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SpaceMountain_uk
03-13-2003, 12:05 PM
here is the link to the msg board with the news,

http://www.mouse-studios.com/dc/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=4&topic_id=5089

and here is the concept art,

apparently it will be located in american waterfront, and the coaster will be in lost river delta.

Looks very impressive,

http://www.asahi.com/business/update/0312/images/biz0312005.jpg

SpaceMountain_uk
03-13-2003, 12:29 PM
heres a BIG version of the concept art, looks really cool!!!

http://www.olc.co.jp/news_parts/20030312.jpg

wtg2000
03-13-2003, 02:34 PM
Thanks. I'm a major TDS fan, having visited for several days in Oct/Nov 2001. This takes an amazing park and makes it even better.

TOT was in the original model for the park, and LRD does need another attraction as the fastpass overflow for Indy creates a bit of a logjam.

I can hardly wait to go back!

larworth
03-13-2003, 03:18 PM
The addition of a ToT would not be a surprise. Seems like this has been a rumored addtion for sometime. While the architecture shown is closer in style to WDW, can someone tell by the ante buildings if the DCA or WDW layout (with or without 5th dimension room) is being depicted here? The replication economics must be pretty great for OLC to build the DCA version.

Wish there had been some concept art for the coaster based attraction. Curious if this is another clone (RnR, Indy at DLP) or if it is a new design?

SpaceMountain_uk
03-13-2003, 03:28 PM
by the looks of things the 5th dimension room will not be used here either

the WDW tower is sandwhiched between two extra buildings, the building in the back of the tower where this show element takes place, and the building in the front area.

As you can see from the concept art there is only 1 additional building added to the front, just like DCA.

The architecture looks alot better on this one than any of the others, LOVE those huge smashed windows, instead of elevator doors!!!

Demosthenes
03-13-2003, 04:43 PM
Originally posted by SpaceMountain_uk
The architecture looks alot better on this one than any of the others, LOVE those huge smashed windows, instead of elevator doors!!!

I admit that the art looks good, but does smashed windows make sense here? Is the story the same as TOT @ WDW? If it is, why would service elevators be placed next to large arched windows?

d-r
03-13-2003, 06:56 PM
Actually, I think this will really help TDS.

I've noticed folks referring to DAK and maybe other parks too, as 1/2 day parks. I think that TDS is really a 1/2 day park, but it is so crowded you end up staying more than 1/2 day. When I visited, I would have probably left by 2 if the park had been at wdw; instead it was in Tokyo, and it is harder for me to get to, so I took a deep breath and stayed longer. These two things will really help, and are consistent with that model that we have sort of become accostomed to, even though we probably don't like it, of opening a park and expanding it a couple of years later. Now if they can just get the DAK expansion going - dinorama didn't really cut it.

wtg2000
03-13-2003, 08:29 PM
I think that TDS is really a 1/2 day park,

Sorry, but I really have to disagree with this. Compare line-ups.

DAK has three shows (Tarzan, Lion King, bird show)
TDS has three shows (Broadway, Mystic, Mermaid - that's over an hour just of show time.)

DAK has Dinosaur
TDS has Indy Jones

DAK has Bug's Life
TDS has Aladdin show

DAK has Safari
TDS has 20,000 (best comparison)

DAK has Kali
TDS has Stormrider

DAK has the trails
TDS has Fortress Exploration (I spent an hour in there)

Beyond this, TDS has the gondola, all of Mermaid Lagoon, the carousel, Aquatopia, Sindbad, Journey, not to mention the day and night time shows. There's also the boat ride (which DAK dropped) and the transit steamer, and just so many terrific places to walk around and see.

I guess DAK also has the Dino area which I haven't seen yet.

I spent more than four days at TDS and had to be dragged out of there. For an opening day park it had more to do than I've ever seen. You're right though, crowds do have an impact. When I visited IOA I did leave about 3pm after having ridden Spiderman five times and Dueling Dragons five or six times. I was getting dizzy! Crowds were zero.

With no crowds, I could blow through any MK pretty quickly too. TDS has more re-ride attractions for me than any other park, and certainly more quality rides and shows than any park (not to mention all the awesome eateries). And to think it could get better.

d-r
03-13-2003, 09:56 PM
I disagree with you, because I said "I think." :)

I was on Tokyo for business primarily, and so I wasn't staying at one of the on-site hotels. But the hotel I was at did happen to be a good nieghbor hotel, with a free shuttle bus, which left at 6:30. So I was at the gate with a ticket about 7:10, with the park opening at 8.

