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  1. #1

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    Tokyo Disney Sea 5/24, 5/26 & 5/27

    My girlfriend and I took a trip to Japan from 5/22 - 5/28. Our itinerary went something like this.

    Tuesday 5/22: Leave from LAX at 11:40AM

    Wednesday 5/23: Arrive at Tokyo Narita Airport at 2:55PM, Check out Tokyo Disneyland with Starlight Pass (After 6PM pass)

    Thursday 5/24: Tokyo Disney Sea all day with about an hour break

    Friday 5/25: Tokyo day trip (Tokyo, Asakusa, Ueno) Tokyo night trip (Shinjuku)

    Saturday 5/26: Day trip to Kamakura, Tokyo Disney Sea at night

    Sunday 5/27: Tokyo Disneyland during the day, Tokyo Disney Sea at night.

    Monday 5/28: Leave for LAX at 2:50PM. Arrive at LAX at 8:40AM (same day)

    So here are the pictures and observations from the full day and two nights we spent on Tokyo Disney Sea.

    Hotel

    We stayed at the Tokyo Bay Hotel Tokyu. I'm sure many foreigners tend to stay at the Hilton or Sheraton because those are names they know, but this hotel gave us the best rates and the staff and service were excellent. At least one person at the front desk spoke English and we had no problems here.



    This was the view from our room on the 11th floor. Here we are looking towards Disney Sea. Disneyland would be directly to the left.



    Cinderella Castle and Big Thunder.


    Space Mountain with buildings. You can't get this kind of shot at Disneyland as Space Mountain is tucked into a corner with other Tomorrowland buildings. TDL's Space Mountain stands free of obstructions. At TDL they even light all sides of it at night.



    Tokyo Disney Resort Line

    Tokyo Disney's version of the Monorail is a full service train system that charges a fare to ride. It's about two bucks for a single trip, or six for an all day pass. We opted for the 4-day pass which cost about 13 bucks.

    Handy signs let you know how long you have to wait for the next train. The last train is at 11:39PM.



    This is Bayside Station, the station for all official hotels. The next station is Tokyo Disney Sea station, where we will be departing.



    Here are some views from the Monorail.

    Room to expand? In fact I noticed a lot of room near Lost River Delta.



    Approaching the main gate from the monorail.



    I had no idea they did early entry but when we purchased our tickets from our hotel they gave us this. It allowed us to go on Raging Spirits, Indiana Jones, Sinbad, and Journey to the Center of the Earth before 10AM. That's almost half of the big attractions.



    4-day passport. You have to pick a park for the first two days, and then you can park hop on the remaining days.



    Tokyo Disney Sea

    The main gate.



    You have to pass under the hotel to get into the park and get your first glimpse of Mount Prometheus. Sunwheel it ain't.



    Another shot.



    Mount Prometheus dominates Mediterreanean Harbor. It's awe-inspiring. It looks good from any angle and creates a dramatic background in any area of the park.



    Sunday was very cloudy and we thought there would be rain storms. Luckily none came but the wild weather gave us this backdrop for much of the afternoon.



    Instead of doing a chronological trip report I'm going to go through each land and attraction using the park map and post some observations and pictures of them, starting with American Waterfront.

  2. #2

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Sea 5/24, 5/26 & 5/27

    American Waterfront



    The first thing I noticed about Disney Sea is something DCA is sorely missing, transportation! American Waterfront has Main St. like vehicles that take you on a round trip or from point A to point B, a station for the Electric Railway (which I really enjoyed), and the Transit Steamer Line (which seems like it's always closed either for Mythica or BraviSEAmo).







    American Waterfront contains two major landmarks, the Hotel Hightower and the S.S. Columbia.



    S.S. Columbia

    This isn't a real steamship but it sure as hell looks like one. I had to do a doubletake because I thought I was in Long Beach and was looking at the Queen Mary. It may be a theme park prop, but what a freaking prop. I didn't realize you could actually go on it too.





