I decided not to load this report with pics, but if you want to check out my Facebook album, here is the link: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...3&l=6e8d02f12f
Our big Thanksgiving trip to Tokyo and the Tokyo Disney Resort actually started in July when I found airfare with Continental (from Guam) for less than 300 per person! (I traveled with hubby, Steve and almost 18 year old daughter, Catelyn). Shortly after that, I’d researched the holidays and hotels and since Monday was a holiday in Japan, I booked our flights for Tuesday thru Sunday (11/24 – 11/29). We got a great rate at the Sheraton Tokyo Bay, one of the official Disney hotels on the Resort Line (monorail). Made reservations for our cat, Blondie, at the Pet Lodge, and counted down the days…..
The week before our trip, I checked the exchange rates and found that we had a slightly better rate here in Guam than we’d have gotten in Narita. Not to mention the 3% fee that the Bank of Hawaii would have charged me to use my debit card….so we exchanged $1200 before we left – hotel, air and Disney tix not included – we were figuring a ‘walking around’ budget of 150 per day for food/etc. for three adults.
Finally the 24th arrived and we left Guam, landing in Tokyo 3 hours later at about 10am. We decided to sample the train experience and bought NEX+Suica cards (3500 yen each) that we could use for the express train to Tokyo Station, then continue to use for the trains the rest of the week. The NEX was very comfortable for the 90 minute ride from the airport. We found Tokyo Station to be very exciting place, full of people and shopping and restaurants. We followed the signs to transfer to the Keiyo line and took a regular train to the JR Maihama Station - I was glad I’d insisted we all bring carry-on size rolling bags though, the train station was huge and it took about 15 minutes to walk through it.
There is a Disney Welcome Center right outside the Maihama Station – so we took advantage of the opportunity to check into our hotel, transfer our bags, buy our 4 day tickets and monorail passes. After a sandwich set (2290 for 3) at the Beckers diner under the train station, we were at Disney Sea before 1pm! After taking pics of all the amazing Christmas decorations, we headed for Tower of Terror. The standby line was only 30 minutes, so we decided to wait. It moved very quickly and thought the ride was awesome, though the drop is much tamer than the WDW version. Next we headed thru the waterfront, stopping to buy caramel popcorn (our first of many flavors we will try), and got into line for the Indiana Jones ride. We were lucky again and only waited about 30 minutes - the theming for this thrill ride is great, but it is over very, very quickly. I was going to skip Raging Thunder, as I heard it was a bit lame for a coaster – but Cate insisted we try it. She’s not a fan of coasters, so I was pretty surprised – turned out it was the perfect tame coaster for her. There is a loop, but it’s a short easy ride. Sinbad was our next stop, in the Arabian Village. This was a fun boat ride, we liked the music and the genie a lot.
The sesame churros for sale in the Village didn’t tempt us, so we headed back to Indy to purchase Yucatan sausage rolls from a cart there (420 yen each). This turned out to be our favorite snack in either park! Kind of like a bratwurst baked into a crispy baguette – yum! Journey to the Center of the Earth was next on our list. The 20 minute wait seemed like it took forever this time…the wait area is kind of boring – so we made sure to use Fastpasses on our next visit. The ride was fun – slow at first but it has a great rollercoaster drop at the end. The wait for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was posted at only 5 minutes, so of course we had to try it! Unfortunately, my claustrophobic daughter didn’t enjoy it much – even though she and I got the front seats (Steve got a side view). The ride was dull and really didn’t make much sense, those aliens were just weird, but it was pretty.
We visited Triton’s Kingdom and took lots of entrance pics – the theming here is really fabulous! Unfortunately, the Mermaid Theater was “breaking down” so we just wandered around being amazed at the decorations. As we came out, we watched part of the Candlelight Reflections parade in the harbor. Found some strawberry popcorn nearby so we went ahead and bought the 2009 Christmas bucket for 1600 yen. This turned out to be a great deal since refills were only 500 yen – and we ate a LOT of corn. I thought the strawberry was way too sweet, but Steve and Cate liked it a lot.
We noticed the park got a lot crowded after dark, so folks must’ve been snapping up the after 6 tickets. We wandered around a bit more, then decided it was too crowded and we were sleepy so we headed to the Sheraton around 8pm. The hotel was very posh and western style. Our bags were waiting in our room as promised and the view of Tokyo Bay was great. After a quick email check in the computer center (free internet) and a snack run to the little store, we were asleep by 9:30!
Day 2 to follow....