Tokyo + Hong Kong Trip Report - June 2011

Discussion in 'Tokyo Disneyland' started by TreyQ3, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. TreyQ3

    TreyQ3 Earning My Ears

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    Hi y’all! This is the trip report of the first part of our Asian vacation. We are in Tokyo visiting my brother who is currently working here. Our itinerary includes a week in Tokyo, 4 days in Beijing and 4 days in Hong Kong. We are in the middle of our first week in Tokyo and have already visited Tokyo Disney. While in Hong Kong we are planning to go visit Disney there.

    First let me catch everyone up on the trip so far. Coming from the U.S. is my DW, DS (9), DS (6), DM and of course me. In Tokyo is my DB, DSiL, DN (10) & DN (3). My brother's family will be going with us to Beijing and Hong Kong.

    We flew Delta connecting at LAX and ultimately to Narita. Wow, LAX is a DUMP!!! Luckily our flight into and out of LAX used Terminal 6. But that terminal was one of the worst that I have ever been in. It was under construction, congested and hot. The restrooms are on the first floor and there is no signage directing you there. I would say you need to leave bread crumbs to mark the trail back, but you couldn’t see the crumbs on the dirty floor.

    The flight to Narita was on an A330 and was relatively smooth and enjoyable . . . for an 11.5-hour flight. In the first 2 hours they give you snacks and then feed you a dinner. Then they darken the lights and instruct everyone to close the window shades to encourage everyone to sleep. Except on this flight one person kept their window shade open – aargh. Toward the end of the trip they served us ice cream and then later breakfast.

    After landing in Narita, we went through immigrations and customs. As we have never traveled out of the U.S., filling out the necessary forms, especially with the language differences, was a challenge. There was one lady who was the Visa Nazi, but other than that everyone else tried to be helpful.

    DS & DS were excited to see their cousin!

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    I’m glad my brother lives here and he could guide us through the train ride back into Tokyo. It wasn’t that difficult but I didn’t do enough studying to do this on my own.

    Here is the view out of my brother’s apartment window:

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    Getting to Tokyo Disney was easy once you found the correct subway line. Use the Keiyo Line and ride 6 stops to the Maihama Station. We loaded up PASMO cards to pay for multiple trips on the subway.

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    The subway lets you off in front of the Disney complex. To the left is the Welcome Center and Ikspiari (their version of Downtown Disney – don’t waste your time there). To the right is the way to Tokyo Disneyland. My oldest DS already has the Japanese peace symbol pose.

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    Since we arrived at 9:00 and the rooms are not available until 2:30, we went to the Welcome Center to check our luggage. This welcome center is for all of the hotels. We were able to leave our bags and buy park tickets so that we could immediately go into the park. We are DVC members and used our points for the rooms. We just presented them with a printout of the confirmation and we were set. Since we were staying at the Disneyland Hotel, we opted for the 3 Day Multi-Day Passport that allows for park hopping everyday instead of day 3 and beyond. They also gave us passes to the monorail. The rear of the Disneyland Hotel is 100 yards from the entrance of Disneyland which was great since my brother has a 3 yr old. This is a pic of the rear courtyard of the hotel.

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    The rooms are very nice.

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    First we went to Disneyland. It is currently decorated in a Easter theme which is curious since Japan isn’t a Christian country and it’s been several months since Easter. At the parades and other announcements we heard a stream of Japanese with “Happy Eeeeeaaaastahhhh” in every other sentence. My kids are still going around saying “Happy Eeeeeaaaastahhh”.

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    The parks were empty for the 3 days we were there. I think the combination of Mon-Wed plus the forecast for rain (start of the rainy season) kept a lot of people away. Regardless of the reason, it was great basically walking on every ride. The longest we waited on any ride was 40 min for Pooh’s Hunny Hunt. Also, they gave us 2 fast passes for each person staying at the hotel – actually they messed up and gave us 4 per person. And with only 4 of us going on the busier rides and the no wait times, we didn’t even need to mess with the regular fast passes. We rode Pirates and a couple of other rides before deciding to eat, check-in and let the little one take a nap.

