Better Late Than Never - A Tokyo Disney (And Japan) February 2019 Report (Updated 22nd November - Last Day At Tokyo Disney Resort!)

grayquaza

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
The majority of the show, outside of the opening and closing song, is a whirlwind tour of Disneyland. It kicks off with Adventureland and the Enchanted Tiki Room, Jungle Cruise, and POTC.













Next up is Westernland with the Mark Twain riverboat, Big Thunder Mountain, and Country Bear Jamboree.









Fantasyland is more of a Disney movie montage than a ride montage.



Haunted Mansion gets a segment all to itself, much like in RDCT (it's almost the same soundtrack too!)



Then it's Toontown, also with some familiar sounding music!



Tomorrowland is a mix to Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters, and Star Tours.



And of course, the finale!













Sadly, this beautiful show only ran for the 35th anniversary and didn't even get a replacement. I suppose we all have to make do with YouTube. Get this up on the TV and treat yourselves!



With the show over, there wasn't much time left until the park closed. I rushed over to Westernland so I could use my Big Thunder Mountain Fastpass. When I got there, I discovered that CMs were only allowing people with FP to enter the queue, so it was lucky that I had one!

Surprisingly, this actually isn't an exact clone! Sure, it has similar beats but it's its own attraction. And riding at night is actually the best time to ride Big Thunder Mountain, in my personal opinion! Although I don't know about anyone else but I always hate the start of the ride. The chain lift and the waterfall combined with the echoey cavern, it's overwhelmingly noisy. I have to plug up my ears until we get out! Other than that, it's as great as the others. I could have jumped back in queue to ride again, were it not for the FP only thing.


Once I was off Thunder Mountain, I had maybe 10 minutes until the park was due to close. So I rushed back to Fantasyland to see if my Pooh's Hunny Hunt plan would work. It turns out that there was nobody around, so it definitely did! I literally walked straight through the queue and into a hunny pot without stopping.



So Pooh's Hunny Hunt is one of the top attractions in the park, and with good reason. It's a massive improvement on the other Winnie the Pooh rides, and the trackless aspect (one of the first rides to use the technology) really gets you involved in the scenes. It's a fun ride, and a great way to end the night. However, at the time, I had hyped it up in my mind as THE ride to do. And while I enjoyed it, I wouldn't say it was my my favourite. It didn't reach those lofty expectations, sadly. Nevertheless, here's the ride video. There's even a look inside the gift shop, which was closed by the time I came off the ride.


Not only was the gift shop closed, the park had closed as well. And it was practically empty in Fantasyland.



On the way back, I noticed a CM had drawn Donald and Daisy on the floor with water by the tea cups!



I slowly walked back to the front of the park. None of the shops were open, as far as I could tell. A far cry from WDW where the shops stay open long after the rides have stopped. But if you do feel like some last minute shopping, I believe Bon Voyage stays open an hour longer than the parks do.

I didn't stop, however. I returned to the station and didn't have to wait long before the hotel bus arrived. When I got back to Maihama Eurasia, I stopped at one of the vending machines in the corridor that led to my room and bought a Hershey's ice cream wafer that had caught my eye earlier on. It wasn't that great... Luckily, I still had half of my Mickey Mouse bread and the cherry custard pie. Not the most nutritious dinner but I wasn't complaining!

After such a jam-packed day, I was more than happy to get into bed and rest, knowing that I had another full day of Disney goodness just waiting for me!
 
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grayquaza

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
DAY 14 - Where Adventure and Imagination Set Sail

The weather was cloudy and grey again this morning. I had woken up a bit earlier because it was time to finally visit Tokyo DisneySea, which opened half an hour earlier than Tokyo Disneyland. I wanted to be better prepared this morning since I knew it would be the busier of the two parks. I managed to cut my breakfast time down in half, and I was out of the hotel door more than an hour before TDS was due to open!

The Maihama Eurasia hotel had stopped running buses between the Disney parks literally a few days before I arrived, which meant that I had to walk to TDS. But luckily, it was 15 minutes away so I wasn't too upset. However, a few minutes into my walk, I had a sudden thought. Did I turn the kettle off?

My hotel room came with an electric kettle which was very useful since I drink a lot of tea. The kettle was unique in that it actually kept the water hot after it had been boiled, which meant it stayed on even after use. I couldn't remember if I had unplugged it before leaving, and that nagging thought had me turning back to the hotel so I could make sure. Turned out that yes, I had unplugged it so it was all for naught!

This setback meant that I arrived at Tokyo DisneySea about 45 minutes before opening, much the same as the previous day. So much for being prepared...




The queue was more or less a similar depth to TDL which had me a bit worried again. At least this time it didn't rain while I waited! When the time came to enter, it was another free-for-all. CMs holding up signs telling people not to run, and people ignoring the rules and running for their lives. I followed the crowds at my quickest walking pace through the small covered walkway that separated the ticket area from the actual park.

I was awed by the sight of Mount Prometheus and stopped for a moment to let it sink in that I was actually there, in Tokyo DisneySea. It was also long enough to realise that I had forgotten to pick up a map on the way in and had no idea where I was going! I just knew I was heading for the mountain which was on the opposite side of the lake.

I noticed that a majority of guests were going to the left so I actually did the opposite and took a right. This led past the construction for Soaring: Fantastic Flight, through a small staircase garden and wrapped around the lake up to Mysterious Island. I don't know if going right was quicker but I do know there weren't many other guests around!

I went into the depths of the mountain for Journey To The Centre Of The Earth, which will henceforth be known as JTTCOTE. Since most people had presumably gone to Toy Story Mania and Tower of Terror, not only did I not have to wait for a Fastpass but the actual wait time was only 5 minutes! So I waltzed right up to the elevators down to the loading platform. If you've ever been on the Gringotts ride at Universal Studios, it's a similar experience. Your elevator is rapidly sent down deep into the earth. However, unlike the one at Gringotts, this is a proper elevator and not simply relying on simulated movement. It's almost like a mini attraction in itself.






I was a little nervous getting on board. JTTCOTE is one of those hyped up attractions that everyone raves about, so I had done my best to avoid videos. I knew that it utilized the same technology as Test Track, which was intriguing. But I had seen pictures and was aware of a lava monster animatronic that appears somewhere near the end of the ride. I'm actually a big wimp and giant animatronics freak me the heck out, especially if they're designed to be scary. So I was a bit on edge getting on, not wanting to miss what was going on but also not wanting to see the monster in action.

So my anxiety meant I didn't enjoy the ride as much as I thought I would. But luckily for me, a big jet of fire shot up in front of the vehicle just before you turn to see the lava monster which distracted me enough to avoid even seeing it! The one unexpected scare was actually a crack of thunder mid-way through the ride. It was just so loud, it kind of ruined everything else. Even the actual thrill of being shot out of the volcano at the very end which, by the way, is the only thrilling part. So that was a tad disappointing too. However! Subsequent rides were much more enjoyable since I knew what to expect. From here on out, I won't avoid ride spoilers because familiarity is the best way to enjoy things. Take my advice and watch the ride below!



