Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 31
  1. #16

    • New Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    27

    Re: A Shopaholic in Tokyo Disney - Trip Report May 18th - 31st 2013

    I just realized today that I entirely forgot to post the blog I wrote for my second day (the day before I went to Disneyland)! Here it is to tide you over until I finally finish my next post:

    Day 2: Shibuya and Akihabara


    On this day, I was all planned and ready to go to Shibuya. Waking at 8:30am on my own due to the only slight time difference between Tokyo and my home town, I was washed, made-up and at the stores by the time they opened at 10. Unfortunately, I was there in the rain. The rain was light, but persistent, and I stubbornly refused to buy an umbrella until I found the perfect cute one. Instead, I either rushed from awning to awning when it was heavy, or walked stoically through the rain when it was light, affecting my best hardcore 'Yeah, what of it?' face for the umbrella holding public.

    Luckily, I had an indoor destination in mind. Shibuya 109, just across the famous Shibuya scramble crossing and to the left. For those who are unaware, Shibuya 109 is a very tall but narrow building full of hundreds of little shops dedicated to gyaru fashion, which ranges from very hip hop to floaty country sun dresses to styles we've never even seen back home. Basically, if you're feeling feminine and looking for some preppy fashion with a whole lot of weird to boot, here's your place.

    I got in to the building and systemically browsed every store to my taste in the entire building. I saw crazy stuff. Bright colours appear to still be quite in in Tokyo if you go to the right brand, so I had fun I was wearing my Lego heart necklace, 8-bit hairbows and a ton of my other favourite accessories, and it turns out these attract sales assistants like an insect lamp attracts mosquitoes. Adorable girls trotted over to me store after store to squeal 'Kawaii!' and attempt to ask me where I got them even if they had literally no English skill. Luckily my bad Japanese helped a little here. Although it made me realize I have no idea of the Japanese word for 'online'. Some understood the English word, while others put up with my doing a comical mime of using a computer. Either way, they were very happy when they understood.

    I tried to just look and avoid buying this time around as it's so early in the trip, but I did cave in for a bright yellow t-shirt that parodies the Jelly Belly logo and a few accessories. From here I headed to find the Japanese souvenir vending machine I had read about (yes readers, I'm a vending otaku). It was an awesome bank of two machines full of traditional cloth and paper crane earrings. It also had a cool sign on it saying thank you for foreign tourism because without it the youth of today may not continue their traditions and they would be lost.



    I then headed over to the Disney store. It was adorable!


    (For some reason my picture of the front won't post, but everybody posts that anyway. Personally I like the theming of the side entrance).

    It was full of cute things, but I promised myself I would just look until after I had been to the parks - with one exception. I had heard about this thing called a 'cool towel', a cloth that stays cool as long as it is wet. I heard about it just before I left Australia and didn't have a chance to buy one. Lo and behold, Disney had one with Mickey printed all over it. Needless to say it is mine now.

    It was at this point I realised it was getting late for lunch and I had intended to go to a specific shabu shabu place. I used the wonder of GPS to wander back streets I would never have gone down otherwise on my way to the restaurant. Unfortunately when I got there they had closed lunch early due to a lack of patrons Determined not to let it ruin my mood, I wandered around until I found a cute looking omerice (omelette stuffed with rice covered in tomato sauce) cafe on the second floor of a building. It was delicious and had great iced tea.

    It was here that my crazy shopping brain took over. I saw a pink and blue skirt in the second story window of the next building I just HAD to see. So once I was done I went straight over and navigated to the window. To my dismay, it was pink and gray! Somehow the window had tinted it, and this is not my preferred colour scheme. Slightly dejected, I hung my head and went out the next side door I could find.

    When I emerged, I was on a little sloping street full of really cool shops (it turns out the omerice joint was at the entrance of it). I found a shop that sold adorable homewares and came out with a couple of frilly loli-style aprons and a bunch of stuff with cute faces on it. It was then I realised where I was. This was the famous Spanish Slope I'd read about but hadn't had time to research! Hurrah for serendipity.

    I then was determined to do two things: find the Tokyu Hands banana vending machine, and get lost in Tokyu Hands properly, both things I hadn't had time to do last time. The vending machine was surprisingly easy to find, and I loved the conveyor belt system to keep them from bruising! After that I explored Tokyu Hands, home of every gadget you never knew you needed.



    Mouth stickers for the snorer??



    Catan, anyone?

    I suppose you could just dress up as a rice ball.



    Of course, if you only like to dress as other kinds of food, we've got you covered too.



    It's also the home of every sticker set one could ever want, including some with a lolita dress up doll and all of her tiny sticker dresses and accessories (I may possibly own one of these now *blush*) I ended up spending about $50, but I got a wide variety of stuff.

    Finally I ended the day by heading to Akihabara, the electronics, games, and anime area of Tokyo. You couldn't wipe the smile off of my face as I wandered from store to store staring at comics and character goods. My main purchases however were made at Don Quixote, the cheap, often wacky, Japanese housewares/costumes/sundries store that is home to some of the best 'only in Japan' gifts. I bought a DragonQuest slime, and finally bought the Akihabara station sign washcloth that I've been regretting not buying for three years! I only paid about $2 for it too Anything else I was tempted by I reminded myself there is still plenty of trip left to come back and that I still had Harajuku street fashion, Nakano, and Disney shopping to think about.

    I had dinner at The Granvania, a maid izakaya that is designed to look like a tavern from a role playing game. I visited this place a lot last time and I'm glad to say it hasn't changed. The girls are still just friendly girls who happen to be in maid costumes, and they still get to design their own costumes and looks. The theming is still adorable too. So with my stomach full of delicious pub curry, I headed home to pack my Disney backpack and prepare for the next day: Tokyo Disneyland!

