Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Tokyo Disney Resort! As some of you might have guessed, my vacation last week was to a far flung Disney destination. While I could never give any real summary of the parks in just one post, I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos from the trip.
When we visited Tokyo just six months ago, I thought it would be my only trip there for awhile. However, when we started planning a vacation to Disneyland we realized that it wasn’t much more to head back to Tokyo. When factoring in airline miles, the fact that everything is cheaper, and a good conversion rate, it actually saved us money to head back to Tokyo! Well, that was until we changed our flights to arrive a day early and found out there were no hotels in the city! (oops) We ended up having to pay $700 for a night at the Disneyland Hotel. While the hotel and view were amazing, the price was incredibly hard to justify. So learn from my mistake and book that hotel first. On the positive side it means I have this room tour to share. What do you think? Is it worth it?
There is a lot more Tokyo Disney to share so be sure to click to read more!
You’ll have to forgive me for going a little longer than normal this week. I missed last week so that’s justified, right? 🙂 A great deal of my photos are indoors this trip. That’s partially because I’m passionate about dark ride photography and partially because the weather was just terrible for our trip. It even snowed one morning! But that’s okay because no other park has such bright and beautiful dark rides! Check out these couple of shots from Peter Pan’s Flight. I could never get images like this here at Walt Disney World. (Remember you can click on any image to see a larger version)
Speaking of things you can’t get here at Walt Disney World, the now extinct Snow White’s Scary Adventures is still going strong in Tokyo! This was special to me because I wasn’t very good with a camera when this ride closed. One of the highlights of the trip was being able to capture photos I couldn’t a few years ago. What do you think? Do you prefer Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or miss the classics? (I think we all now which side I’m on!)
The focus isn’t perfect on this shot, but I just love it. All seven dwarfs on the ride was one of my “bucket list” photos and this is the closest I’ve come to capturing it. Unlike the version that once existed at Disney World and the version currently in Disneyland, there’s no happy ending in Tokyo Disneyland. The witch just drops the rock on you at the end of this scene and the ride is over.
Pinocchio’s Daring Journey is another ride that is cloned from Disneyland, but it looks amazing in Tokyo! I couldn’t believe how vibrant the colors were and that everything was working so well. This was a theme that continued through all the rides in Tokyo. Don’t even get me started on the new, amazing scene they added to Jungle Cruise!
While the version of Haunted Mansion in Tokyo is technically just an older version of the Walt Disney World ride, it’s incredibly creepy and well done. Take the bride below for example. She’s much scarier than the current bride featured in the US versions of the ride. There’s also a crazy effect where a painting looks normal, then the shape of a face is pressed through from behind. It made us both jump! On our previous trip the ride was made over for Haunted Mansion Holiday so this was our first time seeing the true Haunted Mansion. It might be the best one in the world.
Moving away from dark rides, here’s a rare photo taken outdoors between rain storms. Somehow I missed these guys last trip, likely because it was so crowded. While the cold weather and rain was a little tough to manage I’ll take it over crowds and heat any day! Something you might not know if you haven’t visited before is that since the big earthquake a few years ago buildings are not air conditioned as much as you’re used to. We’ve vowed to never visit in a warm month again after making that mistake last trip!
Another unique thing about Tokyo Disneyland is that they host two dinner shows inside the park. With the help of a friend we booked advance reservations for the Polynesian Terrace Restaurant this trip. The reservation process is entirely in Japanese so we were very lucky to have her help! Below you can see the appetizer and dinner courses. The appetizer was cold and set at the table when we arrived. It was… interesting. 🙂 The main dish of pork an potatoes was actually pretty good!
Below is a photo of the dessert from the show. Puddings like this are common. They’re about the consistency of flan and mostly tasteless. (Obviously, I’m not a fan). However, the show and costumes were pretty amazing. I could do an entire post just on the different acts of the stage show. Overall, it was what you’d expect. The food was mediocre and rushed, but seeing the characters made up for it. I’d do it again in a heartbeat! 🙂
Another food highlight of the trip was visiting Dreamers Lounge at the Disneyland Hotel. Just a quick walk from the park, we wandered in freezing a wet one afternoon. For just $12 each we were served these lovely cakes and gourmet coffee. It was a godsend after fighting the weather all day.
Another warm, indoor meal was had at Center Street Coffee House in Disneyland. They had a widely varied menu that even featured spaghetti. Below you can see we ordered an au gratin and curry dish. This was actually a seafood au gratin that was lovely! Don’t be afraid to order seafood at Tokyo Disneyland even if the price seems too good to be true. I’ve never been disappointed.