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    more after the nap. . .
     
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  3. danceintherain

    danceintherain DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for doing a trip report. I really want to make it to both Asian Disney parks within the next 1 1/2 years (the Shanghai park won't be open quite yet), but I'm not sure if I'll be able to (or if I can justify skipping other places in lieu of Disney)

    It's strange that they still have the Easter decor up. Maybe they left it up longer this year since the parks were closed for a bit of the Easter season due to the earthquake?

    Your kids are adorable!
     
  4. DISNEYaddict4evr

    DISNEYaddict4evr Now some person I don't even know reminds me there

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    YEAH! TDL TR!! :worship:

    Thanks for the reading material my trip seems so far away it helps to read more and learn more until I finally arrive in October.
     
  5. TreyQ3

    TreyQ3 Earning My Ears

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    Sorry for the loooonnng nap! We're back home now and I’ll try and speed up the trip report.

    After napping we decided to take advantage of the Park Hopper and go to Tokyo DisneySea. We road the monorail which is located between the rear courtyard and the entrance to Disneyland. You can see the hotel behind the monorail in this pic. The monorail is smaller than the ones at DLR but are much nicer inside.

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    They also have cute Mickey handles for you to hold onto.

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    At the DisneySea platform you are immediately presented with this wonderful view of the DisneySea Plaza with a water fountain with a rotating globe supported by a jet of water. Notice how small the crowds were.

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    We were also impressed with the Mediterranean atmosphere of the entrance.

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    Once inside you can’t help noticing Mount Prometheus looming in the background. It was starting its eruption cycle when we entered.

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    Looking to your left is the Tower of Terror. This is as close as my oldest son would let us. After almost “tossing his cookies” at the one at DLR, he vowed to never ride it again!

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    We were all tired and hungry so we didn’t ride anything that night. Instead we walked around the Mediterranean Harbor taking in the sights.

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    Our children are not adventurous eaters so we settled on eating at Zambini Brother’s Ristorante. It wasn’t great but it fed the kids! On the way out we noticed people starting to get in position for Fantasmic. It was very orderly and the CM were very unobtrusive.

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    I also liked this lamppost exiting the park. Don’t know why, but I do. This ends day one.

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  6. TreyQ3

    TreyQ3 Earning My Ears

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    Day 2 started off with bright smiley faces! The kids were ready to go and have fun.

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    One of the benefits of staying at a Disney Hotel is that they let hotel guests enter the Disneyland park 15 minutes early. About 30 minutes before opening, inside the front entrance, a multitude of characters were waving to the crowd, dancing with each other and generally getting the awaiting crowd excited. When we entered we were able to get a pic with the Dwarfs, who we have never seen at the other Disney parks.

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    It was nice getting into TDL early but they do not start the rides early. You can get closer to the rides but you can’t get in line yet. This gives you a head start instead of the running of the bulls toward TSM at DHS. But with the light crowds the head start wasn’t really needed. We were able to get some pics without many others in the way.

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    We let the kids decide on the rides and they chose Dumbo! (couldn’t convince them to go to Pooh first).

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    After Dumbo we road Peter Pan’s Flight, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey and It’s a Small World before going to Pooh’s Hunny Hut. All of the rides up to Pooh had no lines. We could get used to this! We did notice that TDR did not use air conditioning like WDW or DLR. It was WARM in It's a Small World. I remember riding it several times in WDW just to escape the heat! I'm not sure if they were saving electricity after the earthquake/tsunami or if it is just normal for their culture.

    By the time we got to Pooh it was a 40 minute wait but it didn’t seem that long. Pooh was wonderful and definitely lived up to the hype.

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    From there we went to Critter Country and road Splash Mountain. I think almost all of us had fun on the ride!

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    Next was Westernland and Big Thunder Mountain.

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    I thought eating turkey legs was a southern US fair food. But it was popular at TDR. There were four ladies munching on them in line.