  2. #17

    • New Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    27

    Re: A Shopaholic in Tokyo Disney - Trip Report May 18th - 31st 2013

    Trip Day 4, Disney Day 2: DisneySea

    The next day I woke up a little worse for wear. I was surprisingly tired from the previous day, my feet still had a lingering ache, and to top it all off my portable chargers hadn’t been plugged in properly overnight so my phone was probably going to die halfway through the day. All of this sucked, but damn it I had waited three years to return to DisneySea and I was going to be at the gates early like a self-respecting theme park commando! So I dragged myself out of bed at 6:30 again and got going. The train ride was packed, as usual for that time of morning, but slightly more interesting due to the fact that there was a woman in full kimono on the train, commuting amongst men in suits, teens in jeans and kids in school uniforms.

    When I got to Maihama station I headed for the monorail station to ride over to Disneysea. Just as I got through the gates, I turned to the nearest vending machine, and got a surprise. After all that running around yesterday, the diet cola had been right there, sitting just out of reach! With a chuckle I grabbed a bottle and headed on up to take the scenic three-stop ride to DisneySea. Like last trip I sat up the front with all the children, so I could videotape the view of all the hotels and hints of the parks as we passed.

    Name:  P5220142 small.jpg
Views: 805
Size:  48.8 KB

    When I began to see the tip of a volcano, an Incan temple, and Hotel Hightower my heart began to flutter. DisneySea! I quickly left the station and headed for the line. The line-up was not too bad yet, I was maybe five people back instead of three. I sat down and had breakfast, wrote some of my blog and people watched. Next to me in the line to the left was a small girl, maybe five years old, who was clearly very excited to be there, and was highly entertaining. She sat for a while singing Disney songs in Japanese, then kept herself entertained for about 15 minutes jumping on her mother’s shadow is if in Peter Pan. What was most impressive however was when she broke into a dance routine that looked eerily like one that the Cast Members might do in the shows, and she did it REALLY WELL. She practiced this for probably another 15 minutes at least, while I sat and wondered how this little girl could already be a better dancer than me.

    About half an hour before opening, the Cast Members came along and asked everyone to stand up. I understand that this is probably to allow more people to fit in the courtyard, so I begrudgingly stood. This time in line was made a little more fun however by a family ahead of me. The son, probably 10 or 11 years old, had one of the beloved Stitch spaceship popcorn buckets, and his father was playfully determined to steal popcorn from it without his son noticing. The father ducked, weaved, and wandered ‘nonchalantly’ behind his son every time the boy moved, but each time he reached for the bucket the boy would turn to look at something else. This went on for long enough that I began to wonder if the son was aware of it and doing this on purpose. Eventually, the father finally got his hands on the bucket, only to discover he didn’t know how to open it! At this stage his fumbling made his intent obvious, and his son looked over his shoulder, observed the situation, rolled his eyes and opened the bucket for him exasperatedly. Best reaction! I love these little family exchanges at parks, they make me smile.

    Finally, it was time. We rushed through the ticket gates into the full-tilt jungle madness that is the running start at the Tokyo parks. Again, there were Cast Members and Security scattered about to impede our progress, but an overwhelming majority of them just smiled and waved. Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown. As expected with Journey to the Center of the Earth closed and the two most popular rides, Tower of Terror and the still kind of new Toy Story Mania in the same area of the park, the crowd overwhelmingly ran to the left. As I turned and ran, laughing at the craziness of it all, into the American Waterfront area I saw that they had already set up ropes all the way down the street to direct the crowds. The amount of people running made this seem a rather good idea. I quickly found my way into the fastpass queue and grabbed a fastpass. Success!

    Name:  P5220146 small.jpg
Views: 805
Size:  76.7 KB

    I then went to head back the way I came and across the park to Indiana Jones, and saw the real reason for sectioning off the street: without it, I don’t think I could have safely walked in this direction. An overwhelming majority of people were still running full-speed at me to get to the Toy Story queue, and without the skinny section of road roped off for heading out of there it would have been unsafe. Luckily it was there, and I was able to make it out to the Lido Isle popcorn stand where as the popcorn map had suggested, the adorable new Mickey and Duffy’s Spring Voyage popcorn bucket (with mini popcorn bucket for Duffy) was available full of my favourite caramel popcorn! I stopped quickly for one of these, tried my best not to coo over the lady giving the mini Duffy bucket to her toddler (good idea though) and headed across the length of the park to the Lost River Delta.

    Name:  P5220149 small.jpg
Views: 799
Size:  108.4 KB

    I soon arrived at Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Crystal Skull (made before the movie with no similar storylines, don’t worry). I went to use the single rider line (fastpass line), but the Cast Members explained that they weren’t using it as the wait was ‘go-fuun’ (five minutes). That works for me! I quickly headed in to the mostly empty queue, pausing a few times on the way to take pictures of the queuing area. I love the queue for these kinds of rides because it sets the scene. In this ride, not surprisingly, you are going with Indy on a temple expedition.

    Name:  P5220162 small.jpg
Views: 798
Size:  61.2 KB

    This ride is quite similar to the versions at other parks, with a few differences. [MINOR RIDE SPOILERS AHEAD] While the American Indiana Jones ride is set in Asia, this one was made much more exotic to the Japanese by being set in South America, with suitable Aztec references and theming. As implied by the title, your enemy in this version is a crystal skull you dared gaze at in the first part of the ride. This angers it and it proceeds to throw twists, turns, lazers, whirlwinds, snakes, bugs, darts, and boulders your way as you traverse the ride in your Jeep. I particularly enjoy a DisneySea unique part where a statue blows a fireball (smoke ball) in your face, and of course the giant boulder that comes for you right at the end (they take a photo of you during this scene at DisneySea)[SPOILER END].