When it opened, I walked (unlike my Japanese compatriots) to Journey to the Center of the Earth; it was about 10 minutes stand-by wait when I got there. After that, I got a fast-pass with a 10 O'clock return to 20K leagues. During that time, I rode Sinbad, which still had a short line, and Storm Rider, which was still only about a 45 minute stand-by line, because most people were in the Chaldea. Then I rode 20K leagues, and got a fast-pass for Indiana Jones with a 1:00 return. During those three hours, I walked through the shops in Mediterreanean Harbor, the Fortress Exploration, ate lunch at Vulcania around 11:30. Around 12, my fast-pass two-hour window was up, and I got one for Magic Lamp. Then I walked through Mermaid Lagoon (now I didn't ride the kiddie rides here. Just as I wouldn't wait for Dumbo on a busy Disneyland day, I didn't wait for the kelp cups or balloon race or jelly fish. If you have kids, YMMV here of course), and returned to Indiana about 1:00, but it was broken down. The park was starting to get really crowded now. I was really glad that I ate at 11:30. By now fast passes were gone for the day for 20K leagues and Journey, and the standby lines were worse than the sausage bun line. With Indiana down, I walked back through discoveryland, and into Cape Cod and America Land, and looked around there for a while. About 2, I thought about going to the Teddy Roosevelt Lounge and having a beer, basically because this is what I would have done if I was in wdw and it was this busy. But the Teddy Roosevelt lounge isn't a lounge in the sense that we are used to (see the Contemporary deck thread) it was a restaurant, with a line out of it and stretching out of the ship. But I got to look around the ship this way.

At this point, if I had been at disneyland CA or WDW, I would have left. There is no question in my mind about that. I almost left anyway, and I spent about an hour sitting and watching the aquasphere talking myself out of it. To me, that is as much of a 1/2 day park as anything in WDW, because it was 1/2 day (2:00)and I was ready to go. I talked myself out of it, because I don't get to Japan every day.

I walked around and looked in more stores and stuff. I watched the afternoon water pagent thing which was amazingly goofy. After that, I thought about the Encore show, but after the water thing I wasn't too sure about it. I was standing there looking at the line, and I thought "I can wait here an hour until the next show and watch Japanese intrepretations of scenes from Broadway musicals, or I can go outside the park, call a cab, and go to a Japanese dentist." I'm sure the show is very good, but I was pretty sure it wasn't my thing, so I didn't wait to see that.

I wondered around until about 6, watching people. So from 2-6 I really didn't do anything. I guess I "walked around and explored" the same things over and over. I had dinner, went back to Indiana Jones, I had picked up a fast pass for little mermaid show which I watched at about 7. Then I went back to Arabian Coast and Magic Lamp Theatre and waited standby until about 9, then I rode Aquatopia (I'm so glad I waited until almost closing when the line died down on this instead of waiting for a few hours, it is pretty lame).

The only thing I didn't do were the kiddie rides, and the "transportation" rides. I don't ride main street vehicles in wdw or disneyland. The transit steamers had long lines at each station, were packed, and only go from station to station until you get off. This seemed more punishment than fun to me, and I declined. Same with the trolly, which goes from America to port discovery. Though I did sit underneath it for a while in a quieter place, and I did watch the transit steamer boats for quite a bit. This is my opinion, but these aren't much of rides - the reason they took those boats out of DAK was because they were packed, long waits, and just went from one station to another - just like the ones at TDS. In America, people would complain. For me, I had been on enough crowded Japanese public transportation already.

With the crowd levels, it could easily take a whole day to do everything.

I would compare like this:
Indiana Jones > Dinosaur
Safari > Journey
20k leagues = Kali
Shows = shows (without seeing encore, so fwiw)
stormrider >= trails: pangoni and asia and prehistoric trails (both simulated experiences. As far as time, it would take much longer to do the trails than stormrider. As far as simulated experiences, neither set is very convincing. Both are fun though).
primeval whirl = aquatopia
conservation station, camp minnie mickey, dig site= mermaid lagoon exploration and fortress exploration
mermaid lagoon kiddie rides > triceretop spin (big tds win here)
Tough to be a bug > alladin
tree of life > aquasphere
train ride = electric trolly
There was only the day time show the day I was there (a Saturday), which would = the mickey jungle parade

I don't know about evening show, there wasn't one.

cool places to walk around and explore (other wise known as big honking empty places with nothing to do:) = cool places to walk around and explore

Gondola wasn't operating while I was there so I don't know.

TDS has Sinbad, and DAK doesn't have a dark ride, so TDS wins here.