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    The last ride before leaving the park at lunch was the Jungle Cruise. Since we don’t understand Japanese the jokes weren’t that funny to us. We noticed that the only one laughing at the jokes was our boat driver. So maybe we didn’t miss that much. We passed by the Tiki Room but fled after seeing Stitch was in it!

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    We did pass by these interesting popcorn stands. We weren’t brave enough to try the curry flavored popcorn. The other flavors at TDR were Caramel, Salt, Honey and Soy Sauce & Butter.

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    On the way out of the park at lunch we went with the safe Caramel flavored popcorn in this Easter Egg container.

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    After lunch it is back to DisneySea!
     
  7. chinhk

    chinhk Mouseketeer

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    Great trip report! Since there aren't so many reports covering Tokyo and Hong Kong Disneyland, its always nice to have someone like you to take the effort to post the report and its a real pleasure to read them on this forum. :)

    I got so excited when I saw pictures of your kids taken with the seven dwarfs, especially DOPEY! My partner is a massive dopey fan and he gets disappointed whenever we go to magic kingdom and paris disneyland as they never have dopey in these two parks. The only time we saw dopey was at magic kingdom (during the night time parade). My partner would have love to take a pic with dopey.

    Would you know if dopey is a regular character at TDL? Did he just came out in the morning (greeting time) or do you get to see him at other times (other places) of the day?
     
  8. TreyQ3

    TreyQ3 Earning My Ears

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    My wife was excited as well to see the dwarfs. We have never seen them at any of the other parks.

    We saw them at the opening both mornings but never later in the parks. But we weren't looking for them either and we didn't stay after lunch. We were always at DisneySea in the afternoons. They could have been somewhere else in the park and we didn't catch them.
     
  9. chinhk

    chinhk Mouseketeer

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    I think the seven dwarfs are classic and its really good that Tokyo Disneyland is having them for the character meets/greets. We have asked at the Paris disneyland once in regards to the seven dwarfs and were told that they are not very popular compared to other disney characters, hence they don't appear in the character meets in Paris. Probably the same reasoning at Magic Kingdom. I just hope dopey is still there when we visit next year.
     
  10. TreyQ3

    TreyQ3 Earning My Ears

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    Instead of everyone taking a break, we sent my nephew and DSiL back to the hotel for a nap. The rest of us headed over to TDS. We were again amazed at the short wait times for the rides. Although most of the rides were listed as 15 minutes, the waits were much less than that.

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    First we decided to watch the Legend of Mythica, which takes place in the Mediterranean Harbor. It is an action packed shows involving Mickey, Minnie, Donald & Goofy riding on floats surrounded by people on jet skis doing crazy stunts. In the middle of the show the performers dock and bring the show to 4-5 different areas around the harbor. We decided to watch the show from the main entrance. When we sat down we were about 4 rows from the front but we noticed another row of people who were sitting 20 feet back but turned facing the entrance and not the harbor. Later we realized that that was the first row for standing and we were in the sitting area. So I didn’t get great pics.

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    After the show we did a blitz of rides for our older kids. Since there were virtually no lines and we were rushing to each ride, I forgot to take a lot of pictures. First we road Journey to the Center of the Earth which was tame as far as roller coaster go. There was only one big drop toward the end. Next we road 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. This ride made my DW nauseous – I think it was because it was so jerky, hot and in a small contained diving bell. Made us miss the “old school” ride.

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    From there we headed up to the Lost River Delta section and road Indiana Jones and Raging Spirits. Indiana Jones was similar to the one at DLR. The kids loved Raging Spirits since the roller coaster did a 360 loop.

    Next up was the Port Discovery section and the kids’ favorite ride of the entire trip – Aquatopia? Not mine, but the kids LOVED it. We must have ridden it 5 straight times. It is the Autopia in the water. You ride on a track and stop every 30 seconds and do a complete 360 turn. Can’t steer it, speed it up or slow it down. Just ride. . . did I mention that the kids LOVED it? Things we do for our children!

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    After dinner we took this cute picture – this is as close as we got to having my nephew in the picture!

