Thursday, July 14, 2011

De zu ni ra n do (Tokyo Disney)

Last month, the kids and I experienced "The Happiest Place on Earth" at Tokyo Disney.  It was perfect timing since we went on a weekday when the Japanese children were in school.  We only had to wait in line outside of Disney for about 45 minutes.  We've learned to be more patient here.  The Japanese wait patiently in long lines and don't complain.  Such great role models for us foreigners.  

Patiently waiting.

I liked the size of Tokyo Disney.  I had heard from many that it was very small compared to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA.  I thought it was comparable, since they had the rides we wanted to go on such as:  Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Thunder Mountain, It's a Small World, Jungle Cruise, Tom Sawyer's Island, Haunted Mansion, and Space Mountain (although it has been since closed since last year).  There was also lots of shopping/gift stores near the entrance, in World Bazaar (like Main Street) and a good variety of food carts and places to eat.  

People of all ages were wearing Disney head wear.  There were the typical mouse ears, but many variations I'd never seen before.  The Japanese love Disney and I could tell they were really into it.  Many childless couples and groups of friends were seen with coordinating mouse ears.  So kawaii-ne (cute)!

Goofy hat.

While there were many similarities, there were also some differences compared to Disneyland back in the states.  Here are just some differences I observed:
  • There wasn't a Matterhorn.
  • There are various popcorn vendors in the park where you can buy interesting flavored popcorn (curry, caramel, soy and butter, honey...) and you can get refills in your reusable bucket for a small fee. 
  • You can take the train from Tokyo directly to Disney.  This was so convenient especially if you don't want to drive your car.
  • People laid out their blankets in the street (not in the way of pedestrians) to eat their lunch or to have a break.  I also think that some people did this later in the evening to see the parade.
  • I did not see any souvenir shop where you could have you name inscribed onto your mouse ears.  
The boys and I.  When we go to Disney Sea, it will be all 5 of us!

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