But you are right, since DAK dropped the boats, TDS has that, and DAK doesn't have a carousel. It seems like a lot of people consider DAK a 1/2 day park, so I'm not sure that boats and a carousel would go from a 1/2 day park to a whole day; would adding a kiddie land like a bug's land, a dark ride (along the lines of a more modern version of its a small world) and a carousel, and re-opening the boats "fix" DAK to a whole day park? Would those additions satisfy folks? If so, I guess they can do it much more cost effectively than I thought, and I guess they can go ahead and scrap those e-ticket plans :(

Just as something like beastly kingdom or forbidden mt. would help DAK fill out, a roller coaster and TOT would help TDS fill out. That was my point. I only wish that they would announce two e-tickets for DAK :( They really need an attraction in American Waterfront, and a second e-ticket in river delta could really help balance out that land with the other lands. There is a big loop of walkway to nowhere, on the other side of Indiana Jones, so I'm guessing they will add it to this area.

I'm glad that they announced these for TDS because this gives me a reason to come back in a few years. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't.

DR

wtg2000
03-14-2003, 07:12 AM
The Transit Steamer at TDS is used as transportation to get from the front of the park to LRD, and vice versa. It's also a very scenic ride giving a different perspective on the approach to LRD, and especially going right through the volcano. I never had the opportunity to ride the one in DAK but it didn't seem to go anywhere or have anything on it to see.

It's too bad you missed Mystic Rhythms. I saw this several times and consider it my favourite Disney stage show. ENCORE was also excellent, the theatre itself worth seeing.

There was a nighttime show on the lagoon with the volcano spewing and doing other stuff. I'm not sure if it's gone or re-tooling.

To me, that is as much of a 1/2 day park as anything in WDW, because it was 1/2 day (2:00)and I was ready to go

Well, I can't argue with you there. If you're ready to go, then you're ready to go. I guess if someone was ready to go at noon, then to them it would be a 1/3 day park. I guess for me it was a 4-day park! :)

d-r
03-14-2003, 07:30 AM
HI wtg2000,
I can't argue with you, either, and I'm not trying!

Remember that everytime that people say that DAK is a 1/2 day park, there is someone who loves it so much they say that they can spend days just walking around and looking at the scenary. My point was never that TDS is a bad park - it is a great park! I think that the two e-tickets will help it though, and that it can use them (and DAK sure could). That's why I was saying if DAK was 1/2 day, then TDS is, too. They are both beautiful and fun parks.

The boats that were at DAK were used as transportation from one point to another, too. They did have scenary, in fact a few things (previewing the never-to-arrive Beastly Kingdom) that were viewable only from the boat. They played around with ways to try to make it more entertaining, including a "broadcast" of radio disney "from the tree of life," and bringing on animal exhibits and handlers. It just never caught on. People didn't realize that it was for transportaton from one side of the park to the other, and it was so crowded and busy they got upset when they learned it. That's why I don't think the transit steamers would go over with Americans - they are crowded and busy, just like the DAK boats were. It was easier for DAK to just get rid of them than to deal with all the guest complaints.

I know that the boats would be a fun way to get around, but the lines were so long - do you understand what I mean about already being on enough crowded transportation so that it didn't seem like it would be fun?

I probably should have went to the show, I just couldn't do it.

DR

mjstaceyuofm
03-14-2003, 07:32 AM
D-R, Thank you for the comparison. It was extremely enlightening for those of us who have absolutely no desire to vacation on the other side of the planet, but are also Disney fans.

It's nice to know that it is a nice park, but nothing you described would make me spend however much $ it would take to vacation over there. (plane tix, passport, lodging, park tickets, etc.... I'd imagine it'd be a hefty cost to vacation in Tokyo for a week...)

Thanks.

One last thing though... Maybe I didn't catch it in your posts, but how did the "atmosphere" compare with the likes of WDW's MK, MGM, DAK, and Epcot? Similar, better, worse???

All Aboard
03-14-2003, 08:14 AM
DR, I'm very interested in your take of the theming. From what I read, seems folks should by awestruck by the detail. I'd like to read your reaction.

The Japanese folks seem to have no problem with the huge queues and the apparent shortage of attractions compared to crowd levels. Despite this fact, OLC is adding two e-tix. Seems the motivation is to keep guest satisfaction as high as possible. That's excellent.

wtg2000
03-14-2003, 08:58 AM
The Japanese folks seem to have no problem with the huge queues and the apparent shortage of attractions compared to crowd levels.

New things tend to draw crowds. I remember lining up for miles to ride Disneyland's Indy Jones, and new rides at WDW also get long, long lines. People realize that they are going to have to line up when something is new. I don't think it's endemic to the Japanese.

I also don't think there's really a shortage of attractions compared to crowd levels - at least not anything out of the ordinary. I didn't find the lines any worse than past years at WDW over Chirstmas or Easter.

