Yes, pinch me. Remind me again that it is actually true.
I cannot believe that we are only a few days away from my first trip to Japan and visiting the Tokyo Disney Resort. My partner George and I have been talking about this trip for what seems like forever and now it is just around the corner. My excitement has gotten to the point that I didn't even want to wait to start a trip report so here I go. Plus I figure it will help if I can make any comments while we are traveling having the thread already going.
First off I must thank everyone on this board who has answered questions and helped with my research and planning. Like many others, the thought of planning a trip to Japan can be initially overwhelming but with everyone's help and awesome trip reports (Thank you Joe!) it has made it fun and easier. Working in the travel industry I have some insight and background to traveling internationally but I have never traveled to Asia before. Being able to read the reports and gain input from everyone has been super valuable.
Plans became finalized last September when I bought tickets to Tokyo on Singapore Air. That really set the ball rolling. I wanted to experience an Asian carrier to fly to Japan and I found a great deal on the non-stop from LAX. Since we live in Tampa, FL I worked on getting flights to the west coast to start the trip. George had not flown internationally since he was in Japan in the service a good 30+ years ago. He was a little concerned about a "real long" flight so we thought breaking up the trip in LA for a night would help. With that said here is the basic plan for the trip.
May 6 - Tampa to LA
May 7 - LA to Tokyo via Singapore Air
May 8 - arrive Tokyo
May 9 - Tokyo sightseeing with guide from Tokyo Free Guide (Asakusa, Imperial Palace, Sumida River cruise)
May 10 - Hakone National Park circuit via Hakone Free Pass
May 11 - Tokyo sightseeing
May 12 - Kamakura sightseeing with guide from Tokyo Free Guide
May 13 - My birthday! More Tokyo (National Museum, Harajuku and more!)
May 14 - 17 - Tokyo Disney Resort (TDL, TDS, hop, hop)
May 18 - last minute Tokyo sightseeing before evening flight back to US
Basically we are spending most of our time in Tokyo. I really enjoy getting to know a city when I travel and I like leaving time to explore (and CD shop), find unexpected sights (take lots of photos) etc. Plus I am excited to be in Japan for my birthday and will actually (kinda sort of) be at TDR for my birthday. Since Tokyo will be 13 hours ahead when we are at the resort it will still be my birthday back in Tampa so I can technically say I was there on my birthday. I was going to plan on being there on the actual day itself but I thought we should avoid the weekend and I wanted to make sure we were at TDL at specific times since some attractions go into rehab on May 15. Speaking of ride rehabs, I did find out after the trip was set that Journey to the Center of the Earth was going to be in rehab while we were going to be at TDS. It really bummed me out for a few days especially since I did plan the trip around the posting of JTTCOTE's February 2012 rehab not thinking it would have a second one so soon. Bit once I got over it I realized I am still going to Japan and TDR. Did I say pinch me?
Packing has started. It's really not as bad as it looks.