Japanese trip report
Tokyo Disney Seas
Tour Highlights – Including must see attractions and shows – The Top 10 –
1. Being there on the actual day of the 5th anniversary. A hanging medallion of Mickey and Minnie with the Disney Seas logo was given to every guest as they came through the gates.
2. Disney Seas Discovery Premium tour. This is a 5 hour tour that lets you pick 3 attractions and 4 shows and gives you reserved priority seating for the shows and NO queuing for rides, straight to the front! A huge plus in the Japanese parks! You can request a English speaking tour guide, and the tour is catered totally around what you want to see and do.
3. The Tower of Terror. This had opened the day before we arrived (as the parks 5th anniversary "gift") Be prepared for a long wait! The fastpasses were all gone for the entire day within one hour of the park opening. Queuing time was anything up to 3-4 hours! But boy is it worth it. The foyer and queuing areas of this ride are far superior to any other Tower of Terror rides, in any other park, trust us….we know!!! The study area where we wait to hear the tale of Harrison Hightower and his "friend" Shiriki Utundu is more than amazing… it's Disney at it's very, very best. We did this ride over and over, but just could not work out how it was done. We don't want to spoil it for you, so all we'll say is hats off and huge applause to everybody who worked on this section of the ride!
4. Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Travel through mysterious caverns to the Earths core as a scientist onboard a vehicle designed by Captain Nemo himself. Don't be afraid to ask for the front and hold onto your hats as this vehicle can really move! Bursting out the side of the volcano and down into caverns, I think that the 3 of us who visited the Japanese Parks (Gerard, Jim and Myself) rate this as possibly the best of any of the rides, in either Tokyo parks.
5.Indiana Jones Adventure, Temple of the skull Crystal. Go on the search for the fountain of youth, on a journey into the supernatural and evil world of the skull crystal. The queuing area is themed differently to Anaheim's Temple of Doom, with most of the story telling happening around and above you as you wind your way inside a Aztec Temple. The ride vehicles are the same, once again don't be afraid to ask for the front.
6. Mermaid Lagoon, Tritons Kingdom. Simply beautiful! This undercover area is the perfect spot to spend time on either really hot, or cold rainy days, or just when you want to relax. The undercover area includes rides, playgrounds, and the Mermaid Lagoon Theatre, where you can see the musical production of under the sea. This is not your average musical show, the stage is in the middle of the theatre and the characters swim and fly high above and all around you. A definite must see! Also take the time to look at the mosaics on the outside, and in the entranceway that leads to the Lagoon, and the statue of King Triton himself, it's a perfect photo spot!
7. The Legend of Mythica. A water show held once a day on the Mediterranean Harbour. Our favourite Disney characters ( Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto and Chip and Dale) all trying to unlock the gateway to the World of Mythica and meets it's underwater creatures such as Dragons, Unicorns and Serpents. The music for this (by Alan Silvestri) really drives the epic nature of the show, with the colourful floating character barges, jet skiers and the ultimate arrival of the goddess of Mythica and Mickey on a gigantic water spout rising from the centre of the harbour urging us all to "come and join the celebration" this a must see experience
8. Bravisimo Truly spectacular night time show on Mediterranean Harbour that culminates with a HUGE metal Phoenix that rises from beneath the harbour and then "ignites" in flames amidst fireworks and Laser displays.
It begins with the sprite of water constructed out of fountains sitting on a sparkling barge, the volcano erupts and the sprite of fire slowly rises from the water, as they meet fire and water is everywhere
9. Big Band Beat and Mystic Rhythms. In Big Band Beat Minnie, Daisy and Marie (the kitten) join singers and tapdancers in a energetic "swing" show that performs with the sounds of a "Big Band" in a huge indoor theatre complex (the Broadway music theatre) and Mystic Rhythms, a acrobatic, gymnastic, musical show set deep in a jungle with lots of "Enya" style music (but with heaps more oomph!) Both of these shows are unique to the Tokyo Parks and are well worth the time to see.
