2 Week Tokyo/Osaka Trip Report (w/ Disney & Universal)

Chisoxcollector

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 4, 2013
Hello everybody!

My wife and I have always wanted to go to Japan. It has been our #1 bucket list dream vacation for as long as we've been married (20 years).

I travel literally every week for work, and as such always have tons of airline, hotel, and rental car points. I am Diamond with Hilton, Titanium with Marriott, Spire Elite with IHG, and measly Discoverist with Hyatt. I am also A+ Elite w/ Companion Pass with Southwest, and Executive Elite with National. Those are all earned with stays/travel, rather than CC points.

Unfortunately, because I use Southwest for work, the points are pretty much useless for international travel. So all of our vacations to this point have been domestic.

This year, we finally decided to bite the bullet and go to Japan. My wife's birthday is our first full day in Japan, so it seemed like a good time to do it.

I started making all of our travel arrangements about 9 months before our trip. We picked February for two reasons. One, our favorite temperature for vacations is around 50⁰ F. I know that seems crazy, but we love it. And two, we also thought it would be less crowded than the warmer months.

We are doing a bit of hotel jumping, as we really know love being able to walk from our hotel everywhere.

I'm going to try to finish this report as quickly as possible. If I don't get it out quickly I won't remember anything, lol. I don't sleep all that much, so I can probably fit in the time.

It won't be as detailed as most of the wonderful reports I've read here, but I will do what I can!

Here are the links to the reports:

Day 1 & 2 - Travel Days

Day 3 - DisneySea (Part 1), DisneySea (Part 2), DisneySea (Part 3)

Day 4 - Disneyland (Part 1), Disneyland (Part 2)

Day 5 - DisneySea

Day 6 - DisneySea (Part 1) & Disneyland (Part 2)

Bonus - Tokyo Disney Resort Attraction Rankings

Day 7 - Off to Shibuya!

Day 8 - Shibuya/Harajuku

Day 9 - Shinjuku/My Dream Hotel/Fine Dining

Day 10 - Asakusa/Akihabara

Day 11 - Goodbye Shinjuku, Hello Osaka!

Day 12 - Universal Studios Japan (Part 1), Universal Studios Japan (Part 2), New Hotel in Dotonbori (Part 3)

Day 13 - Breakfast and Lunch in Dotonbori (Part 1), Osaka Food Tour and an Unexpected Surprise (Part 2)
 
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Chisoxcollector

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 4, 2013
Days 1 & 2 - Travel Days

Out travel days were pretty boring and uneventful. On Feb 1st we flew direct from Orlando to LAX via Southwest Airlines. We spent the night at a Crowne Plaza down the street from the airport. I used IHG points for the reservation. We rented a car (using a free National day) so we could grab some dinner and hit a grocery store.

After checking in to the hotel, we headed out to our two destinations: In-N-Out and Ralph's! After picking up a couple of Double Doubles and some snacks for the Tokyo flight, we headed back to the room and called it a night.

On the morning of Feb 2, we returned the car and took a shuttle to the airport. Soon enough, we were on an airplane heading to TOKYO!

We flew American Airlines Premium Economy. We really wanted to book a Japanese airline like JAL or ANA, but the price difference was quite large.

I am a very large guy (6' 2", 300+ lbs), and fit pretty comfortably in the slightly larger premium economy seat. The food was pretty mediocre. Most of the time on the plane was spent watching the Super Bowl or talking about horror movies with an awesome flight attendant.

This is my wife and I on the plane to Tokyo. I'll refer to her as Pocky.

plane_selfie.jpg

We finally landed at Tokyo Haneda airport, a day later than we left the US. Immigration, baggage claim, and customs were a breeze. We picked up our JR passes, portable wifi, and Welcome Suica cards, and grabbed a taxi to our hotel. The cab ride cost about $110. And that included multiple wrong turns that easily added $15 or more to the tab.

We checked in to our room at the Hilton Tokyo Bay.

hilton.jpg

I used points for this stay. One of the nice things about Hilton Honors is that if you book 4 nights using points, you get the 5th night free. So I booked a basic ocean view room and hoped for an upgrade.

We did get upgraded to a Celebrio King Suite. The room is huge, with two large windows overlooking the Tokyo Bay. It has a 3D television with 3d glasses and a small library of 3d blu-rays, a Playstation 4, surround sound, espresso machine, fridge full of various complementary beverages, etc. They also left us some treats in the room, including a full Baum Cake. We couldn't be happier with the room.

room_1.jpg

room_2.jpg

hotel_swag.jpg

ps4.jpg

After getting settled in the room, we went down to the lobby to buy our 4 day Disney passes, and then walked to the monorail station. We bought our monorail passes and then hopped a monorail to Ikspiari. We lucked out and got one of the super cute Duffy monorails. Every car is themed to Duffy or one of his friends. We were in a Gelatoni car.

monorail_tickets.jpg

gelatoni_monorail.jpg

We checked out the Disney Store, and were a bit underwhelmed at the selection.

disney_store.jpg

The rest of Ikspiari feels like a mall, so we didn't spend a whole lot of time there. We then started walking to the nearest 7-11.