With JTTCOTE complete, I had no real sense of what to do next. I looked around Mysterious Island a little and kind of wandered aimlessly towards Port Discovery.





I eventually came across Nemo & Friends SeaRider. I didn't know much about this ride. I knew it used to be a ride called StormRider which had something to do with hurricanes? And I knew it was a simulator much like Star Tours. It was somewhat new at the time, having opened in May 2017. You can see from above that there wasn't really a queue at all (and hey, first photo of Prometheus!) so I didn't want to waste that opportunity!





Most of the queue is outside. When they let you inside, you're separated into vehicle rows (like with Star Tours) around the outside of the room, and the pre-show takes place in the centre. It's all in Japanese, but from what I gathered, we were going to board a fish shaped submarine which used some sort of scientific prowess to shrink down to the size of a fish. The pre-show demonstrates this pretty well. There's a model of the submarine in the middle of the room which does in fact shrink before our eyes!

The actual ride is pretty cute and, I repeat, much like Star Tours. Your submarine goes out to the water and shrinks down. Then you go on a little adventure with the Finding Nemo gang. The story is split into five "acts" which have two variations each. So you can be guided around the coral reef by Mr. Ray and his class, or by Dory who is playing hide and seek with the other fishes. Or you can get caught up within the jellyfish and bounce your way out, or you encounter the sea otters in the kelp forest. It's all very seamless and you're continually moving. It's pretty fun and I'm a little surprised it hasn't been cloned to any of the other parks. It's better than the current Nemo ride at Epcot in any case.

Here's one of the possible ride-throughs. It was surprisingly difficult to find a video that included the pre-show!



The exit has a few posters lined up down the side. This one was my favourite because, come on, how could it not be?





Opposite SeaRider, you'll find Aquatopia, which was another walk-on. I was having some pretty good luck with wait times so far!




It's a trackless ride like Pooh's Hunny Hunt, except it's outside and on water. There's a lot of spinning in circles, avoiding water effects (which were still working in the middle of February!), and near misses with other vehicles.



It's also omnimover-like in that the vehicles never really stop moving. Which meant that any hold-up while boarding sent the whole attraction to a halt. I was almost at the end of the ride when it happened. It lasted a good few minutes and I was beginning to wonder if they'd have to evacuate. Then one by one, we all started to move again, and stop, and move, and stop, until I made it back to the platforms!





Ultimately, it was a unique attraction but it's like the tea cups or the carousel in that I wouldn't want to wait to get on. I imagine it's also more enjoyable when the weather isn't cold and overcast. As always, here's the ride video (with much better weather conditions!).




When I got off the ride, I noticed that the queue for Nemo had suddenly filled up. I was glad that I managed to avoid that!





The other attraction in Port Discovery is the DisneySea Electric Railway, an elevated electric trolley that travels between Port Discovery and the American Waterfront. But I wasn't ready to go to that side of the park. Instead, I continued clockwise towards Lost River Delta.
 

grayquaza

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 18, 2020


When walking towards Lost River Delta, the first thing you see in the distance is this massive temple. It towers over the treetops, and it's where you'll find Indiana Jones Adventure - Temple of the Crystal Skull (no relation to the film). IJA is my all-time favourite ride over at Disneyland, and I was raring to see how Japan's version compared. When I came face to face with the temple, I finally found the crowds as there was a 45 minute wait. However, IJA happens to be one of the few attractions in TDS to offer a single riders line. I did have to look it up on my phone beforehand to make sure because I couldn't see a dedicated line. But you simply walk up to the CM at the FP line and ask "single rider?" Or, at least, that's what I did! The CM just smiled and let me walk through.



The queue area is pretty spectacular! I walked through the entire line up to the merge where FP meets regular queue. Once again, I said "single rider?" and the CM made me wait a minute before she switched chains and guided me down a path that bypassed the rest of the queue, and down a staircase where I found only a few other people waiting ahead of me! I was stunned to say the least!





It wasn't long before I was guided to an empty seat and away I went into the temple! Now I was lucky because IJA had just come out of refurbishment that week (one of the reasons why I left TDR until the end of my trip), so it definitely looked incredible! The ride is almost the same as its California counterpart, but the effects are more enhanced. The colour scheme has a lot of greens instead of reds. Then there's one incredible scene that's unique to the TDS version. See if you can spot it!


Surviving the adventure, I walked back to Mysterious Island, continuing that clockwise path thinking there would be a shortcut somewhere. There wasn't. So I walked past Mermaid Lagoon and finally found my way back into the caldera. Before I returned to JTTCOTE, I stopped at 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea to grab a Fastpass. The queue was 30 minutes long and the FP window opened in 20 minutes, so it seemed like a no-brainer.



Here we are, my second go on JTTCOTE. The queue had grown to over an hour and, while my FP cut the bulk of the wait, I actually waited longer with the FP than I did without. Which was OK because it gave me time to appreciate the details in the queue which I missed first time around.










Pretty neat stuff! And as I said earlier, I enjoyed my second ride far more than the first one. Knowing what to be expect really calmed my nerves so I could soak in the atmosphere. The actual thrill aspect of the ride was still pretty lame though. For a ride utilizing Test Track technology, they really didn't make full use of the possibilities at hand.

When I exited, I checked my app for any other FP opportunities because it was already time to make a new one. I could have gone back for another JTTCOTE FP but two times was enough for the day. Instead, I backtracked to Mermaid Lagoon where I nabbed a FP for the Little Mermaid show. Mermaid Lagoon is almost entirely indoors and is more or less the Toontown of DisneySea. It mostly caters to kids with mini rides and there's a big play area too. I didn't want to hang around long because I had 20K to get back to, but then I spotted a familiar face and knew I had to get their attention.



Donald Duck! Out for a swim! And boy did it take ages to get a proper picture of him. As I mentioned with Jiminy Cricket, the characters kind of hang around and choose guests themselves. So you have a lot of screaming fans trying to gain attention, and that's my not vibe. Eventually, the character handler took pity on me and got Donald's attention herself. I got my pictures and let him carry on with his antics. I think Daisy was actually also around as well but, seeing how long it took to get Donald's picture, I didn't attempt to get hers!




Before I left Mermaid Lagoon, I stopped for a little treat. I noticed an ice cream stand inside which was selling a special kind of ice cream which, I think, is only sold there.



Sea salt ice cream! If you're a Kingdom Hearts fan then you know why I was excited. This wasn't actually my first time trying it while I was in Japan but it was in a different form here.

