Home Disney, Universal & Other Theme Parks #TBT: April 2005: Tokyo Disneyland (Day 1)

MODERN-DAY NOTE: When I originally wrote this entry for my personal blog in 2005, I didn’t include pictures. I have no idea why, short of how much time it took to do so. I’ll include a few in the course of the post but most will be towards the bottom. Please enjoy!

DSC07065We woke up at 7am and again got out of the room at 8:45am. Took the monorail to the TDL Station and saw the CROWD of people trying to meet and greet the characters. Popular characters like Pooh and the Fab 5 had lines that were close to 100 people long but Max, the Fairy Godmother and Jiminy Cricket were easily accessible.

World Bazaar is TDL’s version of Main Street. It’s essentially the same thing as Main Street, but with a covering (to protect against rain and snow) and with openings on the side arms (the area is shaped like a cross) to let you into Tomorrowland (to the right) or Adventureland (to the left).

We still needed breakfast (I needed my coffee!) so we went into a storefront…which happened to house the guy who does silhouettes…who was American! It was very nice to be able to say, “Good morning” instead of “Ohayogozaimasu”. Anyway, Steve the silhouette man recommended either the waffle shop or the coffee shop. We opted for the coffee shop.

Center Street Coffeehouse is on the “right arm” of World Bazaar and was a sit-down restaurant that had 3 meals on the menu. I chose a Mickey pancake, Steve had scrambled eggs and Joe had a vegetable omelette.

After breakfast, we wandered through to Tomorrowland and went on Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters, since the standby wait was only 25 minutes. The queue and attraction are very similar to our except, of course, enhanced with many more bells and whistles, such as targets that light up and/or move when you hit them.

One Man’s Dream II is what we saw next. It’s the new version of a stage show that has been running since around the time the park opened. It’s a colorful, sparkly musical review of classic Disney songs with dancers and the characters. Very enjoyable.

We next stopped to get Fast Passes for Pooh’s Hunny Hunt. It was nearly 11:30am and our FP’s were good for between 2:40pm and 3:40pm, but with the ability to get another FP from somewhere else starting at 1:21pm.

From there we went on It’s a Small World which is nearly exactly the same as the WDW version.

Pinocchio’s Daring Journey was next, which, again, was almost an exact replica of the DL version, albeit dubbed in Japanese.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe next visited the Mickey Mouse Revue, which is a cute little audioanimatronic attraction that was originally in WDW’s MK until the early 1980’s. The characters sing Disney songs from Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland and several other classic movies from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.

Steve and I next went on Teacups. Joe decided to sit this one out, saying that I spin the car too fast. Which I do . So Joe videotaped us while Steve spun the car faster than I ever could!

We next went on Snow White’s Adventure, which was exactly the same as WDW’s old version of Snow White’s Scary Adventure, complete with multiple witches.

Haunted Mansion was next. The ride itself (narrated in Japanese) is almost the same as WDW’s, with just a few enhancements in the Corridor of Doors, plus their cemetery is more of a crypt and seems to be on a somewhat smaller scale. Their queue is also shaped differently from the other Disney parks’ HMs.

It was now lunchtime so we went to Pan Galactic Pizza Port, in Tomorrowland. It’s just a fast service pizza place, but on the 2nd floor they have an audioanimatronic alien named Tony, who is the proprietor of PGPP. He’s surrounded by the futuristic machine that makes his pizzas, which are guaranteed to be at your house in 20 millenniums, piping hot or it’s free. Unfortunately, Tony keeps getting interrupted by his boss, his wife, his workers, etc, who are depicted on video screens. It’s very cute.

We next crossed through World Bazaar to get to New Orleans Square. We soaked in some atmosphere and went on Pirates of the Caribbean. Although the queue is better at WDW, the ride itself reminds me of DL’s version.

Next was Adventureland and the Jungle Cruise ride. The queue is essentially the same as WDW’s or DL’s but without the background radio voice, “touch me” gags or the Adventurers Club’s Pamelia Perkins’ baggage (yes, I specifically checked ). The ride is also similar to what we’re familiar with. I’m sure the jokes are just as corny…all I understood was “Schweitzer.” The boat captain seemed to enjoy himself though . My favorite part was when he shot the hippo.

Our Fast Passes for Pooh were now ready but when we got there, we saw that the Stand By line was only 10 minutes…so we did Stand By first, in case we wanted to go on two times in a row. And WOW, are we glad we did it! Despite being Pooh, the ride was just incredible..when Tigger bounces, the cars AND the room bounces. They use computerized, non-track automation (remember what I said about using GPS in Aquatopia yesterday?) to allow 6 cars into the same room at the same time, go in different directions and experience different aspects of the room. They used laser beams. They used audioanimatronics. I’m not a Pooh fan by ANY stretch of the imagination, but as rides goes, this one is top rate and puts WDW’s and, I’m sure, DL’s versions to shame. Sigh…again and again…the wonderful quality of things things that can happen when people in suits are willing to spend money.

We crossed the park again and hit Splash Mountain (Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was closed at the time???). The track is different from WDW’s and DL’s and some of the AA’s are in different places, but it’s essentially the same ride we’re all used to. Only difference is the Japanese soundtrack, the smaller splash (many people get dressed up when they go to TDL so the splash stays down to keep peoples’ clothes nice) and the side-by-side seating system.

It was getting closer to the time when we’d want to queue up for the Dreamlights parade, so we started to work our way towards Toontown. On the way, we did the Castle Mystery Tour, which is a guided tour underneath Cinderella’s Castle. It’s narrated entirely in Japanese and now, after seeing it in 1994 and 2005, I still have no idea of the plot, other than good always wins over evil and the Horned King is in there. I dunno (shrug).

The line for Roger Rabbit’s Toontown Spin was 20 minutes long so we decided to hold off on that and Steve and I went on Gadget’s Go Coaster. Exactly the same as Stateside.

The Dreamlights Parade was scheduled for 7:30pm and at 6:15pm, people were already beginning to queue up. The path goes from Haunted Mansion (which is on the western edge of Fantasyland) to the Hub to Toontown (it can’t go down Main Street because they don’t have an actual Main Street…they have a World Bazaar, with a roof). At first we queued up at Toontown but when we realized the 7:30 parade wouldn’t get there until 8:15pm, we moved to the Haunted Mansion area. Much better planning.

Dreamlights is an updated version of Main Street Electrical Parade, which is my most favorite parade of all time. This version has more lights and different floats and music but the background music is still Baroque Hoedown, which gives the whole parade a MSEP feeling.

The guys were getting hungry by this point, so after the parade, we went to a counter service restaurant near Country Bears. They guys had stuff with curry and rice. I watched…wasn’t hungry.

After dinner, we split up in our separate ways. Joe said he was going back to the room to go to sleep (he’s catching a cold). Steve said he was going to catch some more rides. I went window shopping, in search of some stuff that people had asked me to look for. Was successful for some, not so successful for others.

Stopped off and saw the American silhouette guy again (he works long hours!). He asked me if I had been to TDL before because I looked familiar. I told him I had, but it was 11 years ago. Turned out he’s been working at TDL for 13 years, so he MIGHT remember me (he said not a whole lot of foreigners go there), or maybe he was just being polite. Anyway, when I get home I’m going to check my pictures and notes from my 1994 TDL trip and see if I have a picture or reference to him. He gave me his card with his email address. We’ll see.

I closed the park and it was nice to hear that they still use Jack Wagner’s voice for the “TDL is closing now, Go home,” message.

Back to the room and went to bed. I was TIRED! More when I can…

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