As for TDS itself - I was completely awestruck by the park. The detail is amazing and there are tons of wonderful nooks and crannies to explore. Standing in Med Harbor gazing up at Mt. Promethus is perhaps the coolest site in any Disney park, except for maybe standing inside the volcano itself - with people screaming on Journey, steam pouring off the caldera, the transit steamer whistle blowing, geysers shooting up from the water. For me, the park had more atmosphere than any Disney park, which each section setting a distinct mood, from the chaos of the volcano to the serentiy of the New England village.

Just getting to Journey and 20,000 is great fun and I almost enjoyed lining up. There's so much more to say but not enough time.

By comparison, I found the new Walt Disney Studios in Paris to be an embarrassment - but that's another story.

(by the way - I've been to every Disney except DCA)

All Aboard
03-14-2003, 09:54 AM
Scoop, it's just my own logic connection. I read many reports and stories of very long queues at the Tokyo parks, even the story about the sausage cart.

What I was trying to say was that it seems that the park is hugely popular and has no problem attracting guests right now. And, from what I've read, the folks don't seem to be discouraged by the huge queus. So, the cost conscious manager would likely opt to reap the benefits. Yet, they are actually adding two e-tix.

Is this in response to the notion that perhaps the guests will, in fact, get fed up with the queues? Or, perhaps they think that they can actually cram even more guests in the park with new attractions? Or, is it some other thought pattern?

larworth
03-14-2003, 11:39 AM
I was a little taken aback by the reported cost for these two projects

ToT @ $180 million
Spinning Coaster @ $70 million

I thought the DCA version was going to come in somewhere in the $75-100 million range. Maybe they include more site preparation costs in their numbers. Or they are putting in some really nice extras??

At this price the spinning coaster attraction clearly won't be a clone of Primeval Whirl. Could there be any similarity with the FM project for DAK. I don't think I've ever heard anybody mention spinning when talking FM? I'm really curious now to see what they have in mind!

ChrisFL
03-14-2003, 12:07 PM
I recall watching either the TDS or the Universal show in Japan they had on the Travel channel, where they showed the thousands of guests standing outside the gates before opening.

So, the employees opened the gates, but didn't tell the guests to come in, everyone stood there quite patiently, and they all went in very gradually, no pushing, etc.

So, in that respect it seems that they're much calmer than us when it comes to waiting around.

SpaceMountain_uk
03-14-2003, 12:21 PM
by the looks of things the TDS tower is alot more elaborately designed than the DCA version, therefore costs will be much higher. also i dont think it will be the hollywood tower hotel, as there is nothing showing the HTH logo on the building, i think they may get a new storyline.

Another Voice
03-14-2003, 12:28 PM
The lines and other issues at DisneySea are exactly the same issues that occurred at Tokyo Disneyland when it first opened decades ago. It has nothing to do with differences in taste or expectations – and absolutely nothing to do with the lame "different market" canard to explain away why DisneySea is successful and California Adventure failed.

Trying to avoid being insensitive, it's really an issue about how the Japanese and American cultures view waiting and dealing with the unknown. Crowds are a fact of life in Japan and have been for a century. One trip through the subway in Tokyo shows that many there will daily accept conditions that Americans would find intolerable for even a few minutes. The New York City subway can get busy, but it has never employed stuffers to cram people on the trains. Certainly waiting an hour for a sausage bun seems nothing to a not-untypical three hour daily commute into Tokyo. In the U.S., someone who waits three seconds after the light turns green is likely to get an SUV up their bumper.

Second was something found right off at Tokyo Disneyland. A long line is taken to be an indication that something is popular, which is the same as saying something is good. For many years after opening 'Dumbo' was an immensely popular ride at TDL (often with lines over 3 hours). For a while there were plans to build a second or a double decked 'Dumbo' ride to handle the crowds. It's a cultural difference – a crowd will deter an American from waiting in line because we hate delays and lots of people; there is no stigma attached to a long wait in Japan and it's even seen as a positive sign.

At TDL there were other issues related to what was politely called "openness". Americans, by and large, tend to be more adventurous than others and will eagerly run into a building without having any knowledge about what the ride is. In Japan, however, the most popular rides started out as the ones that could be seen from the outside or that could be amply explained to the guests before they decided to ride the attraction. Early on it was even difficult to get people into 'It's A Small World'. Over the years, of course, the returning guests to TDL have become familiar with the attractions and the traffic patterns are similar to the stateside parks.

DisneySea, however, came complete with a whole new constellation of attractions and the same pattern developed. Those rides with exterior elements are the most popular, those mostly that were hidden struggle somewhat. But educating the guests and a couple decades experience and trust with Disney theme parks have softened the problems at DisneySea from what they were at Tokyo Disneyland.