I left the kingdom and found somewhere to sit to give it a try. Before I could open it, however, I had a group of teenagers come up to me and ask to take their picture. After my crossed wires mishap the previous day, I knew exactly what to do! They all lined up in front of the kingdom with their backs turned and I think I got a decent picture for them. They seemed happy with it anyway!



So back to my ice cream. I opened the wrapped to find a pink sea-shell shaped wafer. I thought I took a picture of it unwrapped but apparently not... It looked a lot like the sea shell on the packaging, anyway. Biting into it, you'll find a salty-but-sweet ice cream with a raspberry sauce. And it tasted great! Don't let the name scare you off. The salt brings out the sweetness of the ice cream, much like salted caramel. I definitely recommend it! I quickly devoured the ice cream and, once again, I was back off to Mysterious Island to use my next FP.





On the way, I came across a sink with a short queue. That's because this particular sink had Mickey shaped foaming soap! So, of course I had a little go because how can you resist? I made a mental note to come back so I could get an actual photograph, and then somehow I never found it again!



20,000 Leagues Under The Sea! The original attraction in MK closed before my first visit but I still have a vague memory of the massive lake for it sticking around, with a statue of King Triton. However, the ride in TDS is different. For one thing, you don't board a Nautilus submarine. It's more of a pod that could fit maybe 6 people max.



There is an actual Nautilus in the water at Mysterious Island but, unlike the one in DLP, it's purely for show and you can't enter it. Still, it's pretty cool to see!

Once you've boarded your pod, you sit in front of a large window and there's a flashlight attached that you can move about, so it's like you're searching for something underwater. And it really looks like you're underwater, thanks to a bubble effect inside of the window. Other than that, there's no water involved at all!

I thought it was a pretty cool ride. I don't think it's the same as the original 20K ride. It was almost Atlantean in theme (but not the 2001 animated movie. Wouldn't that have been an awesome crossover?). Take a look and let me know!


 

grayquaza

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
I had a bit of time before I had to be back at Mermaid Lagoon for the Little Mermaid show so I decided to slow down a little and take a few photos.



There's this neat little plaque that points out the different sites of interest within Mysterious Island.



This is the point where you shoot out of the volcano during JTTCOTE!





Looking back towards Mediterranean Harbour, American Waterfront, and the MiraCosta hotel. You'd never guess all those windows belong to hotel rooms instead of being purely decorative!




On the left, you can see the entrance to the Leonardo Challenge, a Japanese language exclusive game that takes you around the Fortress Exploration zone. However, it was closed every time I passed it. Not that I'd be able to play it since there's no English option, but I'd liked to have attempted it!

This area is also where you'll find Magellan's, one of the table service restaurants. I did want to take a peek inside but I didn't know if you'd need a reservation so I didn't bother in the end. It looks like a stunning restaurant from pictures I've seen. Maybe next time...






I think this is a ship that you're able to board and look around as part of the fortress? It certainly looks large enough, and I know I did exactly that later in the trip, but was it this one? Hmm...



I don't think I've touched on the Pixar Playtime event that was going on. It involved some special Pixar themed shows, menu items, merchandise, and theming. The playtime aspect being related to board games. So there were these game pieces dotted about the park, along with a few carnival style games you could play as well. Those were mostly centred in American Waterfront. I did seem to miss all of the shows but, honestly, I wasn't that interested either! There was a car parade with Lightning McQueen, a cooking show with Remy, and a Pixar show at Mediterranean Harbour that I caught glimpses of but when walking through.

If you couldn't tell, I was walking clockwise around the park again. I wanted to stop at Raging Spirits, the only rollercoaster at TDS, to get a FP while I had the chance. Technically I didn't need to, the ride has a very effective single riders line much like IJA, but I had to get something!





There's some pretty awesome theming here. How do they get the fire on the water?



Finally! I was back in Mermaid Lagoon so I could watch King Triton's Concert. The FP wasn't really needed in the end, there wasn't much of a wait to see the show in the first place. I walked straight into the lobby area. I had read that the theatre shows in TDR tended to offer a device that showed English subtitles. So I sought out a CM to ask about it, and she said I should have gone to Guest Services beforehand to get it. I think she may have misunderstood what I was asking for because I received a translation device for a different show the following day unprompted. But I didn't want to ask again, so I left it alone. I entered the theatre thinking maybe it wouldn't be so bad. I know what the Little Mermaid is about so I couldn't go wrong.

Well... The entire show was in Japanese, including the songs. And from what I understand, they threw in songs from the direct-to-video sequels as well! Based on the name, King Triton's Concert, I assume the show is a concert for King Triton who, by the way, is a massive puppet! Sebastian and Flounder appear as puppets as well. Ariel's sisters make an appearance on screens that surround the theatre, and Ariel herself is an actual person who swims and sings through the air. Well, the 'water'. The whole show actually takes place above you, it's pretty impressive!

I know that TDR can be strict about recording their shows so I have no pictures. Nevertheless, it's certainly a show I would recommend with or without a translation device. And despite that little restriction, it hasn't stopped others from recording it sooo...


After the show, I felt a little peckish. I had a look at the menu at Sebastian's Calypso Kitchen, the restaurant inside Mermaid Lagoon, but nothing appealed to me. However, I knew there was a place nearby that I did want to try. So I left Mermaid Lagoon and walked over to the Arabian Coast.





I had heard a lot of great things about the Casbah Food Court, which serves Indian style curries. I love a good curry so I couldn't wait to try it. The only trouble was finding the entrance... It seemed like every door I came across was an exit only. And when I did find it, the line was out the door because it was peak lunchtime. I did wait for about 5 minutes until I realised the queue just wasn't moving. Alas, I decided I would come back another time. Instead, I sought out my second option.

Sultan's Oasis is a quick-service place that mainly serves snacks. Not exactly a filling lunch, but thanks to Pixar Playtime, I knew there was something on the menu I wanted to try. Thankfully, the lunch rush hadn't hit this place since I almost walked straight up to the counter. I ordered what I believe almost everyone else was waiting in line for; the Sulley Chicken & Corn Bun.



Pretty cool, right? If you couldn't tell by the name, It's a steamed bun filled with a chicken and sweetcorn filling, made to look like Sulley from Monsters Inc. It tasted like a chicken pie. But in a bun. I liked it but I couldn't help but wish I had what was usually on offer. When TDL and TDS have these special menu items, they tend to replace something that's on the regular menu. At Sultan's Oasis, the Sulley bun replaced the Chandu curry bun. Chandu being the adorable tiger mascot for my next stop, Sindbad's Storybook Voyage. I quickly finished off my bun and strolled along the waterfront to one of my most highly anticipated attractions.
 
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grayquaza

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
There was no queue for Sindbad's Storybook Voyage. I quite literally walked from the entrance and straight onto a boat. And apparently, this is the norm. Which is a right shame that it's so underappreciated because it turned out to be my favourite! Well, favourite Tokyo-exclusive attraction. IJA is my all-time favourite, of course.

