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  1. #1

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    Cool Trip Report - October 2011

    This is a short trip report covering my recent visit to the Tokyo Disney Resort on the 17th-20th October 2011. Tokyo Disney was the grand finale of a 3-week trip to Japan covering Tokyo, Nikko, Kamakura, Magome, Tsumago, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Kyoto, Nara and Hakone. I was travelling on my own, and having been to WDW (many times), DLP (three times) and HKDL (once) I was keen to see how the Japanese do Disney! I had heard so much about Tokyo Disney so I decided it was time to finally check it out. I stayed at the Hilton Tokyo Bay for 4 nights, with nearly 4 full days in the parks.

    First off, let me thank everyone on the boards. The information gained was invaluable and the success of this trip was in no small part due to the great information obtained here.

    Day 1 - Tokyo Disneyland

    The day starts at the Fujiya Hotel in Miyano****a, Hakone. When I originally booked the trip I had planned on spending 3 full days in the parks, arriving at the resort early evening the night before. This was because I wanted to go to the parks that evening, and just walk in slowly, savouring every moment rather than rushing in to get a fastpass and joining lines. Over time, that plan changed to getting to the resort around lunchtime in order to get more time in the parks. However, on the day before I decided just to get there as early as possible. Breakfast at the Fujiya Hotel started at 0730, and although the breakfast was good it was a long drawn-out affair as it was 4 courses with waiter service. So, I opted to skip breakfast that morning, get up early and get the first mountain train (I think it was 0709) to Odawara where I caught the bullet train to Tokyo and changed to the local train to Disney. The trains all ran smoothly (this is Japan, after all) and I had no trouble finding my way. I ended up getting there around 1015. The parks had opened at 0900, so I had most of the day there.

    When I got to the train station, I went straight to the Welcome Centre next door. The cast member there greeted me in English and directed me downstairs to the counters for the Official Hotels. There, another cast member directed me to the line for the Hilton. (One thing I noticed is that everywhere in Tokyo Disney, there are so many cast members around to help you - many more than at the other parks. Every attraction seemed to have four or five cast members at the entrance.)

    The hall for the check-in counters was packed, and every hotel had a long queue except (thankfully) for the Hilton. I gave them my bag to take to the hotel (I only had a rucksack with me - I had already sent my suitcase on from my previous hotel). They asked me what time I would be going to the hotel, as if they check you in at the Welcome Centre then the key cards don't become active until 5 or 6pm. I said I would probably be going there earlier, so they suggested I wait until I get there to check in. I also bought my four-day parkhopper at the Hilton counter (cash only!) and chatted to the staff there for a couple of minutes about other parks I had been to. They then gave me a park map and I was on my way! The staff there were great and left me with a very good first impression. I went back past the train station and down towards Disneyland!

    I entered Disneyland with no problems. This being October, the entrance was decorated for Halloween. I went under the arches to Main Street (sorry, World Bazaar) and my first reaction was "wow, Main Street is short!" I wasn't sure if it was an optical illusion or not. I've just looked on Google Earth, and it turns out that it's the same length as the Magic Kingdom, if you ignore Town Square. The lack of a Town Square at the front makes it appear shorter - although because there are full side-streets, the area is probably just as big. I knew that at this time of day every minute is critical so I made my way down Main Street and turned right at Center Street to get to Tomorrowland. The side streets really make getting around a lot easier. I went to get a Fastpass for Monsters, Inc, but they were all gone for the day. So, I headed to the tip board at the end of World Bazaar. To my dismay everything had long wait times, so I decided that I would go and get my first Fast Pass for the Haunted Mansion Holiday Nightmare, and then also ride it. The wait time was 70 minutes (which normally is more than I would wait for anything, let alone Haunted Mansion!). The wait wasn't too painful, and for the last few minutes I was able to watch part of the Halloween Parade as it rolled past.







    The Haunted Mansion is usually one of my favourite attractions, and I absolutely loved the holiday version. It still keeps the spirit (no pun intended) of the usual attraction, but just adds a fresh new layer. However I did find the location of the attraction strange. I understand why it's in Fantasyland, but to me it just didn't fit in and it would have been better if they had isolated it slightly from the rest of the land.

    My memory of exactly what I did when is a little hazy - I'm using my photos as a prompt but I didn't take many the first day. My focus was on riding as much as possible, and then use the later days to 'stop and smell the roses' (and take lots of pictures). I think that next I went to Splash Mountain. I put all of my belongings into plastic ziplocks and then used the Single Rider line. The standby line was huge (I think it was 90 minutes+) so it was fantastic to skip the queue - I walked straight onto the ride. You have to use the Fastpass line, and then part-way down the line the cast member directs you to another line. It was very enjoyable, and I didn't really get wet - only from the mist that you go through on the big drop. Normally I don't like getting too wet so I don't go on the one at Magic Kingdom, so it was nice to be able to ride it again! I rode it a few more times that day.