    I love old steamships like the Queen Mary and the Titanic and climbing on this thing was a huge treat. The stairs to get up there are ornate and you'd think it was the real thing.



    A view from the Transit Steamer Line.



    Nighttime shot of American Waterfront.



    Tower of Terror

    Of all the Tower of Terrors the TDS version has the most exquisite exterior bar none. You can't take a bad picture of this thing!











    It's not as awe-inspiring as Mount Prometheus but it dominates the skyline, well, anytime Mount Prometheus isn't in your view. It's lit beautifully at night.



    The ride itself has nothing to do with the Twilight Zone but the actual ride mechanics are very similar to DCA's version. Basically the hotel's owner was cursed by an ancient doll for his greedy capitalistic ways and is forever doomed to ride elevators or something.


    (MUST CLICK)

    It's just like DCA's version but with a different shell. You start in the main queue, go through the lobby, go through the movie room (instead of Twilight Zone a window changes and a doll disappears before your very eyes), then you hit the boiler room (or in this case the basement where Hightower keeps all the crap he's collected through the years, then you board the elevators.




    Once on the ride you see the same mirror effect from the DCA version, then the doll thing does some stuff, and then you go through the drop sequence, which is slightly different. Instead of the first drop starting in darkness, it takes you to the top, gives you a view, and then drops you.

    The drops seemed a lot less intense than the American version. In fact most rides seemed less intense than what you'd see in America. I don't know if this is a Tokyo Disney Sea thing or a Japanese thing.



    Also instead of a single seat belt that goes across your lap, ToT has one that goes around your shoulder as well. I thought this was kind of uncomfortable.

    There was a lot of dialogue and a little bit of a language barrier but I could still figure out what was going on.





    The rest of American Waterfront is very relaxing and there are plenty of places to get away from the crowds. I enjoyed it very much. Even the restrooms are exquisitely themed. I thought this was pretty clever.









    At the American Waterfront station on the Electric Railway you'll see some old-time advertisements, something I found humorous.











    Now we board the Electric Railway to...





    Port Discovery station!

    Last edited by SpokkerJones; 06-01-2007 at 02:12 AM.

  3. #3

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Sea 5/24, 5/26 & 5/27

    Wow.....absolutely stunning pics so far.



    Check out my Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/joe_e_audio

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Sea 5/24, 5/26 & 5/27

    Port Discovery



    Port Discovery is an attractive land but probably the least developed in my opinion.



    It consists of a couple attractions, a place to eat, and a shop, and not much else.





    It's great to look at but the land as a whole seems like an afterthought (don't get me wrong here, afterthoughts at this park can be major attractions at others).





    Aquatopia



    This is Tokyo Disney Sea's crappy throwaway attraction, and probably the point at which they ran out of money. At first glance it looks like bumper boats but it actually uses the trackless technology that Winnie the Pooh does. The prospect of not knowing where you'll be taken can be exciting, but it's not when you can clearly see the outlines of the predetermined paths beneath the inch of water that sits below you.



    This whirlpool is about the most exciting thing about it, and even then you can see it from outside the attraction.



    But for a throwaway attraction it's actually pretty cool to look at, and it's even better at night.



    I rode it once and hated it, but my girlfriend thought it was really cute.



    In the end this is just Tokyo Disney Sea's Autotopia. I see them ripping it out and replacing it for something way better for the 10th anniversary. At least I hope they do that.

    Stormrider

    A simlator ride that depicts a ride through the eye of a storm.



    I didn't quite know what to expect from this ride except that it was a simulator. There is an extensive preshow in Japanese but I was able to gather that there was this gun that is able to neutralize storms.



    The actual ride is in Japanese but it was pretty easy to understand that at some point "something goes wrong". The screen was unconvincing because of the lines on it that sort of take you out of the experience. The video in the windows on the side of the simulators were a nice touch.



    It basically tries to create a 4D experience by dropping water on you and making the simulator look like it's falling apart.



    All in all I thought it was pretty average. Soarin's exterior and pre-show may not be much to look at, but I would pick Soarin' over this anyday.



