Chapter 12: Be Prepared to See Things You’ve Seen Before, But in Japanese, Part 2—Tokyo Disneyland
A rainy night led to one rainy morning at Tokyo Disneyland. The whole place was a sea of umbrellas, ponchos, and Japanese people dressed as Disney characters—and they didn’t even work for the park. Yes, TDL allows its guests to dress up in Disney drag, so there were quite a few characters running around the park that day (in addition to TPR members, of course).
TDL is, basically California Disneyland’s younger, larger cousin. You’ll find much of what you’ll find in the States here—that is, International Bazaar (Japan’s Main Street), Adventureland, New Orleans Square, Westernland (Japan’s Frontierland), Fantasyland, Toontown, and Tomorrowland. But this doesn’t mean that TDL is just a clone of the original DL. The place is sort of a hybrid of the California and Florida Magic Kingdoms.
As for the various attractions, TDL has the Anaheim Pirates of the Caribbean (minus one drop and a skeleton scene, making it better than Florida’s but quite as good as California’s), Space Mountain (sans music), Country Bear Vacation Hoedown (in Japanese, of course), and Buzz Lightyear, but the Orlando Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, and car ride—along with Florida’s old Mickey Mouse Musical Review (in Japanese) for good measure.
And here is one thing I’d never thought I’d find myself saying: The best attraction at TDL is . . . Pooh’s Hunny Hunt! No, I’m not being sarcastic. Tokyo’s Pooh takes the two Stateside Poohs and pile drives them, body slams them, and stomps them to death—then it ties them to the bumper of its car and drags them down a gravel road before hurling them into landfill full of toxic waste. It is that much better—probably Disney’s best Fantasyland-type dark ride, with real animatronics (not fiberglass statues with movable arms). Even the diehard coaster buffs on the tour were blown away by Pooh’s Hunny Hunt.
What struck me was how the various lands just ran into one another without much in the way of transitions (they just sort of blended together), along with how much space there was between attractions. This park was obviously meant to handle huge crowds, which it certainly did while we were there. The park’s big Halloween promotion had just started, complete with an excellent “Nightmare Before Christmas” makeover for the Haunted Mansion (located here in Fantasyland) and a big parade held, it seemed, every ten minutes or so.
Overall, I loved this park, but I’m not quite as fond of it as I am of Disneyland. Maybe it’s just nostalgia for the first park I ever visited as a kid. I also thought the larger scale of TDL was a bit much (I have similar feelings about Florida’s Magic Kingdom); I prefer the cozier feel of Anaheim’s park. But that’s just my opinion.
It does have a big, beautiful castle, though.
Up next--DisneyQuest Asia?
Tut, tut! It looks like rain.
Good thing the International Bazaar is under cover.
So, we started with a little shopping. How about a nice Mickey Mouse hemorrhoid pillow?
You just can't trust TPR members with pointy things.
Well, it's not like any of us have never been wet before--time to move out.
Yeah, I think Fast Pass might be the way to go here. (Note Jack Skellington's sleigh on the roof.)
But that means we'll have to queue up to explore the trackless (well, tracked) void of space.
Just follow this adorable little pussy cat (Duchess from The Aristocats, I believe).
This give you an idea how close together TDS and TDL are. (No one wanted to ride the Rocket Jets--go figure.)
Everything looks blue--in space. Scientific fact, you know.
Pathetic Earthlings! Hurling your bodies out into the void, when if you knew what awaited you, you would've hidden yourselves in terror!
Hey, I have a great idea! Let's go over to DisneySea and ride Aquatopia! Whaddaya say, guys?
Two reasons why Tokyo's Small World is better than Anaheim's: 1) It's shorter, and . . .
. . . 2)It's X rated, baby!
Time to use those Mansion Fast Passes . . .
. . . after paying our respects, of course.
The park was so busy that even the woodworking shop had a huge line--in the rain. More to come.
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