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  1. #1

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    Back from Tokyo!

    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).

    Tokyo Disneyland

    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.


    World Bazaar.
    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.


    Cinderella Castle.
    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.


    Tomorrowland.
    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.


    Toon Town.
    The whole place looks cute. Coming from Tomorrowland, it was a good surprise.


    Fantasyland.
    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.


    Critter Country.
    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.)


    Adventureland.
    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 !
    Last edited by Olivier; 08-17-2009 at 10:38 PM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Back from Tokyo!

    Thanks for the trip report!

    I agree--World Bazaar--too noisy!! The din was just crazy.

    Nothing beats the Disneyland Paris Castle--that dragon in the dungeon is amazing!

    Tomorrowland--We all agreed (5 of us)--it needs a major overhaul.
    Fantasyland--I also agree with some of your observations.
    Splash Mountain--this version is the best yet.

    As for the CM's--I found them to be very kind and gratious. The thing is--here in the USA, we are in such a hurry all the time...that when they are being so 'guest' oriented--we just want to get them to hurry up and finish so we can go, go, go. I personally felt that the long lines in many cases were held up by the very polite CM's...doing what the Japanese do best--be polite. If you're Japanese, that's great. If your not, after a few times, it became frustrating. But, when in Rome.....or in this case Tokyo...

    I look forward to reading your report on DisneySEA!
    WDW-July 2010
    **Tokyo~Tokyo Disney Resort**May 25-June 3, 2009**

    Disneyland--all the time (we're Californians)
    Disneyland Paris-2002
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  3. #3

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    Re: Back from Tokyo!

    Umm 2 things:

    The paths being a major flaw? From the pictures I have seen on your average crowded day, the paths seem to be nearly full in all areas. The park was designed to handle massive crowds from the get go.

    Dreamlight? I have only seen videos of it, yet I am still captivated. Being too long? I wish it was longer! I assume you are used to Fantillusion as it is very short compared to Dreamlights and has a show stop. Neither of which Dreamlights need to be successful.

  4. #4

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    Re: Back from Tokyo!

    In my humble opinion, I'd much rather see a wide walkway rather than having to worry too much about not bumping into other people (i.e. Adventureland in California...) but I can't wait for what you thought about DisneySea!

  5. #5

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    Re: Back from Tokyo!

    Thank you Olivier! And I pretty much agree with your points. I am NOT a big fan of Tokyo Disneyland. It was built as a strange hodge podge of Magic Kingdom in Florida and Disneyland in California. It doesn't flow well and much of it is quite dated, even though it is remarkably well maintained compared to other Disney parks. Still, Tokyo Disneyland has much to offer in entertainment. The newer rides are built on a much different scale than the early rides. Splash and Pooh are AMAZING!

    However, I have a feeling that you, as I, have a MUCH different view of Tokyo Disney Sea. It is beyond what anyone expects and I can't wait to hear your comments.
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  6. #6

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    Re: Back from Tokyo!

    I happen to have loved Tokyo Disney. My home park is Disneyland, been to WDW 3 times and Paris once. As I think all the parks have their best items, Im glad they are different. No need to travel and see something that is just like the other parks.

    As far as the wide walkways. If it wasn't crowded the day you were there, which you were lucky. Then I can see your point in why have them so big. If you go on a busy day, you are thankful they have such large walk ways. And with Disneyland being my home park, I wish it had larger walkways. Its way to small for the crowds.

    Looking forward to see if you liked Seas.

  7. #7

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    Re: Back from Tokyo!

    Interesting that he doesn't mention how clean the Tokyo Disney Resort is, how well maintained everything is, and how nice the CMs are, all in comparison to the pigsty of Disneyland Paris, which is filthy, with snotty CMs, and where everything is poorly maintained!

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    Re: Back from Tokyo!

    Well, alright, I thought about it and it looks like you came in expecting Disneyland Pairs. That is clear, but I think guests should always come in expecting a totally different park. I think of Tokyo Disneyland not as Disneyland in Tokyo but Tokyo Disneyland. A unique park with unique rides and a unique atmosphere.

  9. #9

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    Re: Back from Tokyo!