Of course, what is a meal without dessert? This ended up being a favorite treat from this trip. Unlike other Japanese desserts that have weird jellies and other items thrown in, this was just a perfect sundae. Center Street Coffee House is a great spot if you have folks in your group that aren’t adventurous eaters. Plus, like everything in Tokyo Disneyland, it was very affordable. Table service lunch for three adults with drink and dessert came to 4600 yen. ($38.50 USD) Try to find that here in the USA!
One last snack spot I have to recommend is the Tick Tock Diner. The snacks here were incredible! It’s tiny inside but very cute. You can find it inside the Ambassador Hotel which is actually connected to Ikspiari. (The Japanese version of Downtown Disney)
Below left are seasonal bread displays. While the Mickey bread sold to eat isn’t quite this ornate, it’s really close! I couldn’t believe all the effort that was put into the different breads. We settled on the bacon and cheese bread pictured below right. I would estimate it was about 12 inches across and plenty for three people to snack on. The ears were filled with cheese and the center ring filled with bacon. What can’t we have this here in Orlando??
Now let’s head over to Tokyo Disney Sea where we spent our one sunny day. Of course, it was worth it. Check out those views. I’ll never get used to Tokyo Disney Sea, the beauty of this park is just staggering. Each and every time I’m fortunate enough to walk inside the park gates I’m overwhelmed.
Of course, I might be overwhelmed because they have amazing characters just inside the park gates! Immediately after stepping inside I was able to meet Clarice! She was so cute and sassy. I don’t know why we don’t get her here in the states. I think she’d be wildly popular! But maybe I’m just old, what do you think kids? Would you be excited to see Clarice?
My favorite ride at Tokyo Disney Sea is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The Japanese version is very different from any version that has ever been offered here. The best I can tell, you embark on an underwater adventure when you encounter trouble that leaves your submarine dead in the water. These sea creatures pictured below then rescue you with crystal power! It’s strange for sure, but very immersive and completely unique.
Mermaid Lagoon is one of the prettiest areas of the park. I just can’t believe all the colors. The weather conditions here are more intense than in Orlando. I can’t imagine how often they have to paint in order to maintain this bright exterior. Also in the photo you can see the Transit Steamer Line providing boat tours around the park.
Below you can see a couple of our favorite snacks from Tokyo Disney Sea. These are both found at Sultan’s Oasis. Below left are the Maple Cream Balls. These were a little heavier than doughnut holes and sweeter. Below right is the world famous Chandu Tail. I have a confession to make, last trip I tried a couple of steamed buns and they were so terrible that I gave up. I didn’t actually try this until last week and I SO regret it! The Chandu Tail is amazing. It tastes like chicken pot pie in a steamed bun. Very much worth trying if you ever find yourself in the area.
Over in the American Waterfront decorations were up everywhere for Easter. Oddly, Easter lasts through June at Tokyo Disney. According to a local, they don’t really celebrate or understand Easter in Japan. Disney is the only place that embraces the holiday and they turn it into a three month long springtime event. I’m not complaining though, everything was beautiful!
Also in this area were characters that you would never see in the USA. Can you believe Bernard and Bianca from The Rescuers were out greeting? I don’t know that I’ve ever seen these characters in our parks. Of course, Shellie May was also greeting with a super long line. For anyone not familiar, Duffy the Disney Bear is hugely popular in Tokyo. So much so that he even has friends that are equally famous, like Shellie May. These days Shellie May can only be purchased in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Aulani. Gelatoni, a grey cat, is only available in Tokyo.
Duffy even has an entire land devoted to him! His new friend Gelatoni (below right) was selling so quickly that they literally couldn’t keep him on the shelf. As soon as they’d restock him people would grab them all. I picked up a few for friends and I actually took them right out of the box rather than waiting for them to hit the shelves first! I stopped by very first thing in the morning just to get a photo of the shelves with Gelatoni in stock.
And yes, I was weak. I bought a new spring outfit for my Duffy and took him out for some photos. I mean, who knows when I’ll be back? 😉
That’s everything for this week. Now let’s see what you can expect if you’re visiting next week back here at Walt Disney World.
Crowd Calendar: Spring break craziness is officially over! Enjoy much lower crowds for the next few weeks.
Weather: All of the sudden it’s summer! Highs will be in the 90s with almost daily rain. Be prepared and drink lots of water!
Remember: The Tomorrowland preview opens tomorrow at Epcot. Be sure to stop by early to get your pin!
Here’s my top tip for this week: Take a look at a trip to Tokyo Disneyland. It isn’t as out of reach as you think! Airfare Watch Dog posts sales every day and the exchange rate is in our favor. If you can afford a domestic trip it isn’t much more to head overseas.
Do you have any news I missed or any requests for coverage next week? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, and thanks so much for reading! I’m wishing all of you the Best Week Ever, until next time!