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d-r
03-11-2003, 10:57 PM
Hi you all,
I've been wanting to do a trip report for everyone about my visit to Tokyo Disneyland this past weekend; I've just flown into Okinawa from Tokyo and I have a pretty busy schedule here for the next few days, and because I have a lot to say it will take me a little while to write a trip report - but I wanted to say that I had a great time. Also, I was downloading some photos from digital camera to the laptop that I am using here, and I realized that a couple of them contained some scenes that you may have never seen from Tokyo Disney Seas - honestly, I think that most of the photos that I have seen on the internet were taken by people who really love Tokyo Disney, and shown by people who have a grudge against the US parks, especially DCA, and the combination of the two only shows the most beautiful views. Don't get me wrong here - it is a very beautiful park, but some of the things that I have seen posted on places like mouseplanet are a little bit misconceptions.

Also,I should say that I don't have a good graphics program here to re-size or crop photos, so I used windows paint brush to re-size, and I'm sorry if these are poor quality.

For example, on mouseplanet there was a page comparing photos of dca and TDS, and it was pointed out from TDS you couldn't see any surrounding areas or power lines or anything like that, where as in DCA, Anaheim creeps in. Well, I agree that Anaheim creeps in more than Tokyo, but you may not have seen pictures like this one before:

<img src = "http://www.msu.edu/~meece/lighthouse.jpg">

This is a view from the cape cod area. To help you with the scale, the lighthouse is probably about 20-24 feet high. The boat is the Disney Seas Steamer, which makes a route through the park with stations in most lands (rides go from station to station). Don't mistake this for a boat that goes "out of the park" it doesn't - the only transportation in areas outside of the park are the monorail and busses. To the right of the lighthouse, that is the Sheraton Hotel, one of the good neighbor hotels. To the left, that is an industial area of Tokyo, across the bay.

<img src = "http://www.msu.edu/~meece/med.jpg">

This is a photo from the Mediterrenean Harbor area. The buildings in the lower right are restaurants and shops. To the left, you can see an unthemed back-stage show building. I am not sure now what show building it is; maybe it is the back of the magic lamp theatre. Above the show building, you can see some industrial buildings, power line towers, and so on.

I chopped one picture in two for the next two:

<img src = "http://www.msu.edu/~meece/btm.jpg">
This is the walkway from Mediteranean Harbor to the Fortress exploration. Above the wall you can see several of the good neighbor hotels and Big Thunder Mt.

<img src = "http://www.msu.edu/~meece/lines.jpg">
The same sort of view, here you see some unthemed backstage buildings, power lines, etc.

Again, don't get me wrong - I didn't set out to make "Tokyo Disney Blues" sorts of pictures, these are just some that I had that I realized show some views pretty clearly that you may not have seen before on photos of TDS.

I honestly believe that there are some misconceptions about Tokyo Disney. For instance, I knew before going that Japanese people find it distasteful to eat while standing, and especially walking. I only figured out at TDS that they also find it distasteful to drink while standing or walking! I had read on the internet that there were no "push carts" in the parks, and this was stated as evidence of some sort of deeper commitment to "story" or "theming" in Tokyo. It's not. It's because people won't drink while standing or walking. In fact, this was uncomfortable for because I'm accostomed to being able to buy a bottled water or coke in the American parks. There are several permanent food stands, but they usually only have one or two items per stand (sushi roll, tea; sausage bun, tea; churro stick, tea; popcorn; two kinds of ice cream). And that is Japanese green tea, not a tall glass of Gramma's sweet tea. Also please know that those stands have long waits - lines of 30 minutes or more. There are some counter service restaurants, also with long waits, but these work differently than American ones (when I have more time to actually describe things I'll explain this more). In short, there are a couple of places where one can buy a bottled water or coke, and they are few and far between. This was unpleasant to me on a cool and windy day; I think it would be unbearable for most Americans on a summer day. Anyway, that is just an example of some things, as I said, I will write more when I have time. Also, please remember that I enjoyed the parks (truth be told, I enjoyed disneyland more than disneysea), and I am not bashing them at all -

DR

I had to edit to get the photos to load

CruellaDuVille
03-11-2003, 11:30 PM
Thank you for posting that. That was so interesting. I really like to see pictures from an honest point of view. Glad you had a good time, I'd like to check it out sometime too.

d-r
03-12-2003, 02:04 AM
Thanks.