    Quote Originally Posted by ICe101 View Post
    Dreamlight? I have only seen videos of it, yet I am still captivated. Being too long? I wish it was longer! I assume you are used to Fantillusion as it is very short compared to Dreamlights and has a show stop. Neither of which Dreamlights need to be successful.
    I didn't write the parade was too long, I meant the parade was incredibly long, which was fantastic!

    Interesting that he doesn't mention how clean the Tokyo Disney Resort is, how well maintained everything is, and how nice the CMs are, all in comparison to the pigsty of Disneyland Paris, which is filthy, with snotty CMs, and where everything is poorly maintained!
    In fact I quite agree with you. Sadly, CM are often a problem in Paris, maintenance could be much better, and you're right writing that Tokyo Disneyland is very clean.
    However, even with the problems mentionned above, I still think that Disneyland Paris is 1 million times more beautiful than Tokyo Disneyland. It is only my opinion, and talking about beauty is, by definition, very subjective I know.

    Well, alright, I thought about it and it looks like you came in expecting Disneyland Pairs. That is clear, but I think guests should always come in expecting a totally different park. I think of Tokyo Disneyland not as Disneyland in Tokyo but Tokyo Disneyland. A unique park with unique rides and a unique atmosphere.
    Not really. I couldn't imagine that 2 parks under the same brand and having the same name 'Disneyland' could be so different though. Coming from Disneyland Paris, I guess it was just unavoidable to compare both parks. Anyone would do the same.

  10. #10

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    Re: Back from Tokyo!

    Quote Originally Posted by Olivier View Post

    Holy cow, that is a truly ghastly color scheme. My eyes are bleeding just from seeing this. Your photos are nice, though, so I'm interested in seeing what you got at DisneySea.

  11. #11

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    Re: Back from Tokyo!

    Good trip report! Still waitin for the DS part.

    Tommorow land does need a refurb. Lots of people prefer space without music, I however love the music...

    I agree that Paris FL is better, it doesn't have Pooh though.

    I agree that Critter Country is very nice over there and I like their Adventureland!

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    Re: Back from Tokyo!

    I wish WDW's Tomorrowland still looked like Tokyo's. I'm weird like that.

  13. #13

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    Re: Back from Tokyo!

    I see what you mean. I love walking through Tokyo's Tomorrowland because it reminds me of the DL Tomorrowland of the 80's/early 90s (Ramp to Space Mountain, yay!). A nice bit of nostalgia, but I will welcome a re-do when the time comes.

    Even though Disneyland Paris is the most beautiful magic kingdom in the world, on the whole I feel like I consistently get a higher quality product when I visit Tokyo Disneyland.

  14. #14

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    Re: Back from Tokyo!

    Tokyo Disneysea.

    Sometimes words are useless. Aren't they.


    One word : perfection.
    Disneysea was far from my expectations. Coming the day before from the rather ugly Tolkyo Disneyland (even if it has some excellent attractions), it was a bit like visiting the Walt Disney Studios Paris, then discovering Disneyland Paris the day after (for those who know). A whole new world!

    Tokyo Disneysea is beautiful, magnificent, poetic, radiant, marvellous, surprising, fantastic, a place you enter with a large smile, and you're very sad to leave. I can't remember a place inside the park that I loved less, as the whole place looked so beautiful.

    Mediterranean Harbor.
    The "port" you discover when you enter. All the above adjectives can be used for Mediterranean Harbor. The only (very small) criticism I could level is that there are mostly painted shutters on the wall and not real ones. I understand that the Hotel Miracosta is behind, and that they probably didn't want that customers open and shut them freely, but they could have place real shutters attached on the wall. Oh well. It's so beautiful anyway.






    Mysterious Island.
    Maybe the most striking place in the park to me. Disneysea is a masterpiece. Mysterious Island is the masterpiece of the masterpiece. Everything is perfectly done. I could have stay all day long there, but there are so many other wonders in the park.
    - Journey to the Center of the Earth : Imagineering at its best. Unforgettable.
    Unfortunately I missed 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, next time.








    Mermaid Lagoon.
    Wonderful too. The indoor part was just pure enjoyment for the eyes!






    Arabian Coast.
    A great evocation of the land of 1001 nights.
    Guess what? Sindbad's Storybook Voyage had only 5 minutes waiting time. I thought it's probably a minor attraction. I totally felt in love with it. And the music!!! (Unfortunately I couldn't find the CD). Characters have very unusual face features (for Disney standards), and the ambience is just charming.






