Our final few days in Tokyo were spent without waste. As mentioned in my previous New Year post, we welcomed the new year of 2013 at the most happiest place on earth – Tokyo Disneyland! In fact, we spent two days there, one was at Disneyland and the other at Disneysea. Tokyo Disneyland is the first Disney park to be built outside of the U.S in 1983. It’s modeled after California’s Disneyland and the famous Magic Kingdom of Disney World of Florida. Well, Tokyo Disneyland consists of 7 themed lands and features seasonal decorations and parades. The seven are the World Bazaar, Adventureland, Westernland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, Critter Country and Mickey’s Toontown.
Getting your entrance ticket to Tokyo Disneyland is fairly simple and quick for foreign tourists. All you have to do is go to their website (click here) and order your tickets. You don’t have to pay in advance just yet. After choosing your date of entry, you will be prompted to print a collection slip and just go to the Tokyo Disney Resort Ticket Center to collect and pay for your tickets. It’s located just outside the JR Maihama station which is the only station you are able to get to Disneyland, so you won’t miss it.
You have a variation of passes or passports to choose from but I would suggest getting the 2-day pass or above. By getting the multi-day passports, you can get into Disneyland for one day and then Disneysea on the other. That would save you the time and money too. (Click here for the prices).
Word of caution, DO NOT LOSE YOUR TICKETS! Because you need your multi day passport to get into some of the rides and also to enter Disneysea. Also, the ticket is required for the lottery for the special shows in both Disneyland and Disneysea. Apparently, while we were waiting in line for one of the rides, a gust of wind seemed to have blown my ticket away from my hand. I screamed at it as I couldn’t move forward or back to get it. Fortunately, the calm looking and helpful Japanese people around helped me to look for it. One of them passed my ticket to me and I was so glad and thanked him. I would have to chain my ticket to my jacket or something.
Do also note that tripods are not allowed inside any of the parks. Even those mini tripods that you can smuggle inside? Well, I personally saw someone getting caught bringing in those mini tripods and was asked right away to remove it from sight.
Since it was modeled after Magic Kingdom, that makes Cinderella’s castle the iconic symbol here. Also, it’s my favourite Disney castle. I personally prefer this castle compared to Sleeping Beauty’s stout castle. This castle has white coloured walls and covered with blue roofs. It’s taller and it looks much more majestic and magical. Cinderella’s castle stands majestically right in your face once you enter the park. After the first glimpse of the castle upon entering, I suddenly had this flash back of all the opening intro of every Disney movie (you get what I mean). There was also this Mickey Mouse statue from Fantasia that caught my eye. He looked extremely enchanting and everyone was ignoring him. Fann & I decided to see what the inside of the castle looked like, so we queued up with all the people and was fascinated by all the things that were prepared for our eyes.
The castle showcases the story of Disney’s Cinderella and the entire story was beautifully crafted with a variation of designs and executions inside the castle. There were glass paintings, normal paintings, 3D projections, real life Cinderella’s glass shoe and many many wonderful Disney experiences. It was indeed magical. Every single detail of it.
Visiting Tokyo’s Disneyland during New Year was quite an experience. Many of their decorations are based on the Japanese version of the New Year. They even have a special parade that celebrates and welcomes the New Year. Most of the characters were dressed up in Japanese traditional costumes. Besides that, you are also able to purchase many New Year Disney items all around the stores inside Disneyland.
Entering Disneyland during the New Year requires massive amounts of patience because it’s the Japanese holiday and it seemed like the entire population of Japan has been squeezed into this amount of wonder land. Every attraction you go, you have to queue and all the fast passes has been sold out quicker than you can say my name.
Another attraction we went was the famous Winnie the Pooh’s Hunny Hunt. Well, it sure sounds rather boring and from the outside, all you can see is this huge book and seemed rather small. But it is in fact a massive complex and by massive I mean by Disney standards that it’s extremely huge and that it is cleverly and completely hidden from sight.
We queued for a couple of hours just to get into this one and we kid you not that it is not as boring as it sounds. It’s one of the best rides so far and it was well organised and well planned. The decorations were amazing as well and it was really out of this world. Totally unexpected and it never failed to surprise us. You have to visit it yourself, at the end of this massive story book, there is a very cool ride. Very very very cool indeed. Something I wouldn’t have thought would happen in a Pooh’s Hunny Hunt to be exact.
Besides all the rides, it’s also important to visit all of the stores in all of the themed lands. Each of these themed lands sell different items based on the theme. So you have to keep a really big eye on the items you want.
As for food, we didn’t manage to get into any restaurants for a great Disney meal due to the massive crowd during new year. So we settled for the snacks that were available to us. Well, it doesn’t sound as depressing as that, it was in fact quite delicious. Allow me to introduce some of these delicious snacks that you can find around.
Speaking of popcorn, when you’re there, you will be able to see many kids holding these little buckets of different designs like Stitch, Buzz Lightyear, Winnie the Pooh, Halloween Mickey, etc. Those are actually popcorn souvenir buckets that you can purchase inside Disneyland. The buckets are quite good in quality and extremely adorable, no wonder the Japanese are going crazy over them. If you happen to have one, you can get your popcorn refilled into you bucket at a much cheaper price.
Also, popcorn stands are everywhere inside the park. But if you look carefully, all these stands DO NOT sell the same popcorn. Each of these stands or carts have their own unique flavour. They have normal flavours like Caramel, Honey, Chocolate, Sea Salt, etc. Also, there are WTF flavours that I think only Japan has such as Curry, Black Pepper, Soy Sauce and Butter, Milk Tea and Corn Pottage. Hmm, as extreme as it sounds, I reckon they taste pretty good because the line is always extremely long!
Here are some of the other things we saw at Disneyland, enjoy:
Disneyland is full of fun and you can’t miss thier unique “Dreamlights” parade at night. All the themed light cars illuminate the night with fun and excitement. According to Disney’s website, it’s a million points of light sparkle in this grand nighttime parade. Starting next to the Haunted Mansion, the parade flows past Cinderella Castle and exits beyond Toontown. Despite the freezing cold winter night, we were shaking our asses off and hogging this beautiful spot facing the castle to watch the parade like a couple of thicked faced kiasu kids.
Well, last were the beautiful fireworks of Disneyland. Unfortunately, when we were there, the wind was too strong and the fireworks were canceled. It was rather disappointing, but still we were still pretty excited for our next day at Disneysea. Can’t wait to see what’s waiting for us there.