I didn't know that much about it. Only that it was a dark ride ala Small World or POTC! So I was pretty blown away by it! It's a charming ride that follows Sindbad and his tiger sidekick Chandu as they traverse the world finding treasure and making friends. There's a song played throughout which was actually composed by Alan Menken, the guy behind many classic Disney songs from the Disney Renaissance era. The lyrics are by Glenn Slater, who also worked with Menken on Tangled. I assume the song was then translated into Japanese.

It was like a classic dark ride but upgraded. The animatronics are cartoonish yet move fluidly. There are even a few added physical effects like raindrops during a storm, and the scent of bananas in a room full of them. And of course, there's Chandu! The ride may be about Sindbad, but Chandu is the true star of the show.


After leaving Sindbad, I happened to notice a queue forming along the waterside. It was Stitch and Angel of all characters. I don't know why they greet here in exclusive outfits, but they were one of the few M&G that had a line instead of a crowd. The line was also closed off so nobody else could join. They're a popular pair!



I still a bit of a wait until my Raging Spirits FP was due, so I took the opportunity to wander the Arabian Coast and check out all the cool details. This is the best thing about TDS, there's just so much detail jam-packed into everything!










The large building below is actually a double decker carousel! Crazy, right? I think next to it is where you'll find a magic show featuring the Genie. I didn't get the chance to watch it but I've heard it's alright.



At some point, I went inside Agrabah Bazaar, the main shop in the area. Alongside the usual souvenirs, there was an area where they made personalised glass trinkets inside, which was interesting. I was hoping to find something Chandu related, and there was quite a choice. Pins, keyholders, even a puppet. However, I didn't find anything I wanted that was in my price range, which was a bit sad!

Back outside, I found two more Mickey Mouse statues.







Looking back at Mount Prometheus and Mermaid Lagoon. It's a pretty sight.




Eventually, I strolled back over to Lost River Delta for my FP at Raging Spirits and I still arrived a few minutes early.



This is the only rollercoaster in TDS, and the only attraction with a loop at TDR. I thought it was based on Indiana Jones but apparently not. It is, however, the same track as the Indiana Jones attraction in DLP, so maybe that was where I got mixed up.





It was a respectable rollercoaster but not the best. You can see it's pretty compact. Then with the shoulder harness thrown in, it's almost claustrophobic. It's a short ride, and it's over before you know it. If I waited over an hour for it, I'd certainly be disappointed! It's a good thing the ride has single rider, huh?


It was around 2:30pm by this point. I checked my app to see what FP were left, and the only one available was for SeaRider. So I walked over and nabbed a pass before they could run out. From there, I decided to go on the electric railway that travels over to American Waterfront.



While waiting in the queue, I noticed the sea wall surrounding Port Discovery. Beyond that, you can see the actual Tokyo Bay that backs onto the park! In Japan, their gardens tend to use a concept called "borrowed scenery" where the landscape outside of the garden boundaries is utilized in its design. I know a theme park isn't a garden but it's what it reminded me of!




Funnily enough, this was the longest queue I waited in. It said it was only 15 minutes, but it was closer to 25 minutes. Still, it was a cute experience. Interestingly enough, where TDL wasn't allowed to build a railroad due to local rail laws requiring payment for any railway that connected two or more stations (hence why you have to pay for the monorail), that law was abolished by the time TDS was constructed so they could do what TDL couldn't.






I got off the train at American Waterfront, the only other stop, and did consider sticking around for a moment before deciding a break was probably for the best. I'd already gotten around to experiencing almost everything I'd wanted to do in the 6 or so hours I'd been in the park. I'd consider that break-worthy!



I did walk out past the Tower of Terror however. You can see more of that Pixar Playtime theming here, including an actual board game printed on the ground. From here, I continued back towards Mediterranean Harbour.







They have gondalas on the water out here to match the Italian theming. It's almost like you're in Venice. Almost! I said my farewells to TDS for the time being, as I would soon be back in the evening. But for now, I had an long awaited appointment with the hotel spa...
 

Jabroniville

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 26, 2019
Oh, good to see this is still going! I didn't get email updates about this thread and forgot all about it, lol. Too bad about Pooh's Hunny Hunt being down- I myself only got to ride it twice over two days, mostly thanks to the lines- I could have managed a third and fourth in retrospect (once it was a 30-minute wait and I thought that was "too long", not realizing that's as short as it's ever gonna get, then it had just come back from being down and it had a small line, but I used my FastPass instead).

Question: How big was Frozen-mania when you were there? I went a couple years after the movie came out, and it was easily the single biggest pop culture thing when I was there- beating any anime, or any other Disney movie. There was merchandise is almost every single shop, with the characters (and unique art!) on totally random items. I'm curious if it had abated a bit by 2019.
 
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grayquaza

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Oh, good to see this is still going! I didn't get email updates about this thread and forgot all about it, lol. Too bad about Pooh's Hunny Hunt being down- I myself only got to ride it twice over two days, mostly thanks to the lines- I could have managed a third and fourth in retrospect (once it was a 30-minute wait and I thought that was "too long", not realizing that's as short as it's ever gonna get, then it had just come back from being down and it had a small line, but I used my FastPass instead).

Question: How big was Frozen-mania when you were there? I went a couple years after the movie came out, and it was easily the single biggest pop culture thing when I was there- beating any anime, or any other Disney movie. There was merchandise is almost every single shop, with the characters (and unique art!) on totally random items. I'm curious if it had abated a bit by 2019.
I have sort of let this TR fall by the wayside recently but yeah, I'm getting it back up and running! I had better luck with Pooh's Hunny Hunt on my park hopping days, so all was not lost in the end.

Surprisingly enough, Frozen fever had definitely died down by the time I was there. I know that in 2018, there was a Frozen event in the winter months and it didn't return for 2019. I was a little shocked that there wasn't any Frozen inclusion in the parades or fireworks or anything. Of course, I later discovered there's a Frozen float in the night-time parade which was absent when I watched it, but I digress! I don't even recall seeing any Frozen merch anywhere either.
 
  • grayquaza

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2020
    So when we left off, I went back to my hotel to take a small break from Tokyo DisneySea. I had decided that it was the perfect time to visit the spa. I grabbed a towel from my room and walked over to the spa entrance, which was only in the main lobby area. I was guided to a small locker area to keep my shoes and shown to the elevator up to a warm, inviting corridor where the changing rooms were.

    While the Maihama Eurasia resort has a proper spa with massages and what not, they are a separate charge. Hotel guests do, however, have free access to the extensive onsen that occupies most of the spa. That is, hot spring baths sourced from geothermically heated water. And it's a proper onsen, which is pretty rare for Tokyo. Most bath houses in the capital, known as sento, use water that is artificially heated in the facility itself. There are plenty of towns around Japan known for their onsen and they are popular vacation destinations. The nearest to Tokyo is Hakone, which is at the foot of Mount Fuji.

