place Anaheim's original DL as a very close 2nd to TDR, and DLP only gets 3rd place for having the best versions of the most popular rides. Heck, I even place HKDL ahead of the WDW's MK simply because it is a charming park with lovely sorroundings and even nicer theming than that found in the old stale "Magic" Kingdom of good old (and I mean OLD) WDW.

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    Re: A Dutch couple in Tokyo

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikM View Post
    Well the Dutch are world renowed for their cheapness..
    ..and great gay bars. Don't forget that!!

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    Re: A Dutch couple in Tokyo

    I place Tokyo Disney at the top of my list as well, with Disneyland next, but am tied between WDW and Paris- Paris is beautiful, but I believe even more poorly maintined than the other parks- I haven't visited Hong Kong yet to have an opinion, but hopefully sometime soon.

    Great report ErikM, so glad you had a great time as well- but I am a Gyoza fan, even if it is a little strange- it's the first thing I want to eat upon arrival at TDS.

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