I don't want to cause any misconceptions here, so let me be really clear that these are not typical views at Tokyo Disney Sea - I took probably 40 photos, and these are the only three that show any out of park views. These sorts of views are rare.

lodgelady
03-12-2003, 08:55 AM
So interesting!
Somewhere I saw a photo of a long line at TDS that was supposed to have been people waiting for french fries. I was astounded because Americans would NEVER have waited in such a long line. If the food and drink are as scarce as you say, the people were probably desperate!

Thanks for posting-can't wait for the rest of your trip report!

wtg2000
03-14-2003, 11:22 AM
Interesting photos. I just flipped through mine and didn't see any of this stuff but perhaps I just avoided it while taking the pictures.

As for Tokyo Bay, it can be seen from parts of American Waterfront and especially the Columbia. I believe this was intentional, to make it a natural extension of the waterways.

As for the pictures from Med Harbour, I'm curious to know where you are standing. In one photo you seem at the same level of the rooftops, and in one looking down on people. Did you take them from the Italian bridge?

If the food and drink are as scarce as you say, the people were probably desperate!

I believe there are more places to eat in TDS than perhaps any Disney park save EPCOT. The array of choices is amazing, and the food, service and decor are wonderful. There is no shortage of places to eat. The massive line on Mysterious Island is for these sausage buns. It is the only place you can get them (I believe) and the crowds love them. I am surprised they haven't opened another one (maybe they have since 2001). It's very wrong to get the impression that guests are desperate for somewhere to eat.

d-r
03-15-2003, 05:12 AM
Hi again,

OK. First I want to reiterate what I was trying to be clear about before – these aren’t “typical” views at TDS at all. They are rare, and I posted them only because I’ve seen things on the internet that basically said “unlike DCA, you can see no power lines or buildings from TDS.” I wasn’t trying to say that this is what the typical sightline is like.

It also occurred to me that it is still the last bit of wintery cool in Tokyo, so there may be less vegetation (But then again, if this was really the ultimate Disney park, that shouldn’t matter).

I got out the guidemap to help me tell you where those were.

The first one is the bridge from American waterfront to cape cod area. I get the thing about being able to see the bay, and across it (I don’t even think it is like being able to see paradise hotel from dca). I understood that, but that building in the top right corner of the picture is the Sheraton, one of the official hotels, right across the street not across the bay.

The picture with Med. Harbor in buildings in view is from that end of Med. Harbor – I don’t really know how to describe that more, sorry. There was more of the bottom of the buildings in the picture, down to the street level with people, but I cropped that out to make the photo smaller. Again, I only have paint brush on this laptop (not my own usual laptop) so I sized the pictures as best I could.

The other two are split in half from the same picture (so I only had three out of several photos). It is from a little outcropping at the end of Med. Harbor. There is a little loop around through the grape vines (which were strangely reminiscent of DCA ;) down to the water edge, and I was there because it was out of the way and off the main drag so a good crowd break. If you have a guidemap, you can see how that area faces to that walkway to the fortress. From the guidemap, it does look like that is the show building for Alladin. That is the walkway from med. Harbor to fortress exploration, before the chaldea starts – that wall is behind the walkway up to the Chaldea.

About the food. Gosh. This is another place I have to depart company, I think. On paper, it is great. Actually one of the really fun parts about planning to go was looking at all those restaurants and thinking about where to go. There sure are a lot of them, especially compared to DAK (where rain forest, which I don’t like, is the only sit-down, flametree is often closed, tusker house is OK but not great or anything, and restaurantsaurus is basic wdw pizza in a building where the best thing you can say about it is that it has an interesting paint job) or DCA (where they tried to have some more upscale things, but it didn’t work out, and what is left – burgers, tacos, hot dogs, burritos, fast food Chinese, etc. – sounds like a mall food court (hey, I guess it is California cuisine after all! ;) THAT IS A JOKE.