    I then had lunch at Grandma Sara's. Whilst waiting in the line, a cast member was coming down the line taking orders and writing them on a little form to give the cashier. I had a little trouble ordering, as he couldn't understand me and it's difficult to point when the menu is up high above the counter. Eventually I figured out which box on the form I should tick by matching the prices up. I think I had some kind of meat patty with a side salad - it was OK but not great.

    After exploring Critter Country a bit more, I got a Fastpass for Big Thunder Mountain and rode Pirates. I then backtracked through Fantasyland and caught the Halloween Parade (again) underneath StarJets. Actually I was a couple of minutes early, and cast members were teaching the audience dance moves. I was impressed by how everyone really got into it and danced along. I enjoyed the parade, although I thought that the theme of the parade ("Halloween Street") was a little bizarre and wondered whether just a 'normal' halloween parade would have been better.





    I think at this point I went to Tomorrowland and saw Captain EO. I remember seeing this in the late Eighties / early Nineties at Epcot (when I was probably a bit younger than the target demographic) and so I wanted to see this for nostaligic reasons. I thought that the show was great, and actually I didn't really think that it had dated that much.

    After that I think I rode Star Tours. There's not much to say about Star Tours, except that it was a near walk-on and the theming pre- and post- ride was impressive.

    At this point I left the park to check into the hotel (shortly after 3pm). Technically I didn't need to - I could have waited until the evening, after the parks closed - but as I had sent my main luggage on from my previous hotel using the Takyubin service I was keen to make sure it had arrived OK. First I went to Bon Voyage - I was a bit disappointed with the selection there, particularly of Tokyo Disney branded items. There was plenty of DisneySea 10th anniversary stuff (which was the same in every shop in DisneySea) but very little else. I bought a Fantasmic mug and then walked to the Resort Gateway station. I bought a 4-day monorail pass from the machines and caught the monorail round to Bayside Station. The station is almost right infront of the Hilton, so very convenient.





    I checked in - again, the service was excellent - and the bell staff retrieved my luggage (both my suitcase and the bag that I had sent on from the Welcome Centre) and showed me to my room on the 7th floor. To my surprise I'd been upgraded to a "King Plus" room, which was a huge room with fantastic views over Tokyo Bay and with Tokyo off in the distance. The room had a huge king bed, full sofa, fridge and tea maker.







    After changing and unpacking, I returned to Disneyland. By this time it was getting dark and the lights were coming on. I spent some time exploring the entrance area, Main Street and the Haloween decorations in front of the castle. At some point I rode Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin. I think that the wait was around 20 minutes, which was longer than the ride deserved, but it was a fun dark ride and certainly a step up from the Fantasyland dark rides. I had dinner at the Tomorrowland Terrace, which was a cheeseburger. The burger was OK. I also ordered a halloween dessert which came on a souvenier plate (they give you a plastic bag for the plate). I sat outside on the balcony overlooking the castle. In the Magic Kingdom, this is my favourite spot (it's Cosmic Ray's there) and I always make a point of eating there, so it was cool to do the same here. Throughout my trip I noticed that the restaurants all seemed packed at lunchtime, but relatively empty in the evenings, despite no appreciable drop in crowd levels.















    I then started scouting locations for viewing the Electrical Parade, and settled on a spot in Westernland. I took a seat on the ground and waited 25 minutes or so for the parade to start. They make the first five or six rows sit, which gives everyone a much better view of the parade and makes for a much better experience (no jostling and stress like you get at the other parks!). I thought the parade was excellent. For me, the Electrical Parade or Spectromagic provide a real "shiver down the spine" moment that makes you realise that you are actually at Disney. It was fantastic.





    Once the parade was over, I used my Fastpass on Big Thunder and then went and rode Space Mountain. I'm always amazed by how fast Space Mountain feels. By the time I came out of Space Mountain the park was closed and the loudspeakers were politely telling people to leave. I slowly made my way out. Partly because I didn't want to queue for the monorail, and partly because it was a lovely evening, I decided to walk back to the hotel. The walk was only about 10 minutes, along the side of (and then through part of) the parking lot, depositing you at the monorail station. The route was well sign-posted.



    To be continued... (I have many more photos for the following days!)
    Last edited by steve76; 10-27-2011 at 10:11 AM. Reason: Edited to add pictures from video

  2. #2

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    Re: Trip Report - October 2011

    Can't wait to see more! I can never tire of seeing photos of the Tokyo parks.

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    Re: Trip Report - October 2011

    Looks great so far. Anxiously awaiting more.

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    Re: Trip Report - October 2011

    Amazing pictures. Great trip report. Can't wait for more!
    Sorry for grammar mistakes! I'm not really good in English!

  5. #5

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    Re: Trip Report - October 2011

    Sounds like you arrived the day after I left. Glad you had a great time. Looking forward to seeing your mind boggled by DisneySEA.