We weren't exactly sure how to get started on the route to the 7-11, so I asked a random Japanese gentleman if he knew where to go. He said for us to come with him, as the 7-11 was on his way. We chatted the whole way. It was by far my favorite moment of our first night.

7-11.jpg

At 7-11 we picked up some beverages (including Fanta Melon, my favorite) and snacks. Then we walked back the monorail station and then back to our hotel.

It wasn't long before we crashed for the night. I slept horribly, and the wife slept reasonably well.

Tomorrow: Our first day at DisneySea!
 
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  • Linkura

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 13, 2017
    Days 1 & 2 - Travel Days

    Out travel days were pretty boring and uneventful. On Feb 1st we flew direct from Orlando to LAX via Southwest Airlines. We spent the night at a Crowne Plaza down the street from the airport. I used IHG points for the reservation. We rented a car so we could grab some dinner and hit a grocery store.

    After checking in to the hotel, we headed out to our two destinations: In-N-Out and Ralph's! After picking up a couple of Double Doubles and some snacks for the Tokyo flight, we headed back to the room and called it a night.

    On the morning of Feb 2, we returned the car and took a shuttle to the airport. Soon enough, we were on an airplane heading to TOKYO!

    We flew American Airlines Premium Economy. We really wanted to book a Japanese airline like JAL or ANA, but the price difference was quite large.

    I am a very large guy (6' 2", 300+ lbs), and fit pretty comfortably in the slightly larger prwmium economy seat. The food was pretty mediocre. Most of the time on the plane was spent watching the Super Bowl or talking about horror movies with an awesome flight attendant.

    This is my wife and I on the plane to Tokyo. I'll refer to her as Pocky.

    View attachment 471173

    We finally landed at Tokyo Haneda airport, a day later than we left the US. Immigration, baggage claim, and customs were a breeze. We picked up our JR passes, portable wifi, and Welcome Suica cards, and grabbed a taxi to our hotel. The cab ride cost about $110. And that included multiple wrong turns that easily added $15 or more to the tab.

    We checked in to our room at the Hilton Tokyo Bay.

    View attachment 471174

    I used points for this stay. One of the nice things about Hilton Honors is that if you book 4 nights using points, you get the 5th night free. So I booked a basic ocean view room and hoped for an upgrade.

    We did get upgraded to a Celebrio King Suite. The room is huge, with two large windows overlooking the Tokyo Bay. It has a 3D television with 3d glasses and a small library of 3d blu-rays, a Playstation 4, surround sound, espresso machine, fridge full of various complementary beverages, etc. They also left us some treats in the room, including a full Baum Cake. We couldn't be happier with the room.

    View attachment 471175

    View attachment 471176

    View attachment 471177

    View attachment 471178

    After getting settled in the room, we went down to the lobby to buy our 4 day Disney passes, and then walked to the monorail station. We bought our monorail passes and then hopped a monorail to Ikspiari. We lucked out and got V one of the super cute Duffy monorails. Every car is themed to Duffy or one of his friends. We were in a Gelatoni car.

    View attachment 471179

    View attachment 471180

    We checked out the Disney Store, and were a bit underwhelmed at the selection.

    View attachment 471181

    The rest of Ikspiari feels like a mall, so we didn't spend a whole lot of time there. We then started walking to the nearest 7-11.

    We weren't exactly sure how to get started on the route to the 7-11, so I asked a random Japanese gentleman if he knew where to go. He said for us to come with him, as the 7-11 was on his way. We chatted the whole way. It was by far my favorite moment of our first night.

    View attachment 471182

    At 7-11 we picked up some beverages (including Fanta Melon, my favorite) and snacks. Then we walked back the monorail station and then back to our hotel.

    It wasn't long before we crashed for the night. I slept horribly, and the wife slept reasonably well.

    Tomorrow: Our first day at DisneySea!
    Awesome, wasn't expecting reports so soon! Thank you!!

    I'm looking forward to hearing more about the Hilton Tokyo Bay as I have a Celebrio Select room, though not a suite like you. Wondering about the food and the shopping if you have time. :)

    Also I am wondering how long it took for you to arrive in Haneda in terms of deplaning, getting luggage, and customs. I'm going through Narita so it'll of course be different, but I'm interested in a ballpark time as the last direct airport limo bus to the Hilton is only 90 minutes after my flight is supposed to land (after that there is one direct to Shin-Urayasu station that I'd take instead and do a quick taxi over to Hilton).
     

    Chisoxcollector

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 4, 2013
    Awesome, wasn't expecting reports so soon! Thank you!!