    But once again, cool looking buildings and theming. There are little submarines littered in the harbor.









    To the west is Lost River Delta, one of my favorite lands in the park.

    Last edited by SpokkerJones; 06-01-2007 at 02:18 AM.

  5. #5

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Sea 5/24, 5/26 & 5/27

    Stunning pictures of Tokyo DisneySea!
    ~ Tokyo DisneySea’s Arabian Coast at nighttime ~


  6. #6

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Sea 5/24, 5/26 & 5/27

    Quote Originally Posted by SpokkerJones
    This is Tokyo Disney Sea's crappy throwaway attraction, and probably the point at which they ran out of money.
    Actually, WDI never once ran out of money. When the main structure of the park was completed, they still had quite a bit of money left in their budget. This money was then used for the extensive detailing and architectural work around the park. I think Aquatopia was built as a minor, but fun attraction since it was packed in quite a small area. There really wasn't much they could've added in Port Discovery other than StormRider, which I thought was a good E-ticket attraction. Though Port Discovery is compact and not as full of attractions, I still think it's very elaborate. Port Discovery looks much better and more detailed than the Tomorrowlands and Discoveryland in my opinion.
    ~ Tokyo DisneySea’s Arabian Coast at nighttime ~


  7. #7

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Sea 5/24, 5/26 & 5/27



    Lost River Delta



    One of the reasons I liked Lost River Delta so much is because in 5 short years they managed to create one hell of a wilderness, right down to the cockroaches!



    Like Walt I love untamed nature rather than formal gardens (which is odd, because Japan is all about formal gardens).



    Lost River Delta is broken up into two parts, a kind of civilized outpost, and across the bridge, wild nature and undiscovered temples. Or temples that were discovered and had a roller coaster built in it.









    The two attractions that dominate this area are Indiana Jones and Raging Spirits.



    Indiana Jones

    Indiana Jones is the same as the Disneyland attraction except instead of the eye of mara, you have the crystal skull. Both are incredible instant classics but crystal skull edges out the Disneyland version for two reasons.



    At Disneyland you can clearly tell where they ran out of money. There's a long stretch of darkness and a half-assed smoke effect where rats drop on your jeep. Here they replaced the rats with some kind of idol that blows a smoke ring at you that smells like cigars. The effect is incredible and I never saw anything like it before.

    The other area where they improved on the original is during the part where you have to outrun the darts. At Disneyland the figures are flat and painted on. Even the effect is flawed as they blast air right on the side of your head.

    Here there are actual sculpted figures that shoot darts at you, and the effect grazes the back of your head rather than hit you square on the side. I was sitting in the front row so maybe it's different in the back. Or maybe I'm imagining all of this.



    Another difference is that at Disneyland the temple is tucked into the corner and is relatively small. At TDS they show the temple in full view and then some. Regardless of these changes, I would be happy with either version.

    Raging Spirits

    What a boring roller coaster. It sort of meanders around without really going anywhere. There are a couple decent drops but that's it. I think it would be much more exciting with a short soundtrack. In no way is it painful to ride. They have these ultra comfortable shoulder restraints that I wish every coaster had. I could just fall asleep on this thing.

    For what it lacks as a coaster, it makes up for as a set peice. It great to look at during the day, but beautiful at night.







    At night this coaster usually has a short wait. Same with Indy. In fact this park empties out fast after BraviSEAmo, where in California Space Mountain routinely experiences 45 minute waits at midnight on a similar day. Between that and Fastpass, getting on everything in a day is no problem.



    To to north is Arabian Coast, where they didn't take the easy way out and just make everything about Aladdin.

    Last edited by SpokkerJones; 06-01-2007 at 02:19 AM.

  8. #8

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Sea 5/24, 5/26 & 5/27

    Quote Originally Posted by TDR_Fan View Post
    Actually, WDI never once ran out of money. When the main structure of the park was completed, they still had quite a bit of money left in their budget.
    Well I had no idea what the money situation was like except that they had a lot of it. I'm just telling you what it looked like. Port Discovery, to me, was the weakest land.