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    Re: Trip Report - October 2011

    Day 2 - DisneySEA

    Today was my first day at DisneySEA. It was great to see Disneyland, but as far as I was concerned DisneySEA was the main attraction. I got the monorail from Bayside station one stop to the DisneySEA station. I had a few glimpses of the park from the monorail - the backside of Indiana Jones (so to speak), SS Columbia, and the Tower of Terror. However the monorail goes down into a ditch as it passes most of the park, in order to preserve the illusion from inside the park that the lagoon and Tokyo bay are one and the same. For that reason, you can't see a lot of the park from the monorail.







    When the monorail arrived at the DisneySEA station, I went to the little outside viewing area on the platform (something that I think most guests miss). From here you get a perfect view of Aquasphere Plaza and the Miracosta Hotel. The view is stunning, especially before park opening when there are no guests about. It was absolutely beautiful, and the Tuscan-style facade of the hotel is just so amazing and detailed. Instead of going down the stairs, I left through the little ticket barrier at the far end of the platform to walk along the elevated breezeway towards the Miracosta, to get a different view. After taking a few more photos, I went down the steps and joined the queue.









    By now it was about 8.15. The park was due to open at 9.00. I joined one of the queues and sat down like everyone around me. The time went by quite quickly as I sat there and people watched. Ten or fifteen minutes before opening the cast members asked everyone to stand and move forward, and then a few minutes later the characters appeared on the other side of the gates. Finally, the park opened and within a couple of minutes I was finally inside my ninth Disney park, DisneySEA!


    Of the three biggest rides at DisneySEA, Tower of Terror and Indiana Jones have single rider lines (supposedly - more on that later), so I decided that my priority should be Journey to the Centre of the Earth. So, I quickly made my way over towards Mysterious Island - a combination of fast walking and jogging. Because of the layout of this park, it does take quite a while to get everywhere as there's usually no direct route. There were lots of people going in that direction, but a lot more were heading towards the Tower of Terror. I quickly grabbed a Fastpass and then entered the Standby line. It only took 5 or so minutes - basically, the length of time it took to walk though the queue and use the Terravator. I have to say, I don't think that the Terravator was particularly convincing - the effects were good (sound, air etc.) but the movement of the elevator was very gentle.





    However, the ride itself was amazing. It's beautiful (I apologise, I think I'm going to over-use that word in this trip report) and atmospheric. The underground lake seen was fantastic and the lava monster was incredible. However, the biggest surprise was the final fast section - I had expected a short acceleration and small drop (which is what it looks like from the outside). Instead the fast section inside the volcano was much longer than I expected, and the drop was much bigger - lots of airtime, and it looks like you're heading head-first into the rock. Since itís the same ride system as Test Track, I was expecting a similar experience Ė but this was much more exhilarating than I had been expecting.

    I rode Journey a few more times whilst the lines were short, and then headed over to Indiana Jones. Here, I used the Single Rider line which worked perfectly - I only waited one or two minutes to ride. I knew that this was the same ride mechanism and track as Dinosaur at Animal Kingdom, so I kind of knew what to expect. But wow, this is so much better. The effects, especially the smoke ring, the rope bridge and the ball scene were amazing.

    Next I think I headed back to Mysterious Island to use my Fastpass for Journey, and then I rode 20,000 leagues under the sea. I asked the Cast Member at the front of the line where the Single Rider line was. He said it was closed, which I assumed was because it wasnít that busy. Iíve just looked at the official website Ė and there is no mention of Single Rider for 20KL Ė maybe theyíve stopped it permanently? Anyway, I got in line and waited 15 minutes or so. Again, I absolutely loved this ride - the 'below water' effect is so convincing that I probably would have been fooled if I hadn't already known that you don't actually go underwater. Not understanding much Japanese, I probably missed some of the finer points of the story, but the theming, the detail and the atmosphere makes this one of the best Disney attractions in my opinion. There's so much to look at, and you get a completely different view depending on where you sit.

    At DisneySEA I found that every time I came out of a ride, I would think to myself that it was the best Disney ride anywhere. Journey, Indy, 20,000 leagues, Tower of Terror, Sinbad - they have to be the best attractions ever created.

    At about this point I decided to have an early lunch at Vulcania in Mysterious Island. This is a cafeteria-style Chinese restaurant. I had sweet and sour pork, with rice and a mandarin-cream puff desert. I thought the sweet and sour pork was really good.

    After lunch I made my way over to Port Discovery and caught the Electric Railway to American Waterfront. I again tried to use the Single Rider line at Tower of Terror, and again was told that it was closed. Now, I can understand that the Single Rider line for 20K may be closed if the queue is only a few minutes, but Tower of Terror was about 60 minutes. This is one of only two (minor) niggles about DisneySEA. All the time I was there, TOT and 20K did not have the single rider line open. Indiana Jonesí Single Rider line was open most of the time I tried, but not every time. I appreciate that the Single Rider line should be treated as a bonus, and not a right, but it was slightly annoying as if Iíd have known this I would have used Fastpass.





