Monday, 18 August 2014

Tokyo Disney Sea

While in Tokyo we could not pass up the opportunity to visit Disney during our stay so we made space for a day at one of the parks. Victoria suggested that rather than the Disneyland Park we instead visited Disney Tokyo Sea as it is so different to any other park they have.

We purchased the tickets in advance and they were only 6400¥ each, about  £40.00 not bad compared to other parks. As we were staying at a Disney Partner Hotel we booked the free transfer to the park selecting the 08:30 shuttle.

We arrived in reception nice and early and were first on the bus and were dropped off at the park just after 09:00. The first thought was, wow it is damned hot, the temperature was 35C and there was much less cloud cover than in previous days. Entering the park we stopped for a photo opprtunity by the partner statue and one by the huge globe sculpture. We did a photo-swap with other couples for both.

Having not yet had breakfast we stopped for a bite of Mickey Mouse Churros and a cup of juice before continuing our adventure. We also stopped to consult the map that we had picked up at the gate. Bugger, despite an English front page everything else was in Kanjii!

We stopped to catch some of the parade on the Mediterranean Harbour, unlike other parks, the parades at Tokyo Disney Seas are aquatic and rather than floats they have boats. They also fire a lot of water into the crowd, Victoria was wearing a lot of anti-frizz serum today!

As the crowds had gathered for the parade, we left early and grabbed a pair of Fastpass tickets for the 20,000 Leagues under the sea ride for 25 minures time at 10:25, actually shorter than the posted queuing time.

Now, once your Fastpass is active, and it stays active for an hour,  you can grab another Fastpass, so we went to check out the Gondolas, but they were not open, so we took a look in Tritons Kingdom. This undersea themed part of the park is built underground and it was lovely and cool down there. While there a very helpful cast member gave us an English version of the park map.

Our Fastpass was now active, however rather than goung straight on the ride we now picked up a Fastpass for Journey to the Centre of the Earth. The Fastpass did not become active until 15;40, however still much better than the 170 minute advertised queuing time! We would be able to pick up another Fastpass in 2 hours time.

Brandishing our Fastpasses we entered 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and were soon on the ride. Your car is a bathysphere that seats six passengers and you travel the ride on a track encountering all manner of deep sea creatures on your adventure. It's wonderfully themed in a Jules Verne meets Steam Punk style that is carried on throught the entire Mysterious Island part of the park.

Emerging to the surface again it is dammed hot still so we pick up a bottle of Tinkerbell Green Tea, it's supposed to be refreshing but I just do not get it, and walked back to the Gondolas. They were open but are now closed for another parade. We sit in the shade of a tree and drink the Tinkerbell Green Tea and eat some Pringles like crisps to get our salt levels back up, did I mention it was hot!

Wandering through the American Waterfront area we check out a few places and decide that we would grab lunch later at the New York Deli. We then go to the station and after a 15min queue board the Disney Seas Electric Railway, disembarking a few minutes later at Port Discovery.

I don't know if I have mentioned it but it is dammed hot, so we stop and pick up icecreams, I have a Tropical Fruit lolly while Victoria tries something new, a slice of Mango frozen on a stick, lovely and fruity it is too.

Victoria also finds a pair of Mickey Ears with a sparkly bow that she really likes at one of the vendors, these are only 1200¥ about £10.00 so half what you would pay in Paris.

We stop for a photo opportunity by the float plane and then find the Mickey and Friends Greeting Trail. We queue for ten minutes and get some shots with Goofy and then for another 20 minutes for Mickey. There is some shade but it is very hot in the queue when you are not under the trees so we alternate wearing Victorias hat.

One of the things about Tokyo Disney is that there are loads of different types of Popcorn on offer so we decided that we ought to try a few throught the day so we next stopped and tried a JalapeƱo and Cheese version, sat in some shade watching and feeding the birds.

In Japan there tends not to be any hand driers or towels in public toilets, the locals all carry their own small towel for drying their hands, in the park you could see many pepole using their towel to mop the sweat from their brows, did I mention it was hot. Well, suffering from towel envy we dropped back into the coolness of Tritons Kingdom and purchased our very own Mickey Mouse hand towel, they have loads on offer and it was only 600¥ (about four quid).

We have had our last set of Fastpasses for two hours and could pick up some more. The closest ride with Fastpasses is Storm Riders so we  dropped into Port Discovery and picked up some Fastpasses. Aquatopia looks ace but there are no Fastpass and the queue is almost three hours long, we did not fancy that in the heat.