  9. #9

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Sea 5/24, 5/26 & 5/27

    Quote Originally Posted by SpokkerJones View Post
    Well I had no idea what the money situation was like except that they had a lot of it. I'm just telling you what it looked like. Port Discovery, to me, was the weakest land.
    I don't disagree with you. Port Discovery is probably my least favorite area in Tokyo DisneySea. But they did have to work with a very small area to start with, and I still think they did a fantastic job of making the theme of the area tie-in with the rest of the park. Port Discovery is still a very pretty area, especially at night. I much prefer the look of it over the Tomorrowlands and Discoveryland.

    By the way, I agree that Tokyo DisneySea's version of Indiana Jones Adventure is better than Disneyland's version for the very same reasons you listed above (plus several more).
    ~ Tokyo DisneySea’s Arabian Coast at nighttime ~


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    Re: Tokyo Disney Sea 5/24, 5/26 & 5/27



    Arabian Coast

    I took the least amount of pictures in Arabian Coast but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. In fact I was struggling on where and when to take pictures and balancing it with just relaxing and enjoying myself.

    Early entry was a godsend for us on that first Thursday and we never ever felt rushed in this park. It was one of the best theme park experiences we've ever had.



    Sinbad's Storybook Voyages

    This was probably my second favorite attraction at the park and after seeing a video of what it used to look and sound like, I like this version way better. It's not something you see a lot of these days, a 10+ minute dark ride. And it's not even based on a blockbuster motion picture!



    I think we went on it twice in all and it definitely has reridability as Kevin Yee puts it. I thought the whole thing was kind of silly with the guy singing everywhere he went but somehow it worked. I give my highest marks to Sinbad and I'm so glad it wasn't based on Aladdin.

    Here's a video of Sinbad. http://www.spokkerjones.com/TDS/Sinbad.wmv It's 640x480 and about 90 megs.



    Obese hidden Mickey?



    Magic Lamp Theater

    The dreaded 3D movie. I hate 3D movies but every park has to have one I guess. In fact before we saw this we counted off the 3D movie stereotypes like squirting water in your face (ugh) and wondered which ones we would see here.

    Here, Tokyo Disney Sea goes above and beyond the call of duty and creates a unique 3D show. In fact most of it isn't even a movie. It's more of a live stage show with a 3D finale.

    I thought the performers were awesome and despite the language barrier I knew what was going on and had a great time. Even the pre-show was cool.

    I learned later on that there was an English translation available that I would have taken advantage of. I would give both Sinbad and Magic Lamp Theater top marks. It's even more amazing that they perform this show every single day twice an hour at the least!

    In the shadow of Mount Prometheus lies Mermaid Lagoon, an indoor kiddie land that actually pulled a few surprises on and ended up blowing me away in a couple of ways.

    Last edited by SpokkerJones; 06-01-2007 at 03:39 AM.

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Sea 5/24, 5/26 & 5/27

    Mermaid Lagoon



    This is the kiddie land. No really, this is the land for kids. However, I enjoyed it immensely. I was dreading going in here but my girlfriend wanted to ride all the kiddie rides. I only planned to go in here for a few minutes to see what it looked like. I ended up spending a couple hours.



    From the moment you see the entrance to Mermaid Lagoon the bar is set sky high. The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite movies of all time and finally there's a whole land dedicated to it.





    Outside you'll find a kiddie coaster and some kind of Scuttle themed ride.



    The coaster was there. There was no wait. I rode it. Seems kind of silly riding it after traveling over 5,000 miles to get there, but hey, it was fun.






    Inside you'll find the standard assortment of kiddie rides including teacups, a balloon race, and Jumpin' Jellyfish (DCA lol).



    There is also a live show based on The Little Mermaid which was an absolutely surprise. It was great. The songs were in English and the dialogue was in Japanese, but if you've seen the movie you can tell what was going on. Basically Ariel and actors controlling puppets fly around and there's a big fat Ursela animatronic. It's an elaborate production up to par with Aladdin at DCA (but not as lengthy), and this is the KIDDIE LAND.



