After our time at Shanghai Disneyland it was time to head to the Tokyo Disney Resort... I had been to Tokyo DisneySea eleven years earlier, but I had never been to Tokyo Disneyland. And this trip would be the first time for my wife to visit either, so this was also an incredible experience for us to share together. And since my last visit to Tokyo DisneySea all of those years earlier, several significant changes had also taken place. With four days at our disposal versus my one previous half day, there was an abundance of time for us to take in the insane level of detail across these two parks and to try as much of the park offerings as possible during our stay.
We began our time at Disney with our first day at Tokyo DisneySea...
We stayed at the Sheraton Tokyo Bay which is accessible to all of the Tokyo Disney Resort via the monorail. Our travel day between Shanghai and Tokyo presented the opportunity to have dinner in Ikspiari, the resort's unique take on Downtown Disney.
Ikspiari has a fantastic Disney Store with a great selection of merchandise not found inside of the parks.
Ikspiari Kitchen presented an opportunity to have some authentic, fresh Japanese cuisine early into this portion of the trip. And like I was eleven years earlier, I was back in my personal paradise!
Since my last visit saw us bussed in to Tokyo DisneySea, I never had the chance to ride the monorail before now... And this time around, I was really happy to get the chance.
Unfortunately due to the time we had available to take this trip, the only dates available for us to visit Tokyo Disney included some where major attractions were closed for refurbishment. Journey into the Center of the Earth was only set to be open on the first day of our time in the parks, so the decision was made for us to start our trip with Tokyo DisneySea (I wasn't going to complain) just so we could get a few rides in before it closed.
These elevators put the memory of the Hydrolators to shame.
This queue is more heavily themed than most rides I've ever been on.
The lava monster is still my favorite animatronic in existence!
This is somehow a theme park.
Mysterious Island is one of the most incredible themed lands ever created for a theme park.
This queue structure continues to mesmerize me years later.
I remember shortly after getting back from Tokyo on my last trip, reading Robb & Elissa's report from Tokyo that year, and realizing that I missed out on trying a Gyoza Dog during my trip. I made up for it this time around...
Aquatopia is still the most nonsensical, awesome attraction out there.
There's a full size cruise ship docked inside of the park. How is this real life?
Mysterious Island is the centerpiece of the park and there is hardly any direction you can look where you miss the volcano.
It is just so photogenic!
Mysterious Island as seen from Mermaid Lagoon.
The Arabian Coast is another one of the very unique ports found in DisneySea.
The Magic Lamp Theater is home to a really neat 4D theater show with an equally awesome pre-show. No photos allowed in either beyond this but I really enjoyed it!
The last time I was here Sinbad was closed for refurbishment, so this was the first time I had the chance to ride.
Sinbad is a unique boat ride that tells the story of Sinbad's adventures to the tune of a single song that spans the length of the ride without deviating far from the lyrics between scenes.
The best comparison to be made from a musical standpoint would be "it's a small world" in how the song transcends the individual scene of the ride.
There are tons of animatronic characters throughout the duration of the ride.
Chandu is Sinbad's pet tiger and an absolutely adorable sidekick for his journeys.
So many awesome animatronics inside!
The scenes are intensely detailed!
And the giant is incredible!
"Compass Of Your Heart" unseats "it's a small world" and "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" as the most infectious theme park ride tune in existence.
The scene with the Monkey King is filled with the scent of fresh bananas!
Pro Tip: If you do not speak Japanese, many of the attractions in the Tokyo Disney Resort offer "Story Cards" that explain the plot or details of the ride/show experience. Sinbad was one of the attractions featured and the story card provided us with the full details of the ride's story (scene by scene) including the English translation of the lyrics for Compass of Your Heart!
Easily my favorite Disney dark ride of its kind!
I was eager to try Japanese Curry during our visit and I was not disappointed!
We visited Tokyo Disney during the Tanabata Days festival, which allowed us to try some really delicious speciality items like this dessert featuring a custard topped with whipped cream and blue raspberry jelly. And we got to keep the souvenir cup!
I can never stop marveling at how incredible Mysterious Island is.
Just thankful we were able to ride it three times before it closed for refurbishment.
Funny story: I had never been overly fond of the music from the former fireworks show Wishes at Magic Kingdom in Florida, to the point that I was excited to see the show go away to welcome Happily Ever After. For our mini-moon, we went out to Disneyland and sure enough, we saw "Remember, Dreams Come True" which also features the same theme of Wishes briefly in the show. After that I thought I had finally escaped...
As we were walking through the Mediterranean Harbor an upbeat version of the song played across the water. It turns out that the character greeting float was playing some variation of the song. Even on the other side of the globe, the song followed me.
Tower of Terror was one of my favorite experiences from my visit in 2006 (the ride had just opened before we visited that year) and the ride's story and setting is one I prefer over that of Florida's Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. I have since argued that with the Tokyo theme adapted to the Florida ride system/layout, the ride would be perfect.
Easily one of my favorite Disney rides in existence. Shiriki is the best!
Stella Lou had just arrived at Tokyo Disney before our trip, so a daily welcome parade was set up to show her off!
The last time I was in the Mermaid Lagoon Theater the show featured here was very different. This time around we could barely understand the show, but we were enamored with the theater effects and the many moving set pieces. No photography allowed in the show unfortunately!
While waiting for Fantasmic we decided to grab a nosh, so we tried some Curry Bread (DELICIOUS), a chocolate biscotti and the Little Green Men mochi bites (these were bliss).
This is how you make a volcano in a theme park erupt... Here's looking at you Volcano Bay.
The sun begins to set on the Mediterranean Harbor...
I'm in love.
I never want to leave.
This is inside of a theme park. INSANE.
Fantasmic was incredibly different from those offered stateside.
The core story is very similar but the execution is very different thanks to the show being offered on the water in a near "theater in the round" setting.
I had forgotten from watching videos of the show in the past that these projection globes were also part of the show. Kind of like a flashback to Universal 360: A Cinesphere Spectacular.
The magic mirror effect is pretty great!
And the introduction of the dragon is wonderful!
I only noticed when looking through my photos that the dragon's claws were projected on the mist screens.
Overall I really liked the show a lot! It was a great way to cap off our day in the park before heading out...
It was my goal to visit every major Disney resort hotel in Shanghai and Tokyo while we were on this trip so on this night we stopped into the Hotel Miracosta, where I found this beauty.
Neat to read the official dedication from Michael Eisner all these years later...
The Hotel Miracosta is a beautiful place!
And I'm absolutely in love with this!
We called it a night and hopped the monorail back to the Sheraton to get some rest, knowing that our next day at Tokyo Disneyland would be a long one...
Change the scheme, Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind!
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