All of these differences are simply in how guests view the parks. There are very few differences about why the guests go to the park in the first place. The same shows that are popular here tend to be popular over there (Japan remains the number one overseas market for American movies). Just because they line up for twenty minutes to buy sweetened popcorn doesn't mean California Adventure would have worked over there, or DisneySea would have been a flop here.


P.S. Hmm.... perhpas the reason the "spinning coaster" is so "cheap" is because Disney is getting a volume discount...

And the Tower of Terror in Tokyo will be themed to New York. There's nothing "Hollywood" about the ride in the first place. There are "rumors" of additional Fifth Dimension room effects in Tokyo (perhaps explaining some of the additional costs).

Judy from Boise
03-14-2003, 04:49 PM
Lots of interesting points ! When I was at TDS I spent a few hours being "blown away ".
These correlated with the time I spent watching the fabulous shows.......to wandering the park basicly wondering
"Where's the beef ? "....
this was when I was circulating the park for the 4th time looking for something to do that didn't involve a 60-90 minute wait !
The park will be immensely improved by two new rides that will disperse the crowds a bit.

raidermatt
03-14-2003, 08:14 PM
That's why I was saying if DAK was 1/2 day, then TDS is, too. They are both beautiful and fun parks. We've had threads on this before, but really, the main issue with AK isn't the number of things to do. If enough people found AK's attractions and atmosphere as compelling as TDS, there would be much less criticism and fewer folks labeling it as a "1/2 day park".

Yes, there would be complaints if promised build-outs never occured, but nothing like the complaints we hear today.

TDS was simply built to higher standards, with more resources to make it happen.

d-r
03-15-2003, 02:49 AM
Hi everyone,
There are so many things in this thread that I want to reply to! I'm really enjoying it - I hate to do it, but I think I'm going to have to reply in a series of posts to keep my thoughts straight - even then I'll probably mess something up :)

But first, how bout them Tigers, Scoop?

Second, I'd have to say that I agree with AV. AV has some really good insights here. I think there is a difference in how Americans and Japanese view crowds. Tokyo Disney Sea is very crowded, to me. But then again, it isn't any worse than some of the busier Tokyo streets on a Friday night. Those really hop, too. Honestly, one of the best things I did - and I didn't plan this out because I was so smart or had any foresight - was to wait until I had been in Japan for three weeks before going. I was only trying to split my trip in half - I'm here for five weeks. But I was really glad to have my head around Japan, just a little bit (don't get me wrong, I don't begin to understand Japan; every time I think I figure something out, something contradicts it). But a smattering of phrases I could say, and I could recognize a couple of words, which helped to get the gist of things sometimes. If I'd come straight from a bus from Narita, I might have been shell-shocked - it's hard to say. The flip side is, I think if someone was going to be in Japan for a while, and wanted to learn about Japan, then the parks would be a good way to start; so many of the signs and everything are in English, the cast members are there to help you. It is easier to approach strangers, which can be hard in Japan. So I could see that either way.

Anyway, I agree with what AV said about crowds. You also have to understand that Japanese people know how to behave in crowds. The rules are a little different than in America. When the parks open, people RUN to attractions. That would be more chaos in America, and people might even get hurt (my opinoin of course, like everything else I'm writing). In Japan, it never felt out of control. In Japan, I came to see that a line was two-dimensional; it had width as well as length. In America, you or your party holds a space in a length line; if someone comes to beside your position or passes you, that is cutting in line. In Japan, if there is an empty space beside you, someone will fill it. If that side of the line goes faster than yours, they will pass you. That isn't cutting - everybody has to move through this space and that is the most efficient way. Your side may pass up next. Everybody is going to get there. But that is hard for an American perspective. I'm not sure if I am able to really explain this in writing. The only part where that breaks down and is difficult, to me at least, is when the line has to pass thorugh a narrow space, like a turnstyle or doorway. Then it is tougher - no one pushes or shoves, but there is no personal space zone, either. It wouldn't work like that in America, people would loose their patience and temper.

AV is also right on target about the length of the line being seen as an indication that something good is at the end of it. Hence the sausage roll line. Also, if something is "popular" people will do it for the sake of doing it. Some celebrities were shown on tv having the sausage roll when it first opened, and that is where the popularity of it first started. Then it just keeps functioning off of itself. This is a little bit of the understanding of pooh-san, too (but I think more of the explanation there is that the ride is COOL).

AV is right about the open/close. The shortest line I had, though early in the morning, was sinbad.

I also have to add to AV's post that there are 10 million people a train ride away from those parks. A lot of them are big Disney fans, and a lot of them have disposable income (think office ladies). And there are another 40-50 million odd people in the country. It is crowded everywhere in Tokyo - it doesn't suprise me at all that the disney parks are busy!

