Reader Jonathan, who was kind enough to fill us in yesterday on his experience at Tokyo DisneySea during the quake, sent back an update last night with a few photos. As he notes, conditions are still rough out there, so a more complete report will have to come later:
We are safe here at the [Tokyo Disney] Resort. Running water came back on full blast today, with hot water several hours later. Finally got our first meal since the earthquake, which was great! Yet watching all of the earthquake reports from all over Japan makes us feel very lucky that we were here.
From walking around, damage can be seen all over the Resort but can not really seen in the Parks. The parking lot has cracks and mud pools. (Please see attached picture)
The brick pavers surrounding the Tokyo Disneyland monorail station were buckled. The pedestrian bridges to the train station and Bon Voyage were closed due to the bridge and pavement being separated and lifted by almost a foot.
During all of these observations, there were those spectacular TDR Cast Members situated at each crack, mud slick, or hazardous area warning us, with even one CM guiding us through a section of the inundated parking lot.
The parks have been closed all day, not only for safety inspections but because [they] were still being used as shelters for the stranded. Even 24 hours after the quake, there were still people waiting in the parks for more train lines to open. As more and more train lines open, guests slowly stream out of the parks to reach the train station next to the Resort. With the shortcut pedestrian bridges out of commission, guests must walk to the station via the mud covered sidewalks.
Now this is where that TDR Cast Member Magic kicks in again. Every few feet, there are CM's waving guests goodbye and thanking them for coming. Even with a massive cleaning effort going on around them, there they were, wishing everyone a safe trip home. When the trains depart the station, there the CM's were, waving at all the guests as they finally head home. (See attached picture)
Sorry for the quality of this pic. I had to take a picture of my camera's display.
There are so many more stories from today and last night that I know that I'm forgetting. I wish I can personally thank every single Cast Member here at the Tokyo Disney Resort because they [handled] it like [as] if the biggest earthquake to hit Japan didn't happen.
Sorry Al, I have so many pics and videos (including one during the earthquake) on my camera but I don't have my computer with me. I wish I can send them to you but it will have to wait. Hopefully we can catch an early flight back to LA on Monday, but until then, my phone pics will have to suffice. I apologize for any typos and grammatical errors. My phone isn't the best at this.
Another Reader, Steve, kindly sent in the following shots this morning, below is his MiceChat post about his visit:
Hi, I was in Tokyo Disneyland yesterday also. I wanted to add my words of thanks to Cast Members who immediately kicked into some excellent training. I was in the line for Grand Circuit Raceway eating a Churro. They kept on smiling the whole time even whilst instructing everyone to get down and cover your head. In fact it was dealt with so routinely that the whole reality of the situation is only sinking in now after a long day catching up on sleep and watching the tv news. They continued smiling and bowing right up to the moment I left the park this morning at about 7am.
I ended up spending the night in Space Mountain in the queue line to get out of the cold... I have the bizarre story to tell that I never got to ride Space Mountain but I slept there instead. Free food and drinks all day and night, and a huge amount of patience with me as I know very little Japanese... to which I am so grateful for their kindness. Free rain macs were given out when it started raining, but also helped block the cold wind. Face mask not for hygiene but for the cold and heat packs distributed also. An amazing effort to look after us, when they surely had other friends and family to be worrying about instead.
This was to be my trip for completing all Disney Parks worldwide... instead it will be remembered for witnessing true professionalism by cast members in very trying times.
My thanks go out to them again.
Here are a few of pictures from the bus bay outside the park as I was leaving to catch one of the buses that was laid on.
This is from the base of one of the pylons for the Disney Resort Line.
Here is Jonathan's first note, in case you missed it yesterday:
3/11: UPDATE 9:20 AM PST: We are at Tokyo DisneySea now and during the earthquake. We were evacuated from buildings and attractions quickly but we were stuck in the park. Since all trains and roads are closed, thousands are stranded. We were given shelter in the many restaurants and buffeterias in the Parks to escape the freezing cold. Kudos to the Cast at the Tokyo Disney Resort. We were watching Legends when the earthquake struck and they were all extremely calm and informative.
The Cast made us all feel safe. Even after working who knows how many hours and worrying about their own friends and family, they are there for us. After passing out plenty of drinks, plastic bags (as ponchos), blankets and towels, and hand and foot warmers, the Cast were still so friendly and helpful. They are still out there, in a 30 degree windchill, to make sure we are safe in this terrible situation. Please make sure you recognize the great Cast here. Their service is really out of this world.