TDL - September 2013

Started by peep, October 10, 2013, 04:31:43 PM

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I was very lucky to visit Japan for three weeks of September. We visited parks all over the place and saw lots of other exciting things too. I went with my friend Nic and we're both posting our entire trip report over on LINK. I thought I'd post the Disney days up on here...

Day 5 – 11th September

We got up at silly o'clock to get over to TOKYO DISNEYLAND for opening. Due to all the nightmare stories we had heard about crowds we were prepared and joined the masses waiting at the gates way before opening. I think we arrived about 20-30 minutes before opening and there were already huge queues. There were also loads of people in costumes as the resort's Halloween season had begun and during selected dates it's ok for adults to turn up in fancy dress. Being Japan this pretty much turned the entire park into a giant Disney cosplay event – we thought this was awesome and always added that extra amusement to our time at the park.

You can't see them very well but there are three girls dressed as the three caballeros (a very popular bunch of characters in Japan)

The weather wasn't fantastic, it was overcast and a little wet but we were at a very magical park during its Happiness year (the theme of their 30th anniversary). We also didn't have to faff with tickets as we had purchased ours online and printed our e-tickets. These were fantastic as they also allowed you to use them for getting fastpasses etc. As soon as the gates opened everyone became very excited and the shuffling towards the gates began.

Tired. Damp. Still more excited than a small child on Christmas day

Glad we arrived when we did. Also, the monorail windows <3

Once we were through the gates there was just a sea of people heading into the covered Main Street area. Their Main Street (actually called X) is really nice and feels massive, I like the two avenues down into other areas about half way up the street. Amongst the masses of guests there was an army of happy staff members trying to keep everyone calm and not run. Speed walking it was then :P

The masses enter

Sorry for the blurryness of these pics, I wasn't going to waste time to get a steady shot :P

Staff member telling peeps to keep calm

All of the advice we had read told us we should run to Monsters Inc and attempt to get a fastpass with the rest of the park. So unlike all the advice we had read about we went straight to Pooh's Hunny hunt. We walked straight on and we both just fell in love with the ride, it really lives up to its reputation. The ride vehicles just seem to glide through the attraction seamlessly, really impressive. The room where you 'dance' around with all the other vehicles is definitely my favourite, it's just really fun and there's so much going on. We both left the ride with huge grins on our faces so we then went and grabbed some fast passes for the ride.


It was then over to the other side of Fantasyland for Haunted Mansion with its Nightmare before Christmas makeover for the holiday season. I've wanted to experience the Holiday layover ever since I found out they did it. After about a 5-10 minute wait we were on. The pre-show lift was AWESOME, probably my favourite thing about the layover. Obviously everything was in Japanese which slightly tainted the epicness of the attraction but it was still incredible. The Jack Skellington animatronics were just perfect <3 The sheer amount of effort they put in for the Holiday version is just ridiculous and I love it.

With loads of time to spare before our next go on Pooh's Hunny Hunt we checked out Toon Town. Just as it was there and we didn't know much about it we went in the Goofy's Paint and Play house. We had to wait about 5-10 minutes again. It's a cool little attraction and a bit different. Basically Goofy has invented a bunch of gizmos to decorate a house. You get to use these gizmos to decorate his living room. It's fun but I wouldn't want to queue any longer than we did for it.

We found a couple of random characters from the Silly Symphonies

We then walked straight on to Gadget's Go Coaster. I find it fits in quite nicely into the very bright and colourful Toon Town. The coaster is just a standard family rollerskater really, nothing too exciting.

I was really excited that they had a Roger Rabbit dark ride so I made sure we did that next. The queue was probably around 15-20 minutes (people were clearly making their way to the back of the park by this point). The amount of detail in the indoor queue is insane, it's like a proper walkthrough with tonnes of references to the film. Really helped build my excitement for the ride. The cars for the ride are also very cool but I felt like the ride was a bit disappointing, doesn't appear to do much.

Toon Town was full of random effects, a dalmatian puppy jumps up to this open window if you hit a button

We decided to check out the queue for the classic It's a Small World attraction. It was 5/10 minutes so we decided to go in. I have to admit I was shocked by the dual loading station, didn't know that existed. I found the attraction like a weird mix between the Florida and Paris versions but that's probably because it was built in-between those two.

Nic with her caramel popcorn

After wandering the Fantasyland area a bit more we found ourselves in the castle. Totally wasn't aware there was a walkthrough inside the castle. There was no queue for it as we passed by so we ventured in. You start by taking a lift up to the main walkthrough area. The décor throughout is absolutely fantastic. I liked how different parts of Cinderella's story were told via different style models. The finale is a huge room where you can pose in the throne or try to squeeze your foot into the glass slipper. As you can imagine, this room was very popular.

