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  1. #16

    • "The Musical Quil"
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    Re: Joe's Tokyo Disney trip report - October 1st to 16th, 2011 - Lots of pictures

    Wonderful photos! Your narration is perfect! Youre covering the little things that I wonder about. "How will I survive Tokyo Disneyland?"

    Keep em coming!
    DJ JARVICIOUS
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  2. #17

    • Joe Flowers
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    Re: Joe's Tokyo Disney trip report - October 1st to 16th, 2011 - Lots of pictures

    Another day of waking up at 5:30am. Theresa went and grabbed breakfast again from the convenience store in the lobby. At 8:15am we met up with Jacob and Ruston again and took the monorail over to Disney Sea. I was really excited to go here! I've been to a few Disney Parks, but this was like nothing I had ever been to. Disney Sea was just one stop from the Partner Hotel monorail stop, so by 8:30am we were through security and in line for the park.


    Not quite as many people here as Tokyo Disneyland, but still a good size crowd.


    This time we were close enough to see just a few of the opening festivities. Lots of characters came out in wizard costumes, we later learned this was all part of the "Be Magical" 10 year celebration. The gates opened and we were off. Again there was some running, but not as much as Disneyland.




    Surprisingly at 9:00am, there were already people sitting down for the water show called "Be Magical!" at 11:30am. Along the way, we had our very first taste of Black Pepper popcorn. We were passing right as they were finishing setup and after seeing huge lines the day before at Disneyland, we jumped at the chance to try this new flavor with no wait. The popcorn was very tasty, but maybe next time we'll wait later than breakfast time.


    Our plan was to grab a Journey to the Center of the Earth fastpass and then head over to Indiana Jones. We grabbed our fastpasses, but saw that 20000 Leagues Under the Sea had no wait. We were given a little card with the storyline in English, but were whisked right into a waiting ride vehicle. It was too dark in there to read it, but we got the general idea. I thought ride itself was alright. Lots of weird creatures we encountered along the way. My wife however gets motion sick, so she wasn't thrilled with all the moving and spinning in the dark. Jacob and Ruston didn't have much to say about it either, and it was ultimately the only time we went on this ride during our entire stay. We also never saw much of a line here, so there was really no reason to go on it so early in the day.


    From there, we went to Indiana Jones. I believe the wait time posted was 40 minutes, but within 30 minutes, we were on the ride.

    The queue here looked incredible. We've got a great queue at Disneyland Anaheim and this queue was its equal. You walk up to a huge pyramid surrounded by dense foliage. Eventually you make your way inside.





    You enter a huge room and are greeted by a massive carved statue with skeletons everywhere. This statue has large snake arms, and out of the left snake there's a small drip of water down into a pool below it filled with skeletons.




    You wind your way around the room through make shift supports. You enter a few more rooms and then you're ready to board.


    As many have said before me, the ride track itself is identical to the Anaheim version. Instead of looking into the eyes of Mara though, we are greeted by a crystal skull.


    Indy is yelling at us again, but all in Japanese.

    And that's all the photos I got from this time on the ride. More will come later. The ride itself was cool and it was cool to see the changes they had made with a few of the scenes. Not really any fire in the bridge room, but a lot of lasers. The snake looks a lot more scary. In the place where we'd normally encounter rats jumping into the vehicle, there was a statue. The vehicle stopped, the statues eyes started to glow then it yelled at us in Japanese and blew a huge smoke ring at us. We all had a good time.

    Next we grabbed our fastpasses to Raging Spirits. The roller coaster that is the same as Disneyland Paris' Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril.


    We walked over to Discovery Island and ran into the Incredibles. Mrs. Incredible is striking a pose.
    There was also a very short line for Strawberry Popcorn so we had our first taste of that. It was okay. The sweet flavors we've tried so far are very subtle. I think my American palate would have liked more of a candy coating.


    Aquatopia only had a 15 minute line, so we jumped on that. I was a little surprised when I was told "No Photo" when we got on. I complied, but saw lots of other people taking pictures. Oh well.
    From there, we hopped on the Electric Railway to take us over to the American Harbor.




    After getting off, there was a strange smell in the air. We came across another popcorn cart. Milk Tea, hmm. Wonder why it was in the American Harbor section? Of course we grabbed a box. I know what you're thinking. It's only 11am and you've already had 3 boxes of popcorn, but really, we've been splitting it 4 ways and they're not that big. Stop judging me!
    Seriously though, Milk Tea was interesting. It wasn't bad, but it was not going to become my favorite.


    We grabbed fastpasses to the Tower of Terror (I was really looking forward to going on this later), and then headed to the front of the park to get a few photos.


    We were in such a rush before, but now the crowd had cleared away and the skies were looking beautiful.




    Each of the lands has their own representative as part of the 10 year celebration.


















    From there, we started walking back towards Journey to the Center of the Earth. Just before we walked into the volcano, music started playing and Be Magical! began. We got a viewpoint on one of the higher walkways.


    Unfortunately from this position, it was hard to see what was going on. We watched a bit of it, but decided we were definitely going to have to see this from a better vantage point. You can see it's popular though. Look at all the people in the background.


    I'm used to seeing Pooh, Tigger, and even Eeyore every once in a while, but Rabbit was not someone I see that often.


    No pictures from Journey to the Center of the Earth right now. I'll have my review of that along with the pictures in a future post.

    Everyone was hungry so we stopped at the Zambini Brothers' Ristorante for some pasta.




    We then walked over to Mermaid Lagoon and into Triton's Kingdom. The exterior looked cool (it would really shine at night though, you'll have to wait for a later post to see those). The interior though was even more amazing. The interior of this show building was HUGE. We saw the Little Mermaid show. Very cool execution. Instead of having a stage like Hollywood Studios at Disney World, the seating surrounded a center stage. All the action took place in the center and above your heads. Ariel was on a wire and her and all her other fish friends were "swimming" above us the whole time. No photos were allowed during the show, unfortunately. It was all in Japanese, but we did get English translation devices. Ursula was huge and very cool to see. Her head must have been 8 feet tall and her tentacles surrounded the entire auditorium. And as others have said, the ending is a little weird, since Ariel is pining to become human for the entire show, but when Ursula tells her to make her choice, she says, "I don't want to become human, my place is under the sea!"