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    The last thing we did that night was Fantasmic. It is slightly different than the one in WDW but we enjoyed it just the same. We lined up late and didn’t get a good view plus I was fighting with my camera, so this is the only decent picture from the show.

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    Day 3 recap is next!
     
  11. Corbisblue

    Corbisblue Mouseketeer

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    Great TR so far! Makes me want to go back to TDL. I was brave enough to try the Curry Popcorn and it was actually pretty good, a but odd though. My favorite was the strawberry.

    I love the merchandise in the parks there. They are so adorable!

    Can't wait to read more.
     
  12. RoadTripFanatic

    RoadTripFanatic Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for posting the report. We went there in July this year and it was like taking another trip down memory lane. :) I'm glad you had a wonderful trip.
     
  13. vettegirl

    vettegirl Dole Whip Queen

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    What a great TR. I love TDL!
     
  14. GrtWtNorth

    GrtWtNorth DIS Veteran

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    Nice TR.

    FYI, my DD's favorite attraction was Enchanted Tiki Room with Stitch (or Stitchee as they say in Japanese). It was surprisingly tasteful, with great Hawaiian music from the Lilo and Stitch movie. (Japanese love Hawaii...) Way better than Enchanted Tiki Room Under New Management with those annoying and obnoxious birds!
     
  15. WDWJonasGirl

    WDWJonasGirl Mouseketeer/Directioner

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    Love the TR so far!! I have never been to Tokyo Disney before.
     
  16. xiphoid76

    xiphoid76 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the thread, this is great!! My husband and I are going to Tokyo and Hong Kong for 4 days each next year - just like you!! We also plan on hitting both Disney's.
     
  17. TreyQ3

    TreyQ3 Earning My Ears

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    Wow. I can’t believe it’s been 1.5 years since our trip. We were looking at old pictures last night and I suddenly remembered I never finished this TR. The rest of this TR is from my fading memory. Sorry for the long delay.

    As with the previous two days, we went to TDL at rope drop. We were amazed with the light crowds and loved the feeling that we had the park to ourselves.

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    The older kids want to start off the day with Space Mountain but it was closed. Bummer.

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    Instead we headed over to Monsters, Inc. and really enjoyed that ride.

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    The crowds did start building but it was never to the Christmas at WDW level. Being Chinese, we were warned to keep an eye on our kids since they blend in to the native crowds. :rotfl2: We are accustomed to being able to easily find our boys since there aren’t many Asians where we live. Luckily we didn’t have any problems with lost kids!

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    We were leaving that day so we didn’t get to ride many attractions. We mostly enjoyed the Easter decorations and parade.

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    We didn’t find many souvenirs and only left with these items. If you are looking for XL shirts, you are out of luck. All we could find were large sizes.

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    This ends our TDL and TDS adventure.
     
  18. TreyQ3

    TreyQ3 Earning My Ears

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    Between TDL and HKDL we stopped at a quaint little town to visit a small palace.

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    And to see if we could find a tank in this famous square. Nope.

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    We also ate some yummy Peking Duck!

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    And we were so full we needed to exercise. So we found some steps to climb!

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    Mid way up, my brother and I were debating whether the view was worth it. But our eldest kids kept taunting us to continue. I am glad that I made the climb but my legs were shaking by the end of the walk.

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    If anyone is going to Beijing and wants to hire a guide please PM me for our guide’s contact info. He was incredible. Jamie is a Grey Line tour guide and moonlights on the side. He and his friend would pick us up in their mini van and take us to the front of the sites. Then he would call his friend who would meet us at the exit. We never waited for anything. And he tailored our trip to match what we wanted to see. He even adjusted the itinerary when he saw the kids were worn out. He adored our kids and often carried one of the youngest boys when they were too tired to continue. I can’t imagine trying to do this tour on our own.

    Hong Kong next!
     
  19. rgoble5972

    rgoble5972 Are we there yet?

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    Thanks for posting and for the pictures. I love the Easter eggs decorated like Disney characters.
     

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