I love this castle

Disney <3

Can you spot in the below picture the real character greeting guests?

The whole corridor has these mosaics

As we came out of the amazing castle we noticed a show was starting over to the right. Super Duper jumping time is an odd little show aimed at the kids. They bring out some characters, sing some catchy tunes and all the characters jump around with the kids. It was a little Butlin-esque but it worked as the kids looked like they were loving it.

It was nearly time for the Halloween parade and as it ended in the Toon Town/Fantasyland area we decided to sit and watch that before using our fast passes for Pooh. So, what I never knew about before going was that along the whole parade route the staff basically create two areas, at the front is for sitting on the floor and then quite further back you can stand and watch the parade. This is fantastic and allows so many more people a chance to watch it and get a decent view. We opted to sit on the floor as we were able to get a fairly decent spot. Something I found out as the parade started though was that most of my photos would gain the top of other people's heads, oh well. Most people sitting down were also well prepared and had Disney mats (which were sold in most of the shops) and all sorts of things to keep themselves entertained.

Before the parade started a sort of dance routine was taught to the guests. We didn't really know what was going on but we loved that it was happening. The Halloween parade then began which was just awesome from start to finish. The music was catchy and fun and the whole thing was just really entertaining. Oh and that dance everyone was learning? Yeah that was for a certain section of the parade music (think it's during the parade stop) so everyone just randomly starts doing this little dance, I love it, creates just the sort of perfect atmosphere that every parade should create.

It was then time for our Pooh's Hunny Hunt fastpasses. The normal queue wait time had risen to around the 90 minute mark so we were quite smug walking past with our 5 minute wait. The ride was obviously still awesome and it's just so beautifully designed, you can't see any of the lighting rigs and there's barely any blank areas, just loads going on all the time.

Next visit to DLP: October 26th
Coaster Count: over 320


We then decided to finally venture into Tomorrowland. It feels huge for some reason and I can't put my finger on it. However the area merging between the areas is really blunt, a bit like in Florida, not the biggest fan of this design feature. Oh well.

We grabbed some fastpasses for StarTours II before joining the hour long queue for Space Mountan. The outdoor queue was a bit boring but it moved quickly. The indoor queue was cool and the main station area was awesome. We both loved how quick the loading and offloading was – Disney efficiency! The ride was good fun but it lacked audio and I think that made a huge World of difference for me.

We still had ages to wait for our Star Tours passes to work and the parade was still a bit of a wait so we went in search of food. This took us a lot longer than planned but we finally ended up at the pizza place in Tomorrowland. Inside there is this cool animatronic alien who occasionally sings songs etc, quite cool, basically a very similar character to the one in Florida. I had a calzone pizza, it was very yummy.

On our travels we also got to see the [strike]Main Street[/strike] World Bazaar band perform a few tracks. These bands are one of my favourite things about the Disney parks, they really help bring the area to life. It was then time to find a spot for the main daytime parade. We had left it a bit too long and we didn't feel like sitting on the floor where there was some space due to all the heads. Instead we chose a spot that sort of overlooks the whole of the central plaza area which feels massive and very different to the other ones.


Can you spot the three aliens?

So the 'Happiness on Parade' parade happened and it was good. Some of the floats were absolutely huge. The Aladdin float made me very happy. The song for the parade is also really fun and catchy and if you don't have it stuck in your head for the rest of the day then something is wrong lol.


This float was just huge

After the parade it was time for Star Tours II. We had both experienced the American versions so knew what to expect. Most of the queueline was the same as the Florida version except for the first room which is huge and has a massive electric ad board to become a storm trooper among other things. The ride is exactly the same, just in Japanese. I still love it, the 3D effects just make the ride complete.

As Nic pointed out, we couldn't tell if some signs were in Kanji or some sort of Star Wars language :P


We decided it was finally time to go explore Adventureland. We headed straight for the Tiki room. We were given some little box things which came up with subtitles for the show. This version was different to the one I had experienced in Florida as it features Stitch. I don't think it worked as well tbh which is a shame.

The screen for the subtitle box was very reflective

All the other attractions in the area had quite a long wait so we headed into Westernland. Never having experienced a Big Bear Jamboree before we went to check that out. The building is really deceiving as it hides quite a large venue. Despite mainly being in Japanese it was easy to follow and it was quite fun, the animatronics were really good.

