Monday, November 06, 2006

Brig in Japan IV

On my third day in Japan I was too excited to sleep

And too excited to properly enjoy my complimentary breakfast (with salad!)

Because I was going to TokyoDisney!!

I took this picture thinking I had arrived at TokyoDisney. I was totally wrong. I had only arrived at the place . . .

Where you catch the Monorail to TokyoDisney!!



Tokyo Disneyland appears in the distance.

But guess what?

We weren't going to Tokyo Disneyland

We were going to Tokyo Disneysea!!

Disneysea is essentially Disneyland 2.0 there in Tokyo. Instead of different lands it is full of different ports and islands and whatnot. Also, it was built with grown ups in mind and is full of more thrilling rides, like the Tower of Terror.

Something which I learned quickly: The Japanese are very serious about going to Disney theme parks and arrive dressed in their best Disney-oriented outfits. (Also, remember that these girls had a black plush mouse helmet and an animal plush mouse helmet. Just remember that for later)

We got to Disneysea 45 minutes before it opened and the ticket line was not busy, to say the least.

So we got really great places in line

But we didn't come prepared for the wait with mini-tarps like the family right in front of us in line . . . and every other family at the head of the line.

As 9 o'clock approached the line got longer, but by no means huge.

At 8:50 Mickey and Minnie and Donald and Goofy and Pluto ran out into the plaza before us as a band played and they got everyone psyched to get into the park.

Really, really psyched. Like, honestly. It was one of the highlights of the trip, all the characters running around and waving at us and us waving back at them with the music playing. I get goose bumps just thinking about it. It's kind of like, honestly, what kind of person doesn't get excited, really, really excited, to go to a Disney park? To be there right when it opens? Crud. I feel like I might start crying remembering it.

And then the gates were opened

And it was time to go in!

This is the Aqua Sphere.

We then proceeded this way to really, really enter the park

Another total highlight of being at Disneysea as it opened: All the workers from the stores were outside of their places of business waving hello to us. It was so exciting!

Passing beneath the Miracosta Hotel . . .

Just about everyone was running left to the Tower of Terror

So we headed in the other direction to Mt. Prometheus

We passed through some tunnels

And arrived at the Journey to the Center of the Earth ride (remember how yesterday I posted a video about this ride?)

And remember how I said the Japanese come prepared with their best Disney outfits? (PS How awesome is a culture where grown ups can walk around wearing Tigger tales and it's no big deal at all?)

Disneysea is the only Disney park with a Journey to the Center of the earth ride. In this ride, you journey to the center of the earth, run into a Magma Monster, and then rocket out from the center of the earth. It was totally fun.

But first you have to take an elevator most of the way to the center of the earth.

And pass the usual great details to look at while you wait in line (of course, we dealt with pretty much absolutely 0 lines while were there, so it was hard to get a good look)

While journeying to the center of the earth it's pretty hard to get a good photo of the Magma Monster, but please believe me when I tell you it's enormous and awesome and puts the Abominable Snowman to shame.

After Journey to the Center of the Earth we walked passed King Triton's kingdom (which is an indoor, Little Mermaid themed version of Fantasyland.)

And rode Raging Spirits

Raging Spirits is a little roller coaster with a loop (something I've never before encountered at a Disney park) and everything, but honestly, it was a bit disappointing.

But fortunately for us, it was right next door to . . .

The TokyoDisney version of the Indiana Jones ride!

Inside there were lots of really detailed things to look at while in line. The ride was pretty much exactly the same as the version at Disneyland. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Look at how much fun everyone is having!

It's a little sad to think that most people in Japan will never get to go to Mexico, but I suppose even fewer Mexicans will get to go to Disneysea.

Parked right by the Indiana Jones ride: A plane numbered C3PO.

Next we headed over to Port Discovery to ride Storm Riders, a great motion simulator ride that I posted a video of yesterday.

Then we walked through Cape Cod, or something

I posed in front of the big boat that only has restaurants inside

And then it was time for Tower of Terror, the only ride to have a real line in the whole park.