    I'm looking forward to hearing more about the Hilton Tokyo Bay as I have a Celebrio Select room, though not a suite like you. Wondering about the food and the shopping if you have time. :)

    Also I am wondering how long it took for you to arrive in Haneda in terms of deplaning, getting luggage, and customs. I'm going through Narita so it'll of course be different, but I'm interested in a ballpark time as the last direct airport limo bus to the Hilton is only 90 minutes after my flight is supposed to land (after that there is one direct to Shin-Urayasu station that I'd take instead and do a quick taxi over to Hilton).
    There is a restaurant that serves a breakfast buffet that is free for Hilton Honors Diamond and Gold (thanks Haley) members. There are a lot of options on the buffet, and most are decent, but none are really exceptional. It’s a mix of Japanese and Western foods. The buffet also serves lunch and dinner, but we haven’t tried those.

    There is a lounge that is free for HH Diamond as well as Celebrio guests. The lounge serves an okay breakfast spread, though the restaurant is better. The lounge also has some food and alcohol in the evenings. They stop serving around 7:30. I’m not sure what the lounge has during the day, as we are always in the parks. They also have a limited number of bottled/canned beverages that you can take with you. I’ve seen Kirin Lemon, Kirin Grapefruit, and water. Be warned, the water requires a bottle opener.

    There is a bakery that serves pastries, desserts, sandwiches, pizza, etc. We’ve had a few of the baked goods and they are decent enough.

    There are a couple other restaurants, and a coffee shop, that we haven’t tried.

    As for shopping, there is a Disney store with a decent enough selection, and a convenience store. It’s basically like a small 7-11. We’ve tried a few things like onigiri and egg salad sandwiches, which were both pretty good. There are other stores, but I don’t recall what they were. Sorry!

    As for the airport, I would say it took about 45 minutes total from the point we deplaned until we were through customs. It was all pretty seamless.
     
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    LovesTimone

    Christmas Day 2017
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2009
    We are heading to Japan in Nov. of this year... We are flying into and out of Haneda as well... So I have a couple of questions..Please and Thanks in advance...

    Did you find signs in English easily enough to help you figure out where to go?

    Customs and immigration... how was it... fast and easy?

    JR passes, portable wifi, and Welcome Suica cards ?

    With the Welcome Suica card is there a desk a counter? easy to find? do you just pick it up or do you need to reserve it ahead of time?... and can you load it right there... We will need cash to load it? correct?

    Finding the JR passes counter, was it fairly easy? I know that there are different companies that offer it, so only one counter JR counter, or does each company have their own counter?

    Which company did you go with for portable wifi and extra battery ? and was it easy to find?

    As well did you pick up the JR pass and wifi and Suica card on the way to the luggage carousel? or is this something that you did after you pick up your bags?

    And finding the Taxi Stands was it near/close the luggage carousel... We are thinking about going with a private car company for pick up and drop off at the airport... We are flying from Orlando to Haneda, all in one day... and the flight from Atlanta to Haneda is 14 hours... so a really really long long day... just trying to get a of proximity of where everything is located...


    Loving your trip report... really nice room upgrade...
     

    Haley R

    With all the strength of a raging fire
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2017
    There is a restaurant that serves a breakfast buffet that is free for Hilton Honors Diamond members. There are a lot of options on the buffet, and most are decent, but none are really exceptional. It’s a mix of Japanese and Western foods. The buffet also serves lunch and dinner, but we haven’t tried those.

    There is a lounge that is free for HH Diamond as well as Celebrio guests. The lounge serves an okay breakfast spread, though the restaurant is better. The lounge also has some food and alcohol in the evenings. They stop serving around 7:30. I’m not sure what the lounge has during the day, as we are always in the parks.

    There is a bakery that serves pastries, desserts, sandwiches, pizza, etc. We’ve had a few of the baked goods and they are decent enough,

    There are a couple other restaurants, and a coffee shop, that we haven’t tried.

    As for shopping, there is a Disney store with a decent enough selection, and a convenience store. It’s basically like a small 7-11. We’ve tried a few things like onigiri and egg salad sandwiches, which were both pretty good. There are other stores, but I don’t recall what they were. Sorry!

    As for the airport, I would say it took about 45 minutes total from the point we deplaned until we were through customs. It was all pretty seamless.
    The breakfast buffet is also free for Hilton Gold members. We used it when we were there last year. The lounge is only for diamond though.
     
  • Chisoxcollector

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 4, 2013
    We are heading to Japan in Nov. of this year... We are flying into and out of Haneda as well... So I have a couple of questions..Please and Thanks in advance...

    Did you find signs in English easily enough to help you figure out where to go?

    Customs and immigration... how was it... fast and easy?

    JR passes, portable wifi, and Welcome Suica cards ?

    With the Welcome Suica card is there a desk a counter? easy to find? do you just pick it up or do you need to reserve it ahead of time?... and can you load it right there... We will need cash to load it? correct?