These 'cleaners' actually create images on the floor of Disney characters with a brush and a bit of water. They're really impressive and put on quite an entertaining little performance.

We then went round to Big Thunder Mountain. The queue was outside the actual queueline and there was a man with a little sign on a stick to inform people where to join. Despite looking ridiculous it only took around an hour. It felt like the queue was more like a conveyor belt because we very rarely stopped moving. This BTM feels quite small but the actual ride experience I thought was possibly the most fun out of the three I've ridden.


We went to check out Splash Mountain next but the queue was quite long so we went back on ourselves and headed to Adventureland again. We ended up joining the queue for Jungle Cruise. It felt a bit longer than the Florida version but that might just be down to not understanding the jokes the skipper was telling us. Language barrier <//3  It will be interesting to see what the new changes will be like though (closing the ride down for most of next year to drastically change the ride including adding a soundtrack).

We then made our way into the New Orleans area for Pirates of the Caribbean. I've not witnessed a Disney Orleans area yet so found it all very exciting and different. The ride entrance blends in with the rest of the area almost too well and those not paying attention could easily not see it lol. So the actual ride is different to the two I've ridden so far and I don't like it. Maybe it's because it wasn't the first one I rode, maybe I just generally don't like the way the ride progresses or maybe it's because randomly skipping from New Orleans into the Caribbean with no real explanation is just weird? I mean the general theme is still there with lots of familiar scenes (with the updated film touches like in Florida) but something just felt wrong but the whole attraction. Maybe it's just me?

It was getting dark now so we headed over to Fantasyland to check out Philarmagic. I'd seen the one in Florida and I wasn't a fan of it. The animation just looks really cheap and nasty and it grates on me. So I didn't have high expectations but Nic needed to see it for herself.

I loved these little kiosks in the area in front of the castle

The pretty awesome Halloween photo point which had a massive queue if you wanted a photo in front of it

The castle just looks awesome

Aristocats <3

This little piece of tat is just for the 30th anniversary. Throughout the two parks are random points which you can place this on and it sets up lots of random lights and sounds. It was quite random but cool. It was also very expensive (somewhere between £20-30).

These two really loved Duffy

We faffed around a bit before deciding that food needed to happen. We weren't very good at making a decision quickly but we finally ended up getting food in the Tomorrowland Plaza restaurant. I got a Chinese bun with a chicken fillet inside. It was really nice.

It was then nearly time for Dreamlights. An updated version of the Main Street Electrical Parade. I was expecting a completely new nightshow but it was just the normal parade with some really advanced floats from about half way through. The new floats were absolutely stunning but they do just make the rest of it look outdated. My favourite float was the Genie one, he kept transforming into different Disney characters, I loved it. I'm not sure why but I don't have any pictures from the parade. (might have been down to damp weather)

After the parade we headed over to Monsters Inc and joined the massive queue. While in the queue we were able to watch the fireworks show. They play the music throughout both parks which is kinda cool.

Back to Monsters Inc. The queue was long, boring and really tedious. All this queue better lead up to something great right? Nope. I don't think I've ever felt so let-down by a Disney attraction. It's a nice idea that just doesn't work or really make much sense. Despite the amazing exterior and effort gone into trying to make it look like the factory from the film they would have been better off building nothing in that space in my opinion, such a waste. In other words, it's a poor shooty ride without a scoring system. Come on Disney, you're better than this!

Nic drew Mike in the raindrops on top of a bin. We actually saw another guest take a picture of it too!

Sorry for the massive photo dump there, but as you can see the shop at the exit is full of awesome. To try and cram in one last ride we went over to Buzz to find a very short queue! Not much to talk about here as it's the same as all the others. Good fun.

It was then time for us to leave the park :( - obviously visiting all the tat shops on the way. The park looks beautiful at night (as you would expect with a Disney park) and with the added Halloween theming everywhere it adds an extra layer of awesome.

Nic loves Tokyo Disneyland!

The stream of people heading to the train station

We then managed to squeeze on to a train and an hour or so we were back at the hotel for some sleep. I absolutely love this Disney park, the staff were happy and friendly, the parades were incredible and the rides are some of the better versions out of what I've ridden (despite the odd flaw). The castle is also fantastic and is definitely a very close second to the Paris castle.
Next visit to DLP: October 26th
Coaster Count: over 320


I like to see pictures of TDL and yours are beautiful. It looks like a park that makes big money. I would like Poohs Hunny Hunt ride in Fantasyland at DLP, it would be a big hit Winnie The Pooh and his friends are so popular. DLP castle is still the best. :P
Ed & David