Saturday, June 21, 2014

Tokyo Disneyland: The Rides

There's a great big beautiful tomorrow shinning at the end of every day. There's a great big beautiful tomorrow, and tomorrow is just a dream away. - Carousel of Progress

Unfortunately the Carousel of Progress isn't featured in Tokyo Disneyland, but below I break down the differences of some of my favorite rides to their Magic Kingdom counterparts!

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Location: Adventureland; to the left of Splash Mountain.
Queue: Outside queue was identical to the Magic Kingdom, but inside the was slightly smaller
Language: Japanese and the English "Howdy Folks!" Instructions
Ride: The ride was nearly identical to the one found at the Magic Kingdom, but the drops did not seem as high.

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters

Location: Tomorrowland
Queue: The queue for this ride was mirrored, because guest enter from the opposite side.
Language: Japanese. Buzz Lightyear spoke Japanese, but his mouth moved to English words. Ouch!
Ride: Identical to the Magic Kingdom.
Side note: Mike talked so much shit, and lost. Lol Also, sponsored by Fujifilm!

That score though!

Haunted Mansion 

Location: Fantasyland (No Liberty Square at Tokyo Disneyland)
Queue: There were several differences to the queue. The first was the absence of the horseless carriage. Instead, two large Gargoyles peered over the entrance gate. The exterior was much more worn with broken gates and windows. Instead of an interactive queue, small patches with tombstones (including the pet cemetery) divided the queue. Moreover, Madame Leota’s and Master Gracey’s tomb were absent.
Language: Japanese (except for Madam Leota and the little Leota found at the end of the ride). 
Ride: Almost identical to the Haunted Mansion at the Magic Kingdom. Differences include a stagnant Madam Leota, and the older version of the Bride in the Attic and Hitchhiking Ghosts. Also, the ghosts that pop up behind graves were arranged differently and gave me quite a scare
Note: This is one of my favorite rides at Disney for various reasons. As a kid, I believed that, for a moment, I was actually taking a tour of a haunted house; and I remember being particularly traumatized over the idea of the Hitchhiking Ghost. What I particularly loved about this ride were the “actors.” As a kid, they would torment me by standing close and intensely staring at me during the stretching room scene.  As I got older, the “actors” found new ways to scare me. The one time I went with my cousin, a particularly creepy actor ushered us into a Doom Buggie. Right before we entered the first scene, the actor popped out from the side with manic eyes and told us “Have a nice time.” He got a good scream out of the both of us.
WTF Moment: The actors at Tokyo Disneyland ushered us in with the most polite and cheery Japanese humanly possible. Lame!

Pirates of the Caribbean

Location: Adventureland 
Language: Mainly English, except for the talking skull before the small drop 
Queue: The queue took place inside, what appeared to be, a small house with only small paintings of pirate ships reflecting the ride's theme. 
Ride: The first portion of the ride passed through a scene of  what looked like the Louisiana bayou. It was very odd and unCaribbean. The ride was extremely similar to the one found in the Magic Kingdom, but a few scenes were mirrored because we entered through the opposite side. There was also an additional scene with a large amount of treasure, skeletons, and a never-ending chess game. The ride was almost entirely in English, and I wondered if anyone  understood the difficult pirate lingo. 
Note: The ride was sponsored by Kirin Beer! Kampai!

Lousiana-ish swamp lands

Space Mountain

Location: Tomorrowland 
Language: No dialogue
Queue: Missing from Tokyo Disneyland were the interactive queues, the clearly-made-in-the-90's warning video, and the Omega and Beta Track. Instead, the queue featured a gigantic space ship!
Ride: The ride was completely different from the one in Magic Kingdom, starting with the cars, which were made for double riders. The beginning scenes were different and did not include a look into outdated mannequins fixing a spaceship. Instead, it looked like a blue room where the car charged for launch. The ride itself was ridiculously fast, with many twist and turns. There were a lack of dips, but what made up for that was the complete darkness. I couldn’t see a thing!
WTF Moment: Having to tolerate the rudest foreigners who had no concept of personal space.

Splash Mountain

In Japanese: I'm sorry if you get wet

Location: Critter Country (probably the only ride in Critter Country)
Language: Japanese
Queue: The entrance consisted of a barn with a large water wheel that lead into a cave. Inside, Bre'r Owl told the story of Bre'r Rabbit (Usagi-dono) in the most unintelligible Japanese imaginable.
Ride: Most of the scenes, except for the ones before and after the drop, were rearranged and mirrored. The Tokyo Disneyland version of this ride also used lap bars. Moreover, the final drop was noticeably lower than the one in the Magic Kingdom.
Note: I wondered if anyone in Japan understands the connection between the ride and black Southern culture.

The Enchanted Tiki Room: Stitch Present Aloha E Komo Mai

Location: Adventureland
Language: Japanese, Hawaiian, and a few English phrases.
Queue: Although the building was identical to the one found in the Magic Kingdom, just outside lied Stitch's crashed spaceship. Inside the queue Stitches footprints led to a hole in the roof. Also, although the set up was there, it lacked the queue's pre-show.
Ride: Because the differences between the traditional show and when it was under management differ greatly to Stitch's Tiki Room, I decided to include a video for you to watch and enjoy. Spoiler Alert! It's the whole show with English subtitles. Enjoy!

Note: Lilo and Stitch became so popular in Japan that they created their own show where Stitch crash lands on an (fake) Okinawan island called Izayoi. The Japanese version of the show continues to mix Hawaiian culture (especially the ohana concept), but also showcases Okinawan culture. I'm sure Stitch's popularity has waned over the years in Mainland Japan, but he is still very popular in Okinawa.

He brought The Ugly Duckling with him!

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