AllEars® reader JeanineY is part of the NFFC trip to Tokyo Disneyland. She will be filing reports along the way. Here is Day 3:
Having arrived at the 3rd day of our 4-day park ticket, we were now free to go into either park at will. Since the NFFC luncheon for today was at the Miracosta Hotel (the amazingly fabulous hotel that makes up part of DisneySea) we headed over in that direction in the morning.
After entering, we took advantage of the light morning crowds to take a ride on a gondola, from the Mediterranean Harbor area. This area is beautifully themed, but is largely facades, as I believe the Miracosta Hotel makes up one side of the street.
The gondola rides have a reasonably authentic feel to them and afford a nice view of the bay. The narration is all in Japanese however, with little obvious hints of what the driver is talking about. At one point I believe he tells everyone to close their eyes as he sings in Italian, which is something of a surreal moment. The ride is probably not a must-do for most people, as it’s a relatively low capacity loader and is also sometimes difficult to find working, given that it stops operation when the big water shows are taking place. If you enjoy the canoe rides, but aren’t fond of the physical labor involved with them, you’d probably enjoy these.
After that, we walked around the Fortress Exploration area which is a terribly underrated attraction. It has almost a Tom Sawyer Island feel to it as it involves a lot of stair-climbing around twisty turrets on Escher-like multiple levels. Based as it is on the theming of discovery and scientific study, it includes fascinating interactive nooks where you can do everything from turn cranks and rotate planets around a huge model of the galaxy, see an optical display of spherical aberration, or operate the most incredibly detailed coin-operated remote-control boats in an environment complete with whirlpools and occasional rainstorms. Definitely worth taking the time to investigate.
By this point, it was time to make our way to the magnificently themed Miracosta Hotel to Oceano, for our final NFFC lunch. The Miracosta is positioned as the front wall to DisneySea, so that you actually walk under it to enter the park. The views of the harbor area from the rooms are supposed to be incredible, as are the room prices. Should anyone wish to take up a collection for me to stay there, I’ll gladly report back.
Oceano is a similarly beautifully decorated restaurant with multiple dining areas all abstractly given an underwater feel. The lunch was buffet style with a wide variety of selections, all of which were very good. The service was impeccable as usual, with people actually following you around to carry a plate for you, if you looked like you ran out of hands.
At the beginning of lunch there was a brief presentation as Dennis Tanida inducted OLC CEO Toshio Kagami into the list of NFFC Disney Legends.
Afterwards, one of the several other Imagineers in attendance also gave a brief talk on some of the future plans for the resort. The highlight of the lunch, and possibly of the trip, was being able to go out onto the restaurant balconies at showtime to watch the Legends of Mythica from a special reserved vantage point. As a total Illuminations dessert party devotee, this was an amazing experience and a perfect way to finish the formal NFFC programming.
After another quick jaunt back to the room to change into more park-appropriate clothing, we watched Primavera: Springtime Fun, which was their 3rd and smallest water show. Here, a few character floats came out, while various other characters led different dance acts around the harbor.
A short walk around the American Waterfront area followed. Although the theming of 1920’s New York is well done, I found this to be the least interesting of the lands as, with the exception of Tower of Terror, it mostly consists of shops and restaurants.
We watched their latest show Big Band Beat at the Broadway Theater which had excellent production values and consisted of a variety of big band/swing numbers, some of which featured Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, and Marie from the Aristocats. It’s an interesting show, given that it’s all in English, so you wonder how much of it the general Japanese public understands.
One more show by the large restaurant-filled SS Columbia, Over the Waves was a typically goofy Japanese production about stowaways on a cruise ship. The singing was largely in English, however all the dialogue is in Japanese–not that it’s all that difficult to follow.
A serviceable dinner at the Chinese buffeteria Vulcania, in the depths of Mysterious Island, rounded out the night.
All the heated food is apparently cooked by the geothermal heat from the volcano.
Once again the fireworks were canceled due to gusty winds, so we headed on back to the hotel.