    Finding the JR passes counter, was it fairly easy? I know that there are different companies that offer it, so only one counter JR counter, or does each company have their own counter?

    Which company did you go with for portable wifi and extra battery ? and was it easy to find?

    As well did you pick up the JR pass and wifi and Suica card on the way to the luggage carousel? or is this something that you did after you pick up your bags?

    And finding the Taxi Stands was it near/close the luggage carousel... We are thinking about going with a private car company for pick up and drop off at the airport... We are flying from Orlando to Haneda, all in one day... and the flight from Atlanta to Haneda is 14 hours... so a really really long long day... just trying to get a of proximity of where everything is located...

    Loving your trip report... really nice room upgrade...
    To makes things easier, we bought everything from the same place. We got our portable WiFi, JR Passes, and Welcome Suica cards from JR East. Their counter was pretty easy to find. As you head out of Customs, the JR East counter is basically in the back left corner of the main area. We reserved the JR passes and WiFi unit ahead of time. We did not reserve the Welcome Suica, and had no problems purchasing it from the JR East counter. I believe we paid with credit card to purchase the Suica. I think cash only applies to reloading it.

    Unfortunately, you do not pick up the WiFi unit at their counter. After we had procured our JR passes and Suica cards, we had to go to the JAL ABC counter on the same arrivals level to get the WiFi unit. Even though we bought it from the JR East site. Strange. To get to the JAL ABC counter, make a hard right immediately after exiting customs. You will go down a fairly long corridor, passing a JAL ticket counter on your left. The JAL ABC counter was at the end of the hallway, directly in front of you as you are walking.

    All of the various counters mentioned above are after baggage claim and customs.

    We had no problems finding signs getting us to immigration, then baggage claim, and then customs. All three steps only took about 30 minutes. And there were plenty of signs directing towards the taxi area. It’s is immediately after the area where the JR East counter is located.

    So your progression will Plane -> Long Walk -> Immigration -> Baggage Claim - Customs -> Pick Up Suica/WiFi/etc -> Taxi. Nothing was far (except the airplane lol) and it was all pretty easy to find.
     

    Linkura

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 13, 2017
    There is a restaurant that serves a breakfast buffet that is free for Hilton Honors Diamond and Gold (thanks Haley) members. There are a lot of options on the buffet, and most are decent, but none are really exceptional. It’s a mix of Japanese and Western foods. The buffet also serves lunch and dinner, but we haven’t tried those.

    There is a lounge that is free for HH Diamond as well as Celebrio guests. The lounge serves an okay breakfast spread, though the restaurant is better. The lounge also has some food and alcohol in the evenings. They stop serving around 7:30. I’m not sure what the lounge has during the day, as we are always in the parks. They also have a limited number of bottled/canned beverages that you can take with you. I’ve seen Kirin Lemon, Kirin Grapefruit, and water. Be warned, the water requires a bottle opener.

    There is a bakery that serves pastries, desserts, sandwiches, pizza, etc. We’ve had a few of the baked goods and they are decent enough,

    There are a couple other restaurants, and a coffee shop, that we haven’t tried.

    As for shopping, there is a Disney store with a decent enough selection, and a convenience store. It’s basically like a small 7-11. We’ve tried a few things like onigiri and egg salad sandwiches, which were both pretty good. There are other stores, but I don’t recall what they were. Sorry!

    As for the airport, I would say it took about 45 minutes total from the point we deplaned until we were through customs. It was all pretty seamless.
    Thank you so much for all of the detailed info!!! I really appreciate it.
     

    LovesTimone

    Christmas Day 2017
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2009
    To makes things easier, we bought everything from the same place. We got our portable WiFi, JR Passes, and Welcome Suica cards from JR East. Their counter was pretty easy to find. As you head out of Customs, the JR East counter is basically in the back left corner of the main area. We reserved the JR passes and WiFi unit ahead of time. We did not reserve the Welcome Suica, and had no problems purchasing it from the JR East counter. I believe we paid with credit card to purchase the Suica. I think cash only applies to reloading it.

    Unfortunately, you do not pick up the WiFi unit at their counter.
    To makes things easier, we bought everything from the same place. We got our portable WiFi, JR Passes, and Welcome Suica cards from JR East. Their counter was pretty easy to find. As you head out of Customs, the JR East counter is basically in the back left corner of the main area. We reserved the JR passes and WiFi unit ahead of time. We did not reserve the Welcome Suica, and had no problems purchasing it from the JR East counter. I believe we paid with credit card to purchase the Suica. I think cash only applies to reloading it.

    Unfortunately, you do not pick up the WiFi unit at their counter. After we had procured our JR passes and Suica cards, we had to go to the JAL ABC counter on the same arrivals level to get the WiFi unit. Even though we bought it from the JR East site. Strange. To get to the JAL ABC counter, make a hard right immediately after exiting customs. You will go down a fairly long corridor, passing a JAL ticket counter on your left. The JAL ABC counter was at the end of the hallway, directly in front of you as you are walking.

