Wednesday, November 28, 2007

11/28/07 Tokyo Disney!

I was able to take care of my internet woes surprisingly quickly. Saturday the 17th of November has been waiting patiently. Here goes...

Having already wandered around the city one day, we thought that it might be fun to do something different on Saturday. So, we did what any family would do... we went to Disneyland! Yayyy!

Yes, Tokyo Disneyland. Yes, in late November. Common sense would dictate that since the weather was cool that there would be hardly anyone there, and we could just run through the park and ride whatever we wanted over and over until we got sick. We got off the at the Maihama rail station, and after two steps out of the station we had entered Mickey's domain. We sort of fast-walked our way to the Disneyland side of the park, anxious for the magic to start. We were almost to the finish line when I heard an announcement over the loudspeakers. "Park's full, we might start selling tickets again around 5pm" was the general idea of the message. It was too funny for me to be mad about it. I just mechanically turned around and started walking in the opposite direction, towards Disneysea(its sort of the opposite of DisneyLAND, get it? land/sea.... nevermind).

No room at the inn, baby Jesus.

Disneysea is a water themed park that only exists in Japan. Personally I think that it was good fortune to be denied entry into the other park, as that is just a small version of what everyone has already seen. While the park is water themed, it doesnt necessarily have any get-wet-and-die-of-pneumonia water rides, so its still worth going once the temperature has dropped a bit.

One of my favorite parts of the whole park is the little metro system that takes passengers to the different points of the overall Disney Resort. It is exactly like the train system elsewhere in Japan, but it is super clean, faster, and happier. We boarded it in order to travel from Land to Sea.

You still have to buy tickets to ride this train.

Here Tom is happily clutching one of the little Mickey-shaped handles on the train.

Mom biting her nails in fear as the Tokyo Tower of Terror looms ahead.

We bought tickets and entered the park without any additional incident. On the far end of the world, we could see the volcano that is home to one of the several themed areas. It is especially cool as it rumbles and occasionally belches some smoke and fire into the air. The park was probably healthily populated today to begin with, plus it had the additional overflow people who had really wanted to go to the other park. So it was crowded. I'm not going to complain a whole lot about the crowds, though, because I'm sure that it could have been much worse. We managed to hit a few rides and have a couple of good things to eat, so I would say that the overall experience was a positive one.

One thing that I think is interesting in the park is the use of language. For example, at one point we stumbled upon an outdoor musical-like show in progress. Singing, dancing, ridiculous costumes. To begin with, the dialog and singing was all part of the soundtrack, with the various characters and dancers simply lip-singing. Fine. The interesting part for me is when they decide to use English and when they use Japanese. The characters yammered on in Japanese at length and then started singing in English directly afterwards. I wondered to myself if this situation seemed strange to any of the Japanese people watching the show. I recall many of the rides being the same way.

A few highlight pictures.

Me in the Mysterious Island area of the park. Here is where "Journey to the Center of the Earth" and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" are located.

At the end of a hour-plus wait in line, my mom and I were finally able to board "Journey to the Center of the Earth".

An indoorish carousel in the Arabian Coast area of the park. I didn't want to ride it, but the building looked awesome.

This is a quick shot that I snapped while riding "Sindbad's Storybook Voyage". Yes, it was as childish as it sounds, but still entertaining.

Here's the fam posing in the American Waterfront area of the park.

Tower of Terror.

As the night began to draw to a close, I thought I might pick up a present or two for loved ones. So many other people were having that same thought though... so many people. You haven't seen a line until you've seen one in Japan.

I walked into a cookie store near the entrance of the park, and I quickly realized what a mistake I had made. These people were cookie-tin hungry locusts. They swarmed and pushed their way through a shop which was much too small for them. The scene was so unbelievable that my disappointment quickly turned to amusement. By this point the only reason I was still present was to get a couple good shots of the mob.

You know what happens when a bad winter storm is predicted on the news? Everyone rushes to the store and buys everything that isn't bolted. Hysterical people shove each other's shopping carts to get that last can of creamed corn on the otherwise bare shelves. It was sort of like that.

Back! Get back you ravenous masses! An amusement park has a way of turning overpriced, tacky souvenirs into the shiniest gold.

Emptier than a Soviet supermarket. Those things still left on the shelves are the plastic examples of what used to be available here.

And with that, the magical journey drew to a close. We had barely escaped from that cookie store with our lives, and we were all tired from the frequent walking.

Mom and Tom posing on our way out.

The DisneySea AquaSphere, one of the symbols of the park. The giant globe fountain looked nice in the dark.

Quick clip of our last train pulling into the station.

Quite the quality time.

No comments:

Post a Comment