    Whilst Iím talking about criticisms Ė my second and final (minor) criticism is about the advertised wait times. Many of the attractions had the little dials with the wait times on, which are very difficult to see. In addition, the advertised wait times (in my experience) were often wildly inaccurate Ė e.g. a 30 minute advertised wait time being a walk on, and a 10 minute advertised wait time actually taking 25 minutes. Also, the Standby Time advertised on the Fastpass Distribution boards (once the Fastpasses had gone) often beared no relation at all to the time advertised at the entrance Ė e.g. for Raging Spirits, where the FP board said 10 minutes, and the sign at the entrance said 80 minutes. However, these are minor criticisms of a fantastic park.

    One other thing that I wasnít aware of is that the Fastpass system works slightly differently here. When you get a Fastpass for a particular attraction, you cannot get another Fastpass for the same attraction until your ride time starts, even if it is after the Ďyou may get another fastpassí time printed on the ticket. In fact the ticket says ďyou may get a Fastpass for another attraction after...Ē (my emphasis). For example, if you get a Fastpass for Tower of Terror, and it says that you may get another Fastpass after 1100, and your ride time is 1400-1500, then you can get a Fastpass for a different attraction after 1100, but you canít get another TOT Fastpass until 1400. This was true at DisneySEA (Tower of Terror and Journey) but I didnít test it at Disneyland. This one caught me out at the Tower of Terror.

    So, I joined the Standby line for Tower of Terror. Obviously, I loved it. The drops did seem slightly milder than the other versions of this attraction. I thought the story and theming of this version was excellent, and I loved the pre-show (particularly the disappearing Shiriki Utundu effect). I also liked the way that every loading area had a different theme (one was knives, one was carpets etc.).

    From there, I made my way over to Cape Cod where I got the boat for a scenic roundtrip. From the boat you get a great view of all of the ports of call. After that I spent a few minutes exploring Cape Cod, and then made my way slowly back to New York. I stopped for a few minutes to watch part of ĎA Table is Waitingí show in front of SS Columbia, and then went aboard to explore. I was the only person around, so a few times I wondered whether I was wandering into a backstage area! I made my way up to the front of the ship, from where you get an amazing panoramic view of the whole park, plus Tokyo Bay and Tokyo. The view was amazing and from here you can really appreciate the beauty of the park, and the sheer amount of detail that has gone into it.



































    I slowly made my way back through New York, exploring some of the shops along the way, and on to Mediterranean Harbour. I spent quite a bit of time exploring the Venice area Ė which again, is just beautiful Ė and I spent a long time just watching the gondolas float along the canals. I then worked my way through the various shops of Mediterranean Harbour until I found myself back at the entrance plaza. There were a few characters (including Mickey) greeting guests there.







    The Aquasphere is absolutely beautiful. As the water runs down the globe, it forms little waves that run down the oceans, and the water disappears behind the continents. Itís fantastic to watch, and photos donít really do it justice. The plaza was also decorated for the 10th anniversary, which I didnít think was too intrusive. I then left the park (getting my hand stamped, of course) and walked round to the front entrance of the Miracosta Hotel and into the lobby. Though the lobby isnít that large, itís quite beautiful and I decided that when I win the lottery (which I plan to do soon) then I will probably stay here! I had a quick look at the gift shop but nothing there caught my fancy, so I then re-entered the park through the hotelís own entrance.









    In the harbour, Pinocchio and friends were greeting guests Ė of all the characters, I think I saw Pinocchio more than any for some reason! I think I then returned to Journey to the Centre of the Earth to use a Fastpass, and then caught the end of Legend of Mythica (when all the floats were starting to return backstage). I stopped and watched that for a few minutes, then investigated the Fortress Explorations. This was a fun area Ė I got thoroughly lost but had a great time exploring each little room, with the planetarium, pinhole camera, pendulum etc. There were lots of other guests doing the Leonardo Challenge, but I had a great time just wandering around. One of the cast members gave me a map of the area, which was a nice touch.









    By this time I was getting hungry so I returned to the Mediterranean Harbour to have dinner at Zambini Brothersí Italian Restaurant. I got the Spaghetti Bolognese and the yoghurt cake dessert. The spaghetti Bolognese was not very good Ė lots of spaghetti, practically no Bolognese. The desert, however, was very nice and came with a lovely souvenir plate. I sat in the covered area at the front of the restaurant so that I could listen to the ĎBe Magicalí show that was outside, however I ended up surrounded by guests who were standing on the tables in order to see the show.

    I like to follow my meals with a free-fall through 13 stories, so I then rode Tower of Terror again (as you can tell, I spent most of my time zipping between Tower of Terror, Journey and Indiana Jones). Outside the attraction were Pluto, Chip and Dale and Scrooge McDuck. I was impressed by how many characters there were, in both parks, and I seemed to be always running into them. By the time the ride was over it was dark, and getting cold, so I then got the monorail back to the hotel to get a coat. I love how everything in the resort is so close, and how itís possible to get around so quickly.