    All of the various counters mentioned above are after baggage claim and customs.

    We had no problems finding signs getting us to immigration, then baggage claim, and then customs. All three steps only took about 30 minutes. And there were plenty of signs directing towards the taxi area. It’s is immediately after the area where the JR East counter is located.

    So your progression will Plane -> Long Walk -> Immigration -> Baggage Claim - Customs -> Pick Up Suica/WiFi/etc -> Taxi. Nothing was far (except the airplane lol) and it was all pretty easy to find.


    Thanks so much for the details...I really appreciate it...

    We to are planning on Staying at the Hilton Tokyo Bay, for the Disney part of our trip... Thanks for the details on that to...

    Looking forward to hearing all about your trip...
     

    Chisoxcollector

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 4, 2013
    Day 3 (Part 1) - DisneySea

    I woke up way earlier than I hoped on our first morning in Tokyo. I think I was up by 3am or so. I didn’t want to wake up Pocky, so I basically sat in the dark reading on my iPad.

    Once Pocky finally woke up, I opened the curtains as fast as I could to check out the glorious view. I was very happy to see that Mt. Fuji wasn’t hiding!

    mt_fuji.jpg

    As much as I would have enjoyed looking at the wonderful view all day, I had to pull myself away to get ready for our first Disney day!

    DisneySea didn’t open until 10am. So we left our room at around 8am, and grabbed a quick breakfast at the Celebrio Lounge. We left the hotel at 8:15 for the short walk to Bayside Station. I was very excited when I saw Mount Prometheus from the monorail platform.

    20200207_054656.jpg

    Sadly, we didn’t get a Duffy monorail this time. Luckily, even their regular monorail is way cuter than ours in Orlando.

    20200209_082951.jpg

    We finally made it to DisneySea around 8:30. Even though the park didn't open for another 90 minutes, it was already nuts! On a very cold Tuesday in February!

    We got in a line that we desperately hoped wasn't a Happy 15 line. We were probably 100th in line. Then, we got some pixie dust.

    If you read the last few posts in my planning thread, you might remember that I hurt my knee right before the trip. Because of the injury, I was stuck using a cane. I always have the best timing! I was already going to be a big tall Pooh shaped guy in a city designed for smaller people. Now I was going to be a big tall Pooh shaped guy with a cane!

    The cane ended up being an advantage today, however. A sweet cast member came over to us and asked if I needed a wheelchair. I said no, I could walk. Then she motioned for us to come with her. We were afraid of losing our place in line, but we followed her.

    She took us to a line that only had 2 groups with a total of 6 people in them. Both of those parties had somebody in a wheelchair. She explained that it was a line for disabled people, and I guess with the cane I qualified, lol. So we went from being 100 people back to being 6 people back!

    Finally, it was time to enter DisneySea. They let the Happy 15 line in at around 9:40, and everybody else in at 9:54.

    As we entered, there were so many Pixar characters standing around in front of the lagoon. If the characters had lines, we would have stopped and taken pictures with Remy and Carl and some others. But we don’t like fighting for the characters attention, so we continued on with our rope drop plan. We did briefly stop to take a couple of pictures on the way.

    pixar_entrance.jpg

    globe.jpg

    prometheus.jpg

    First, we grabbed a Fastpass for Journey to the Center of the Earth. We pulled the FP at 10:01, and our return time was 10:30am. Not bad! FP in hand, we jumped in the standby line. It was a walk on.

    Journey was our most anticipated attraction, and it did not disappoint. OMG it was so good! The combination of dark ride and thrill ride was perfectly executed.

    After riding Journey, we jumped in the standby line for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. This ride was also a walk on. We were a bit underwhelmed by this one. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't particularly good either. I also just barely fit. We both agreed that it was a one and done attraction.

    It was already time for our Journey FP, so we happily rode it for the second time in 30 minutes. So so good! As we exited the attraction, we noticed that the standby line was already close to two hours. The pathways were also getting a bit difficult to navigate. So much for low February crowds!

    Next we headed towards Indiana Jones Adventure: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull to grab a Fastpass. Our return time was 12:25pm. The standby line was also up to around 2 hours.

    At this point my knee was absolutely killing me. With the elevated wait times, I didn't think I'd be able to do standby for any more rides. I just couldn't stand for 2+ hours. I couldn't do a wheelchair, because I have a really bad back and couldn't push myself for very long, and I would never ask my wife to push me around all day. We decided to see if it would be possible to get a DAS. We expected them to say no, and we would have totally accepted that, but we figured it couldn't hurt to ask.