    The ride itself is a little coaster-like, in that the Jeep rides around sharp corners and up and down minor slopes at speed, but is not too scary in that sense. The ride vehicles are a little jerky, and jostle you around a bit, but I’m kind of ok with pretending that it’s part of the experience of ‘off roading’ in my ‘Jeep’ I really quite enjoyed the ride, especially since I live nowhere near any other parks and therefore was not bored of this ride like some have become after riding the American one over and over. So I decided to get right back on the ride, which was still a five minute wait. I got pretty much straight back on the ride, this time trying a silly ‘No! Don’t hurt me!’ photo pose (My first photo was just me sitting there thinking ‘Yay! I’m at DisneySea!). I then ran into the queue AGAIN for a third ride. This time however, when I got within about 15 people of the loading area, the ride vehicles stopped suddenly, and the Cast Members began busily communicating. There had been some kind of technical issue. Soon enough the house lights came up and everyone got out of their vehicles, while the queue was asked to turn around and leave. Luckily, having ridden it twice already and being on a Disney morning high I found all this pretty exciting. I happily left and figured I’d see if it was up again later in the day.

    Name:  P5220183 small.jpg
Views: 796
Size:  65.4 KBName:  P5220188 small.jpg
Views: 795
Size:  78.2 KB

    I wandered across the bridge to Port Discovery, sort of the Tomorrowland of DisneySea, themed like a future that runs on water/steam. Not surprisingly, the theming features a lot of copper hues and looks a little steampunk. I took a few pictures, then noticed that Stormrider had next to no line, so I figured I’d ride once on my way past. Just as I got in line, I saw Mr. and Mrs. Incredible come out to entertain everyone. They were immediately mobbed by guests, but they dealt with it well, posing and interacting with the group. I wanted to go down there, but there were people behind me in line blocking my exit and frankly you could barely see Mr. Incredible for the mob, so I took some pictures from afar instead.

    Name:  P5220191 small.jpg
Views: 795
Size:  101.8 KBName:  P5220192 small.jpg
Views: 794
Size:  68.1 KB

    Mrs. Incredible is the best poser, but Mr. Incredible has all the friends.

    Once in the Stormrider building, I got to giggle at the carefully presented and overacted pre-show I remembered from three years prior. It of course was exactly the same. The representative for the Center for Weather Control explained to us that we would be riding in one of their ships to plan a ‘storm diffusion device’ in the middle of a damaging storm. Of course, she explains, this is very dangerous, but their vehicles can handle it, so nothing will go wrong. Unless this is, you know, a Disney ride. After a short, very loud demonstration of the technology which scared a poor nearby child into crying a little, we were loaded onto the ride. [SOME BIG RIDE SPOILERS HERE] I enjoyed the ride, although I found it didn’t move around quite enough in some early parts of the ride for me to feel as if I was really flying (this appears to have been improved for Star Tours). I do however LOVE the fact that they chose to go beyond a basic simulator ride for this, having the walls get affected, things crash through the ceiling, and having you actually get a little wet. Overall, I can see how the ride is dated, and why some people find it a yawn, but I do respect that it contains elements that you don’t always find on other simulator rides [END SPOILERS].

    By this point it was past the time of morning where the lines were short, so there was no rush to get on another ride. I instead spent some time wandering around the park, taking photos, eating my popcorn, and just enjoying the fact that after all the planning, wishing, and saving, I was finally back here. I ended up over at the Mysterious Island, or Jules Verne land as many refer to it. The area is themed mostly around three things: the fact that it is set in a ‘dormant’ crater next to Mt Prometheus, Captain Nemo and his Nautilus (setting the scene for the 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea ride), and cave exploration and drilling (setting the scene for the Journey to the Center of the Earth ride). The result is an amazingly cohesively themed area that makes you feel almost as though you have stepped into a wonderful piece of Victorian science fiction. Despite the fact that the Journey to the Centre of the Earth (a favourite ride of mine) was closed and I’m not a huge fan of 20,000 Leagues, I kept returning to this area of the park throughout my visit as I just liked being there.

    Name:  P5220217 small.jpg
Views: 794
Size:  111.5 KBName:  P5220224 small.jpg
Views: 791
Size:  127.4 KB

    I'm not sure how these images turned out slightly overexposed and technicolour, but I think it's kind of suited to my childhood memories of the Journey to the Centre of the Earth movie (Not the remake, kids).

    While I was there this time around, I figured I might as well go on 20,000 Leagues. The wait was less than 5 minutes, as this ride, like Stormrider, is not very popular, and this was a low attendance day. I was able to skip the queuing area full of Nemo’s research and undersea artifacts, so I’m afraid I have no photos, but if you are ever stuck in a queue for this ride there are some cool displays to keep you mildly entertained. The ride vehicles are not one big sub like the similar ride that American parkgoers may remember, but instead are little 6 person mini subs designed it appears for scouting missions. Inside, there are three, two person seats, each facing their own window, and their own array of fake buttons and gauges that make it look amusingly real. Given the lack of guests we all received a sub to ourselves, which means for the first time I discovered how quiet it is in these vehicles all by yourself. I must admit it was a little creepy, and I wasn’t even underwater yet!

    [SPOILERS AHEAD] The ride took off, and displayed its awesome trick of making it appear you are submerging by using bubbles in water between two planes of glass in your window. In actual fact, your vehicle never goes underwater, preserving the scenery of the ride from rust and erosion and making both safety and maintenance issues much, much easier to deal with. I was then taken through creepy coral and shipwreck scenes, occasionally snapped at by a creepy undersea creature. Every so often a light a noise would alert me to the fact I could use the joystick in front of me to use a searchlight on the scenery and find more things. Then suddenly, the vehicle paused at the giant, rather demonic-looking eye of a giant squid! Oh no! The squid tried to capture me, but my ship let off an electric charge and escaped. I then continued on to encounter some very strange looking creatures in what looked like the ruins of an ancient city. At first they looked possibly hostile, but soon they appeared friendly. At some point here my sub began to have ‘technical problems’ possibly due to the electricity spent earlier, and started to ‘sink’ and lose light. Luckily, the friendly Atlantians were able to push my sub back to the surface, waving in their own way as they did so [SPOILER END].

