The Hub isn’t really a “land” but my blog about World Bazaar was getting a little long so I decided to give this area its own column.
The Hub at Tokyo Disneyland is a little different from that of the other Magic Kingdoms. When exiting World Bazaar (Main Street), you enter a sort of courtyard that overlooks the rest of The Hub. In this courtyard you’ll find the Partners Statue and dedication plaques. There are also a number of benches and the Disneyland Band often performs here.
For those of you who couldn’t read the small print on the dedication plaque, here’s what it says.
To all who come to this happy place, welcome.
Here you will discover enchanted lands of Fantasy and Adventure, Yesterday and Tomorrow. May Tokyo Disneyland be an eternal source of Joy, Laughter, Inspiration and Imagination to the people of the world. And may this magical kingdom be an enduring symbol of the spirit of cooperation and friendship between the great nations of Japan and the United States of America.
April 15, 1983
E. Cardon Walker
Chairman of the Board
Walt Disney Productions
From this courtyard you must walk either right or left to get to the rest of The Hub. Once you do, turn around at look at World Bazaar. It is truly beautiful from this vantage point.
The Hub at Tokyo Disneyland is significantly bigger than its counterpart at the Magic Kingdom in Florida. And unlike Florida, it is not surrounded by water as there was never a Swan Boat ride here. However, you’ll still find the sea serpent topiary sitting next to a pond.
The only attraction in this area is the Omnibus. This is the same double-decker bus you find on the other Main Streets around the world. But in Tokyo, it only makes a slow circle around The Hub and the ride lasts about 5 minutes. It does not make its way through World Bazaar as this area is covered and extremely crowded. Also, there would be no place for the Omnibus to turn around since there is no Plaza. In addition, there is no horse-drawn trolley here.
When I visited Tokyo Disneyland in 1996, they had a variety of vehicles, like a fire engine and old-time automobiles. And you traveled from The Hub all the way into Westernland. This always bothered me because I thought it ruined the themeing. These vehicles did not belong in the western frontier. So even though they have shortened the ride, I think this was the correct decision.
There are two restaurants that face out onto The Hub, the Crystal Palace and the Plaza Pavilion.
It’s interesting to note that these restaurants are not considered part of The Hub or World Bazaar. The Crystal Palace is actually considered to be in Adventureland and the Plaza Pavilion is in Westernland. This doesn’t make any sense to me since they are obviously on The Hub and the architecture is decidedly turn-of-the century America, but that’s the way it is.
The Crystal Palace is almost identical to its counterpart in Florida and the Plaza Pavilion is almost identical to its counterpart in California. Both restaurants serve buffeteria style. The Plaza Pavilion is also very close to the Plaza Bandstand Stage and some of the outside tables have good views of the shows presented here. I’ve never eaten at either of these restaurants so I can offer little more.
Check out the sign below. Notice anything unusual about it?
English is the first language and Japanese is the second. This seems a little strange in a park where 99% of its visitors are from Japan. But that’s the way it is – everywhere. Almost everything is written with English first followed by Japanese. From what I understand, the Oriental Land Company wanted an “American” park in Tokyo – even down to the language.
Not to worry. English is a mandatory class for all Japanese school children. And even though they might not be able to speak the language, most can read it. Besides, it makes it easier for us mono-language Americans.
I realize that Cinderella Castle is part of Fantasyland, but since it faces out onto The Hub, I’ll briefly mention it here. Up until last year, the exterior of the castle was identical to the one at the Magic Kingdom in Florida. However, it was recently given a new paint job and the gray tones were changed to tans and browns. Now the castle has its own identity. Here’s before and after.
Also like Florida, the Tokyo castle has a large stage in front of it. And in front of this stage is a large viewing area – much larger than the viewing area in Florida. Depending on the scope of the show being presented, temporary bench seating can be added. This helps give you an idea of how much larger the Tokyo Hub is.
I think that’s about it for this blog. Next, I travel to Adventureland.