    So we trekked back to guest relations at the front of the park. There was no line. I explained my situation, and the woman said she would ask her supervisor. She came back a few moments later and said yes, they could issue me a DAS. They took my picture. I'm one of those weirdos that always smiles for pictures like this. All of the ladies in guest relations started exclaiming how nice my smile was. It was embarrassing lol!

    DAS in hand, we headed towards American Waterfront and Cape Cod to walk around a bit. My wife loves Duffy, so she went a bit nuts shopping at McDuck's and Aunt Peg's Village Store.

    scrooge.jpg

    duffy_friends.jpg

    We decided to stop at an ice cream cart for our first Tokyo Disney snacks. I got a Tiramasu Ice Cream Sandwich, and Pocky got a Sea Salt Ice Cream Monaka. The Monaka was definitely the winner of the two.

    tiramasu_ice_cream_sandwich.jpg

    sea_salt_ice_cream_monaka.jpg

    We walked around a bit more, and then started off towards Indiana Jones to use our FP.

    That concludes Part 1 of our first day at DisneySea. There is much more to come!
     
    Last edited:
  • Haley R

    With all the strength of a raging fire
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2017
    Day 3 (Part 1) - DisneySea

    I woke up way earlier than I hoped on our first morning in Tokyo. I think I was up by 3am or so. I didn’t want to wake up Pocky, so I basically sat in the dark reading on my iPad.

    Once Pocky finally woke up, I opened the curtains as fast as I could to check out the glorious view. I was very happy to see that Mt. Fuji wasn’t hiding!

    View attachment 472156

    As much as I would have enjoyed looking at the wonderful view all day, I had to pull myself away to get ready for our first Disney day!

    DisneySea didn’t open until 10am. So we left our room at around 8am, and grabbed a quick breakfast at the Celebrio Lounge. We left the hotel at 8:15 for the short walk to Bayside Station. I was very excited when I saw Mount Prometheus from the monorail platform.

    View attachment 472157

    Sadly, we didn’t get a Duffy monorail this time. Luckily, even their regular monorail is way cuter than ours in Orlando.

    View attachment 472158

    We finally made it to DisneySea around 8:30. Even though the park didn't open for another 90 minutes, it was already nuts! On a very cold Tuesday in February!

    We got in a line that we desperately hoped wasn't a Happy 15 line. We were probably 100th in line. Then, we got some pixie dust.

    If you read the last few posts in my planning thread, you might remember that I hurt my knee right before the trip. Because of the injury, I was stuck using a cane. I always have the best timing! I was already going to be a big tall Pooh shaped guy in a city designed for smaller people. Now I was going to be a big tall Pooh shaped guy with a cane!

    The cane ended up being an advantage today, however. A sweet cast member came over to us and asked if I needed a wheelchair. I said no, I could walk. Then she motioned for us to come with her. We were afraid of losing our place in line, but we followed her.

    She took us to a line that only had 2 groups with a total of 6 people in them. Both of those parties had somebody in a wheelchair. She explained that it was a line for disabled people, so they could arrive a bit later and not have to stand in line for hours.

    So we went from being 100 people back to being 6 people back!

    Finally, it was time to enter DisneySea. They let the Happy 15 line in at around 9:40, and everybody else in at 9:54.

    As we entered, there were so many Pixar characters standing around in front of the lagoon. If the characters had lines, we would have stopped and taking pictures with Remy and Carl and some others. But we don’t like fighting for the characters attention, so we continued on with our rope drop plan. We did briefly stop to take a couple of pictures on the way.

    View attachment 472160

    View attachment 472162

    View attachment 472161

    First, we grabbed a Fastpass for Journey to the Center of the Earth. We pulled the FP at 10:01, and our return time was 10:30am. Not bad! FP in hand, we jumped in the standby line. It was a walk on.

    Journey was our most anticipated attraction, and it did not disappoint. OMG it was so good! The combination of dark ride and thrill ride was perfectly executed.

    After riding Journey, we jumped in the standby line for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. This ride was also a walk on.

    We were a bit underwhelmed by this one. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't particularly good either. I also just barely fit. We both agreed that it was a one and done attraction.

    It was already time for our Journey FP, so we happily rode it for the second time in 30 minutes. So so good!

    As we exited the attraction, we noticed that the standby line was already close to two hours. The pathways were also getting a bit difficult to navigate. So much for low February crowds!

    Next we headed towards Indiana Jones Adventure: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull to grab a Fastpass. Our return time was 12:25pm. The standby line was also up to around 2 hours.

    At this point my knee was absolutely killing me. With the elevated wait times, I didn't think I'd be able to do standby for any more rides. I just couldn't stand for 2+ hours. I couldn't do a wheelchair, because I have a really bad back and couldn't push myself for very long, and I would never ask my wife to push me around all day. We decided to see if it would be possible to get a DAS. We expected them to say no, and we would have totally accepted that, but we figured it couldn't hurt to ask.