    Overall I find this ride concept and technology very cool, but I have my gripes with it. First of all, I’d really like to be able to use the searchlight consistently, or not at all. I found the loud beeping and flashing during the short times you could use it more distracting than fun, although I will give the imagineers props for using the searchlight, and the things you can find with it, to give the ride more re-ride value. Secondly, there are the issues many people have highlighted with the subs being quite cramped height-wise, making many have to stoop in their seats to properly look out the window. My third issue is a more personal one: I tend to get a little creeped out in its spooky underwater scenes. I don’t find anything about it particularly scary, but everything in it is just a little squishy or tentacle-clad or fond of jumping out at you, and when trapped in a slightly cramped ride vehicle it makes me a little unnerved. I can see why some children don’t like it. Having said all of these things I still very much like the concept, and I seem to keep riding it a few times per trip so I must find it a little fun

    Next up, stay tuned for DisneySea part 2!

  3. #18

    • Waiting for my E-Ticket
    • Offline

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Hanging out at The Attic with Johnny Dakota
    Posts
    19,673

    Re: A Shopaholic in Tokyo Disney - Trip Report May 18th - 31st 2013

    Yay! Can't wait for more!

  4. #19

    • New Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    27

    Re: A Shopaholic in Tokyo Disney - Trip Report May 18th - 31st 2013

    Trip Day 4, Disney Day 2 DisneySea Part 2

    Once I finished up in Mysterious Island it was about time for me to head over to the American Waterfront for Toy Story Mania. Unlike those who live in short distance of the American version, I do not have much experience with this ride, so I was very excited. The new Toyville Trolley Park area in which the ride is housed was being built last time I was in the parks, and I must admit the American Waterfront area looks a lot better with a vintage toy area than it did with a construction screen I like that they used the slightly vintage look to suit both the toys and the theming, it was a good way of both finding a place for this popular ride and adding more rides to DisneySea. I still maintain that DisneySea is my favourite park of the two TDR parks due to its amazing theming, but it certainly is short on rides in comparison to Disneyland.




    Anyway, I headed into Toyville Trolley Park, and after giggling a little at Mr. Potato Head (who here performs in the courtyard rather than in the queue), I headed under Woody’s giant face and into the fastpass queue. I’ll admit, this is the one fastpass queue where I had to wait a little while, but I was still very glad not to be in the winding queue next to me. I kept myself amused by taking pictures of all the giant toys around us, making us feel toy-sized. I did find one or two slightly odd things about the theming though. When the queue goes into the loading room, it goes through a giant version of Andy’s door, which I thought was excellent, however the giant door is still woefully small next to the GIANT Andy’s bed in the next room, which in turn is completely out of scale with his chest of drawers. Still, this was funny and only a little theme breaking, so I ran with it. Soon enough I was in a ride vehicle and off playing all sort of 3D carnival shooting games, which I must admit was a blast. I did wish I had someone next to me to compete against, but I still tried my hardest.









    By this time though, I had to admit to myself that I was pretty tired, and pretty sore. I decided lunch was definitely in order. I had planned earlier to go to Miguel’s El Dorado cantina and giggle at Japanese versions of Mexican food. I didn’t feel like I had the strength to get over there, but I really wanted to stick to my plan, so I caught the Transit Steamer from the Mediterranean Harbour across to the Lost River Delta. (Beware, if you catch it here you must get off at Delta, you can only do a round trip from Cape Cod pier). There was an older Japanese lady on the Transit Steamer who seemed happy to see me, I think just because I was a tourist, and came over and exchanged some pleasantries with me in Japanese. When we got off the boat however she made some odd motions to the right and said something in Japanese I didn’t catch. She then pointed at her park map and said “Show, hurry!” She then grabbed my hand and started running through the Lost River Delta toward the Arabian Coast. Tired as I was, I couldn’t very well disappoint somebody’s Grandma, so I went with her. I ran through the crowds with her, wondering how on earth I had ended up kidnapped by a Japanese obasan, but kind of enjoying the oddness of it anyway.


    Eventually she ran us into the courtyard of the Arabian Coast, where Mickey, Minnie, Duffy, and Shellie Mae were doing their springtime stage show, and insisted I stand in front of her to watch. I must admit it was a bit of a production for something they do several times a day in different parts of the park. Mickey and Duffy showed their lovely ladies what spring is like in Arab countries, in a not at all Disneyfied or slightly stereotyped way The dancing girls around them were very good at their jobs, so it was still pretty fun to see. After the show, the lady who had brought me here then motioned me to follow her to the stage, where she picked up some of the heart shaped confetti they had thrown and gave it to me, and asked if I wanted a picture in front of the stage. She took a picture of me, I offered to take one of her but she didn’t want one, and then after that she bowed, said it was lovely to meet me and ‘bye bye’, and left! As far as I can see she just wanted this foreign girl who was all alone to see how awesome their shows were, and have a nice time. I was now far from where I had intended to be, with aching feet, but I felt it was worth it to have one of those travel moments you’ll never forget.


    After this I should have just eaten at the Casabah Food Court, but I ate there on my last trip and I really wanted to try new restaurants. With this in mind I slowly trudged back to the Lost River Delta, but by the time I actually got to Miguel’s, I was feeling woozy and quite a bit nauseous. I got a small fries just so I could have something starchy in my stomach, with a large drink. I sat in a booth feeling awful, trying to nibble on my fries and enjoying the cool drink. I considered that I may have been dehydrated, as I was really into this drink. The nauseous feeling was not going away, so I sat carefully with my food for about an hour.


    I eventually finished my food, and decided I had the strength to get up again, as long as I headed for something mellow. I chose the Mermaid Lagoon Theatre show, a favourite of mine, as I could sit down and it was nearby. I first saw this show on my last visit, not really knowing what to expect, and being really excited when it turned out to be a theatre-in-the-round style show on wires above us and with puppets! It was really pretty, and despite the slight jarring effect of them speaking in Japanese but singing in English, very nostalgic for me. I loved staring up at the performers smiling faces as they ‘swam’ through the air. For those interested in puppetry, I recommend you check in out for the giant Ursula face puppet (along with separate tentacles) that descends upon the theatre in the middle of the show. It’s a little creepy for small kids, but really fun to watch in motion. The surprise, entirely non-canon ending was still in place, and still just as funny (I won’t spoil it for you, but suffice it to say they are willing to completely derail the actual story to keep the show short enough for small children).