    The Arabian Coast was next on our list. The Genie is a great character to represent this area.


    Curry Popcorn. The smell permeating the area over here is incredible. Curry just fills the air. Now curry isn't my favorite thing to eat, but I wanted to give it a go. In this case, I was pleasantly surprised that the curry flavor wasn't as strong as I expected. Not too bad at all.


    Next we went to the Magic Lamp Theater to see a magic show. The Genie had unfortunately been trapped by an evil magician. The Genie uses the magician's apprentice to help him escape by tricking the magician to use all his wishes. It was a 3D show with some stage effects. The show had translation devices for us, so we were very thankful for that. I don't think I mentioned how to get the translation devices. At the entrance to most attractions, there are cast members telling you what the wait time is. We just walked up to one of them and asked for an English translation. They had us wait off to the side, or just inside and then they found us a few minutes later. Easy peasy.





    We then rode Sindbad's Storybook Voyages, which I'll cover more in depth at the end of this article.
    Jacob and I then went over to the Raging Spirits coaster to use our fastpasses. We got a little grief about being late for our fastpass return time. I had read previous reviews stating that you could use late fastpasses just like the US parks. It was pretty hit and miss though throughout the whole resort. Most rides had no issue, but we ran into a few cases where we were told we were too late, but eventually conceded to let us on. The theming was pretty good, but the coaster was nothing special and over too fast.

    Jacob and I headed over to Storm Rider next. This one was all in Japanese, but it made enough sense.The premise was that we were heading into a storm in a giant helicopter to set off an explosive to dissipate the storm. We fly around a bit and then head into the storm. When we launch the rocket, it gets struck by lightning and then comes back at us. It hits us and inside the theater we get this rocket that shoots through the ceiling and right towards the audience. We are able to get it out just in time for it to blowup outside the ship, but now the ship is damaged. It has lots of holes so rain is coming in. Eventually we make a crash landing on the water and everything is okay. I was impressed by the size of this huge motion simulator and the capacity of the audience.

    Our fastpasses were ready for the Tower of Terror. Again, not many pictures from this first time, but a later post will have some photos and even a brief video of the awesome pre-show. Let me just say, I was really looking forward to this ride and I wasn't disappointed.


    After the ride, we wanted to go on the gondolas. Before that we grabbed a bit gelato though. Some interesting flavors here like Melon, Grape, and Blood Orange.




    Unfortunately the gondolas were closed so they could show Be Magical! in the lagoon. I guess that's what we were going to do next. We had 45 minutes to wait, but at least we were getting some good seats.


    The show was so much better here!


    All the characters come out and it's a real extravaganza.














    And even the volcano gets into the action. Now this was an excellent use of the big lagoon. I thought the whole show was just fantastic. The music was catchy, there was crowd participation, and it was very high energy. Plus you get to see lots of characters, and a few of them are pretty rare.


    After the excellent show, the gondolas were operating again. This guy caught me taking a photo and struck a pose.


    Just a little tired after a full day of walking around.


    We boarded right around sunset, which made for some really cool photos.


    Now we've been to Venice and taken an authentic gondola ride. This was better. No trash in the water and our gondolier wasn't smoking.
    Here we had a great view, two great rowers, singing, and it was all going on at just about dusk so the skies, water, and lights really looked great.





    Disney Sea definitely has some great photo ops.


    By the time we got off the gondola, the line was already closed to new people to get in. There's definitely a very short window for riding this later in the night.

    Once we exited, we were thinking about dinner, but saw that the Big Band Beat was letting people in. We’d heard that normally this was a lottery and a show you might not normally get a chance to see. We walked in and went up to the balcony and got amazing seats. They were just off center, one row back from the rail. You couldn’t have asked for much better. They had live band music and all the singing, dancing, and tap dancing were great. Very high energy and lots of fun. Mickey was even playing the drums (and really well too). I wonder if that’s where DL’s current parade got the inspiration from. Unfortunately, again, photos were forbidden.

    Now we were hungry and it was definitely time for dinner, but the views in front of the volcano were beautiful with all the lights.


    We all posed for some photos.






    Now can we finally get dinner? Theresa and I stopped by a place that had roasted chicken, but after seeing it was dark meat only, she decided to pass. I saw they had bread (which the pasta was missing at lunch) so I got a plate of it to eat with the pasta I was getting at the next place. When we tried to exit, we were stopped and told “No takeout, no takeout”. Not a problem, I just picked the bread up off the tray, and handed the tray to him and was about to leave again when again he said, “Sorry, no takeout, no takeout”. That was really odd since I just wanted to take my 2 bread rolls and leave. We ended up heading back into the restaurant, grabbing a napkin and wrapping them in that and tossing them in a bag and then we left. Pretty odd. And of course on the way to the next place we saw a few people with trays full of food from that restaurant just eating off to the side. We met up with Jacob and Ruston and had pasta, split a pizza, tried some minestrone soup, and shared that evil takeout bread for dinner.

    We finished dinner with only 10 minutes or so to spare before Fantasmic. It really helps being tall here. We stood just off center and had a great view. They did a really good job using the water for Fantasmic with floats and fireworks all around. The normal water screens we’re used to were replaced mostly with a float in the center that had LEDs all around it that showed video on it in 360.








    Mickey disappeared and Stitch emerged from the giant LED column.


    And even Angel got in on the action, driving a speed boat around the lagoon.


    The magic mirror was a giant mirror frame that had water streams they projected onto. The dragon at the end breathed fire and was cool to see. Overall, a bit different from our Fantasmic, but all in a good way. Even though we’ve seen the show countless times at Disneyland and Disney World, it was really fun to see like this.










    Luckily Mickey saved the day in the end.