    Lost River Delta.
    The place looks remote from the rest of the park. The scenery is wonderful. You're in a new world.
    - Indiana Jones Adventure, Temple of the Crystal Skull : the ride is fantastic from beginning to end. I had a FastPass, and once again the system worked smoothly. I almost regretted not to have more time to discover the details in the queuing line!
    - DisneySea Transit Steamer Line : domn't miss this peacefull voyage on Disneysea rivers. Viewing the park from this angle was great.






    Port Discovery.
    Greatly designed and wonderful at night.
    - Stormrider : An attraction themed on weather. Probably not the most exiting theme for an attraction. A good one though.






    American Waterfront.
    My second favourite port in the park. Especially Cape Cod: absolutely lovely.
    I unfortunately missed the Big Band Beat as it seems all shows in the afternoon were cancelled. What a shame!
    Wonderful boutiques there.










    The Legend of Mythica.
    A not-to-be-missed imposing show. Magnificent.
    However, being placed almost exactly in front of the show (Hotel Miracost behind us), we had the sun in front of us, a bit painful for the eyes. I couldn't make good photos.


    BraviSEAmo!
    A work of art. Impressive visual effects and the best score ever made for a Disney show. (I'm currently listening to the music...).


    General thoughts.
    Disneysea is worth a trip to Japan for any Disney fans. And probably for anyone. Very much unlike Tokyo Disneyland that has a disastrous design (at least 80% of the park), Tokyo Disneysea is an absolute must-see and a brilliant creation. For example, I wrote before that Tokyo Disneyland has too wide pathways and that it was a major flaw. Most people say it was made like that to handle huge crowds. So why Tokyo Disneysea has natural, human-scale pathways? Anyway. I can't wait to go back to Tokyo Disneysea, and I already miss the park...
    Thank you for reading!
    Last edited by Olivier; 08-20-2009 at 02:45 AM.

  15. #15

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    Re: Back from Tokyo!

    Great report & photos- I'm glad you loved Tokyo Disney Sea, but was a little surprised Tokyo Disneyland disappointed you.

    I can agree with a few things you pointed out- the main reason is the wide open spaces- but it is necessary since crowds can become incredible there. I personally still enjoy the smaller, more intimate feeling that the other parks around the world have- This is the one thing I feel that Tokyo is lacking. But putting that aside, they do have incredible shows, parades, attractions and guest service that is unmatched anywhere else. The attractions at Fantasyland are a bit too spread out and lose a little bit there- but just about everything there is so well maintained and clean, so it gives the feeling that it has just opened and everything seems fresh and new.

    I do agree that Disneyland Paris is absolutely beautiful- but really needs much TLC- The last time I was there about a year and a half ago there were too many things there in disrepair & dirty that it left a feeling of loss. The Alice labrynth looked terrible & nothing seemd to work properly. I know Disney needs to put more care into DLP, but I really blame most of the guests there, who, from my observations, were simply just going there with the intent to destroy the park- I've never seen such a crowd bent on trying to break things, litter and make the most unpleasant experiences to others as they possibly can. I believe that some of the rudeness of the cast members reflect this since I'm sure they have to deal with unruly guests all day long on a daily basis, so, in a way- I really can't blame them.

    Getting back to Tokyo- Disney Sea, is unmatched in it's uniqueness & classy style and beauty. Disney sea too, does have fairly large walkways- but the one thing they really need to do is to add something along the walkway leading from Port Discovery to Lost River Delta- it's just too much unused wasted space in need of something.

    I do agree about the painted on shutter issue- The park is so incredibly detailed just about everywhere, but tha actual Miracosta- It looks great from a distance and they really did a great job of perspective and light/shadow effects, but closer up, you can clearly tell it's basically a very good painted wall. Shutters don't have to open and close if they actually put them up there- it just looks like the money ran out after designing the rest of the park- but I know that's not the case.

    Still, with every park, everyone can find something to nit pick with- I know I have enough of my own gripes with the parks from time to time.

    But putting things aside- as long as we have a great time at whatever park we visit- that is all that really matters.

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