One last thing where I'm going to depart from AV and Matt by about 50%. I'm not going to argue the opposite, because I don't believe it. But I think it is in the middle. And, really, there is no way to ever prove or demonstrate such things, so anything anyone says is just their opinion on such thought experiments. But anyway, I honestly think that if Ca. Adventure had been built where TDS is, it would have been more successful than it has been in Anaheim. I am not trying to say that it would be as successful as TDS!! No way. Japanese people aren't naive. When TDS first opened, the first few days, the crowds there were extremely lower than expected. Most people figured that they would be crowded with opening, so they decided to wait a while before they went when the crowds went down. They had to remarket really quick, and it quickly caught on. I also think that if TDS was built were DCA was, it would not be as successful as it is in Tokyo. It would be more successful than DCA!! I believe that by a long shot!! But every weekend day wouldn't be "Christmas or Easter," either. And there would probably still have been some folks that complained about it :)

OK, just my opionions of course, and I want to reply to some of these other posts-
DR

d-r
03-15-2003, 03:22 AM
WTG2000-
I've enjoyed reading your posts so much. Thanks for taking the time to write them. I really like your point of view and insights.

I'm going to reply to your post:
Originally posted by wtg2000
New things tend to draw crowds. I remember lining up for miles to ride Disneyland's Indy Jones, and new rides at WDW also get long, long lines. People realize that they are going to have to line up when something is new. I don't think it's endemic to the Japanese.

I agree with this about 50%. I really do believe that Japanese folks have a higher line tolerance than most Americans. At least this American :)


I also don't think there's really a shortage of attractions compared to crowd levels - at least not anything out of the ordinary. I didn't find the lines any worse than past years at WDW over Chirstmas or Easter.

OK. Now we've got down to it. Here is the difference in our perceptions! I think that WDW over Christmas and Easter *IS* out of the ordinary!! Now, this is a matter of personal taste and experience. We don't go to WDW at times like that, so to me the crowds at TDS probably seemed much longer than to you! It's funny you said it like that, because I someone asked me the other day how the crowds were compared to the US, and I said "no worse than the 4th of July!"


As for TDS itself - I was completely awestruck by the park. The detail is amazing and there are tons of wonderful nooks and crannies to explore. Standing in Med Harbor gazing up at Mt. Promethus is perhaps the coolest site in any Disney park, except for maybe standing inside the volcano itself - with people screaming on Journey, steam pouring off the caldera, the transit steamer whistle blowing, geysers shooting up from the water. For me, the park had more atmosphere than any Disney park, which each section setting a distinct mood, from the chaos of the volcano to the serentiy of the New England village.

OK. I'm going to try to reply to you here, and catch Gcurling's question as well. Gcurling, I'm just catching up on my schedule here; I gave a couple of talks this morning, and tomorrow I have a whale watching boat! I explain this to say I still want to write a longer trip report, so if I don't cover your question enough here I should have more detail later. I hope.

Anyway, wtg2000! I agree with you! I just don't feel as strongly as you do. The detail is amazing, I really enjoyed it. Sometimes I think that photos on the web do not demontrate well enough how pretty it is, other times I think photos over-exagerate how pretty it is. I'm a little bit in between, and honestly, I was never really "awe-struck." I thought that the aquasphere was very cool, and I enjoyed watching it. I thought the volcano was cool, but it wasn't the coolest site to me, really. What is it, four stories tall? The "eruptions" looked like "hollywood" fire to me - those movie effect fires. It never really convinced me, erupting or not. That said, I think it is very cool!

One thing that I wasn't prepared for that disapointed me a bit in terms of "show" was the transitions from one area of the park to another. They did a pretty good job at this at TDS, I was really struck by it the next day at TDL. Sometimes the transitions seemed abrupt to me. And even when there was a transition, it just seemed sort of a surface level thing. For example, where the path joins mermaid lagoon and arabian coast. Up to a point, the streetlights are mermaid lagoon style, then there is the last one, and then the next one is arabian coast style. It was a little too abrupt for me, not smooth. Others probably see that differently. I think I grew up on WDW's magic kingdom which, to me, does a really good job of transitions, so maybe I am more sensitive to it than others. For example, another thing was, the court house in "cap cod" is on the side of the volcano, which kept reminding me more of a missionary church on some hawaiian island than cape cod...again, just me, I'm sure.

