Sunday, January 6, 2013

Tokyo Disney

My sister-in-law Akemi is CRAZY about all things Disney - as are most Japanese women.  Disney is the epitome of cute and if there was a perfect Japanese Heaven for Japanese women - it would be Disney-esque.

Disney Land and Disney Sea are located next to each other and if you are really interested to see how they are laid out, you can download maps here:

Tokyo Disney is only an hour by car from Mama's house and since I knew Ake-chan wanted to go, I figured 'why not'?  Tokyo Disney is a great day trip if you are ever in Japan and since I was curious about Disney anyway and an hour from Mama's was better than flying to Florida from New Jersey.

We started out bright and early about 8:30 AM and stopped at one of the Japanese toll road rest stops for a quick cup of coffee.

There is a variety of machines with all sorts of hot and cold beverages and the variety of coffee drink choices is astounding.

There is a HUGE difference from the North American (Canada and the US) concept of a 'Large' coffee to what the rest of the world (Asia, Europe etc.) considers a 'Large' coffee LOL.

Anyway, back to Tokyo Disney.  Akemi or Ake-chan as we all call her, goes to Disney Land and Disney Sea in Japan at least three times a year - EVERY year. Popular times for Japanese to go are Valentine's Day, Halloween and Christmas.  Interesting since Japanese really don't understand any of those holidays as Americans do ~ I spent an hour trying to explain the three wise men to my family and it was truly a foreign concept to them that they were absolutely knew nothing about...but I digress.

Tokyo Disneyland Park is big—about 114 acres. So it’s bigger compared to Disneyland Park, in California which is 74.2 acres, and the Magic Kingdom in Florida which is 106.3 acres. Despite its larger size, Tokyo Disneyland has fewer rides and attractions. 

Much of the park is open space, seemingly designed to hold as many visitors as possible. During the busy summer months it's not uncommon for the park to open its doors in the morning, and then have to stop admitting visitors around noon because it is filled to capacity (about 85,000 guests). The doors reopen again around 5:00 PM. The park can see over 100,000 visitors a day.

As you would expect, the centerpiece of the park is a castle; in this case, Cinderella Castle.

For the most part, the layout of Tokyo Disneyland Park mirrors its American counterparts: You walk through a main entrance and up Main Street to a central hub which branches out to the various lands of the park. 

Mickey Daruma

Mickey and crew Ningyo

Mike Melon Pan - ONLY in Japan LOL (Yummy, too!)

Despite the familiar layout, there are some obvious differences. Main Street (called "World Bazaar") is covered by a Plexiglas canopy. 

I got a great hat at one of the shops and I think I'll be wearing it daily in the winter to walk Maya LOL.  My brother was clearly very happy to be seen with me in public with my hat!!

There is no steam train running around the perimeter of the Park; instead it runs around Adventureland. Frontierland is not called Frontierland, it's called Westernland which makes sense because to Japanese who have no connection to the Western frontier. 

I can still shoot pretty well - but 9 out of 10 shots gave me an '8' score...?!?!

Finally, Toontown and Critter Country round out the different areas of the park. There's no New Orleans Square, although there is an area that looks like New Orleans Square but it is technically Adventureland. 

Fantasyland looks like Disneyland's Fantasyland did in the late 1970s. Tomorrowland is really Spartan and sadly not very futuristic featuring only Captain EO circa 1985-87 and some toddler-themed Buzz Lightyear attraction.  All in all a great, fun day at Tokyo Disney!!

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