    I returned in time for Fantasmic. I took the advice from the boards and selected a spot in Mediterranean Harbour, just round to the right of the centre. This turned out to be a great location, with an excellent view of the whole show. I was about a half an hour early, so I was about 4 rows back from the front. I took a seat on the ground, like everyone else (using my guidemap as an impromptu mat) and waited. At this point I looked up to the Miracosta and was quite jealous, as the people sat on their balconies with a glass of wine overlooking the whole harbour. As 8pm drew near everyone stood up and moved forward.

    The show was spectacular. The setting is a lot more intimate than photos and videos show Ė youíre much closer to all of the action, and thereís so much happening all over the place that the videos (whilst great) donít really do the show justice. Itís quite a different show to the WDW version, but I think I preferred this version. I didnít take any photos during the show, only of the hat after the show had finished. I do have some sympathy for Mickey, though, who is stuck inside of that hat for about an hour before the show, and then again for half an hour or so afterwards. I hope he has a good book!



    After the show, I made my way slowly around towards the aqueduct/vineyard area for the fireworks, which turned out to be a good spot. The fireworks were OK Ė nothing to go out of your way for, but enjoyable nonetheless. The crowds then started to thin out, and I spent the rest of the evening knocking off a few more rides.

    Next, I rode Sinbadís Storybook Adventure, which at this time of night was a walk-on (in fact, I had the whole boat to myself). I loved this ride - much more than I thought I would. I was surprised by the sheer number of animatronics, and how lifelike they are. It's the kind of attraction where you come out of it humming the song to yourself. Once again, I came out thinking that this was one of my favourites - I'm surprised that it's not more popular.

    Also that night I rode Aquatopia and Stormrider. I thought Aquatopia was fun to ride, but it's main appeal is visual and it looks very cool at night. I liked the theming and set-up of Stormrider, but I thought that the ride itself was only OK. I think that the quality of the projection, and the fact that you can clearly see all of the joins in the screen, took away from the illusion quite a bit. I definitely enjoyed it but itís not something I felt I needed to repeat. I finished up with a finale ride on the Tower of Terror and then slowly made my way out of the park, pausing to enjoy the beautiful background music in Mediterranean Harbour.

    Overall I think DisneySEA is simply an amazing park. Itís stunning, immersive, beautiful, and it just oozes quality. Everywhere you look there is a different, exciting view with ridiculous amounts of detail. There isnít one square inch of this place that isnít interesting. It also has some of the best attractions anywhere Ė Sinbad, Journey, Indy, Tower of Terror, 20,000 Leagues. DisneySEA has truly the crown jewel of Disney theme parks.

    To be continued...

  7. #7

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    Re: Trip Report - October 2011

    Excellent trip report.

    The single rider line at 20,000 Leagues and Indy seem to be open or closed with no rhyme or reason--busy day or not busy day, you can't never tell in advance. However, I don't think there's a single rider line at Tower of Terror; are you sure there's one?

    I have not encountered your experience with the FastPass window. It has always worked for me (many trips) exactly as in the states: you can get another FastPass the moment your FastPass window opens, or, if it's more than two hours out, two hours after you've gotten your first FastPass. Have never encountered any other procedure. I always have four FastPasses for different attractions by about 1 pm, and can then ride without waiting on the busiest attractions during the busiest time of the day.

    The seams in the screen on Stormrider have always been very distracting to me. For some reason they are far less visible on Soarin. (They need to upgrade the whole system to digital 3D like they did with Star Tours 2--then the ride would really rock.)

    Never a line at Sindbad--Westerners like it, the Japanese essentially couldn't care less. A shame.

    You really need to visit Disneyland in California and see the original, and best, version of Fantasmic, as well as the original Indiana Jones Adventure. Disneyland is still the best single Disney park in the world--the park that Walt built, walked in, and tweaked for 10 years until he died.

    Looking forward to the next part of your report.

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    Re: Trip Report - October 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by Fukai View Post
    Excellent trip report.

    The single rider line at 20,000 Leagues and Indy seem to be open or closed with no rhyme or reason--busy day or not busy day, you can't never tell in advance. However, I don't think there's a single rider line at Tower of Terror; are you sure there's one?

    I have not encountered your experience with the FastPass window. It has always worked for me (many trips) exactly as in the states: you can get another FastPass the moment your FastPass window opens, or, if it's more than two hours out, two hours after you've gotten your first FastPass. Have never encountered any other procedure. I always have four FastPasses for different attractions by about 1 pm, and can then ride without waiting on the busiest attractions during the busiest time of the day.

    The seams in the screen on Stormrider have always been very distracting to me. For some reason they are far less visible on Soarin. (They need to upgrade the whole system to digital 3D like they did with Star Tours 2--then the ride would really rock.)

    Never a line at Sindbad--Westerners like it, the Japanese essentially couldn't care less. A shame.

    You really need to visit Disneyland in California and see the original, and best, version of Fantasmic, as well as the original Indiana Jones Adventure. Disneyland is still the best single Disney park in the world--the park that Walt built, walked in, and tweaked for 10 years until he died.