Now, don't get me wrong. That fortress on the side of the Mountain is very cool, a very cool sight. Arabian coast is really well done, as well. It is like a little bit of adventureland, a little bit of Epcot's Morrocco. The "winding back alleys" aren't as good as Morocco's, to me, but the theater and the carousel are beautiful. Also, I don't know if you can tell from pictures, but the buildings in Med. Harbor are all painted to look like that. In real life you can tell that it isn't really "bricks" or whatever, it is painted on, and the artistry and craftsmanship in that is really neat.

The main American part feels sort of like MGM studios to me. It was well done, and so was the Columbia boat. A lot of people are really impressed with the Columbia, it didn't do so much for me, but I thought it was cool that they did it.

Port discovery is harder for me to describe. In one way it feels like Epcot's future world. It feels a lot like it, except it doesn't have that "open" feel that future world has. I remember standing there and thinking about the rumors here that they would "close off" future world some so it wouldn't be so open, and it was really making me wish that this wouldn't come true! The area is more compact, with the cues to storm rider and aquatopia taking up any feeling of open space. I thought that the storm rider building itself was cool enough, and aquatopia is fun to watch if you are right by it, but over all I didn't like this land.


Just getting to Journey and 20,000 is great fun and I almost enjoyed lining up. There's so much more to say but not enough time.

Now this is one of those places where I really enjoy reading your take on it, because it is where we depart company. I came to really dread and hate the thought of going through the chaldea! I think it is a fundamental design flaw of the overall park, actually. The chaldea becomes sort of a defacto hub. Even though they are right by each other, there is no direct path from Med. harbor to arabian coast. If you want to go from Med. harbor, or really the front of the park, to Arabian coast or Mermiad lagoon, you go through the chaldea. If you want to go to lost river, you go through the chaldea, or you go around through American Harbor and port discovery. Port Discovery or American Harbor to Mermaid Lagoon or Arabian coast? The most direct way is, through the Chaldea. Now, that wouldn't be so bad, except they put two e-ticket rides, that sausage roll, a gift shop, and a nautilas display in that chaldea! Sometimes it was a complete wall to wall flow of people in there. Which reminds me, remember that Japanese drive on the left, so their inclination is to walk on the left side. Sometimes the traffic through there was so much you had to get in a lane and go with it. Yes, it is cool looking.


I found the new Walt Disney Studios in Paris to be an embarrassment - but that's another story.

You know, I thought for a minute that I was going to be going to Europe in April, and I thought "I'll do it, but only if I go to disneyland." Thank goodness, I won't be going. It would be toooo much traveling for me too fast. But I look forward to seeing it someday, because I haven't.

(by the way - I've been to every Disney except DCA)

Well, I've been to dca. I think it is OK and not as bad as some of the local folks who really hate it, but I do want to tell you not to worry about missing it :) I don't think I'd plan a special trip or anything :) That said, I thought that Soarin was really cool, and that Grizzly rapids was good. Plus I got a really fresh tortilla, from a machine that seemed much like the ones making tortillas in the grocery store ;)

DR

d-r
03-15-2003, 03:27 AM
Originally posted by larworth
I was a little taken aback by the reported cost for these two projects

ToT @ $180 million
Spinning Coaster @ $70 million


One thing is, it is my understanding that ToT was part of the original desing for the American section of the park, but was nixed at construction time, because the land wasn't solid enough to support it. So I've been guessing that some of this cost comes from the preparation of the land. You have to remember that the bay is basically right across a street from this section of the park.

As for spinning coasters, whenever I put spinnng cars on a mini-steel coaster in roller coaster tycoon bad things happen :( It didn't strike me that this coaster would be a wild mouse; I pictured in my mind DLP's Indiana Jones coaster.

Just thinking about these makes me wish even harder for a new e-ticket to DAK, because I always thought that dinoland would get something like the Ind. Jones coaster as the excavater, but we wound up with the wild mouse.

Here is my prediction - they will announce a very exciting new e-ticket attraction for DAK on April 22, and it will be very cool.

DR

d-r
03-15-2003, 03:31 AM
Originally posted by mjstaceyuofm
D-R, Thank you for the comparison. It was extremely enlightening for those of us who have absolutely no desire to vacation on the other side of the planet, but are also Disney fans.

It's nice to know that it is a nice park, but nothing you described would make me spend however much $ it would take to vacation over there. (plane tix, passport, lodging, park tickets, etc.... I'd imagine it'd be a hefty cost to vacation in Tokyo for a week...)

Thanks.

One last thing though... Maybe I didn't catch it in your posts, but how did the "atmosphere" compare with the likes of WDW's MK, MGM, DAK, and Epcot? Similar, better, worse???

Hi, I hope that my post up there helped a bit with that second question. I'll try to write more later, but I wanted to write one little thing.