10. Dinner at Magellan's the themeing and decor matched only by the quality of the food, the five course dinner was incredible, Mediterranean food with a Japanese style of imaginative presentation
Trying to describe this is not an easy task, but here goes.
Tokyo Disney Seas is themed around 7 ports of call in the World (of Disney)
Mediterranean Harbour The 1st thing that you encounter once you have entered the Park through the Park/Hotel gateway.
(The Hotel Miracosta has rooms that are in, and overlook Mediterranean Harbour and you must walk through the shopping mall and therefore underneath part of the hotel to gain access to the park) Mediterranean Harbour is the gateway to all of the other ports and is the main viewing area for the water shows the Legend of Mythica, and Bravisimo. It also has a "Meet and Smile" area where the Fab 5 and others arrive by boat, sing and dance and sign autographs and you can also take a Gondola ride across the harbour if your in a romantic mood. The Entire area is so picturesque, if you were to do a 360* spin here the view changes from classic Italian (think Portifino Italy) and Trompe- D'oeil art, to the exterior facade of Mysterious Island (dark and creepy) it's erupting volcano looming behind forted areas and docks that are little treasure troves of interest in themselves (and are quite easily missed).
Mysterious Island is the area in which Captain Nemo has created a "secret base" for his explorations on a Journey to the Centre of the Earth and then 20,000 leagues under the sea. The volcano that continuously erupts, is the centrepiece and inside one of it's craters is the small harbour where you embark on your submarine voyage. It's hard to describe all the detail that has gone into this area, it really does have to be seen to be believed, we have close ups sent to us by a friend in Japan, we'll try and put them in the photo gallery and you'll then see what we mean.
Mermaid Lagoon can only be described as just beautiful! It is a small area that is mainly undercover and really showcases the story of the Little Mermaid to it's very best. The exterior of the entrance to Tritons Kingdom is meticulously mosaiced and decorated and a large spiral foyer leads you down, down, to where all the Merpeople live and play. Little girls (and big ones too) will just adore this area.It really is the stuff that dreams are made of.
Arabian Coast. Think Aladdin! Here you can see and experience Sinbad's Seven voyages, the Magic Lamp Theatre (a funny cinematic and live actor, musical show) In Japanese BUT headphones for a English translation are available, but my favourite in this area is Caravan carousel, a TWO level carousel (we've never seen one with steps up to the 2nd floor before!) and instead of horses you can ride on camels, elephants, Abu or the Genie himself. You will also find the Agrabah Marketplace and some very realistic buildings and temples that have plenty of hidden wonders inside and plenty of Kodak moments.
Lost River Delta. The ruins of an ancient Central American Civilisation await you deep in the jungles of this port. Indiana Jones and Raging Spirits, a rollercoaster through and archaeological excavation site with a 360* loop. There is a lot of thick vegetation in this area, which really helps with the jungle theme. This rollercoaster track layout is identical to the Indiana Jones Coaster in Disneyland Paris, although this one is better themed.
Port Discovery is probably the smallest of the port areas and is home to Storm Rider and Aquatopia, very cute little hovercraft type boats that spin around and take you for a quick trip where you will "get a little wet". You can get a glimpse of the water (Pacific Ocean?) outside the park as you walk through here on your way to the American Waterfront. The Storm rider attraction is like a giant sized Star Tours, in the preshow you are given a demonstration of the weapon (weather changing missile) and told you will be traveling to the biggest recorded hurricane to deliver it. Something goes wrong and the missile ends up in the cabin with you. The effects are more advanced than star tours with the action not just on a screen in front but also on the porthole windows on the side.
American Waterfront combines both the charms of the big city and a New England fishing Village together. We are guessing that the era is the 50's or 60's.This is home to The Cape Cod Lighthouse,and the SS Columbia who is docked on the shores of this American city, and the new Tower of Terror. Many forms of transportation can be found here, everything from electric trolleys to classic cars and boats, that will take you on a trip through most ports, back to Mediterranean Harbour. There is a great New York Deli here, and you just don't want to miss a visit to Scrooge McDucks Department store.