Remember how I told you to remember the girls in the black plush helmet and the animal plush helmet? Look! DUDES wearing a black helmet and an animal helmet!

There was lots of stuff to look at while standing in line

Including the menu from the Hotel's opening banquet (this is worth clicking on and examining)

Something I wish to point out: The Japanese seem to really be fans of the Aristocats, a movie most of America really could care less about

We wound up in the same car as this little kitty girl on the ride. More on that later.

While we were standing in line some nice Japanese fellow walked up to Cheryl and I and handed us Fast Pass tickets just like that and we got to go to the head of the line, just like that.

Look at how much fun everyone is having! Everyone except the little kitty girl. After the ride she just sobbed and sobbed, probably not to different from how I was when my parents took me on Space Mountain when I was 5 or 6. I still remember how I felt like I was going to fall right out of that ride and die and how zoomy and red everything was. UPDATE My Mom just pointed out to me that I was THREE when they took me on Space Mountain. 3! Can you believe that? Who takes a three year old on Space Mountain? She says that after that I didn't ride a "fast ride" until I was 9, I'm pretty sure it wasn't until I was 17.

This is a hat of the evil idol that cursed the tower.

For the record, at this point we had been at Disneysea for two hours and had been on all the E-ticket rides. So we wandered around and started repeating rides

And went to the Mexican party of Disneysea

For some Japanese tacos

Featuring homemade tortillas.

For lunch-dessert: An absolutely magnificent cheesecake chimichanga

Since we were in the neighborhood we tried out some of the rides in and around King Triton's domain.

Kelp Cups: Not exactly as crazy as our American Teacups.

Then we hit up the very inventive 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride that we had almost forgotten about.

There was a big production going on in the main lake. The crowd there was immense. I think it must be dishonorable in Japan to miss spectaculars.

But Cheryl and I took advantage of the moment and walked right on to Tower of Terror for a second ride. Followed by a third. Seriously, Tower of Terror is so fresh.

And now, a collection of pictures of Japanese people with costumed characters. It seems the Japanese really, really like the costumed characters (look how they have to get their autographs!) so Disneysea had a very high character to visitor ratio, much higher than what we're used to in the US.

Eventually Disneysea fun gave away to Disneysea exhaustion. After a semi-relaxing boat ride it was time to call it a day.

One last reminder that the Aristocats are big in Japan.

Goodbye, Disneysea and Land. You were supergreat. Perhaps if I find success in this world I will come back with my wife and kids when they're all old enough.

We tried to find some dinner outside of the park. It was a little tricky, finding the right thing.

Close enough!

Holy cow this post took forever to make. Just five more to go!


veeda said...

Next time I go to Japan, Disneysea is definitely on the agenda. So is getting a plush animal helmet.

This is an awesome post.

JayMoo and Stephoin said...

2 things:

1) Your post is extra child like in its word usage and form, which I think was inspired because you are writing about Disneylan...correction, DisneySea.

2) My dad took me on the Lagoon white roller coaster when I was 2 years old (back before height requirements) and they put me in my own seat behind them because they wanted to share the front. I didn't go on another coster until I was like 13.

jessi gleason said...

so funny = "I think it must be dishonorable in Japan to miss spectaculars."

Maybe Japan (definitely DisneySea) will have to pay you commission for their increased tourism due to your blog.

ZanzibarAnnie said...

Brigham - I know we haven't chatted in a while, but I just had to post regarding your DisneySea experience, since I just went to Disney World again with my mom and sisters. At Disney World, I made the comment about how it was so different from when we were kids, because there were no longer so many Japanese people at the park. Now I know the reason they all stay behind in Japan.

I am glad to see someone else has as much fun at Disney theme parks as I do.

Lucas said...

who is this white girl you're traveling with? Is this someone you are making out with? Is this embarrassing that I am asking this question?

Brig said...

Come on, Lucas. You know what happens in Tokyo stays in Tokyo.

Heather said...

What happens in London, stays in London too! Huh Brig!

Heather said...

By the way...great post! I'm a Disney FREAK so this was too great for words...I'm referring all my sisters to visit your blog so they can experience DisneySea too!