    The Lagoon in general is themed very well and the lighting effects are cool.







    There is also a playground and exploration area that was kind of interesting.



    You'll find the standard assortment of Little Mermaid stuff here, but nothing too exciting.





    Outside of Mermaid Lagoon you'll find a path to Mysterious Island. If there was one reason to go to Tokyo Disney Sea, it's this.


  12. #12

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Sea 5/24, 5/26 & 5/27

    Saving Mediterranean Harbor for last? It's the most beautiful port in Tokyo DisneySea and, in my opinion, the most beautiful area in any theme park.
    ~ Tokyo DisneySea’s Arabian Coast at nighttime ~


  13. #13

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Sea 5/24, 5/26 & 5/27

    Thanks for the report and photos. You've got a great eye for detail.
    Disneyland - Apr 1998
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    Re: Tokyo Disney Sea 5/24, 5/26 & 5/27

    This was taken on Sunday (or maybe Saturday I don't remember) around 5-6 PM. Don't let this deter you. By 8PM the wait times went down dramatically. We opted not to see BraviSEAmo on Sunday (saw it Thursday and Saturday) and decided to hit up a bunch of rides. By 9:30 Journey to the Center of the Earth was a walk on, and we hit it 3 times in a row before the place closed. Use Fastpass the rest of the day (though you could probably make a case that Fastpass is causing all those lines!)





    Mysterious Island





    Mysterious Island is without a doubt the most exciting, complex, and awe-inspiring theme park enviroment ever built. When walking through it it feels like a living breathing volcano, with water geysers and smoke and about every hour, fire.



    At night it's like a whole other world lit in greens and purples and blues.


    (CLICK ON THIS PICTURE WHATEVER YOU DO)






    I found it more futuristic than Port Discovery, in a retro way of course. Both attractions here are inspired by Jules Verne and both are very unique.







    Journey to the Center of the Earth

    Journey combines elements of a dark ride and a thrill ride to create, and I sound like a freaking brochure here, a truly unique experience.



    The pre-show includes an elevator that takes you "down" to some kind of transporation center for the center of the Earth. And then you, actually I don't know what the storyline is and who even cares.

    Basically you're travelling through a mushroom forest until you take a wrong turn, encounter a lava monster, and then escape out of the volcano.



    Every single part of this ride works together to create an immersive experience except the ending. The ending is really weak and basically consists of a dark tunnel after the volcano escape. Instead of a long dark stretch of track why not build some caves in there or something?



    Still, it doesn't detract a whole lot from this almost perfect attraction. This was our favorite ride in the entire park.

    Here's a video of it: http://www.spokkerjones.com/TDS/journey.wmv (32 megs)



    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea



    Before heading to Tokyo Disney Sea I heard some negative things about this ride, that it was too cramped and hard to follow. I disagree on both counts. I had no problem sitting in the ride vehicles and while there was a language barrier there was still plenty of stuff to look at.



    The light they let you control is a nice touch and the special effects were cool. It's no Journey but it was a nice complement to Mysterious Island.



    Tokyo Disney Sea is light on attractions. But what seperates this theme park from others is that walking through it is an attraction in itself. I never felt like I had to be in the process of getting on a ride to feel like I was getting my money's worth. Riding on the Electric Railway or the Transit Steamer or just strolling through the park was as exciting as Journey or Indiana Jones.



    I wonder what Walt would have thought of this place.
    Last edited by SpokkerJones; 06-01-2007 at 04:17 AM.

  15. #15

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    Re: Tokyo Disney Sea 5/24, 5/26 & 5/27

    Quote Originally Posted by TDR_Fan View Post
    Saving Mediterranean Harbor for last? It's the most beautiful port in Tokyo DisneySea and, in my opinion, the most beautiful area in any theme park.
    On a personal level I'd rank Mysterious Island, American Waterfront, and Lost River Delta over Mediterranean Harbor, but I can see how you'd feel that way.

    That theme doesn't really interest me much.

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