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Old 06-26-2013, 11:06 AM   #31
Solomani
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Hiya,

I did not try rider swap - not yet. My kids a are 9, 7, 4 and 2 so there has been little ride crossover. I take the older two and my wife takes the younger two. This may change at TDS tomorrow but I doubt it. The Japanese for rider swap is "rideru swapu" and I have been told its supported in Tokyo.

I have not paid attention to the younger rides apart from what I mentioned. I did notice that Dumbo had a much shorter line and wait time in TDL as opposed to HKDL which is my only point of reference.

Hope that helps.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:45 AM   #32
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How much of the parade did they run today? The weather tomorrow should be better, yahoo is saying cloudy with rain in the evening but hope it stays clear! Will you go to Sea tomorrow?
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:43 PM   #33
Solomani
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Not sure. Looked like the regular parade but just guessing as its the first time.

Lining up to get in right now!
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:55 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solomani View Post
Not sure. Looked like the regular parade but just guessing as its the first time.

Lining up to get in right now!

Wow you are right! I checked on youtube and it looks like the run the whole parade! I'm so happy you guys had such spectacular weather today! I almost went myself but had to catch up on some work. Tomorrow should be nice too!
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:22 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamSweetsLove View Post
Wow you are right! I checked on youtube and it looks like the run the whole parade! I'm so happy you guys had such spectacular weather today! I almost went myself but had to catch up on some work. Tomorrow should be nice too!
Thanks for the well wishes. Just got home
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:48 AM   #36
Solomani
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DAY 3: TDS

Huge day today with lovely weather to boot! Sunny and dry with a cool wind all day. We kept to the same plan as it seems to work. It even worked better at TDS because of the huge popularity of Toy Story. This sucked in at least 90% of attendees allowing easy access to other rides for the first hour.

We did a ton of stuff so going to just list it in approximate order:
  • Indiana Jones (I think this ride has changed from when I rode it 10y ago. I recall the boulder following you and the jeep reversing backwards through the ride as the boulder followed) x2
  • Tower of Terror (great themeing and thrill ride) x2
  • Journey to the Centre of the Earth x2
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea x2
  • Visited Tritons Kingdom and the little ones enjoyed the play area, rode the rides and watched the Little Mermaid show with alternate universe story. Can't recall the xact ride names here - Blowfish Race and Jellyfish Drop maybe? Plus Scuttlers Scooters x2
  • Watched the Terra Mythica Parade.

Took a break/nap and returned in the evening hitting some rides again (ones with x2). Only extra thing we did was Sinbad's Journey. Which I honestly only did because of my two little ones as I read it was a modernized Small World in many ways. However I really enjoyed it. Animatronics were great as was the style of the whole ride.

One thing I am a little disappointed about is there is little to no merchandise directly related to any if the Jules Verne rides. Was hoping for a scale model for example of the Nautilus or similar.

Last edited by Solomani; 06-29-2013 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:07 AM   #37
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DAY 4: TDL AND TDS

Decided to head back to TDL in the morning. The only rides the kids wanted to redo were all in TDL. Plan was to do TDL in the morning then have dinner and watch Fantasmic at TDS.

At TDL by 1300 we hit Splash Mountain, Big Thunder x2, Star Tours, Pirates and the Snow White ride. Also had lunch at the Kitchen below Splash Mountain and did some shopping as well as popping in to see the pizza machine at Intergalactic Pizza. At 1300 we grabbed a spot near the parade start line straddling Western Land and Fantasy Land. While waiting my wife took the two youngest on the Mark Twain while we held a spot.

Just an aside on parades. The parades in TDL and TDS are wonderful. I tend to think parades are cheesy but the Japanese parades changed my mind. They are technically impressive, performed enthusiastically and have a ton of characters involved. Very well done. In fact they put HKDL to shame.

I also love the system the Japanese use. Everyone sits down and no one gets in someone else's way. It's very civilized and polite. No fighting with people so your kids can see a parade (HKDL). Kudos to the Japanese.

At TDS we had a mix up with our SS Columbia dinner reservations and ended up skipping dinner entirely. Instead living on popcorn for the next couple hours . We watched Fantasmic (another great show) and then visited the Explorers Fort and galleon before hitting the carousel and flying carpets as our final rides.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:32 AM   #38
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Lessons learned

Here are some lessons learned from our trip:
  • HKDL was good prep for TDR but the parks are very different. One major advantage is that we skipped rides which were available in our home Disneyland. This was a time saver.
  • Go early - the first hour the park is open is Golden. We accumulated many rides and Fastpasses during this time.
  • Be strategic in your ride selection. For example try and stack Fastpasses by picking rides with short return times then jumping on the ride as well. Short return time means you can get a another Fastpass that much quicker.
  • Related to this is to take advantage of the Japanese insanity when it comes to new rides. New rides will suck the initial park population in giving you plenty of time to hop on zero minute wait time rides.
  • If you have kids under 10 go take a break/nap in the afternoon then return in the evening to ride some more and burn remaining Fastpasses.
  • If you have older kids and younger you will need to split up. One parent taking the younger and one taking the older. Alternatively you need to only go on junior rides if you want to stick together or wait until your youngest is about 8.
  • Seven or eight is the perfect age. Tall enough to go on all rides and robust enough to go most of the day before stopping. Though we still enforced an afternoon break on our older kids. Made the evening time much more pleasant.
  • You really need 3 days for TDL and two days for TDS if you have kids. Kids will be much more drawn towards the TDL rides and will want to double up or more (see the number of times we rode Splash Mountain for example). You can do all the rides in TDS in one day BUT TDS has a ton more attractions worth spending time on, like Fort Exploration, that you don't want to rush though. So reserve one day just to do that if you can.
  • The parades and shows are worth seeing but leave them for a separate day where you spend most of your time checking them out and leaving rides as a secondary priority. It's also worth sitting down and claiming a spot an hour before for a good view.

Will post some pics and vids once back home.

Last edited by Solomani; 06-29-2013 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:12 AM   #39
Solomani
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Hi all,

Here are some of the videos we took, maybe of interest:


Happiness is Here Parade

Electrical Parade

Mythica Parade

Polynesian Laua with Lilo and Stitch

Diamond Horseshoe
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:16 AM   #40
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The other surprising thing about Tokyo was how family friendly it is. We found lots of activities for the kids to do outside of TDL and TDS. Here are some of the things we managed to squeeze in on non-Disney days:
  1. Joypolis in Odaiba
  2. Legoland also in Odaiba
  3. Ghibili Musuem in Mitaka
  4. Pokemon Store (for fans only)
  5. Gundam Statue and Gundam Museum
  6. Round1 also in Odaiba. Unlimited arcade area below the Gundam Museum
  7. Also visited CharacterST in Tokyo Station

There is more to do than this but we felt we didn't spend enough time in places like Legoland and Joypolis as we were pressed for time!
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