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Disney around the world: Tokyo Disney

July 5, 2013 Destination North Asia No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Upon entering Tokyo Disneyland, it is easy to forget that you are not in America anymore. You have your famous characters including, Minnie, Goofy, Mickey, Donald, and more. But something is different? What is that? Oh, yeah.

That’s Japanese soil I’m standing on. So, why would someone go all the way to Japan and spend time in Tokyo Disney when Disney World is in her own backyard? Well, it’s simple, really. She wants to experience how Disney theme parks all of the world are different. She wants to take it all in: the characters, the rides, the locals, and the food; yep, all of it. So, let’s begin. You get to tag along in my bag without spending over ten hours on an airplane. You’re welcome.

The Castle:

The Castle was full of color and similar in height and design to that of Disney Land in Anaheim, California. However, it had an exotic feel to it. One that screamed, “Hey, you are in Asia!” The Castle was very tasteful and a careful eye could spot the infamous Mickey and Walt bronze statue in front that we have all grown to know and love.

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Tokyo Disney is a feast for the imagination

The Rides:

Most of the classics, including Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, and The Haunted Mansion can be enjoyed in addition to new attractions like Monsters Inc., Ride and Go Seek. That ride was closed when I was visiting, but it was such a spectacle from the outside as it was an exact real-life replica of the Monster training center from the movie. Space Mountain is modeled much like the one in California with a two seater row instead of one. Basically, there is a fusion of California and Florida Disney rides.

The Crowds:

It’s no secret that Japan is populated. So how did I fare in the lines? Well, for one, they were long. But why were they not as miserable? Simple: kids were well behaved and people were very respectful. Seems that we could all pick up a tip or two from the Japanese and other visitors to Tokyo Disney. There is nothing wrong with standing in line quietly and not bumping into strangers or throwing fits. It was frankly an entirely different environment than the one in Florida or California. So, I did not actually mind the crowds much. What really made the difference in the lines was Japanese Disney ride wait engineering. As groups at a time are taken into the “ride loading zone,” a future rider never stands still very long. In fact, I never stood still more than one minute in a 75 minute line. Please also keep in mind that Fast Pass is used here as well.

The Food:

Obviously there are less American options and more Japanese fare here. However, you can still get a burger or a hot dog if you so desire. One can get the traditional soup noodles or even a spicy rice bowl. Drink sizes are smaller; the large cup is equivalent to American medium. I enjoyed some pizza and opted for the sausage pizza rather than the other choice of pizza which had octopus and crab toppings.

Main Street:

Main Street in Tokyo Japan (referred to as World Bazaar) is really its own attraction. First off, it is covered, so if some summer rain rolls through, you can stay nice and dry while you shop and eat too much. It is similar to American Disney parks, but has a bit more of a New Orleans theme to it.

Parades and Shows:

Parades at Tokyo Disney are a big deal. People start sitting around the parade route at least one hour before start time, often with picnics and snacks. This is a great point if you are there on a busy day as many flocked to the parade route and abandoned the lines for the rides. If parades are your thing, be sure to check out Dreamlights, Tokyo Disney’s own version of the Mainstreet Electrical parade. If shows are more your speed, Tokyo Disney has those too. Grab your lei and head to Lilo’s Luau where you can join in on all the Hawaiian fun. Other shows include Minnie Oh! Minnie and The Horseshoe Roundup.

The Price:

Tokyo Disney will not set you back $100. In fact, you can go after 3 p.m. for under $50 USD. That’s right, not all Disney parks cost your kids’ college savings to visit.

Sister Park:

One thing different at Disney Tokyo is the sister park: Tokyo Disney Sea. While some may mistake this as a water park from its name, it is actually a sea-themed park with unique rides like Journey to the Center of the Earth and Venetian Gondolas. Storm Rider takes you into the heart of a storm. You can also ride Raging Spirits, a real roller coaster with a loop!

All in all, I would rate my experience at Tokyo Disney a 5 out of 5. The staff is friendly, ride operations are efficient, and you can enjoy all the Disney magic you have grown accustomed to love. The only problem with Tokyo Disney is getting there. However, once you are there, it is worth a stop in.

Edited by : Bill Hurley

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