    After the show I wandered back through the Mysterious Island, stopping to go on 20,000 Leagues again as it had no line and I got to sit down. I decided on this ride through that this ride definitely unnerves me a little more than I’m willing to admit as a fully grown, totally not scared of underwater beasties adult. By this time I definitely needed to head back to the hotel for a break, but I knew if I left now I’d miss the daytime show. So instead, I headed down to the lagoon to stake out a good sitting spot for Legend of Mythica, the daytime ‘parade’ of DisneySea. My photos are awful as my viewing spot wasn’t the best, but I can safely say I’ve never seen a park try to fit that many surprises into one parade. Fireworks, jet-skis, amazing floats, characters, dancers, surprise characters on special platforms that only rise up halfway through, surprise dancers on further surprise platforms, and then, just when you think you’ve seen it all, they bring out BETTER floats with hydras and unicorns and such. I personally liked the part where they docked and the dancers came out to dance and play drums on the dock, because you really got to see their dancing and their elaborate, if really weird, costumes.






    Awesome 'starter' floats. You know, so the jet skis, kites, fireworks and giant fountain don't feel lonely.



    Shore dancers. By the way nothing will convince me that these girls are not bronies. NOTHING.



    The modest centrepiece of the show



    Cool dragon puppet/kite




    Ah yes, that's what it needs: bigger floats with hydras and unicorns!


    After the show, I just had to go and rest, so at a little past 3pm I dragged my aching feet and nauseous body slowly but surely to the train, and survived the train changes to my neighbourhood. I must have looked how I felt, because people offered me seats on the train, a rarity for someone in their 20s like me. I slowly dragged my feet down the 15 minute walk from my station to the hotel. On the way, I passed an older, slightly drunk Japanese man hanging around outside what I assume was his favourite bar with a 1 litre can of beer (yes, they do exist). When he saw me he laughed and said ‘Hehe, atsui desu ne?’ (Hot, isn’t it?). I managed a meagre ‘Hai’ and a smile, and shuffled on my way. At least drunken happy man feels for me, I thought. By the time I reached the hotel it was 4:15pm, and I wondered if I could even get myself back to the park for the evening. A two hour nap later I knew it just wasn’t going to happen. My whole body ached, and I still felt kind of nauseous. Given that I had a lot to do on my park hopping day the following morning, I decided to stay home for the night and rest. I was beginning to wonder if I was suspiciously tired, but I didn’t have any symptoms of sickness other than the exhaustion, so I figured I’d rest and see how I was tomorrow. Sick or not, my Disney vacation would not be stopped!


    Did I get up the next morning? Find out in my next post!

  5. #20

    • Waiting for my E-Ticket
    • Offline

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Hanging out at The Attic with Johnny Dakota
    Posts
    19,673

    Re: A Shopaholic in Tokyo Disney - Trip Report May 18th - 31st 2013

    I like how they made Toyville Trolley Park look like the old Dreamland & Luna Park on Coney Island back in the early 1900's.

    That's funny about the Japanese lady dragging you to see the Spring Voyage show in Arabian Coast. Too cute.

    Does sound like you were dehydrated. That's why I ALWAYS carry a water bottle (or 2) with me when I'm at the parks. You can get dehydrated REALLY FAST in the humidity without realizing it.

  6. #21

    • New Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Perth, WA, Australia
    Posts
    32

    Re: A Shopaholic in Tokyo Disney - Trip Report May 18th - 31st 2013

    wow, this is terrific, thanks so much for sharing this wonderful Trip Report, so many wonderful memories from my visits to Japan and the Tokyo Disney Resort. I miss it, but, I have other Parks to visit I haven't seen yet!
    First visit to a Disney Park was to Tokyo Disneyland in Oct, 2005. I was hooked! Was so blessed to visit Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea in 2009, the original Disneyland and California Adventure in 2010, Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea in 2011, and an incredible 5 night stay at Disneyland Paris in February 2013.

  7. #22

    • New Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    27

    Re: A Shopaholic in Tokyo Disney - Trip Report May 18th - 31st 2013

    Thanks for the comments guys, finishing this trip report while working this much has been harder than I thought!

    aimster - That's what I love about Toyville Trolley Park too! And yeah, I do think I got dehydrated, as I live in the dryest state of the dryest continent and am NOT used to humidity. I had a water bottle, but I clearly didn't use it enough.

    QPerth - No worries, thanks for reading I always miss TDR, but I have the same issue as you - I want to see the others too! I constantly go back and forth as to which park I want to visit next. I'm hoping to get back to the US for my next trip rather than caving and returning to Japan (I'm a bit of a Japan addict).

  8. #23

    • Resident of the Caldera
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Nowhere near a Disney Park
    Posts
    1,962

    Re: A Shopaholic in Tokyo Disney - Trip Report May 18th - 31st 2013

    One of the reasons I always stay at one of the on-site hotels (usually the Hilton Tokyo Bay because of the price) is so I can leave the park at 2 and put my feet up in the hotel until about 5. Very important. Deep into middle age, I just can't run around the park for 14 hours any more!
    Born in a shoebox and making the most of it.

  9. #24

    • New Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    6

    Re: A Shopaholic in Tokyo Disney - Trip Report May 18th - 31st 2013

    This Report has been such a help in organising my trip that I have just been on! Thank you so much for your detail! It really helped!
    I have just returned from TDR 2 weeks ago and am regretting not staying on site. 14 hours straight in 37+ degrees was a killer!
    Next time I WILL take everyone's advise and stay at one of the hotels on site. it would be good to drop some of my shopping off rather then carry it or leave it till late when the shops are a nightmare to go through!