    So we trekked back to guest relations at the front of the park. There was no line. I explained my situation, and the woman said she would ask her supervisor. She came back a few moments later and said yes, they could issue me a DAS. They took my picture. I'm one of those weirdos that always smiles for pictures like this. All of the ladies in guest relations started exclaiming how nice my smile was. It was embarrassing lol!

    DAS in hand, we headed towards American Waterfront and Cape Cod to walk around a bit. My wife loves Duffy, so she went a bit nuts shopping at McDuck's and Aunt Peg's Village Store.

    View attachment 472268

    View attachment 472270

    We decided to stop at an ice cream cart for our first Tokyo Disney snacks. I got a Tiramasu Ice Cream Sandwich, and Pocky got a Sea Salt Ice Cream Monaka. The Monaka was definitely the winner of the two.

    View attachment 472266

    View attachment 472267

    We walked around a bit more, and then started off towards Indiana Jones to use our FP.

    That concludes Part 1 of our first day at DisneySea. There is much more to come!
    You make me miss TDR so badly!! I absolutely love the cast members there. They’re so friendly and always looking to help. I also really wanna go during Pixar playtime but I think it might be too cold. We’re planning on going next year with our son (he’ll be born this April). We were thinking next May so it would be during Easter which could still be a lot of fun
     

    LovesTimone

    Christmas Day 2017
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2009
    Wow... really great pictures, and a wonderful start to your first day at Disney Seas.... pixiedust: So glad that you were able to get the pass with your knee in bad shape... Don't forget about the first aid station you could get some ice for your knee if needed...

    I am getting excited about our up coming trip, it's still 10 months away... so lots of note taking, and planning to do...

    Looking forward to the next installment...
     

    Linkura

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 13, 2017
    Such a great report. The CMs are truly lovely! Your rope drop strategy is the same that I plan on using: get a FP for Center of the Earth, ride standby, ride 20k Leagues, use Center of the Earth FP. Glad it worked out well.
     

    Markolodeon

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 7, 2011
    Such a great report. The CMs are truly lovely! Your rope drop strategy is the same that I plan on using: get a FP for Center of the Earth, ride standby, ride 20k Leagues, use Center of the Earth FP. Glad it worked out well.
    Where if at all does Soarin’ fit in?
     

    Chisoxcollector

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 4, 2013
    Day 3 (Part 2) - DisneySea

    We were now on our way to use our FP for Indiana Jones. We decided to stop on the way to get our first DAS return time... for Journey to the Center of the Earth!

    Getting return times would prove to be a slightly frustrating experience. First, it was difficult explaining that we wanted a DAS return time. Usually they thought we were asking about Fastpasses. Eventually they would catch on and go get a different person to help us. Then we’d have to explain it to them all over again. Then they’d ask us to wait while they went to get a logbook. Then they would write down our information in the logbook. Then they’d either walk us to the sign for the attraction, or show us different pages in a folder, or use the translator on their phone to ask us different questions about the attraction. Can you go up the stairs, can you walk X amount of meters, can you climb a ladder in case of an evacuation, can you handle spinning, etc.

    After saying “OK” to those questions, they would then ask us to wait again while they went to get the return time paper slips. They would fill out the slips with our return time, and explain to come back at that time and use the FP line. The overall process usually took 5-10 minutes.

    Also, the return times work differently in Tokyo than they do in the US. At WDW, you can return at any time after the return time. In Tokyo, you only have a 15 minute window. If your return time says 11:00, you have to use it by 11:15.

    I want emphasize that none of this is the fault of the cast members. They were awesome, even pantomiming various things like climbing a ladder. I expect that they don't give out very many DAS, so the process has never really been streamlined.

    Once we had our Journey return time, we headed to Indy to use our FP. We loved this ride as well. It was very similar to the one at Disneyland, but I liked this one just a tad more. It was so strange (in a good way) seeing Indy speak Japanese.

    It was now time for the only table service meal we had planned for our four days at Disney: Lunch at Magellan's! Every single post or article I've read about DisneySea recommended Magellan's, so it was our only must do.

    magellans_exterior.jpg

    PSX_20200210_055519.jpg

    We were seated in the "secret" wine cellar. It was really cool in there. The theming in this restaurant is absolutely amazing. They ask you to find the secret button on the bookcase and push it.







    They had 3 meal sets available for lunch. The Atlantic for 3700 yen, the North Star for 4600 yen, and one for like 8700 yen. I went with the North Star, while Pocky got the Atlantic. I apologize for the quality of the photos. The lighting wasn't very good in the wine cellar.

    Here is what Pocky got with the Atlantic:

    hors d'Oeuvre Sampler
    PSX_20200210_060209.jpg

    Today's Fish (Spanish Mackerel)
    PSX_20200210_060225.jpg

    Seasonal Sherbet (Strawberry)
    PSX_20200210_060238.jpg

    And here is what I got with the North Star set:

    Marinated Shrimp and Scallop
    PSX_20200210_060257.jpg

    Sauteed Lobster
    PSX_20200210_060312.jpg

    Creme Brûlée
    PSX_20200210_060333.jpg

    The food was very good. The portions are very small, but I expected that going in. The meal sets do come with unlimited bread, so you can leave full if you want to.