And remember this is just my opionion, and I'm pretty sure that others won't agree. And also remember that I'm not trying to sound like an "Expert" or anything, just my humble opinion.

I believe that if you were already going to Japan, then you should by all means go.

I think that if you are a really big Disney parks fan and enthusiast, it would be worth it to go just to see what it is all about for yourself.

But I think if you want to take the kids to a theme park and have a good time, you'd be happier at one of the two American parks. I say this because of the language of the attractions, crowds, costs, etc. I think that for most folks, they'd have more fun at DL Ca. or WDW.

Again, jmho.

DR

d-r
03-15-2003, 03:34 AM
Originally posted by Judy from Boise
Lots of interesting points ! When I was at TDS I spent a few hours being "blown away ".
These correlated with the time I spent watching the fabulous shows.......to wandering the park basicly wondering
"Where's the beef ? "....
this was when I was circulating the park for the 4th time looking for something to do that didn't involve a 60-90 minute wait !
The park will be immensely improved by two new rides that will disperse the crowds a bit.

I'm so glad that you wrote this, thank you :) It makes me feel a little bit less like I must be crazy.

Thanks. I felt much the exact way. Up until about 1, it was great! Then it was downhill for a while, then closing was OK. And when I watched the videotapes I made, I was amazed by how many times I went from one end of the park to the other!

wtg2000
03-15-2003, 07:13 AM
When I visited TDS, people ran when the gates opened. They had CMS all over motioning for people to slow down.

Bob O
03-15-2003, 10:28 AM
I hate lines!!!!! I would never want to be in any park, even a disney park if all lines are 60-90 minutes long!!!! That would take away all enjoyment for me. With lines that long their is no way to get your money's worth if you are only experiencing 1 attraction every hour.
The japanese may tolerate long lines as part of their culture and i give them credit for that but i wouldnt tolerate it and most americans wouldnt either. I guess that the difference to living in a big country with wide open empty spaces and a small country with people packed in like sardines.

wtg2000
03-15-2003, 11:08 AM
Bob O,

Tokyo does have fastpass so you can beat some of the lines that way. Also, the lines toward closing can really drop. I once rode 20,000 at TDS twice in the last half-hour. As well, I really didn't find the lines that bad. I once went to TDL in the middle of August (pre-fastpass) and the lines weren't any worse than my trip to DL in 1996 (95 minutes for Indy Jones and nobody seemed to mind).

As for Americans not lining up, the line for WDW's Peter Pan can easily reach an hour and people still get in it. I've seen Americans line up that long and more.

Bob O
03-15-2003, 11:31 PM
As much as i LOVE Indy at DL when i wait 90 minutes for a ride/show my enjoyment goes way down so i make sure not to visit wdw and most theme/amusement parks when they are busy!!! I hate long lines!!!

Judy from Boise
03-19-2003, 11:37 PM
just to prove that you aren't crazy...here is the close of my trip report written a little less than a year ago.

Some closing thoughts :
All in all I didn’t quite have the “magical” time I envisioned. I was disappointed with the few attractions I did have time to ride. I think I underestimated how important the “story”element is, I think with an English translation I would enjoy them more. Also I admit I have arrived at a point in my life where I am unwilling to wait for longer than 20 minutes for most things. The addition of FP to many of the rides ( which I just missed ) will greatly improve this aspect. I also missed the rush of a great coaster.

I went huge stretches at a time where I didn’t feel very “Disney”. The theming was suburb….but like I said sometimes I felt like I could have been in Vegas. The exception to this was the American Waterfront, inside the stores, the Water Carnival, and the Symphony show. And, of course when interacting with the CM’s.

My day may also have been colored by too much solitude. I spent the majority of the time by myself with no one to interact with. No one spontaneously talked to me, when I would initiate an interaction ( like picture taking ) they were polite and friendly….but even then no one asked me a question to keep it going. I had brought pictures of my family and post cards of Boise, I had envisioned some interest from strangers where we would talk, but it didn’t happen. I know it didn’t help that the only people in the park were hordes of High schoolers. I missed families.

On the positive side, it is unbelievable to think this park has only existed for 6 months. It is so fully realized landscaping wise. The themeing is great, and has many beautiful nooks and crannies. With this great foundation this park can only get better as new attractions are added. The two shows I went to were the best I have seen bar none. I am sure I would have been blown away by The Little Mermaid, but I just didn’t get it in. If I had it to do over I would hit the shows and do the transit steamer as priorities, and skip Storm Rider. I would just do JTTCOTE with fast pass, and I would bring my family. And, of course I would stretch my visit out to see both parks and stay onsite !

I hope I didn’t disappoint anyone with my review. I am also the type of person who usually enjoys things better the second time around, and I am sure there will be a second time someday !