    At this point Jake and Theresa had had enough and went back to the hotel.
    Ruston and I decided to stay just a little longer for a few more rides. We walked from the front to the entrance to the volcano again. People were still standing around the water and we were curious why. Turns out fireworks were just a few minutes away. At that point I remembered reading that they do the same fireworks show for both parks. That explains why the fireworks are so far off center of the castle at Disneyland. We decided that instead of fireworks we'd just walk back to the ride that intrigued us the most today. Sindbad's Storybook Voyages!


    Ruston and I walked straight on Sindbad and had an entire boat all to ourselves. The story, even though it was all in Japanese, made a lot more sense after riding it a 2nd time.

    We finished the ride and then since there was still no line, walked all the way around (they wouldn’t let us just ride again) and walked right back on and rode all by ourselves again. The story has Sindbad leaving his home with everyone wishing him well and good luck.










    He crashes on rocks but is saved by mermaids.




    He then rescues some giant birds from pirates and in return he gets lots of giant magical feathers.








    He uses one of these magic feathers to unlock a giant that was trapped by more pirates.


    In return he gets lots of gold treasure. This room was a real treat. The animatronic giant looked incredible, and when he's singing along with Sindbad he has an amazing deep bass voice.




    He trades some of this treasure for some enchanted musical instruments. He takes these instruments and trades some with a monkey tribe in return for bananas (the room smells like bananas too).



    He sails home, but is picked up by a whale along the way.

    He eventually makes it home with lots of riches consisting of giant feathers, gold and jewels, enchanted musical instruments, and bananas. He’s welcomed home with open arms and much cheering.



    I think I found my favorite ride at this park. Tower of Terror is a close 2nd. The boat ride was all in Japanese except for a few lyrics. The song “Follow the compass of your heart” was very catchy. The animatronics were really well done, there were lots of them and they moved in all directions very fluidly. I wonder if I'd enjoy it as much if I knew Japanese and could understand what they're saying. It would definitely take away a little bit of the mystery.

    After this, Ruston and I walked through a few gift shops. We saw the music for Be Magical! in one. Only 2500 yen for the CD (~$32). Or why not go deluxe and get the 3 disc version for 5900 yen, yikes. Then we took a quick walk out to the monorail. Here I was impressed by how everyone was lined up. There were straight lines behind each gate opening for the monorail with no one trying to push or crowd to get in. Impressive. A quick monorail ride and we were back at the hotel. It’s been a really convenient hotel to stay at since it’s right off the monorail entrance. Tomorrow we're headed back to Disneyland. Forecast calls for rain though, so it’ll be interesting to see how that effects our plans. Until then, Be Magical!!!

  3. #18

    • Sawasdee! สวัสดี! :)
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    Re: Joe's Tokyo Disney trip report - October 1st to 16th, 2011 - Lots of pictures

    B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L Pictures! Curry popcorn was my favorite!
    Sorry for grammar mistakes! I'm not really good in English!

  4. #19

    • Joe Flowers
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    Re: Joe's Tokyo Disney trip report - October 1st to 16th, 2011 - Lots of pictures

    Here in Redondo Beach California, we just got a ton of rain today. Seems appropriate that I should write about our super rainy day at Tokyo Disneyland.

    Rain, rain, rain. The word of the day, is rain. Theresa woke up at 4:30am and couldn't fall back asleep. I woke up at 6:30am. The time change is going to take a few more days to get used to. Breakfast was... can you guess... from the convenience store downstairs in the lobby. They've got a good selection of foods though. I decided on a warm Cup of Noodles and Theresa got kimchi and rice. I opened the door at 8:15am just as Jacob was about to knock. Pretty good timing.

    We put on our rain jackets and took the monorail around the entire loop to reach the gates of Disneyland. It was 8:40 by the time we got there, but the lines were much shorter than a couple days ago. We were crossing our fingers that the rain would keep the crowd levels down today.

    At 9am, the gates opened and we all ran to Pooh's Hunny Hunt. The Disneyland Band was serenading everyone as they walked/ran in.




    It was only a 10 minute wait! Looking good so far for the day. Honey popcorn had a short line, so of course we grabbed some.
    Pooh Hunny Hunt count - 1

    After having gone on that great ride again, we walked towards Monsters Inc, hoping the line would still be short. Along the way, we came across the Soy Sauce and Butter popcorn. Never one to pass up a short line and very curious about this peculiar flavor, we got a box. Hmm, very strange flavor. Jacob and Theresa tried a piece and then declined all future offers. I think this was my least favorite of all flavors too. Too bad.

    Monsters only had a 30 minute wait. It was nice going through the regular queue so we could spend just a little more time in the awesome lobby. And thanks for the person who pointed out the hidden Mickey in the door mural. I pointed it out to Theresa and it made her smile.







    Celia was not manning reception, sadly.



    Since this was the 2nd time on this ride, instead of focusing on shining the flashlight on things, we really just sat back and took in all the details. So much attention was paid to getting all the little things right.












    We even get to see Roz. She's talking to us just like the Anaheim version, only difference, it's all in Japanese.


    The gift shop at the exit had lots of fun Monsters Inc stuff. I'm really regretting not buying this hard hat. Checking ebay, I'm still not finding any. This is a full-size hat, compared to the ones on ebay that are from the Disney-On-Ice show.


    We felt like another snack and the bakery was pretty close. Lots of cute pastries to buy, like "corn" bread, a rice bread bone filled with sweet bean paste, and a Mickey shaped lemon muffin.


    And these Mike Wazowski melon breads.


    So we ended up getting four different things and splitting them all between us. Plus we had some cherry water. Very tasty!


    The rain was coming down quite hard now. We were all glad to have our ponchos. Our shoes on the other hand were not so dry. The hotel hair dryer is going to be getting a workout tonight. We walked over to Big Thunder Mountain and got fastpasses for later and then headed to Peter Pan.

    Only a 30 minute wait, which isn't too bad for Peter Pan. The ride from what I can remember is similar to the WDW version.













    We had heard earlier the announcements that the Halloween parade "Welcome to Spookyville" was going to be cancelled. We were happy to see though that just because the main parade was cancelled there was still a small parade. All the characters were wearing clear ponchos. Mickey even has a special hood for his ears to fit into. Very cute!