    While I never managed to visit Hakone, which I really regret but I couldn't fit it in the schedule, I did visit a different onsen town where I'll go into more detail about onsen. For now, the most important thing to know is that you bathe au naturel. You can bring a small towel with you to protect your modesty when moving between baths but, other than that, it's strictly no clothes. The baths are also separated by gender which is something to keep in mind if you're travelling with others.

    Since I'd already visited some onsen earlier in the trip, I already knew what to expect and I really enjoyed the break in the day. I did notice that people tended to visit the baths in the evening before going to bed, so there weren't many others inside. A bit of relief compared to the crowds in the theme parks. There were multiple baths both inside and outside, plus a few saunas as well. The hotel website has some pictures of them (
    the men's baths and the women's baths) for anyone interested. I took my time soaking in the various tubs and taking the time to relax.

    After about an hour or so, I finally dried off and returned to my room to grab my stuff. I managed to get back to TDS around 6pm. I scanned my ticket and held out my hand so the CM could see my stamp only to discover it wasn't there. So I checked with the other hand, just in case, and the same thing. Turns out I sort of washed off the UV stamp while I was enjoying the onsen. Whoops... I tried to explain the reason and, eventually, the CM let me in when I told her what time I entered the park the first time around...




    Pixar Playtime!




    Mount Prometheus looks pretty gorgeous in the night time!

    So my first stop was at Mama Biscotti's, which is a counter service bakery to the right of the park entrance. It's much like the Sweetheart's Cafe at TDL, and also sells similar baked goods. Probably not the first choice for dinner for many people, which is assumedly why the line wasn't that long, and I was able to cross another Pixar Playtime treat off my list.



    This was a Toy Story themed set, as you can probably guess! There was a sausage wrapped in puff pastry (which I refuse to call a sausage roll. Because it's not!), curry bread topped with a star-shaped egg, and a pot of those infamous alien mochi! Also a hot drink. Most likely a hot chocolate because it was a little chilly outside. All in all, it came to about 1150 yen which I think was pretty good value!

    I was a little disappointed that it was served cold because I prefer those sort of foods to be hot. It's also definitely more of a breakfast thing than dinner. But other than that, I found it pretty tasty. Especially the mochi. They each have either a strawberry, chocolate, or vanilla cream filling. You may notice that one of them isn't an alien, but the Pixar ball that appears in several Pixar shorts. That was a limited design for Pixar Playtime, and was lemon flavoured. I love lemon, so I was definitely satisfied with the swap! I couldn't say what flavour it replaced, however. Probably vanilla?





    While I ate, I updated my family on what I'd been doing that day and I sent them this picture. Terrible quality but I'm sharing it because it shows how quiet it had gotten now that it was night.




    I imagine everyone was preparing to watch Fantasmic, which takes place in the large lagoon in the middle of the park.



    After eating, I took a moment to admire Mount Prometheus and its purple glow before heading back over to Port Discovery so I could use my SeaRiders FP. I didn't know the ride had interchangable sequences like Star Tours until my second time riding, so that was a delightful surprise!





    I think it looks pretty neat at night around here.





    Somehow, walking clockwise had become my go-to when visiting TDS as I left Port Discovery and walked back around to Lost River Delta. On the way, I passed this vendor's cart selling hats. Weirdly enough, there was nobody actually manning the cart. In fact, there wasn't anyone about at all!



    I had a look at the ears again, since they had a few styles that I hadn't seen yet.








    After that quick stop, I kept walking clockwise until I reached this marvellous Coco photo spot opposite the bridge that crosses over to Indiana Jones Adventure and Raging Spirits.



    Again, no CMs seemed to be about so I couldn't ask for a picture of myself. Then every other time I passed by later on, there was a queue. Not a massive loss since, you may have noticed, I'm not much of a selfie man. But it would've been fun to give a go. I think there may have been a guitar prop that you could use as well but don't quote me on that!





    Instead, I took a peek inside of a shop called Lost River Outfitters. A typical shop selling the usual trinkets. Only really notable because they were also selling these cute posable toys.




    At first, I thought these were NuiMOs, which had only been released in Japan a few months beforehand. But looking it up, it's a similar looking toy called Pozy Plushy that I believe is only sold in TDR. They had a few peeking out of the window at Lost River Outfitters to show off the winter outfits they were selling. They're little cuties but I think I prefer the Tsum Tsums they used to sell. Or actually still sell in Japan. Everyone fun never seems to end up in our Disney Stores...



    After my brief stop in that shop, I continued following the path around the volcano, with Arabian Coast on the opposite side of the water, until I reached Mermaid Lagoon again.




    I had checked my app earlier and noticed that all of the rides inside had a 5 minute wait or less. It just seemed so quiet everywhere! Again, I assume it was due to Fantasmic being due to start, and I had already planned to watch it the following evening. For the time being, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to knock-out a big chunk of TDS with little hassle. So under the sea I went!
     

    Jabroniville

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 26, 2019
    I have sort of let this TR fall by the wayside recently but yeah, I'm getting it back up and running! I had better luck with Pooh's Hunny Hunt on my park hopping days, so all was not lost in the end.

    Surprisingly enough, Frozen fever had definitely died down by the time I was there. I know that in 2018, there was a Frozen event in the winter months and it didn't return for 2019. I was a little shocked that there wasn't any Frozen inclusion in the parades or fireworks or anything. Of course, I later discovered there's a Frozen float in the night-time parade which was absent when I watched it, but I digress! I don't even recall seeing any Frozen merch anywhere either.
    Interesting! That jibes with the fact that Frozen II did much more poorly in theaters than the original did in Japan (something not reflected anywhere else, where it did better). I was really curious as to why- I can only guess that the "fad" just died in Japan (where media targeted towards girls in particular seems very prone to "here today, gone tomorrow"- the same old Shonen Jump stuff is still popular with boys time and again, though).

    As a Frozenmaniac this bothers me, lol. Aaaaaaaaaand it makes me really curious as to how well their upcoming Frozen/Tangled/Pan-land is going to do, since Frozen makes up arguably the biggest part of that (with Elsa's castle).

    Great report, once again! Funnily enough I'd actually had this window open on my computer for weeks and hadn't quite read your last report, finally doing so about a day before you came back on and updated, lol.

    Looking at the Finding Nemo thing is interesting, since when I was there they had it as a flight simulator-dealie. I remember it being okay, but not outstanding. I do find the focus on IPs interesting, as a lot of Disneyphiles prefer the less-IP'd park attractions (though Journey & Nautilus ARE IPs... just from older franchises and not recent movies), but even in Japan the fans are like "No, we want attractions based off of popular Disney movies".
     

    grayquaza

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2020
    Interesting! That jibes with the fact that Frozen II did much more poorly in theaters than the original did in Japan (something not reflected anywhere else, where it did better). I was really curious as to why- I can only guess that the "fad" just died in Japan (where media targeted towards girls in particular seems very prone to "here today, gone tomorrow"- the same old Shonen Jump stuff is still popular with boys time and again, though).