    Looking forward to the next part of your report.
    No problems with FP here either. For single, the official guide given to me yesterday says Indy, Raging, and Tower all have Single. (Along with Splash)

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    Re: Trip Report - October 2011

    Ack! I had no idea that Tower of Terror had a single rider entrance. I'll have to check that out in December. Thanks.

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    Re: Trip Report - October 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by Fukai View Post

    However, I don't think there's a single rider line at Tower of Terror; are you sure there's one?
    Officially, there is one (Single Riders | Tokyo DisneySea). However I saw no physical evidence of it, in terms of signs or separate queue lines. I'm curious to know how it works, particularly with the pre-show interrupting the queue halfway through.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fukai View Post

    I have not encountered your experience with the FastPass window. It has always worked for me (many trips) exactly as in the states: you can get another FastPass the moment your FastPass window opens, or, if it's more than two hours out, two hours after you've gotten your first FastPass. Have never encountered any other procedure. I always have four FastPasses for different attractions by about 1 pm, and can then ride without waiting on the busiest attractions during the busiest time of the day.
    I had never heard of it before, either. You can still collect loads of Fastpasses, it just prevents you getting a Fastpass for the same attraction until your ride time opens (you can get FPs for other attractions earlier). If you try, the machine spits out a 'non FP' stating that you already have a fastpass for that attraction, and to try another attraction instead.

    I've just looked on the website, and it actually states it there:

    Check your FASTPASS ticket to find out when you can get a FASTPASS for another attraction. Please note that you cannot get a second FASTPASS ticket for the same attraction until after the designated period for using the first ticket has expired.
    (Disney's FASTPASSģ | Tokyo DisneySea)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fukai View Post

    Never a line at Sindbad--Westerners like it, the Japanese essentially couldn't care less. A shame.
    Sinbad would be a great addition to Adventureland at the other resorts - although I could see them not doing it due to the similarity with Pirates.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fukai View Post

    You really need to visit Disneyland in California and see the original, and best, version of Fantasmic, as well as the original Indiana Jones Adventure. Disneyland is still the best single Disney park in the world--the park that Walt built, walked in, and tweaked for 10 years until he died.
    I hope to visit it sometime in the next few years, and I can't wait to see it!

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    Re: Trip Report - October 2011

    Day 3 Ė Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySEA, and everything inbetween

    Today was my third day at Tokyo Disney, and so my first opportunity to park-hop. In the previous two days, I had basically crossed off most of my Ďmust-dosí, so today the plan was to slow down, smell the roses, and just try to take in the atmosphere, the scenery, and some of the smaller attractions that I had missed (whilst still using FastPasses and Single Rider lines).

    I started by taking the monorail from Bayside Station all the way round to the Disneyland Station. Hereís what I saw along the way:







    I arrived a little bit before park opening, so I was expecting to have to wait, but to my surprise the park was already open! My first instinct was to panic (how much park time have I missed? what are the wait times going to be now?) but then I remembered my game plan to not run around like a maniac. So, I slowly made my way down World Bazaar to the hub. I paused for a few minutes to watch the band, who were playing in the hub in their orange Halloween costumes. The characters were also out in force. I love the way that there are always lots of characters about, and yet thereís never a crush to see them, and people give them the space to play about and do a bit of improv! I saw Chip and Dale (and the female Chipmunk Ė I donít know her name!), the Three Caballeros, Scrooge McDuck and many more.









    I got my first FP for the day at Big Thunder Mountain, and then rode it while the line was short. I then set off to explore Adventureland. I rode the Jungle Cruise, which seemed pretty much identical to the WDW version. Of course I didnít understand a word that the skipper said, but everyone around me was laughing so I assume it was pretty good!















    After the Jungle Cruise I waited for the Western River Railroad, since it goes from the same building. I enjoyed this much more than the other versions of the railroad, since itís a Ďproperí ride rather than a mode of transportation. The views are also more interesting since it cuts through part of the park between the Rivers of America and Fantasyland.





    I love seeing the canoes on the water, since Iíve never seen those in a Disney park before. It gives the whole area much more interest since thereís always a canoe, raft or riverboat passing by.

    Pirates was a walk-on so I rode that. As I left Pirates, the smell of melting chocolate drew me into Cafe Orleans for a Banana and Chocolate Crepe, which was delicious. I love the whole New Orleans area. I spent a good few minutes trying to find Club 33 Ė before remembering that it was accessed from World Bazaar. Duh.





    I then climbed the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House, which (unsurprisingly) I had to myself. A nice little attraction like the other Tree Houses around the world, with some good views of the park and hotels.











    I then took the Rafts over to Tom Sawyer Island to explore a little. On the island were teams of gardeners hard at work Ė which struck me as unusual as itís rare to see gardeners in the parks. After exploring the caves and the fort, I returned to the Ďmainlandí to continue my tour.











    I think I then snuck in another ride on Splash Mountain using Single Rider, and Haunted Mansion. Itís a Small World and Pinocchio had very short lines, so I rode those too. Unfortunately Pooh was down for refurb for the duration of this trip Ė oh well, maybe next time!






















    I stopped in at Toon Town. Despite the crowds being light in the rest of the park, this area was crazy-busy so I didnít stay long.





    I then worked my way back down World Bazaar, looking at all of the shops along the way. I actually quite like this version of Main Street. Although it didnít rain on my trip, I imagine itís great to have a whole area undercover. The fact that there are side-streets makes getting around much easier. I also like the way that the parades donít use Main Street, so this area never gets too congested. The band were playing here so I paused to listen to them for a while. I then took the side street to Tomorrowland, and caught the bicycle piano as he was starting his set.
















    I would say that Tomorrowland, and in particular the area around the Tomorrowland / World Bazaar transition, is probably the weakest part of the park, and looks really dated. I hope they update this soon.









    I then left the park to go and explore the hotels and Ikspiari. First I went to the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel. I thought this hotel was just beautiful, and absolutely huge! I spent some time in the lobby and outside areas. In the giftshop I bought a really nice Tokyo Disneyland Hotel mug, and a couple of very elegant Tokyo Disneyland Hotel hand towels.













    Next, I walked to Ikspiari. I didnít spend long here Ė my conclusion was that Ďitís just a shopping mallí. Most of the shops didnít interest me and even the Disney Store couldnít hold my attention for long. So, I worked my way through to the other end to visit the Ambassador Hotel.





    I have to say Iím not a great fan of the Ambassador Hotel. I know itís grossly unfair to base an opinion on a hotel from the public areas alone, but the theming just didnít do it for me. I think my opinion may have been coloured by the fact that I approached it through a shopping mall, and its location between a shopping mall and the parking lot / Cirque du Soleil theatre. Iím sure the rooms are lovely (Iíve read great things about it). I wonder what theyíll do with the Cirque du Soleil theatre once it closes at the end of the year? Maybe theyíll bulldoze it and build another hotel (or extend the Ambassador?)

    In the giftshop of the Ambassador Hotel, they also had some very nice Ambassador Hotel hand towels, so I bought one of those as well. I then walked back through to Ikspiari and decided to find the Hawaiian Burger Restaurant (Kua'Aina) that Iíve read about on the boards for a late lunch. When you arrive they show you to your seat, but then you have to go up to the counter to order and pay Ė they then bring the food to your table when itís ready. I had an Avocado Burger with extra pineapple, which comes with fries and onion rings. This was delicious and I highly recommend it.

    After returning to the hotel briefly, I then returned to DisneySEA. I arrived shortly before one of the performances of ďBe MagicalĒ. I grabbed a spot on the bridge, just overlooking the amphitheatre. This turned out to be quite a good spot. I enjoyed the show. It was extremely windy, with some very strong gusts, so the performer who was supposed to throw the baton into the air just had to wave it around a little.













    After the shows I just wandered around the park, trying to take everything in. I rode Raging Spirits using the Single Rider line. I had ridden the Indiana Jones rollercoaster at Disneyland Paris (which is the same rollercoaster, just a different theme) so I didnít have high expectations for this attraction! Itís difficult to describe this ride Ė itís just nothingy. It was not particularly exciting or thrilling, so Iím glad I didnít have to wait for it. However it does look great, particularly at night with the smoke and the fire. As I left the attraction I spotted the Yucatan Base Camp Grill, and decided to stop for dinner. I had the smoked pork, which was OK.

    Having already bought a hand towel for the TDL Hotel and the Ambassador Hotel, I had to go back to the Miracosta to buy one there to complete the set.













    Fantasmic was due to start at 8pm, but I didnít really want to stake out a spot early like I had the previous night Ė I preferred to spend the time exploring the park, and then turn up at the last minute even if that meant a partial view. I bought another desert (with a souvenir plate) from one of the carts in American Waterfront and spent a very pleasant 20 minutes or so sat on one of the jetties. A few minutes before 8pm I grabbed a spot on the bridge between American Waterfront and Mediterranean Harbour. Obviously this wasnít as good a spot as the previous night, but you could still see most of the action, just not the low-level stuff on the water. I stood at the back of the bridge Ė which meant that there was no-one immediately in front of me, and it meant that I could hold my camera up high without obstructing anyone elseís view.







    After the show I managed to fit in a couple more rides on Tower of Terror before dragging myself back to the hotel for some well-deserved rest!

    Coming up... last day at Tokyo Disney!

  12. #12

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    Re: Trip Report - October 2011

    Great photos so far! Can't wait to see the rest.

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    Re: Trip Report - October 2011

    Day 4 Ė Last Day

    Today was my last full day at Tokyo Disney, and indeed in Japan, and I wanted to spend it at Tokyo DisneySEA. My plan was the same as the previous day Ė to take my time in exploring the park, looking at areas I had previously missed, taking lots of photos. I still rode Tower of Terror, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and Indiana Jones multiple times.

    I arrived around 20 minutes early, by which time there was a substantial queue. When the gates opened it took a while to get in Ė and I repeated my plan from earlier in the week to go straight to Journey to ride and get a Fastpass. I rode the Electric Railway from Port Discovery to New York Ė this time sitting on the Volcano side.




















    After exploring New York I made my way over towards the Venetian area where I joined the queue for the Gondolas. The Gondolas were fun Ė a very slow ride around areas that you can see on foot, but itís nice to get a different perspective. I didnít understand the commentary/jokes but they were obviously pretty funny as everyone in the boat was laughing the whole time. The cast members were fantastic Ė as indeed all the cast members at Tokyo Disney were. Every single cast member I encountered was polite, friendly and enthusiastic. Not a single one ever looked bored (although Iím sure deep down they were!)







    From there, I worked my way on foot back through American Waterfront, Port Discovery and Lost River Delta. It took a while since every part of the park is so photogenic. The park is also very kinetic Ė no matter where you are thereís always something happening Ė whether itís a steam liner boat, a gondola, the electric railway, the volcano, a waterfall, the vehicles in American Waterfront and Cape Cod.









    I stopped for a sausage roll (more like a hot dog) from a stand in Lost River Delta, which was very nice. I then continued around to the Arabian Coast, where I rode Sinbad once more and explored the courtyard. From some areas you can see Cinderella Castle behind the Arabian Coast area, but the spires blend in perfectly with the Arabian skyline, which I thought was clever.







    As I exited Sinbad, there was a good crowd of people waiting for something. I wasnít sure what it was, so I hung around and after a couple of minutes Chip & Daleís Skeleton Fiesta rolled out from backstage. This is otherwise known as The Shortest Parade Ever. It consisted of a couple of stilt-walkers, a few musicians and a float with Chip, Dale and the-female-chipmunk-who-I-donít-know-who-she-is. It was fun, I was just glad that I didnít wait a long time for it!











    At the ďSultanís OasisĒ I bought a tasty jello / fruit / ice cream concoction. I had fancied some of the snacks I had seen at some of the carts around the park, but the lines were always huge (longer than the line for the Sinbad ride!) so I didnít get to try many. I loved the Arabian Coast area, particularly the area inside the courtyard which is just beautiful.











    I popped into Mermaid Lagoon and had a quick look around, but I didnít stay long as it was very, very crowded in there. Iíd hate to see what this land would be like on a rainy day!













    Since I had ticked off most of my ďmust-doĒ attractions, I decided that I would take some time out to watch The Legend Of Mythica (something that I hadnít planned on doing). Iím glad that I did, as I enjoyed the show Ė although I didnít really follow the story. This is another one where the music lodges itself in your head like a parasite. I watched it from the amphitheatre area which was a good location, and you get to sit whilst you wait. I was amazed by the number of performers that are involved Ė as I was by the ďBe MagicalĒ show Ė especially since many elements of the show have to be duplicated in different areas of Mediterranean Harbour.























    Indeed there did seem to be many, many more Cast Members in the parks in general, operating attractions and marshalling the shows. I would love to know how the ratio of CMs to guests compare with that for the other parks.

    I spent the rest of the day wandering around, trying to soak up as much as I could since I knew it would be a while before I returned. I explored the boat at the foot of the Leonardo Fortress (for some reason when I was exploring the fortress on my second day, I couldnít find the way down to the boat!). I caught the end of ďBe MagicalĒ (for about the fourth time!) from where the boats return backstage. I saw the entrance to the upcoming Toy Story Midway Mania (ďToyville Trolley ParkĒ) Ė I canít wait to see the new area once itís open as Iím sure the theming will be top-notch.





















    Finally I returned to Arabian Coast to get some food at the Casbah Food Court. I had a curry sampler, which consisted of three different curry dishes (shrimp, chicken and beef) with naan and rice, with a side salad and mango pudding. This was really good. The curries were tasty and quite mild. There was loads of seating, and I sat in the outside covered area and watched the band play (along with the Genie) in the courtyard.

    After dinner, I slowly (and reluctantly!) made my way out of the park. I didnít stay for Fantasmic as I had to go and pack for my early flight the following day.

    All in all, I was incredibly impressed with Tokyo Disney and it more than lived up to my (ridiculously high) expectations. I think four days was probably enough for a visit, although I didnít come close to riding every attraction and seeing every show. I hope to return in a few years to spend some more time at this remarkable place. The same goes for the country as a whole - a beautiful, remarkable, intriguing country with fantastic people. I can't wait to return!

    Thank you for reading!

  14. #14

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    Re: Trip Report - October 2011

    the-female-chipmunk-who-I-donít-know-who-she-is
    Her name is Clarice. She was in one Chip & Dale short, "Two Chips and a Miss", as a lounge singer both Chip and Dale had a crush on.

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    Re: Trip Report - October 2011

    Great TR, I'm planning (and hoping) to go next October.
    Disneyland Paris: August 1999 Sante Fe - October 2000 Sante Fe - March 2002 Sante Fe - November 2010 Cheyenne
    Walt Disney World: May 2011 All Star Movies - November 2011 Animal Kingdom Lodge
    Tokyo Disney Resort: 2012 (hopefully!)

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