We walk back through the American Waterfront and make our way to New York Deli where whe pick up our lunches, a couple of portions of Fries, a Ratatoullie Salad, drinks and the crowning glory, Alien shaped sweet mochi in a Alien bento box, Victoria was smitten! As mentioned everything is better alue for money than Euro-Disney here and this lot came to about £15.00

Refreshed and emerging from the cool of New York Deli we wandered around enjoying the sights and soon realised that it was hot and time for a drink so we polished off a bottle of water and soon after had another icecream. Again I had a lolly but Victoria tried the Crushed Ice with Lychee and Grapefruit, that was very refreshing.

Having not been in the Arabian Coast part of the park we wandered over there and had a five minute queue to ride the Caravan Carousel, Victoria got a Camel, I was lumbered with a
plain old horse.

Continuing through Arabian Coast, we queued for ten minutes to get on the Sinbad's Storybook Voyage, this is very well done, a bit like It's a Small World but without the cheesey mannequins and annoying song. There was a song, it was quite catchy but I could not understand more than a few words of the Japanese.

Coming out of Sinbad, we found Abu capering around so stopped for a photo opportunity with him.

Our Fastpasses for Storm Riders were now active so we went into Port Discovery and joined the queue. This is a great ride very much like a cross between the Star Tours and Armageddon rides we are used to. You are strapped into your seat and flown into the eye of the storm very much like Star Tours, however the ride gets all Armageddon when the hull is ruptured and wind and rain start to enter the cabin. A great adventure.

Emerging from Storm Riders, our Fastpass for Journey to the Centre of the Earth are now active, I am glad we have these as the normal queue time is now up to three hours! Like the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea this is all very Jules Verne Steam Punk. Entering the ride you are shown to a steam powered elevator and descend to the bowels of the earth. At the pit bottom you are ushered into your transit, a steam powered car and begin your journey. The first part is through interesting rock and crystal formations, then you start to meet deep dwellers and finally a monster of some sort attacks. The roller coaster part now starts and the vehicle increases speed through a series of banks before a drop in the dark and then you climb and emerge from the top of the volcano into bright daylight.

After all that excitement we wandered back to the Mediterranean Harbour lagoon and stood in the heat to watch some more of the big waterborne show taking place there.

Victoria had tried some of the new things she was looking forwards to, now it was my turn to try a Frozen Lager. Yes, a Frozen Lager. In the Nautilus Galley I ordered my drink, what you get is about three quarters of a pint of lager, and the top quarter is filled with slushie lager, yes a slushie machine is used to freeze the lager to give it a frosty head. How great is that?

Now, one thing we noticed that as well as the theming in the park, a lot of of the Japanese  there were theming their groups, couples wore the same t-shirt, whole parties wore the same outfit. Our tops were getting quite sweaty in the heat (did I mention the heat), so we purchased a couple of Mickey Mouse t-shirts (less than a tenner each) and joined in the fun.

We stop at the Arabian Coast and try some of the curry flavoured popcorn, very tasty, but I doubt we will be trying any more.

There were a couple more big rides in the park that we would liked to have tried however, wandering over to Tower of Terror there were no more Fastpass left and a 90 minute queue time, likewise Raging Spirits was out of Fastpass and a 180 minute queue time. However, at Raging Spirits a casy member took some shots of us in front of the great flaming waterfall that is part of the ride theming.

The level of service here is fantastic, to give an example at one point I pulled my map out of my pocket to get my bearings and one of the park cleaners was asking me how they could help.

Victoria wanted to see if she could get to Ariels Greeting Grotto but the queue had closed for the day. It was getting fairly late and we figured that we probably would not get on many more rides today but would take what opportunities came our way. We stopped in Port Discovery for another lolly, Victoria having the frozen mango again, we then decided to head back to Tritons Kingdom again for the cool and see what rides were available.

Enjoying the cool, we queued for about 30 minutes to ride the Blowfish Baloon Race before a light supper of French Fries at Sebastiens Calypso Kitchen

Emerging back to the surface it was now dark, so we enjoyed the sights of the park at night before doing a little shopping and picking up some postcards to send home.

We met our bus at 20:30 and by just after 21:00 were back in the hotel room and crashed out.

Of all the Disney Parks we have visited I would certainly recommend Tokyo Disney Seas. It is exceptionally well presented, the maintenance is top notch, the staff are really friendly and do their best to help you. We love Disneyland Paris, but after our visit to Anaheim a couple of weeks ago and now Tokyo it does feel rather shabby and expensive.

I may save my pennies and travel further afield next time, I seem to have caught the travel bug.

But I may have mentioned, it was very hot.

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