Each port is unique and has plenty of food and gift shops (surprise surprise) You will need 2 full days going flat out from park opening to closing to really see and enjoy everything here ( take longer to go at a leisurely pace) Be aware that the locals line up outside the gates to the park hours before the park opens. You can't stroll down a few minutes before opening and expect to be anywhere near the front of any lines.
THE JAPANESE LOVE DISNEY WITH A PASSION, AND IT"S INFECTIOUS!
Tour Highlites including must see attractions and shows – the Top – 10 –
1. Pooh's Hunny Hunt. This is one of the best rides that Disney has ever done. It's easy to see that money was no object when designing this ride. This is the most popular ride in the park and the fastpasses for the entire day always go quickly. This Pooh's Honey Hunt ride is NOTHING LIKE any Pooh's Honey hunt ride in any of the other Disney Parks (we know….we've done them all!) The story concept is the same but the technology used is totally different. We don't want to spoil it for you, just believe us when we say that this ride alone is worth the flight to Tokyo Disneyland.
Please let this be the future of many new rides in all of the Disneyland Parks around the world………….(except Paris as they do not deserve or would not appreciate it)
2. Haunted Mansion …. Gothic Style…very much the same design and layout of the Magic Kingdom Mansion. At this time of year it was in Nightmare before Chistmas mode and done well (it shows how the overlay would work at WDW)
3. Country Bear Jamboree. Of the 2 left in the world, this one is the best! It's a lovely big theatre and there is just something so special wholesome and cute about these homsey backwoods bears. The best thing of all is when they start singing their familiar tunes in Japanese. Real "feel good, foot stomping" entertainment.
4. Buzz LightYear. Calling all Space Rangers. Challenge your self and see how you rank at the end of the ride….are you a star cadet or a space Ace?
Ride this one again and again, and see if you can improve your score and find the "hidden" tricks to extra points (although it does depend on the age and quality of the laser gun that you happen to get) Jim would never forgive me if I didn't tell you that he got a score of 990,000 points making him a Galactic Hero…… (in his dreams)….
5. Splash Mountain.. The story is the same as all the other Splash Mountains in the world, but the scenery and props are slightly different. It's one of these rides that will always makes you smile, even if you are soaking wet! The locals don't really like getting wet so we found that the wait times for this ride were never all that long…even though we had temperatures of over 40* when we were there, just imagine the queues at Anaheim on a day like that!
6. The Electric Parade Dreamlights.. Again worth the flight to Tokyo alone… This show is just incredible. When Gerard told us that this parade makes the Main Street Electrical Parade look like a group of guys holding flashlights, we found that hard to believe, BUT IT"S TRUE! this is THE BEST Disney night parade that you could ever imagine. Once again it's easy to see that money is no object and just when you think that there couldn't be another float or character any better than the one your looking at the next one comes along to blow your mind. This parade will take your breath away. Everything from Knights riding their stallions into battle, to Pete's Fire breathing Dragon, it just goes on and on! If you are planning a trip to Tokyo Disneyland make sure that this parade is on, You can't miss it!
7. One Man's Dream 2 The magic lives on. The giant showbase theatre is the location for this stage show. A musical stage production that recreates some of the most memorable moments in Disney animated films and cartoons, showcasing Walt's brilliant imagination and the beginnings of Mickey Mouse.
8. Minnie oh Minnie. Musical in an small intimate outdoor theatre in Adventureland. This is a real lively show that has Minnie and of course Mickey singing and dancing like Rickey Martin. I'm sure that we will never see Minnie in costumes like this again. A fabulous group of singers, dancers, gymnasts, jugglers and street performers join in to make this a very special and unique show. Don't miss it!
9. The Animation Drawing Class. Held upstairs in the Disney Gallery, this is the best of all the Animation classes in any of the Disney parks. You are seated at real wood, antique style tables (plenty of elbow room, unlike some others) on these adorable wood, and antique style "Mickey Pants" chairs. (I really should have tried to get them in my luggage) The class is in Japanese, but you can organise for a English speaking castmember to be there to help, if you need it. We were lucky enough to attend a how to draw "Stitch" class, which we were told is the most popular, (and the hardest to draw) The class took about 30 minutes and at the end of it we were allowed to take our Beautifully etched "Disney drawing pencil" (that you couldn't buy in the shops) and our drawing with us and then were presented with a Tokyo Disney Gallery artists portfolio to keep it in. Top marks! this was very well done!