    The service was amazing. They refilled our waters within seconds of the glass being empty, if not before. They offered more bread several times throughout the meal. And they were as sweet as they could possibly be.

    This marks the end of Part 2 of our first Disney day. Part 3 should be coming up very soon!
     

    Attachments

    Last edited:

    Linkura

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 13, 2017
    I'm curious about Magellan's as that's the only table service I was considering doing. By the food being "very good," if you had to compare the overall quality, not specifically the cuisine or the taste, to a WDW or DL restaurant, which would you say it compares to? I'm honestly wondering if it's worth it, especially since I'll be solo. Thanks for the continued, awesome report!
     

    Haley R

    With all the strength of a raging fire
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2017
    Day 3 (Part 2) - DisneySea

    We were now on our way to use our FP for Indiana Jones. We decided to stop on the way to get our first DAS return time... for Journey to the Center of the Earth!

    Getting return times would prove to be a slightly frustrating experience. First, it was difficult explaining that we wanted a DAS return time. Usually they thought we were asking about Fastpasses. Eventually they would catch on and go get a different person to help us. Then we’d have to explain it to them all over again. Then they’d ask us to wait while they went to get a logbook. Then they would write down our information in the logbook. Then they’d either walk us to the sign for the attraction, or show us different pages in a folder, or use the translator on their phone to ask us different questions about the attraction. Can you go up the stairs, can you walk X amount of meters, can you climb a ladder in case of an evacuation, can you handle spinning, etc.

    After saying “OK” to those questions, they would then ask us to wait again while they went to get the return time paper slips. They would fill out the slips with our return time, and explain to come back at that time and use the FP line. The overall process usually took 5-10 minutes.

    Also, the return times work differently in Tokyo than they do in the US. At WDW, you can return at any time after the return time. In Tokyo, you only have a 15 minute window. If your return time says 11:00, you have to use it by 11:15.

    I want emphasize that none of this is the fault of the cast members. They were awesome, even pantomiming various things like climbing a ladder. I expect that they don't give out very many DAS, so the process has never really been streamlined.

    Once we had our Journey return time, we headed to Indy to use our FP.

    We loved this ride as well. It was very similar to the one at Disneyland, but I liked this one just a tad more. It was so strange (in a good way) seeing Indy speak Japanese.

    It was now time for the only table service meal we had planned for our four days at Disney: Lunch at Magellan's! Every single post or article I've read about DisneySea recommended Magellan's, so it was our only must do.

    View attachment 472398

    View attachment 472401

    We were seated in the "secret" wine cellar. It was really cool in there. The theming in this restaurant is absolutely amazing. They ask you to find the secret button on the bookcase and push it.

    View attachment 472409

    View attachment 472403

    They had 3 meal sets available for lunch. The Atlantic for 3700 yen, the North Star for 4600 yen, and one for like 8700 yen. I went with the North Star, while Pocky got the Atlantic. I apologize for the quality of the photos. The lighting wasn't very good in the wine cellar.

    Here is what Pocky got with the Atlantic:

    hors d'Oeuvre Sampler
    View attachment 472415

    Today's Fish (Spanish Mackerel)
    View attachment 472413

    Seasonal Sherbet (Strawberry)
    View attachment 472414

    And here is what I got with the North Star set:

    Marinated Shrimp and Scallop
    View attachment 472412

    Sauteed Lobster
    View attachment 472411

    Creme Brûlée
    View attachment 472410

    The food was very good. The portions are very small, but I expected that going in. The meal sets do come with unlimited bread, so you can leave full if you want to.

    The service was amazing. They refilled our waters within seconds of the glass being empty, if not before. They offered more bread several times throughout the meal. And they were as sweet as they could possibly be.

    I've reached my photo limit, so this marks the end of Part 2 of our first Disney day. Part 3 should be coming up very soon!
    I’m jealous you got to sit in the secret room! We asked but they told us it would be another 45 minutes or so. We decided to just eat in the main dining room but I did get a video of the secret door opening and closing
     

    Haley R

    With all the strength of a raging fire
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2017
    I'm curious about Magellan's as that's the only table service I was considering doing. By the food being "very good," if you had to compare the overall quality, not specifically the cuisine or the taste, to a WDW or DL restaurant, which would you say it compares to? I'm honestly wondering if it's worth it, especially since I'll be solo. Thanks for the continued, awesome report!
    I’m not who you asked but we were there for lunch last year. I would compare the quality to The Wave. We thought it was all very good and would eat there again. I agree the portions were small but you get multiple courses and it’s a perfect amount to not make you feel too full
     
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