    As a Frozenmaniac this bothers me, lol. Aaaaaaaaaand it makes me really curious as to how well their upcoming Frozen/Tangled/Pan-land is going to do, since Frozen makes up arguably the biggest part of that (with Elsa's castle).

    Great report, once again! Funnily enough I'd actually had this window open on my computer for weeks and hadn't quite read your last report, finally doing so about a day before you came back on and updated, lol.

    Looking at the Finding Nemo thing is interesting, since when I was there they had it as a flight simulator-dealie. I remember it being okay, but not outstanding. I do find the focus on IPs interesting, as a lot of Disneyphiles prefer the less-IP'd park attractions (though Journey & Nautilus ARE IPs... just from older franchises and not recent movies), but even in Japan the fans are like "No, we want attractions based off of popular Disney movies".
    Hah, that's some serendipity! I'm glad you're enjoying it. I didn't know Frozen 2 didn't perform as well in Japan as the first film, that is interesting. I'm sure the new expansion will be well-received regardless. Especially since, as you said, the Japanese fans much prefer IP based attractions. Personally, I'm a little surprised that Peter Pan was not only chosen, but will have two rides! Makes you wonder what will happen to Peter Pan's Flight.
     

    grayquaza

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2020
    Once again, I entered Mermaid Lagoon and went down to the depths of Triton's Kingdom. And just as I suspected, it was practically empty. I wasted no time making a beeline straight for Ariel's Playground. I thought I took a picture of the map but apparently not. And the only one I can find is this low quality one, which is annoying...



    As you can see, it's split into lots of zones to explore. Because it's designed for kids, there isn't really that much interesting to note. There is a rope bridge course that you can clamour around for fun. There's a little wet play area where sea creatures squirt out water and jumping water jets sprout from the floor. Which I'm sure would be fun if it weren't the middle of winter! And of course, the main reason I wanted to look inside, there's a life sized replica of Ariel's Grotto.



    It's practically ripped from the movie, even Eric's statue is in the middle. There are a lot of neat details and bits you recognise from the film, so it's definitely worth taking a look inside if you ever get the chance. Kinda makes you wish they did something similar with the Little Mermaid area in Magic Kingdom.









    I did eventually take a little walk around the rest of the play area to see what was about. Although I didn't really get any pictures because it was surprisingly dark in most of the areas. There was, however, this neat little tunnel lined with glowing jellyfish!



    Following that tunnel leads towards Ursula's lair, and you'll hear her voice echoing throughout, in Japanese of course. If you look back at Ariel's Grotto, you can just about see a mirror behind the statue of Eric. That's actually a one-way mirror, with the transparent side in Ursula's lair. I remember walking past only to see a group of girls using the mirror side to put on make-up! I don't know if they knew it was one-way...

    Of course, here's a video showing off most of the area.


    Having explored every nook and cranny, I decided it was time to check out the rides inside. With Mermaid Lagoon being the "cheap" part of TDS, the rides are essentially fairground level thrills. And one of them, Blowfish Balloon Race, was closed for refurbishment. But I don't think I missed much, it's a spinning ride much like Flik's Flyers in A Bug's Land. You know, before it closed to make way for the Avengers.

    What I did ride, however, was similar to another Bug's Land ride. Called The Whirlpool, it's a teacup-like ride that spins in a figure of 8 pattern. Or Francis' Ladybug Boogie. I liked it but it would be much better if you could actually spin the vehicle yourself.



    After that, I rode the other ride that was inside. The Jumping Jellyfish. Which is exactly the same as the one in Disney California Adventure! Three similar rides in one land. Considering that DCA and TDS opened within a few months of each other, it makes you think...



    It's like a tame version of Tower of Terror, which is more my kind of style honestly. I've only done it once, or rather Mission Breakout because of the Guardians of the Galaxy theme, and once was enough!

    After this, I actually went back into the play area because I realised I'd forgotten to check out the rope bridges that wrap around the front of the play area. Nothing exciting but hey, here's a giant anchor.



    Having had my fill of Mermaid's Lagoon, and knowing that the fireworks display (which is separate from Fantasmic) were due to start soon, I made my way out. There are another two rides that are outside but, although I'd set this time aside to complete the land, I never did get around to riding them. One of them, Scuttle's Scooters, was actually closed for refurbishment but I completely forgot about Flounder's Flying Fish Coaster until I got home. Ah well, next time!



    At the actual entrance to Mermaid Lagoon, there's this great statue of King Triton welcoming you to his kingdom.



    I also found this Hidden Mickey among the mosaics on the wall.



    Speaking of which, there are holes in the ground here that look down into Ariel's Grotto. Not that you can tell that from this picture. I noticed these lights while I was in the grotto and wondered whether they aligned in some way to form a Hidden Mickey. Unfortunately, they did not!





    The outside of Mermaid Lagoon looks so pretty at night.



    I found another one of those Mickey Mouse statues nearby.



    Then a couple more photos as I looked for somewhere to watch the fireworks from.





    It's a unique situation because the fireworks are actually set off in-between Disneyland and Disney Sea so you can watch them from either park. I didn't really know the best place to view the fireworks from, so I ended up stopping on the bridge to Arabian Coast just as they started. Was that a good idea? We'll find out!
     
  • Jabroniville

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 26, 2019
    Cool stuff once again! I really liked the theming and ambiance of Ariel's Grotto, much as there isn't anything for adults to do there, for the most part. I still remember the Eric statue really well, and the gift shop being in a whale's mouth! I don't remember the Ursula stuff terribly well.

    It seems like most major theme parks have to have a "carney ride" zone like this, and this is easily the nicest of them. Especially with that beautiful castle visible from the outside (though only from the Arabian Coast). Did you do the meet & greet with Ariel? I saw a sign to meet her when I was there, but I'm not sure if it was even open. For some reason, I assumed she'd speak Japanese and stuff, but I've learned all the Face Characters are still English-speaking folks, usually from the U.S.

    The only Face Character I saw at all in DisneySea was Cruella, down in New York. The crowd definitely loved her scowling into everyone's pictures.
     

    grayquaza

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2020
    Cool stuff once again! I really liked the theming and ambiance of Ariel's Grotto, much as there isn't anything for adults to do there, for the most part. I still remember the Eric statue really well, and the gift shop being in a whale's mouth! I don't remember the Ursula stuff terribly well.

    It seems like most major theme parks have to have a "carney ride" zone like this, and this is easily the nicest of them. Especially with that beautiful castle visible from the outside (though only from the Arabian Coast). Did you do the meet & greet with Ariel? I saw a sign to meet her when I was there, but I'm not sure if it was even open. For some reason, I assumed she'd speak Japanese and stuff, but I've learned all the Face Characters are still English-speaking folks, usually from the U.S.

