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  1. #1

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    A Day at TDL with the Ichigopara Family

    Today was the start of my five-day vacation at the Tokyo Disney Resort, staying at the Disney Ambassador Hotel.

    Woke up at the Sun Route Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku and hopped in a taxi at 6 am. Made it out to the Disney resort in 35 minutes (NO traffic) and the taxi fare was $75. Considering that there were two of us, and that the shuttle bus fare would have been $60, the cab fare was well worth it.

    Checked into the Ambassador, dropped our bags, and headed out to Tokyo Disneyland. BIG lines at the gates at 7am, an hour before park opening. And it was freezing, too, just plain cold with temps in the upper 40s and a stiff wind. The Japanese girls in the tiny dresses had goosebumps as big as cupcakes on their legs.

    Once inside we made a mad dash for Monster's Inc., since it's going down for rehab tomorrow and this was our only chance to see it. The posted 100 minute wait time was actually about 70 minutes. Enjoyed that, got some Fastpasses for Space Mountain, and headed off to Cleo's--a small food cart near Small World, for some Mickey Smile cakes (chocolate cake with banana custard. It was the only cart that didn't have a big line.

    Then we met up with Mr. and Mrs. Ichigopara and their little boy and had a long and lovely lunch at the Blue Bayou. Those folks know more about the Tokyo Disney Resort than anyone I've met (and I thought I knew a lot, but they've got me beat). Always fun to learn new things.

    Hit some more rides today, and given that it was the last day of a three-day national holiday and the E-tickets all had lines ranging from 2 to 3 hours for a good deal of the day, we did very well with a little help from our friends.

    After a bit of R&R at the hotel (we have a very nice room overlooking the courtyard in the Ambassador that leads to Ikspiari) we went back to the park, did Monster's Inc again (this time with FastPasses), then hit Pooh's Hunny Hunt (again with FastPass) before tucking into a nice dinner of Mickey Pizzas at Huey, Duey, and Looy's Goodtime Cafe--happily there was no line.

    Good chance of rain the next few days, but this never dampens the spirit here.

    Tomorrow, DisneySea!

  2. #2

    • Minion
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    Re: A Day at TDL with the Ichigopara Family

    Woke up at the Sun Route Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku
    Good hotel choice, stayed here myself once, ideal south entrance/exit for the station.

    The Japanese girls in the tiny dresses had goosebumps as big as cupcakes on their legs.
    Thats so true with what I witnessed last week, its cold but the girls only seem to cover the upper part of there bodies.

    Sounds like your having a great time despite the weather Fukai, hope you will continue with the updates though out the week. And nice to see you meeting up with Ichigopara + family, its nice to see Forum Members meet up at the Resort. Good luck with the weather, although I'm interested why you've picked such a busy time to visit with Spring Break?
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  3. #3

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    Re: A Day at TDL with the Ichigopara Family

    Sounds great so far. I hope you will share some photos with us!


  4. #4

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    Re: A Day at TDL with the Ichigopara Family

    It was so nice to spend time with you guys too! I was not able to make it to TDS today because I was not feeling well. Did you see the giant Zed banner on the SS Columbia?? Was it as tacky as it looked in photo's? It looked so out of place although banquine is my favorite act I don't want to see Zed at TDS.

  5. #5

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    Re: A Day at TDL with the Ichigopara Family

    It's been raining continuously since last night. So, rain ALL day today (Wednesday), windy, and cold cold cold. Really miserable weather and still the parks were crowded.

    We got a late start today and didn't reach Tokyo Disneyland until 10:30 am. Fastpasses for Pooh already had a 5 pm return time. (With Monster's Inc. now closed, there's more pressure on Pooh.) Every attraction had huge lines even though it was freezing and pissing down rain. We decided to go to the Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall since it would be warm and dry inside. There was a line out front and we were told the wait was 40 minutes. It was about 10 minutes. We had the usual excellent meal. Flank steak and an Unbirthday Cake for desert.

    Got out and headed for the Country Bear Theater--a walk-in, as always, but a big crowd for the show by the time it started. The figures are in beautiful condition. Lovely. Left there and went to the Tiki Room, now featuring Stitch. Not a great show, but being warm and dry on a day like today knocked it up about 20 notches.

    After that we walked onto the Western River Railroad. This is always an excellent attraction, but moreso when it rains and there's no line. I've always felt the rain makes the trip seem much more realistic and evocative of the jungle.

    After seeing the dinos in Primeval World, we got Fastpasses for Splash (noticed that they had nearly the same return time as we passed on the train so hot-footed it up there afterward and snagged a pair).

