In our mission to hit all the Disney Parks in Asia, this was our second stop! (Only Hong Kong left to go – read about our trip to Shanghai Disney Resort here!) Honestly, I don’t know what was more exciting to me: going to Disney or going somewhere the weather was below 80 degrees F! Before this trip I hadn’t experienced cold or even cool weather since July 2016! Nuts, and I am getting a bit sick of the hot, but it’s where we live, so I deal with it.
Ok, the obvious answer to that rhetorical question was, of course, I was more excited to go to Disney! I always am! I am a “Patti Planner” – EVERY. SINGLE. DETAIL is outlined before we go anywhere. And funny enough, we were laughing with Jamie’s 2 cousins who came to Singapore for a few days about how regimented I am, and when we got to Tokyo I realized I forgot to pack us pajamas!! That never happens and mark my word, it will never happen again. Here is just a glimpse into the crazy organization that is my mind…and you better believe this Note was shared on the iCloud with Jamie (to reduce questions haha!):
Anyhoo…that’s what it’s like to take a trip with me in a nutshell. Love it or hate it, it’s going to happen. Jamie knew what he married into!
So, Disneyland was great! We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel (naturally) and it was literally right in the park! When I say “in the park” I mean, we could look out our window and we were so close that the ticket turnstiles were below our point of vision and we looked directly onto Main Street (or World Bazaar as it is called in Tokyo)! The Monorail was right there, like RIGHT there! It was awesome.
Tokyo Disneyland has 2 parks: Disneyland and DisneySea. Tokyo Disneyland is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2018! I bet most of you had no idea it was almost as old as Disney World in Florida. We sure didn’t. But when you walk in, you can see it. It has the exact same footprint as Disney World Florida: the castle is the same design, except on a smaller scale, to the left is Crystal Palace and Adventureland, to the right is Tomorrowland, they even have a hot dog quick service restaurant and an ice cream parlor at the end of “Main Street” just like Disney World! I understand that when it was built, I am sure the company was not expecting there to be world traveling Mouseketeers, so it was probably OK to have a similar design. However, now that there are world traveling Mouseketeers, I have to say, the layout of the park was kind of a let down, and ONLY because it wasn’t different. Other than that, it was fabulous.
Now, we went for Halloween because Disney at Halloween is something to see. I recommend you go to any Disney park at Halloween and you will have the best time! It is without a doubt the best time to go to a Disney park, IMO. I read up on several blogs about Tokyo Disneyland at Halloween and it goes all out! And the guests go all out! Literally every person there had on a costume…and I’m not talking some DIY, Pinterest costume, I mean full on Broadway style, over the top Disney costumes! 99.9% were cartoon characters. They must love Donald Duck because we saw a bazillion of those. We only saw 2 “real life” characters: Indiana Jones and Queen Amidala (actually Star Wars in general didn’t have a big presence there).
The first day we went to Disneyland and the weather was beautiful! The Haunted Mansion was decorated with and the story line was changed to Nightmare Before Christmas paraphernalia and the park had several autumn decorations throughout, as well!
For the most part, the rides here were the exact same as in the Magic Kingdom in Disney World or Disneyland California, just in Japanese. And as I said before, they were also in almost the exact same placement as Disney World. I don’t know if it was because everyone was dressed up for Halloween and it was more of a “place to be seen”, but we never waited more than 15 min for a ride. They do have FastPasses, set up the old school way – take your ticket to a FastPass kiosk and get a return time ticket. This park was easy to do. The Cast Members (Disneyland staff) were incredibly nice and everyone spoke English, pretty much, never had an issue with a language barrier. The food was…interesting. The queues for certain snacks were OUTRAGEOUS!!! Here is one for something I still don’t know what the treat was:
As far back as you can see people facing the camera, that’s how far the line was, and even farther. This was the treat:
Poor Jamie didn’t get his coveted turkey leg because he would have waited for over an hour for it. We stuck to table service buffets and restaurants we were familiar with…I know, I know, you’re thinking “branch out!”…but, did you see the sign in the picture above for whatever food they were selling there?! I think I am OK sticking to what I know here.
That evening they had the most wonderful Electrical Light Parade! I absolutely love the Electrical Light Parade in the US (although they have phased it out and now it only makes special appearances) and this one did not disappoint! Dare I say, it might be better than the US one…I couldn’t pick just one photo so here are all of them!
The Disneyland Hotel was super nice. It was built in 2008 and was the classic Victorian style as is every other park’s main hotel. It looked like a smaller version of The Grand Floridian on the inside. The beds were set up “Lucy and Ricky” style, as I like to say, so we each got our own space haha!
Another thing you might not know about me when I go to any Disney park is I am dressed in The Mouse from head to toe. Exhibit A:
The next day we went to DisneySea. It rained the whole day. THE. WHOLE. DAY. And it was 45 degrees F out, so for 2 people who live on a tropical island, we thought we were in a wet, ice bowl. But we didn’t let it spoil us! I will say, though, from the blogs I read beforehand, DisneySea was supposed to be off the charts on Halloween decorations, and I was a little let down. I mean, yes it was decorated, but, and maybe it’s because of the weather – that is very likely – we didn’t see Disney really throw down for Halloween like we thought we would. I’d say it was “Halloween-light” in this park. (You can see my Mickey mitts in this pic…you’re welcome).
This park was totally different than any other park we had ever been! Almost every ride was something new and different. It did have a Tower of Terror, but the theme is an American explorer from maybe the late 1800’s and the building is his house. Apparently one of the artifacts he took from his travels is possessed and messes with the elevator in his house. It was in Japanese, of course, so that’s what I have inferred from the storyline, but I think I nailed it.
Other good rides were Journey to the Center of the Earth, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Indiana Jones (which is similar to the one in Disneyland California, actually) and there is a Little Mermaid show in King Triton’s Concert (in Japanese, but the tunes are the same, so you can sing along). Ok, they also had a Toy Story Mania like the US parks, and it was just as manic as the others. But it was in a cool area called “Toyville” that looked awesome at night!
Tokyo Disneyland had some of the best souvenirs I have seen in any park. We stocked up. The tickets and the Disneyland Hotel prices were high, but I would say on average with any other park hotel and tickets. However, once we were inside the park, we didn’t find the food and souvenirs to be all that overpriced.
All in all, we had a great time! We also spent a few days in Tokyo, which I will post about shortly. Next stop, Hong Kong Disneyland!!