    The only Face Character I saw at all in DisneySea was Cruella, down in New York. The crowd definitely loved her scowling into everyone's pictures.
    Outside of the free-roaming characters, I didn't do any of the M&G with actual queues because they were such long wait times. I feel like I saw a few face characters around but I may be thinking of the parades? I definitely did see Cruella as well, though! I didn't stick around that long but she had an enraptured crowd around her.

    Great photos and TR :)
    Thank you!
     
    Last edited:

    grayquaza

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2020
    The fireworks were about to begin and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I hadn't exactly heard the most positive buzz about them. The show is 5 minutes long, at most. Due to TDR being so close to residential areas, they don't have the space for a large-scale fireworks show. plus, inclement weather can, and usually does, lead to it being cancelled at the drop of a hat. So it's lucky that I managed to catch the show at all, which is a plus!



    Brand New Dream was another show made for the 35th anniversary, using that same catchy tune with the same name that they relentlessly played in World Bazaar every 10 minutes. And of course, a few Disney songs like Bella Notte and How Far I'll Go.





    For a 5 minute show, it was pretty fun, yet I don't think I would have been missing much if I missed it. The limited fireworks make it feel more like a backyard party than a Disney spectacular. More of an afterthought than a must-see. Maybe I would have liked it more if I saw it in front of the castle? It was a neat distraction, regardless.





    Here's the full fireworks show to watch, both from TDL and TDS so you can see that uniqueness of the two parks sharing the same show.



    With the fireworks over and the park still open for another 45 minutes or so, I knew I'd have enough time for a few extra rides. I was already on the bridge to the Arabian Coast so that's where I went. On the way, I found another Golden Mickey close to the double-decker carousel. Then I may have then ridden the carousel? I vaguely remember riding it at night but the sole picture I have is in the daytime sooo...



    But what is a given is that since I was in Arabian Coast, I obviously had to take another spin on Sindbad's Storybook Voyage!



    This time around, I tried to get a photo of every Chandu appearance. He's so adorable!







    He's a feisty little fellow!





    Peekaboo!





    I love that the little map at the end has Aladdin and Jasmine on it, as well as Agrabah!

    Speaking of which, I noticed that Jasmine's Flying Carpets didn't have much of a wait. It's just like the one in Magic Kingdom but with a different name. And it looks like this.





    No wonder it's named for Jasmine instead of Aladdin, it's far more elaborate! I ended up in the front seat which meant I controlled the height, but I tried to reign in my inherent desire to bounce the carpet up and down like a madman because there was a couple in the backseat who I doubted would appreciate it...

    Something I just discovered, thanks to this video of the ride, is that there's a viewing platform above the queue so you can watch the carpets fly by? That's pretty awesome!


    I had a small moment to wander around and take in my surroundings. It was just so quiet everywhere, not what I expected given the morning hubbub.




    There are some wonderful views around Tokyo Disney Sea for sure.



    There wasn't much time left until the park closed, so I rushed back over to Indiana Jones and managed to squeeze another ride in, thanks to that awesome single riders line!



    Once I came off IJA, I was prepared to walk back to the entrance when I noticed the boats were still running. So I got on the next ride. It went past Mermaid Lagoon and Mysterious Island, very close to the Nautilus, and everyone debarked at the Mediterranean Harbour dock. It was a bit further back from the front of the park than I thought it would be, closer to the tunnels to Mysterious Island.




    It sure looks lovely at night. But I'd packed away my camera at this point so phone pics will have to suffice.



    I think I may have stopped in one of the shops before leaving, but I didn't want to hang around that long. Since there was no bus back to the hotel, I had a gruelling 15 minute walk back. Bearable in the morning, a slog in the evening. In theory, I could have got the monorail to Maihama station and caught the bus from there, but I didn't want to waste the 250 yen. Besides, I've had worse walks, like the half hour walk between our holiday villa and Disneyland CA back in 2018...

    Anyway, I was more than pleased to be back in my room after another long day. And I still had two more to go. Even better, I would be able to park hop on those days!
     

    Jabroniville

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 26, 2019
    Oh poo- I didn't realize there was another update to this one. Silly emails not firing and me not checking! Nice stuff once again. What haven't you showed pics of so far? I didn't see the Lost River Delta until my second day in DisneySea because I totally missed that it was there, haha.
     

    grayquaza

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2020
    Oh poo- I didn't realize there was another update to this one. Silly emails not firing and me not checking! Nice stuff once again. What haven't you showed pics of so far? I didn't see the Lost River Delta until my second day in DisneySea because I totally missed that it was there, haha.
    Never fear, I kind of forgot to update as well! Oooo, a few attractions like Swiss Family Treehouse and the Enchanted Tiki Room, a few photos of the hotels, and probably half of DisneySea! I didn't even visit the Duffy & Friends part of American Waterfront until my final day. So plenty more to come!
     

    grayquaza

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2020
    DAY FIFTEEN - BRAND NEW DAY

    Another early start to the day, and this one was a little different. TDR tickets are special in that the first two days, you're limited to one park. But after that, you're able to park hop between parks. So really, the choice was which park to start at. Ultimately, I'd already decided on Disneyland. It opened half an hour later than DisneySea, so that meant a bit more time in bed! I arrived in good time and, I think, I was a little closer in the queue than my first day. I still had to arrive an hour earlier but anything to avoid queues later in the day!

    This time around, I hurried directly to Pooh's Hunny Hunt so I could get a FP, and I was successful! There was already a 15 minute queue so, since I had a FP in hand, I wanted to try my hand at riding Peter Pan's Flight instead. It's obviously notorious for its mind-boggling queues in the other castle parks, I didn't expect anything less from TDL. So I was pleasantly surprised when I crossed through Fantasyland and discovered a 5 minute wait. I suppose it's not the hot-ticket attraction it is in other parks, not when you have Pooh and Monsters Inc. There was a big crowd surrounding the ride, however, and it wasn't until I got in the queue that I realised what it was for.



    Yup, all of the Seven Dwarfs were out and greeting guests! You'd have to get a special event park ticket in Magic Kingdom for that opportunity nowadays, yet here they were. Albeit, they were separated and greeting individually. Funnily enough, the very first time I visited WDW way back in 2000, my family hid from the rain in Main Street City Hall and managed to meet all seven dwarfs AND Snow White together! I still have my autograph book from back then somewhere...

    Anyway, Peter Pan's Flight. It felt far more brighter, newer, and more refreshed than Florida's version, which admittedly I haven't ridden in years so it could be an unfair comparison. I've not even seen the extended queue and that has to be at least 5 years old by now. But at least TDL's ride gets the London flyover right. For some reason, the Florida ride has you entering from south of Tower Bridge, which is nowhere near where Kensington is. Tokyo's ride more accurately has you passing Big Ben.