  10. #25

    • New Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    27

    Re: A Shopaholic in Tokyo Disney - Trip Report May 18th - 31st 2013

    Kaki Bear - Thanks for reading I chose to post this because I got so much info out of other people's trip reports, so I'm really glad it helped. Summer really is a killer over there, I hope you were ok! I would have stayed on site if it weren't for the fact I was staying in $35 per night accommodation and would be seriously cutting my shopping budget if I paid for even a few nights on site, but I can't wait until I can return with a bit more cash and do just that!

    Also sorry everyone that I haven't been updating, I've had a few medical issues taking up my time, but I should hopefully continue soon

  11. #26

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    At a table in front of the French Quarter Market
    Posts
    574

    Re: A Shopaholic in Tokyo Disney - Trip Report May 18th - 31st 2013

    I hope you can finish it, but even if you don't, thank you! Because of all the trip reports I have read, this is my favorite. We have a lot of the same attitudes and tastes, not to mention love of travel shopping! Japan and TDR are at the top of my list of places I want to visit. I hope you get better soon.

    Fluffy Club Member

  12. #27

    • New Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    27

    Re: A Shopaholic in Tokyo Disney - Trip Report May 18th - 31st 2013

    lady3jane - I just got home from surgery and saw this comment. You made my day! It's wonderful to know my report can be as useful and fun for you as others have been for me

    Sorry to all who are waiting patiently for me to finish, I have been ill (not life-threatening, don't worry ). I am hoping to add a new installment soon - Day 3, otherwise known as the day I allow myself to shop!

  13. #28

    • New Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    27

    Re: A Shopaholic in Tokyo Disney - Trip Report May 18th - 31st 2013

    Trip Day 5, Disney Day 3: Park Hopping

    After a night of resting, I woke up on park-hopping day still feeling quite tired, but determined to enjoy my last planned Disney day – with a big break this time! This was also an important day for me, as it was my last planned day at Disney, so this was the day that I would allow myself to actually shop! I had spent a lot of time looking around the stores, so that I had seen all of the different styles and types of item on sale, and wouldn’t therefore buy one item then find a better version later. I was fairly certain I had a good grasp of what I wanted, what I could afford to buy and what I would hold off on buying (no matter how hard it seemed!). I had my full Disney shopping budget in my wallet in cash, and was determined not to overspend it.

    I decided that I wanted to try to get on Star Tours and Pooh one last time, so Disneyland was the natural choice for the morning. I arrived at the gates around 7:45-8am, sat down in line and ate the bagel I had brought with me while planning my day. The moment they let us through the gates I was off again to the Star Tours fastpass queue, and thanks to being well-rested and knowing my way around better, I was able to get a fastpass for 10am! Wasting no time, I quickly jogged out of there and headed for Pooh’s Hunny Hunt as fast as my asthmatic body would let me. The wait was still only 5 minutes, so I was able to have one last chance on the ride that always makes me smile. I knew the lines for this would be large by the time I got off and would stay that way for the rest of the day, so I did my best to sit back, smile, and soak up everything I love about this ride to remember later.

    By the time I got out of Hunny Hunt, the ride lines were decently long and the park was in full swing. Since it was my last day and I’d already done all my favourite rides once, I felt comfortable now focusing on my shopping. I went back into the shop at the end of Pooh’s Hunny Hunt and had my first proper look there (there’s a door you can take to skip the shop when leaving the ride, I’d taken it or rushed through the store the other times). The shop is gorgeously decorated, simply covered in fake honey pots and honeycomb, and with Pooh related souvenirs EVERYWHERE. Pooh is a big favourite in Japan. I had a look around, but nothing truly took my fancy more than other products I had researched or seen previously, so I decided I would return and buy later if I couldn’t find better. Proud of my first attempts at frugality, I continued on.



    As I left the ride and continued through Fantasyland, I noticed there was no line at all for Snow White, and the ride attendants were smiling at me and encouraging me to enter in an oh-so-cute way, so I decided I would. Snow White’s Adventures is one of the park’s older rides, so it doesn’t have much to offer in terms of technology. It does however tell a fun little story, and it serves as a fantastic reminder of how far ride technology has come when you compare it to the rest of the park.

    A WORD OF ADVICE TO PARENTS: This ride is called ‘Snow White’s Scary Adventures’ in other parks, and I feel the omission of the ‘Scary’ in this case was a mistake. [MILD SPOILER] The ride is themed around the wicked witch, who often jumps out or cackles loudly at you throughout the ride. There is also a haunted trees area that unnerves some people [END SPOILER]. The rides elsewhere toned down the scary theme of the ride a little in subsequent renovations and kept the name, whereas here the ride is in its original form and lost the scary name. In previous rides I have seen smaller children upset by the ride due to not realising it would be creepy, so please keep this in mind if you choose to ride with young children.

    I managed to get my scaredy cat self through the ride and out the door in record time, emerging to see a 5 minute wait for the Haunted Mansion. Being ever the Haunted Mansion fan, I took the opportunity to give it one last ride. No matter how often I see it, I don’t think I’ll ever stop being amused by the fact that the Haunted Mansion staff are the only Cast Members that don’t smile at you like it’s their birthday and YOU just took THEM to Disneyland. Everywhere else in the park you can’t escape the smiley Japanese welcome of the Cast Members, but here they all maintain a spooky deadpan. There really is little that is more amusing than watching a cute little Japanese girl with a bob cut try to convince you she really is very spooky and doesn’t at all want to smile. I enjoyed their efforts as I went through the ride, appreciating one last time the amount they clean the Tokyo version and how you can’t see the mechanisms of the ride like you can in some versions. That and, you know, giggling like a little girl at all the attempted jump scares and singing ghosts.


    That's right people - the teacups with NOBODY RIDING. Too bad I don't have a good stomach for them.