    We were right by the Haunted Mansion, so of course, we'll be going on it again.
    We were the last ones off the "elevator". Here Ruston is preparing to greet the next elevator as soon as the door opens.


    The ride was great as usual. We had a brief slowdown when passing Madam Leota but nothing else unusual.


    I like how the tail of the snake is a Christmas tree with a star on top.


    A very scary train.





    And then the whole ride came to a stop. A few second later all the lights came on all through the mansion. A voice came on over the speakers saying something in Japanese. None of us had a clue what they were saying and they never switched to English. We were just enjoying being able to see all the details with the lights on.





    I don't know what's going on. Do you?










    We had been sitting in our Doom Buggy for about 10 minutes at this spot. It was enough time though for Theresa to find my name on the Naughty/Nice list. It's at the very top of the list, about to be swallowed, and you could only see it when the snake tilts his head back. I'm proud to say I have a "Nice" mark.


    What followed next has to be one of my favorite memories on this trip. Now I've been going to Disney parks for years and years. Disneyland and California Adventure are my home park, so we go 15-20 times a year. Walt Disney World is a not so quick 7 hour plane flight away, but we get there once or twice a year. We've even been to Disneyland Paris twice. But never, not even once, have I even been evacuated from a ride. It's something I've always wanted to do. Finally on the Haunted Mansion Holiday in Tokyo Disneyland, I finally get my wish.

    Cast Members walked up beside our buggy and pushed the release. We were going to get to walk though the Haunted Mansion with all the lights on. The entire group was really excited.

    Now since we were just about to exit the attic, I figured we'd end up going through the graveyard and be at the exit very soon. Lots of fun stuff to see, but still not very long. I was very happy though when the cast members pointed us back the other way!


    We walked through the attic and then behind all the doom buggies facing the ballroom scene. I've never really turned around when passing through the ballroom scene, so I was surprised when there was 12 feet of empty space between the back of the buggies and the wall. Turn around and look next time you go through there.


    Going down the hallway of all the doors was a little bit more scary when you're right beside them. All the growling sounds, bulging doors, and everything is a lot closer than when you're riding.





    At this point, the cast members must have crossed over to the other side of the track. We ended up moving quite a bit slower now that we didn't have anyone trailing us. We were moving just enough to not separate from the group, but we slowed way down to enjoy the details.











    Scary Teddy never did stop playing for Sally in the conservatory.










    I was surprised everyone here was still in their buggies. I would have figured they'd be one of the first ones evacuated. I got more than a few people just smiling and laughing at us and all the pictures we were taking.



    And when we finally exited, all the cast member were apologetic and there was a lot of bowing going on. For what, I don't know cause that was awesome! They even gave us these passes for us to use for front of the line privileges on another ride.



    We grabbed fastpasses for Splash Mountain, because at this point, why not. Then we walked over to Toontown and rode Roger Rabbit's Toontown Spin. Ruston and Theresa rode together, driving their car a straight and non-spinny as possible. Jacob and I however spun as much as we possibly could. I'm glad I don't get motion sick.

    All of us felt a little rubbly in our tumblies, so we went to look for lunch. We grabbed a slice of ham and pineapple pizza and chicken teriyaki pizza then went over to Boiler Room Bites.

    Theresa had been wanting to try the Mickey Steamed Pork Bun. I was curious about the pork-rice roll.



    Well that's not exactly what I was expecting. Inside was white rice with nothing else, and it was all wrapped in bacon. Based on the picture, I was expecting something different, but it was still tasty enough.



    The steamed Mickey bun looked cute. It was tasty and even the ears had filling, though there was a lot of steamed bun and not much pork.



    Ruston even found this seafood pizza.



    At this point, we wanted to see some shows. One Man's Dream II was in a covered stadium so we headed over there. With only 20 minutes before showtime, we were still able to find some great seats.


    The show started out in black and white.




    Mickey, Minnie and the whole stage were only black, white and shades of gray. Pretty cool to see.



    Then everything turned to color.







    The show was all in Japanese, so we didn't understand everything that was going on.






    My favorite part of the show was seeing all the unique characters. Here there was an entire segment with characters from A Bug's Life.



    Flik stops by.



    Tuck & Roll make an appearance.



    And we see Slim.



    Gypsy



    And Manny



    And Heimlich



    PT Flea even makes an appearance







    I guess that's supposed to be Tick-Tock













    Judge Frollo. I'm not sure who the people are surrounding him. Maybe they're supposed to represent the Eyes of Notre Dame, but then I don't see any eyes.



    Maleficent



    And here, all her goons! I don't think I've seen them before in character form.



    Prince Philip battles the forest of thorns



    And makes his way to Aurora



















    I'm doubly impressed. Riding a bicycle in a full character costume and a skirt as well.



















    The rain was still coming down hard, and rolling off the sides of the theater. After the show we were right next to Star Tours so we made our way, mostly under cover to the entrance. At this point, they haven't converted to the Star Tours 2 - The Adventure Continues, so everything is still classic. The queue here is fantastic. When you walk in, you enter this huge hangar bay.



    R2-D2 and C-3PO are still in the classic Starspeeder.







    A droid similar to R2 and a screen with a Calamarian. Maybe it's Admiral Ackbar. I couldn't tell.






    We enter the hangar bay and see 6 open loading docks. I was curious if we'd have the same classic loading video with the lady in red and her hair in a mickey shaped bun. Instead we got a blonde girl speaking Japanese, but all the cut scenes were the same.



    After the ride, you exit and see everyone's favorite astromech droid.



    And then pass through security where Sonny Eclipse's brother is working



    We then walked back to Pooh and used our fastpasses from the beginning of the day.







    You really are walking right into the book.







    Pooh Hunny Hunt count - 2
    As you exit, if you skip the gift shop, you walk through Christopher Robin's room. You see all his favorite stuffed toys, including Pooh, Kanga, Roo, Tigger, Owl, and Eeyore.



    We walked through the Queen of Hearts banquet hall but didn't stop to eat.