    We have enough of being beaten by wind and rain and cold, so returned to the hotel for a rest.

    A few hours later we walked to Ikspiari for a Yakiniku dinner on the third floor (never can remember the name of the place, but the food is great--it's Korean BBQ done in the Japanese style).

    We decided to go back to park and use our FastPases despite the fact that the temperature with the wind chill was now in the high 30s and still pissing rain. Anyway, we went right on Pooh (FastPass line was closed--they just dumped us in the standby line which was only 25 minutes). Great ride.

    Walked past the Haunted Mansion and there was NO line at all--zip!--down from almost 2 hours earlier in the day. So, us Mansion hounds did it twice in a row, and even the weird painting in the hallway from which the face emerges was working.

    Next we hit Splash Mountain--again our FastPasses were meaningless because there was only a 5 minute wait. it was my buddy's first time on this ride in Japan and he was blown away by how superior it is to its cousins in the states.

    After that we were leaving, but saw a 10 minute line for Peter Pan--you rarely see that--so we rode it.

    Still planning to leave we passed Snow White's Scary Adventures and did that as a walk-on as well.

    With the park only open another 30 minutes we dragged ourselves back to the warmth of the Disney Ambassador Hotel, from where this is being written. The weather tomorrow is supposed to be even worse: more rain, colder, etc. Good thing we're obsessed!

  6. #6

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    Re: A Day at TDL with the Ichigopara Family

    Bummer about the rain! Sounds like you're still managing to have a fantastic, if somewhat wet, time

    Looking forward to hearing more in coming days!
    Next trip September 2013

    Past trips:
    May 2010 TDL and DisneySea
    September 2006 TDL and DisneySea

    Dec 2005 DL
    June 2003 DL
    Dec 2002 WDW
    April 2002 DLP
    Dec 2001 DL
    Nov 2000 WDW
    Oct 2000 DL
    Oct 1997 WDW
    April 1994 DL

  7. #7

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    Re: A Day at TDL with the Ichigopara Family

    It's not just that it's raining, but it's in the low 40s and there's a stiff wind which, last night, made it feel like 39 degrees F.

  8. #8

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    Re: A Day at TDL with the Ichigopara Family

    Quote Originally Posted by Fukai View Post
    It's not just that it's raining, but it's in the low 40s and there's a stiff wind which, last night, made it feel like 39 degrees F.
    I know when I'm due to go it's a rainy time, however not a cold rainy time. I understand how miserable it can be, cold rain is a bit draining after awhile.

    I was there this time a couple of years ago, and was super lucky with the weather. Most of the time it was beautiful, but boy could it cold if it wanted to!

  9. #9

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    Re: A Day at TDL with the Ichigopara Family

    Quote Originally Posted by Fukai View Post
    It's not just that it's raining, but it's in the low 40s and there's a stiff wind which, last night, made it feel like 39 degrees F.
    This kind of weather is not something that I'm familiar with - it really doesn't get that cold here. Doesn't sound very pleasant though
    Next trip September 2013

    Past trips:
    May 2010 TDL and DisneySea
    September 2006 TDL and DisneySea

    Dec 2005 DL
    June 2003 DL
    Dec 2002 WDW
    April 2002 DLP
    Dec 2001 DL
    Nov 2000 WDW
    Oct 2000 DL
    Oct 1997 WDW
    April 1994 DL

  10. #10

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    Re: A Day at TDL with the Ichigopara Family

    Wednesday and Thursday were cold and rainy, but at least by the end of Wednesday everything in Tokyo Disneyland was practically a walk on (except Pooh, which had a line of 25 minutes). They had shut all the FastPass return lines, so even though we had FastPasses for Pooh, we still had to wait in the Standby Line.

    Thursday and Friday were just a horror: the lines for EVERYTHING were just awful. The busiest I've ever seen any Disney park--every popcorn cart had a 30 to 60 minute line. The attractions were all at 120 to 200 minutes all day long. Even at night.

  11. #11

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    Re: A Day at TDL with the Ichigopara Family

    And yet... WDC claims the MK at WDW is the most visited Disney park in the World...

  12. #12

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    Re: A Day at TDL with the Ichigopara Family

    There's just no way that the Walt Disney Company's claim is true. Anyone who's walked through all the Disney parks around the world can easily see that, on most days, Tokyo Disneyland is simply the busiest Disney park in the world. And today they just announced another attendance record for last year.

  13. #13

    • Minion
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    Re: A Day at TDL with the Ichigopara Family

    Actually its not the Walt Disney Company making the claims but the annual TEA/ERA Report.
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