    After this I wandered in to Westernland, as I realised that it was not too long until my Star Tours fastpass window, and I was right near the Big Thunder Mountain fastpass machines. Big Thunder fastpasses don’t sell out nearly as fast in Tokyo as they do in other parks as long as there is a vaguely new ride available. As most of this park’s visitors are locals, new rides will always trump rides that are good but they’ve ridden several times before. As such the Star Tours and Monsters Inc. passes were gone by this point, but lucky me could still get a reasonably timed fastpass to one of my favourite rides. To waste time until the window I wandered through some of the more unique Westernland shops checking there wasn’t anything I needed. Most of it was either stuff that I could get later at the front of the park, Toy Story toys I could get at DisneySea later if needed, and fake ‘Western’ clothing and jewellery that is not nearly as exotic to me as it is to the Japanese. So I took some pictures of Westernland for a while, nabbed my new fastpass and started heading back toward Tomorrowland.









    By this point it was 10am and the Star Tours line was huge. Luckily, my fastpass meant I could skip most of that. I took a nice brisk VIP walk past all the people waiting in the standby queue. Later suckers! I waited in the small queue after the fastpass merge point, but the line moved fairly quickly and yet again I was plucked out by a Cast Member for being a single rider and skipped a large wait at the end! The ride I took this time was different than the last one, as the ride randomises each ride from a huge amount of possible scenes (no Vader this time, but many awesome planet life scenes instead). Childishly happy with my ride and thrilled with how quickly I got on, I was back in the courtyard by 10:20am.

    At this point I could ignore the siren call of Tomorrowland shopping no longer, and I was drawn over to the Monsters Inc. shop. Monsters Inc. is a favourite of mine and I have a great weakness for the merchandise. My last trip (when I had a lot more spending money) I spent about an hour in this shop, buying all sorts of things. One thing I remembered from my last trip is that this store is one of the only places in the world I’ve ever been able to find blue Monsters Inc. hard hats in adult sizes. They’ve done them for Disney on Ice shows and promotions, but usually only in the smaller sizes. Here though, it is expected that young adults in their 20s (and beyond) will want to wear ‘cute’ things, so the hats are for us too. Last time I should have bought one, but went with a warm fuzzy Minnie hat instead as it was so cold in January, and I had regretted not getting the hard hat ever since. I made a beeline straight for the hats and tried one on. For a moment, it didn’t seem to fit on my big head, and I was about to get quite sad when I realised that it was adjustable on the inside and had been adjusted too tight. Crisis averted! My giant gaijin head only just fit in the highest setting, but it fit me darn it! I proceeded to wear the adorable, but surprisingly heavy, hat around the store while I also selected a Mike Wasowski pen, hair ties with Mike and Sully plushies stuck to them, and a few other themed products. Deciding it was best to stop there before I bought one of the hats that made it look like Mike was eating your head, I checked out with the lovely Cast Member who thoughtfully asked if I wanted fragile objects like the pen and the hat wrapped in bubble wrap.









    I then made a little tour through the other Tomorrowland stores, buying a set of Disney characters as Star Wars characters notebooks for my friends back home, who are doubly amused by the concept now that Disney has bought the rights to the Star Wars films. I also picked up a badge that proudly declared I had travelled on Star Tours, and a couple of sets of 30th anniversary pens and keyrings for friends and co-workers back home. I decided I would get out of there without buying any more Disney-as-Star-Wars merchandise, despite the temptation, as I had decided that the popcorn bucket and the badge would be enough Star Tours souvenirs for me personally, and I had bought enough Star Tours stuff for others. Once upon a time deciding that and sticking to it would have been really hard for me, so I did a little victory dance outside the store and received some ‘Hee hee, silly foreigner’ looks from passing families.

    I then had to head out to Guest Relations at the front of the park for several reasons. Reason number one, I had heard that you can ask them for ‘Story Papers’ and receive an envelope of nicely decorated English language fliers about the story of each ride. I had never had real story papers in previous visits, and I really wanted to see them. Reason number two was that after returning home from my last trip to this park I had realised I lost my scarf, probably leaving it at the parade after sitting on it as a blanket. Back home I wouldn’t bother going to lost and found as the first person who saw it would probably keep it themselves, but here in Japan, the land of the honest passerby and the land of heavy cultural shame at petty theft, I thought I might have a shot. Reason number three was that I had now visited all of the anniversary ‘Happiness Spots’ with my ‘Happiness Pendant’, and I knew from reading Micechat that if you visited three or more you could collect a special prize, but I couldn’t work out where or how! Reason number 4 was that I knew there were coin lockers nearby, and I was now carrying quite a few souvenirs and a heavy hat.

    I found a locker for my purchases and got in line at Guest Relations. Soon enough I had a lovely Cast Member who spoke a little English ready to help me. I asked ‘Sutori Paipasu o kudasai’ and received my Story Papers easily. I then explained (with some bad Japanese/miming when needed) that I had lost my scarf two days ago. The Cast Member then pulled out a special lost property form and proceeded to help me fill it out. She got me to point on a map to where I think I lost it. She asked, in carefully thought out English, for some descriptions of the scarf. ‘Colour?’ ‘Does it have pattern? Stripey?’ ‘Fringe or no fringe?’ ‘Square shape?’ ‘What brand?’ She then had me fill out my details, and sent the card out the back for others to look at. Finally I showed her my Happiness Pendant and how it had the right number of lights etc. She pulled out one of the tags that was on the pendant when I bought it and asked where mine was. When I explained it was at home, she told me that I need the tag to redeem the prize, and showed me a little map on the tag that shows where you can collect the prize, if you can read Japanese better than I can. She then asked me to take a seat in the waiting area while they looked for my scarf.