    After that, we left to go on Splash Mountain. Good thing we had these rain jackets because we would have been soaked before we got there if we didn't. Theresa decided to skip out on the fun and just went to read her Kindle in the warmth of the Hungry Bear restaurant.

    The three of us remaining continued on Splash Mountain. Again, props to the queue. Lots of tiny houses all through the mountain including an animatronic owl speaking Japanese to everyone saying who knows what. We made it to the logs. All the animatronics in this ride worked! Fish were jumping everywhere, mouths were moving, bees were spinning, everything looked great. The big drop came and no one really got that wet. The big splashes must have been turned off. Coming around the bend, even all the characters on the Zip-A-Dee Lady were moving and singing. Really great to see. Maple Churros were just outside the exit, so I tried one of those. It was better than the cinnamon one I had a couple days earlier, but it was also must hotter and fresher. It was good. We then walked over to Big Thunder Mountain. The ride differed from both versions I remember in WDW and DL. The two Japanese girls in front of us pretended to be cowboys the whole ride. Holding their fingers up as guns the entire time and showing Yay Yay Yay.

    After getting off, we were soaked! Much more so than riding Splash Mountain because we’d been inside most of the time on Splash, while here we were outside a lot. We met up with Theresa and somehow I convinced her to go to the Country Bear Jamboree (she’s not a fan). Most of the character spoke and sung in Japanese with a few exceptions made for some songs, including everyone’s favorite, “Blood on the saddle”.



    We went over to Pirates from there and it was a walk-on! That’s always great when you can just walk right up to a popular ride and get right on.



    It’s kind of cool to see the Dead Man’s Chest from the 2nd movie.



    This to me is one of the hardest things on the ride to take a photo of.



    Here we see the Aztec Gold from the first movie.



    The crepe place was right near the exit. They had lots of tasty flavors. We ordered Apple/Sweet potato, Strawberry, and Chocolate/Banana to split. One surprise was that they were all cold crepes and had already been premade. That was a little disappointing when we were hoping for something warm. Unfortunately they had no fork or knives. Ruston disappeared for a minute and came back with 4 forks he’s appropriated from another restaurant for us to use. I thought all 3 crepes were tasty and would be hard pressed to pick a favorite. Ruston returned the forks to the other restaurant and then we headed to main street for some shopping.









    Back home we have Esmeralda, here they have Grandmother.



    One of the things Theresa and I really wanted to find was some Disney dinner plates. We wanted something that was subtle Disney. We found these plates and bowls and were super excited! They would go great with our black and white kitchen. One problem. $$$
    A plate was something like $22 each. Bowls were $35. I guess we're not going to be buying a 8 sets. In the end we settled for 4 plates.







    We decided to eat outside the park in Ikspiari. We walked by a few places and Jake and Ruston eventually decided on a curry stir fry, while T and I had beef steak and chicken steak (what I’d call just chicken). Beef steak was alright, chicken was meh.







    Ruston and Jake decided they’d had enough fun for the day and headed back to the hotel. Theresa and I cinched up our rain jackets a little tighter and headed back to the park. The park was really really empty now. Being so rainy was definitely working in our favor.



    We walked straight back to Pooh and walked all the way to the loading zone with maybe 30 people in front of us. Pooh Count – 3. With such short lines, why not go again. Pooh Count – 4. And again… Pooh Count – 5. 5 times in one day isn’t a bad number for riding a super popular ride. Also by the 5th time, cast members were giving each group their own cart and not making them share.






    T and I then went to Mansion and walked right into the stretching room. Again it was great to have no line. At one point the ride slowed down and stopped, but within seconds it was moving again. After we exited, we figured why not just go on it once more, so we did.











    We then walked to the front of the park to get on Monsters. Again, absolutely no wait. When the rides dispatch, there are 3 sets of carts that travel together during the ride. The lines were so short that the cast members were only putting people in carts 1 and 3. We walked right out the exit and then right back on again.



    Once that was done, we still had about 20 minutes before the park closed. I looked at T and said, “Pooh?” Of course she didn’t mind going on it again. It’s her favorite ride back home too, and this one is even better. The carts here also launch 3 at a time to go through the ride. Now when we walked up, the cast member didn’t just put us in a cart by ourselves; she put us in a whole group of 3 carts by ourselves, and asked us which we wanted to ride in, since they all have a slightly different experience. We also noticed that the giant book at the very end was opening and closing. That surprised both of us, since all the rides we’d had before that, the book was closed and just showed the cover. Pooh Count – 6. I believe I’ve heard that 7 is a lucky number, so decided might as well be lucky. Once again we got to the front and the cast member asked which cart we’d like to go on. She also said something like “You ride many times”. Yes, yes we do. Pooh Count – 7.







    And with that, we ended our day. The rain was still coming down pretty hard as we were walking out. I stopped off in front of the castle, and the partners statue for some photos. Glad my gear is weather sealed.











    And this is why Main Street is covered here.



    By 10:15, we were walking out to the monorail and headed back to the hotel. A quick stop by the hotel shop to get some hot chocolate mix to warm ourselves back up, and we were in for the night. Tomorrow we’ll be doing Disney Sea and likely heading back to Disneyland to hopefully watch the Electric Parade, since it and just about everything else was cancelled today. We'll see what tomorrow holds.

  5. #20

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    Re: Joe's Tokyo Disney trip report - October 1st to 16th, 2011 - Lots of pictures

    Does Ruston works at Disney ? Because I guess an ID in one of your pictures ^^

    Best trip. I remember mine, two weeks before yours.

    Guest Relations & Ticketing Coordinator @ Disneyland Paris
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  6. #21

    • Joe Flowers
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    Re: Joe's Tokyo Disney trip report - October 1st to 16th, 2011 - Lots of pictures

    Quote Originally Posted by Loïc Potter View Post
    Does Ruston works at Disney ? Because I guess an ID in one of your pictures ^^

    Best trip. I remember mine, two weeks before yours.
    He does indeed, though he works up in Burbank, not in any of the parks. Sadly we didn't get any special treatment from him being an employee.

    So you work at Disneyland Paris. We enjoyed it both times we were there. Your castle plus the dragon below it is awesome!

    I'd love to see some of your pictures from your trip. It's always interesting to see someone else's perspective and what they liked compared to what you liked.

  7. #22

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    Re: Joe's Tokyo Disney trip report - October 1st to 16th, 2011 - Lots of pictures

    Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures on internet from my trip at this time (except on Facebook, however it's on my Friend's account lol)

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    Guest Relations & Ticketing Coordinator @ Disneyland Paris
    English is not my mother tongue, I hope you would forgive me for my spelling mistakes.

  8. #23

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    Re: Joe's Tokyo Disney trip report - October 1st to 16th, 2011 - Lots of pictures

    Quote Originally Posted by mre200200 View Post
    He does indeed, though he works up in Burbank, not in any of the parks. Sadly we didn't get any special treatment from him being an employee.
    A friend of mine works for Disney in Burbank as well. She's been with the company for over 15 years.

  9. #24

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    Re: Joe's Tokyo Disney trip report - October 1st to 16th, 2011 - Lots of pictures

    Wow you guys are all over the place! I've seen you in many trip reports. You guys always look like you're having the time of your lives! And you no doubt are. Thank you for letting me live vicariously through this report. It's my dream to visit Tokyo someday and go to the Disney parks there.


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  10. #25

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    Re: Joe's Tokyo Disney trip report - October 1st to 16th, 2011 - Lots of pictures

    Thank you for this report so far. I am traveling to Tokyo Disneyland and other places in Japan in February so I'm taking many tips and getting very excited! Can't wait to see your photos form Kyoto and other places outside of Disneyland as well!

  11. #26

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    Re: Joe's Tokyo Disney trip report - October 1st to 16th, 2011 - Lots of pictures

    Quote Originally Posted by IzzyInWonderland View Post
    Wow you guys are all over the place! I've seen you in many trip reports. You guys always look like you're having the time of your lives! And you no doubt are. Thank you for letting me live vicariously through this report. It's my dream to visit Tokyo someday and go to the Disney parks there.
    We do get around a bit, and I do try to document everything well with photos. I would highly recommend visiting. We had a blast.

    Quote Originally Posted by mister_peterman View Post
    Thank you for this report so far. I am traveling to Tokyo Disneyland and other places in Japan in February so I'm taking many tips and getting very excited! Can't wait to see your photos form Kyoto and other places outside of Disneyland as well!
    You're welcome! I'm hoping to get to the photos from Kyoto before too long.

  12. #27

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    Re: Joe's Tokyo Disney trip report - October 1st to 16th, 2011 - Lots of pictures

    How about another update.

    Today was a sad day. It is the last (planned) day to go to the Disney parks. Since we get to go to both parks, we wanted to focus on the stuff we'd missed and things we really liked.
    Surprisingly we were both able to sleep until 7am. A record so far for this trip. After a quick breakfast of Cup of Noodles, we met Ruston and Jacob at 8:15 and walked over to the monorail. Since we knew we were going to finish our day at Disneyland, we started at Disney Sea. The skies today were so much clearer, so we were hoping for a beautiful day in the parks.




    9:00am rolled around and Ruston sprinted to Journey to the Center of the Earth and grabbed fastpasses. The rest of us meandered over that direction and then as a group we went to Indiana Jones. Only a 10 minute wait this time, and most of that was spent walking through the extensive queue.












    After the ride, we could already get another fastpass, so I walked all the way to the other side of the park to the Tower of Terror while everyone else explored this area a little more.








    Ruston also went crazy today taking a lot of 360 degree photos. Unfortunately I'm not able to embed them here, but you can click the link and see them. Check them out! It's pretty cool to see everything around you. This is at the Arabian Coast right by Sindbad.
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    After I finally made my way back, we all got in line for Sindbad. There wasn't really any line to speak of. We walked all the way to the front and just as we were about to load, the loading gates got stuck and the ride was closed. Oh well.







    Instead we decided to go to watch the Little Mermaid show again. Along the way, we saw Pumpkin Churros. They were hot and fresh and very tasty. Out of all the churros we tried, I liked the Maple best, Pumpkin 2nd, and Cinnamon 3rd.




    I've seen Jafar a few times at Anaheim Disneyland, but seeing Iago was new to me. And since it was so close, we went ahead and got more curry popcorn.




    Along the way, we saw a custodian sweeping up trash. When he got to a puddle that must have still been there from the rain the day before, he dipped the end of his broom in the water and started using it like a paint brush, and drew out a picture of Goofy with the water. A small crowd gathered as he was drawing. As soon as he was done, a quick nod of the head and he was off to continue sweeping somewhere else.





    We continued into the Triton’s underwater kingdom. The mermaid show we just closing up as we got down there, and we were able to walk in with no wait. The show was just as good as the first time, and Ariel still decided she didn’t want to be human.




    I grabbed a few photos inside the theater before the show started, just to get a sense of what it all looks like.








    The whole show building here looks amazing. Again, Ruston got a great 360 view of the place. Man I wish I could embed these directly. I know a lot of people aren't going to click through and see these and I think they're just amazing.
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    From there, we continued exploring Ariel's underwater world.




    Captaining a ship.




    And even got to see Ariel's treasure room. Um, that's enough Theresa.




    That's enough Theresa!




    What's a fire, and why does it... what's the word... burn?












    We then continued exploring the rest of the area. So much detail to be seen here and it all looks amazing.












    Then we took a quick walk back to Sindbad's. With no line, we walked right onto the boats. Loving this ride more and more.

    Next we headed over to use our Journey to the Center of the Earth fastpasses. Again, Ruston grabbed a great 360 view from inside the volcano.
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    The theming inside this ride is great. We were a little sorry we didn't get to walk through the regular queue to see even more detail.








    From here, you take an elevator "down, down, down" to where they've started all the excavations.




    It's super dark in here which really adds to the ambiance.




    After much debating, Theresa decided this ride was not for her and made her exit.




    Again, great attention to detail in here.




    Along the ride, we encountered lots of interesting plants.








    At one point, something went terribly wrong and we were plunged into the depths of this volcano. There we encountered a giant lava monster.




    We then shot uphill and flew out of the volcano. There was a speedy loop around the entire Mysterious Island with most of it being in the dark, and then the ride was over. It was fun, but it's all over way too soon.




    We then went to watch the Chip and Dale Fiesta Parade.




    It was fun, but very very short. Only 3 Disney characters in the whole thing.




    But Clarice does happen to be one of those three.




    Now Theresa was on a purple sweet potato kick back home. Imagine our surprise when we saw a purple sweet potato dessert. Of course we had to get it.




    It had definite flavors of sweet potato and some whipped cream. I thought it was pretty tasty.




    One other thing we noticed right around the volcano was the insane amount of dragonflies around. I'll have to see if someone else got a photo of them, but there had to be 50 of them just in our general area.

    We made our way over to Vulcania for lunch. We all split some sweet and sour pork, fried rice, fried chicken teriyaki, spring rolls and egg drop soup. Nothing really blew any of us away.








    Tower of Terror was next on our list, cause there's nothing better to do on a full belly than a free-fall ride.




    Thank Ruston again for another 360 view.
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    The backstory here is different than the other parks. No longer is it Twilight Zone. Now an explorer named Harrison Hightower III is showing off all his famous treasures he's found. The most prized treasure of them all is this Shiriki Utundu idol.





    The preshow for this is great. Theresa was not going to be going on the ride, but I told her she had to come and watch this part. Ruston got really close to the idol, but still couldn't see how they do it.





    You then exit and see all these other amazing treasures that have been brought back.
















    Ruston wasn't feeling like riding either, so it was just Jacob and I. I was placed in a perfect seat to see everything, with nothing blocking my view.




    We're all trying to "Be Magical"







    Afterwards, we wanted to make sure we got good seats for the Legend of Mythica water show. After sitting for a few minutes, we figured we'd have a better view if we just stood up behind everyone who was seated.
    The show itself was very active. Lots of things going on all over the place.





    The floats were super detailed.













    And the costumes looked great.

















    But all in all, this one didn't really do it for us. It was all in Japanese so maybe we just didn't get the story. I would have liked to see more Disney characters in it too. Between this and Be Magical, Be Magical wins hands down.




    As a contrast to the day before when it was rainy, the sun was out today with a vengeance. We were all sweating just standing around while the show was going on, so of course what better way to cool down than some gelato.




    Mmm, melon and caramel crunch.




    The Transit Steamer Liner had been eluding us all day. Since it uses the same stretch of water as all the shows and parades, this ride was closed a lot. Seeing as how Legend of Mythica just ended we figured this would be our best shot at it. Sure enough, they were boarding and we only waited maybe 15 minutes.









    There were lots of cool views from the boat.





    When we were passing by Indy’s temple, Indiana Jones just happened to be on the other side of the water. He started yelling to the boat that he was trying to make his way over to the temple. And that he was on an expedition to get to that temple and if we find a way to get over there, don’t touch anything. We all got a smile out of that.







    There's even water explosions as you pass through Mount Prometheus.





    We made it back to the docks (after a round trip tour) and they had already closed the lines.

    We also happened to see the line for Shellie May, Duffy’s girlfriend/friend. She had a huge line (seriously like 50 people) of all ages waiting to take a photo with her. Lots of them had Shellie May bears that were also dressed up in matching Halloween outfits. When Shellie May saw them she’d jump up and down and give the person a hug. Positive re-enforcement? We happened upon a store selling these bears and saw they were 3800 yen (~$48) for the smaller bears. They had some pretty big bears too and some giant bears that sold for 50000 yen ($670). We saw one lady walking around with 2 of them! One in each arm. Amazing!




    Ruston and I decided we wanted to explore Leonardo da Vinci's fortress while Jacob and Theresa were ready to sit down and take a break. I had read about the Leonardo Da Vinci challenge maps, and how even though they were all in Japanese, you could kind of make your way through it without knowing how to read it. I found a cast member and asked for a map and he asked if I could read Japanese. Unfortunately I couldn’t but I still would like a map. He then pulled out a map and showed me it was all Japanese. I reached for it and tried to pull on it, showing I still wanted one, but he pulled it back and said that No, I couldn’t have one. Bummer. Well me and Ruston still explored the fortress anyhow.

    We set off some cannons at passing boats, tried to achieve flight in a flying machine, used a camera obscura to view people outside a tower, and found a sundial and tried to tell the time.









    We even achieved perfect planetary alignment in the planet room. This was very short lived however as just as Ruston finished the last planet and got into position underneath for a photo, someone started turning the handles and moving them around again.





    Inside the Hall of Explorers.





    We did find a few places where we could have used that map. We followed some schoolgirls who had a map into a room and saw the map activated a screen that told you that Mount Prometheus was about to erupt, and if you didn’t press these two pumps beside the map, the lava flow would surely cause mass destruction. Luckily the schoolgirls were able to save the entire population of Disney Sea from a massive volcano due to their quick button pressing skills and as a reward for saving countless thousands, they got to emboss a stamp into their map showing they completed the challenge. For being there and providing moral support and clapping when they saved the day, Ruston and I figured we deserved a reward as well, and went ahead and stamped our park map.

    It was time to meet up with Theresa and Jacob and head over to Disneyland. Along the way, we saw a bunch of people looking at this wall and eventually found a hidden Mickey.




    And we even passed Hercules, hanging out with all the ladies of course.





    Farewell Disney Sea! It's been fun!




    Just a quick monorail ride and two stops later we were at Disneyland.





    Should have switched lenses for this shot. Bah...





    Lots of cute character pumpkins surrounding the planter.
















    We continued into the park, but unfortunately the information booth showed long waits for all the rides we wanted to do. Instead we grabbed a few photos in front of the castle just as it was turning dusk.
















    And Ruston is here to bring it all to you in 360.

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    We walked over to Pooh and instead of waiting in the 50 minute line, decided this would be a good time to use those passes we got for getting stuck on Mansion. Pooh was great as usual. Eventually I’ll have to figure out how many times we went on it this trip. Everyone was trying to help Pooh out of Rabbit's house. Christopher Robin and Kanga and Roo and Eeyore and Jacob.





    We headed over to Toontown because Jacob wanted to try the Sweet Cream Cheese pretzel. Just as we found the cart, they flipped down the hood and said sorry they were closed. 30 seconds earlier and we would have made it. Oh bother.
    We read about a Mickey shaped pizza and a Donald burger and were curious to check them out. Unfortunately the plastic display mickey pizza didn’t look all that good, and the Donald Burger turned out to be a minced shrimp patty. I don't do seafood, so yuck.





    We went to Tomorrowland Terrace where they sell burgers and fries. Sadly these burgers weren't all that good either. I'm not sure what it was, but the hamburger just tasted funny. Maybe like too much filler and not enough meat.





    When we got done with dinner, we noticed there were lots of bats out. You particularly noticed them around the streetlights where the bugs liked to hang out.

    The electric parade didn’t start until 7:30pm, and it was only 6:00pm, but since this was the main thing we were coming to see today we went ahead and sat down. You’re allowed to sit down officially 1 hour before showtime, so everyone was just hanging out in the area and sitting on the ground. When 6:30 rolled around, all the mats came out, the shoes came off and people got out their dinners. We were excited! Front row seats to the awesome parade.





    Prepare for lots of photos of this parade. It's just so long and there was so much to see.
    This vantage point was so much better than what we had before. None of us minded at all waiting 1.5 hours to see this.

















    Again, we were all blown away by the awesome Genie float. I think in this instance I took photos of him as: Black with sparkles, a playing card, a deck of playing cards, a dalmatian, Donald Duck, blue Genie, red Genie, Mr. Incredible, covered in Mickey shapes, Cheshire Cat, Tigger, Peter Pan, and Mr. Smee.

























    Some cute bee costumes following Pooh.





    The Toy Story float was very elaborate, with all the latest toys from Toy Story 3.





















    Mike and Sulley.





    And even Boo getting a ride on the back.





    Cinderella on a beautiful float.




    Followed by Prince Charming and a glass slipper.





    Tinker Bell's float changed as it went along to represent different seasons. Here the Minister of Winter turned the flowers white.




















    As soon as the parade ended, we walked right on to Mansion. Every little pause in the ride, we got our hopes up for a repeat of the day before, but no luck. We walked out and decided we’d end our night going on Mickey’s Philharmagic. The lobby area was cool, with some display cases showing characters from a few Disney films. The entire show was the same as Florida (except we entered from the left) and the entire show including songs was all in Japanese. It wasn’t too hard to figure out what was going on though.
















    We then exited, and surprisingly it wasn’t directly into a gift show. We decided to check out the gift shop, and unfortunately, no Donald poking out on this side. There were some cute plushes though of Mickey in his tux and sorcerer hat, and Donald in the sorcerers hat.









    Hey look, Flowers.





    We walked by Pooh just to make sure it wasn’t walk on. It turned out to be a 20 minute wait, and having already been on it tons of times the group decided to skip it. We walked out to main street, visited the Disney gallery where there was a lot of concept sketches for lots of movies. Sadly photos were forbidden.

    This might have been from the day before, but it's still a fun view of the covered Main Street.

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    The last thing we wanted to make sure we did was get a Mickey waffle before we left. We tried the Strawberry Custard one and it was very tasty. Splitting all this food 4 ways, we sure were able to taste a lot of stuff.





    Our day just about over, we walked down the world bazaar, took one last look down Main Street at the castle and finally walked out the gates. Our Disney portion of the trip was over and we were all just a little sad. All of us had a fantastic experience with these parks and would highly recommend it to anyone with any interest in going.

    We hopped on the monorail and went back to the hotel. We made plans to meet up in the morning before we check out and head into Tokyo. Stay tuned for more while we go out and explore the rest of what Japan has to offer!


  13. #28

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    Re: Joe's Tokyo Disney trip report - October 1st to 16th, 2011 - Lots of pictures

    As usual, Tokyo's queue for PhilharMagic put's WDW's to shame
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    Re: Joe's Tokyo Disney trip report - October 1st to 16th, 2011 - Lots of pictures

    Along the way, we saw a custodian sweeping up trash. When he got to a puddle that must have still been there from the rain the day before, he dipped the end of his broom in the water and started using it like a paint brush, and drew out a picture of Goofy with the water.
    They've been doing this at WDW now as well. Last month when I was at Downtown Disney, I watched a custodial CM do a drawing of Minnie, which generated a good sized crowd. It's really fun to watch them do that stuff.

    We also happened to see the line for Shellie May, Duffy’s girlfriend/friend. She had a huge line (seriously like 50 people) of all ages waiting to take a photo with her. Lots of them had Shellie May bears that were also dressed up in matching Halloween outfits. When Shellie May saw them she’d jump up and down and give the person a hug. Positive re-enforcement? We happened upon a store selling these bears and saw they were 3800 yen (~$48) for the smaller bears. They had some pretty big bears too and some giant bears that sold for 50000 yen ($670). We saw one lady walking around with 2 of them! One in each arm. Amazing!
    The popularity of those bears in Japan never cease to amaze me. The ones who lug those BIG bears around all day definitely get props in my book. There's no way I could do that. It's a handful enough with just my "normal" size Duffy and Shellie May in the tote bag (but always worth it). I love how the walk-around characters get excited when they see guests with their own bears all dressed up. Last month at Epcot, Duffy went straight for my Shellie May when he saw her and didn't really want to give her back when it was time for the next person in line. It was hilarious.
    Last edited by aimster; 11-26-2011 at 12:01 PM.

  15. #30

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    Re: Joe's Tokyo Disney trip report - October 1st to 16th, 2011 - Lots of pictures

    Amazing TR! You're seriously making me want to plan a TDR trip next year and destroy my budget! LOL!
    Disneyland Paris: August 1999 Sante Fe - October 2000 Sante Fe - March 2002 Sante Fe - November 2010 Cheyenne
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