AllEars® reader JeanineY is part of the NFFC trip to Tokyo Disneyland. She will be filing reports along the way. Here is Day 4
Tokyo Disneyland: Back to Disneyland.
Almost before we knew it, we had arrived at the last day of our 4 day passport. We headed on over to Disneyland, as that was where the NFFC was going to take its group photo. On our way, we admired the costuming and enthusiasm of the monorail CMs.
One thing that really stands out is the sheer volumes of CMs in the parks that are almost unfailingly cheerful and welcoming, and who all have distinct costuming. No nondescript blue shirts and khakis for them!
The symbol of the 25th Anniversary appears to be the Key of Dreams which appears everywhere in the decorations and merchandise.
Although there was a plethora of merchandising options available in most of the stores around the resort, there were two special items (cell phone charms) that were personalizable: One was an “ears” type hat in various colors with various characters on them that you could get your name printed on, and another was a metal key which was personalized with slide-on beads and various end plates that had letters or pictures on them. These items were only sold in little kiosks in the hub and were characterized by monster lines. This is the one for the keys:
I heard the key line was something like 4 hours long. I waited in the other line for about 30 minutes successfully, but you had to get in it as soon as you got in the park, because by the afternoon, they closed the line.
After that, we got positioned for the official NFFC photo by sitting in lines in front of the castle. Unfortunately, this had apparently not been cleared by the TDR security, which then halted the proceedings until they could contact other people. Also unfortunate was the fact that we had chosen to sit directly in the path of the Omnibus, which then proceeded to edge closer and closer to us, much to the amusement of the handful of riders on it, who were probably texting all their friends about the odd Americans they were about to run over. Eventually choosing the latter part of valor, we fled, with the hopes that someone had gotten a photo of something.
Since we hadn’t done much of the left side of the park, we headed on over to Adventureland, where we found the equivalent to Aloha Isle…
…which sadly did not carry the Dole Whip. And that sound you just heard? Was that the death of any desire Mike Scopa ever had to go to Tokyo.
Adventureland is a little odd by our standards, as it incorporates a lot of the New Orleans architecture without actually having a New Orleans Square area. Their Pirates is about the same as the WDW version, complete with an all-Japanese Pirate band outside.
Jungle Cruise was fairly similar to the WDW one, with the narrative being completely in Japanese (although apparently “backside of water” goes over well in any language.)
The Tiki Room was closed as they are currently updating it to include Stitch, so we moved on to the Western River Railroad. This version, unlike the American versions, has no stops but basically just encircles the Jungle Cruise area. It has the dinosaur dioramas from DL, and additional Indian animatronics at various areas along the way.
After a stop for some noodles at China Voyager, it began to pour down rain. This was a little distressing as we had hoped to see the new parade Jubilation from a better vantage point, and they apparently have a history of putting on a different rainy day parade when it rains. Fortunately, they went on with the parade as scheduled, just eliminating the show stops and some of the acrobatics.
It’s a lovely parade, although there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of a theme tying it all together…but that seems to be the way the parades have been going for awhile.
By this time, we needed to go to meet some family members that were having dinner with us that night, so that was pretty much it for the day. I did, however go back in the evening another day for a few more hours in Disneyland to see their evening parade Dreamlights.
This is a beautiful parade that combines all the charm of the Main St. Electrical Parade (including some of the music) with all the higher-tech effects of Spectromagic. It was awesome, and if any of the US parks ever gets it, we can consider ourselves lucky.
Afterwards, I took in a few more attractions finally got to see the Dreams firework show from the DL side. It was nice, but very short–the lighting on the castle changed with the music and the shells and was very pretty. Still, I don’t think Wishes or Remember have anything to worry about.
The last area I got to investigate was their Toontown, which is like a mirror image of DL’s, with the residential district on the right, and the business district on the left. Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin was about the same, but the main attraction for me was the Jolly Trolley! It was still running! I realize for most people this would be an inconsequential thing, but…come on! The Jolly Trolley!
One more ride on Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, and the park was closed. I shopped a little on the World Bazaar area, but the stores close much sooner than in the US, and it was evident they were really trying to clear everyone out of all the shops except for the Emporium, and that one closed about half an hour after the official park closing.
So, that was the end of the Disney-related part of my trip, all of which was terrific. I could not recommend a trip over to the Tokyo Disney Resort highly enough.
People in the US often enjoy saying “sayonara” as goodbye, but in Japanese there is a sense of finality to it (one teacher described it as “something you’d say to someone you’re never going to see again…like your ex.”) Ja mata is a more casual phrase, meaning something like “see you later.” As I will certainly return here, we will not then, say sayonara to Tokyo Disneyland, but rather ja mata. Until next time.