    Sitting there, I was a little sad that I probably wouldn’t get a chance to find my tag and get my happiness medal, but I consoled myself that the ridiculous, giant Mickey face of lights that is the Happiness Pendant is a pretty good souvenir on its own. It even talks in Mickey’s voice if you push the right button, though his voice makes it nearly impossible for me to understand what he’s saying in Japanese. I also didn’t think they would find my scarf, but it wasn’t that expensive so I told myself it wouldn’t be that big of a deal if my carelessness cost me a pashmina. Lo and behold as soon as I made my peace with this, a very happy looking Cast Member came out with my form and presented me with my scarf! She then got me to sign the form to say I had received it, and I bowed and directed several ‘Arigatou gozaimasu’s at the Cast Members as I left, a grin plastered to my face.

    Walking back through the World Bazaar I took my chance to pop in to the Disney Gallery and see all the amazing concept art for the early Disney cartoons. I took a couple of pictures before a Cast Member gently informed me ‘No photo’. I felt a little guilty after that, but I can’t say I’m not happy with the pictures I now have of some of the concept boards.









    The really great find in the gallery however was not the gallery at all, but the gallery shop. The shop focuses on early Disney feature films, and while I could have spent the rest of my budget in there, I was happy to come out with a little box disguised as an old Snow White book, and a card with an ornately crafted cardboard Alice in Wonderland frame as the front, allowing you to put a photo in it, or just leave it as is with its adorable artwork.

    By now it was almost time for Big Thunder Mountain, so I headed back out to Westernland, making sure to pass as many delicious smelling snack carts on my way through as I could. That smell, more than anything, reminds me of Tokyo Disneyland even years after visiting. Just before this trip, and years after the last one, I had gone to a Japanese cultural fair in my home town where a crafty booth had decided to sell ‘Tokyo Disney-style Caramel Popcorn’. Passing by that booth and smelling that smell was like being slapped in the face with memories, and it left me smiling all day.

    Once I reached Big Thunder it was time for my fastpass, so I quickly climbed the queue and waited in the small merged queue section before the ride. Directly in front of me was an American family, one of the only groups of native English speakers I had seen on my trip so far. It was a father and his two children, a girl of ten or eleven, and a boy of twelve or thirteen. They had both been on the ride before, but their father hadn’t, and they spent the entire queue telling him why it wasn’t scary, but was really cool. Their father was playing hard to get and playfully insisted he wasn’t sure it was that good, prompting even more excited hyperbole from the kids. It was cute to watch, even more so when I was put in the back of their ride car. This ride is fun on its own, but was made even more so by watching these kids throw their hands in the air and turn their father into a Big Thunder convert. As we got off the ride and out the exit, it was the father excitedly talking up the ride to the kids!

    After leaving Big Thunder I took my last chance to head over to Tom Sawyer Island and explore. It’s a bit of a time warp looking at this version of the island, as all the other parks have updated and upgraded theirs, whereas Tokyo Disney maintains the original (I’m sure not in small part due to the fact that the racial issues of some of the statues and ‘Injun Joe’ are completely lost on the Japanese).















    I got on a raft and was ferried across to the island, using one of the English language maps at the raft stop to find my way around. I laughed with other park goers as we stumbled across the barrel bridge, climbed the rocks, and avoided the stream of water occasionally spat by a rock that looks like a skull. I quite liked exploring Fort Sam Clemens, and although lactose intolerant me could not partake of the much lauded milkshakes sold at the canteen here, I did find some immaturely amusing signs.











    Heading back to the mainland I wandered over to Toontown to take some last minute photos, high fiving a few Fantasyland and Toontown characters on my way through. I also took this opportunity to do some shopping at the Five and Dime, finding a set of pens topped with Mickey in his anniversary outfit for each celebration since opening, and a set of mechanical pencils each topped with Minnie wearing the Cast Member’s uniform for each area of Disneyland and Disneysea!









    Captain Hook's hobbies include photobombing Smee. Also this is the second time this trip that Smee initiated a high five with me!


    After this I had done everything I had wanted to do at the Disneyland park, and I was feeling both tired and hungry. I decided it was about time for a break, so I wandered out of the park, making sure to say my goodbyes to everything in my mind, and headed for the Becker’s near the station to try these burgers I had heard about.


    That’s all for today, but please stay tuned for Day 3 Pt 2: DisneySea Again!

  14. #29

    • Pirate Girl
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Burbank
    Posts
    247

    Re: A Shopaholic in Tokyo Disney - Trip Report May 18th - 31st 2013

    Please finish the report! We are going to Tokyo in 18 days! I'd love to hear more about the rest of Tokyo(though I realize this is a Disney board). Thanks!

    -Aprille

  15. #30

    • New Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    27

    Re: A Shopaholic in Tokyo Disney - Trip Report May 18th - 31st 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by prillzilla View Post
    Please finish the report! We are going to Tokyo in 18 days! I'd love to hear more about the rest of Tokyo(though I realize this is a Disney board). Thanks!

    -Aprille

    Thanks for reading, I'm glad you're finding it helpful! I'm just about to post another part, hopefully I can write more before you leave. Either way I'm sure you'll have an amazing time

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. [Trip Report] Pinch me! I actually tgoing to Japan & Tokyo Disney. Carmen's Trip Report - May 2012
    By Mosaic513 in forum Tokyo Disney Resort
    Replies: 52
    Last Post: 07-16-2012, 11:38 PM
  2. [Trip Report] Joe's Tokyo Disney trip report - October 1st to 16th, 2011 - Lots of pictures
    By mre200200 in forum Tokyo Disney Resort
    Replies: 88
    Last Post: 04-03-2012, 02:17 PM
  3. [Trip Report] Krank's May 17th - 23rd Universal and Disney Trip Report (Picture Heavy)
    By Krankenstein in forum Walt Disney World Resort
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 05-30-2009, 01:56 PM
  4. [Trip Report] Tokyo Disney Trip Report 2-2 to 2-6
    By lighttragic in forum Tokyo Disney Resort
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 02-15-2009, 12:59 PM
  5. Trip report/ May 8-13
    By travelmom in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-16-2005, 06:35 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •