Saturday, January 29, 2005

Fun...for kids of all ages

I dont't care what people say, it dosen't matter how old you are Disneyland is always fun.

As you may have guessed from the photos that is where Etsuko and I went yesterday. Luckily Etsuko chose to take me to Disneyland with the tickets she got as a Christmas present.

Tokyo Disney is about 20 minutes by train from my apartment. We hit the doors at opening time and inserted our ticket into the slot which then spat out a ‘Passport’. I think they call it a ‘Passport’ because like with a real Passport without it you are stuffed. I managed to keep a tight reign on it and only lose it a couple of times.

Now for those people who have been to Disneyland in Los Angeles you have basically been to Tokyo Disney. The layout is the same and there is no variation in the fixtures and buildings. There were only a couple of minor changes from the Disney that I knew in LA. The first was the temperature, as I recall it I was rather hot in LA Disneyland, but even in my woolly hat and jersey I was still rather cold. There were also a couple of new rides, which I would presume have also been included now in the LA park. Another was the signs being in both English and in Japanese. Also the food options are quite different and the helpings are smaller – not the prices though although compared to the rest of Tokyo actually quite similar. The biggest difference was the people probably 97% Japanese and a huge number of them came dressed in Mickey attire, not just the children either. It would appear that there is a large number of return business there, a number of people had year long passes which allow them entry every day if they want it!

The first stage of the day was watching a Parade called ‘Disney Princess Procession’ where, according to the Disney website “Minnie Mouse is transformed into a charming princess and throws a gorgeous garden party for the Disney princesses and Guests. The event's entertainment program features a colorful, flower-filled greeting by the Disney princesses and their retinues. The procession also makes three stops at points along the parade route and invites female guests to learn an elegant dance with their favorite Disney princesses.” A couple of points of information from this…firstly ‘retinue’ is “a body of people who travel with and attend an important person” and secondly even though I really wanted a dance with my favourite Disney Princess they are strict on the female aspect of the requirement, it didn’t matter that I was wearing a skirt.

After the show the little paper stars which are used in the parade were eagerly picked up by people after a cheap souvenir. Mine is pink.

We then managed to hit a few of the rides, a couple were closed and unfortunately I wasn’t able to go on the ‘Small World’ ride. Endless repetition of ‘It’s a small world after all….’ Was pretty bad in LA and bugger doing it in Tokyo when the song is in Japanese!! Unfortunately the Big Thunder Railroad was also closed, and Peter Pans flight. I imagine that due to the low crowd numbers (low in Disney terms, it felt like half of Tokyo was there) they decided to cut a few of the less popular or labour intensive rides out.

I managed to do a couple of things that I didn’t do in LA including the Mark Twain Steamboat and ‘Pooh’s Hunny Hunt’, actually I don’t think the Hunny Hunt was around in LA. The Hunny Hunt ride was rather fascinating as the ‘carts’ that you ride in aren’t on rails and they move freely in a preprogrammed choreographed flight with the other carts on the ride. A real marvel of technology. Also the new Buzz Light Year, Astro Blaster ride was very popular in terms of people queuing but mainly it was rather disappointing as it was one of those rides that you sit in and have to shoot the aliens. Incidentally I beat Etsuko in this feat by about 10000 points. I guess I know who they will ask to become a space ranger should the need ever arise!!

Of course we had to pay our respect to Mr. Mouse or Mickey as he is known.

We then watched Disney-Dreams on Parade, which is basically all the Disney characters together in a parade. It was pretty cool to see all the characters that I have grown up with and some new ones too.

We were lucky enough to win seats, via a free lottery, to Cinderella’s coronation presented in a mix of Japanese and English with all the important Disney couples represented, including Beauty and the Beast, the cartoon version not Zeta-Jones and Douglas. The setting of the show was in front of the Castle which was lit up beautifully, unfortunately the cold weather made the show slightly less engaging.

Then it was off to the gift shop along with about 20 000 other Tokyoites. Disney is amazing – especially at emptying your wallet!


Post a Comment

<< Home