    It was a quiet morning, which was welcoming. By this point in the trip, I had actually managed to visit almost every attraction in TDL so I was just going with the flow. So I wandered around Fantasyland and checked in on a few attractions. The tea cups, the carousel, I even squeezed in another Philharmagic showing. Speaking of which, have you seen the new Coco addition to the show? I love that they've actually given it some TLC! It's also surprising that nothing was taken out. I have a theory that they were originally going to replace the Lion King segment. Take a look, it totally fits!





    It wasn't even 10am and I had done everything I wanted in Fantasyland again. I didn't want to stray too far because my Winnie the Pooh FP was due at 10:45, so I checked my app to see the wait times nearby and happened to wander back over to Toontown again. Because this time, the line for Gadget's Go Coaster was non-existent.



    I noticed sometimes while taking photos, like these water spouting frogs, that people would wait behind me not wanting to cut the line. I'd have to wave people along to let them know they could go around me so I wouldn't cause a queue within a queue!



    Gadget's Go Coaster is pretty much like the Barnstormer but themed to Gadget. You know, the lady mouse from Disney Afternoon's Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers? I know they have the same ride in California, but I'm still surprised it's managed to stick to the same theme after all these years. Before Disney+ was a thing, when was the last time Rescue Rangers were about? I suppose it's like Roger Rabbit in that sense. Well it'll soon be relevant again when the live-action film comes out!




    While I was in Toontown, I thought I'd give Goofy's house another round, mostly because of a Kingdom Hearts easter egg I wanted to take a picture of. Unfortunately, I didn't get that specific round (it's a medieval castle theme, and Goofy's shield from the games hangs on the wall!), but I did snap this lovely photo of an Easter Bunny Goofy.



    While I was taking the picture, the CM looking after the attraction got my attention. I thought it was to tell me photography wasn't allowed, but it was actually to compliment my backpack. I told her I got it in Disneyland in California (well actually, a Disney Store outlet...) and it was based on Soarin', which at the time was due to open in Disney Sea within a few months. I don't know if she understood what I meant, I remember her saying repeating "Disney Sea..." in a confused tone, but she eventually nodded and agreed. So I'd say that was a successful interaction. I've have several people ask about it when working because of the patches depicting the countries seen in the ride. Usually to explain that I've not actually visited most of them in person and it's just the bag's design!

    I still had a bit of time until my FP was due, which is when I realised there was one Fantasyland attraction I hadn't visited yet. There is a walkthrough attraction in Cinderella Castle that looks at the story of Cinderella, told via dioramas and art pieces. If you've ever been through the Sleeping Beauty walkthrough exhibit in Disneyland, this is pretty much the same thing but for Cinderella.



    Much like the OG Cinderella Castle, there are these mosaics in the archway that also tell the story of Cinderella. But where you'd find Bibbity Bobbity Boutique, there is a jewellery shop. It looks like one of those Swarovski castles is inside!



    Cinderella's Fairy Tale Hall is actually in the space where you'd find Cinderella's Royal Table in MK. Back in the early days of TDL, there used to be an attraction under the castle called Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour which took you through the underground dungeons teeming with villains. It all culminated with a battle against the Horned King from the Black Cauldron! It sounds crazy but I've always been a bit too spooked by the description to search out a video of it. I don't do well with scary things...

    So I'm happy that the Fairy Tale Hall that opened in its wake is spook-free. There's even this cute motif above the elevator doors depicting Cinderella and Prince Charming dancing. Delightful!



    When you step out of the elevator, you're greeted by a Cast Member and a small room with paintings depicting the opening of Cinderella, and how she came to live with and work for the Tremaines. The next few rooms have some creative dioramas depicting the rest of the story. Cinderella's dress being made, the fairy godmother casting her magic spell, losing the glass slipper when the clock strikes midnight, and so on. I only got pictures of a few of them however, while a great idea to have different artists create their own visions for the key moments, I didn't particularly like a lot of them...







    Being on the upper levels of the castle, you can look out over Fantasyland from the windows here. As you can see, it wasn't a very nice looking day.





    The penultimate room has paintings similar to the ones at the start that depict Cinderella's wedding day, which is cute.



    You may notice a couple of intruders. Every now and then, Jaq and Gus will pop out of the wall and make themselves known!



    The final room is a large throne room which I somehow didn't get a picture of! There are a few photo ops dotted about. You can find the glass slipper on display, along with a slipper on the floor by a chair so you can attempt to try it on yourself.

    There are also these "magic" portraits which lit up with sparkles when you take a photo with flash. Except I forgot to also get a picture of the before, without the sparkles, so you'll just have to trust me on that.





    While I didn't photograph the actual room, I did snap a shot of the ceiling which is pretty gorgeous!



    And of course, the glass slipper that started it all.




    It reminds me of a few years back, whenever the live-action Cinderella came out. Disney put on a free exhibit in London of the costumes used in the film, including the Swarovski crystal glass slipper. And that truly was stunning! It's not really fair to compare the two, but take a look anyway!



    Overall, the attraction is a cute diversion and handy when you have some time to kill before a FP or reservation, but I don't know if it's worth taking too much time out of your day to visit. Not unless you love Cinderella, of course!




    You exit out on the other side of the castle where you can get a nice look over Fantasyland. On the left is a shop called Kingdom Treasures, and then the carousel. Above that, you can actually see Tokyo DisneySea's Mount Prometheus way in the back! The Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall is behind the carousel, with that lovely looking hedge maze roof. It's A Small World is, obviously, next to that and the Mad Tea Party is right in front of it. You can just about see the facade for Mickey's Philharmagic, blocked by the Brave Little Tailor Shoppe. Also blocked is Pooh's Hunny Hunt, which is to the right of IASW, and my Fastpass window for it was now open to ride!
     

    Jabroniville

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 26, 2019
    Yeah, I liked the Cinderella Fairy Tale Hall attraction- I can't remember if I saw it on my first or second day, but I only went in once, and kind of thought later I should have gone in a second time so it would have "sunk in" a bit better.

    Interesting that it didn't seem that busy when you were there this time around. I found nearly every attraction with a 1-hour wait when I went (in early October).
     

    grayquaza

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2020
    Yeah, I liked the Cinderella Fairy Tale Hall attraction- I can't remember if I saw it on my first or second day, but I only went in once, and kind of thought later I should have gone in a second time so it would have "sunk in" a bit better.

    Interesting that it didn't seem that busy when you were there this time around. I found nearly every attraction with a 1-hour wait when I went (in early October).
    I think October is one of the busier times of the year due to the Halloween celebrations. I went with February because I figured winter's generally not very busy outside of Christmas. While there were still hour long (or more) waits for the headliners, it was definitely quieter than I suspected based on the rope drop crowds.
     


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