Saturday, June 7, 2014

Tokyo Disneyland: General

You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality. - Walt Disney

The Arrival

Mike and I woke up early and caught the early metro to Disneyland. Unlike in the U.S., Japan does not have the landmass to waste on acres of parking. Therefore, Japan Rail (JR) will quickly transport you to Disneyland at an affordable price (¥210 for us). We mused over the convenience since we were use to driving into Disney World, paying an outrageous parking fee to then forget whether we parked in "Villians" or "Heros."

Click for a closer view of Tokyo Disney Resort 

When we arrived at the station, the metro doors opened to soft Disney music and signs that directed visitors to either Disneysea or Disneyland. We walked past the ticket counter, made a brief stop at Mickey's passport, and then headed straight to "security." At Disney World, you have to open up every compartment of your bag for inspection but in Japan you show them your barely opened bag, and you're politely admitted in.

Loving this passport!

The Layout

The main entrance looked very similar to the Magic Kingdom. Here, various Disney characters, such as Mickey, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and others, greeted and took pictures with guests. Although we wanted a picture with Mickey, we wasted no time and went straight the Pirates of the Caribbean. It's tradition! As we walked to the Pirates of the Caribbean, the feeling of familiarity quickly vanished as we pass through the World Bazar instead of Mainstreet USA. That's right! No Mainstreet USA or Liberty Square!

What's this? It's the World Bazar!

There wasn't much to the World Bazar aside from shops and restaurants. My only criticism was that there was no merchandise with the words "Tokyo Disney," aside from tins of chocolate. In my mind, I pictured a vintage Mickey sweater with the words "Tokyo Disneyland" written on the front. Hell, I would have settled for a tote bag! Anything really! But there was nothing! Absolutely nothing! Judgement!

Something like this but with the Tokyo Disneyland logo

Although Tokyo Disneyland had several more "lands" than the Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland was about 1/3 of Magic Kingdom's size, and it did not feel as though I was walking across the Pacific to get from one point to another.

Here is a breakdown of the lands:

The Food

There was nothing vastly surprising about the food at Tokyo Disneyland (and no, there was no sushi). The only thing that stood out, in particular, was something very unJapanese - popcorn! Popcorn is the staple snack food at Tokyo Disneyland. What I saw wasn't your standard buttered, salted, or caramel popcorn, it was sea salt, soy sauce, curry, and honey flavored crazed concoctions. I found out later that the popcorn flavors change seasonally to include flavors like banana, chocolate, strawberry, and others. But it wasn't just the popcorn that caught my attention, it was the popcorn buckets as well. For only a few dollars, you could buy a popcorn bucket to carry your popcorn and eat from it all day. It had a long strap so that you could carry it like a purse and munch away while waiting in line. What I found extremely interesting was that everyone and their mothers had a popcorn bucket. They even had mini-sized popcorn buckets so that you could match with you (insert whatever Disney character) plushie.  I'm not into cheap souvenirs, but I felt every out of place without one.

Here are some examples:


Those buckets though!

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