Anyway, there are all these great sounding restaurants there. I’ve explained before about the pushcarts and how hard it is to get a coke or water. Also, the stands don’t have much of a selection, only one or two things. The other places are very busy. Like I had lunch at Vulcania. I guess this is described as a “buffeteria.” There is a line up to the door, with them letting in people as space gets available. Fine. What I didn’t realize is that inside the restaurant is another winding cue up to the buffeteria line (I don’t know a word for that – you take a tray and slide it down the rail, and ask for what you want and they give it to you)!

Also, I’ve noticed that a lot of the food in Japan is Japanese interpretations of food. You know how people always talk about ethnic food in America as being “Americanized.” Same sort of thing. So Vulcania is listed as a Chinese restaurant, it is a Japanese version of Chinese (I’d had that before, and sort of expected it). The quality, to me, wasn’t any better than fast food Chinese. I had the shrimp, which were OK, and I went ahead and got a side dish of rice (in Japan, unless a dish comes on rice, like curried rice, it is unsightly to put rice from the sidebowl into your main dish and get it in the sauce or anything, so you eat the rice separately. Not really like Chinese food I’m used to, but OK.) It wasn’t nearly as good as say, 9 dragons, and a lot of folks don’t think that 9 dragons is that great. I had much, much, much, much better food in other areas of Tokyo than I had in the parks. It was just OK. I guess it was probably about 12 bucks, so it wasn’t too much to expect a lot I guess.

Another example was the Teddy Rosevelt Lounge thing. This sounds like a great idea to me! Right up my ally!! But it wasn’t a lounge, it was a restaurant serving sandwiches that happened to serve kirin. So the line to the door was out to the lobby, out of the ship. Too much trouble for a kirin, to me.

I guess what I enjoyed most was the curried rice at hungry bear at TDL. The meat was a basic preformed patty, but I was hungry! I’d had Japanese curried rice in other places, so I knew that it is mild by my standards, and so I was happy that I ordered it spicy, since it was still very mild. Not the best, but still very filling.

Honestly, if someone was a picky eater, I don’t know if they’d be very happy in TDS. Again, I had a lot better food (both Japanese food and Japanese interpretations of other foods) outside the parks.

You know, the thing I wrote above about “the ultimate Disney park” is probably very telling. Perhaps I am guilty of having impossibly high expectations about this park.
DR

d-r
03-15-2003, 05:16 AM
Originally posted by thedscoop
Thanks for the post. I too do not take any "delight" or such in any of these type examples of TDS. I'll probably never make it over there (unless business one day calls), but I still am very glad that OLC gave its guests such a great park.

I also agree that, even with these views, etc., OLC appears to be a substantially better park than DCA.

However, all that being said, it is very helpful to hear both your view and WTG's views to get a better picture of the whole park than simply the pub photos, er, I mean mouseplanet photos ;) (Just kidding everyone...)

Anyhow, these pictures only further solidify why WDW is Disney's best and most potential filled asset--namely, its the only location where the "buffer" really exists.

For that, I applaud Walt and all of his decision-makers on the Florida Project for realizing that a major part of the magic is immersion and immersion is often confounded by urban proximity.

Hey Scoop, did I ask you how bout them Tigers?

I agree with you 100% about the wdw buffer. Don't get me wrong though, TDS does a much better job with sightlines than DCA, and these are extreme exceptions other than the rule.

Thinking about the landlocked nature of TDL resort, though. Right now I'm in Okinawa, the largest island in a group that is Japan's southern most prefecture. The weather is much like Florida, it is about a 2 hour plane ride from Tokyo or Osaka or Nagasaki, a little more from like Sapporo. As I flew down, there were lots of Japanese tourist groups coming here. LOTS. Groups. People here have told me that "Okinawa is the Hawaii of Japan." And I say, "No, Hawaii is the Hawaii of Japan. Okinawa is more like Japan's Florida." But that made me think about no big park here. If I was the OLC and making lots of yen from TDL resort, I'd build a park here in Okinawa, on the beach.

DR

wtg2000
03-15-2003, 08:06 AM
It seems like TDS is much busier now. I went in Oct/Nov 2001 a couple months after it had opened. I never had to line up for food. There are just so many restaurants, and the seating is so large I had no trouble. I just walked right up to every place and was served right away. Same for the China Traders in TDL.

As for WDW sightlines, it's too bad they ruined the World Showcase sky by sticking the Swan and Dolphin behind it. There they had a choice.