I'm just back from Japan where I had a wonderful stay (despite earthquakes). In the following post I'll give some impressions about Tokyo Disney Resort. Please, keep in mind Disneyland Paris is my home park, and I never visited any other Disney park before.
The following comments are only my opinion and are very subjective.
It's not really a detailled trip report, and I'll first give some feelings about Tokyo Disneyland (day 1), then about Tokyo Disneysea (day 2).
First, let me say honestly that after visiting my very first other Disney park, my impressions were not very good. Tokyo Disneyland is actually very different from Disneyland Paris. I arrived there quite early as it was a major advice from many TDR experts, it was raining a bit, and my first surprise is that it was not crowded at all! (in fact I was expecting total huge crowds) As I booked tickets on TDR official site, I tried to find the Guest Welcome Center to get the actual tickets. I asked 2 cast members that were there, showed my printed voucher, but they had no idea where it was. Fortunately, the 3rd CM knew what I was talking about and took me to the Welcome Center. Not a single person was queueing up. I thought how cool !
My first impressions of Tokyo Disneyland is that the main entrance look much bigger in photos than in real. Anyway... I also had a look at the Disneyland Hotel, and once again I thought that the image I had (from photos) was much better that the building in front of me. The main color is weird, probably a bit too dark, and the blue roof material looked plastic.
En route to Tokyo Disneyland! We entered World Bazaar and... Err... What can I say..? Entering Disneyland Paris Town Square and entering Tokyo Disneyland World Bazaar are 2 (very) different experiences. First, the noise. As TDL is under a canopy, the sound is a little like in a warehouse. It reverberates a bit.
That canopy is a bad idea. Rebuilt Main Street USA, and built side arcades like in Paris for rainy days!
Buildings have much less details than in Paris, I also saw a boutique (or café?) that has an art déco style (!!!) that contrast sharply with the surrounding constructions. Some things I saw there looked actually tacky. A lot of colors look garish and doesn't look as subtle as in Main Street Paris. The World Bazaar outside constructions looked better though.
The Cinderella Castle look quite good (loved the colors), but once again I imagined it was much bigger that Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant in Paris, but I don't think it is. Seemed to me that you can't go through as there a large stage in front of it. The architecture looks more realistic than the castle imagined for Paris. My preference goes to Paris' castle.
Well, I don't mean to offend anyone that could be a fan of this place, it's only the point of view of 1 person, but I think it's probably the worst place in the park. The ugliness of Tomorrowland is hard to describe. It's almost all white/beige and blue, an ugly blue. It seemed to me that the place was never enhanced since the opening. Attractions look like they were placed randomly. The land is huge but seems very empty.
- Space Mountain: I'm usually not a big fan of roller coaster and not a connoisseur either. That thing in Tokyo is bad. Really bad. There are no soundtrack onboard. It's as bumpy as Paris SM Mission II. Very poor effects. And the most surprising of all, you go up very high in the mountain, but I don't remember a single drop, the descent is quite slow and made me a bit sick.
Unfortunately, Monster Inc. was down almost all day...
My general impression of Tomorrowland is that it needs to be rebuilt.
The whole place looks cute. Coming from Tomorrowland, it was a good surprise.
I must compare "my" Fantasyland and that one, one more more time. Paris beats Tokyo, hands down. It's probably the land I disliked the most after Tomorrowland. A large part of the land has a medieval fun fair look, that looked bad to me.
- Pooh's Hunny Hunt : The so-called best attraction in this park. Probably true. I really loved the attraction. The effects used are fantastic, and even if I'm not a fan of Pooh and his pals, I'd have loved to make a second ride!
- It's a Small World. Not much to say about it. The attraction itself is not very different compared to Paris. I didn't like much the indoor boarding station though, it looked uselessly huge and empty.
Something completely new to me. Probably the best part of all Tokyo Disneyland. The only place that can remain unchanged. It's tiny, but very beautifully detailed.
- Splash Mountain was new to me, and I thought it was fantastic. The "mountain" itself looks just great. I want Critter Country in Paris !!!
Frontierland... ah sorry, Westernland.
The land could have looked better without those HUGE pathways (which is by the way a major flaw in all Tokyo Disneyland).
- Big Thunder Mountain is a very good ride, even if you don't have a good view of the mountain, as in Paris (where it's an island.)
A land I quite liked. Even if once again the wide walks destroy the layout, some parts looked very good.
- Jungle cruise is a fun attraction, that is unknown in Paris. My friend and I liked it. Even if Cast Member speech and laughters sounded very un-natural. (I talk about Cast Members later).
- Pirates of the Caribbean. A very good attraction, and I loved the smoke during some scenes. However, I didn't appreciate much 3 details : the presence of Jack Sparrow (2 times), the soundtrack of POTC The Movie during the big ship scene, the mall escalator at the exit! (welcome back to the real world!)
- The Enchanted Tiki Room (with Stitch). I was expecting more of this old Disneyland attraction. I guess Stitch ruined it. Not bad, but not unforgettable.
My Top 7 TDL lands :
1 - Critter Country.
2 - Toon Town.
3 - Adventureland.
4 - Frontierland.
5 - World Bazaar.
6 - Fantasyland.
7 - Tomorrowland.
Misc Tokyo Disneyland thoughts :
-"Geography" : the park looked completely flat to me, Paris has hills, and parts in lower terrains. The very wide pathways is one of this park major flaw. Boundary between the different lands is not clear (until you take a look at the ground color). The park seemed smaller than Paris (maybe it's not).
- Crowds : I was expecting huge crowds, but I didn't find the park was more crowded than a sunday in Paris. (However there was an earthquake that day, and saw on TV that many trains were cancelled, maybe it is linked..?)
- Shows : I thought "Cool the heat" was a cute show, very dynamic, and without useless chatter! (unlike Paris, where shows are often filled with useless chatters, and corny jokes)
- Parades : Jubilation! was a beautiful daytime parade with a lot of floats. The Japanese watch the parade seated on the ground, it was cool because a lot of people can see the parade, but it wasn't very cool for my legs and buttocks! Nighttime Electrical Parade "Dreamlights" was wonderful too and extremely long, I can't remember there was so many different floats. I was expecting stops and unexpected effects, but there were none.
- FastPass : a very good point. FP works very good here. Never waited more than 4-5 minutes in attractions using them.
- Merchandise : it is absolutely true that Tokyo offers a wider range of items than Paris. However, there are some items that can be found in many boutiques everywhere in the park.
- Cast Members : the only adjective I'm thinking of regarding TDR Cast Members is "efficient". But that's about all what I'm thinking of. They look very robotic, and in general their attitude is not very natural. When an attraction has a breakdown for exemple, they stand all around the attraction and repeat hundreds of times the same message very loudly in a very polite japanese, even if there's absolutely no guest around. At the end of the day, I saw some CM that looked totally exhausted.
Coming next : Tokyo Disneysea !