10. How courteous and respectful everybody is of each other on all of the rides and attractions, shops and especially at parade time.
Nobody stands in front of you, or blocks you in any way (prams) and they would never dream of pushing their kids through to get a better view. Announcements are made all the time about how you must be seated to watch parades and shows and that you can only start reserving spaces a few hours before the parades start, and to please be considerate and respectful of others in the park…..(Disneyland Paris…please take notes!)
The locals are fanatical about getting the best vantage spots, so be warned, if you turn up late you will be somewhere at the back and you must sit!
We found the castmembers and locals themselves to be extremely kind, courteous, impeccably groomed (this is how the parks uniforms should be worn!) and hospitable. If the Castmember you approach does not speak English they run around like mad until they get someone who does, all the time apologising for the delay.
They will then give you little "welcome to Tokyo Disney Seas or Disneyland cards" as a thankyou for waiting.
You feel extremely safe at all times, and will need a full 2 days, going flat out, to see and experience all this park has to offer (take longer to go at a leisurely pace)
Most of all, here in these Parks, you truly do feel like a "GUEST"
Location and general information about both Parks including Shopping
Tokyo Disney Seas and Tokyo Disneyland are located next to each other about a 10 min walk or a 5 minute bus or monorail ride apart.
There is a monorail station near the entrance to both Parks, you can do a short trip or go for a ride around the outside of both Parks if you like.
Another 5 minute walk from Tokyo Disneyland brings you to BonVoyage, a huge Disney store that opens and closes earlier and later than the Park itself, for those extra "Disney fixes" that you may be in need of. Everything on sale here can be found inside the Parks.
Don't be surprised as we were when you see all the tins of biscuits that are for sale in the Parks, Tokyo Disneyland even has a shop that sells nothing but tins of biscuits! Mountains of them! It's just incredible.
If you are a fan of Disney Kitchen and Bathroom wear then Japan this is the place for you. Everything that your house could need can be found here (We just don't know how you'd carry it home, unfortunately we were not able to find the fantastic Delivears service available here that they have in the USA) Knickknacks and gadgetry items abound, although we felt that true Disney collectables were hard to find. Even the Animation gallery in MainStreet only has a small selection of pieces available and nothing that's really unique or that signifies "Tokyo" Disneyland or Disney Seas. Another downer was the sizes of the Japanese clothing available for purchase, every thing is very small, as are the locals. The size range needs to be increased to cater for us overseas guests. (this is a problem that we didn't find in the American Parks)
A further 5 minute walk from Bon Voyage brings you to the Train Station (from Tokyo) and the shopping arcade and nightlife area of Ikspiari. Picture theatres, takeaway food and restaurants, and all types of shops from The Body shop to the best designer labels can be found here. There is even a real Disney Store hidden away inside here. Disney's Ambassador hotel can be found at the far end of this entertainment complex.
We stayed at the Palm and Fountain Terrace Hotel, located about 20mins from Tokyo Disney Seas and 25 mins from Tokyo Disneyland (longer in traffic)
It is a fairly new, very clean hotel where language was not a problem, as there was always somebody on staff who spoke English. But beware of the Beds and the bath!
If you don't like a rock hard bed (and it wasn't even a futon) and a pillow that feels like melted plastic bags with a soft cover over them, or a bath tub that's not much bigger than your Laundry sink at home then this is not the place for you!
The hotel had a shuttle bus service to the parks that departed about every 20 mins, although on one occasion this stretched out to 45 for no apparent reason as we were all on board waiting, but the driver was just sitting there reading his paper.
None of us tried the food in the hotels restaurant as we always ate in the parks
The three of us who did the entire world trip all agree that Tokyo Disney Seas and Tokyo Disneyland sets incredibly high standards, and that it rates up with Disneyland as the best of the best in the world!
WE WANT TO GO AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!